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Fanservice In Anime: Your Take
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Forum Graveyard - Anime and Manga - Fanservice In Anime: Your Take
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Reposting this off another forum as I feel it's interesting enough to warrant a slightly wider audience.

As the title implies, I'm making this thread as a way of finding out people's opinions 'round here regarding Fanservice in anime. Literally the word just means any content that's intended as "service" to a particular audience (giant mechs in a mech show, etc) but here I'm referring to sexual/erotic fanservice in particular. I'm sure everybody here is familiar with anime throwing panty shots and accidental boob grabs into series as a little "bonus" for male viewers, but I'm curious as to how people feel when encountering that kind of thing. In particular, regarding whether it's sexist/objectifying or what have you in a way that reinforces patriarchy (not going to be popular using that word here, but I can't think of anything better).

While I don't agree on more extreme claims that all Fanservice is inherently degrading/hostile to women/whatever, I do see the point that having such content in what could otherwise be an equal-opportunity series can come across as alienating to female viewers. Basically saying, "We only care about pandering to (a stereotype of) men, and don't care about female viewers or how it affects the work as a whole". Not saying anybody's consciously making that decision (that'd be pretty evil mastermind-ish), but sexism doesn't require mustache-twirling sexists to perpetuate it, just ordinary people who don't stop to question their culture.

Just think, if practically every action/adventure story was filled with scantily clad dudes being humiliated and in ridiculous poses (JoJo poses, as amazing as they are, don't really count here as they're intended to make the characters look cool/powerful rather then for titillation), while the women are portrayed solely as badass and competent. Would be kinda' odd, I would imagine.

Despite the above Social Justice spiel, I honestly don't have a problem with Fanservice as long as its mild, doesn't detract from the work as a whole and is at least somewhat equal-opportunity. The best example is a show like Code Geass. Yes, the show paints it's female characters in a fanservicey light at times (Kallen in particular) and even a few boob-shots in S1, but it also has a huge female fanbase due to featuring tons of ridiculously attractive guys in intense, Ho-Yay flavored relationships. There's the typical "anime" Fanservice shenanigans to be sure (not saying I didn't enjoy them), but it never really jolts you out of the show or makes you feel like they're pandering only to the male demographic. Of course, maybe my love of Code Geass is biasing the assessment a tad, but I still maintain that show as an example of Fanservice done (relatively) right. Or Kill La Kill, but that's another issue (one of the few non-harem shows where a lot of the so-called "fanservice" is actually plot-integral).

I'm also a mega hypocrite in that I can still enjoy even "problematic" or "gratuitous" Fanservice insofar as it appeals to my interests. I'm not saying people should feel guilty about liking what they like, but liking something isn't the same as defending it. A lot of the Fanservice content in media is indisputably pretty indefensible, and I'm not going to pretend otherwise just because I happen to enjoy it. In a better world, shows wouldn't be aimed solely at me (and the male demographic in general).

I also don't have a problem with hyper-fanservicey shows like Highschool DxD, where the Fanservice is actually the main appeal (or most of it, anyway). In that case, female (straight) viewers can simply tune out without missing anything. The problem comes with series that otherwise could appeal to both genders equally, where it seems the Fanservice was added just as an afterthought. Again, it's not as if writers are deliberately thinking of how to drive off female viewers, but just that they've internalized their own "male gaze" perspective for viewing the world, and haven't stopped to think of how things could appear differently to the opposite sex. Like, in their minds they're probably just thinking "Hot girls are good, right? So therefore, the more hot girls the better!"

Ignoring the fact that "hot" is not an intrinsic property of the things themselves, but of how they appear to a particular mind (or minds). Like assuming that a women in a torn dress is sexy so therefore it'd be just as "sexy" to an alien space monster with totally different evolutionary and biological history. (Not my example, got it off the blog Less Wrong)

Or how some diehard Yuri fans are nonetheless fanatically intolerant of the Fujoshi subculture, even though those are literally equivalent.

...Well, I intended this just as a way to find out people's opinions, but here I go rambling on about my own personal views. Well, I hope you found my rambling half-formed ideas at least mildly interesting, and I'd like to hear what others here have to say.

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Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
I'm actually having trouble coming up with any show I watched/am watching with fanservice where fanservice wasn't the main appeal and that didn't have equally hot muscley super hunks parading around in more or less exposing outfits, but that's probably because the two of us have completely different tastes -- at least judging from what I've seen you talk about.

But yeah dunno, it's only really objectifying if it's clearly just done for the viewer (eg the camera is under someone's skirt for no reason), if it has an in-universe motivation, even if that's just another character being a pervert, I wouldn't say it's inherently bad, and as you said people like seeing things from The Good Angle, so missing out on that would be kind of a waste, I guess?

At this point I would think people who aren't into striped booties are used to them appearing all over japanese media too, so I don't think there is much driving away being done... although that has some implications as well.



Also you really gotta stop assuming everyone is straight or that people can't appreciate art of bodies they wouldn't date irl, even if you acknowledge that once towards the end in that wall of text the rest is still very much written as if that were the case.

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I'm alright with it for the most part, but when you have girls grabbing onto one another, groping each others breasts or something when they're more than likely to be heterosexual characters, it really turns me away. I find myself closing it and going back to a game or something.

As much as I like anime, and as much as I like yuri, there are places where such things do not belong in my eyes. It's one thing to see people dying on screen, but the girls groping one another because the one being assaulted is cute is a trend that needs to stop. I find myself watching less anime due to it. Really, the only anime I've watched all season and maybe last is Konosuba, so I might be biting my tongue. This kind of fanservice might most only be prevalent in Harem genre.

As far as typical fanservice goes, bring it. The fanservice that was done in Konosuba is the right way to do fan service as far as sexualizing characters go.

Spending a lot of time either playing Black Ops III, working on SMW or raging on Kane's Wrath. And then there's the time one spends off the computer.
I don't like it. It doesn't offend me or anything, it's just that when I'm watching a show, I'm watching it because it has an interesting storyline or something good about it that's keeping me with it. It's annoying when dumb stuff like that shows up because then suddenly it's the main focus of the scene and really takes away from it because they're not simply entertaining (I've never liked porn for the same reason). It's especially annoying when I'm somewhere with others and I now have to hide what I'm doing or turn it off so I don't get strange looks for whatever it is I'm doing.
For me fanservice is just a commercial strategy, at least in Japan, where you pay for watch anime (in the most of the cases, and considering the several subbed anime pages) Nowdays, giving fanservice in anime, will make it more popular and "famous" and probably it will gets more views than other that doesn't have fanservice (it depends, obviously)

However, this doesn't actually mean that fanservice is always bad for me (I've enjoyed a lot animes with fanservice) but it is unecesary in the most of the cases.
To me, it really depends. Shows that have loads of fanservice that aren't meant to be taken seriously are really funny. Whereas shows that are trying to be serious but have lots of fanservice are pretty lame. That's just my opinion though.

I think the genre is important. Take a show like Code Geass or Death Note and put fanservice in it. Doesn't go well together, does it? But in Slice of life for example it can work sometimes.

But as far as I know fanservice is mainly used to make people buy something. Like clickbait titles or boob thumbnails on YouTube to make the person click on the video.


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Originally posted by NeoMoonMC
But as far as I know fanservice is mainly used to make people buy something. Like clickbait titles or boob thumbnails on YouTube to make the person click on the video.


You pretty much just summed it up right there. Although I think it can also be used for comedic purposes, like when a character gropes another "by mistake" for example.
Originally posted by NeoMoonMC
I think the genre is important. Take a show like Code Geass or Death Note and put fanservice in it. Doesn't go well together, does it?

The irony is, Code Geass has some fanservice in it, showing you some Kallen's boobs + nipples for a split second :P Same with Villetta.
Honestly, this is what I see as fanservice. Where you get to see something only if you're actually watching the show, that is to say, a short scene hidden inbetween.

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Originally posted by JackTheSpades
Originally posted by NeoMoonMC
I think the genre is important. Take a show like Code Geass or Death Note and put fanservice in it. Doesn't go well together, does it?

The irony is, Code Geass has some fanservice in it, showing you some Kallen's boobs + nipples for a split second :P Same with Villetta.
Honestly, this is what I see as fanservice. Where you get to see something only if you're actually watching the show, that is to say, a short scene hidden inbetween.


Oh right. I remembered the shower scene :D

I thought it was just hilarious.


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absolutely nothing is wrong with fanservice
Originally posted by Ladida
absolutely nothing is wrong with fanservice


It really depends on how its used, but for the most part I agree, there's nothing wrong with it.

Also, welcome back... I think.
in my opinion if you want to whack your willy that's okay but it shouldn't be out of the blue like some mystical breeze of air giving you the glance of that 5 line rendition the artist worked so hard on without any narrative justification

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Originally posted by JackTheSpades
Honestly, this is what I see as fanservice. Where you get to see something only if you're actually watching the show, that is to say, a short scene hidden inbetween.


I even used Code Geass as an example of 'Fanservice done right' in my OP. It has Fanservice, but it's relatively tasteful, non-instrusive and doesn't get in the way of the story. Plus there's tons of hot guys to make it up to the female half of the fanbase.

You guys may have noticed I haven't been around on this forum for ages. There's a number of reasons for that, not the least of which is an original fiction story I've been working on with renewed vigor, plus another forum which I've been frequenting a ton lately. Some of you may even recognize me from it, since I still go by RoydGolden.

Anyways, just dropping by to give my two cents.

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Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
Counterfeit // FIRE AND FORGET [~]
(CCCP:~) counterfeit% cat чики-брики.txt
The argument that fanservice is degrading to women is stupid because they're asserting that a cartoon character who is exposed encourages men to objectify women, yet girls don't say anything about the same thing with yaoi (and believe me, for a large part. Chicks. Dig. Yaoi.) It's yet another doublethink where sexualization of male cartoon characters = ok, but sexualization of female cartoon characters = bad. These people aren't against "the patriarchy" so much as they want everyone to stop liking what they don't like. They're shallow, empty individuals who look for things to complain about, because their lives aren't interesting enough. It's gotten to the point where even in non-fanservice situations, a character's curves had to be toned down because they were "too sexual" and feminazis whined about it. (I forget the video game, but this was very recent.) In Western animation, they removed Ms. Bellum from PPG entirely and made Ms. Keane have no breasts at all for the same reason. It's gotten out of hand. Nobody is going to be molested or raped because of a cartoon character with breasts.

When fanservice has a reason to exist in the plot, I'm okay with it. When it's short-lived like during a magical girl transformation scene when they're nude or have a tiny bounce as their outfit forms over their bodies, it doesn't occur to me as sexualization ...really, I guess I don't think anything of fanservice, but I also haven't watched any anime that are hemmoraging tits and panty shots with no tourniquet in sight. The closest thing I can consider to be on that level that I've seen is the Puni Puni Poemy OVA which was more brain-melting than anything else, effing hilarious shiz. I imagine that'd be my reaction to anything else gushing fanservice.
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Hmm. I see what you mean, but I don't know if you can really take as firm a line as you are that media can never objectify women. It seems that if you look at some shows you can pretty clearly see that the female characters are more-or-less "tits for the audience to ogle + one or two quirky personality traits". Not saying that's even a bad thing in isolation. Sometimes one just wants to ogle a pair of tits after all, but to deny that's objectifying seems... off.

Also, I'm pretty sure someone on the "objectification is real" side of things would quite fairly say that Yaoi is not mainstream and so it's unfair to put it up as an equal counterexample to shows depicting women as sex objects. They could could try to say Yaoi/BL is "subverting the Patriarchy" though I'd say that's a bit of a stretch.

I'm not saying Fanservice is always objectifying or even that it usually is (I'd have to think more closely about the shows I watch for that) just that it certainly can be. And that there is something problematic if male characters are depicted as solely cool, admirable and badass while female ones are universally presented for the (presumably male) audience to ogle at.

Describing your ideological opponents as "shallow, empty individuals" also seems to be dipping into ad-hominem territory. I've read several intelligent, enlightened feminists that, for a variety of reasons, regard objectification as a major problem in games, anime and the like. I may disagree as to the extent (the existence is mostly undeniable) but there's no doubt they're arguing from good faith.

Being a women in today's (or any) society is, I'd imagine, harder then it is for men. To dismiss the feelings of a certain group like that as entirely baseless seems to me ignorant of what the other gender has gone through, across history and even now.

Also, nobody is saying that such media literally causes women or girls to be raped on the street. That's a straw-man, and a blatant one at that. What people are saying (which is harder to refute) is that it reinforces a Patriarchal culture that views women as objects for men to consume and yes, helps justify rape and sexual assault (albeit indirectly).

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Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
Counterfeit // FIRE AND FORGET [~]
(CCCP:~) counterfeit% cat чики-брики.txt
I'm not expanding this territory beyond cartoons as you are asserting by stating that I am referring to "media" as a whole rather than animation/CGI, and I don't agree with trying to rationalize such a gross overinterpretation people are making over what is rather innocuous. Whether or not something is mainstream is irrelevant: they are partaking in hypocritical practices. It is wrong for them to demand censorship in one field yet anything they approve of can fly. Yes, some women do believe that objectification encourages men to go there. This is littered all over Tumblr, where this neo-feminism blew up in the first place. Women on Tumblr also objectify men heavily as sex objects - I know this because I used to use the site and all they'd do is lust over shirtless or younger pictures of the musicians I listened to. I state rape and molestation because those are objectively crimes against women and men. Thought crime is not crime, and what stays inside someone's head is not a threat or a form of oppression.

I stand by that it is shallow and empty to complain of a problem they derive from obsessively overinterpreting. "My version is okay and yours is not" is not okay with me. The sex war is stupid. Both parties are guilty of it to each other, but only one sex is less ashamed to admit.

I remain unconvinced, and your argument has holes in it also. We should agree to disagree on this matter, as we will not find common ground.
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Originally posted by RoydGolden
To dismiss the feelings of a certain group like that as entirely baseless seems to me ignorant of what the other gender has gone through, across history and even now.


I agree with this entirely, but there's something I'd just like to point out real quick. Women's societal issues are blasted everywhere for everyone to hear to the point where everybody knows about them except if you live under a rock, yet men's societal issues are rarely brought to attention. I'm not at all trying so say that men are oppressed, because we absolutely aren't, but they do exist, and are often treated as petty or non-existent. I feel like if you try to talk about these issues to the kind of feminist who doesn't actually care about equality and just wants to switch places with men, they'll just brush you off as a meninist who claims that men are the oppressed. I'm just glad that men's societal issues are finally being talked about.

This is why I don't support whatever this new form of feminism is. Its not about equality between genders, its just women overreacting and getting offended by everything, who are just trying to label all men as misogynistic sex freaks. Its people like these who give feminists who actually want equality a bad name, which to me, is just disappointing.

Obviously not all feminists are like this, and the people who actually are like this are the ones shown by the media, but they do exist. I know people who are like this, I could get past it if they didn't freak out about every little thing. Men are a problem with inequality, but so are women who perpetuate this cycle of BS.

That went off topic, I apologize, but that has been something that's been pissing me off for awhile now. I apologize if I misunderstood what you were trying to say RoydGolden.

Originally posted by Counterfeit
We should agree to disagree on this matter, as we will not find common ground.


Isn't it a little soon for that? Its not like you two have had a long back and forth conversation that has actually lead to nowhere or anything.
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My point is I don't want to debate neo-feminism because the movement is so convoluted and I get very angry about it. This exact kind of stuff is what I was hoping to avoid in all the time I was away from here. I thought I could just express my opinion here and leave it at that rather than someone jumping on a dissenting opinion and attempting to point out every "logical fallacy" in my frustration with the way things are. This was about fanservice.

I am not dismissing anybody's feelings and it blows my mind that that is what RoydGolden derives from my statement. That's not what I was going for. [I need to leave it at just this because this thread is going to drive me up a fucking wall real fast]
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Extras



I should have something witty to put here (even if it's just to update dated info), shouldn't I?

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Generally speaking, I don't mind fanservice all that much in works that take themselves far less seriously than one that does. I do take issue when a fanservice subjected character is an underage in bio and appearance. Is it that hard to just use an adult?

Developers, producers and the like would be in a better position if they were just upfront about their explanations for fanservice characters instead of making up bullshit excuses.

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