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Tag Archives: fanservice

How much is too much?

I’m a fan of fanservice, let that never be denied, but there’s a little (okay, a lot) bit wrong with fanservice as a bunch of pantsu-shots and a pan up from a girl’s chest and the enjoyment or hatred thereof. It’s an art; it’s all about where you look, and it’s done wrong if it’s all you see.

Now, I’m going to sound like I’m whining for a second, but maybe just a few too many anime per season have pantsu-type fanservice as their main focus rather than the characters themselves recently.

I’d say that that’s wrong, but, as with the camera, it’s about where the viewer focuses that changes the picture kaleidoscopically.

Example: K-on!, as much as I love the moé-blob that it is, is simply not about the characters for me. It’s about the moé, another type of fanservice. For once, stop thinking of Yui or Mio (I know it’s hard) and think about what you actually draw from the anime…. you hear that? It’s the sound of a cricket outside my window (very literally, actually). It’s the sound of your eyes focusing on characteristics rather than characters or plot, on sugar rather than seasoning. It’s the sound of eyes glazing over and thinking about how the characters act, which is a totally Japanese fixation that you’ve, sadly, now been diagnosed with.

Now for the opposite: my sister doesn’t get the moé at all. She just likes the songs and the instruments. So when she asks me to watch it with her, it’s a different experience because she’s in the room.

Anyway, this action of fanservice not necessarily being fanservice boils down to a simple question: what do we get from it?

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A nice woodblock print, don't you agree?

Some links may not be safe for work, though all are tasteful, and reading the post itself will, of course, be fine for your health.

Recently, I’ve had some experience with Asian cinema that have led me to believe that the whole establishment has something to it. Influenced by postmodern views on the meaning of story and plot, the films have turned an eye inward and seriously examined themselves as singular works before considering what the audience wants as American films are wont to do.

Further than anime, which has intrinsic value as entertainment even when I’m just watching something more fanservicey than deep, and some Chinese action flicks, before recently I’ve found most Asian films to be, well, rather trite. However, my experience with Oldboy, as mentioned a couple of posts ago, started a sort of butterfly effect that ended with my downloading about seven Korean films and one Taiwanese film to round it off a bit and make it a nice, even number.

You’d think that, living in Japan at the moment, I’d have downloaded a couple of Japanese films.

That’s not the case. In fact, I’d venture to say that Japanese films, single-handedly, had turned me against the vast majority of Asian cinema by virtue of being the pithy works I referred to earlier. As a matter of preference, these campy films, interestingly so influenced by anime as a genre, have failed to capture my imagination in an inexplicable manner. Read More »