Commentary/Thoughts on 2015

Ok, so some time has passed since bringing in the new year to 2016, and as you know, I’ve been hesitant to just straight up post things in the past, but personally 2015 was a blast for me! I was able to travel to Japan and attend Futaket 11, and then in October live in Tokyo for 90 days on a full tourist visa and also attend Futaket 11.5 and Comic Market 89. Of course, living in Japan for three months, I was able to learn a lot more not only about the otaku subculture in general… but I was able to measure the current interest level in futanari.

There’s two things I’m going to primarily discuss: Fan interest, which is still very rabid – and Creator interest, which is in a relatively heavy decline.

The fan interest is still looking good for futanari content. I was surprised to attend both Futakets and queue in a 40min line. Even more surprising is the amount of females that attend Futaket (ratio 3 women for every 7 men), although their attendance is for another subgenre that I’ll mention toward the end. At Comiket, the primary futanari circles all (mostly) required you to endure a mild 10-15min queue (nothing like the「A」row booths though!). On pixiv, searching for futanari, shemale or newhalf always has daily results of new images and promotions for events and digital releases. Those pixiv searches also have a high amount of favorites relative to other searches (that I indulge in).

However, this is in contrast to hobbyist creator interest which is… declining or becoming complacent, your choice. Back to pixiv as a reference, tons of new content is coming through, but how much of the content is original versus parody? How much of the content is recycled? It’s very hard to tell, but a many illustrators are taking female designs and just sticking a badly illustrated penis on top of it because it’s a shortcut. In addition, a lot of historically futanari mangaka and futanari cirles are transitioning away from creating titles with futa characters. Off the top of my head: Niku Ringo, Majimadou, DangerouS ThoughtS/Ki-Software, Escargot Club. This does not include the increasing age and retirement of older mangaka and circles either, the “old guard” of futanari creators have been active for around 20-30 years now, and are losing steam. Look at Rebis for example, he’s illustrating Gyaru and Bimbos now, adding futanari versions as an alternative release!

Creator interest on a amateur level between the East and West (online) actually is very similar right now. LOTS of pinups, single images, and sequences. LITTLE fleshed out scenarios and comics. The “new guard” as it were is unable to properly articulate a story in comic form, or just unwilling to. Mostly, I think it is because it takes some dedication to complete a project.

Remember the mention earlier of the female attendance at Futaket? Mostly, it was to pick up titles from female creators and also because of the high amount of TSF content. 2015 was the first year since Siru d’ Rei began tracking tankoubon releases that a subgenre of futanari had higher release. 2015 is also the first year since 1989 where futanari tankoubon releases were in the single digit. 2015 continued a trend in the West where no new futanari/newhalf titles were released, re-releases were made available however.

At this point, I hold little hope for the West to rekindle physical books released under an ISBN. Independent publications could still be possible through crowdfunding, but major comic companies are EXTREMELY hesitant to even publish vanilla erotica. In Japan, print is continuing to die, and futanari is no longer in vogue. Bakunyuu, Milf, NTR, and Depravity are pretty huge fetishes right now, and their popularity doesn’t look to shrink anytime soon.

Looking forward, I can only hope that successful Patreon campaigns will push content creators to focus their ideas on comic scenarios. Dsan, Sarath, Rebis, and Chibotsu are some of the campaigns that I would recommend right now, as they have most of their campaign devoted to futanari and/or transsexual work.

Hopefully in 2016, content creators will replenish original and parody scenarios, while allowing fans to purchase their work whenever they want (and not just at the first of the month).