Would you look at that, I’m posting something that’s not focused on a specific anime. What has the world come to?
Fanservice is a hot topic in the anime community, one that has sparked and continues to spark many a heated discussions. I’ve read a number of articles of varying stances on the topic. Some praised or defended it, others bashed the hell out of it while others offered a more neutral outlook. Usually, I could find points to agree with in all of these arguments because my own attitude towards fanservice is, as the title says, complicated.
Do I like it? Yes, sometimes
Do I hate it? Yes, sometimes.
If that sounds like a cop out, allow me to explain. Or try. Chances are that I’ll just end up rambling so I apologize in advance.
Warning: NSFW images
I don’t mind a lot of things that are termed fanservice. Skimpy armor and revealing clothes are fine with me. Sure, it’s not the most practical thing in the world to fight with only your chest and waist covered (if it’s a guy, the former could be bare as well), but if I can suspend disbelief for giant monsters and magical alien girls, I can deal with some unrealistic dressing choices. As for revealing clothes, it’s downright ridiculous to demand that characters, male or female, should only dress in conservative clothing. As long as the story doesn’t ignore plot progression for the sake of titillation, I’m fine with whatever the characters are wearing.
I haven’t actually watched this one yet
Other things that get a lot of flak are shower scenes and shots of people walking naked/half-naked in their homes. Again, I don’t care. The excessive, sensual focus on the character’s bare body can get irritating if it goes on too long but unless it’s shoved in my face that “yo this is pure fanservice enjoy” then I can look past it. Since I have a tendency to walk around without clothes when I’m alone, the latter aspect sounds realistic to me. Clothes are overrated, people.
See? Akane agrees.
Hisoka too. He’s even posing for your viewing convenience.
If all the nonchalance or positivity above is bothering you, read on to find out what does irritate me.
Watermelons are weeping in jealousy
I don’t mean high school girls with D-cups. That’s not strange, I’ve met girls like that. No, what I mean are unrealistically ginormous boobs that would snap a person’s spine if they were real. I am well aware that my above statement of suspending disbelief can apply to this as well. But I’m sorry, I just can’t do it. I find it disturbing. Whenever I see breasts like that, I’m half afraid that they’ll reach through the screen and strangle me. (Fun fact, I read a book like that once, minus the screen, but it turned out to be the narrator’s imagination going haywire.) And panty-shots. Dear gods, I hate panty-shots, though in this case, it’s less that I’m disturbed and more that they make me uncomfortable. I know that are occasions when a person wearing a skirt might end up flashing their underwear but anime takes this to a whole other level. Impossible positions, ridiculous scenarios, downright weird camera angles – you name it.
Did he trip and fall face-first on her crotch? It happens!
I’d say that the above two are my pet peeves.
Other irritants include shots where the camera randomly focuses on a girl’s (it’s usually women subjected to this from what I’ve seen so far) breasts or butt in the middle of a conversation about some unrelated topic. Let’s not forget those random swimsuit/hot-spring/indoor-pool episodes which are more annoying for how boring they tend to be rather than the fanservice itself. While we’re on that topic, what is with the tendency to make girls grope other girls out of the blue? I know that it’s intended to be ‘hot’ but it just comes across as harassment because it’s usually done forcefully. Sometimes it’s played off for laughs, which is even worse. There’s nothing funny about molestation.
“Kazumi NO” was my mantra for this whole show
Before the end, let me address one last thing.
I don’t even consider same-sex kissing or anything of that nature to even be in the realm of fanservice. Last time I checked, heterosexual couples kissing or messing around was considered to be part of the natural progression of romance rather than needless fan-bait. Why shouldn’t girl/girl or guy/guy couples be afforded the same consideration? The only reason I even thought of including this was because I once read a few comments calling Nezumi and Shion’s relationship in No.6 of all things ‘fanservice’. I don’t even like that show all that much but I will wholeheartedly admit that the central relationship was the one thing they did right.
Equal opportunity enjoyment ftw
And that’s it for my first general post.
What kinds of fanservice do you like and dislike? Is there anything that particularly ticks you off?