Yeah, I think it's a great addition!
I'm neutral, I guess.
I have this specific opinion... (specify in post)
A warning before we start the discussion. As you can probably guess from the title, the discussion will involve a topic related to smut/adult topic so please be careful in writing your post.
I realize the topic can be a bit 'dangerous', but nevertheless, I'm curious.
Once in a while I found shoujo series with smut/adult content element inside it. Take for example Kyou, Koi wo Hajimemasu and Midnight Secretary (although it may not be very explicit like in those adult/hentai manga). I don't think I've found a josei series with that. Not that I read lots of josei anyway so I'm biased, but probably it's even 'worse' in josei. I think from reading summaries NANA quite much has that as well.
Just wondering what you guys think about this. Do you feel liking the series less for having such scenes/content, or even like it more?
My stance on this matter is always the same for every demographics, basically. I don't mind if a Shoujo or (more likely) Josei manga has some adult contents in it for example sex scenes or smuts or anything, as long as it's not going overboard. I don't want reading a Manga where the content is only filled with gratuitous sex scenes with no reason and the story does not progress at all.
In conclusion, the adult content should have purposes.
Agreed with Dorakun.
Well, honestly speaking I used to dislike such kind of element in a series I was reading. Guess it was when I was still... innocent. But with the coming of age there's more understanding in reading the manga, knowing more of the context and meaning of the manga. I admit at times I may be a bit uncomfortable with such scenes but I accept it as part of the story (since I'm more moved by sweet things like a kiss or a hug, you see, or even words, lol). As long as it's not crossing the line.
I believe the addition of smut makes the series come close to reality as much as it can get. haha.
Because let's face it, the generation now is just different.
Although for some series it is just not necessary because either they're a comedy, or a sci/fi/mystery, etc. But for romance series to take 8 volumes to just kiss would make me roll my eyes in annoyance.
Sometimes even smut is not necessary, but just the implication that they've become intimate can mean a lot to me. Smut can be very detailed, and sometimes just panels of undressing, or even dialogue that they've stepped up is enough for me.
But on another remark, to respond to your point about "generation now is just different". It's probably related to how various cultures are more 'open' to other elements, including this kind of content. I bet comics also play a part in this situation.
I guess I'm still a bit uncomfortable with smut content (which my friends might not believe since I know a lot about the stuff, but hey, knowing doesn't equal to liking), but if the story is good, I don't actually care that much. There are also many books and movies with contents like that, so it's unavoidable, really. If I really dislike it, what kind of entertainment will be left for me? I'll just read the scenes real fast. I might say 'yikes' when I read the scene but that's all.
But of course, if the smut content go overboard, I'll stop reading it.
So yeah, in conclusion, I do not enjoy it, but I can't say that I dislike it to the point that I avoid it.
But I guess smut is not a very well-known genre. Even until now, there are some of my friends who still do not know what is smut though they are also manga readers. Every time someone asks, those who know will only laugh and say that he/she does not need to know about it.
I learned about smut from reading Eni-chan's posts years ago hahaha.
Sometimes I read smut for pure entertainment- Most of them are really hilarious! Like reading an amateur fanfic from ff.net. I've encountered very very few gems out there for this genre. A good example (and recommendation) would be Girlfriend but apparently it's seinen "Midnight Secretary" rates more than average for my standards, not as explicit as the former but not mild either.
There are some that fit my description before about not having smut or too explicit a content, but that there clear implications that the characters are sexually active. Like in the cases of "Kimi wa Petto" and "NANA".
In "Kare Kano" it is one of the turning points in the manga but they didn't dwell on the subject afterwards. After it was implied you just sort of understand that they had a deeper connection with each other. "Paradise Kiss" would fall under this scale too, I would say.
And I think we mostly find smut in shoujo/josei manga?
For me, smut is only a side genre and sometimes I avoid it. The only smut manga I read now are Kyou, Koi wo Hajimemasu and Black Bird.
And you would notice the difference, maybe, if you read a lot of both and compare and contrast.
I have always thought of "smut" and "ecchi" to be just same word, used to replace one another, despite the demographics it's usually used in.
I agree that smut is more a side genre than a genre itself. It's in a more mild level compared to "adult" series, or even more, "hentai" series, so the content is not that much. But even if it wasn't that much, when I read Kyou. Koi wo Hajimemasu I was still surprised. At that time I wasn't yet used yet to see such content in shoujo/josei series. Now that I think about it again, even in Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne (which I read when I was on junior high school), there is already a sign of things going that way, although it's not exploited or shown as explicitly as in Koi wo Hajimemasu.
The content is actually closer to us than we thought, lol.
I think the explicit nature of adult/smut is increasing cause of the influence of mass media and it doesnt bother me.(well i am a guy what was i gonna say)though that doesnt mean i am a pervert of any kind and i dont like excessive nakedness in manga(or any other media for that matter) unless it is there to accentuate the story(as @doraku mentioned). it also depends on the mindset of the reader but when i read mangas that have sexual scenes it just seems pointless to me.i dont get hot and bothered and they get drawn for these reasons. for me it is no different than background or white noise. i think the increasing nature of these kinds of scenes r there cause the new generation are exposed to it much early. so the mangakas use it cause of the demand or general acceptance. so in conclusion i dont mind those scenes nor i get bothered by them but if they wont serve any purpose for the plot and there to sell more manga then i will just stop reading.
I can't say if the explicit nature is increasing or not.
I mean, these have existed for a long time. I've read extreme yuri that's been done since the nineties. "Futari Ecchi" too has been around since 1997 and still ongoing (I just read maybe 6 volumes and dropped it).
Anyway, my point is, maybe you just think its increasing because you yourself are becoming more aware about manga in general, and know where to look. These type of manga are not as easily distributed as say, Naruto, but if you actively search for them, you can find loads and you might be surprised at how old some are.
As a side note, The Japanese have been known to be quite open towards sexual behavior, even during the time when the Westerners first encountered them (they were shocked that there were Geisha mastered in the art of pleasing men, or about homosexuality, etc. but that's beside the point) And take into account the "WJT" (weird Japanese Thing) that only they can dare think about. They'd been pushing the edges of fanservice long before hollywood and TV had thought of Charlie's Angels. They make ecchi figurines of 2d girls, they created the word "Moe", they think about plots like the Queen of the Damned trapped in a guy's testicles and if he ejaculates she is set free, or the guy whose hand turned into a girl and eventually became his girlfriend. >.>
And, let's not forget. That ever famous Tentacle Sex.
None of these cannot be found in Smut, or in Shoujo and Josei (THANK GOD!) So you can never mix the two of them up (Hentai/Ecchi (mild hentai), Smut).
maybe i phrased my comment wrong or u misunderstood something but, what i meant was it started to increase even in legitamate magazines. at first the big publishers wouldnt even let nipples to be even drawn(whether it be shounen or shoujo.josei was created to move away from the early 90s "ladies manga" image since they started to go beyond the acceptable norm) but nowadays u can actually find drawn sex scenes in mangas regardless. that is increased explicit behaviour.for example in mainstream hollywood movies sexual scenes were somewhat shunned but nowadays it is more or less seen as the norm. that also holds true in mangas of 2000s+. nowadays we dont get shocked seeing or hearing of sexual behaviour on any media. and although the 2 mangas u named r the first i heard of them u dont actually have to search for them nowadays probably you need to search ones without.
P.S: smut i also more integrated to shoujo and josei than the others. since most identifies smut as female borderline or hentai.
What I also mean is that it's hard to justify if explicit content is really being produced more nowadays than the previous decades without in-depth research. It's hard to base it on personal childhood alone and personal exposure to manga, since we have been exposed to these things at different ages, and it also depends on how our parents kept us away from such material and for how long.
For example, I really hadn't heard about smut until I joined MH, which was only in 2006. I wouldn't have access to smut then because I never even thought it existed. Though I was familiar with the term Hentai and Ecchi, just didn't encounter them much as I avoided them when I was an adolescent. When I was even younger I never would have thought hentai and ecchi existed.
Right now it's easy for the younger generation to search by themselves because of the internet. But back in the day you couldn't get your hands on manga (let alone smut/ecchi ones) until you could either get money from your parents (where they'd ask you what you're buying) assuming they'd actually let you buy one or read it from the library (in which case, if you were a kid then, chances are the librarian wouldn't allow you into that section). So it's easy to conclude that "oh there are a lot more ecchi/smut these days" just because you can easily access them with a click of a button no matter where you are or what country you're from, compared to before when they already existed, but people couldn't really get them even if they tried.