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Old 2013-01-12, 06:15   Link #106
Sol Falling
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Age: 29
Originally Posted by Traece View Post
I suspect most people these days will find fanservice to be very distracting and unnecessary. It obviously serves no purpose except behind the fourth wall.
My personal stance on fanservice goes quite a bit beyond "distracting" or "unnecessary". Anime is an media art form, it is constructed, everything is drawn with at least one person's intentions in mind. Everything in a work of media art is communication, there is nothing which serves any purpose except behind the fourth wall.

In anime, just as any other element, there is "good fanservice" and "bad fanservice", which are both always fully intentional and can therefore never be called simply "unnecessary". Good fanservice (by my definition) is the kind which positively celebrates female sexuality, as a natural part of life which brings universal joy to people, whereas bad fanservice is the derogatory stuff of power fantasies, which objectifies women into mere sexual tools for others' pleasure. Regardless of the context, because of the intentions, I am always able to consciously appreciate and celebrate the former kind of fanservice, whereas I flat out condemn and disapprove of the latter.

However, before that I find any attitude which completely rejects sexuality pretentious, unnatural, and ridiculous. It is incredibly closed-minded to assume that any work with sexual fanservice is automatically devoid of artistic merit. Despite my sizeable concerns with a great deal of the sexuality in the anime industry today, I must object to any attitude which lumps all fanservice in that way together.

It annoys me to see all of these action anime coming out and they're full of fanservice. I hated Highschool of the Dead for that reason, because all it was was fanservice and girls with unrealistic bust sizes slaying zombies. Sure, it's entertaining to some people, but not to critics and not to vocal viewers. The worst thing about it is that it hurts the characters and by doing so it diminishes the quality of the anime overall. The more pointless fanservice I see of a character the less I care about that character, and by that I also care less about what I'm watching. When fanservice shots are a huge part of an anime it becomes an anime centered around a gimmick, which is a fantastic indication that I'm watching something that was intended to get sales and not ratings. I don't want to watch anime pandering to the masses of people that like copious amounts of fanservice. I want to watch quality entertainment.
And so here is the particular case of Highschool of the Dead. While I can hardly defend all of its excesses, in the end I found HotD in fact to be a much more worthy story than most people, even its fans, gave it credit for. Beyond the perhaps standard zombie apocalypse theme of the collapse of human society/moral inhibitions of the world at large, above all what Highschool of the Dead is is a very competent telling of the end of normality, the loss of innocence, and the burning will to live. While it was not always executed with this level of awareness and did unfortunately fall back occasionally into brainless gratuity, those themes where in fact present on an artistic level even in some of the scenes most dripping with sensuality.

Writing HotD off as a cheap brainless cash grab is a disservice to the work of its authors. While I could never quite defend it as high art, it has its own proper integrity as a meaningful story.
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