Anime Feminist Wants To Get Real About Fan Service

So-called nerd culture has, over the last few years, been forced to take a moral inventory. Women and minorities have always consumed this media; lately, and loudly, some of us have been asking to see ourselves better-reflected, at least in comics and video games. In anime, that conversation is just starting.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

Anime fan Amelia Cook is carving out a place for it. She's fluent in Japanese, just watched the whole slate of anime premieres for Crunchyroll's fall season and counts herself a proud feminist. For some time, she's been looking for a place online for anime fans to hold congress over fan service, anime content that, primarily, uses female sexuality to keep viewers interested.

Earlier this week, Cook launched the site Anime Feminist. She runs it along with about 20 contributors, all anime watchers, all people who believe that some of the tropes of anime , the fan-service, mainly, deserve a more substantial critique. Yesterday, I talked to her about her new site, about the idea of criticism vs. censorship and about her hopes for a wider array of anime for men and women to view that isn't determined by the "male boner":

Cecilia D'Anastasio: When did you start thinking that there was need for a site like Anime Feminist?

Amelia Cook: I watched anime first in the '90s and early 2000s. I stopped watching for a while because it became so hard and so expensive and time-consuming to find anime that treated female characters well. Now, with simulcasts, it's easier to test new anime to see how they treat their female characters. But there still wasn't a lot of discussion about feminism in anime. Viewers focus on their personal tipping points for what is acceptable and unacceptable. I want to see anime characters not objectified or infantilized.

D'Anastasio: What's an anime that you think portrays women well?

Cook: My personal favourite is actually Planetes. It's set in a workplace, men and women are working together. It's got women of colour. It's an anime I love, and every time I rewatch it, I enjoy it. It's not a perfect anime, but perfect is very difficult.

D'Anastasio: Was there a specific trope in anime that inspired Anime Feminist? Something that made you think, "A conversation about women in anime needs to exist"?

Active Raid

Cook: I think one example is Active Raid. It isn't a very popular anime. I was watching it and, for the first part, everything was very neutral. And then, suddenly, you get a close-up shot of [the protagonist's] butt when she's doing a transformation sequence. It was so unnecessary. It was so out of sync with the rest of the mecha show. There's nothing about its premise that needs to sexualize these characters.

That's what gets to me the most. When it's not baked into the premise. You go in with some expectations and then suddenly there's panty shots. It's just insidious.

D'Anastasio: Really, that just seems to be fan service. What's the issue? It's like, "Here's the meat of the anime, with a little pepper sprinkled on top." It's not the whole thing.

Cook: If you want something that's all fan service, seek out something like [butt-fighting sports anime] Keijo. The idea that this kind of thing adds value… It's "fan service." It's not serving the plot, not the characterization, but the hypothetical male boner. This is targeting straight men who specifically will be so turned on by this that they will see it as a reason to continue watching the anime.

D'Anastasio: What's wrong with catering to the so-called "hypothetical male boner"? That's an audience. I want you to tell me the goals of "Anime Feminist" when there is a big market for anime that objectifies women.

Cook: Our website isn't for taking anything away from anime at all. Fan service is threaded into all kinds of anime. One example I'd give is Flip Flappers. It's beautiful. It's a really beautiful fairy tale anime about two young girls. It seems to be headed down a queer route. Women will find that really appealing.

But then you have a scene where a root picks these girls up and starts grabbing at them with a mechanical tentacle-like extremity, grabbing at her skirt to get at her thighs. And she's screaming "No!" and looks tearful. That seems gratuitous to me. But that would count as fan service to someone else. It isn't expanded on in the story in a way that would justify that in my mind. But some people enjoy that and think its funny.

D'Anastasio: So would you have them get rid of the scene? What are you asking for?

Cook: It's not censorship, because we're not asking animators in Japan to stop making anything. Were not asking people to ban anything. We're not asking for any rules to be put in place. What we'd like to see is more anime being created to give more options to people. You watch Flip Flappers and think it's going to be a sweet, innocent story. In the middle, you get a scene that's quite uncomfortable to watch. With Scorching Ping Pong Girls, you think it will be about young women playing ping pong, but then you have moments that objectify these teenaged girls. You don't need all anime to have scenes like that in it. Most doesn't need to have those scenes to get an audience.

D'Anastasio: That's true. I like the idea of there being more options. How did you prepare to launch Anime Feminist?

Cook: I just watched every premiere in the Fall [Crunchyroll] season over the last week.

D'Anastasio: Woah. What'd you think?

Cook: There's never a season that's 100% bad or good. It's not like that. On one end of the spectrum, you have something like Yuri on Ice, which has a guy being naked in the first episode, some man service. There are female characters and they seem well-represented but they're not star characters just yet. That seems to be catering more toward female audiences who want to see that kind of content.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have Keijo, which is completely unembarrassed about the fact that it's trying to turn on straight male viewers. That's why it was made. You go in knowing what it's for, who it's for. It makes it easier to accept than stuff that's between two ends of the spectrum.

D'Anastasio: What stood out to you this season? Was there anything particularly bad or good in your view?

Cook: We have two sports anime featuring women this season. One is Keijo the other is Scorching Ping Pong Girls, which literally has a character named "mune-mune," which translates to "chest-chest." If you were to localise that, it's be "boobie-boobie." I know Japanese. She shows up on screen and it says "Third-year mune mune sempai." It would be, "15-years-old boobie-boob." That is horrendous. I find that much more difficult to deal with than Keijo, which tells you up front what it is. In Scorching Ping Pong Girls, they're wearing normal school uniforms and then you have the close-up to this girl's chest. People respond, "That's just Japanese culture." But Japanese girls shouldn't be named for their body parts like this.

D'Anastasio: So, do you feel comfortable evaluating a Japanese cultural product through a Western feminist lens?

Cook: I feel very comfortable. Anime fandom has a cultural resistance to critique that I don't really understand. I have a degree in Japanese studies. I speak Japanese. I understand Japanese. Much of the staff has lived in the country. One of the purposes of the site is to get Japanese people's voices published, too. We'd like to get Japanese people talking about this from their perspective.

Even if we get it wrong, we're fine apologizing. If we make a point and someone says, "Actually, in Japanese culture, this looks different because...," we'd accept that and make a new article. The point is to add to conversation. Right now, anime fandom seems very comfortable with one specific perspective.

Bakemonogatari

D'Anastasio: What is the feminist discourse about anime like in Japan? It's a pretty niche thing over there. It's not like everyone in Japan watches anime, and especially not the super fan-servicey shows we're talking about.

Cook: Anime kind of exists on two levels in Japan. It's niche there. Like here, there's a culture of acceptance around anime, fan service, objectification. People either put up with it or they don't. That's how it's been in Western anime fandom for decades. Anime Feminist wants to create a space where people can raise those concerns, raise those questions, and change the conversation to encompass more views.

D'Anastasio: How exactly will you be doing that?

Cook: Right now, we're running on a blog level. We're posting reviews for the full season. We really look for what kinds of concerns feminist viewers might have. We've talked about fan service, offensive portrayals of gay people, female characters who aren't given a lot of agency. We're raising these points. We're creating a line of discussion that people will expand on. That's one approach.

We're not saying don't watch it or licence it, we're saying that's what's there. There have also been times that I, as a straight feminist, say, "I'm not happy with how these women are treated," only to be told by queer feminists, "Actually that portrayal was really meaningful to me." That's an important conversation. We'd like to create a discussion forum, where people can speak without worrying about the kind of backlash you expect speaking in forums now. It all depends on funding. We need to be able to play people fairly.

D'Anastasio: What do you think the response will be to Western feminist criticism in anime? Using words like "feminism," "objectification" and "infantilization" can be immediately off-putting to people who aren't used to talking like that. How do you rationalize it?

Cowboy Bebop

Cook: I published three articles on The Mary Sue this year. On objectification, sexualization, infantilization. As a result of publishing those articles, I was told to kill myself, I was sent pictures of dead bodies, nooses, guns, insults, abuse. It went on for days. People were digging up my LinkedIn, threatening to contact my work and get me fired. They tweeted at magazines I contributed to. I've been prepared for that backlash since before I started an anime blog.

The final article I put on The Mary Sue, which was on masculinity, got an enormous backlash. But after, people in anime fandom were standing up and saying, "This response is unacceptable. She didn't even say anything that controversial." A lot of people approach me and make it clear that there's an appetite in anime fandom for this kind of critique. A lot of people are appalled by the idea that this discussion can't or shouldn't take place. That's given me a lot more confidence starting a project like this.

D'Anastasio: I've received the question, "What does it matter if women are portrayed badly in anime? They're fictional women." What are your thoughts on this?

Cook: There are many, many women, queer people, non-binary people, people of colour who can tell you quite clearly why it matters to them personally, and I think everyone should listen to their stories. If empathy isn't enough to convince you, more objective reasons why sexualized or infantilized representation of women is a problem include the fact that it's poor storytelling. It ruined the immersive experience for many cinema-goers when Star Trek took Carol Marcus' clothes off for no narrative purpose, to the point that they apologised. But this kind of thing is common in anime and we accept it as the price of admission. Not everyone will care about storytelling quality in anime, or any media they consume, but high profile critics do, and most won't waste their time reviewing -- in other words, promoting -- anything that they don't expect to meet their basic standards for quality.

D'Anastasio: Yeah, it can be hard to recommend anime to people who have the impression that most of it is, well, not very thoughtful.

Cook: I have a lot of friends who used to watch anime but don't anymore, partly because, like me, it became too hard to seek out anime that treated women well. There are also lots of people who are enthusiastic about other geek properties but won't touch anime because of its reputation of infantilizing women and sexualizing children. It makes it hard to recommend anime to people who aren't already fans. Would anime lose viewers if women were only gratuitously sexualized in shows like Keijo rather than in shows like Scorching Ping Pong Girls? I don't think so.


Comments

    So basically there will be a place for people to go where they can watch anime they will enjoy because of what is or how its portrayed instead of having to go to the effort of reading a fucking synopsis and using common sense to pick and choose what they want to watch themselves from the general pool?

    Fine. In the grand scheme of things japan couldnt give a flying fuck what uppety, high horse riding white people think anyway so the industry itself wont care but if it creates an opportunity in which complaint articles and blogs are curbed then Im all for it.

    Last edited 15/10/16 3:51 pm

      instead of having to go to the effort of reading a fucking synopsis and using common sense to pick and choose what they want to watch themselves from the general pool?

      If you'd actually read the article, you would have picked this example

      One example I’d give is Flip Flappers. It’s beautiful. It’s a really beautiful fairy tale anime about two young girls. It seems to be headed down a queer route. Women will find that really appealing.
      But then you have a scene where a root picks these girls up and starts grabbing at them with a mechanical tentacle-like extremity, grabbing at her skirt to get at her thighs. And she’s screaming “No!” and looks tearful.

      I took a quick google search and both myanimelist.net and Crunchroll don't mention anything of that, nor does the wikipedia page with episode synopsis.

      I have to agree that throwing something like that randomly in any show isn't needed and I ca imagine getting invested in characters I could relate to suddenly being sexually assaulted by monsters, I wold be rather put off from watching it again.

      But please, continue being outraged.

      Last edited 15/10/16 6:37 pm

        OUTRAGE! (I'm not really outraged, sorry)

        Saw it. Misread and thus misinterpreted it. My bad. May my shortcomings forever be left for the world to see.

    You seem to be assuming its only white people who have an issue with fan service. Over in japan its a common complaint that the fan service is only there because of creepy white nerds. Broaden your horizons dude.

      They know it isn't all white nerds. But they DO think that it's all creepy nerds.

      Fanservice has a place just like anything else. I don't care for it, but it shouldn't be this stupid thing that's just jammed randomly into everything and is occasionally really fucking gross.

      [citation needed]

        It was a joke. But jokes aside, otaku culture does a really good job of making itself look creepy as fuck, even to people that like all of its trappings.

          Completely agree, and the otaku themselves (especially the weaboo contingent) don't do much favors. Probably myself included, I suspect. But my [citation needed] was more in response to "Over in japan its a common complaint that the fan service is only there because of creepy white nerds."

            Not saying that nobody thinks that, but I've literally never heard that. I lived in Japan for 6 years, i was close enough to Tokyo to visit Akihabara whenever the mood struck me and I traveled a lot.
            Minus the "white" part and I absolutely agree.

    Read this interview the other night. Fairly impressed with the responses and rationale from Cook in this endeavour, and with D'Anastasio's questioning. Very clear what the intent is here.

    The kinds of discussions this new site will produce are ones I expect have been a long time coming. It would be wonderful if they could be received in a civil manner, especially given the team's view that they don't want to destroy the idiosyncrasies of anime. I would personally enjoy having a few more shows that don't feel the need to adhere to certain tropes because of perceived markets.

    Good luck with that, the Japanese give no fucks for western SJW bullshit.

    Nice article! Everything is about having the discussion, a nice discussion and hoping we can all have it without fighting about it.

    Yeah that'll happen when you watch some seinen or most shounen. Some things just aren't made for you, and that's okay; watch something else instead of trying to force change upon art that isn't your own.

    Off-topic: Am I the only one getting irritated by the constant push of "zomg click here to larne how to code!!11" ads that keep popping up from time to time? A 48 hour crash course that ordinarily costs $1500 isn't going to get your fucking career off the ground. Go to a library or download some ebooks.

    Last edited 15/10/16 8:04 pm

      Yeah that'll happen when you watch some seinen or most shounen. Some things just aren't made for you, and that's okay; watch something else instead of trying to force change upon art that isn't your own.

      I think part of the issue is that A) There isn't much that is 'made for them'
      and B) What is 'made for them' then has random fanservice thrown in (See Flip Flappers)

        The scene used as an example in the interview was completely justified in the context of the story. It wasn't "random fanservice".

    ITT (and every other anime thread on here lately) : "Yeah, but like, the West invaded Iraq so that totally means fanservice-y panty shots of 12 year olds are all good".

      They only LOOK like 12 year olds, they are actually centuries old, so that makes it OK to fap to them and purchase body pillows and statuettes that make mom cry whenever she comes down to clean the basement.

    As a straight male i hope that sort of movement gets some momentum just so the industry gets a bit more mature. Im not sure if anime has changed alot but it seems to me like there used to be a lot more good quality seinen anime. Now most anime tagged as seinen feels like a shounen with heaps more fanservice shoved in. And god there's way to much slice of life school anime. I still like the big shounen stuff, and some of the fan service shows like prison school and Keijo are fucking hilarious. I'm sure boner material is part of their success but i think the main reason people watch is because its so absurd its funny.

    But western opinion and tastes have absolutely no bearing on the industry as a whole so it doesn't really matter anyway. Im sure there are really good seinen manga out there waiting to be adapted. Maybe some western producers will pay for some.

    Last edited 15/10/16 9:39 pm

      Western markets are a huge deal for the production companies. The market in Japan is really stagnant and a few massive animes dominate the entire scene while dozens of animes don't even break even. Rooster Teeth's RWBY becoming something of a cult hit over there is worrying a lot of creators, as well.
      There will always be a segment of the market that gives not even half a fuck about what foreigners want or think, but as a whole, the industry understands that it is a cultural export and needs to be viable in foreign markets.

        Citation needed.

          Citations are not needed for things that aren't opinion. Anime has been a multi million dollar export from Japan for at least 20 years. Studio Ghibli pay huge name actors to do English dubs of their movies. Anime companies regularly license TV shows to foreign companies. Crunchyroll et al exist... How exactly do I need to cite this? There's not even a burden of proof on this. It's like saying that Hollywood movies increasingly rely on the Chinese market to turn a profit.

          The only part of that whole post that isn't immediately obvious to even a casual observer is the remark about RWBY, but seeing I saw multiple huge billboards for it in Akihabara two weeks ago, I'm pretty confident in my assertion.

            That's not a citation.

            An opinion on the market health of an industry would require qualification by the inclusion or reference to some figures... that's finance 101. Your anecdotal evidence about billboards is not sufficient evidence to your claims.

              Decades of multi billion dollar export. Common knowledge. Like saying "cigarettes cause cancer". Burden of proof is on you to prove that it isn't a massive international multi-billion dollar industry because it very, very clearly is.

              Or do you honestly expect people to cite "cigarettes give you cancer"? How about "Warren Buffet is pretty wealthy" or "Legalised weed in America has been very popular"?

                That's not a citation either. You're very good at coming across like you know stuff without actually knowing stuff.

                Like exports. Wholly irrelevant to your claim. But you just forge ahead even though you need a citation to make your point.

    If you're against depicting women in needlessly sexual situations and shots in anime, then, fair enough.

    But as a straight white man, I'm kind of not a fan of it either - and not because it degrades women or whatever, but because after it happens for the umpteenth time, it gets...really boring. Oversexualized anime or anime with 97% female characters are honestly so tired by this point that I haven't watched anime for some time. Why can't we have more anime like Steins;Gate? That was fantastic, and all of the sexual stuff in that made sense, even if there was very little of it.

    I feel much of this article not only reflects anime but gaming and geek culture in general. Its not necessarily bad to keep what we have in general, we just need much more of everything else to balance it out and add more variety to the mix.

    More variety overall adds more depth to the community and allows for more experiences to share with others. It also means if you don't like an experience there there is always an alternative for you to go to instead while still being part of the community.

      This is more often than not the conversation that people are trying to have, but are shouted down as "Triggered SJWs" or some other silliness. Pretty much everyone likes sex and sexual stuff. People like sexy content in their media. Even the dreaded Feminist Army is fine with sex as a general concept. But there needs to be some sort of reasonable standard of when, where, and how that kind of thing is included.

      I really enjoyed Bakemonogatari in the beginning because it did some really novel stuff with Japanese folklore. I was even fine with the idea of it being a twist on the harem anime genre with all of the girls being some sort of strange supernatural being. But then it devolved into weird shit about groping ghosta ghost who is 8 years old and a vampire of indeterminate age who looks 8 and touches your dick from inside your shadow while you are in the bath. Oh, and brushing your sister's teeth and wanting to fuck her. This is not what I paid for.

    Definitely understand where they are coming from.

    There's a lot of shows that are blatant gratuity like High School of the Dead, and I'm fine with that. I'll openly admit that I'm a red blooded male that will watch that stuff and cheer on.

    But when I start watching a show that's detailed and interesting then suddenly they start having butt shots of women in see through clothing for no reason at all, that really puts me off 'cause I wasn't watching the show for that.

    Imagine if Death Note just had a dead serious conversation where a girl in a g string is bending over during the conversation.

    It seems too stupid and out of place but they've done that with several shows. Code Geass which by many is rated as one of the greatest anime stories out there, yet the second season they decided that see through shirts and camel toes had to be in every shot.

      Sometimes I really don't mind that though; that a super serious anime gets the chance to let fly the absurdly stylish or frivolous.

      High School of the Dead was exactly the example that came to mind for me. It's an otherwise dead serious zombie survival drama that makes no bones (heh) about being stupidly fanservice-y. The fact that it is never acknowledged in universe is kind of the joke. It's so over the top that somewhere in the first season it does slow-mo close-up shots of one of the characters using her boobs to cock a shotgun. Pretty much everyone saw the thing, liked it or didn't, then went on with their day.

      But a psychological drama having random fan service for no reason is awful and people react to it poorly.

    Good job, Ceciilia, asking harsh questions that produce intelligent and humble answers, instead of the patronising, biased, self-fulfilling ones that often plague these kind of interviews.

    While I obviously agree with Amelia that there's lots of great or at least decent anime out there that do not /need/ the fanservice to be good or even to attract a viewership, the reality is that anime in Japan as a business is cutthroat, with low margins and an expected niche market. Ratings and viewership are nice and all but their business model makes hard to monetise that. That means that most of the returns on the investment made to produce an anime series comes from the sale of physical discs! (which is a hard thing to imagine in the West nowadays).

    However, even in Japan, the market for anime discs is small and comprised primarily of 'otaku' who basically fetishise ownership of such discs as a way to feel closer to their favourite characters (often girls, or 'waifus'). That means that you reeaaaally want to make sure that your product is otaku-friendly (i.e. has some fanservice) especially of the kind that can be cheaply censored for TV (with fog, smoke or bright light) so the disc will have the added promise of "uncensored content". This is also the reason why most series have an extra direct-to-disc episode customarily set on the beach or an onsen (public baths) and that are 100% fanservice.

    The recent trend to also show "man-service" in certain anime, more than the result of egalitarian, sex-positive gender progressiveness, marks the industry's acknowledgement of 'fujoshi' (female otaku) as a significant new slice of the anime disc market.

    Last edited 16/10/16 12:43 am

      I kind of feel like this is kind of excuse for the swimsuit and onsen episodes is a cop out from several studios with crappy content.
      Plenty of shows make good money by actually being good. The wall-to-wall fan service is a result of companies pushing shows they aren't confident are good products and hedging their bets. It started a long time ago and it led to a market that reflected the situation. Sales were poor because the content was poor. Some cheap titillation made a jump in numbers, so the shows were injected with cheap titillation. Cheap titillation is easy to put in, so the crappy content was excused more and more until they show the poor sales of non-boobular stuff as a reason for why it is needed. Meanwhile, the really huge shows of the last decade were mostly fanservice free. What they could do is not make a show that they know isn't good, but that takes effort, talent, and confidence in your product.

        Remember that "critically acclaimed" is not the same as "a sales success". Yes, creators that are confident in their stories will put out their excellent material out there, usually aided by the name they have built for themselves through the year and their sponsors' confidence. But get this, even those, more often than not, get mediocre sales. I mean, they may be well in the hundreds of thousands but the margins are low, so a true breakout needs something more like millions. The only true good, financially successful, fanservice-less anime from last 5 years that comes to mind is Attack on Titan (and note that, if we go down to it, hyper-violence and gore is a sort of fanservice too).

        On the other hand, cheap, mediocre, run of the mill series heavy with fanservice get excellent sales (for the budget they used). Things being like that, it shouldn't surprise you to know that there are also really, really great series that in spite of not needing the fanservice, sprinkle some here and there to aid their sales. After all, even if they are consummate artists with a great vision, anime in Japan is produced by committee and stockholders and investors need to recoup their share.

        Last edited 17/10/16 9:44 am

          I get all of that. I agree, mostly. But it's kind of a chicken and egg scenario. The industry has done so much to turn away people who aren't fond of fan service that people who don't like it mostly don't bother to look. That's before we even get into all the other problems with the industry, like making things by committee, over-saturation of the market, reliance on outdated monetisation strategies, and charging hundreds of dollars for a single season of a show on DVD. The whole thing is a clusterfuck and throwing more tits at it won't fix it.

            Certainly won't fix it but for many studios and creators (and the hundreds of lower-rung employees), it's keeping the lights on. We all would like to dream of the current system collapsing and a new, sustainable, creator-friendly industry that doesn't rely on pandering to otaku raising from the ashes to take its place. And probably, it will happen at some point as the audience itself evolves and forces the change. In the meantime, people want to keep creating and maybe, sometimes, putting food on their plates.

            If a director doesn't have enough clout to demand the integrity of their vision to be respected, they for sure would rather insert a gratuitous onsen scene with mandatory boob grab from spunky "senpai, senpai!" girl in their series than not make a series at all.

              On a creator level, of course. They want to stay in a job and they will make what they are told to make in order to keep that job. Can't fault anyone for wanting to stay employed. Studio level is a little different, but a lot of studios work as farmed work for bigger companies. All of that is understandable.
              It's the made-by-committee dross that comes out on a board room level that shits me. It's like an entire industry run by the Konami boardroom and it's gross for a hundred reasons.

                Yeah, no argument there. s'ok though, I think most of those board-folk must be 90+ now. Any time now they'll mass extinct and hopefully, the newer generation will do things better.

                  We can only live in hope. I honestly don't see them changing until it's far too late. It'll collapse, or just become a soft-porn industry. Though I'd love to be proven wrong.

    But then you have a scene where a root picks these girls up and starts grabbing at them with a mechanical tentacle-like extremity, grabbing at her skirt to get at her thighs. And she’s screaming “No!” and looks tearful.
    It isn’t expanded on in the story in a way that would justify that in my mind.
    Actually, it is. In episode two it is explained that a large amount of energy or emotion is needed to enter the world of Pure Illusion. Cocona had no idea what was going on during her first time, so it was necessary to illicit some sort of emotion. The robot did this by causing her to be embarrassed.

      I haven't seen it but for me that explanation wouldn't justify that scene. I'm guessing that Amelia felt likewise, so I think the original statement still stands.

        I agree it seems a pretty weak piece of story telling. Overall I think the article makes a fair point and fan service is something that is disappointing about a lot of anime. I think it is one of the reasons that most anime still struggles in the west.

    Almost all of the time a show has excessive or jarring 'fan service' it's safe to assume the story/directing/animation will be pretty bland.
    Really they need to stop making so much cheap garbage. And Planetes was great.

    Friendly reminder that fan service hurts no one and there's nothing wrong with it.

    It’s not censorship, because we’re not asking animators in Japan to stop making anything. Were not asking people to ban anything. We’re not asking for any rules to be put in place. What we’d like to see is more anime being created to give more options to people.

    This is exactly the argument I've made on a few previous articles here that tried to shame artists for making sexualised, exaggerated art. It's great to see someone else with the same perspective, that the way to 'fix' unbalanced depictions of women (or people of colour, or anything really) isn't to attack and shame the writers and artists that show them in a sexualised way, but to support and encourage the kinds of depictions we want to see more of.

    Balance can be reached either by destroying one side or by creating the other. The former is forceful, unnecessary and breeds resentment; the latter lets both sides coexist happily.

    Good luck, Amelia. I hope you succeed in increasing the diversity of anime.

    Last edited 16/10/16 10:33 pm

    I really dislike fan service, as often it gets in the way of the anime itself.

    However, there's a reason it exists, and thats because its been proven that many anime's sell better because of the fan service. Its a business decision, nothing more.

    Now, neither am I really in the market of censorship - so the real thing should be, read your synopsis, and avoid if you can't deal with fan service. Or create\kickstart your own anime's sans fan service.

    I hope the movement goes well, I personally find fan service gets in the way of the story of anime, particularly independent stuff that doesn't have a studio to fall onto if they don't sell well. If you want to get your jollies off there's plenty of anime that explicitly sells itself for that reason. It's when shows like Fairytail throw in some fan service episode once in a while that I feel upset. All I can think is "what plot arc got cut to fit that beach scene in..."

    This video discusses whether ethical failings in an artwork diminish the quality of the artwork or are relevant or not from a philosophical standpoint, specifically using anime fan service and using Kill La Kill as an example. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w45kh2PB8a0 Seems relevant.

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