Lots of you have been curious, and in some cases incensed, about why I dislike fanservice so much in anime. Since it's been such a touchy subject for y'all, I thought I'd explain why I bring it up so often and have up to now marked down a show.
After reviewing anime regularly for a year now, I have understood that fanservice is intrinsic to modern anime. My issue with it is when it becomes gratuitious; when its presence is clunkily inserted with no rhyme or reason - it's just there. Why is this? Well, simple. Sex sells. Or more specifically - moe. The tropes that have become commonplace in recent years such as panty shots and rampant jiggles appeal to Japanese audiences and the otaku demographic. Couple this with the moe factor, the shrines/trinkets in otakus' abodes as well as the sheer number of sexually active series out there these days and you're left with little ambiguity as to where the studio's loyalties lie.
Also, remember that we're not the intended audience for anime. It may come over to western shores much quicker than it used to and in some cases at the same time, but the first people that get to see it as Japanese and Japanese tastes and customs must be addressed first and foremost. I have been placing western principles on material that wasn't initially meant for my culture's tastes and sensibilites so I have been overly harsh. However, this doesn't mean that I will forgive animators/writers for using it in places when they have no need to.
When you take what I've said above into account, you can spot when fanservice on the sexual level overstays its welcome more pragmatically. For example, I've just reviewed Freezing after tons of requests. This was most likely to provoke a reaction in me due to the content of the show which is quite sexually charged. Having known this, I stepped back and went into the show understanding that this show is R-rated so some instances of nudity could be overlooked as it's more adult in presentation. Once I did this, I could see when the unnecessary shots (such as random panty shots and lingering shots of the chest) appeared amongst the usual fayre in 16+ shows be they asian, western or otherwise. This review that will be screened in the next month will showcase how Anifile will adapt so you'll get my full opinion of Freezing then - but for now, I think it's good. Much better than I expected albeit brutal in some places.
I hope that explains why I've been so touchy about this trait in anime these days. Bill 156 is seeking to address this, but I'd rather anime clean up its own act without the need of legislation to do it. Freezing is for more mature audiences so its sexual content is less of an issue; what gets me is when shows like Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka resort to it when it's meant for younger teens, but hey this is Japan, not America. In Japan, violence is more controversial than sex whereas in America it's the other way around in terms of media content. This is intriguing since I'm in the middle of all this being British and pretty much desensitised to both sex and violence. XD