The word's narrow Japanese-language usage and broad international usage are often incompatible.
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Internationally, hentai is a catch-all term to describe a genre of anime and manga pornography.
English adopts and uses hentai as a genre of pornography by the commercial sale and marketing of explicit works under this label.
Mark Mc Lelland puts forth the observation that the term "hentai" found itself shortened to "H" and that the English pronunciation was "etchi", referring to lewdness and which did not carry the stronger connotation of abnormality or perversion.
The late 1960s brought a sexual revolution which expanded and solidified the normalizing the terms identity in Japan that continues to exist today through publications such as Bessatsu Takarajima's Hentai-san ga iku series.
The original meaning of Hentai in the Japanese language is a transformation or a metamorphosis.
The implication of perversion or paraphilia was derived from there.
Both meanings can be distinguished in context easily.