Anime is Full Of Fan Service But Is Anime Doing Its Fans a Service?

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 2

Fan service: Essentially something added to a work of fiction for the sake of pleasing the audience.

Now that means fan-service isn’t limited to nudity, groping, and other things of a sexualised nature that most people immediately think of when we talk about fan service, but it does include those elements. I’ll hopefully get back to what else fan service is in a future post, but today I’ll probably just be discussing what we mostly think about when the term fan service shows up.

This season brings us How Not To Summon a Demon Lord, The Master of Ragnarok, Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs, Free, Harukana Receive and the list of anime that would immediately spring to mind when someone mentions fan service just goes on.

Now before you think I’m about to launch into a rant or a tirade against the various half-clad girls flouncing about the screen (or equally shirtless men who are striking a pose while flicking their hair about), I’d like to reassure you that while I’m not a fan of fan service, nor do I deny that there is an audience for it and that it serves a purpose within stories.

The Master of Ragnarok Episode 6 - Is toe licking fan service?

Let’s move the discussion momentarily away from the current season of anime.

Fan Service isn’t just for anime.

We all know Hollywood movies have used these kinds of gimmicky moments forever to draw the audience. There’s little reason for the various Bond girls to be shown so often in swim-wear, formal wear, or wearing very little while in bed (or for the Daniel Craig scene where he emerged from the water).

There’s practically zero reason why Amanda Hunsaker (Lethal Weapon 1) makes her only appearance in the movie wearing an open robe that is blowing open in the wind before she takes a dive off the balcony. And anyone who watches a lot of bad horror and slasher films will know that there’s definitely going to be a sex scene at some point and inevitably the girl who participates in said scene is going to die fairly soon after. That’s been done so often it is now a running joke in self-aware parodies of horror.

But while I say there’s no reason for these scenes, we all know the reason. Even if that isn’t the part of the film appealing to you, someone out there was waiting for that scene and they enjoyed every second of it. Whether that girl or guy was hot or not will make or break their enjoyment of that film.

And while sometimes these scenes are fairly well integrated into the plot, Amanda’s death worked because she was working as a hooker, she was on drugs, and the whole scene played into the tragedy of her death, others are clearly there just so they have something to put into the trailer to get audiences to watch.

If you were advertising a movie, wouldn’t you want the shot of Daniel Craig walking out of the water wearing that?

Daniel Craig - James Bond - Swimwear - fan service

It plays great for the trailer, gets people talking online, gets images shared, and while no one is talking about the plot of your new Bond film, everyone knows there is in fact a new Bond film and Daniel Craig looks hot (if you are into that kind of thing – personally I’m all for Antonio Banderas in the Mask of Zorro, but to each their own).

Now anime may take things to a whole new level, but it more or less does the same thing (save for when a show is entirely built around fan service moments and the plot is entirely jettisoned – there’s a commitment there but I’m not sure I’m interested in the end result). This season I’ve been watching How Not To Summon a Demon Lord and The Master of Ragnarok.

Both are essentially isekai stories and as normal they are both filled with fan service moments. And this is something that in individual episode reviews I definitely take a negative take on but this isn’t actually condemning the existence of fan service itself but rather speaks of what I’m looking for in an episode.

For me I’m looking for moments that move the plot or help flesh out or develop the characters and the issue with the way fan service seems to be delivered in these kinds of shows is it not only doesn’t do either one of those things, it actively eats screen time which could be used for parts of the show I’m actually interested in.

The other issue I find, and the reason I probably seem fairly negative when I discuss fan service as part of a review, is that so often it is females being seen in this light and it is regularly extremely sexualised content even if it is played for laughs.

The boob grab, the rubbing breasts against the guys arm, the low camera shots, touching other girls; I’m clearly not the target audience for this kind of content so while such sequences don’t make me instant drop as they would some people, they certainly aren’t adding to my engagement of the story or helping me to actually care about the characters as people. That doesn’t necessarily make the show or the fan service bad, but it does mean that I’m less likely to really be drawn in as a member of the audience.

How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 6 - fan service characters
I’m certain someone somewhere is thinking ‘damn she’s hot’. I’m mostly just wondering why her skin has random glowing patches and whether or not she’s used double sided tape on that top.

Of course, I’m certain there’s a writer somewhere who is now all upset and about to lose sleep because Karandi isn’t interested in his content (heavy sarcasm there). Because of course, for every viewer that determines that the weight of fan-service is just bringing the story to a screeching halt there are clearly plenty of viewers happily checking in.

If I ever needed evidence of that (and I didn’t mind you), then this season really did prove it to me. In the last 30 Days, How Not To Summon a Demon Lord episode reviews have been my most viewed posts. Also most searched for terms to find my blog via search engines.

Top Posts 30 Days

However, even looking over the last three months, the first three episode reviews which have only been up for perhaps a month and a half at most, are the most viewed posts.

Top Posts 3 Months

Then if I look back over the entire year, the first episode review of the show is now the second most viewed post, surrounded entirely by Killing Stalking reviews (and I don’t have to wonder what fan service that particular title was delivering).

Top Posts Year

So here’s a show I started watching out of curiosity because I don’t mind isekai stories, but wasn’t really thrilled about. It delivered two episodes that had me sitting on the fence before it finally launched into its actual plot. Episode six took us back to nearly sixty percent of the episode being fan service focused moments rather than plot and I wondered once again whether the show was really worth my time or not. But it most definitely appeals to its target audience. It has left the other isekai fan-service filled title, The Master of Ragnarok, for dead.

Which of course made me wonder why?

In terms of actual plot, both stories are more or less the same. They both have an interesting idea, potentially interesting directions they could go, and both have regularly come to a screeching halt because they’ve wanted to show off the numerous girls in the show in various states of undress.

How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 6 - Diablo and Shera - fan service outfit

In this at least How Not To Summon A Demon Lord tried to come up with a semi-plausible explainer linking all that grinding on the bed action to some kind of magic that may or may not eventually free Shera from being a slave (I’m not sure I buy magical boob gropes, but whatever). Still at least they tried.

If the scene had been a little shorter and there had been a little less orgasmic panting, I may have even not felt distinctly uncomfortable while watching it. Master of Ragnarok didn’t even really bother. They just had another character tell the MC to take a break and go to the hot springs where the girls then pounced upon him.


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The Master of Ragnarok Episode 6 - hot spring fan service

It was thinking about this where I realised the difference in these shows really lay. Even with its non-fan service moments, The Master of Ragnarok isn’t subtle. The main character always just explains his battle plan to someone, usually waving his phone around to remind us he’s from the future, and usually making a reference to the fact he’s a cheater using future knowledge.

And it delivers fan service in an equally blunt and matter of a fact way with the girls just coming straight onto him and declaring they want to be his wives. Its very much like they have a tick box list of events that they need to shove into the narrative and so they’ll just have the character say whatever is needed to progress us from A to B.

As such, despite the more interesting setting, the Master of Ragnarok is actually a fairly sub-par show even when compared to How Not To Summon a Demon Lord, even if it does have more girls of more types and so far a lot more nudity.

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord - Episode 5 - Diablo - main character fan service

How Not to Summon a Demon Lord has several advantages. Firstly, Diablo as the main character also provides some fan service as he has been shown on more than one occasion to be shirtless or posed very dramatically. While there are less girls (so far – the harem has been growing however) the characters of these girls are infinitely more developed and entertaining than the girls in Ragnarok.

For instance I even remember Rem and Shera’s names and what their motivations are and the why they hang around the protagonist. While the story isn’t all that rich and deep, it is logical enough and there’s a lot of fun to be had with the idea of a socially awkward over powered demon lord who is role playing his way through his current life.

And then the fan service itself has often been used to build connections or tension between the characters, and while there are plenty of other ways the show could have gone about it, we all probably have to admit that Rem’s ‘torture’ session where she ended up confiding in Diablo definitely kicked both the plot and character development into gear.


Though I think we’ll just leave aside the whole issue of slavery and ownership for a whole other discussion because there’s a lot of that going around this season as well.

So I’ll get back to the question from the title about whether anime is doing its fans a service through the inclusion of fan service? The answer, whether you individually like it or not, is probably yes. It sells and there’s clearly a market for it. Does that mean everything needs these elements in it?

Not really. Does it mean you have to watch them? Also no. There’s plenty out there without these sorts of scenes, and yet, I know that there are some people who haven’t watched Dan Machi because of Hestia and I can’t help but feel that perhaps they missed out on a fairly extraordinary adventure because of one element.

And while there are plenty of shows I have dropped because the balance of fan-service to plot tipped too far away from plot, provided I’m getting some decent character moments and plot development, fan service isn’t likely to make me turn something off.

Though depending on how loud the girl is moaning I may end up muting the episode.

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 6 - Shera - pure fan service

What are your thoughts on fan service in anime?

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

57 thoughts on “Anime is Full Of Fan Service But Is Anime Doing Its Fans a Service?

  1. This was a great post explaining the pros and cons of fanservice. To me, fanservice is okay if it doesn’t go too far (like into full on abuse) and if it’s timed well and at least has SOME relevance to the plot. I’ll tolerate a bath scene etc if it fits well and discusses plot points too. Fanservice that is a regular part of the characters’ lives feels okay.

    For example, some anime like Kill la Kill have copious scenes but also very interesting characters so they pull it off. But to me, animes with mainly just fanservice and no substance are very boring and uninteresting because they just feel like a waste of time. And ones where the fanservice feels very creepy or like the characters hate it are too uncomfortable sometimes…

    1. Kill la Kill uses some of its fanservice very well to make its point though it is an anime I struggled to get into as the overall tone and I didn’t click.
      Thanks for your comment and sharing your thoughts on fan service.

  2. My problem with fan service is that it is so juvenile. I realize that most anime is targeted to juvenile males but i still think it is a shortcoming. You should give kids entertainment that’s a bit more sophisticated than they are. It helps them grow.

    However the folks who write and direct these shows aren’t including me in their target audience. Not a lot of teenage boys what to see ripped & naked dudes in their shows, nor are they interested in a more subtle display of sexuality by an empowered female . It’s too bad.

    1. A wider variety would be appreciated. There’s only so many skirts blowing up and jiggling breasts one can pay attention to before it all just becomes part of the background. I don’t notice how many of these scenes I ignore until I show an anime to a non-anime fan.

      1. Once in a great while there will be a skirt scene that is much more than a skirt scene. Tsubasa’s skirt scene in Monogatari tells us volumes about the girl. But most of the time it’s just another stupid panty shot to appeal to very juvenile Japanese boys.

        I mean, when I was a teenager seeing a girls panties would not have been an exciting event. Not something that I would want to see nor anything I’d get aroused over. Good grief, it’s just a swim suit bottom.

        Perhaps the attraction is the involuntary nature of the panty flash? It used to really irritate me. Now I have become inured to it as well and take no notice of it. But you are right. Show it to someone who is not used to the tropes of anime and they are all like, “WTF was that all about?” And then they begin to wonder if I’m a pervert.

  3. Very well thought out post – thank you for sharing!

    I feel like I need to do some self-reflecting and re-examine my own relationship with fanservice, because I’m starting to feel like a hypocrite. Like for years I’ve been telling anyone who asks that it’s really not my thing, but more and more often in recent years I find myself watching and (gasp!) enjoying shows like Food Wars, Saekano, and this season’s Harukana Receive. Without actually spending the time to do that self-reflection yet, I think it has to do with what else the show offers besides fanservice. If it’s a show where I can enjoy the story, characters, and/or (non-fanservicey) animation, or if the fanservice is made somehow organic to the story instead of being an obvious ratings ploy, then it becomes much easier to persuade me to stick around. I’m still not interested in watching pure junk food like Triage X or Seven Mortal Sins, but I might have just reached a point where I’m becoming more open-minded about watching shows that are obviously going to have lots of fanservice, as long as it doesn’t look like that’s the only thing it has to offer. Hell, I even tried the king of fanservice franchises DxD a while back after avoiding it for years, and I ended up dropping it not because of the fanservice but because I utterly loathed the main character.

    BTW, Cytrus also had a really strong post on this topic too a couple of months ago, that raised some points I hadn’t considered before.

    1. I think I was in the same camp originally where I used to either avoid fan service or skip parts of shows that had large amounts of fan service. Over time I learned to tolerate it if it happened as part of a story I was enjoying, and now I’m really not concerned about it provided it isn’t excessive and provided it doesn’t interfere with the story or character development.
      That said, I would probably still say I don’t like fan service, but I’ve come to understand that a lot of things are included just as fan service other than the girls in bikinis and in the bath and I don’t object to some of those other things so I needed to take a broader look at the whole concept.

  4. I tend to dislike fanservice on principle. In some contexts its downright horrific and others it just feels like a waste of my time and getting in the way of me and a potentially good story. However I do have to admit that there are times when I’ve enjoyed fanservice with shows like Kill la Kill and Food Wars. Maybe that’s just because I enjoy a majority of everything else in those series so much or just that on occasion the fanservice gets so ludicrous that I can’t help but laugh at it. I think I have to take it on a case by case basis, like with How Not To Summon A Demon Lord where the first episode alone was enough to make me drop it, that and I need a break from isekai shows. The show just didn’t have enough to counter-balance the fanservice for me so I’m not interested in it.

    1. In the case of How Not To Summon A Demon Lord the plot and character work seems to kick in around episode 3 and since then there’s actually been a pretty good balance, but I can definitely understand a first episode drop if you aren’t up for fan service of isekai as that is more or less all this show is about.
      I agree with the feeling that it is wasting time and getting in the way of a potentially good story. As the fan service is never a selling point for me, any time when an episode lingers on a fan service moment that offers little else is just holding up the anime from getting on to something I’m interested in. Still, there are probably other viewers who are happy with those moments so I guess it comes down to personal choice.

  5. Great piece. Fan Service in anime is complicated for me. It won’t necessarily stop me watching a series, but it can end up making me enjoy it less. How I view it really depends on what’s on view though.
    For example, you have fan service of a character like Revy in Black Lagoon, i’m not gonna complain. The character is clearly of a legal age, it doesn’t really take away from the action or the underlying story parts, so it’s all good. When the fan service is based around an underage character or a sibling pairing, i’m done. When the fan service is slightly out of place, but doesn’t detract from the things i’m enjoying, fine, i’ll let it slide. When it’s all about non-consential touching, grabbing etc, i’m either switching off or at the very least reducing my final score. Combine all the bad points above (non-consent plus underage), and i’m dropping it very quickly.
    The thing with it is, I think a lot of it will come down to taste. Like you said, there’s a market for much of it, regardless of whether you like it yourself. I cna’t honestly understand why people like some things, but there you go. If you can at least make the fan service so that it doesn’t interfere with the other parts, or make it so that it appears in an original way, that’s something. I could still get along without it, but it at least doesn’t lower my enjoyment too much that way.
    Oh, and I agree; Daniel Craig had no appeal to me either.

    1. Poor Daniel Craig – though I just remember when the promos first started being shown for that movie and how much fuss was made about how good he looked and I just didn’t see it myself (just not my type at all). Tragically though that’s about the only memorable thing about that particular Bond film, it really didn’t work for me at all.
      Non-consensual is a big issue and one that probably needs its own post. I find it particularly troubling where girls who are friends and not actually in any kind of romantic relationship for some reason have a scene where one of them just suddenly grabs the other one’s chest. I just keep thinking why is she doing that and more importantly, why is the other girl letting?

  6. I will give the anime artists credit for their ability to draw a sexy female body and make it radiate a palpable sexiness but as mentioned in other comments, context is vastly important in this. Sometimes it can work in shows where sexiness is not necessary or congruent – a character like Lust in FMA is fine; a 15 year-old schoolgirl, not so much.

    Personally I find panty shots and oversized squishy, jiggly boobs more uncomfortable than full nudity – uness the girl is underage in which case, I really object if she is laso sexualised. However it is the gratuitous nature of it that makes it so uncomfortable as many a series with a decent story has been ruined by needless sexing up.

    Have you seen Occultic;Nine? I reviewed last month and one school aged female has zeppelin sized boobs that stop moving minutes after the rest of her body. They are gross and distracting. Did they need to be that big? No. So why do it? Just a mind boggling attitude for creators to have in my opinion.

    Japan (and Asia) is notoriously behind in female empowerment and equality so until it finally hits over there, we are stuck with tacky, base anime, manga and films. I’m numbed to its presence now but that still doesn’t mean I have to agree with it or be disappointed when this low road is taken.

    1. I watched an episode of Occult;Nine and I’m pretty sure I know which character you are talking about. I’ve never got why some anime characters are given such oversized breasts given it just looks silly and if they actually moved around like that the girl would have permanent back issues. I’m not arguing anime needs to be anatomically correct but it could try being a little better than that.

  7. I don’t like fan-service, because I don’t like seeing things so blatantly sexually objectified. If it were done jokingly/tongue-in-cheek/subtly/with more restraint, I would be fine and even appreciative, but so much of it is just completely random and feels more exploitative. How does this revealing angle do anything to further the plot? Nothing. You had a sexy character design and decided to abuse it. It would be nice to see more instances of characters that were sexy without being sexually objectified. I would appreciate more characters who choose to be sexy and present themselves as such, instead of the camera deciding they’re sexy and abusing that. I hope what I’m saying makes sense 😅

    1. There’s certainly a post to be written somewhere about camera angles at some point given sometimes there’s nothing overtly sexual going on in the scene at all, or any reason to sexualise the characters and yet the angle we’re given is saying something totally different.

  8. Fan service is fine. If it matches up with someone’s particular kink or “thing” then great. And, as it always has and always will, sex sells. It’s one of those things at a person’s most primal foundation, and subsequently it piques a lot of interest. It’s no wonder it’s used in marketing.

    To avoid fan service would be to avoid entertainment. So whether it’s why someone watched in the first place, or something to tolerate, it ends up perpetuating the industry and that alone is satisfactory reason enough to tolerate the fan service if nothing else.

    That said, balance is important. I just started watching Food Wars and love it. But my God, that fan service can, on occasion, be intrusive.

    I might even prefer it there at certain points just to be over the top and emphasize how much someone likes the food or hates it in the case of the hentai squids… lol but sometimes… that balance gets tipped into excessive.

    I think most folks like a little bit of it, even if it isn’t just a boob shot but rather a cute blushing face and a smile, however some shows might be due some moderation.

  9. I like fanservice when it’s funny, or tasteful within the context of the story. I dislike fanservice that was clearly shoehorned in to get the views. A good example of fanservice would be from shows such as Kill la Kill, where they are actively aware of the ridiculousness of it, or KyoAni shows, where it’s done tastefully in-universe.

    I hate Hajimete no Gal because it’s JUST fanservice, while I love Oshiete! Galko Chan because it’s fanservice and then some.

    1. Context is really important because girls in bikinis just because is sometimes enough to put a viewer off, whereas Harukana Receive it kind of makes sense for the girls to be in swim wear.

    2. Yes, I think Kill la Kill is a great example of fanservice done decently. Because, as you’ve already said, it was deliberately over the top. As was the plot, the characters. the setting and everything else about the show. It was a laugh, and not meant to be taken seriously.

      Then you look at Trigger’s most recent series – Darling in the Franx – and you see the exact opposite. It’s unsubtle, it’s degrading, it’s exclusively focused on it’s female cast and worst of all it tries (and fails) to pass itself off as intelligent. Something it really, really wasn’t. And the result was just gross.

  10. It may be weird for me to quantify something like this but I think this is my favourite thing I’ve ever read from you (it certainly helps that I agree with what you said—which in itself is kinda rare). I’m glad you have such a level-headed and mature approach to fan service in anime. Thank you for writing this.

    1. I think I was probably inspired to write this because of something you wrote in one of your posts about the criticism shows were receiving because of fan service. It made me think about what I was watching and what I had watched and how I genuinely felt about fan service. As much as fan service won’t inspire me to watch something, it isn’t something I’m actively opposed to though there are scenes that do make me uncomfortable at times.
      Glad you liked the post and I’ll probably revisit this topic at some point.

    1. There’s definitely limits where you get to a point and you just don’t feel invested enough in the story to bother sitting through fan service (if you are watching for the story and not the fan service). That and some times there are scenes where you just don’t feel all that comfortable watching because its crossed one of your personal lines.

  11. Well…I’m a guy, but honestly I totally agree with the fact that it’s almost always the women who appear scantily clad in animes or movies, (or have no clothes whatsoever) and the males just seem to conveniently escape that kind of treatment. (With of course a few exceptions). I really don’t care for fanservice to be honest. I’d much rather watch an anime that has things in it that I really enjoy and has a great story or some cool action scenes in it, than watch some pointless fanservice cropping up just to draw in a crowd. While I certainly think there is a market for it, (the age old saying: sex sells) I for one am not that market. Great post! 😊

    1. Yes, I’ll take a great story any day over a gimmick of any sort (whether that is fan service or something else).
      And though it might just be the types of shows I end up watching, but I’ve been seeing a lot of male fan service lately in anime. The ending credits of Libra of Nil Admirari was essentially just filled with fan service shots of the guys.

      1. Hmm, well…you know something: I think that is at least something that is good. It’s about time that the scales are getting a bit more balanced 😊 Still…I’d much rather see anime paying more attention to things that really matter: like a good story 😊😊 Or great characters 😀😀

  12. I don’t particularly enjoy fan service just for the sake of fan service. Like obligatory beach episodes just so an anime can show all of the characters in swimsuits, or in your face fan service like what I’ve been hearing about How Not to Summon a Demon Lord.

    I don’t think it’s inherently bad, and some anime are all right with just a little bit or with more subtlety. That being said, I can’t think of a single anime that I found MORE enjoyable or memorable specifically because of fan service…

    1. Now there I have to agree. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed an anime more because of blatant fan service and other than Another, it is very hard to think of a show with a beach episode I’ve enjoyed. Then again, I’m enjoying other aspects of the show and as I said, clearly people do enjoy the fan service moments even if I’m not the one they are targeting.

  13. The best fanservice isn’t actually fanservice. If it has a point, it is not fanservice. If you have a story told from a first person perspective, and there’s lots of pervy shots- the characters a perv. As long as sexuality is an important thing, so-called fanservice could actually add a lot of value to a series!
    But narratively justified fanservice is still fanservice. That’s where the gray area begins. Think the elfxDiablo magic scene in Demon Lord- it was merely the creator’s preference that the scene be sexual in nature. It’s perfectly justified to feel however you want about such scenes…
    Then there are just some series that really provide zero justification to their fanservice. Critically, such fanservice is lethal.
    [Insert plug for Monogatari here]

    1. It’s true that if there’s a point there isn’t fan service given by definition fan service is something added in. But if we think about something like Terminator when Arnold first appears in the past totally naked, they give us a reason about not being able to send clothes and weapons and the like. Still, somehow I’m just thinking that they could have just as easily come up with a way to explain sending the character fully clothed and they just really wanted a naked guy at the start of their movie. You couldn’t technically call the scene fan service and yet it really is.

      1. Narratively justified with consequences later in the story…
        Well, I think that the Terminator’s lack of shame in his nudity marks him as inhuman. That supplements the themes of the story, so I think it’s all good?
        Sure it pleases certain fans in a non-erudite way, but it matches the story in every way. It plays to the crowd, sure, but the scene serves so many purposes I’d be hard pressed to call it fan service. Try to come up with an alternative which serves as a better introduction…
        Like, my brain is trash, so I just can’t think of a more effective entrance for the terminator.

  14. I tend to agree. As I said before, if you’re gonna force me to sit through fanservice, I at least want it to actually move things along or make an effort to be relevant in some way. I actually think the “fanservice” towards the latter half of the *latest* episode of Demon Lord achieves that really well from a narrative standpoint. Great read, as usual ^^

    1. Demon Lord is being a bit of an anomaly being filled with fan service an yet somehow making it work within the story or at least giving the audience a reason to keep watching even if the fan service doesn’t work for them. They also know when to back away from the fan service and progress the plot, and when to make the fan service directly linked into the plot. For something that if you just surfaced watched looks pretty generic, it is actually quite cleverly done (or maybe I’m just trying to justify why I’m enjoying it so much).

  15. At some point I want to get around to a post looking at the value of balanced fan service. I’m kind of like you in that I’m generally indifferent toward it. But, I have a little more appreciation for a series that has it when it includes both male and female fanservice. I respect Food Wars for this approach. They focus a little more more on the female characters, but the “foodgasms” are generally indiscriminate in how they free people from their clothing.

      1. Food Wars is the only example I can think of where fan service serves as a means of conveying something that is relevant to the story.
        They bite into the food and exaggerate thier reactions as food gasams to get across how great the food is .

        1. I would say that Food Wars uses fan-service the way everyone else does. There’s no reason to exaggerate to that extreme other than they’ve made a choice to add it in. Those foodgasm shots eat up screen time and while they are fun, they don’t really progress the plot or the character moment anymore than just watching them bite the food and look happy would.
          That said, they didn’t drag those scenes on, they were inventive in the way they presented each one, they used a wide range of characters, and it actually just worked fairly well. For all the things I don’t like about Food Wars, the fan service was never really an issue except when having to explain why it existed to a friend of mine who watched an episode when they haven’t watched a lot of anime and could not for the life of them figure out why they would include that.

        2. I think the kicker here is “serves as a means of conveying something that is relevant”.

          Like Karandi was saying, the foodgasms don’t really progress the plot any further than more normal reactions would, BUT I think much of Shokugeki’s recipe for comedy is absurdist humor, and the gasms are obviously a large part of that.

          They’re not really plot devices, but they are still relevant–at least more so than if the entire thing was void of any foodgasms, but still had suggestive camera angles and such.

    1. I agree, if you are going to go do fan service, at least find some way to treat the male and female characters in a similar fashion. That way it feels less like the female characters only exist for the purpose of fan service and more like the series has made a decision to include fan service within its story.
      Food Wars is a great example of an anime where it wasn’t just the females. Even the non-‘foodgasm’ aspects like the character who was walking around just wearing an apron and the like ensured there was plenty of males being used in fan-servicey ways as well as the females.

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