R18 is a name that will either evoke awed admiration or complete ignorance, depending on who hears it. To your average Western porn fan, it might just seem like a letter and number chosen at random. They won’t even realize that it’s a website, let alone a porn site.
But for the Japanese adult video or hentai connoisseur, R18 is much better known. If you’re even a casual fan of hentai and R18’s collection of Japanese animated porn isn’t on your radar, it’s time to strap in for a transpacific flight to Tokyo, because you’ve got a lot to learn.
R18 is the largest domestic Japanese porn seller. Go back and read that sentence again. There’s something important that I don’t want you to overlook. Here, let me know: R18 is the largest domestic Japanese porn seller.
Got it yet? Fuck, do I really have to spell it out for you? The key word there is domestic. Unlike so many purveyors of fine imported hentai, R18 is based in Japan. For those not in the know, this means one big thing for a potential purchaser of porn.
It means they’ve got a direct line to the official product, hot off the presses. If you think you’re obsessed with hentai, you obviously haven’t met your average Japanese twenty-something male. Yeah, you’re both virgins and you both have at least one anime catgirl body pillow, but where for you hentai is a hobby, for him hentai is a lifestyle. Japan eats, sleeps, and breathes hentai. As a result, a Japanese porn site is going to not only have to release higher quality hentai for the discerning fan, but also release it more frequently.
They upload new videos practically every day, so if you exhaust R18’s supply of your little corner of hentai, it should only be temporary. Rest assured knowing that new content will come, so you won’t have to venture out of your dark bedroom and go talk to an actual human woman any time soon.
A Plethora of Porn
R18’s hentai collection stands out in more ways than one. First and foremost, it’s huge. As of now, they have about five hundred videos, and this number is growing quickly. Keep in mind that we’re not talking five hundred thirty second clips, or even five hundred fifteen-minute porn videos.
This is five hundred DVD-sized hentai videos. Each one is the same length as one of those imported DVDs sold in the back of the Japanese store that you and your fat loser friends went to when you were teenagers. Except now, you can buy them from the comfort of your own basement while wearing the same underwear you’ve been wearing all week.
R18 also knocks it out of the park with all of the tools it gives you to find what you’re looking for. You’ve got your basic sorting choices: newest videos, highest-rated videos, and most-viewed videos of the day, week, and month. That’s all well and good, but it’s also pretty standard stuff. Where R18 changes the game is its recommended hentai section: this uses an algorithm that takes the videos you’ve watched and rated and spits out even more good shit that it thinks you’ll love. It’s like getting a personalized recommendation from a friend that knows everything about you and is as obsessed with hentai as you, except you don’t have to actually talk to a freak like that.
Another thing that R18 nails is its categories. Yeah, having categories is more of an expectation than something to brag about, but R18 lets you flip through its hentai using a more robust and detailed category system than I think I’ve ever seen.
Up top, you have some basic categories—useful stuff, but nothing too weird or special. But keep scrolling and you’ll find literally hundreds of tags that can allow you to narrow down onto some incredibly niche stuff. You’ve got basic stuff like “big tits,” but there are also categories like “female ninja.” Yes, that’s real, and yes, there are actually videos in the female ninja category. A whopping eleven of them. Eleven fucking full-length hentai videos featuring female ninjas. I don’t know what Japan is on, but I want some.
R18 has fantasy hentai, historical hentai, horror hentai, sci-fi hentai—if its an adjective that can be applied to any type of porn, or even just a regular TV show or movie, I’d be willing to bet that R18 has a category for it.
And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, R18 throws it all together to let you search through their hentai collection with an incredibly powerful advanced search function. You can combine as many categories as you want, and even filter by studio and series, to essentially find the dream hentai video that you never knew existed.
Just to see how crazy this could get, I put together a search for the categories called “beautiful girl,” “big tits,” “princess,” “schoolgirl,” and “creampie” and one video came out. That’s five categories combined to get me right down to the exact specific thing I was looking for. Want to watch a beautiful nurse humiliate you? The advanced search lets you find it in a second.
If you let your mind run wild while losing this tool it’s basically like being able to craft the perfect video for you, except it only takes a few clicks instead of the talent, dedication, and effort that you so completely lack.
The mobile site has all of the same stuff, too. This lets you choose what device you used based on your location and need for privacy rather than having to decide whether or not you want to sacrifice certain features, which means no more hauling your laptop to the bathroom so that you don’t lose the ability to preview videos.
English Titles, But Unless You Speak Japanese…
R18 does something that you might think would be common, but is actually somewhat rare among hentai sites: it translates its titles into English. This makes a huge difference when you’re trying to look for something new—even you can memorize the Japanese title of your favorite videos, but having titles only in Japanese can make things a bit difficult when you’re searching.
But, they, unfortunately, don’t go far enough with this commitment to English. Hardly any of the hentai on R18 is dubbed into English, and only a handful of it is subtitled. Each video’s language and subtitles are clearly labeled, so it’s not like you’ll have to buy videos at random hoping that they meet your needs, but you will have to be careful to not accidentally buy something without checking.
For me, though, this wasn’t as big of a deal as I thought it might be. I don’t watch hentai to be blown away by the characters and the plot. I’m on R18 to watch drawn impossibly attractive young girls get all of their holes slammed, and I’m on R18 so that I can call it “watching a foreign film” when anyone asks what I’ve been doing.
The Matter Of Dollars And Cents
Speaking of that sweat-stained back room where you used to buy Hentai before the internet, here’s some good news. Gone are the days where you had to pay not only for the costs of importing the videos, but the sex-toy habit of the old man working the counter too. We’re in the modern world now. Things come to us via streaming, we don’t have to mail a disc halfway across the world just to get our rocks off.
Along with that convenience comes savings: you’ll be paying somewhere between five and fifteen bucks for each video. The price is occasionally a bit lower or higher, but it never approaches what you’ll pay for a physical copy of the hentai like you used to.
To help you out, they do offer fairly deep discounts and sales regularly. And, you can sort within each category by price just in case it comes down to buying yourself dinner and masturbating to a group of slutty elves.
Granted, this still adds up to be more expensive than most porn. They don’t offer a subscription service, so you’ll be paying by the video. But you’re also getting something that’s of a much higher quality than you’ll find anything else. And, knowing you, you’ll probably fall in love with the first hentai girl you lay eyes on, so one video should last you more than a little while.