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September 2021

Featuring Michelle Jean
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Fakku, Buddy!
Featured Article

Fakku, Buddy!

With a massive catalog of titles such as Intimate Days, publisher Fakku is helping the Japanese art form of hentai thrive among English-speaking audiences. 

Over the past 20-ish years, the Japanese art forms of manga and anime have been increasingly assimilated into Western culture. One of the earliest companies to bring sexually explicit manga—referred to as hentai—to Western audiences was Fakku. Founder Jacob Grady started the company largely as a fan site which showcased copies of existing hentai stories. In the last decade or so, however, Grady has grown the company into the largest English-language hentai publisher in the world. 

HUSTLERMagazine.com recently reached out to Grady to discuss the hentai world. As a sample, he sent us the fairly recent Fakku title Intimate Days by Ikuhana Niiro. The book features highly stylized artwork with the cartoonish faces and large eyes that are frequently found in manga and anime, but the care put into the art is a cut above the average hentai offering—the angles and compositions are expertly used to establish mood, atmosphere and character. The book is an anthology; each story is a vignette that develops and showcases a sexual encounter between couples with varying relationships, most of them being of a nerdy and cutesy nature.

After reading the book, we had to know more about this fascinating world, so we chatted with Grady about the art and business of hentai and how it has impacted the West.

HUSTLERMagazine.com: What first drew you to manga and hentai?

Jacob Grady: When I was a kid, every day I would go home and watch Dragon Ball Z and all the other shows that aired on Cartoon Network and Toonami. All of those types of shows were like my first experience with anime and manga. And I just started venturing in and discovering more and more, along with video games; I was super into Japanese RPGs [role-playing games]. And I just started [searching] around … as I grew up and became an adult, I discovered hentai and how vast it is as an industry in Japan. Here, we’re one of the only players, but in Japan, it’s just a massive, massive industry. What attracts me to hentai as a medium is [that opposed to traditional porn], it’s almost like the story is the most important part. And then there’s just sex as a method of telling that story. Obviously there’s still very porny hentai, but what I like about it is the story, and I think that’s why the book that we suggested to you, Intimate Days, is such a good example. Those are really good stories and then, you know, they have sex in them. 

The issue of censorship is still very much at play in Japan. Do a lot of Japanese artists come to you as a workaround to create uncensored art, and do you also print uncensored versions of previously censored works?

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