>It’s time we talk about fanservice…
September 12, 2010 5 Comments
Fanservice. One of the most widely used techniques in anime, usually intended to attract a specific audience. Now, I am a man of dignity, but also righteousness. Lemme get one thing straight. I believe fanservice does not make or break an anime. I see it as a mere added feature to any ecchi show that I might watch. I don’t care of it, but I don’t mind it either. To judge a show on only its fanservice, is just plain ignorance. Take for example, Sekirei.
No doubt, that show is filled with fanservice. Women with breasts larger than their own heads, and some of their clothes ripping off like cheap pieces of fabric. At first glance, it might seem like any ordinary ecchi show. But remember, first impressions are not always right. As I watched through the first season of the series, I became more and more interested in the show. Was it for giant BOOBLES LOLOLOL?! Absolutely not. As it turns out, Sekirei is about a world where these extraordinary mysterious women are part of a game-like tournament held by a government organization, set to battle each other to the death, and come out as the winner of the competition. The fights in Sekirei were surprisingly well-done with fluid animation and detailed artwork. Sekirei didn’t become part of my all time favorite shows, but it was pretty decent. The characters were rather likable, and the show had a proper story that allowed its viewers to become engaged into the plot.
One other thing I should note, is that some people can’t seem to differentiate what is fanservice and what is just plain nudity that is sensible to the plot. A great number of people misunderstand nudity that they seem to think every breast or naked woman, can be claimed to be fanservice. This is incorrect in many ways. Sometimes, there will be a reason to nudity, why it makes sense a woman or man is without clothes. One example of this is Lucy of Elfen Lied.
Every now and then I hear some people claim that Lucy’s constant nudity is part of fanservice. What they don’t realize is that it makes perfect sense for this reason. Lucy is by no means, a human. She’s a vicious, merciless, animal in the eyes of the scientists who have held her captive. To come within even 25 feet of her, would be suicide. No shit why they didn’t dress her. She’s no more than experiment, nothing more than a mere test subject, used for the study of the Diclonius. She knows she’s not born to be part of this world, much less live in it. She’s an outcast, and would be looked at as such. It’s about nearly the same case for Dr. Manhattan of the Watchman. He isn’t naked because Alan Moore decided that a swinging blue penis would make for good fanservice for who knows which audience. Manhattan is also an outcast, completely different from the people who surround him.
I will say this though, fanservice doesn’t exactly give anime a good name. I could only imagine any mother catching her kid watching a show with fanservice in it, would be disgusted with what she saw. But the main point here, is that fanservice is just what it is. Either take it or leave it. No one’s forcing you to watching gigantic breasts defying gravity as they wobble. That alone shouldn’t turn you away from every anime, and trust me when I say that even the best animes have some amount of fanservice in them. To be completely devoid of them would mean you either:
A) Watch only Studio Ghibli movies
B) Watching a show intended for children under the age of 10.
While I’m gonna assume the latter, you’re probably watching the wrong shows, and missing out on such great ones that could leave you wanting for more. I have never stopped watching an anime because of its fanservice and I don’t plan to anytime soon. Even a show which focuses almost entirely on its fanservice, (i.e. Ladies vs Butlers), it did have a fairly decent romance story. Clearly that fanservice was so forced, the director of the show practically forced it down your throat. But gulping all that in one go, and finishing the rest of the dessert wasn’t so bad.