What do you feel about fan service?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Pierman Walter, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. Milennin

    Milennin "With a bang and a boom!" Veteran

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    Completely disagree. Plenty of media titles offer manservice, but it's simply ignored by people who are blinded by their "zOMG, the females are so sexualised!" statements. A classic example would be Dead or Alive, claiming it's just pure fanservice for the guys, completely ignoring the fact that the men in that game are just as sexualised as the females.


    The same goes for anime, such as when people say Fairy Tail is full of boobs and half-naked women, yet ignoring that a bunch of male characters frequently take off their clothes or have their clothes destroyed in combat, and on top of that, they all look ridiculously handsome. Then, there are shows that are full of manservice (such as DBZ and JoJo's), but nobody talks about it because it's taken as granted. Well, probably because most people who complain about inequality of fanservice seem to be guys themselves, so whenever they see a guy that would be considered handsome by a good portion of women, they overlook it and label it as 'it's just a guy'.


    Anyway, the nice thing about being games developer is that you can work on what you want to see in a videogame. If you want more fanservice directed towards women, there's nothing stopping you from making a game that has just that. Be the change you want to see.
     
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  2. TakaDynasty

    TakaDynasty Apologetic Lurker Veteran

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    Fanservice depends on two things above all:

    1. The character behind the image. Plenty of good games have fanservice in droves (Suikoden's bath scenes, for example). The trick, in my opinion, is to not use fanservice as the meat of characterization. What makes a character appealing in the light of fanservice is that it's a side of them you don't often get to see. An otherwise deep, well-written character in a moment of risque fun or bathhouse embarrassment. There's a place for "pure fanservice" games, but I feel they're a niche all their own, and require a specific tone. In terms of fanservice being an element of games in general, I think it's really important to use fanservice as a seasoning, rather than a main course. I guess you could say fanservice is like salt?



    2. Who your fans are. Different demographics have different tastes, and you'll never please everyone. So if a developer is gonna employ fanservice successfully, they can choose one of two paths: either throw in a little something for everyone, or focus their fanservice efforts on their target demographic. The stereotype for this is "early 20 males who like butts", and this is probably the primary reason fanservice has such a negative rap in general, but there are other possible demographics a game might be sold to. Japanese otome games, for example, lay on heavy fanservice for heterosexual women. Likewise, the fujoshi crowd is pandered to with steamy man-on-man action, as it were. And those games sell well within their niche.

    So in summary, I'm all for fanservice, as long as the developer knows what sort of place they want it to have in their game, and understands that characters need to be more than image for the fanservice to count.
     
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  3. Sharm

    Sharm Pixel Tile Artist Veteran

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    @Milennin I can see how it might be true in Fairytale, but FYI a lot of the things you're pointing out as female oriented fan service are actually male oriented wish fulfillment.  Not intended for girls at all.  Girls are wired differently though, a guy in a great tux is at least as sexy as a half dressed toned man (bulky muscle isn't a general attractor for the majority of women, most of us prefer slim and toned).  So our fanservice is going to look different.
     
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  4. Celianna

    Celianna Tileset artist Global Mod

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    @Milennin I think you're making the classic mistake of comparing topless buff male characters to sexualized female characters. You say Dead or Alive does the same for both genders, but when I googled it (I don't know the game), the results are 100% all female characters. That kind of throws a wrench in your theory that it goes both ways - it doesn't. There's an obvious gap between them.


    That's the fanservice targeting men gap.


    Fanservice for women looks a whoooooole lot different than what you say about Fairy Tail (fanservice for women isn't the equivalent of fanservice for men, while women also like bare chested male characters, they also like seeing their ship sail, or simply having their favourite pairing get more screentime). FT isn't targeting women with their fanservice - it's targeting men. So you've got big breasts on all the female characters (even Wendy when she grows up), they get the 'onsen episode' where they're all naked and groping each other, and Lucy just has to lose her clothes and be naked in almost every arc. Having bare chested men with abs is just the way the mangaka portrays his male characters as 'cool' and 'manly' (which is a different topic to discuss), but he doesn't do this as fanservice.


    Fanservice, in general, is catering to men by sexualizing their female characters. If it were equal - that women also get plenty of fanservice, people wouldn't have such an issue with it. But it's very much one sided, and it becomes a problem when female characters are reduced to how good their breasts bounce and how many panty shots they can shove in your face - lots of people get sick of that.


    Fanservice, right now, it's too heavily one sided and catered to men that it's impacting story and turning away women. I dislike it, it ruined Fairy Tail for me which was an otherwise fun manga to read.


    I much prefer fanservice that isn't about making characters sexy, but giving easter eggs to fans. An example would be how in Avatar The Last Airbender, the most popular fan coupling was Zuko/Katara. Because it wasn't canon, the creators decided to give the fans what they wanted in the sequel, The Legend of Korra, where Korra and Mako were supposed to represent Katara and Zuko, and they got into a brief relationship.
     
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  5. Pierman Walter

    Pierman Walter Chunk Monster Veteran

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    Bear in mind, fanservice targeted towards women can be overdone and terrible, too. For example, Black Butler's interesting premise and character motivations are often moved aside so that well-dressed men who seem focus-tested to be as conventionally attractive as possible can awkwardly flirt with each other. I'm sure someone out there enjoys that, the same way someone enjoys Eiken's horrifically flailing boobs. At some points, neither are watchable. 
     
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  6. Milennin

    Milennin "With a bang and a boom!" Veteran

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    Then blame Google search for not showing the male characters. (Yes, there are more female than male fighters, but not at a 100/0 ratio.

    Fairy Tail actually has lots of of 'ship-building' moments as well, so I don't see how it's not targeting women at all if that's what you want from a show. Yes, Lucy loses her clothes a lot, but so do Natsu and Gray. Most of the female cast looks sexy, but so does most of the male cast. There are a lots of scenes that have the favourite pairings get together and have their moment to shine. This is exactly what I mean by ignoring what you're getting, and instead focus on what you're not getting.


    But yes, you're right that, in the end, Fairy Tail falls under the shounen demographic, which means it's mainly aimed at male teenagers. What it doesn't mean is that it has nothing to offer for females. But if that isn't enough, there's always the shoujo genre.

    I don't know how you end up finding games or shows that reduce their female characters to nothing but bouncing breasts and showing panty shots, unless you're deliberately looking for it.

    Wish fulfilment as in making them as cool as possible? Female characters get that too, yet it's labelled as mindless fanservice. For example, Yoko from TTGL is a badass sniper who also happens to look sexy. Or Black Rock Shooter who kicks major ass while showing some skin as she does. Or to go back to Fairy Tail, Erza, who is arguably the coolest character in the show and also gets to show off her body once in a while.


    So, why is that when male characters are cool and awesome, it's simply wish fulfilment and thus don't fall under fanservice. But when it's female characters that are cool and awesome, it's all fanservice? That's what I don't get.
     
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  7. Celianna

    Celianna Tileset artist Global Mod

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    Because there's a large, LARGE history behind how female characters are treated in videogames. Remember how there wasn't even an option to play as a girl in the early Pokemon games? Yeah, there's a reason for that. Couldn't believe South Park got away with that either, but at least they added the option in their newest game.


    There's still a HUGE gap between the pandering to fanbases, and men are still the default. So female characters are still usually treated as fanservice objects. Having cool characters show off their bodies wouldn't be a huge deal if it didn't come with the history that female characters have, as well as the gap between fanservice.


    It's getting better with each year, especially with the anime Free being a whole fanservice anime, but it's not there yet.


    Quick example:




    Let's not kid ourselves and say it outright: those breasts - defying fabric logic - are fanservice, by sexualizing their cute female character. I'm pretty sure finding the equivalent of a male character having their penis shaped perfectly in their pants would be pretty hard to find.
     
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  8. Sharm

    Sharm Pixel Tile Artist Veteran

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    @Milennin  I think what you're missing is that female's definition of sexy and cool and male's definition of sexy and cool are different, not just for what men look like but also for what the girls look like.  For example, girls don't see enormous bust sizes as sexy, they see it as painful and actually kind of ugly.  Ugh, especially the bouncing stuff.  That stuff makes me actually hurt in sympathy.  I'm not saying that female fan service doesn't exist, just that it isn't as prevalent as stuff made for men.  Not by a long shot.


    I think I should point out that I don't necessarily think there should be more female slanted fanservice, I'm quite happy with where it's at actually.  I'd be happier if there was less of the male stuff.  Like Celi I had to quit watching Fairy Tail and a few other anime that I otherwise enjoyed because the "fanservice" was just too much for me and made me uncomfortable.


    Let me try explaining my point in a different way.  You've brought up lots of examples of male oriented fan service that make women uncomfortable enough to quit watching/playing/reading.  Can you come up with as many examples of female oriented fan service in a story/game that would otherwise be enjoyable to men that makes men uncomfortable like that?  Or any at all?
     
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  9. Diretooth

    Diretooth Lv. 23 Werewolf Veteran

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    I've honestly never noticed female fanservice, because mostly I don't know what it looks like. More often, I see gay males react more towards what's supposed to be female fanservice than actual females.


    I'd also like to mention, somewhat tentatively, that fetishes, to a certain extent, oftentimes play a role in fanservice. You don't have to have a huge ass or tits to get someone's rocks off. (Being sexually attracted to breasts and butts are forms of fetishes.) Sometimes it's something more subtle, dressing a character in all leather, or rubber, can be fetish fuel for some people. Pandering to these is also a form of fanservice, a huge one. You don't even have to be trying to do so. I bring this up because it's an often overlooked reality, which makes fanservice a more nebulous and difficult to pinpoint thing. Sure, you could eschew the boobs and butts to try to get rid of that fanservice and try for something less primal, but you have that character dressed too tight, or trapped somewhere with their hands tied behind their back, or even wearing a cape, someone will notice and go to town with it.
     
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  10. Pierman Walter

    Pierman Walter Chunk Monster Veteran

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    @SharmAs I've said before, Black Butler.










    It says a lot that unwatchable pandering like a guy putting on a corset, which is framed like a sex scene, in order to disguise as a cute girl so he can seduce another guy is considered to be a great part.


    Also, Makura no Danshi, an unintentionally terrifying anime with four minute episodes of hot guys lying in bed having a conversation with the viewer. The dialogue is written with pauses so that the viewer can say things back and pretend to talk to him.
     
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  11. Sharm

    Sharm Pixel Tile Artist Veteran

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    I've never seen Black Butler (nor do I intend to, it looks disturbing on many levels), so I can't comment on that, but it sounds like Makura no Danshi doesn't fit the "would otherwise enjoy" qualification.  It's really easy to find creepy stuff that's pandering to a niche market, that wasn't the point of what I was asking.  Like I said at the first, one of my big problems with fan service is how ubiquitous it is.  There are many, many mainstream shows and games and comics that do this to the extent of making me never try them or quit in the middle because they make me feel uncomfortable.  Not a "this is annoying I wish they'd stop" level but a "I hope to never get stuck somewhere alone with anyone who views women this way because I fear for how I'd be treated" level.  I don't have a problem with fan service of this level existing in things that are clearly intended for that kind of sexualized market, but when it's meant for a wider one, one that's meant to be played/viewed/read by women too, that's where it gets to be a problem.  For example, with Fairy Tail I could quite easily find an image of one of the girls that wouldn't be allowed to be posted here due to the rating limit.  Can't find that for the guys.
     
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  12. Aoi Ninami

    Aoi Ninami Veteran Veteran

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    Also, despite what the media repeatedly tell us, not all men are obsessed with enormous breasts either. I find them ugly and off-putting as well.
     
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  13. Celianna

    Celianna Tileset artist Global Mod

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    I don't know Black Butler either, but in the video I definitely see them treating this eyepatch person as a standard Uke, so I can imagine him being popular in yaoi depictions. But dressing up as a woman is pretty mild. The corset scene is the only part that's really uncomfortable and sexual. But I also see fanservice for men in the same video. Is the series full of these sexual depictions of this eyepatch person? Does it make you feel so disgusted that you stop watching the show because of how they treat the men in the show?
     

    Oh huh, I think that's based on a game, actually. Clearly this is targeted towards women - a step in the right direction when it comes to fanservice. This doesn't bridge the gap though, for every weird pillow talking boyfriend theme, there's ten more moe anime girls with bouncy breasts out there.
     
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  14. Diretooth

    Diretooth Lv. 23 Werewolf Veteran

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    Having seen Black Butler, and having enjoyed it, the scene where the boy, Ciel, the main character, dresses up as such to investigate strange goings-on. (I cannot recall the proper context, it's been a while since I watched it.) Is it fanservice? I don't know, I can't say for certain. However, I feel like the proper context isn't being given.


    That being said, different nations and different groups have different types of fanservice. Women dressed as maids is a fairly common one, and even within context it can be seen as somewhat titillating. Same with a woman wearing a kimono. Similarly, men wearing suits similar to what a butler would wear is also a similar type of fanservice, and can be seen in host clubs. (Which are typically found in Japan.) As for why I do not think the scene mentioned in Black Butler is particularly fanservice, Ciel encounters a rather horrifying reality when he's almost sold as a sex slave. It is very much not played for laughs, and has a purpose in the story beyond potential fanservice, and does not remain a one-of scenario in the show.


    (That also being said, Sebastian is definitely Mr. Fanservice. After all, he is one hell of a butler.)
     
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  15. Pierman Walter

    Pierman Walter Chunk Monster Veteran

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    The plot and conflict of Black Butler is centered on boys being emotionally and physically abused to the point where they sell their souls to a demon butler in their quest for revenge. A lot of what happens to them is incredibly messed up. One character became a child prostitute/slave to a nobleman and eventually replaced his son as heir. The main character himself is implied to have been molested by cultists. Sometimes these traits are played up in order to make them seem weak and reliant on their demon butlers, which I find disturbing. Although there are a lot of sexualised women in the series, none of them are subjected to the same level of degrading treatment. All of this would have a justification if the author was trying to portray a dark and dangerous atmosphere, but there are also a lot of "funny" segments where everyone hits on each other, which makes me wonder why the characters are interacting in the first place if this is all they are written as.


    Granted, most of this happens in the second season, which is fairly disliked, but it still got made.
     
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  16. Sharm

    Sharm Pixel Tile Artist Veteran

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    So . . . Black Butler is the female fan service equivalent of Kill-la-Kill?  I don't think that counts on either side then, because the intention is to make the viewer uncomfortable.  It's not really actually fan service.  The ones who are huge fans of either series because of the use of "fan service" for social commentary just shows how great people are at missing the point for their own amusement is all.  I don't think it says anything about the pros and cons or equality of fan service itself.
     
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  17. Diretooth

    Diretooth Lv. 23 Werewolf Veteran

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    In any case, while it does matter to a certain extent, we're starting to get off topic by fixating on Black Butler. Though, to be honest, season one was better, the second season was only added as fanservice and had a copout ending. I cannot argue against that.
     
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  18. HexMozart88

    HexMozart88 The Master of Random Garbage Veteran

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    Yes, end of the Black Butler discussion (I haven't watched it yet, I don't want any spoilers). 


    Anyway, I think this is more playing into gender stereotypes here. Men are supposed to all be attractive and accidentally-on purpose take off their shirts. Females are supposed to have ridiculous unsettling breasts and the man will always happen to walk in on her in the shower or see her in her bathing suit. People want waifus and husbands, we all get that, but seriously. Every single character shouldn't be attractive. Every single character doesn't need brief moments with their clothes off. And we certainly do not need all of the OTP fantasies to be fulfilled. Can't people have some decency and obsess over their waifu when they have their clothes on and not be stalkers and spend the whole season waiting for a stinking pantie shot, and accept that not everyone is going to fall in love just because they want it to happen? Seriously, I get it too, sometimes I get attached to my own characters and want to go a bit overboard, but I know what needs to be done in my story, so I stick to it. If people make requests, I'll consider them, but I won't change half the story to fit people's needs. 
     
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  19. richter_h

    richter_h Eh? Sweetroll? Veteran

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    Fanservice, eh?


    It's more like playing your card at the right place and right moment. Heard some people fancy kinky things and once they find it, they're aroused or in lesser extent, amused. Sadly fanservices I've found so far are based on romantic (or sexual which is even better) preferences rather than generic or platonic ones. Maybe the term 'fanservice' has its meaning shifted. Whether it's strips or ships, people who enjoy some sort of entertainment demand something in it, and I admittedly enjoy it as well, some in games, some in shows. Heck, it's one's fantasy after all...


    Inappropriate fanservices in mass amount, however, will ruin the whole setting like spoiled milk; not only it looks bad, it'll stir your stomach to the extent you have to not touch it for weeks because you got stomach cramps. Still enjoyable, though, in context of cringe galore and comedic purposes instead of lavish lust fest. As for this, I'd suggest to not google something like 'keijo!'. I'd warned you.


    Well, fanservices are still viable in stories, as it also will define the characters and make them to have more... characteristics. How one character interacts with others, what are their appeals of choice, the situations in one scene; there are reasons behind the characters, settings and such, because one of the reasons is to please the audience so they can enjoy the ride till the end.
     
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  20. noctiluca

    noctiluca Veteran Veteran

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    Well I'm kind of guilty of liking some "man service" since I have, among other things, a glorious half-naked figure of Dio from JJBA perched on my desk at all times. ;) But it's really unique cases and not a clear pattern I have.


    It's sometimes hard to put things into clear-cut categories of "appeals to men" and "appeals to women" because obviously everyone has their own preferences when it comes to this stuff, but there's overall WAY less stuff aimed toward women, because a lot of the people producing that kind of content (ie. men) have no idea who they are trying to appeal to. Women weren't even considered part of the market until recent years. So it isn't as easy as incorporating the decades-old lazy marketing trick of putting a young busty woman in a bikini, or flashing the heroine's panties and cashing in on it (because face it, in typical fanservice you will constantly see the same handful of tropes repeated ad nauseum, and outside of hardcore fans everyone, man or woman, is tired of them).


    Because of that, I personally think fanservice (of the "sex sells" variety) to be extremely cheap and eyeroll-worthy (I admit I liked Kill La Kill and Mako was my fav character even, but they managed to make it very entertaining). It isn't sexy, it's creatively bankrupt, and a parody of a parody at this point. But it's so entrenched among otaku culture that a lot of people don't even know how to avoid it whether it's in impractical/exaggerated character designs, a crappy recurring joke, etc. usually at the expense of female characters.


    Confession time, the trashiest show I've ever seen all the way through was Chu-bra. The premise sounded so #$%^ing stupid it made me curious, and I was bedridden with the flu at the time, so that's my excuse. It pretty much encapsulates everything I hate about anime and "moe" style. Don't get me wrong though, there is so much I hate about the fanservice targeted toward women too. I enjoy a good reverse harem (I freaking love Ruby Party otome games) but a lot of women-targeted stuff fetishizes particularly unhealthy and rapey relationships between men (often times a man and a boy) which is just so... weird...


    I am all for sexy though, when creators actually know how to make it work. Revolutionary Girl Utena is a very sexual show where it really works well, it's so artistic and cerebral (I'm very biased since it's my favorite anime). Most of the fanbase for that show is female, though, and it also fell into the trap where it depicts an abusive relationship between males and many fans refused to even see it for what it was because they wanted to ogle and the art made it pretty.


    Catherine is an example of a game where they did a great job (Catherine > Katherine! lol)


    The major thing that stands out about those two examples is that the female characters are actually given wants and desires, instead of being innocent untouched maidens who never have love interests, yet constantly find themselves bursting out of their bodices and accidentally sitting on people's faces. I'm not going to intentionally make my characters unattractive, but I'm at least going to write them as if they were people :p
     
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