Now, we are onto the good stuff (not that the previous part was of bad things). Before we go I’d like to share some thoughts on morals and what they have to do with fan service, if they do at all.
People tend to overlook good doings since most of them are considered normal/neutral. Good deeds do not stack up either since that leads to exponential increase in expectations on the individual. Wrongdoings, or what many would love to call it sins on the other hand, are so easy to commit and unlike good deeds, they literally stack up and will be used against you whenever it is convenient. Let me be even more ‘real’ and put these to use in a real life scenario…
See that ass kicking beautiful girl in your grade? Straight A’s, getting along with everybody and a teacher’s pet? She probably masturbates more often than you’d know. While you may be able to guess, you cannot outright call her out for wanking because you have not seen her doing it with your own eyes. But what if you actually did and on top of that, have concrete evidence? This is where it gets extremely messy because:
1. You’ve stained her image permanently.
2. Regardless of method, you’ve managed to get an evidence of a school girl wanking? You sick fuck. There goes your image too.
Before you come at me for talking about masturbation as if it’s a bad thing; it’s not a bad thing but while you’re a young student it is expected that you keep it all clean.
I’m only using a female for this example since you know it’s much more likely the case if this was a male. You only have the society to thank.
Okay now, getting back to the idea of fan service and where morals lie on. Thankfully Japan has a society where feminists are thrown out of the window of thoughts. Any sexual reference to the female body is usually treated as a joke (and you wonder about the decline in birth rates there). In relation to fan service in anime, sexually explicit content is hardly a bad thing over there but the best and most overlooked ones are without any while staying within a context. They are overlooked mostly because they require some sort of (background) knowledge and more importantly, your attention (to details). You’ll see what I mean really soon.
Back to the beginning
Taking the time machine and heading back to the earliest days of fan service. No. It’s not in anime but rather in theater plays. Just think about it, how many ways can a play do you, the fan, a service?
Let’s count a few of those.
Simple yet effective form of fan service. Things like abridged series really don’t count due to the fact that they are not done within the anime but after its existence. One thing that does count is this:
Episode 18 preview of Re:Zero
Here’s the rough translation.
Subaru: Now, the story is about to hit the climax. Let’s make a preview for next episode, Emilia-tan!
Emilia: Ku-ku-ku. This preview is where this world chose to destine and I have long awaited for this moment.
Emilia: My name is Emilia, a half-elf spirit user and one of the royal selection candidate.
Subaru: Emilia-tan? What’s all the sudden, Emilia-tan? What happened, Emilia-tan?
Emilia: Because of this overwhelming power, I’ve been mistakenly treated as if I was possessing witch’s forbidden power… Do you want it?
If you do then prepare to walk with me into the endless abyss.
Subaru: THAT IS WRONG, SO WRONG, EMILIA-TAN! THAT IS WRONG IN MANY WAYS, EMILIA-TAN!
Emilia: Next episode, “From Zero”. EXPLO—
Subaru: I WON’T LET YOU!
Yep. You heard Megumin doing the preview for Re:Zero.
It will take you to know Megumin from KonoSuba to actually get this reference and more importantly, your attention since it’s an episode preview. Only a handful of people actually look at an episode preview. The next show in line isn’t directly an anime fan service but acts as a bonus.
In this case, not really because Takahashi Rie is just having fun being a chuuni with her character. It’s not impersonation if it’s her character! What makes this a service however is her effort to do all of this.
Who the hell cosplay to work? Actually I would If I’m getting paid to do so!
If you check out other KonoSuba advertisement videos you’ll see that it’s only her (out of the entire cast) that’s cosplaying and therefore this puts her effort to the service side.
KonoSuba game, based on Capcom’s Megaman playstyle.
Skip to 7th minute to watch Takahashi-san play the game and get wrecked by Megumin’s awesomeness!
Whatever happened to the fourth wall?
The early plays have involved audience interaction. Skip a few centuries and you have anime that talks to you.
While this one does not, it brings in a shit ton of references with 4th wall breakages here and there.
Osomatsu-san (2014) episode 1
The King of Fan Service
You really think that I’d finish up this post without mentioning the name that racks more top spots in ratings than anything else? I couldn’t put it in the parody, impersonations or even fourth wall breaking sections because it does all of that!
Enter Gintama the silver testes.
While I can spare a few essays for the series, I’ll just leave the proof of fan service here so you can see them for yourself.
First up we have ‘what if Shirobako was an unfinished work‘.
And you think that Shirobako is a masterpiece, Gintama will have you know that they’ve been doing this long before!
Next up we have a fail.
Huh? It’s just an opening for an anime?
Oh right, sorry. Try this and see what could happen if you do the same thing 23 times in a row.
Gintama is a shounen and it won’t live by without ripping the shit out of another shounen! There’s a deep, important message hidden in this video too.
Don’t you love it when a less than two minute parody rips the truth about how anime character designs today, especially their ‘traits’, are so poorly done?
Staff at Gintama do live by this message, “If you’re gonna steal, steal proudly and confidently.”
Luckily, this only scratches the very surface of what I’d call Fan Service Dream.
To make a good comedy in general
Characters play a vital role in comedies. Even with the lack of vocal lines, you still end up occasionally laughing at Tom and Jerry, right?
By adding vocals to comedy, it can only end up better or worse. Thankfully for Gintama’s case, it’s a hell lot better!
If you think the VA’s in KonoSuba had fun doing their job, can you imagine how much fun the VA’s in Gintama had?
Watch Gintama VA’s in Harematsuri (matsuri = festival) 2016
Watch the rest too if you manage all the 9 parts, haha!
Also notice that they are cosplaying as characters that they voice!
Fanboying over here: Omg, Kugimiya Rie truly is the tsundere queen, cute af. espcially on the last part!
Honestly I’ve been more excited to write about this part more than all of the previous ones. Unfortunately for me, good things are only being overlooked and when seen, they don’t need a lot of explanation; they’ll just do their thing and you’ll simply go ‘oh my God, my sides!’. This leaves me not much to write about.
Until then, see you in the next post ^_^