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    Default Fanservice, Opinions?

    On another thread I complain about an anime with fanservice that imo feels out of place. I was curious to hear other peoples opinions about it. SO lets hear it. Anime, manga, cartoons, tv shows, when do you think fanservice is ok, and when do you think its a terrible idea?

    For me, fanservice is ok when it fits the events going on. As an example, in a battle, having boobs bouncing and swaying all over the place, and the occasional panty shot are things that make sense in that context. Jumping around and fighting makes body parts move. But when you have a serious drama moment going on, a discussion, or an argument, having the actress or drawn character constantly bouncing on her heels to cause jiggle or other more drastic types of service, destroys the mood, and ruins the entire scene.

    Some anime and manga are done specifically for T&A, its basically the entire point of the work. So in those conditions anything goes pretty much. But when im reading say, an xmen comic, and psylocke is busy showing off some deranged combo of massive cleavage, atomic wedgie with her spandex AND a near camel toe all in one frame, its so obviously done as nothing more than fanservice that it just breaks immersion to me. Or when any of the girls are wearing a dress for whatever reason, and its pretty clear that with the amount of fabric and where its placed, several laws of physics are being broken to make it stay on their body, once again, its too much when its being done in an actual story. But on the other hand, those swimsuit calendar issues I have no problem with, because thats specifically what they are all about, sexy ladies in sexy outfits.

    So, all that rambling done, what do you guys and gals think? Is there a time when fanservice gets in the way or is inappropriate? Or is it pretty much always, "Boobies/Beefcake YAY!"
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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

    My personal belief is that fanservice is simply a tool to appeal to a demographic. I bare it no ill will and thinks so long as it draws that demographic it is doing it's job.

    Though personally, I tend to be oblivious to it unless it is so blatantly obvious it may as well be slapping me in the face. And if that happens I generally am put off by it. I'm not particularly interested in looking up or down the various outfits of fictional characters, this is doubly so if they are animated.

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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

    Well, as a heterosexual man I do certainly enjoy male-gaze-y fanservice, but at the same time it's pretty eye-rolling. It's distracting and makes it hard to take the character seriously, and can really play hell with characterization if a character gets stuffed in the "Ms Fanservice" box.

    Personally, I'd prefer that fanservice be confined to filler episodes or comedy segments and not intrude into the main action of the media I watch. Unless it's a porno, most scenes aren't supposed to inspire sexual arousal in the viewer, so dropping fanservice into random scenes can mess with the mood and diminish the effectiveness of the work. The worst examples of this are the "Sad Woman in Shower" and "Attractive Woman Stripping While Being Stalked by Monster" kinds of scenes because the titillation is actively undermining the tragedy/suspense.

    So yeah, I don't really mind fanservice on it's own, but it tends to make stories I like worse rather than better.

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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

    Like you said yourself, it's mostly about context in my eyes. If I'm watching a harem comedy, I'll accept pretty much any amount of fanservice. The genre is pretty much made for it, and if I didn't want fanservice, why would I be watching? My only problem is when it intrudes on a genre it doesn't mesh so well with, like a heart-warming family story, a serious drama, et cetera.

    At any rate, I also kind of feel like "less is more" holds true for this kind of thing. Just one little mildly fanservicey scene with an otherwise classy female character can be really appealing, but by the end of Highschool of the Dead, for instance, I had pretty much grown cold and jaded and started mentally blocking out all the bouncing and jiggling.
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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

    As others said. A lot of people like looking at beautiful women (or men, hello Mr. Craig). However, a serious scene should never be used as a vehicle for fanservice. If the character had a rather fan-servicey outfit before, she won't neccessarily change just for having serious talks, but during dramatic moments, there are a lot more important things than the characters assets.

    So in short: I don't mind it/like it, but it should not detract from the overal experience.

    However, in recent times, due to exposure to much complaints, I have become somewhat tired of the whol "impractical armor" thing many fighting women have going on. I still like to look at beautiful women, I just often think: "She should be dead by now"
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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

    Mostly bad. It's discracting, pointless and often breaks suspension of disbelief. What's more - and this is particularly subjective - it's not even sexy. A beautiful woman diving into battle, hair blowing in the wind and face splashed with blood as she roars her fury at the men crumpling beneath her blows: sexy. Sticking the camera on the ground to show her stupid undies while she's doing that: ew
    I have nothing against sexy. Sexy is good. But fanservice is just pervy, and that's rarely good.
    There are exceptions to that, but mostly they go back to the contextual appropriateness thing, and often also if there's a self-awareness about it. Like, say, a situation where an action woman gets caught by surprise when she's in the shower, and has to fight her way out to safety in a towel, and kicks arse anyway. That could be extremely sexy (especially, in my opinion, if they're mostly tastefully coy about showing anything), very fanservicy and even quite empowering... And now I kinda wanna watch this scene in something :I But... it should make sense; it should end fairly quickly (perhaps she might take pieces of clothing as it does along, so she gets more and more dressed as the action progresses), and it shouldn't ONLY be there to make the hetero teenage boys happy.
    Last edited by Serpentine; 2012-11-08 at 10:33 PM.

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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

    Mm, whether it feels contrived or not matters. In my opinion, enjoyable fanservice happens when it's clearly a part of the scene no matter how you look at it (Protagonist accidentally walks in on Love Interest in the shower, hilarity ensues), and irritating fanservice happens when it's tacked onto a scene where it's not immediately apparent that it should be there (Fully-clothed Love Interest is talking to Protagonist on the phone while laying on the sofa; camera cuts to an upskirt).
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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

    I don't really like gratuitous fanservice unless it's purely to poke fun at the concept of fan service and then it's more of a parody of fanservice than just fanservice.

    Other than that, as long as it's not distracting or calling attention to itself for its own sake I don't always even notice it.

    But that's probably just ye olde male gaze going on or something something white male privilege something something dark side something or other...
    Last edited by Coidzor; 2012-11-08 at 10:56 PM.
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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

    Like it less and less as I get older and more seasoned in my feminist commitments. Outside of the very occasional fanservice where either the character is trying to subvert some established characteristic or the show is trying to subvert the point of fanservice, I'm not a fan.

    Basically, my feminism and my enjoyment of genre television and movies go hand in hand with one another, because they ultimately lead me to like the same things. I like strong characters with well-rounded personalities, and I like to see them in dramatic situations. Fanservice undermines that enjoyment, because it's all about taking that strong person with personality and background characteristics I enjoy, and actively encourages me to reduce that character down to a nice bobbing rack or glistening pecs. "Objectification" is a sometimes misused word, but here it is perfectly correct to describe what fanservice does: it takes a person and encourages me to see it the way I might show off a prize horse or cow or car, looking only at the qualities of the most superficial aspects of it.

    There are a few times when it works in spite of itself, but mostly when there is some form of subversion going on. For example, Deep Space 9 had a character named Kira Nerys, who was a deeply moral and passionate woman first and foremost. But every so often, they showed an episode in the mirror universe of Star Trek, which was kind of a Bizarro World version of Trek where everyone's personalities were different. In that universe, Kira Nerys was rotten to the core, but she was also highly superficially charming. In that context, she gave the actor who played Kira (Nana Visitor) the chance to stretch her acting legs, and as a result took a toned-down straightforward character and turned her into the most ridiculously sexy femme fatale ever, just by changing how she walked and tightening her outfit a bit. Was it fanservice? More from how Visitor played it than from an actual cut of her outfit. Did it work? Heck yeah. But the fanservice was entirely in service of showing a contrast between our Kira and Mirror Kira and, incidentally, just how crazy good an actress Visitor could be.

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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

    all things should serve the story.
    having t&a is fine, if it makes sense for the scene. seductress? sure. romantic scene? great.

    random shower scene for the sake of it? bah
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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

    Yeah, I'd be more passionate about how fanservice and revealing outfits are inherently anti-feminist if I didn't know what some of my female coworkers actually wore in their off-hours.

    In any case, I'll agree it's objectification but I just can't get myself worked up about it, mostly because I always just fall back to an economic mindset. If no one wanted to see this junk then no one would put it into their shows, and it's not the creators job to make social statements but to make a product that will be profitable.

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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

    Fanservice is at best, something that will quickly get your attention, maybe make you laugh a bit, and then continue on without distracting from what is really important. As said before, context is everything.

    At it's worse, fanservice makes me grind my teeth. The HBO adaptation of Game of Thrones is an example of this. You've got a deep story with well-rounded characters and complex plots. Sometimes, there's fanservice, but it goes hand in hand with the story.

    For example, Daenerys spends A LOT of time in season 1 naked. I think she gets something like one sex scene per episode for the first half of that season. However, this is a part of her story arc so it doesn't take away from the plot. Her brother sells her to a warlord to build an alliance to retake the kingdom that he believes is rightfully his. Lucky for her, the warlord is more or less a good guy (that said, the culture he comes from isn't the nicest lot) and once they get past the initial cultural barriers, they come to love eachother.

    On the other hand, there's one particular scene later on in season 1 that stands out as unnecessary fanservice. One character whose a bit of a manipulative bastard is monologueing about the nature of men and giving a bit of insight into his plan... All the while two girls are going at it in the background. It's as if the producers were saying "Look, this guy is talking for 5 minutes. Here's some boobs. Just look at those until we get through the boring bits." The character in question did own a few whorehouses, but it still felt really out of place. It took away from what was an important scene for that character.

    Another example would be sex scenes in video games. Off the top of my head, I can't think of a single one that felt like more than a cheap attempt at fanservice. Poorly developed buildup to the protagonist and romantic interest getting it on for no reason other than the developers thought it would be hot and would amuse their players.
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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

    I'm a bit of a prude, I admit, but I find it can go embarrassingly too far. High School of the Dead in fact made me stop watching it because it got too heavy.
    In a way, I can see why they did it. It was a kind of relief from the depressing world and heavy violence, but it still was a bit much. It felt childish in fact.
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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

    well, I'm in favor of fanservice, if done right. if it kind of destroys the character in question (reduction to a set of bodyparts) it's bad, but when executed well, it can actually enrich a character (Like in the Fairy Tail manga)

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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

    It depends. For instance, if you're going to the movies mostly to see a werewolf disrobing every other scene, then sure -- job well done. Or you've got a fetish for giant robots and explosions, then who am I to complain when it's delivered in spades? Anime/manga series usually start in the ecchi/moe grotto, occasionally more modest series become increasingly sexualized, but mostly the boing element is obvious within the opening credits for the first episode. The same can be said for most of all the other aesthetic fetishes -- from shounen-ai to mecha. They may be one tracked in their need to please their niche viewers, but they're typically honest about it.

    Smallville's Erica Durance became more stripperific as life went on, far more than the tame Kristin Kreuk as the lead female role. Natalie Portman went from vaguely ethnic virgin queen in the Phantom Menace, to slutty-looking senator in the Clone Wars, dialed all the way back to nun in the Revenge of the Sith. Leia may have worn a chainmail bikini, but that was under duress -- Carrie Fisher was pretty sensibly dressed for the rest of the series. In either case, it just felt awkward -- the product of a bunch of men looking at ratings and focus-groups and then deciding this week Lois is going 20% more nude and 15% more Tsundere.

    Sexual fan-service is probably the most egregious in fantasy and urban fantasy literature. I can't tell you the number of times I've rolled my eyes at the immature wish-fulfillment forced into narratives. I don't know if that's technically "fan-service" or simply the authors' doing whatever the hell they want, but I've sworn never to read another rape scene for as long as I live.

    Still, the fan-service I loath isn't sexual in nature, it's when authors take their cues from the fandom. This is why actually killing superheroes or characters from a shounen battle-manga is damn near impossible, and the tension simply evaporates regardless of the situation. True, that most stories of these kinds have heroes who ultimately succeed through adversity and you shouldn't be surprised when good triumphs over evil, but it's another thing altogether to know all will be predictably be back to a convenient stasis so long as a character has an ounce of name recognition. I find the lack of willingness to follow through on what could be dramatic and compelling narratives out of fear of fan reprisals -- is really, really, really annoying.

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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

    It is a bit surprising that heroines do not follow the lead of female athletes and wear sports bras.

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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

    As a rule, fanservice (as opposed to sexuality) annoys me. If I wanted to watch softcore porn, I have essentially limitless options, so as draws go, it's not a very strong one.

    If a fanservice-laden show is good without the fanservice, it detracts from it and makes me reluctant to tell my friends (especially female friends) to watch the show. If it is bad without the fanservice, I don't want to watch it anyway. So it's generally a lose-lose.
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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

    I feel like there's a scale of fanservice. At the low end it's pretty unobtrusive - most movies or TV shows include attractive people in the cast, because audiences like watching attractive people. Flattering clothes and the occasional shirtless scene (for guys, mostly) are more noticeable but don't really bother me. Once the camera starts leering at people, or there's more than a little nudity, then it starts to bug me - if only because I'm easily embarrassed. Doesn't help that I usually watch movies with friends and family.

    There are exceptions, though. I recall watching Clue: the Movie with friends and cracking up every time we got another shot of Yvette the maid climbing up the stairs towards the camera, or bending over to pour someone drinks. It was blatantly silly, and the movie was a silly comedy, so I suppose it fit. Or The Whole Nine Yards, which features a brief topless scene but was still pretty fun to watch with my mother.

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    On the other hand, there's one particular scene later on in season 1 that stands out as unnecessary fanservice. One character whose a bit of a manipulative bastard is monologueing about the nature of men and giving a bit of insight into his plan... All the while two girls are going at it in the background. It's as if the producers were saying "Look, this guy is talking for 5 minutes. Here's some boobs. Just look at those until we get through the boring bits."
    I'm not sure there's any "as if" about that. From what I hear, the show uses nudity as a way to keep the audience from getting bored during exposition scenes... or a way to keep the producers from worrying about said issue, or possibly both. Watchers who are really into the political drama in Westeros will follow along for the plot; for those who aren't, look! Naked people!

    Which is not to say that I approve, necessarily, but I've heard at least one person argue that the show owes a lot to the Naked Exposition principle—because otherwise, a lot of content would have been cut or simplified. True? I dunno, but it's an interesting thought.
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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

    If it doesn't involve starships (by which I mean the starships are the fanservice) then I don't want it. Apathy at best, irritation at worst.

    (This is, note independant of which gender they're fanservicing, though I do, from my equalist standpoint, frown on the fact that (straight) males tend get more fanservice than anyone else. It should optimally be either equal fanservice, or better yet, no fanservice for anyone at all (unless it involves starships.))

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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

    I'm something of a filthy lech, so I'm pretty appreciative of fanservice in general.

    I find it pointless to get worked up about it. Whether or not a work contains fanservice, I find that at least a portion of the fanbase will seek it out anyways, whether through their own creations or the work of others. You can censor it, ridicule it and express disgust at it, but until that glorious day that we're all converted into Cybermen, there's no stopping it.
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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

    I consider fanservice pathetic and insulting (Fanservice as in the detailed kind. Having a good looking actor I get (But only if they can act well, but when the pull factor is just BLEUGH then thats a whole different story).



    I can get porn online.

    Fanservice means that you are a pathetic series. Or just highly immature.

    And I don't buy it "Ironically".

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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

    There are certain things that get it right and certain things that don't.

    Oglaf manages to be brilliant at producing content that is captures its tone just right while at the same time not being arousing.

    Something like Menage a 3 is both arousing at times and fits its own concept. Not such a fan of that one but it does what it does well.

    One time I saw an anime one time where a giant robot crab came to the beach out of nowhere and cut bikinis off the girls. It made me feel skeezy as I happen to like "girl loses bathing suit" fantasy but at the same time it was like it was pandering to that fantasy and playing up everything about it. It was like a sweet thing with no substance that was inviting me to gorge upon it. There was no other substance to the scene. I disliked it a lot. Felt manipulative.

    The "perverted camera angle" trick isn't my cup of tea either. I feel like the sexy needs to be within the realm of character actions so that we can know the characters better through how they interact with whatever situation they are in.
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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

    Just concerning fanservice as in "stuff to attract sexual attention"...

    Well, as a rather juvenile person I... really can't say I mind it.
    If it goes over the top I laugh at it, and if it's not even worth laughing about it then I just don't watch it.

    But if it is part of an otherwise good show, like Fairy Tail or One Piece when it comes to anime then I don't care if it is there.

    I can see how people can dislike fanservice mostly because usually it consists of... women wearing as little as possible... which is pretty unfair and objectifying but... Well, I got used to it by now. And I guess that's just what our society is like. There has been more and more female friendly fanservice lately from what I gathered... even though it's still lots and lots less than the other kind.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candle Jack View Post
    I'm something of a filthy lech, so I'm pretty appreciative of fanservice in general.

    I find it pointless to get worked up about it. Whether or not a work contains fanservice, I find that at least a portion of the fanbase will seek it out anyways, whether through their own creations or the work of others. You can censor it, ridicule it and express disgust at it, but until that glorious day that we're all converted into Cybermen, there's no stopping it.
    Oh, I disagree. Show producers that it doesn't appeal to enough of the target audience or worse, actively annoys them by taking away from the actual substance of the show (again, Game of Thrones) and maybe they'll stop trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

    As Friv and Scowling Dragon pointed out, if someone wants nudity or porn, there's far better options out there than whatever fanservice they shoehorn into a TV show/movie/video game.

    Now, my opinion on this has nothing to do with feminism or objectification or anything like that. My general dislike of fanservice is purely about the quality of the work in question, and it's all too common for fanservice to feel out of place or for a work to try to ride on fanservice with very little actual substance of its own. When that sort of thing happens, it's unnecessary. It's lazy. It's poor writing. It annoys me.

    That's not to say fanservice can't be done in such a way that feels like it fits in a story, just that it usually isn't.
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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

    Indeed. If we are watching "Super detailed Sex drama"

    Then I can't complain about all the sex going on.

    But if its "OOOOOh, look, our camera is looking at her boobs!"

    Then its just JUVENILE.

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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

    I'd actually prefer more nudity in general on TV because I think it should more accepted as something that doesn't necessarily have to be sexualised.
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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Totally Guy View Post
    I'd actually prefer more nudity in general on TV because I think it should more accepted as something that doesn't necessarily have to be sexualised.
    Yeah, but the problem with that is, if the intent, and result is to remove the importance of nudity and such, it would become less fanservice. Fanservice is pretty much entirely based around titillation, (pun intended) of the viewers. Whether its generic fanservice with random panty shots and boob bounces of nonfamous people like you see in anime such as HSOTD, or direct fanservice like putting a sexy and popular actress in a revealing outfit just because the fans have been salivating over the thought for so long, or releasing a swimsuit edition of your comic book characters, or the standard bath house scene in popular anime or manga where fanservice isnt usually done. Fanservice is all about the sexualization of whoever it is aimed at. Too be honest, if nudity finally stopped being some sexy taboo, I shudder to think the direction fanservice would take then. Softcore porn?
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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Totally Guy View Post
    There are certain things that get it right and certain things that don't.

    Oglaf manages to be brilliant at producing content that is captures its tone just right while at the same time not being arousing.

    Something like Menage a 3 is both arousing at times and fits its own concept. Not such a fan of that one but it does what it does well.
    I don't... really... consider either of those to be fanservice. In both cases, the sexual nature of the story or joke is really the point. They're sexual comics.

    I generally think of fanservice as gratuitous sexuality, especially in asides that don't contribute anything or the choice of camera angles and shots that literally aren't related to what's going on but are designed to lovingly focus on the breast area.
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    Default Re: Fanservice, Opinions?

    If a given work has nothing going for it beyond the fanservice, then I'm just not interested.
    If it has a loose plot that only serves to create fanservice moments, sometimes I'm interested just to see how many hoops they are willing to jump through to set-up the fanservice moment. But hey, I'm oddly curious about strange things.
    Sometimes the fanservice helps the comedy along a bit.

    Beyond that, it just bores me.
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