A little while ago I remember one of my fellow bloggers educating us on the differences between Ecchi and Hentai but I can’t find the post anymore. It might have been a Twitter thread. So I looked it up on wikipedia instead and essentially, Ecchi is soft hentai, if you know what I mean!

I don’t have anything against “sexual overtones” in anime but I will admit that if it’s the only thing a show has going for it, I tend to get a little bored. I just rather watch hentai in that case. As such, I haven’t seen that many ecchi shows but there are some which I find fantastic. And these are 5 of them! (At least according to my AniList scores which I remind you mean nothing at all)

5. That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime OAD

Most of the series: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime is a fairly innocent isekai comedy with minimal fanservice. It certainly does not qualify as Ecchi. But they did release a series of OAD which are a rambunctious beach adventure complete with miniature bikinis which get creatively torn in the adventure.

It’s still mostly innocent as far as I’m concerned but I guess there was a lot more skin than slime usually shows. And I had fun with it. The episodes fit in well with the rest of the season, even though they did feel like extras and the characters were their charming selves, so no complaints. I’m still a little surprised it’s officially considered ecchi.

4. How Not To Summon a Demon Lord

O.k. I am not surprised that this show is considered Ecchi. It clearly is. It’s what I would call a softcore sex comedy. And I enjoyed it because it had some decent character development, a couple of pretty good jokes and even an occasionally compelling plot to go along with it.

How Not to Summon A Demon Lord is not a masterpiece by any means. There are a few similar shows I enjoyed considerably more. But to me, it was still an entertaining and pleasant enough adventure. I will likely watch the second season.

3. Haganai season 1

I was not a huge fan of the second season of Haganai, which now that I think about it does boost the sexual elements quite a bit. That wasn’t the issue though. It was mostly because I loved the first season and found the second didn’t live up.

Haganai does have quite a few ecchi moments yet somehow that’s not what sticks with me. I had forgotten they were even there until this list reminded me. The fact is, the sexy bits are just smoothly integrated into the whole and it somehow feels natural. Does that make any sense? I’m not sure. But it just fit better than let’s say the Faity Tail fanservice.

2. No Game No Life

I find that people tend to either love this show or wonder what other people see in this show. I’m part of the first group. I loved it. I understand that it’s not to everyone’s tastes but it is to mine. And the colours were beautiful.

I’m not sure if NGNL is still as popular as it used to be but there was a time when it was considered one of the most mainstream ecchi shows out there. I think it did a lot to popularize the genre. It seems to have gotten some backlash from ecchi lovers in the years since it aired but I still like it a lot.

1. Kill la Kill

This is a difficult one to categorize. In many ways, it’s a parody of Ecchi but I can’t deny there are a lot of sexy outfits or lack thereof throughout this series. And I love Kill la Kill so why not take the opportunity to stick it at the top of a list.

Kill la Kill is a show that I’ve seen pointed out to both support how great ecchi can be and how awful ecchi can be in equal parts. And just for that, I think it deserves some praise. It might have muddled its own message but it did it in a way that made fans think. That’s got to be worth something!

These seem like pretty safe choices. My ecchi tastes are basic! Do you have a favourite ecchi anime? Why is it your favourite?

19 thoughts

  1. I would also include Highschool DxD and Yuragi sou no Yuuna-san somewhere on my list if we’re talking strictly anime, manga, there are so many ecchi manga I have read, I’d have no idea what I’d choose.

  2. When I try to make a top 5 ecchi list I confuse myself no end. For example, I’d never have thought of Kill la Kill or Haganai as ecchi, even though they definitely contain ecchi elements. When I think of ecchi shows, the prototype that immediately comes to mind is Monster Musume. It’s the gold standard, for me, but then it’s a very specific type of show (a harem ecchi comedy). The difference between Haganai and Monster Musume, for example, is that Haganai has a story to tell, while Monster Musume has ecchi situations to show off (with the story serving as an excuse to do so).

    How not to Summon a Demon Lord has always struck me as a ecchi show in the latter sense; ecchi situations first, story second. A lot of people seem to have seen this differently, though. I was surprised to find how many non-ecchi fans actually liked that show.

    Here are a two ecchi shows I enjoyed that nobody seems to talk about. I’m not going to worry about whether a show counts or not under what I said above. If I do so I just confuse myself:

    R-15: There’s this school for gifted children with a clear career choice. They can do whatever they want, provided it furthers their career. Our protagonist, a meek Japanese highschool boy, aspires to write porn. He falls in love with a clarinet player, but is afraid she’ll misunderstand him if she finds out why he’s at the school and tries to hide it. Nearly everyone else knows and a lot of people tease him about it. Harem shinanigans ensue. The show is notable for one of my favourite musical moments of the decade (2010 – 2019) – the festival porn choir. It’s on youtube, but I won’t link it, since the visuals can be… risque.

    Ore tachi ni Tsubasa nai (We Without Wings): An eroge adaption. There are three intertwining story-lines: the highschool romcom one with protagonist and girl pretending to date. The bar one, where a book reviewer gets roped into organising a “girl event”. And the night-streets story line where a odd-jobber is looking for a stolen bike. Ah, but the stories are drawn together by some sort of strange isekai fantasy, and a lone boy in a dark room listening to DJ Condor. It’s really weird and all about how puberty can be confusing, and after 13 episode it even makes sense, though spend a lot of time wondering what you’ve just been watching.

    I haven’t heard anyone talk about those since they aired, and I quite liked them.

    1. I actually gave up in determining myself what is ecchi so I just went with what AniList told me was ecchi. I’m not sure what the criteria is.
      R-15 sounds kind of fun

      1. I found R-15 mostly good fun, but it does play on the usual harem ecchi tropes, which can at times get annoying. In terms of ecchi it goes down the downright nudity/embarassment route rather than voyeur shots. I appreciate the former, but am not much of a fan of embarrassment. It’s not perfect, but for me the overall balance was a positive. And that finale song was a stellar moment. An entire song about “doing it” with highly explicit lyrics and very embarrassed singers. Girls and boys taking turns until they sing together, and a progression from major to minor to an upbeat tempo… Really, the song’s great on its own, but in context it’s one of the musical anime moments of the decade for me.

        1. I’m not big on the embarrassment tropes either. I tend to sympathize with the characters and feel super bad for them. I like proud nudists!

  3. I love Kill la Kill a favourite of mine.

    In regular slime I already found the lewder/revealing elements obnoxious so I dont think the OAD would make my list. Not a big fan of ecchi.. so I like the comedy ones.

    Keijo I really enjoyed, I really laughed my butt off with MM! Not sure if Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro Chan counts.. but that would be on my favourites as well … and I completely adored Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta? Ako is just such a great character! A yes.. that is my top five!

    Woop I wrote a short message for once! \o/

    1. One of those random internet comments that’s always stuck with me was someone joking years ago that Trigger designed KlK’s battle costumes just to troll the Japanese cosplayers.

  4. Haganai, specifically season 1 will always have a special place in my heart. I have always been a sucker for ecchi harems but the way that show carried itself hit so much better on so many levels. I have not seen the second season so if I ever re-watch it I will keep that in mind, but none the less love to see you enjoy it as well!

  5. Monogatari aside, Anilist tells me my top pick is Scum’s Wish — emotionally broken adolescents using messy sexuality to paper over their lack of self-worth. Great popcorn entertainment, as far as I’m concerned.

    Kill la Kill, Prison School & The Woman Called Fujiko Mine round out the top five. I love how the latter’s namesake uses the camera’s male gaze to her own ends. Beautiful art direction too, I strongly recommend.

  6. Ecchi is not one of my favorite genres, and my biggest issue is almost always with the male protagonists. Mainly that it seems like 99% of them respond to an attractive woman showing interest in them by either turning into terrified little boys or terrifying sexual predators, with very little in-between. That’s one of the reasons I liked Chivalry of a Failed Knight so much, because Ikki and Stella have such a good relationship, especially in this genre space. Throw out all the fantasy/magic stuff and they feel like a pretty normal teenage couple, obviously hot for each other and both open to, ah, “experimenting,” but still respecting each other’s boundaries too.

    1. Interesting – I might give it a try. I ignored it mostly because the art style didn’t speak to me.

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