Anime Fanservice – A Double Standard?

Easter Fanservice

While checking out some reviews on some of the new season’s anime, I noticed some conflicting opinions on fanservice. For those not in the know, fanservice generally refers to gratuitous scenes that are only there to please the (mostly male) fans. This includes shower scenes, panty shots, and, in entire episode form, the anime beach episode.

Easter Fanservice

While checking out some reviews on some of the new season’s anime, I noticed some conflicting opinions on fanservice. For those not in the know, fanservice generally refers to gratuitous scenes that are only there to please the (mostly male) fans. This includes shower scenes, panty shots, and, in entire episode form, the anime beach episode.

Panties to the face.jpg
There’s plenty more where this came from!

Most of the criticisms against fanservice that I read for this season were aimed at Joshikosei Girl’s High. This anime pretty much consists of girls getting into situations that show their panties. There were more instances of fanservice in the first episode than I could count on two hands! I guess the main criticism here was that there was “too much” (no such thing, in my opinion), or that the anime didn’t have a plot. It was just an engine used to drive the fanservice. I guess I can agree with that claim.


When reading reviews of Air Gear, I saw the other side of the coin. People were complaining that there was too much censoring (via the ubiquitous crows). They wanted their fanservice! I can also agree with this. How can an anime exist where girls fly through the air wearing skirts and dresses, yet no panties are visible for a whole 24 minutes!? There were quite a few scenes where fanservice would have been trivially easy to add, yet the animators chose (or were forced) to ignore the opportunity.

So what’s the deal here? Are anime watchers working on a double standard? Can there really be too much fanservice? Personally, I think fanservice is great up to a certain point. When it starts interfering with the plot (“Let’s find the source of the mystery!” “No, let’s go underwear shopping!”), it’s time to just say no. Unless, of course, the whole plot of the anime is fanservice.

So what are your thoughts on fanservice? Love it? Hate it? Vote and/or leave comments!

41 thoughts on “Anime Fanservice – A Double Standard?”

  1. Well, i agree with you except my certain point is probably much easier to achieve. =)

    For some reason more serious anime is higher tolerance i have for fanservice. Don’t ask why, i don’t know. Series like Kannazuki no miko. There is tons of fanservice, i have no problems with it. But just try to do same with decent comedy series and i have pressed shift delete before you can ask did i like it.

    Panty shots. I have finished one anime that had more than one or two those in whole series and that was Utakata. I have no intention to try another one. Ever.

    Amazingly enough i don’t count beach episodes that bad.

    So summary is something like this:

    Awesome series fanservice= awesome
    Decent series fanservice= crap
    Decent series without fanservice= decent

  2. I, for one, wanted to see some more Rika-nee. …But anyways, I did not really get into buying manga until after seeing a cover of Love Hina, which spurred me to read it. After a volume or two, I fell in love with it for the story and the characters. This love eventually led to where I am today.

    So I can actually thank fanservice for getting me into anime. But at times fanservice is used wrongly and is just trashy, aka Girls High. That show is bassically, “How long can you wait before you see more panties?”. There is no story there. They’re just reusing old stories that can be found in other school-related shows that we’ve seen and adding more panty shots -aka first episode of Girls high where they get stuck in the closet. Hm… Tenma got stuck in a closet once…. hmmm..-. Its a double edged sword. It works sometimes, it fails sometimes.

  3. The issue that I had with Joshikousei was that the comedy just fell so flat that the fanservice seemed like they were telling a joke, hearing an awkward silence, and then being like “UH, PANTIES!” in hopes of drawing a response. Air Gear, OTOH, appeared to me to be so over the top that the censoring of something like Simca’s ass seemed really out of place. You think “it’s just a butt!” because you have freakin’ dudes using their rollerblade-kata to stop a speeding semi.

  4. The best fanservice is natural fan service. If you have to move the camera into a weird position to achieve it, you’re not doing a very good job of it. And censor crows are just lazy!

  5. I am not going to get into some long harangue on the exploitation of women, but I don’t like fanservice. If the anime is really good, I tolerate it (naked twin shower scene in TSR which everyone seemed to love, Mai and Natsuki in Mai-Hime, etc), but it’s perfectly possible to have an excellent anime without it, too (FMA, Escaflowne — heck, there’s a scene in Esca where their flying ship turns sideways and Hitomi is only hanging by one hand because she’s using the other to tuck her skirt in).

    If it’s a good anime, I’ll ignore it. But heaven knows there’s some stuff you just can’t ignore.

    Take Chrno Crusade (anime). Rosette has been captured & brainwashed by the demon Aion and is wearing this long, heavy black dress instead of her usual habit… and she falls backward and her skirt goes up. To reveal hot pink lacy panties. This is set in the 1920’s of America. This is during a scene of intense drama and suffering.

    If that didn’t kill it for half of everyone who watched it, I don’t know what can.

  6. Fanservice is like MSG. We all like MSG with our food, just not too much. And we don’t eat MSG as it is.

    Some health lovers do not like MSG at all. Some less healthy eaters do not mind and enjoy the artificially enhanced taste. I suppose there are weird people who eat MSG on its own after all. They are Joshikousei’s fans.

    It really depends on the genre and the type of fanservice involved. I get irritated at the pantsu ones, especially those that are out of place like in FMP season 1. But School Rumble’s fanservice scenes are all very nicely done. This is good fanservice.

    And Lovehina has a story? What was it?

  7. Ugh, like Kylara, I too HATE fanservice. I dislike how cheap they portray women … but I won’t go into my long feministic tirade. Each time I see an underwear exposed, I would yell, “Why don’t I see men’s undies for once!”

    Then I start thinking about how they’d do it and I realise I sure don’t want to see that either! ;P

    Fanservice is the reason why I will not be watching Soul Link, neither did I bother with supposed classics like Love Hina. It’s just not my thing … it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    But girls have their fanservice in their bishies, so I suppose it is fair and square in animeland.

  8. Hahaha Love Hina. I could’ve sworn that I read an interview with Ken Akamatsu once which basically said something like “I noticed that anime and manga often have fanservice episodes that take place at an onsen. So I figured ‘Why not make every chapter a fanservice episode that takes place at an onsen!'”

  9. >>And Lovehina has a story? What was it?

    If you look very very deep down, past all the aforementioned onsen gratiuity and nosebleeds, etc, theres a story of a nerdy guy getting into hijinks, eventually fulfilling a promise he made as a kid, and developing as a person… I also liked how Motoko changed from the beginning…. I know I know, harem story. But hey, I was starting out, and this was one of the first ones I got and I loved it.

  10. Does Motoko actually have character development? I mean, a change is fundamental to the tsunderekko character type. Otherwise she never gets to the deredere phase. I guess to put it another way, through the very act of “developing”, it makes her a stock character rather than a fully-rounded character.

    PS: h8 Ken Akamatsu


    anyways… True, she does change the way that one would expect but there’s four things I’m gonna try to throw out: :

    “1)Ken wanted to write her in more and give her more time seeing as she, too, was his favorite character. But since she was not a main main character, she only got devoted a couple of chapters every once in a while.
    2)In the few chapters we DO get to see her, we not only see her relationship with Keitaro change (like you said thats to be expected), but also her relationship with Su and her Sister.
    3)Then there was the outside possibility of something going on with Seta seeing as how they are similar and get along so well, making the readers worry that someone’s going to get knocked out of the running.
    4)Now, I believe you’re stating the fact that since she DOES develop and change makes her a stock character because we saw this coming… I guess all I can say is that the way her changes and development in character are portrayed is what makes her unique to other tsundare characters (aka the time she goes into the mountains and when she cuts her hair).

    Yes, these are very small details and what you say make a lot of sense. I guess what I’m trying to do is make her seem more unique than the way you’re describing her…. and thats all the defense I can muster at the moment…. AH, damnit.

    PS. I heart Ken

  12. Actually more and more anime are coving up body parts that manga and older anime used to or still do show. This is because they know that there is an american market. And to a degree they do have to cover up body parts in their own country.

    As for fanservice, a female is standing naked prepairing for a bath. May I remind you that there are missing episodes of Card Captors and American’s hated it. That and the lack of sequence that they were shown. Then ther was a whole episode of Outlaw start that was never shown because on American TV. The Public Bath Planet episode where the female costars are all naked while bathing and there were no censorings.

    Now to be forced not to show a first episode of a series because of uncencored nudity would drive an American public mad one way or another. and because of it’s teen nature few adults, who weren’t truly old kids, could enjoy it.

    And then there’s the how harem no jitsu appeared In “Please Mr. Postman” from Naruto. Naruto had them all wearing bakini. Normaly there is only the smoke for him. And there are the other methods he uses to censor his appearance.

    That’s in recent anime.

    This “editing” is also shown in The one recent Zoro movie where “Zoro” strips his female oponent with his sword. first her hair was not that long, second untill that shot was done, her hair was behind her sholders.

    To make a “safe for” American TV Nudity must be censored.

    nd please don’t make me bring up anime like Gowcaizer, or Fatal Fury. Now while the elements of violence were well played, Having 9 panty shots within ever 2-4 minutes just ruined that for me.

  13. It all depends. I, personally, don’t care for it much. But then again, I’m a girl. I stopped watching Girls’ High for that reason, because it was just a half hour of pointless fanservice every episode. I prefer animes where characters act realistically, and realistically most scenerios won’t happen. However, in some sillier animes, such as Inukami!, where the fanservice really is the support of the humor, it’s good. But I hate when they ruin an anime with potential with gratuitous cheescake shots.

  14. Personally, I don’t like fanservice. I’m not a male, but I read “guy” manga, so it just annoys me when there’s male-directed fanservice. Other people, though, like this kind of fanservice, so I think it’s just a matter of personal preference. Fortunately, I have been able to find manga with little or no fanservice.

  15. fanservice is great but 2 a point, however women get fan service 2, they just aint lookin in the right places, start watchin/readin yaoi, plenty of stuff there fer ya im sure.
    so what if most fanservice is fer men, we are easier 2 please, but too much is bad, fer example lovehina and chobits are good, they have a story, something that a fan likes, but things like ikki tousen (though pleasing to the eye it is) it does not have an actual story 2 it, so its not technicly fanservice, its nothing more than softcore hentai

    but that doesnt mean that ikki tousen is a crappy series, it is a series mostly ment for males yes, but seriously would yall women want 2 whatch it any more if it were men beating the shit out of each other instead of busty babes whos shirts are garanteed to be ripped apart?

  16. Eh, I’m a girl, and, although fanservice annoys me, I’m OK with it. As long as there’s not a lot, like in every episode or so. For me, my fanservice is if the guy was drawn nicely (hair, face,) and, well, I think yaoi’s are a little… weird, unless it just touches the yaoi-ness lightly. (Like Hikaru and Kaouru from Ouran, I like their twincest…)I haven’t exactly seen that many, though. And I didn’t like it.

  17. DearS is another good example of a good anime (though it stops dead way b4 the manga is even half way done, and that pisses me off) and while i said Yaoi i didnt mean full blown ass bangin’ *shiver* no i ment exactly those anime that just touches it (guys its the ones where all the dudes are drawn to look feminine) i dont know any cause well even those creap me out, but i hear that Vampire Knight is a perfect example, fan servace is gonna be there everyone loves it (though i sure that some of yall wont admit it) its just some anime try WAY too hard to get the fans attention (Sundome is one of them if you know what it is are are not 100% pervert then you know what i mean)

    oh i just remembered a realy good anime that has almost the perfect amount of fanservace while maintaining a great story

    Mai Hime is awsome

  18. I’m female and although can tolerate fanservice to an extent (that extent being Battle Vixens and Mahoromantic (most ‘pervy’ manga I own), I can easily start screaming at the screen in anger at the mostly male-orientated fanservice.

    Panty shots are ok, as long as it’s not every minute some skirt flies and up WHAM! Camel toe ahoy or someones white granny-pants. Or those ladies with thier huuuuge bosoms (that counts as fanservice, to me) which might as well be Z-cup. Ok, it’s nice to have a range in your characters, but why are the busty ones always plopped in this sterotype of being complete idiots or, hard-ass.

    To me, the people working should try and cater more to the female side. Ok, we have our adorable bishies but…that’s where it stops. Yaoi is just bishie-heaven, but men have their yuri. I myself don’t mind the odd large-breasted, panty-shot moment or implied ‘she’s a lesbian’ thing, but we has female fans deserve a bit more then gay anime characters and bishoenen. Why not give the female fanbase some male nudity? Some nice scenes of guys in awkward positions?

    Either way, I hope some fairness comes in eventually.

  19. hola Easter Fanservice

    While checking out some reviews on some of the new season’s anime, I noticed some conflicting opinions on fanservice. For those not in the know, fanservice generally refers to gratuitous scenes that are only there to please the (mostly male) fans. This includes shower scenes, panty shots, and, in entire episode form, the anime beach episode.

    There’s plenty more where this came from

  20. Actually Air Gear Dose Have An Uncensored Version. But only the DvDs have them. and usually its the Dub that shows the most Uncensored Version…

  21. I’m a married girl. Just to put that out first. Second I wasn’t going to read the article I was just here to snatch some pictures, but some one linked a picture and said girl’s fan service. Give me a break that guy was bad looking! Now a frontal or most of the front maybe. My favorite are the guys with those sexy line thingy above their pants. LOL. Mmm devil may cry, inuyasha not so much actual scenes but ya porn! oops sorry did i say that out loud? Yuyu hakasho (yes I know I can’t spell.) I must say though the guys get more, and I’m jealous. I want more :D. LOL Good day all!

  22. The best fanservice is natural fan service. If you have to move the camera into a weird position to achieve it, you’re not doing a very good job of it. And censor crows are just lazy!

  23. watch needless tons of fan service and the ending song is extreme!!!(lots of panties for those of u who are nagging >.> *the ending song* x.x)

  24. I hate fanservice of any kind. Panties being revealed because it’s unavoidable, I don’t really count as fanservice. If it’s appropriate, I can live with it. Otherwise, fanservice aimed at male or female makes little difference. Burn the manga!

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