Fan-service - A Black Mark on Evangelion

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Postby Xard » Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:17 pm

NemZ wrote:I'm at a total loss as to how vague similarities to real planes counts as fanservice. I thought the whole idea of Strike Witches was a sort of WW2 pastiche from the beginning, making such visual references appropriate rather than just there for the hell of it.


This kind of geekism is enormous fanservice, at least in Japan. Animes are full of these kind of little quirks that are essentially there because fans liked them. It's really quite common to have these kind of things in scifi oriented/history/whatever oriented shows.

I don't know how good example Strike Witches is though...

I guess the fanservice in this context comes from "spot the reference!" kind of rewarding :wink:

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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:35 pm

Xard wrote:I guess the fanservice in this context comes from "spot the reference!" kind of rewarding :wink:
Wouldn't that make shows like Family Guys full of "fan service" too, if we're talking about playing the game of "spot the reference"?
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Postby esselfortium » Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:40 pm

Perhaps, yes. And they are about as rewarding as any pure-fanservice anime series. (This meaning "not very".)

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Postby Merridian » Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:48 pm

J_Faulkner wrote: Dragonball, despite having a stupefying number of episodes, rarely has fan-service
This isn’t a major thing, but Dragonball had a LOT of fanservice. Once it switched over to DBZ that kinda disappeared a bit, but the first 100/so eps with kid-Goku & co were full of Bulma’s panties & li’l Chi-Chi parading around in a costume that’d make Xena jealous. Dragonball was also originally marketed at an older demographic than what it was aimed at during the Americanized run, roughtly late teens & up IIRC, so the fanservice kinda made sense, but regardless of that there was still a solid adventure story underneath it all. The adventure outlived the fanservice appeal anyway IMO.
Xard wrote: Also, if Eva had been like Grave of the Fireflies or Patlabor it wouldn't have had what made Eva so special: Eva was unique in that it is first anime-anime to truly turn anime into artform. Ghibli's works are very distant indeed from anime as a "genre" while technically being anime
THIS. It was an “Otaku-anime” that assaulted “Otaku-dom” and “Otaku-anime” both; without that fanservice, there would have been no critique in this regard. NGE wouldn’t have been as important.
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J_Faulkner wrote: Ninja Scroll has a big fucking monster raping a ninja woman, but that was used to advance the plot;
See, I see a film like Ninja Scroll as little more than an entire film dedicated to tasteless fan-service. Granted, it has superb animation but in its case violence is an equally potent fan-service substitute for sex (which there's that, too).
I pretty much agree with Jimbo here. I love Ninja Scroll, but that along with other things from that director (like Wicked City & Biohunter, both of which are badass & awesome :w00t:) are still catering to a specific audience’s wants—only in this case it isn’t jiggling school girl breasts but horrific tentacle monsters & gore & body horror. Contrast this with, say, Oshii’s Ghost in the Shell—in which Kusanagi runs around nekkid for most of the film—and there’s a very different reaction. Kusanagi’s naked because that just makes sense in GitS—cyborg body + optic camouflage kinda makes wearable optic camouflage redundant. Besides that, Oshii’s film is played for atmospheric & ‘intellectual’ merits, rather that shock-o-rama stuff that Ninja Scroll is more related to.
Jimbo wrote: Wouldn't that make shows like Family Guys full of "fan service" too, if we're talking about playing the game of "spot the reference"?
I guess Pete whatsisface running over Kurt Vonnegut & confusing him for Dean Koontz counts… sorta. This kinda spot-the-reference is usually aimed at niche things that already have followings, not just random quips from pop-culture. WWII-plane spotting counts, referencing a Brittney Spears song not so much. A few pages back Tines mentioned Lain’s referencing “trivia-style fanservice for the conspiracy mavens”, for instance, and I definitely agree with him. I think this is more saying X-Files and Star Trek have fanservice vs. Family Guy and Robot Chicken have brief quips that border on fanservice.

GAHHH I dunno, this is splitting so many hairs that it's sorta irrelevant anyway. >_<

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Postby Xard » Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:49 pm

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
QFMFT


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,

[URL=http://img13.imageshack.us/my.php?image=evaepicfanservice.png]Image[/URL]

OMG EPIC FANSERVICE :fap:

...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 :tongue:

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 :facepalm: 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.

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Postby Xard » Fri Dec 18, 2009 8:05 pm

Merridian wrote:
honsou wrote: Fan-service is just a part of Anime.
:ehh: That’s like saying explosions are just part of movies. Not all anime has fan-service—Miyazaki and (most of) Oshii’s material completely lacks it, and shows like Serial Experiments Lain tone it down to the point of being almost imperceptible. I think it depends more on what the intended audience is in order to determine whether the anime has fan-service or not.


I must also pick on this: most of Oshii's moves are quite damn fetish fuel for himself, especially GitS's and especially GitS 2. Because I'm too tired to go into tl;dr about bizarre military fetishism and Motoko's "oh look I'm nekkid" camosuits I just drop this here and say Miyazaki's "accusation" doesn't come out of nowhere :tongue:

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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Fri Dec 18, 2009 8:07 pm

^ comic; It made me lol. Though they probably should've changed the line to "anime director". Hard to top Koreeda for best Japanese director right now... well, I guess a case could be made for Miyazaki, but it would be close.

Xard wrote: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.
And even here, Shinji's level of discomfort and awkwardness is as much a focal point as Misato's sexuality, and Misato's displays of sexuality are part of the foreshadowing of her character towards the end of the series (not to mention the line "It's not like I'm going to put the moves on the kid").

Xard wrote:OMG EPIC FANSERVICE :fap:

...wait what
I don't really get that example either... Are really going down the path to suggest that ALL nudity is fan-service even when there's clearly nothing sexual about it?

Xard wrote:(child nudity has been traditional way to describe/show their purity and innocence... very opposite of sexually tinted fanservice.
QFT. There's a vast difference between the photography of Jock Sturges or David Hamilton and *people like the perverts on To Catch a Predator.

*Changed from Pete Townsend since that doesn't apply.

Xard wrote: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.
JF hasn't seen Rebuild, FYI.
Last edited by Eva Yojimbo on Fri Dec 18, 2009 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Xard » Fri Dec 18, 2009 8:17 pm

Eva Yojimbo wrote:^ comic; It made me lol. Though they probably should've changed the line to "anime director". Hard to top Koreeda for best Japanese director right now... well, I guess a case could be made for Miyazaki, but it would be close.


I can put the rest up if you want: "Con where anime died" is bloody hilarious and one of best doujins ever (certainly best western one) :lol:

oh, and it's Miyazaki :tongue:

Eva Yojimbo wrote:
Xard wrote: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.
And even here, Shinji's level of discomfort and awkwardness is as much a focal point as Misato's sexuality, and Misato's displays of sexuality are part of the foreshadowing of her character towards the end of the series (not to mention the line "It's not like I'm going to put the moves on the kid").


I know, I always got that vibe too but decided it might be best to give in somewhere. ;)

Essentially I agree, but this is more debatable than other examples :)

Eva Yojimbo wrote:
Xard wrote:OMG EPIC FANSERVICE :fap:

...wait what
I don't really get that example either... Are really going down the path to suggest that ALL nudity is fan-service even when there's clearly nothing sexual about it?


And even if there is something sexual about it it doesn't mean its fanservice. One who first goes on about "lo Rei&Shinji has sex0rz in LCL ocean" gets punched.

Eva Yojimbo wrote:
Xard wrote:(child nudity has been traditional way to describe/show their purity and innocence... very opposite of sexually tinted fanservice.
QFT. There's a vast difference between the photography of Jock Sturges or David Hamilton and the stuff that Pete Townsend was caught having on his computer, eg.


Yeah, albeit I was specifically referring to Japanese tradition instead of 19th Century (albeit I don't know about Sturges & Hamilton, they might be modern photogrpahers for all I know) child photography because IIRC there's some kind of minor cultural differences. meh, whatever...

And just to clear this up before someone goes "OMG TOWNSEND IS PEDO": he isn't. Or to quote wiki:

As part of the Operation Ore investigations, Townshend was cautioned by the police in 2003 after acknowledging a credit card access in 1999 to the Landslide website alleged to advertise child pornography.[25][26][27] He stated in the press and on his website that he had been engaged in research for A Different Bomb (a now-abandoned book based on an anti-child pornography essay published on his website in January 2002) and his autobiography, and as part of a campaign against child pornography.[28] The police searched his house and confiscated 14 computers and other materials, and after a four-month forensic investigation confirmed that they had found no evidence of child abuse images. Consequently, the police offered a caution rather than pressing charges, issuing a statement: "After four months of investigation by officers from Scotland Yard's child protection group, it was established that Mr Townshend was not in possession of any downloaded child abuse images." In a statement issued by his solicitor, Townshend said, "I accept that I was wrong to access this site, and that by doing so, I broke the law, and I have accepted the caution that the police have given me."[29] As a statutory consequence of accepting the caution, Townshend was entered on the Violent and Sex Offender Register for five years.[30][31]


Eva Yojimbo wrote:
Xard wrote: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.
JF hasn't seen Rebuild, FYI.


He gave off the impression he's been reading dem spoilers

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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Fri Dec 18, 2009 8:29 pm

Xard wrote:I can put the rest up if you want: "Con where anime died" is bloody hilarious and one of best doujins ever (certainly best western one)
Probably best to post it in a new thread somewhere or PM me.

Xard wrote:Essentially I agree, but this is more debatable than other examples
If we looked at it on a spectrum it's certainly possible for certain scenes to be in a large degree a classic example of fan-service but also containing subtext relevant to other areas of the work.

Xard wrote:One who first goes on about "lo Rei&Shinji has sex0rz in LCL ocean" gets punched.
True: "Instrumentality as mass orgy" portrayed as "sex between Rei & Shinji" just makes visual sense.

Xard wrote:I was specifically referring to Japanese tradition instead of 19th Century (albeit I don't know about Sturges & Hamilton, they might be modern photogrpahers for all I know) child photography because IIRC there's some kind of minor cultural differences.
Jock Sturges and David Hamilton are (fairly modern) photographers who are famous for their artistic work with adolescents; the latter is one of the most famous in the world. I guess it was a bad analogy though since Townsend isn't the pervert he got reported to be in the press... Just replace him with whatever no-name from To Catch a Predator. I know you were making a cultural point but I was just adding that a similar idea can apply in the west as well.
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Postby Xard » Fri Dec 18, 2009 8:33 pm

Eva Yojimbo wrote:
Xard wrote:I can put the rest up if you want: "Con where anime died" is bloody hilarious and one of best doujins ever (certainly best western one)
Probably best to post it in a new thread somewhere or PM me.


I'll send pm on sunday - I'm propably completely AFK tomorrow and I'm going to sleep now...

Eva Yojimbo wrote:
Xard wrote:Essentially I agree, but this is more debatable than other examples
If we looked at it on a spectrum it's certainly possible for certain scenes to be in a large degree a classic example of fan-service but also containing subtext relevant to other areas of the work.


True: I guess I should've worded it more carefully akin that in these early eps the "subtext" is of lesser importance in comparsion to others :wink:

meh, I really have no reason to argue about this as I essentially agree.

Eva Yojimbo wrote:
Xard wrote:I was specifically referring to Japanese tradition instead of 19th Century (albeit I don't know about Sturges & Hamilton, they might be modern photogrpahers for all I know) child photography because IIRC there's some kind of minor cultural differences.
Jock Sturges and David Hamilton are (fairly modern) photographers who are famous for their artistic work with adolescents; the latter is one of the most famous in the world. I guess it was a bad analogy though since Townsend isn't the pervert he got reported to be in the press... Just replace him with whatever no-name from To Catch a Predator. I know you were making a cultural point but I was just adding that a similar idea can apply in the west as well.


Well, I'm always happy to learn something new :)

(and yeah, Townsend was bad example and I just had to do "damage control" immeaditly)

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Postby Merridian » Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:11 pm

Xard wrote: I can put the rest up if you want: "Con where anime died" is bloody hilarious and one of best doujins ever (certainly best western one) :lol:
DO IT! christ that was hilarious! :hitthetable:

Xard wrote:I must also pick on this: most of Oshii's moves are quite damn fetish fuel for himself, especially GitS's and especially GitS 2. Because I'm too tired to go into tl;dr about bizarre military fetishism and Motoko's "oh look I'm nekkid" camosuits I just drop this here and say Miyazaki's "accusation" doesn't come out of nowhere
Oh I fully understand this, but I guess my point is that this sorta fits in with that "Lain has fanservice in form of conspiracy theory references etc." rather than OTT school girl gainax boingies. Yeah, slobbering over a "seburo bullpup whateverthefuck" is as masturbatory as slobbering over teh nekkid Narusegawa (as is ostensibly quoting philosophy textbooks, koans, and folk tales), but I guess this sort of fanservice could be construed as slightly more "intelligent" to anyone who wanted to bother understanding the quotes. Maybe not all the gun-talk, but the philosophy quips from GitS2, as much as they were jilting & disorienting, still made me wonder just where the hell Oshii picked 'em up from (some I knew, some were completely out from left field).

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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:16 pm

Xard wrote:There's one and only one scene in 2.0 in which I do think fanservice is horribly misplaced and downright :facepalm: 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.


Actually if we're thinking of the same scene, I personally believe it has thematic/metaphorical importance and isn't just a fan service troll-job, but that's a topic for another thread.

Excellent points by both you and Yojimbo btw. :asuka_thumbsup:

Oh, and can you PM a link to Con Where Anime Died too? I had it at one point but lost it along the way. >_<
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Postby NemZ » Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:07 pm

I'm starting to think "fanservice" is really just defined as whatever elements of a series or movie you don't like. That's the only common thread I'm seeing at all in what some people are claiming is a form of fanservice.
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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Sat Dec 19, 2009 2:55 am

NemZ wrote:I'm starting to think "fanservice" is really just defined as whatever elements of a series or movie you don't like. That's the only common thread I'm seeing at all in what some people are claiming is a form of fanservice.
JF defined it as the sexual elements in the show that are only there to satisfy fans. I find there are actually very few (if any) of these in NGE.
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Postby AuraTwilight » Sat Dec 19, 2009 2:45 pm

So basically the topic creator is a pathological prude who thinks any form of nudity is a sexual assault on the mind. What a pervert.

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Postby jim_loves_randy » Sat Dec 19, 2009 2:52 pm

we just want our cartoons to provoke us thank you very much

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Postby NemZ » Sat Dec 19, 2009 5:27 pm

[URL=http://img13.imageshack.us/my.php?image=evaepicfanservice.png]Image[/URL]

I just noticed that Asuka and Shinji seem to be in the wrong places (note the C02 and C03 on the glass), which also means that Asuka isn't in her favorite position in nearly all other such shots of the three pilots... firmly wedged between those two lovebirds. ^_^

Oh, but this has nothing at all to do with the topic. Carry on!
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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Sat Dec 19, 2009 8:37 pm

NemZ wrote:I just noticed that Asuka and Shinji seem to be in the wrong places (note the C02 and C03 on the glass), which also means that Asuka isn't in her favorite position in nearly all other such shots of the three pilots... firmly wedged between those two lovebirds.
Another thing of note is that it's a reiteration of the motif of framing Shinji between Asuka and Rei which metaphorically boils the series down to the choice he's forced to make in the end.
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Postby MatrixRefugee » Sun Dec 20, 2009 1:20 am

AuraTwilight wrote:So basically the topic creator is a pathological prude who thinks any form of nudity is a sexual assault on the mind. What a pervert.


Always puzzles me how people with this mindset take a bath or have a physical exam at the doctor's office.
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Postby child of Lilith » Sun Dec 20, 2009 3:18 am

MatrixRefugee wrote:
AuraTwilight wrote:So basically the topic creator is a pathological prude who thinks any form of nudity is a sexual assault on the mind. What a pervert.


Always puzzles me how people with this mindset take a bath or have a physical exam at the doctor's office.


People like this are often massive hypocrites as well as prudes. Witch allows them to take this stance without having to live up to it themselves.


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