We Enjoy Our Perfect Service! How We Like Our Fanservice (Studios Take Note!)

Yes, she's a robot, and she's flashing us her bits

Yes, she's a robot, and she's flashing us her bits

Reading how fanservice can create a blinder effect and cause a viewer to dismiss a show got me thinking about fanservice in general and my tastes in particular. As far as the article is concerned, yes I am indifferent to most harem-type fanservice shows. I never bothered to continue watching Love Hina, I’m oblivious to Key game adaptations, and am totally surprised at myself for lasting 2 episodes watching Akikan. I am actually blind to whatever value the shows may have, or the interesting viewing I may have with them.

I can live with that. It’s not like I think these shows are bad (save maybe for Akikan), only that I’ve come to know myself a little more, and the kind of fanservice that I really get into. Yes, it isn’t just about tits and ass.

How many fan fetishes are being served in this image? I see what you did there Gao Gai Gar!

How many fan fetishes are being served in this image? I see what you did there Gao Gai Gar!

I hesitate to say I’m a connoisseur of it, but I do have a taste for certain particular kinds:

1. Nostalgia (and Continuity) Porn
2. Battle Porn (huge bonus points if scene/anime includes mecha)

The two above are actually quite broad categories. I believe that I got OVER 9000% more value out of Macross Frontier than anyone (or at least anyone in the sphere who’s written about it) due to my particular context of being a fan of the franchise since it first came out in the distant ’80s. For most viewers (even for fans who saw the whole franchise, but only due to a marathon over a few weeks/months) it was just ‘what’s next,’ and they’d immediately rank it against the other installments. Impossible for me: it was a long-awaited gift, as if (intentional fallacy be momentarily damned) Kawamori himself was doing the series as a personal favor to me.

It's difficult to find a single image that communicates the fanservice levels Macross Frontier delivers for me.

It's difficult to find a single image that communicates the fanservice levels Macross Frontier delivers for me.

For a good summary of what kind of nostalgia service Macross Frontier gave me, check out otou-san’s post on what makes the Macross Franchise so lovable.

Being an older fan and having seen shows and traditions (tropes) as old allows for a particularly intense appreciation when such a trope is used, or a tradition is paid homage to. Try to imagine the kind of obnoxious shouting and pointing at the screen that transpired when I watched Gurren Lagann for the first time. It recalled the most distant of memories – as I watched super robot shows before I could properly speak.

How many instant fanboys did TTGL make? They aren't even getting half of what makes this show so awesome.

How many instant fanboys did TTGL make? They aren't even getting half of what makes this show so awesome.

Regarding Battle Porn, it’s not really difficult to explain. I like on-screen violence of all kinds: intensity and graphic value (Sword of the Stranger!), choreography of the actual fighting (Macross Plus!), complexity of strategy and tactics (Code Geass!), among a lot of other things. So hello there Legend of the Galactic Heroes! LOGH delivers the goods very well, and allows for fanboy pursuits that I don’t get to do in other series or franchises.

Trying to remember the names of all these characters can win me buckets of fanboy points, or so I think.

Trying to remember the names of all these characters can win me buckets of fanboy points, or so I think.

There seems to be people actually think anime should be fanservice free, or at least think that shows that have explicit fanservice isn’t as good? Well, there are fandoms who demand little else but! And, they do it in the spirit of demanding excellence and quality!

I think the best example of this is the Gundam franchise and its fandom. The Japanese fandom behave as if innovation from the core elements and tropes of the franchise is a bad thing. So they are like me, only that they demand the continuity and nostalgia service. The ‘commentary’ you find around the web re Gundam 00 is quite painful to read. It’s not that the show isn’t bad – there’s a lot of things about it that I find atrocious, and yet I love it and stick with it (and let me be clear that it’s not related to THAT meme that supposedly FORCES people to be unable to stop watching).

A source of RAEG, I suspect that not all of the RAEG against the fujoshification of Gundam is authentic.

A source of RAEG, though I suspect that not all of the RAEG against the fujoshification of Gundam is authentic.

Point is, demanding that a show behave in expected ways and whining when it doesn’t is spoiled fan behavior. Perhaps this is the unintended consequence of being pandered to so much and for so long – combined with youth, immaturity, and THIS. Not surprisingly, the same fandom will complain about the presence of fanservice in the show when it’s not pandering to their particular tastes. The manner of complaining can be interesting itself, though it must be a source of consternation for some (explored by Kaioshin Sama here).

Nothing, NOTHING is sacred.

Nothing, NOTHING is sacred.

So as fans, we can be spoiled. There may be levels of pandering that prevent the majority of viewers to get into an anime. I happen to like Kogarashi a lot but not think much of the Kamen no Maid Guy anime itself. Perhaps this is why we can’t have nice things. We’re schizophrenic when it comes to fanservice, sometimes it may just be that we as viewers aren’t able to distinguish how our sensibilities are being served. This is not surprising, because there’s just so many ways these days.

Some questions:

1. Aside from the obvious, what particular tastes of yours do you enjoy being served?

2. What anime/manga does this for you?

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
This entry was posted in fanboy, meta and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to We Enjoy Our Perfect Service! How We Like Our Fanservice (Studios Take Note!)

  1. Funeral says:

    IT”S OVER 9,000! Sorry I had to do it.

  2. also, why the rage over ouran crossover image? you trying to say something about ouran, motherfucker?

  3. ghostlightning says:

    @ Funeral

    Reference-porn. That’s fanservice too (i.e. Lucky Star, Nadesico).

    @ digiboy

    Lern 2 reed. Fandboy ‘purists’ resent fujoshi pandering in their Gundam.

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  5. Baka-Raptor says:

    Lesbian fanservice (because most male anime characters are pathetic and I can’t stand watching them get with girls)

    Ultra-GAR fanservice (Kogarashi, Golgo 13, Kenshiro, etc…)

    Asexuality fanservice (standard fanservice followed by male indifference)

    Dinoservice (when dinosaurs are put in for no other reason than to make me happy)

    Yandere rampage fanservice (self-explanatory)

    …to name a few

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  7. rollchan says:

    the last picture made me ‘super’ laff.
    XD

  8. rollchan says:

    @Baka-Raptor

    Lesbian Fanservice? I couldn’t agree more.

    Evil Lesbos. :D

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  10. ghostlightning says:

    @ Baka-Raptor

    Very cool that you gave the reasons:

    >>(because most male anime characters are pathetic and I can’t stand watching them get with girls)

    THIS.

    >>Asexuality fanservice (standard fanservice followed by male indifference)

    I need examples of this! It can’t just be because the girl is uninteresting right? The guy has to be really asexual right?

  11. Baka-Raptor says:

    @GL: The girls can definitely be attractive. It’s usually the guy’s fault for being oblivious or indifferent.

    A prime example would be the teacher from Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu. She’s always talking dirty, and everyone ignores her.

    Also see the episode of Midori no Hibi when the class president goes on a date with Seiji.

    Fan Hyulick displays a fair amount of asexuality when Lira’s prostitwin tries to pick him up.

    I’ll take note of other examples as I watch them.

  12. ghostlightning says:

    @ Baka-Raptor

    Thanks man, this is actually quite interesting. Too bad I didn’t take note of the instances when I saw them.

    I’m just unclear on how to distinguish these instances from certain harem leads’ obliviousness (i.e. Nadesico) which is part of why I agree with your statement re

    >>(because most male anime characters are pathetic and I can’t stand watching them get with girls)

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  14. omisyth says:

    LOL what happened here, I though Owen was talking about the traditional fanservice of pr0n and T&A rather than service to the fans.

    I really can’t answer the questions well because I have broad tastes in terms of anime; I’ll watch almost anything. However, I could say that One Piece (manga or first 2/3 of the anime) are my fanservice because they have EPIC FIGHTS most of the time.

  15. ghostlightning says:

    @ omisyth

    I’m not disagreeing with Owen. A response post doesn’t have to argue with the source. In this case I’m building on what Owen started, or at least I’m trying to.

    What makes the fights EPIC?

  16. omisyth says:

    @ghostlightning
    That’s the thing, I think I just like any sort of fight in any show, as long as it’s animated somewhat well. That’s probably why it’s fanservice for me, at least.

  17. ghostlightning says:

    @ omisyth

    Thanks. I actually read that. Watch out for ep 392 or something. I drew a background frame for that one.

  18. jstrocel says:

    I am a sucker for mecha fan-service of all kinds. Robots, fighters, capital ships, and giant battle scenes featuring one or all three of those things.

  19. ghostlightning says:

    @jstrocel

    Well you’re in the right place, with like-minded mecha-loving folk.

    So can you name your top-3 scenes in ALL of anime featuring your preferred service? ^^

  20. jstrocel says:

    @ghostlightning

    Well, my top 3 right now are:
    Gunbuster OAV ep 5 where they drop-kick an entire star-fleet

    Macross Frontier, the final episode

    Legend of Galactic Heroes, the battle between Geiersburg and Iserlohn fortress.

  21. ghostlightning says:

    @ jstrocel

    I commend your taste. Quite an excellent selection.

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  23. xephfyre says:

    That iSlug picture is so hot.

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  25. omo says:

    I tl’dr’d this post the first time, but upon revisiting the idea from Anna’s blog I read it over a lonely (but delicious) dinner.

    I have to say that while the gist of what you speak is fine and I can’t disagree with it. It’s just all of this epic celebrating is a little bit out of bounds. A lot of the stuff that you say is fanservice, to me they are not because they are not intentional, and it’s more a function of the viewer than the creator. It lacks the necessary context.

    For example, if I have a foot fetish, it still would not make every scene in every anime where I see someone’s foot a fanservice shot. Of course, most of the stuff you mentioned are intentional, but it’s really questionable to call something more commonly referred to as “plot” or “theme” or “point” fanservicy. I guess it could be, but I haven’t seen an example of this in your post specifically. Just like how a space battle in Macross Frontier is not fanservice per se, but the specifics and how everything, in nitpickery detail down to the designs of everything that appears in each key frame, could be.

    But I guess that doesn’t really matter.

    • ghostlightning says:

      While I can’t divine the intentions of the author specifically. Inside jokes and nods to continuity are done for what purpose?

      Who’d get it, except fans who are particularly loyal or devoted to the franchise?

      Stan Lee makes cameos in many Marvel movies, some fans like that about the movie and him. Similarly, Kawamori inserted himself as an avatar (the director who discovered Ranka) in Macross Frontier. It’s an inconsequential detail to the narrative as a whole, but yes I ate it up.

      While this is an even more extreme example, I think it serves intelligently speculate on the purpose of such decisions – since it does seem that fanservice must be intentional.

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  30. shumbapumba says:

    Enjoyed reading this. I have been doing some research into fan service lately for an upcoming post. Surprisingly, I could not find much academic material on fan service. It is also cool checking out people’s various understandings of the term (I have found some definitions to be quite limiting) but I like yours. You’ve including gratuitous mecha etc that caters to the fans. This is actually a topic I would like to do some more research into. Any other good posts on fan service out there? Cheers.

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