Thursday, February 1, 2018

ryona リョナ

NSFW: this article may contain words or images you'd rather not have your boss see.
In one degenerate corner of the anime fandom, ryona リョナ means scenarios featuring female characters being punched, kicked, or just being harmed physically or psychologically in one way or another. Originally, the term was created because the moaning in agony sounded similar to moaning in sexual pleasure, but today it can refer even to scenarios where nobody is moaning at all.

Any scene in manga and anime where a girl is simply beaten up counts as ryona. Scenes where the heroine is kidnapped and bound up, becoming a damsel in distress, also count as ryona, as "distress" is psychologically harming. In games with female protagonists, such as Resident Evil and Tomb Raider, defeat, game-over, usually involves a ryona scenario, like being eaten alive by zombies.

The word ryona isn't a word used toward real people. It's strictly an internet slang used toward fiction. It doesn't even means "violence" in Japanese, the word that means "violence" is bouryoku 暴力.

Obviously violence against women, against men, against anyone in any form is bad, which is why we have protagonists violently beating up the bad guys to save the world from violence. This article doesn't condone violence, but it features way too many violent images from anime, movies and games to illustrate what ryona is about. Do not proceed if you can't stand the subject.

Example of ryona: Asari covered in bruises.
Anime: Ninja Slayer From Animation (Episode 3)

Reverse Ryona, Gyaku-Ryona 逆リョナ

The term ryona normally refers female characters being harmed, not male, which at first glance sounds like it's a statement to patriarchal domestic violence, but make no mistake: degenerates exist in all genders.

The term "reverse ryona," or gyaku-ryona 逆リョナ, refers to scenarios where a male character is harmed. Like by his abusive yandere girlfriend or whatever.

In simple terms: ryona is Chun-Li getting beaten by Balrog, while gyaku-ryona is the reverse happening: Balrog getting beaten by Chun-Li.

Another word that works in the same fashion, using the gyaku prefix, is "reverse harem," gyaku haaremu 逆ハーレム.

Furthermore, although it sounds like ryona is about a guy harming a girl, it isn't: it's about a girl being harmed. This can be by another girl, by a monster, by an inanimate object, even. Likewise, gyaku-ryona is about a guy being harmed: it doesn't matter if it's by a girl, by a guy, by a monster, etc.

A synonym for gyaku-ryona 逆リョナ is otoko-ryona 男リョナ, "man/male/guy ryona."

Types of Ryona

I realize the basic definition of the word doesn't give you a good idea of what we're talking about here, so here are some examples of ryona with all the information you never asked for and probably don't even want in first place.

Beat 'em Up

Characters beaten in fighting games, be it duel or one-vs-many, count as ryona, specially when they lose.

In particular, Street Fighter, among other games, shows an image of the defeated character covered bruises or bleeding after the fight. In Mortal Kombat, fatalities are extremely violent ways to finish off your opponent.

It's worth noting the multi-sided sexism historically surrounding such games: the first Street Fighter, which honestly nobody really cares about, had no female characters in it: only guys beating other guys. Street Fighter 2 introduced Chun-Li, one girl, among 11 guys, however, 10 of those guys' defeated faces featured blood, cuts, nose-bleeding, and the one that didn't, Balrog, featured a swollen eye. Chun-Li's defeated face feature neither of those, as if she wasn't beaten as hard as the male characters. In Final Fight, the character Poison was originally supposed to be a woman, but due to business concerns about depicting women being beaten, she was retconned into a transgender woman, implying beating a cis woman isn't okay, but beating a trans woman is alright.
  • "This is confusing! Is it sexist to hit you? Is it more sexist to not hit you? I mean, the line gets real *cocks pistol* blurry!" —Movie: Deadpool (2016).

In anime, normally fights aren't called ryona. That's because there's hardly ever a sense that the character is going to be defeated. There's no distress in it, and certainly no brutality. In many cases, bruises are never drawn despite all the punching going , so it's like it hasn't even happened.

By contrast, when there's a battle so gruesome that results in permanent injury, like loss of limbs, loss of an eye, teeth being punched out, bones broken, scarring, etc., then it may count as ryona.

Something like this also counts as ryona:

Crimson Viper vs. Cammy White
Anime: Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind, Aratanaru Kizuna 新たなる絆

hiropin ヒロピン

The term hiropin ヒロピン means "heroine pinch," hiroin pinchi ヒロインピンチ. In other words, a heroine, or maybe hero, being in a pinch, facing danger, specially in a situation she can't get out of on her own.

For example, sometimes in anime a heroine character is restrained by something, overwhelming often by tentacles, but she could be simply tied up to a chair, or even locked inside a dungeon cell, or bound to a cross, which's overly dramatic and seriously over the top.

But anyway, in such cases, she can't get out of the pinch herself. She can't free herself and escape or fight.and seriously completely pointless. The heroine is reduced to damsel in distress. All she can do is wait for her allies, nakama 仲間, to come help her. If she doesn't have those, then the author decides to introduce a new, mysterious character for no reason besides saving her. You know how it goes.

Anyway, that's hiropin. In some anime, you may even hear a girl saying she's in "great pinch," dai-pinchi 大ピンチ, specially in next episode previews and that sort of meta stuff.

harapan 腹パン

The term harapan 腹パン means a "stomach punch," the pan is abbreviation of panchi パンチ. Although the term can mean the act in general, it's also one noteworthy type of ryona.

Anime: Zombielang Saga (Episode 4)

If a character is punched anywhere on their body, that already counts as ryona, but being punched on the stomach, specifically, is particularly brutal for various reasons.

First, the stomach happens to be just around the middle of the spine. When a character is punched in the stomach hard enough, they're drawn folding from the impact, hunching over, which looks more powerful than other types of punches.

Second, the stomach happens to be unprotected from bones or anything like that. A hit in there is super effective. Characters punched in the stomach will sometimes fall on the floor in agony from just one hit.

Anime: Mitsuboshi Colors 三ツ星カラーズ (Episode 11)

Third, and this doesn't happen in comedy anime, only in super serious fights: the stomach happens to be located in the stomach. I mean, the organ. So a belly punch may make the character puke, or even puke blood. Which sounds just as bad as it is.

Anime: Tenjou Tenge 天上天下 (Episode 2)

By the same laws of hydrodynamics, a belly punch toward the bladder could make someone pee themselves, et cetera, but, realistically, you're more likely to rupture their kidneys and make them pee blood next morning than making someone instantly pee with a punch like it were a press of a button.

ryona no kane リョナの鐘

The term ryona no kane リョナの鐘, literally a "ryona's bell," refers to tying someone to a large bell, and I mean large like the church bells of Notre-Dame kind of large, and hitting them, often on the stomach, with a wood log, thus ringing the bell, repeatedly, traditionally exactly 108 times, and illustrations featuring this scenario are generally drawn around the new year.


If this sounds bizarrely specific to you, that's because you're a missing a piece of culture: joya no kane 除夜の鐘, "new year's bell," is a Buddhist tradition in Japan about ringing a large bell 108 times on the night of new year's eve, because there are 108 sins. The Buddhist tradition doesn't include tying someone to the bell.

Torture

When a heroine, or any character, really, like a spy, etc. is captured by the enemy, hiropin, sometimes they're tortured for all sorts of reasons, like for information, or just to send a message, like "we captured your friend, do this or she shall die! MWAHAHAHAHAHA" and stuff like that.

Virtually all sorts of torture scenes count as ryona, but you wouldn't call them ryona, because you can just call them "torture," goumon 拷問, instead, like a normal person would.

Anime: Aldnoah Zero (Episode 8)

Some related terms:
  • sankaku mokuba 三角木馬
    Triangular wooden horse.
    • Historically, an actual torture device which was used on women, nowadays a BDSM device.
  • mizuzeme 水責め
    Water-torture.
    • Any water-related torture, drowning, waterboarding, etc.

Psychological

Sometimes, psychological harm counts as ryona. For example:
  • Immense distress, like from long-term confinement in a cell, solitary, etc.
  • Fear for what's about to happen.
  • Trauma for what has happened.

Some related terms:
  • seishin 精神
    Psyche. Mind.
  • seishin-teki 精神的
    Psychological. Mental.
  • seishin-teki na dameeji 精神的なダメージ
    Psychological damage. Mental damage.

Traumatized Aqua inside a cage.
Anime: Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! この素晴らしい世界に祝福を! (Episode 5)
  • torauma トラウマ
    Trauma.
  • shisshin 失神
    Fainting.

The Priestess peeing herself in fear.
Anime: Goblin Slayer, Goburin Sureyaa ゴブリンスレイヤー (Episode 1)
  • shikkin 失禁
    Incontinence. (e.g. peeing in fear.)
  • kyouki 狂気
    Insanity.
  • mentaru メンタル
    Crazy person. (colloquial.)
  • youji taikou 幼児退行
    Infantile regression.
    • Mental illness: when an adult regresses to child or baby mental age.
Anime: Goblin Slayer, Goburin Sureyaa ゴブリンスレイヤー (Episode 1)
  • utsurome 虚ろ目
    Vacant eyes.
    • They're the ones drawn without a spark.
    • Also called:
    • maguro me マグロ目
      "Tuna" eyes. (as in dead eyes, with no life in them, like a tuna's.)
    • reipu me レイプ目
      "Rape" eyes. (as in the victim, not the criminal.)

Brainwashing

When characters are captured, sometimes they're brainwashed instead of tortured, which counts as ryona because brainwashing is psychologically harming.

The word for "brainwashing" in Japanese is sennou 洗脳, the meaning of the kanji being "to wash," arau 洗う, and "brain," nou 脳.

I recommend you to not Google it because of spoilers, but one infamous example of brainwashing can be found in the third season of the anime Danganronpa ダンガンロンパ.

Monsters

Some ryona features monsters harming characters, specially monsters from games, the enemies you kill in Castlevania, etc. and, therefore, can be just a plain old animals, like a dog, or wolf, or goblins, orcs, trolls, slimes, monster girls, mythological creatures, science fiction creatures, aliens, machines, robots, zombies, and so on.

These non-human creatures accompany even more inhumane ryona, like:
  • Being eaten alive by a monster or animal. Also known as "vore" in the west.
  • Being impregnated by something that is not human and give birth to its child.
    • See also: Goblin Slayer.
  • To be a part of a laboratory experiment by a sadistic mad scientist.
  • To be dissected alive by aliens.
  • To be turned into stone, like by Medusa or something.
    • sekika 石化
      Petrification.
  • To be frozen alive by an ice attack, burned alive by a fire attack, or simply killed alive by an electric attack, poison attack, acid attack, etc.

As you can see, that's a lot of "bad ends," baddo endo バッドエンド.

Facehugger from the movie Alien.
Movie: Alien
  • Facehugger: "have my babies!!!"

Note that since monsters include machines, and machines have no will of its own, it's safe to say traps that harm people also count as ryona. To clarify: the "trap" I'm talking about here are like holes with stakes in them, bear traps, that sort of stuff.

On the other hand, if a vase falls on someone's head by chance that doesn't count as ryona. That's just awful luck.

Sometimes, it's the monster that's suffering harm in ryona:
  • Zombies (or zombie-turned girls) being eaten by larvae.
  • Deities, angels, fairies, etc. getting sealed by mediums.
    • See: Ghost Busters!

marunomi 丸呑み

The term marunomi 丸呑み means "swallowing whole." It's a ryona scenario where a character is eaten whole by some monster. The peculiarity of this scenario is that you don't die simply by being swallowed.

That is, it's different from being eaten, masticated, by some animal or huge titan. The character ends in the monster's belly still alive. And probably dies from being digested from stomach acid, or, if lucky, survives after cutting through from inside.

Anime: Made in Abyss, Meido in Abisu メイドインアビス (Episode 9)
  • Riko リコ is swallowed whole by a weird purple monster, ending up in its stomach together with other stuff it ate.

Robotic Destruction

When the non-organic, robotic body parts of androids, cyborgs, and robots are destroyed, that also counts as ryona.

This a distinct type of ryona because robots don't (necessarily) feel pain. While in other types you could say it's sadistic, it's about inflicting pain onto others, in this case it's exclusively about the destruction of the body.

In particular, the amazing thing about robots is that they're almost immortal: their body parts can be re-made, so even if they lose a couple of limbs in battle, they don't flinch. They don't hesitate in sacrifice them to win a fight. As evidenced in the anime classic Ghost in the Shell.

I'd like to put a GIF of the famous scene here, but I feel it's too disturbing for general audiences, so I won't do it. I do recommend you to watch the movie, though, because it's gorgeous. Anyway, here's the next best example I can think of:

Game: Megaman X5, Rokkuman Ekkisu Faibu ロックマンX5
  • Despite missing an arm, lower torso, and with a hole through his chest, Zero ゼロ still fights with a smile in his face.

Given Megaman X5 came out 19 years ago, in 2000, I suppose I need more recent example:

Anime: One Punch Man (Episode 2)
  • For some reason, Genos gets ryona'd a lot.

The scenario is associated with robots because in anime robots are the most common type of creature that can do this sort of stuff. However, it isn't exclusive to robots.

Spirits, poltergeist, manipulating non-organic objects like dolls, golems, as if it were their bodies, are also pretty much the same thing as a robot, in that they don't feel pain, have no need to flinch, replaceable body, etc. So ryona involving destroying those objects is the same sort of ryona.

Although unlikely to exist, any other creature whose body fits those criteria falls into the same category.

Anime: Houseki no Kuni 宝石の国 (Episode 1)
  • In this anime about precious gems drawn a cute anime girls, the girls's bodies are literally made out of rock. When they break in a fight, you just literally glue the rock back and they're as healthy as new.

ryona vs. guro

The term ryona has a level of overlap with another term, guro グロ. A number of scenarios that are considered ryona are also considered guro, specially the more brutal ones, ending in loss of limbs, death, etc.

The key difference between ryona and guro is that ryona is focuses on bad guys or monsters inflicting harm on female characters, while guro is merely about the depiction of something grotesque.

So if there's someone or something inflicting harm, it's ryona, and if it results in gore, it's also guro. However, if there's only gore, or something grotesque, and the act of inflicting harm isn't depicted, it's only guro and not ryona. A grotesque car accident isn't ryona.

ryonaraa リョナラー

Someone who likes ryona is called a ryonaraa リョナラー, "ryonarer," in Japanese.

This is similar to how someone who likes "furry art," kemono ケモノ, is called a kemonaa ケモナー, "kemoner," a "furry."

Surprisingly, not only does such term exist, but it seems there are enough people into this stuff to create their own convention: the Ryonaket, ryonaketto りょなけっと.

A ryonaraa isn't the same thing a mere sadist, do-S ドS. I mean, it's easy to assume if you like these scenes with guys beating girls, you're a guy self-inserting into the assailant. But there are also girls self-inserting as the victim. Just like there are guys self-inserting into the guy getting beaten by girls in gyaku-ryona. And there are fujoshi, "rotten girls," liking gyaku-ryona with guys beating other guys, fueling their shipping fantasies.

Ryona Genre

The term ryona can also refer to a pornographic hentai genre that focuses on ryona scenarios, scenes featuring physical or psychological harm.

There's a big difference between ryona scenarios and the ryona genre. The genre is essentially violence pornography, while a scenario is any scene featuring violence, and can include scenes from your average shounen anime, which is definitely not adult.

Also note that, although works in the ryona genre are clearly about a fetish, they don't necessarily feature nudity or sexual intercourse. Which only makes the whole thing even harder to define.

To have a better idea: any adult work of the bondage genre contains a girl bound up, but if you see a girl bound up in anime, that doesn't mean the whole anime is for adults. It could be there's a bad guy who has kidnapped her. It could be fanservice. It could be both.

Nancy Lee tied up.
Anime: Ninja Slayer From Animation (Episode 12)

Similarly, in any series you have lots of bad guys you'll have a lot of violence and harm going on. Otherwise you'd have a bad guy who can't harm anyone and that doesn't any make sense. This violence will eventually be directed at a female character. And when that happens you'll probably have a ryona scenario.

A series with lots of bad guys harming lots of female characters in lots of ryona scenarios isn't necessarily of the ryona genre.

Also, sometimes, works of the ecchi genre, that aren't adult, have scenes that are more erotic than adult works. Likewise, a ryona scenario featured in an normal anime can be more violent than a work of the ryona genre.

So it isn't about frequency or intensity.

Only when the whole work was created with the purpose of showing female characters being harmed, of showing ryona, that it's said to be in the ryona genre.

In other words, this probably only happens when it's a work created by a ryonaraa for other ryonaraa.

Ryona Games

One type of work that's indeed in the ryona genre are ryona games, also called ryona geemu リョナーゲム, or ryonagee リョナゲー. These are generally self-published doujin games focusing on ryona scenarios.

Although fighting games like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat naturally feature ryona all over the place, after all, no matter what character you pick you'll probably have to beat up Chun-Li or Cammy or whoever to complete the game, those aren't in the ryona genre.

Those are normal games that just happen to feature scenarios you may call ryona.

For reference, an example of ryona game:

CrackleCradle: Nana versus stage 3 boss.
Game: CrackleCradle (Stage 3, Boss Fight)
  • Why do you stay still when you reload, Nana? What are you thinking?? AND WHAT WAS THE PURPOSE OF THE LAB??? I mean, as far as I'm concerned Nana is the bad guy here. She's shooting a poor passerby giant killer robot's foot. Of course he'll retaliate in totally legitimate and well-measured self-defense.

Origin

The origin of the term ryona is the internet, specially, the Japanese board 2ch, which is kind of like 4chan, but in Japanese.

In this board, there was once a game-related thread entitled "kyaa" moeru himei no geemu "an'" 【きゃあっ】萌える悲鳴のゲーム【あんっ】, which was a scream, kyah!, followed by the phrase "games with screams you like" (see moe 萌え for the verb moeru), and ending with a moan, "ahn!"

NSFW (adult) link: 【きゃあっ】萌える悲鳴のゲーム【あんっ】., accessed 2019-03-27.

In this thread, users talked about games where the voice actors, the characters screamed in pain and discomfort, and it might have sounded like moans of pleasure instead.

Then the 652th post drops this bomb:

バイオやRPGなどで喘ぎ声をあげながら死んでいく光景で
自慰する行為を猟奇オナニーと命名する

baio ya RPG nado de aegigoe wo agenagara shindeiku koukei de
jii suru koui wo ryouki onanii meimei suru

"[I] name the act of masturbating to scenes of [characters] dying while gasping in RPG and Resident Evil, etc. 'jacking off seeking the bizarre.'"

(yes, seriously, someone said this.)

Note: baio バイオ is short for baiohazaado バイオハザード, the Japanese name for Resident Evil. This "seeking the bizarre" thing, ryouki, is about abnormal things. In this case, the post meant that masturbating to horror games is abnormal, not that the games they were masturbating to contained anything abnormal.

The next post, 653, says this ryouki onanii is a bit too dark. 654 says that's a given since you're masturbating to someone dying. Asking if the "final answer" is going to be that masturbating to screams is himei onanii and to characters dying ryouki onanii.

657 decides to abbreviate the term that was created just 5 posts before, saying ryonanii リョナニー should be the abbreviation of ryouki onanii.

Since onanii suru オナニーする means "to masturbate," then "to masturbate to [characters] dying" would be ryonanii suru リョナニーする, I guess. But, instead, people made it a -ru verb: ryonaru リョナる. So ryonatteru リョナってる would be the conjugation meaning "ryona'ing" or something.

Finally, people started saying just ryona リョナ as a noun. And, later, it became a genre.

References

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