Anime fan service is getting out of hand. Remember the days when people used to call Jiggle physics and Beach episodes fanservice? How cute? We were all so pure and innocent back then, weren’t we?
I remember getting flustered seeing bikini scenes and awkward camera angles a few years ago, and here we are in 2022 having full blown sex scenes in anime. That too, with underaged characters, just because it is historically correct for them to be involved in intercourse at that time. Now, if you’ve no idea what show I’m talking about, save your effort of googling it (and ticking off the FBI). I’m talking about “jobless reincarnation”, “world’s finest assassin”, etc. And just for your information, they don’t actually show the scenes. They just describe it.
I know some of you curious souls are dying to know more about these “anime with sex scenes”, for research purposes, of course, and I’m planning to write an article about it too. So hold your pants until then, okay?
Now back to the topic. Anime fan service. It basically means giving the fans what they want. And we all know weebs want more “explicit” scenes and the anime companies are doing exactly that.
That said, it is interesting how fanservice is getting more and more bold these days. In recent years, we have gotten a handful of ecchi anime series like Interspecies Reviewers, Redo of Healer and other anime series that have become infamous purely for their extreme adult content.
These kind of borderline hentai series are weirdly both loved and hated by the anime community. There are fans that think going to such lengths only ruins the show, while the rest of them are just horny guys. You know how men’s brain work.
What is fan service?
I know it is a little too late in the article to start educating you guys about what is considered fanservice, but hear me out. This is not going to be your average dictionary-like answer to what “fanservice” means.
I want to talk about what should be considered fanservice and what should not be considered fanservice.
That is, we are going to understand under what circumstances nudity and other adult content is justifiable and at what times we can say that it is just a service to fans.
In this section, let’s see some examples of anime fanservice scenes that are purely meant to please the audience, and examples of where it is not meant as a service.
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Examples of fanservice
We all know normal oppai don’t work like jello. It is not going to jiggle like crazy just because the body is slightly moving. It is understandable when the character is jumping or something, but usually it just jiggles out of nowhere, defying physics.
Getting creative with the camera angle is always a great thing, isn’t it? Yeah, just shoot the entire scene in between the female character’s thick thighs. Or just focus on their curves and butts randomly when they’re speaking. Yeah, now that’s what I call a perfect camera angle.
Jokes aside, we all know there is no point to these camera angles other than satisfying the male fans’ desires.
Let’s face it. Anime beach episodes exist for only one purpose—for us to drool over anime girls in their swimsuit glory. And most often than not, some random “accident” happens that strips them of their swimsuit privilege, and the main male character gets somehow involved in it. All the time.
Sexually awkward situation:
You ecchi anime fans know what I’m talking about. The awkward encounter of a semi- or fully nude female MC with the male MC. Or the time when a guy and a girl go to a hot spring and accidentally end up seeing each other in their birthday suits.
They’re getting creative:
If you’ve watched a handful of ecchi or harem anime series, you’d know there are 101 ways to make an anime scene sexual, just for the heck of it.
What is not fanservice?
As I mentioned before, there are times when certain scenes make sense. We are talking about the scenes that do not exaggerate things and keep them casual. No weird camera angles and no implied meanings. The above image decipts the protagonist’s depression. It is not meant for “other” purposes.
But it is totally up to the viewers to decide whether or not to consider them as a “service”. I mean, let’s be honest, you could get off to anything if you put your mind into it. But just remember that that’s on you. Don’t blame the anime for it.
Examples of scenes that are not fanservice
Beach episodes without “random accident”:
You can find several family friendly slice of life anime series that have beach episodes, and yes, the characters wear swimsuits, but it is not handcrafted for the “male gaze.” They show things as they are. They don’t zoom into the “juicy parts”, nor do they have the “ecchi noises”, if you know what I mean.
Justifiable adult scenes:
I’m pretty sure that this example is going to piss off some Twitter people, but I’m going to say it anyway.
The scene in Goblin Slayer is justifiable.
Yes, THAT scene that flipped the internet for a while and enraged the already hot-headed Twitter folks.
For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, there is a r*pe scene in the very first episode of the series.
It was meant to show just how evil the goblins were. Goblins are usually considered low-threat monsters, and no one takes them seriously.
That scene completely erased all the preconceptions the viewers had about goblins. Now we have a new idea of goblins as menacing creatures that breed by taking human slaves.
This scene also served the purpose of seeding hatred for goblins in the viewer’s mind.
Manipulating the audience into loving or hating something is truly a part of storytelling.
Thus, that scene was justifiable. And if you still consider this a fan service, that just means you’re a sick person. Because it was clearly not meant to be fanservice.
To summarize it, all the scenes that do not double down on the sexual tension just for the viewer’s pleasure are justifiable.
Why Does Fanservice Even Exist?
Because people want it.
Anime with a shitload of fanservice and ecchi scenes are a new way to maintain the sexual tension just right in order to make the audience feel “butterflies.”
The male audience especially loves this sensation and invests in the said anime series. People buy manga books or anime blu rays just to see them.
Long story short, this is business. It keeps certain studios alive and helps content creators promote their manga or anime.
We all know such scenes attract a lot of eyeballs and more and more people will get to know about that series, which in turn will help it become successful.
In a world overflowing with content, this is another clever way to market things.
Is Anime Fanservice Overrated?
Clearly, no. They only keep doing it because it is working.
But the problem is with the amount of fanservice. If there is only a decent number of such scenes, nobody is going to be bothered by it, and it won’t get in the way of the show.
However, there are times when some shows are overloaded with these ecchi scenes because the production companies or the manga author only want to think of ecchi anime fans as their potential audience.
In such cases, people who don’t like fanservice aren’t considered at all, and because of that, some series are never explored by casual watchers no matter how good they are.
So you can’t blame an anime for having too much fanservice because you are clearly not the intended audience. There are thousands of other shows out there meant for you, but not that particular one.
Is fan service a bad influence?
If you are a person who went straight to nhentai after watching a few provocative fanservice scenes, then yes. If not, you’ve got a strong mind. Good job. Or maybe you just got used to them, but either way, they don’t get in your way, so you’re good.
Overall, I believe that it comes down to each individual. With rule 34 artists going wild, there is going to be a hentai or ecchi art of everything. By everything, I even mean things that would be normally considered illegal in real life.
But Google and other organizations are doing their best to take some extreme content down, but you know how the internet works. If something is taken down somewhere, it will get reuploaded to the internet elsewhere.
Therefore, at the end of it all, it is up to the personal judgment of each individual to exercise restrictions and maintain a healthy mindset about the “adult” part of the anime world. As long as you don’t let them get in the way of your real life, everything will be fine.