Access ExHentai without plugins [AKA bypass the sad panda]

Update: Apparently*, if you made your account in 2013 or later, you need to have at least 50 forum posts. After doing so, this tutorial will work.
At the end of this post I have a TL;DR version. Maybe you need to post one or a few galleries and post some galleries comments besides the 50 posts, but it’s most likely unnecessary.

*No guarantees, as I don’t run the site and I’m not creating accounts to test every possibility. Obviously, spamming their forums is not a good idea, though you’re free to try (to reach 50 forum posts, not to spam their forums, duh). I’m not taking any responsibilities.

I’ve release quite a lot of translated hentai. Pretty much all of those were posted on e-hentai and I believe many people know about g.e-hentai.org and it’s “dark sister”, exhentai.org. Many people also know that it’s not so simple to access exhentai.org and, instead, they’re faced with the picture of a sad panda when they try.

If you do a quick search around you’ll see lots of sites with methods and even plugins or add-ons written specifically to bypass the sad panda and successfully access exhentai. Sure they’re all valid methods and such, but installing a plugin just to access one site seems like overdoing and you have to always worry about compatibility issues when the site changes or when the browser upgrades. You can also find tutorials for specific browsers and plugins for each browser too but really, it’s not rocket science to access it without those.

Here I’ll write a brief explanation on how the site works (actually, how I think it works by the behavior I’ve observed) and in the process you’ll find out how to bypass it with any browser by just creating an account in their forum, which is free, btw and you’ll also understand why you may have failed to bypass the sad panda even after logging in to their forums. To make things easier for those who don’t like to read, there’s a summary of what you have to do at the end of the post.

So, what happens when you access exhentai.org? The site checks to see if you have a specific cookie. If you have the cookie it wants, it’ll grant you access. If you don’t have the cookie, it’ll grant you a cookie and a sad panda picture.
Sad panda from exhentaiIt’s simple as that.
So, all you need to do is have the right cookie when you visit exhentai.
And how do you obtain the right cookie?

The easiest way is to simply log in to g.e-hentai.org or to the e-hentai forum. And how do you get an account at g.e-hentai.org? It’s the same account you use in their forums. So just go to their forums, sign up and log in to g.e-hentai.
You did this and you still get the sad panda? Why is that?
That’s because when you see the sad panda, exhentai gives you a cookie that tells the site you don’t have the cookie it wants and, therefore, should always show you the sad panda. And this cookie is the first thing the site checks when you visit it.
So, if you’ve visited exhentai and saw the sad panda, you’ll still get the sad panda even AFTER you log in to g.e-hentai because the exhentai cookie is not overwritten. To solve this problem, delete that cookie exhentai gave you (or all cookies if you don’t want to seek it), log in to g.e-hentai and only then go to exhentai.

Once you successfully visit exhentai, you can log out from g.e-hentai without a problem because when you successfully bypass the sad panda, exhentai gives you a cookie which says that you can visit the site because you already gave the correct cookie.

If you’re like me who constantly uses the private mode or incognito mode, which always clears cookies whenever you close the browser, you’ll need to log in to g.e-hentai or their forums first before attempting to visit exhentai every time you open the browser. Also, at least in firefox, there doesn’t seem to exist the option of deleting a single cookie when you’re in private mode so the only thing that seems to work for me if I see the sad panda is to restart the browser.

So, to summarize the steps:
1- If you’ve already seem the sad panda, clear your cookies or delete exhentai.org cookie. If you’re constantly on incognito/private mode and sees the panda, restart the browser to get rid of the exhentai cookie ;
2- Go to g.e-hentai or e-hentai forum and create an account if you don’t have one;
3- Log in to that account (either from g.e-hentai or the e-hentai forum);
3.5- If your account was created after 2012, make 50 posts in the forums.
4- Voilá! No more sad panda.

I believe that by understanding the site’s mechanism, anyone can access exhentai with any browser without relying on any add-ons or plugins. So I hope this will be helpful specially for those who are relying on add-ons or plugins or have to pray to be able to access bypass the sad panda with not so popular browsers.