What is anime fan service?

“Fan service” is a complimentary service done for the fans, excluding the general public, rewarding those who have been long-time supporters or enthusiasts. Fan service does not mean sexy women.

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frjoethesecond849d ago

About time somebody said this. Good article.

I'd just like to add that the misappropriation comes from the word service. A loanword from English used in Japanese to refer to light erotic behaviour for the benefit of others. A girl wearing sexy lingerie for her boyfriend would be an example of 'service' in Japan.

In anime, many kinds of 'service' are used to appeal to 'fans' of different fetishes and draw more 'fans' to a series, hence the term "Fan Service" is used in English.

In Japanese you might have a sentence like this for example. "This is service for the flat chest fans". For this reason, I think 'Fan Service' isn't a bad way to refer to ecchi anime content.

tazmeah849d ago

Interesting. ESRB ratings work well for movies and video games. They say things like "M for Mature" or "Crude humor". The guide to their rating system is here:

We could use that, and be in agreement with everyone else — or if we wanted our own lingo — we can use the word you mentioned "Ecchi" or "Hentai".

But when we say "fan service" and it means something totally different from every other industry in the world, it leads to confusion. I did a lot of googling and found many people asking the question "What is anime fan service?" which is why I wrote this.

I wish everyone were into anime as much as me, but when I try to introduce a newcomer to anime and I have to explain all these new terms like ecchi and hentai and moe and shonen and fan service — which doesn't mean fan service — I think it turns them off.

Marow849d ago

Why would you have to introduce them to fan service-heavy anime, if I may ask? Wouldn't it be better to start with stuff without it? It's not weird if they get turned off.

tazmeah848d ago (Edited 848d ago )

@Marow, but I LOVE introducing people to fan service-heavy anime! Case in point, my friend just got into Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and he absolutely loves it. He's never been into RPG's before, so I was pretty excited. I told him, if he likes FFXIV:ARR, he might also like Sword Art Online since it pays homage to MMORPGs like FFXIV:ARR.

For that same reason, if any friend of mine were into bicycling, I'd recommend Yowapeda because I THINK it delves into real bicycling techniques and concepts. I'm not a bicycling enthusiast, so I don't know if the show is legit, but I still find it entertaining.

Finding fan service in an anime is definitely a useful tactic for giving recommendations.

@Thunder_God, Why do I love introducing friends to fan service-heavy anime? I love introducing friends to fan service-heavy anime because it appeals to their interests. Yowapeda has a lot of fan service for bicyclists so I love introducing Yowapeda to bicyclists because they're already interested in bicycling. (I have no more comments here so, feel free to comment on my website as much as you want or find me on twitter @shortpauseanime or my personal handle @tazmeah.)

Thunder_God848d ago

You told us you love doing so, and some of your friends enjoy it. You didn't tell us /why/.

Agent_hitman849d ago

Hello there otakus... I'm sorry that my profile pic can't be considered as a fan service.. Oh wait!, I think that's not the right word for it.

imXify849d ago

Another example of fan service outside of Jap animation.

Zuko's badass entrance in the Legend of Korra season 3 with a badass dragon! That was extremely rewarding for us fans! A character we haven't seen in an episodes for years and most likely the most loved one :D

Marow849d ago

Very odd article.

It is true that fan service is a much broader term than just ecchi (Super Smash Bros, for example, is the holy grail of Nintendo fan service), but it feels like the article tries to shrug off that type of fan service for... no reason at all. Because that is still a type of fan service, whether you like it or not.

Fan service means exactly what it sounds like: to please the fans. Whether that is in the form of nudity or fun references doesn't really matter in this context.

tazmeah848d ago

You're right about Super Smash Bros. being Nintendo fan service, and that's what I was saying. I agree with you; It's something to please the fans.

When I bought Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii, I was unstoppable with Ganondorf. He and I go back to my childhood days (even if his look has changed). The Fire Emblem folks though? I know nothing of them; I'm not a fan. Adding Ike and Marth to SSBB was fan service to Fire Emblem fans.

In my article, I was strictly speaking of film/video, however, especially as it pertains to anime. We could have gone into Music Industry fan service as well, but I thought it would have made a long story even longer, especially since the title was about anime.

Now, I love breasts as much as the next person, but that's the thing about breasts — who doesn't love them? When we see breasts on screen, nobody says, "Did you see that? Those were breasts. I bet you don't know about those. Being a longtime fan of breasts, myself, I can tell you all about them!" It would be kind of funny if I knew someone like that.

Excessive ecchi and the objectification of women in anime tends to get offensive, though, (especially in the western world) and I wouldn't call that a fan service.

Marow848d ago

So, in other words, you don't call nudity fan service because it doesn't fit your own definition of the term? Fan service doesn't need to be "pure". I don't think I can follow your line of thinking.