In this part we will look into the things that are just as cringe worthy but more often accepted than not.
Once again, a disclaimer: I actually enjoyed all of the shows that I have listed in this post (Part 3) so don’t think that I’m into trash talking. ^_^
Excuses or nah?
Most of the time when we take fan service as part of a scene/plot, it’s probably because they are funny. This leads to comedy anime being filled with soooooo much fan service. However, there exists a limit to how much fan service can be filled into a single episode before things get annoying.
The current leader of this talk would be no other than Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! and more importantly its second season.
Remember when I said that the point of comedy is to make memes? Well, this one will last pretty much forever.
Though it has been answered directly by the original source material, any new comer to comedy anime will definitely, immediately question about Aqua’s undergarment (or the lack of).
Come on! I wouldn’t put it here if it wasn’t because of Aqua’s design being a fan service package.
She can actually wear pants to look like a normal girl!
The list of fan service carries on within a short length of 10 episodes per season.
How does fan service get away with it, if it does at all?
Just like how we still joke about big tits being the plot, an acceptable fan service will almost always be within a context.
I will stop here before I end up accidentally writing an entire series review. I also wholeheartedly encourage you to watch this series whether you can handle fan service or not because you’ll be missing out on a lot of what’s still great about anime!
In defense of original source material
This is where non comedy anime tries (really hard) to get away with fan service. I’ll only list a couple of those so it doesn’t get any more cringe.
Pretty much everything about Keijo!!!!!!!!
Just take a look at this 30 seconds trailer :O
It’s a shounen battle anime, literally on the same boat as One Piece, Fairy Tail, Dragon Ball Z, Naruto and Kill la Kill. Most surprising of all, it’s a PG-13 rated anime!
So why wasn’t it shunned?
I did say earlier that good fan service will be within a context. In the case of Keijo!!!!!!!! (how loud are you shouting this name by the way?), the context that allows massive amount of fan service is right within the story and setting themselves. The name even implies butt whipping.
If you still can’t grasp at what I’m saying then go back and take a look at Amagi Brilliant Park.
It’s an anime mostly about Kanie Seiya trying to bring back a dead horse that is Amagi Amusement Park to life, no hints of fan service whatsoever. When you go into that however, tell me what has more of your attention; the actual plot or those beautiful girls?
Now look at Keijo!!!!!!!!. A straight forward battle shounen that outright tells you what shit the main character is in to do. We are told that Naruto aims to become the Hokage; it’s no different when Nozomi aims to win ‘Keijo’ and bring wealth and fortune to her family. Needless to say, Keijo is a sport that heavily involves all the fan service you see, without them even I will not want to hide in my ‘politically correct’ closet with all the salt.
While the anime itself isn’t classed as comedy, all of the ecchi fan service aspect in this work are pretty much comedic; they exaggerate everything to the point that you should not take Keijo!!!!!!!! seriously.
Second in line is Fate/Stay Night (2014)
ufotable brought in state of art animation like always. What they didn’t do well this time was arranging a bunch of plot into 24 episodes (come on! That’s a lot!).
This includes all the slice of life scenes, or as we call them (non sexual) fan service to a shounen anime.
While ‘good on you (ufotable)’ for being faithful in adapting source materials, sometimes it can hurt the parent story if not done properly. If you have played the visual novel under Unlimited Blade Works route and finished it at all then it would appear what the anime adaptation by ufotable did was more justice than not. The biggest problem in this adaptation however lies in the actual story and plot arrangement, worst of all the pacing.
I’ll leave a review for later so let’s look at something that didn’t affect the story or advance the plot whatsoever.
The second version of Episode 25
Pick one and join the club…
1. You’ve not played the visual novel therefore you have no idea how the hell did the story turned into a full on chilling slice of life.
2. You’ve not played the visual novel but you think this episode advanced the plot.
3. You’ve played the visual novel and therefore you see this as a fan service episode, knowing that it’s an alternate ending of the route.
This falls into the category of ‘rewarding those who’ve consumed the original source material’.
Fan service in a form of reference works too only if you’ve played the game.
J.C. Staff, A-1 Pictures and their full train of faithful adaptations
It’s their cue! About time.
I have just talked about how ufotable’s faithful adaption hurts the story as a whole. While we pray that they fix the issue within the studio, there has already been some others who did a stellar job at doing faithful adaptations.
Enter J.C Staff and a few of their notorious works… with huge amount of fan service in tow!
Wait what? How come Prison School was well accepted but not Amagi Brilliant Park? Let alone Foodgasm having been well received too?
Again, these are rewards for the people who have consumed original source material; both being manga. If you’re coming from that point of view then I’m not sure if you can even call any of the two anime above fan service anymore.
Prison School is also an R+ rated anime; you don’t need your parents to tell you whether to watch it or not because once you go in, you will never come out clean.
A-1 Pictures have a cargo load of these too!
However I’ll only talk about the one anime that’s still being criticized regarding fan service.
In real world it’s the consumer that lays expectations on products they wish to consume. Saekano‘s case is the opposite; the anime expects you to know many Otaku tropes and trivia beforehand to really enjoy it. This doesn’t really fall in the same category as the two J.C. Staff’s ecchi anime that I have listed above.
Ignoring the traditional ‘Episode 0’ for both seasons, this ecchi, Otaku friendly, comedy anime is surprisingly light in fan service compared to many others within the same genre. It’s almost safe to say that the services were nicely used to lift the comedy in this series. Overall Saekano is a reward for being an anime Otaku which is achievable without having to read the source material – light novel.
Finally, the bad and neutral are out of the way!
See you later in part 4 with the most overlooked goods of fan services!