THE LADY AND ANIME

Exploring the World of Anime

Fanservice

You're doing it wrong.

What is it about fanservice that I don’t like?  I’ve been contemplating this for a while. I decided to blog about it after watching an episode of Ano Natsu Matteru. Why does it annoy me?  Do I truly dislike it or is it just overload?  It could also be I haven’t found my type of fanservice.

I think part of it, is that for me it can be completely unnecessary. It’s like having a conversation with a friend and she or he  just decides to flash me out of nowhere. Or take my hand and rub it against a part of their body as in Elfin Lied.  High School of the Dead was egregious in this regard. Hey, I like zombies and thought this will be really cool. But oh  no, they just had to throw in the over the top fanservice. What happened to good storytelling? It’s not just anime where I really don’t enjoy fanservice. Even in watching live action, it annoys me especially when they only seem to show women’s body parts or panties. Why can’t we get a full frontal of a man? Can we see the camera zoom in on their butt cheeks? Can I get one in boxers? No? Why is fanservice so important in anime? It isn’t necessary to progress a story. There are a number of series that are great without the use of an overabundance of fanservice such as Trigun, Gintama, Cowboy Bebop, Another, Mirai Nikki, Level E, Steins; Gate, Noein, the list goes on.

If a show has a good enough story line, over the top fanservice is not needed to capture my attention. In fact, it is more often than not an annoying distraction. It makes me not want to continue to watch the show no matter how good people say the show to be. I’m not even a huge fan of the romance genre. I don’t mind a show with romance elements in it but if it’s completely mushy gushy romance, won’t watch it. Ok, I’m getting off track here. It seems to me that fanservice is being used more and more in shows. Personally, I’m not interested in seeing panty shots on little girls or adult women for that matter. I know there are many that enjoy fanservice and I’m not knocking your enjoyment. What I want to know is why do you enjoy it? What does it do for you? Why do you think fanservice is used?

Advertisements

22 Comments

  1. totorosan

    You raise a good point. I have been thinking about this lately as well. I think I am starting to get a fan-service overload!

    I had the same thought when I was watching Ano Natsu, I love the show, but I think the fanservice could be cranked down and it could be better. For me, I am just sick of seeing the stupid “character falls on top of another character and straddles them, which results in them both blushing.”

    I think fan service can be used effectively, in cases of comic relief like Inu x Boku’s yuri comic relief, or even just one episode where things are just done as something fun.

    And light-hearted romance anime’s can be done really well without the need for fan service. Take for example, Toradora! I don’t ever remember being blatantly overwhelmed by the Fs, but it was fun and light hearted.

    There is definitely a lot to say on this topic.

    • I’m watching a show, enjoying it and then, BLAM! It leaves me cringing or going “What? Why? Huh?” Oh, the “character falls on top of another character and straddles them, which results in them both blushing” is so over used. It makes me think the creators of some anime shows have no experience in that department. I agree that fanservice can be used effectively as comic relief. I have seen it work where I just start laughing because it is absolutely silly. But when it makes no sense, which seems to be more the case than not, it completely turns me off the show.

  2. There’s only been one time that I got really pissed off at a show for the fanservice and that was Melody of Oblivion. It was partly because it started to overwhelm the story, but mostly because it was all very creepy. Lots of sexualized underage characters. The “character falls on top of another character and straddles them, which results in them both blushing” wasn’t good enough for this series. No, no. The female character had to end up straddling the male character’s face.

    Other than that I like to think I have a good sense of humor about fanservice. I tend to think really large breasted female characters are kind of funny. Besides, I like to ogle men and I’m not going to deny those who are attracted to women from ogling them. That said, I don’t find any shortage of drool worthy men in anime, and I don’t really feel they need to be stripped down in the same way women are. I just finished Black Lagoon and was more than satisfied when it came to male eyecandy. Not to say that typical fanservice doesn’t need dialing down, but people find different things attractive. I can’t say I would be excited by full frontal male nudity, even though I’m attracted to men.

    Maybe it’s just because I’ve been through so many life drawing classes with nude models, but to me nudity or underwear does not equal sexy.

    • The full frontal comment was snarkiness. I don’t find large breast characters especially funny unless it’s done correctly in terms of comic timing. Actually, I wasn’t bothered by the large breasts of the main female character in Kamisama Dolls. The show didn’t throw it in the watcher’s face constantly as I feared it would do. I don’t really need all the bouncing, jiggling, groping, to enjoy a story. Of course, I wouldn’t mind a shot of a guy who’s fitting his boxers very well but it’s not necessary.

      • I didn’t catch the snarkiness of the full frontal comment, probably because I’ve read one too many feminist articles about sexism seriously suggesting such things.

        Oh, I could do without all the jiggling and groping too. I also don’t find them especially funny, it’s just my way of dealing with large breasted characters I guess. I’m pretty neutral about fanservice overall. It’s just part of entertainment in my opinion.

        I’m not opposed to boxer shots, but I didn’t need to see Mr. Chang in only his undies to see why Balalaika calls him “Babe”. His slacks show off what he’s got just fine.

      • This isn’t a feminist blog harping on sexism. 🙂 Not that there is anything wrong with feminist blogs. There are a lot of people who enjoy fanservice or who don’t care one way or another. I am simply not one of them. I would prefer a show without it in my face every second which is why those shows that do it are promptly dropped.

        “I’m not opposed to boxer shots, but I didn’t need to see Mr. Chang in only his undies to see why Balalaika calls him “Babe”. His slacks show off what he’s got just fine.”

        Hence, my saying “but it’s not necessary”.

  3. Of the Winter 2012 shows I’m watching, two of the three I’ve dropped were because of “excessive” fanservice (the other was because of a character I found to annoying to ignore in an otherwise mediocre show, so it wasn’t worth it). Actually, ‘fanservice’ seems to be a broad term in some parts, but I understand your intent here and it matches mine for the most part. I like to think I’m as ‘male’ as most guys, but I’m not here to watch soft porn. The situation where two characters fall on each other and ‘kiss’ (as opposed to grope) I don’t consider ‘fanservice’ so much as a silly, overused, unimaginative cliche, but again I get your point.
    I certainly don’t “know” the answer, but my assumption as to why ‘fanservice’ is so common is as follows. In general, if you are selling something you try to sell what the buyer wants or try to convince him he wants it. In general, sex sells. The people producing these shows seem to think males make up a majority of the audience, and they seem to assume guys want to see fanservice, so that’s what they produce to sell.
    To be honest, it’s only a half joke when somebody says a guy who is not thinking about sex is probably very hungry.
    Yes, that’s a cynical, depressing viewpoint, but I think that is what it comes down to.

    • The original comment by totorasan was “character falls on top of another character and straddles them, which results in them both blushing.” Groping is definitely overused as is the aforementioned situation. Soft porn! That is exactly what it seems to be turning into in anime. I agree that “fanservice” is a broad term and I could have been more specific in what I meant, just the outright groping, panty shots, breasts bouncing…oh, wait, I did say that! Haha.

      “To be honest, it’s only a half joke when somebody says a guy who is not thinking about sex is probably very hungry.”
      Really? Hmm…I’m going to have to see if that works on some people. “Would you like some food instead?”

      • ROTFLMAO 🙂

  4. tsurugiarashix

    Fanservice, what the fans want to see, but somehow it always ends up translating to large, jiggling breast and plump a$$ of a female character. Think most series lost the true meaning of the word, that or most fans nowadays want large to see jiggling breast and plump a$$. Well, males anyway..

  5. Yuuhi

    The overabundance of fanservice is exactly the reason why my intake of anime has been on a serious decline. Whenever I watch an anime that keeps flashing the panties, boobs, and butts like there is no tomorrow, I automatically think that either a)this anime has no story and needs to hide behind the jiggle, b)the anime wants to morph into full on porn, or c)the anime is trying to subtly suggest that I should wear striped underwear as opposed to white frilly ones. I don’t know, but either way it is a serious turn off, which I assume is the exact opposite of what they want it to be.

    • All of the above! You described exactly how I feel regarding fanservice. It completely kills a show for me. And you are right about the striped underwear.

  6. Hm, this is going to go off on a slight tangent but here goes: anime is ridiculously expensive in Japan. This barrier to entry has caused most anime to becomes focused on catering to a small group of really dedicated fans (otaku). Sadly these fans are more interested in fan service heavy shows and demure “moe” female characters (ahem, need I mention the silly mai waifu stuff?) Are there female fans? yes, they are often called fujoshi, but the thing is, they aren’t much better than the male variant. Fujoshi are expressively interested only in yaoi, which is often boardline porn and has more in common with hentai than ecchi/fanservice. (disclaimer: not to say all otaku are male, there are female ones, but majority of female fans tend to be fujoshi. Likewise, there are male fans of yaoi, but they too are in the minority). I don’t know what it is, but these kinds of things attract the most obsessive fans who are willing to dish out 100$+ on figurines and DVDs. So milder fans, who perhaps are more interested in storytelling and visuals, are a lot less willing to spend a small fortune on anime and in turn, the anime market is fuelled by those who are and what they are willing to spend on.

    On fan service: I’ve mostly grown a thick skin to it, but it does bother me from time to time. I don’t mind the silly stuff like girl falls on guy and he accidentally gropes her or nudity. I’m more annoyed/disgusted by the weird fetish anime that talk about panties and bras all the freaken time. It’s unsettling. It’s a piece of clothing, why are they doing a whole show dedicated to this character picking out bras and panties for her classmates. Jiggle physicals get to me too. It’s ridiculous and turns the female character into a piece of flesh. Don’t look at her face, look at the jiggles. All there is to her are her melons, she’s not a person, she’s just a pair of boobs. I try to not let it bother me, but it gets to me on a value level.

    • I think your tangent makes a strong point. I have read in different articles that making anime is expensive in Japan. Like you said, the otakus in Japan do not have a problem shelling out massive amounts of money to watch lots of jiggles and bounces on a 2-D character. Storyline? Who needs that! It makes a lot of a money but it’s destroying the merits of anime for me. I do watch anime with fanservice such as Elfin Lied. I watched the whole series but the story was intriguing enough for me to ignore that bits of fanservice tossed in. Some of it was actually quite funny.

      • “It makes a lot of a money but it’s destroying the merits of anime for me.”

        No I completely understand. I’ve been mostly watching older anime now, so I don’t feel the effects yet, but I do feel it in gaming (since gaming has become tied heavily into otaku culture within the last few years) and even things that rarely bothered me a few years ago are starting to stick out like sore thumbs. I think a lot of people’s problems, mine and yours included, with this trend into fan service is that there is no alternative or very few alternatives. People tend to get so defensive when someone suggest that perhaps games shouldn’t have all female characters wearing biniki armour, as if we are demanding the whole industry stop doing it, but we aren’t. We just want things that cater to us as well.

        Ok, I know people are going to rage, but I actually didn’t like Elfin Lied all that much. It wasn’t the violence or blood (I have a high tolerance for that as well) or the nudity. I just felt the story was very mediocre and there was way too much unnecessary angst involving the female cousin. And I found the Nyu persona annoying, but then I really really dislike moe. Also it felt like the show was trying too hard to make us feel sorry for these girls. It felt nongenuine to me.

        OK that’s enough tangents for me. xD

      • Hmmm…I didn’t feel sorry for the girls. I was more concerned with Kohta and his memory loss. I had already figured out what happened but I liked the exploration of repressed memories. I liked the story, thought it had a bit too much of a harem feel to it and definitely didn’t like the cousin relationship but I wasn’t disappointed.

  7. They’re using fanservice in order to keep the viewers interested but they don’t see that if they use too much fanservice the viewer will get annoyed! Take Evangelion for example, it had fanservice but it wasn’t that much.
    Fanservice can be enjoyable if not used too much. They have to stop using too much. If we wanted to see some perverted scenes we could just watch some ecchi anime!

    • I agree, Robert. I really think there can be a good balance but when the show is chockful of fanservice, it definitely takes away from the show. That is it does for me. The overuse of fanservice does need to be minimized but I don’t think there are enough of us who dislike the overabundance. I think more are neutral to it.

      • That’s kind of sad. Fanservice is destroying anime which have potential. If we wanted to see fanservice we can just watch ecchi anime!

  8. Kai

    Sometimes, fanservices itself can be used to move the plot forward. There are some episodes where the plots touch on sexual subjects (the serious ones, not the ones which just provides excuses for more fanservices.. like Manyuu Hiken-chou for example). If the fanservice blended itself in along with the plot, then I don’t mind them. If it’s anime like Queen’s Blade, then uhhh… no.

    • Oh, God, the horror of Queen’s Blade. I have tried to forget what I have seen with that show. One episode and I never watched again.

  9. I like when the fanservice has a purpose, and I’ll be fine if it’s not excessive, but I definitely know people who need the ridiculous amounts of fanservice to keep watching…That’s just how it is.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: