(INSERT MANNOSUKE HERE)
And this is why looking at entries older than the Internet is bad for you.
This is not helped by the fact I’m, erm, playing Katawa Shoujo, approve of Strike Witches, and wonder if a good part of my youth was spent watching animated T&A, along with animated BLOOD AND GORE and only one episode of Eva (plus reading Love Hina and Negima) was worth the short time I’m spending writing this instead of reading Joel Bakan.
I have had a blast writing about the topic of fanservice in anime and (mostly because it’s one of those MOCK THE UNMOCKABLE moments) without flattening the fragile egos of your everyday Internet citizen. Not because I write in a manner that makes everyone laugh (or in this case, cringe with horror due to shoggoth sex) but uh, I just plain enjoy writing about it.
TO THE ARTICLE
It’s one of the most recognizable things about animé. Instead of being recognized as animation from Japan (since Studio Ghibli is pretty much above and beyond the scope of discussion), it has become synonymous with robots and porn. Partly due to the fact that during the period when anime was the hot in-thing, there was more animated porn, if anything, than the other stuff we see today, anything that gratuitously shows nubile female flesh gets stereotyped immediately. Queen’s Blade notwithstanding. I stand by the fact that it is softcore.
And since we tend to categorize everything we see, we fall into stereotyping and expectations. For people who want more from their entertainment, they are sorely disappointed when they see gratuitous pantyflashes and giant breasts (or lack thereof) instead of something “deep” and “engaging”. Also most of these people have seen Neon Genesis Evangelion, but that’s another kettle of fish. Or Feesh. Like LEETLE THEENGS.
And everyone complains about said fanservice, mostly without understanding a fair bit of Japanese Culture (or many, many visits to Cracked.com, which is obviously recommended), mostly because we tend to stereotype things and expect a lot out of our entertainment. Arguments about how TV rots the brain and is generally bad for you notwithstanding, it’s because we tend to either set too high a bar on entertainment or expect so little when it’s nothing but “harem” and girls.
Stereotyping isn’t all bad though. It allows us to expect some things, and when broken properly, it could develop into something a lot more wonderful. (I mean, who woulda thought Nekki Basara, being your typical SUPAA ROBO pilot,
be so hilariously wonderful as a character whose noble intentions are misunderstood by friend and foe alike? That’s proper deconstruction, folks, no need for whiny, horribly messed-up heros whose “crowning moment” is giving an unconscious girl BUKKAKKE.) But stereotyping can lead people into not discovering a lot of series, like Negima, which almost became a combination of Yu Yu Hakusho and FIST OF THE NORTH STAR with mages and kung-foolery. With LESBIANS.
I do have to agree that fanservice as a hook is horribly clichéd. Even when one understands why Japan loves it so much. Not mind-numbingly bad or anything, but horribly overused and people are getting tired of it. Then again, it could end up like ENDLESS EIGHT. DIFFERENT CUTS. DIFFERENT CAMERA ANGLES. DIFFERENT SWIMSUITS. SAME FUCKING EPISODE.
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