By ROLAND KELTS
When Jacob Grady began pirating anime and manga online eight years ago, he was still in college. He took out student loans to pay the server bills, and figured that if he ever made enough money from the site to purchase a round-trip flight to Japan, the effort and expense would be worth it.
Like many Americans, he got hooked on Japanese pop culture as a kid through the Cartoon Network’s action-oriented programming block called “Toonami” (“cartoon tsunami”). He would race home from school to catch the latest episodes of “Dragonball Z” and “Gundam Wing.”
But Grady was not pirating anime adventure series or kids’ shows like “Pokemon.” The content on his site was what most non-Japanese call “hentai” (abnormal, perverted), and in Japan is still largely known as ero-manga, ero-anime, or just porno.
“At some point, going through puberty and exploring the Internet for the first time, I came across hentai,” he says. “I just never looked back.”