Issues with “Fanservice” (Part 3)

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Some people tend to get so caught up in how a character looks (portrayed through design and cinematography) that they overlook what’s truly important: their personality and actions. A lot of assumptions can be made of a creator based off of, well, what they create. While some things may very clearly feel like they were meant for some sort of purpose (like gratuitous titillation), these assumptions cannot become anything more than that without an overt, conscious admittance from the people who made it themselves. Not to mention that it would need to be taken to the Nth degree for a creator to actually confess to propagating some sort of negative world view through their work, thereby justifying any belief that there was wrongdoing involved in the making of any particular piece of art. Continue reading

Gratuitous Titillation: Issues with “Fanservice” (Part 2)

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“Fanservice” is a term that quite frankly is a bit annoying to me in the sense that it, much like the term “feminism”, covers a broad spectrum of ideas that over the years have become so warped it undermines any precise definition, ending up just being commonly tossed around as a meaningless pejorative by simpletons. Feminism, when stripped down to the heart of the matter, is just the idea that women deserve the same economic, political, personal, and societal privileges as men, and in that sense I think any human with a shred of decency and intelligence could agree with that. However, that definition has been clouded by incessant criticism of female portrayal in any kind of entertainment, to which I respond:

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Gratuitous Titillation: Issues with “Fanservice” (Part 1)

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Fanservice is a word that gets thrown around a lot these days in the anime and manga industry, and many are quick to either defend or castigate it when depicted in one specific form: Gratuitous titillation. Usually synonymous with “beach episodes” in slice of life shows, as well as any other needless portrayal of primarily female bodies, gratuitous titillation is often a target of disgust for a handful of reasons. While I can see merit in some of these views, I mostly believe that fanservice and gratuitous titillation are okay, in a loose sense. One reason for that is because fanservice is a very broad term, one that often gets misconstrued as just “giving the fans what they want”. Another reason would be that something being unnecessary does not have to equate to being undeserving to exist. And then there’s the whole “objectification” debate that tends to come hand in hand with gratuitous titillation. Before I jump into all this however, I’d like to bring to attention that most of what you are about to read will focus on gratuitous titillation alone rather than fanservice as a whole, because like I said earlier, “fanservice is a very broad term”. Also, I realize there are other terms I can substitute for “gratuitous titillation”, such as: “needless arousal” or “superfluous stimulation”. I just think “gratuitous titillation” is a fun phrase, and I’m going to keep saying it. Continue reading