Would it have had the same effect if they kept the sex but remove the H-scene? You would still get the notions of him needing sex to keep his sanity when everything else is distorted, but you wouldn’t be getting the nudity or the “oohs” and “aahs” during said scene.
Would it be possible to alter them to still be from a first-person perspective, while withholding the details? I haven’t read Saya no Uta and this is a genuine question I must ask, coming from people who have read it.
I can understand KonoSora’s argument: I, personally, do not find it a necessity to the story to keep the H-scenes, but I can imagine some people would have qualms against it, especially in the Ageha route. After all, friends-with-kissing probably isn’t as a confusing relationship as friends-with-sex. Moenovel could have chosen to rewrite the sex scenes into non-H scenes, but they didn’t do that, which was a pretty drastic decision. Would they have gotten the same backlash if they kept a remnant of the scene without the H? Maybe; maybe not.
My counterargument to this is Symphonic Rain. I honestly wouldn’t have gotten the same impact if Chris hadn’t practically forced Falsita into sex, and would be quite disappointed if they removed that scene. That scene isn’t an H-scene, but a well-written sex scene.
I think we can conclude that, for many developers, adding in H-scenes is simply done to sell the game as a form of pornography. It is common in the VN industry, and, as @AngelOfDeath720 said earlier, the industry would not be able to survive without it.
The stories themselves could have been made simply because a developer told them to make a story that could have sex scenes. Or if a story was first conceived, then told later on “it has to have sex.” In those cases, they could seemingly be removed without having any impact.
There are rare cases where a writer would create a story where he intends to keep sex as a major part of storytelling, and perhaps their intent is more than just selling it as pornography. I would consider it art, but I will still look at it as pornographic art. Should it be written in a way that removes the H, I will no longer consider it pornographic.
Adding in to that example is the anime adaptation of White Album 2. They kept the sex scene, and did it so beautifully while removing the H contents. It’s that sort of treatment that I would expect to see if I want to no longer consider something as pornographic.
Agreed. Sex is a beautiful thing, but it is also a very private and emotional act between couples. What reason do we outsiders have to know the nitty-gritty details of this act, if not for our own satisfaction? What I am trying to say is that there is a point in which sex becomes pornography when enough details are made known.
To summarize how I feel, when a VN has explicit H scenes (not simple sex scenes but nudity with details on the act itself), then I will consider it pornography. If a VN has a sex scene, with no H, then I won’t consider it pornography. Pornography can be art, it can be part of a story, or simply be there to appease those looking for it, but it still remains porn, and when a VN contains it, that is how I will view it: as a form of pornography.
This is slightly off-topic now, but I think the reason why people are so defensive about pornography, saying it is art or whatnot, is because society has shamed people into viewing it as something unethical. They try to justify pornography as ethical because it is art. I don’t believe this, because I do not see pornography as unethical. As such, I do not feel the need to label it as something else to justify it as ethical; because it already is.