First of all what is fanservice?
This meme is genius I love it! Bless whoever made this!
Fanservice according to the internet is a commonly used anime trope where specific content is purposefully integrated into a series in order to please the viewer and “give them what they want” which nine times out of ten means sexual content.
I feel like this screenshot from Space Dandy really captures the meaning of fanservice!
I have seen over 150 anime titles over the course of about 3 and a half years and in that time have seen my fair share of fanservice moments. Everything from the typical panty shot in harems like Monster Musume to ab shots in shows like Free! I have been there, done it and rolled my eyes many times at it. I think fan service can be both a good and bad thing when it comes to anime. Here is why:
First of all the good points. I think when done right fan service can be an asset to a show and can help with the humour and overall character the show has. An example I always think of when it comes to A+ fan service is Kill La Kill.
Why? Because this show takes all the typical fanservice tropes such as nudity, panty shots and girls wearing incredibly skimpy outfits and basically squeezes the life out of the trope until it gets to the point where it isn’t even fanservice anymore it’s just a key element of the show. The way in which the creators went about Kill La Kill with these elements is genius in my mind! It made me laugh and I honestly found it to be clever with the way they handled these typical scenarios. They turned fanservice on its head by pushing it to it’s limits and made a totally epic storyline out of it with the whole clothes are bad let’s all become nudists thing! In fact Kill La Kill couldn’t happen without concepts like fanservice and the tropes that come with it. It thrives off it and that is the genius part!
This screenshot from Kill La Kill shows everyone naked from head to toe. Is it fanservice? In my mind no because it’s not only a sweet moment shared between the characters but also the fact that nudity IS normal in this show and therefore it kind of nullifies the “giving the viewers what they want” material because it is used so frequently.
Another humorous example I thought of whilst writing this is that episode of Gintama where the Yorozuya and Shinsengumi boys go to the public bath house together and get stuck with the giant green alien family from hell.
While I (personally) could see this to be fanservice (I mean it’s a bunch of guys in nothing but towels for 20 minutes) it is used in a hilarious way. The reason being is those five are forced to share public bathing with these terrifying looking aliens and end up doing a range of bizarre and ridiculous tasks in order to get out of the situation. Honestly though when watching this episode I was too busy enjoying the awkward predicament they have got themselves into to be interested in the fact that they are all naked with only towels around their waist. I think in cases like this it makes the scenes more amusing as they are all pretty much naked and therefore makes the encounter much more awkward and uncomfortable for them.
These scenes get me every time.
Next is the negativity. While some may argue that fanservice has no negatives I think it does. “Why?!” you might be screaming at your computer screen. Well, I don’t think it is always needed. If a show has to rely on fanservice for views and it isn’t put into the right context where it is an asset to the situation then I think it’s often to distract the viewer from the lack of storyline. You know those scenes where a unnecessary panty or boob shot is included for no particular reason? Or that camera angle that happens to be just right that you can almost see up a girls skirt? It’s those types of fan service that I usually find questionable. Seriously I don’t care about seeing the colour of some girls underwear or bra. An example that pops to mind is those scenes in New Game when Yagami is asleep or has just woken up and the anime decides to show her lack of clothing from some very specific angles that are only ever used in fanservice situations. (No, i’m not inserting any pictures. If you want to see for yourself then you can go check out New Game or google it). It just makes me roll my eyes most of the time as I feel it has been overused to the point where it isn’t (usually) funny anymore. To me it’s boring, tired and a distraction to keep the viewer from clicking off the video.
I’m a bit odd when it comes to fanservice I guess. I only really enjoy it when series use it to make fun of the trope like in Kill La Kill or when it’s used to add even more humour to really funny scenarios. But I never seek it out when I watch anime. If it happens to be there then I accept it (even if I don’t really like it or want it there) and focus on the important part which is the story and it’s characters. I also purposefully left any (what I consider to be) “fanservice”, “lewd” or “clickbait” style images off this post. I included a few pictures and memes that made me laugh and related to this subject but my blog isn’t about having to use clickbait images in order to get more views. It’s about the writing and what I’m trying to convey to others (the visuals are there to aid the points I am trying to make or to reference what anime/specific scenes I am discussing). So if that is what you came here for then I’m very sorry but that isn’t the point of my content. But I hope you enjoyed this post anyway!
I feel like many people will disagree with me but we all have our own opinions on the matter. Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!
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