Fanservice in Evangelion: Good or Bad?

This is a forum for casual discussion of Evangelion. Topics like "Asuka is hot!" or "Which Eva kicks the most ass?" belong here.

Moderator: Board Staff

0x2eleven
Adam
User avatar
Posts: 79
Joined: Feb 05, 2010
Location: The Dirac Sea
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby 0x2eleven » Mon May 31, 2010 4:10 am

Eva Yojimbo wrote:Anno said in a famous pre-production interview that the one thought that came to mind that inspired him to work on Eva was "you cannot run away". For him this started out as being an expression of his battle with depression, but I think he very early on saw a parallel with depression and "running away" (from life) with the Otaku's "running away" from reality and combined the two. He did say somewhere that he felt Otakuism was a form of self-imposed autism...


(You wouldn't happen to know where I can find that interview, would you?)

If Anno did truly hope to get across some message about Otakuism, the sexual elements present in Otaku culture, and Otakus running away, I'd have to say that his efforts either failed miserably because the message went over people's heads (like it did mine), or failed miserably because people recognized this message and still chose to reject it. The female characters in NGE, particularly Rei, have arguably become sex symbols more than representative of the other ideas they were meant to embody. Assuming the Otaku theory you posited is true, I wonder what Anno thinks of the result of this failure. I also wonder how much control he has had over how his characters have been marketed, because more often than not, we see only the overtly sexualized Rei and Asuka on NGE merchandise.

If the shallow fanservice present in the first two Rebuild movies is still scattered throughout the final two films, I think it might even prove the Otaku theory wrong. If it does not prove the theory wrong, it would it least confirm that he did not wish to revive his ideas about Otakuism and running away for Rebuild.

Eva Yojimbo wrote:I've often said that because of the nature of NGE's production I've always felt that it resembled improvised jazz opposed to carefully structured and composed classical. Anno sets up a lot of devices early on that he exploits later. There's enough obvious links (a ton between ep. 1 and EoE, for instance) that we have to accept that he either planned these from the beginning, or during the production he decided to take these seeds he'd planted and develop them further. If it's like most artistic creativity it was probably a bit of both. So I don't know how much it matters how much or whether or not he planned the series' subversions of its tropes like fan-service style sexuality, but I think it's VERY much there.


Good point.

Eva Yojimbo wrote:Likewise, I think the more technical/intellectual/pretentious (whatever you will) terms are pouring out of me since I've been reading a lot of scholarly art analysis lately. :faint: "Polysemy" is probably a word I've encountered 10 times in the last few days.


I don't mind big words when they're used for good reason. Every word evokes a slightly different response, and it's good to choose the right one in the right situation rather than just slap down something that doesn't quite align what you're trying to say.

Eva Yojimbo wrote:I must say, you're much more engaging to discuss this with than JFaulkner.


Gracias.

sephiotic wrote:In anyway i ask you the same question: Is the shots of flying intestines and exposed brains plot-forwarding and good for the image of the whole evangelion movie, or will it degradate it as an unnecessary overexagerated violent movie, taking out the focus of its characters development and deep plot?


I have to say that I think the situation with the gore in Rebuild is very similar to the situation with the fanservice. Both, for no apparent reason, are increased. When I saw 1.0 initially, I thought the amount of gore present was absurd. I've gotten used to it now, but I still think a tidal wave of blood appearing after each angel dies is over-the-top.

Still, there are times in NGE when the blood and gore do hold some meaning. For example, in NGE and in Rebuild, when Unit-01 kills Bardiel there's a ton of gore, but it's there for a reason, probably more so in NGE than in Rebuild though. In NGE, the gore in this scene is completely shocking because prior to that, there'd never been so much gore in a scene. It's starkness shows the audience the animalistic reality of the Evas. After seeing the utter depravity of Unit-01, the audience puts the Evas on the same level as the angels, thus giving the Evas new meaning.
"Mankind fears the darkness and scrapes it away with fire to survive." -RikkyRikky Rei Ayanami

Eva Yojimbo
Redbeard
Redbeard
User avatar
Age: 34
Posts: 8005
Joined: Feb 17, 2007
Location: Somewhere Over the Rainbo
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:33 pm

View Original Post0x2eleven wrote:If Anno did truly hope to get across some message about Otakuism... I'd have to say that his efforts either failed miserably because the message went over people's heads (like it did mine), or failed miserably because people recognized this message and still chose to reject it.
Well, I don't think we can blame art for its inability to single-handedly bring about the revolutionary messages they express. If so, every anti-war film would be deemed a failure. Art starts at an individual level, and if can make a few people "wake up" to its themes and, hell, even provoke people to think about them in the first place then I'd say that's a remarkable achievement. It's like how Dylan became frustrated at his inability to change society with his songs.

There certainly is a tremendous irony with NGE becoming the kind of mass-marketed escapist-fictional franchise that the series' themes were so against. But this is more Gainax's doing than Anno's. And I wouldn't say those themes went over everyone's heads; there are certainly plenty of people out there who took to analyzing the series and uncovered this as one of the most essential themes. Honestly, it's hard to subvert the genre/medium you're working in while simultaneously working in that medium. A bit like how Shakespeare in Titus Andronicus satirized revenge dramas while at the same time creating an over-the-top, almost absurdist and grotesque revenge drama.
Cinelogue & Forced Perspective Cinema
^ Writing as Jonathan Henderson ^
We're all adrift on the stormy seas of Evangelion, desperately trying to gather what flotsam can be snatched from the gale into a somewhat seaworthy interpretation so that we can at last reach the shores of reason and respite. - ObsessiveMathsFreak
Jimbo has posted enough to be considered greater than or equal to everyone, and or synonymous with the concept of 'everyone'. - Muggy
I've seen so many changeful years, / to Earth I am a stranger grown: / I wander in the ways of men, / alike unknowing and unknown: / Unheard, unpitied, unrelieved, / I bear alone my load of care; / For silent, low, on beds of dust, / Lie all that would my sorrows share. - Robert Burns' Lament for James

slothen
First Ancestral Sloth
First Ancestral Sloth
User avatar
Age: 33
Posts: 2558
Joined: Sep 12, 2006
Location: Indianapolis
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby slothen » Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:00 am

I :tentacles: Yojimbo
God, Apparently you all have been discussing Q since November. Catching up on the discussion is harrowing.

MAL Profile

0x2eleven
Adam
User avatar
Posts: 79
Joined: Feb 05, 2010
Location: The Dirac Sea
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby 0x2eleven » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:00 am

View Original PostEva Yojimbo wrote:Art starts at an individual level, and if can make a few people "wake up" to its themes and, hell, even provoke people to think about them in the first place then I'd say that's a remarkable achievement.


Point well-taken.
"Mankind fears the darkness and scrapes it away with fire to survive." -RikkyRikky Rei Ayanami

FreakyFilmFan4ever
(In)Sufficient Director
(In)Sufficient Director
User avatar
Age: 32
Posts: 8365
Joined: Jun 09, 2009
Location: Playing amongst the stars
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:52 am

The fanservice in NGE seems to carry a bit more subtext than fanservice should ever deserve to have. Anno uses clothing and its various styles/fashions as a metaphor for a "mask" that covers who the person really is. NERV called these barriers "AT Fields".

I think this in one of the reasons why, despite all of the fanservice in NGE, there is absolutely no "up-the-skirt panty shots" in the entirety of the original TV series or its subsequent movies. Fanservice of that variety did not lend itself as well to this subtext of the "AT Fields" as well as just putting the characters in sexy clothing, or just seeing them nude.

(Even the 1.11 remake held true to form in that regard, although I've yet to see 2.0, so I can't speak about that.)

So, my thoughts on fanservice? If it's in the show, there had better be a good reason for it. Otherwise, I kinda see it as a cheap gimmick to keep my interest in a rather bland show. I think NGE, as well as some other animes, achieved it very well. (Ghost in the Shell comes to mind, in that it used what's considered fanservice to help propel the story's subtext.)

Other animes just flash a panty every so often because the studios think the viewer may be loosing interest otherwise. I'm not a fan of that, and it almost makes me feel like they've underestimated my intelligence.

Merridian
Angel
Angel
User avatar
Posts: 3350
Joined: Jun 24, 2009
Location: Merriland

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Merridian » Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:28 am

FFF4E wrote: I think this in one of the reasons why, despite all of the fanservice in NGE, there is absolutely no "up-the-skirt panty shots" in the entirety of the original TV series or its subsequent movies. Fanservice of that variety did not lend itself as well to this subtext of the "AT Fields" as well as just putting the characters in sexy clothing, or just seeing them nude.
You make a valid point, but I think a great deal of the up-skirt panty shots are a more recent trend. I haven’t seen a LOT of older anime (“older”=90’s & before), but of what I have seen, fanservice was usually geared around sexy costumes, cleavage, and straight-up nudity rather than on panty shots that seem more common nowadays. In this regard, NGE is simply using the trends of the time, but as yourself and others have mentioned, NGE imbues it with a symbolism not typically found in anime—as well as to provide a contrast to how nudity and ‘fanservice-esque’ scenes in the later half are treated.

FreakyFilmFan4ever
(In)Sufficient Director
(In)Sufficient Director
User avatar
Age: 32
Posts: 8365
Joined: Jun 09, 2009
Location: Playing amongst the stars
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:18 am

View Original PostMerridian wrote:I haven’t seen a LOT of older anime (“older”=90’s &amp before), but of what I have seen, fanservice was usually geared around sexy costumes, cleavage, and straight-up nudity rather than on panty shots that seem more common nowadays.

I'm probably just as in the dark about older anime than you (if not more so), but I do seem to recall thinking that Astro Boy's sister in the original 60's anime series seemed to be built around up-skirt panty shots.

SPOILER: Show
Image

Nadia had a few as well, but that was late 80's or early 90's anyway. So it might be too recent to count. Other than that, my lack of knowledge in anime in general keeps me from remarking on any other older animes.

the_seventh_child
radio gaga
radio gaga
User avatar
Age: 29
Posts: 2238
Joined: Jul 14, 2004
Gender: Female

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby the_seventh_child » Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:20 pm

Huuum. Depending on the kind of fanservice. Sometimes, fanservice can be totally disgusting, like "take it on your face, TOTALLY OOC-for the chara, BUT IT IS FANSERVICE, RELIGION DUDE!111" but then again, this usually takes place, in anime that are only limited.
I never really minded fanservice in Eva, as it was/is usually done in a funny way and light-humoured. Fanservice fits Eva the way it is being done. Just because Eva does approach srs matters, that does not automatically label it 'STICK TO SRS.'
Now, in some other anime, fanservice does not really fit. Take Monster for example. Yeah.[/i]
Anime and manga unite us all. Much better than the Olympics. - Carl Horn |11.30.2004.
"As of this moment, we are changing from soldiers to pirates!" - Captain Jeffrey Wilder (Macross Frontier #22)

Merridian
Angel
Angel
User avatar
Posts: 3350
Joined: Jun 24, 2009
Location: Merriland

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Merridian » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:25 pm

@FFF4E: I remember a total of two from the first Space Battleship Yamato series, but these (as I imagine Astro Boy’s were also) were more played for comedy’s sake than anything sexually-inclined. In Yamato’s case, there really wasn’t much there to see in the first place, and they were the consequence of a lecherous character (who essentially fulfilled 'dirty old man' comic relief trope despite being a robot). This is compared to newer cases where you’ll get a full indented outline of… well, everything, and it takes up more than half of screen, and in extreme cases, isn't the result of anything at all.

I'm not saying panty shots didn't happen, I'm just saying that from the looks of things, fanservice wasn't usually delivered in (or at least as reliant upon) this way until relatively recently.

FreakyFilmFan4ever
(In)Sufficient Director
(In)Sufficient Director
User avatar
Age: 32
Posts: 8365
Joined: Jun 09, 2009
Location: Playing amongst the stars
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:49 pm

View Original PostMerridian wrote:In Yamato’s case, there really wasn’t much there to see in the first place, and they were the consequence of a lecherous character (who essentially fulfilled 'dirty old man' comic relief trope despite being a robot). This is compared to newer cases where you’ll get a full indented outline of… well, everything, and it takes up more than half of screen, and in extreme cases, isn't the result of anything at all.

I'm not saying panty shots didn't happen, I'm just saying that from the looks of things, fanservice wasn't usually delivered in (or at least as reliant upon) this way until relatively recently.

Yeah. Like I said, my knowledge on older anime is limited. I haven't seen Yamoto myself. Now that I think of it Nadia's were pretty comical as well, but for completely different reasons. That, and they were only found in the island arc which Anno didn't write and everyone hated anyway. Interesting Anno never used them while writing Nadia or NGE.

Although I have seen some of Anno's Cutie Honey and, yeah, there was panty fanservice. Although that movie was just so over-the-top in every other regard it seemed to fit without feeling like a lame gimmick. It was just part of the film's overall absurdity.

Eudon
Embryo
User avatar
Age: 30
Posts: 13
Joined: Jun 02, 2010
Location: Italy
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Eudon » Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:46 pm

Imho, Fanservice in Evangelion is not disturbing at all.

Instead I believe it can help to make some scenes light and funny stressing the difference with those that instead are more delicate and dramatic. It just makes me laugh a bit without altering the storyline and I guess that's what fanservice is supposed to do.

Totally agree with what sephirotic said anyway:

I would rather have more closes on Asuka ass, boobs and feet than on eva-03 desmembered organs and bones.

Sex is natural and healthy. Violence, excessive blood, exposed brains and desmembration isn´t.


Plus, I don't know if this pic can be strictly considered "fanservice", but I loved Asuka's expression in this scene of RoE 2.0

SPOILER: Show
Image


Therefore those kind of scenes are fine, not to say welcome, to me! :'D

Mr. Tines
Administrator
Administrator
User avatar
Age: 62
Posts: 20426
Joined: Nov 23, 2004
Location: This sceptered isle.
Gender: Male
Contact:

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Mr. Tines » Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:41 pm

View Original PostMerridian wrote:sexy costumes, cleavage, and straight-up nudity
Older series did have a ration of bare breasts (e.g. Ideon), though they had moved to OVAs by the time Gunbuster came around; when I was first becoming aware of English-language anime fandom -- this would probably be c1990 -- there posters and other promo material for what were apparently romance titles seemed to have a recurrent motif of girls on bicycles flashing white knickers, which rather made me facepalm.

Actually fanservice is one of the things that NGE didn't really subvert, so much as just used it a little bit as misdirection
Reminder: Play nicely <<>> My vanity publishing:- NGE|blog|Photos|retro-blog|Fanfics||MAL
Avatar: Mahou Shoujo Rapture Asuka : "Slice them up with your magical karambit, chu!"

The Triforce Fighter
Lilith
User avatar
Age: 26
Posts: 114
Joined: Feb 22, 2010
Location: UK, Cambridgeshire
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby The Triforce Fighter » Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:01 pm

My views on fan service is as long as it has a decent reason then its okay. For instance, lightens the mood, makes you laugh etc. The only time I don't really like it is when its their to 'arouse' the audience.
Its weird because I'm not really a big fan of fan service in general although Ghost in the Shell is one of my favorite series and well Kusanagi couldn't wear any less if she tried half the time.
I just read volumes 3 and 4 of the Shinji Ikari Raising Project and that is full of ecchi fan service and some of its funny (Anything involving Gendo making a fool of himself) but then again Shinji being slammed into Asuka/Rei's crotch for the millionth time not so much. Maybe it depends on frequency its used.
The fan service in 1.11 is okay in my opinion except the changing room scene which I felt was rather un necessary just because it just seemed like they just wanted an excuse to show Rei naked again. I guess it could've been worse though. Like as mentioned before the infamous panty shots of anime.

TehDonutKing
Camel Dilettante
Camel Dilettante
User avatar
Age: 24
Posts: 3908
Joined: Apr 23, 2010
Location: Outer Space Jupiter
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby TehDonutKing » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:07 pm

Why is everyone complaining about panty shots? I see them all the time in real life.
avatar drawn by ToKki

FreakyFilmFan4ever
(In)Sufficient Director
(In)Sufficient Director
User avatar
Age: 32
Posts: 8365
Joined: Jun 09, 2009
Location: Playing amongst the stars
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:15 am

View Original PostTehDonutKing wrote:Why is everyone complaining about panty shots? I see them all the time in real life.

Did they have any merit in the story?

Well?!

DID THEY?! :bat:

[/sarcasm]

the_seventh_child
radio gaga
radio gaga
User avatar
Age: 29
Posts: 2238
Joined: Jul 14, 2004
Gender: Female

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby the_seventh_child » Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:17 pm

View Original PostTehDonutKing wrote:Why is everyone complaining about panty shots? I see them all the time in real life.

Do you see everyone complaining in this thread about the so-called fanservice in Eva?
Anime and manga unite us all. Much better than the Olympics. - Carl Horn |11.30.2004.
"As of this moment, we are changing from soldiers to pirates!" - Captain Jeffrey Wilder (Macross Frontier #22)

tomrule123
Lilin
Lilin
User avatar
Age: 30
Posts: 1248
Joined: Dec 14, 2009
Location: New York
Gender: Male
Contact:

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby tomrule123 » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:23 pm

View Original Postsephirotic wrote: Sex is natural and healthy. Violence, excessive blood, exposed brains and desmembration isn´t.


Depends on how appropriate it can be. :cringe:

To answer the topic, fan-service in NGE here is not so bad (though a bit too much in EoE). I haven't seen EVA 2.22 yet, so I will keep a close look-out on what to expect.

sephirotic
Shamshel
Shamshel
User avatar
Age: 32
Posts: 285
Joined: Jun 29, 2009
Location: SP
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby sephirotic » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:54 pm

View Original Posttomrule123 wrote:Depends on how appropriate it can be. :cringe:

To answer the topic, fan-service in NGE here is not so bad (though a bit too much in EoE). I haven't seen EVA 2.22 yet, so I will keep a close look-out on what to expect.


Take this argument from the context where this quote is from, and not isolated from the rest.

A bit to much in EOE? there is not a single nipple or pants in the EOE that is gratuitully fanservice, they all have a simbolyc purpose, diferently from the 2.22 semi-naked shot where Asuka kicks Shinji in the face for example, witch in my opp is just some fast fanservice nice for those who like it and innofensive for the rest of the mature audience. That is not the case of the flying intestines, tottaly unnecessry and beyond it's purpose of shoking the audience, only appealing to gore freaks, and disgusting for the regular fan.

If you get disgusted to the semi-gratuite scene of Asuka kicking Shinji in the face, you are just a stupid moralist.
Last edited by sephirotic on Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:15 am, edited 2 times in total.
-----------------------------------------------------
Re-watching Eva since 1999
-----------------------------------------------------

Bocca
Embryo
Age: 24
Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 04, 2010
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Bocca » Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:50 am

The fan-service scenes in NGE were somewhat disappointing for me. No, not like that but because they didn't seem to be having any purpose. For example the first appearance of Asuka where her skirt was flipped up by the wind.

Scenes like that make me have very, very violent facepalms. Most of these scenes were reduced in the later episode tough and stuff like the overly tight suits didn't bother me.
-BC

THE Hal E. Burton 9000
Elder God
Elder God
User avatar
Posts: 5751
Joined: Feb 03, 2007

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby THE Hal E. Burton 9000 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:43 am

while I echo sephirotic's sentiment, fanservice does become a problem IMO if there is no greater story being told
- TEH Fabulous Hal E. Burton 9000

P.S. For those wanting to discuss a matter with yours truly not pertaining to the general topic at hand, PM me. Please and thank you.


Return to “Evangelion Chit-Chat”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests