J_Faulkner wrote: Mr. Tines wrote:
Sailor Star Dust wrote:fan service is NOT just half-naked or fully naked girls running around or bouncing breasts
I should clarify that I was referring to fan-service of a sexual nature, as implied in the first post of this thread, although the broader meaning of fan-service is duly noted.
I will proceed to logically go through the replies in this thread sequentially, in my own time.
In that case I'll go and review your entire first post point by point>So, I've been reading a bit about Rebuild and it seems there is a fair bit of "fan-service" in the new films. This got me thinking about the whole issue of fan-service in Evangelion, about why it is such a stain on what otherwise could have been a much better series and set of films.
Eva's fan service is anything but gratuitous. In retrospect it's also pretty much damn vital that show that attacks very idea of anime itself contains very ideas of anime itself: out of these fanservice is anything but minor part.
This also should be mentioned (taken from "Four Revolutions of Anime" essay I've given link to elsewhere on this site):
Evangelion was a unified vision of a man who had a wealth of otaku information to draw from. As such, the anime resonated with fans in an unprecedented manner. While watching Eva, the fans saw elements of themselves (their hopes, fears, dreams, and fantasies) portrayed so honestly, and that was made possible because Anno was so much like them in so many ways. Gainax has long had an attitude of "If I were a 14 year old boy, what would I want to see in my anime?" Anno answered that question perfectly, and Evangelion contained the usual combination of giant robots, science fiction, action, teenage protagonists, a cute mascot, a catchy logo/slogan, and a healthy dose of sex appeal. The teaser at the end of each episode promised more fan "service" to the viewers, stuff that Anno knew viewers wanted to see--such as epic robot/monster action and its sexy main characters in revealing clothes/poses. But these are all fairly standard ingredients for your run-of-the-mill giant robot anime. What made Evangelion different and compelling? The simple answer is that it was just done so well. What that actually means, however, is a different story.
If there is such a thing as a postmodern aesthetic, one that is characterized by pastiche (cut and paste sampling of disparate elements) and self-aware irony, Anno mastered its use in Evangelion. Fans had come to expect a certain mix of elements in their anime, and Anno delivered, even more than anyone could have expected. In addition to putting familiar elements together in a way that fans (himself included) subconciously wanted and identified with, Anno went out of the box and brought in things you almost never see in mecha anime.
Without fanservice Eva wouldn't be honest to itself work. Without fanservice there wouldn't have been Anno's (in)famous "otaku trap" show ended up being.
>Now, scenes that have characters flaunting their sexual prominence are fine if they are somehow necessary for plot advancement. But when we come to Evangelion, we have all these scenes with characters revealing themselves for little reason other than to titillate the viewer, as a very cheap way of gaining popularity.
The one and only example of this that comes to my mind would be some delicious angles on Misato in very first eps and doing some GAINAX bounces (that legendary bounce makes its only appearance in show in these eps in fact!)... that's it.
>For example, we have Asuka messing around in the bathroom,
...what. Only example that comes to my mind is ep 22 I HATE EVERYONE MONOLOGUE. Which most certainly wasn't fanservice >Shinji walking in on Rei finishing a shower and then falling on top of her (what are the chances of that happening eh?),
Which is pretty damn iconic scene, formally marvelous to watch and not to mention it is extremely character defining moment. It's one of most iconic parts of early show and certainly not simply due to "dem boobies".>the pilots stripping naked together to do some hygiene tests or something,
OMG EPIC FANSERVICE
...wait what>Misato offering "fan-service" to viewers at the end of the episodes (unbelievable),
ever heard of "irony?" Don't forget they kept promising "saavicu saavicu" to the very end of the show when fans (eager for service) were trolled again and again. I remember the surreal experience/vibe it gave when I originally watched the show. It felt like mean and yet so very accurate mocking of whole industry towards the end: Anno promised fanservice while throwing out fandisservice as fast as he could.
>In fact, I'd go as far to say it wasn't even necessary to have a naked Rei in the EoE to get the underlying message across at the end.
...which is the very point in which I'm seriously starting to think you are paranoid about matter, not "offended mature adult" or whatever. You sound like of those guys who - seeing naked children in anime - instantly goes "OMG OMGOMGOMG PEDO FANSERVICE!!11!!!" despite the fact being ignorant about cultural connotations nudity has traditionally had in Japanese culture
(child nudity has been traditional way to describe/show their purity and innocence... very opposite of sexually tinted fanservice.
Nowadays of course there's genuine loli shows out there but overall this model of thinking showcases - simply put - only ignorance of one making the claim)>So what it boils down to is this: these scenes insult the intelligence of viewers like myself. As a mature adult, I don't need any gratuitous, revealing pictures of anime characters, especially teenagers.
I always get a bit edgy when one describes himself as "mature" or "intelligent" or whatever: maybe it's finnish thing, we're almost pathological in our self deprecating
Speaking of "fanservice and thematic substance and intelligence" and whatnot, make yourself familiar with Superflat
, art movement which wouldn't exist without NGE. End of Evangelion could be characterised as starting point of the whole movement.
So please, before you go on about how all nudity, sexual content etc. isn't there to serve thematical purpose make yourself familiar enough with the subject beforehand.
>These scenes at best disrupt the flow of the story and at worst clouds the underlying messages with a thick odorous stench.
You haven't given single example of either. Closest to such thing from things you cited would be scene in Ep 5 at Rei's apartment but it doesn't fit the bill either: it's of extreme importance for the plot, characterisation etc.
and it's damn fine piece of filmmaking, technically.
>They cheapen the characters and contribute towards their status as sex symbols in the eyes of some fans, something which I would say is a terrible tragedy.
I agree it is terribly sad you can buy Rei Ayanami sex dolls if you know the right places but such is the nature of the industry. It's not something e.g Anno is exactly happy about>To read about it in Rebuild is doubly disappointing because Anno no longer needed such gutter tactics to promote Rebuild, and furthermore, Evangelion is not about the characters offering their bodies for ogling eyes.
We're in no position to judge Rebuild just yet. Remembering how safe and familiar 1.0 was and how WTF 2.0 was in comparison its safe to say we got trolled once again by Anno & his gang, being lulled into false sense of security.
It must still be noted "fanservice" has always been core ingredient of anime as a whole (citing counterexamples doesn't change the fact majority of anime has fanservice in one form or another) as industry is very "cannibalistic" and self-referential.
There's one and only one scene in 2.0 in which I do think fanservice is horribly misplaced and downright
worthy but that's still just one scene. Knowing how Anno trolled everyone of us *again* further the movie went...
well, trolls be trolls, no matter what the decade.>Fan-service is a black mark on Evangelion.
Fanservice is quintessential building block of Neon Genesis Evangelion.