Rant: Fan Service

 

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Since the beginning of broadcast media one fact has stood the test of time. No matter how they twist it sex sells. Nowhere is this truer than it is in anime. While anime is one of the world’s most well crafted art forms it is not impervious to the constant use of innuendo and sexual content. As fans, we have come to know these under a single blanket term. It is called fan service and it can be a boon or the ban of a fan’s existence .

In all honesty, my opinion on fan service in general straddles the fence between the two camps while firmly planting a foot on either side. While I recognize the applications of it as a marketing tool and a viewer draw I find it appalling when used the wrong way. Shows like High-school of the Dead and, to a lesser extent, Freezing are well crafted in their own right therefore the overzealous use of nudity is unneeded. In the same token Shows like Tenchi Muyo and Lupin III play up the seductive nature of core female characters as a more subtle form of pandering to male demographics thus lessening the shows appeal for female audiences. The reverse is true for shows like Free, Black Butler and Gravitation which have become synonymous with “man service” using the same tropes as its male oriented counterpart to secure female viewership.

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Rather you like or dislike fan service one cannot deny that shows that use it sparingly are more respected in the fandom than those that abuse it. With that said, some show use fan service as the lynch pin of certain shows. To exemplify this, shows like Kill La Kill use semi-nudity and over-sexuallization to draw viewers in. Even one of my guilty pleasures Panty and Stocking and Garter-belt uses a strip-tease transformation in a completely different style of animation as a way to add more sex into an already raunchy show. Inversely, shows like Date A Live and Familiar of Zero may use it they rely on it a lot less than other shows in their genre.

Overall, fan service is not so bad as long as it is used sparingly. Personally I feel like fan-service one of the most trendy clichés in anime. But that is all it is and clichés are going to eventually fade. One day animators will tire of beach shows, boob falls and nudity leaving room for a new trend. Until then, we as viewers have to accept or denounce it. Only then will it fade or grow.

Now that I am done ranting I turn to the fandom. What do you think of fan service? Is it the bane of your existence or your guilty pleasure. Whatever your stance, feel free to comment because I love to hear from fans and new visitors. Otherwise Keep your browsers pointed here