5 Anime That Give Fans a Bad Name
I love anime. There is so much, quite a bit of it of a high quality, available out there that it physically angers me when I see a site like Cracked.com basically call it porn. Not only is it a lazy joke that should never have a place on such a fantastic site (who am I kidding, Cracked is all about the dick joke) but it serves as a disservice to the time and effort put into all of these shows.
Not to mention the fact that anime hardly caters to a niche audience now-a-days, so it would be nice if fans of the medium are given the same respect that comic book lovers have garnered over the last few years.
Saying that, I do kind of see were they are coming from; certain shows do go a bit too far with the fan service (adult sexual content). The term fan service refers to moments in shows when the plot is put on hold just to cater, often sexually, to fans. This might mean throwing a beach episode in the middle of series for no reason other than to show the characters in bikinis. Often this is done through pointless romances that do nothing but waste everyone's time.
These 5 are the worst offenders.
1) Highschool of the Dead
It is kind of challenging to argue with that above picture: A 'hero' using a 'gifted' girls 'talents' to aim a sniper towards some approaching enemies. Highschool of the Dead is the main reason people who have never really followed anime believe that it is made for a bunch of perverts who have a thing for busty pixels in school uniforms.
The sad thing is that Highschool of the Dead is fantastic, at times. It is produced by one of the best TV animation studios in the world (Madhouse) and shares the same series director (Tetsuro Araki) with classic series like Death Note and Gungrave. Yet, this is a series known mostly for that above screenshot and not for its mildly enjoyable zombie storyline.
The thing with Highschool of the Dead is that it took ecchi to a place of parody. Nobody can watch the above scene and believe it is done to 'enhance' the art. But it did it so often, throwing under-skirt shots in the middle of huge action scenes, that the only thing people want to do after watching even an episode of this series is to take a cold shower and question where their life went wrong.
2) Kill La Kill
Produced by Trigger and directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi, Kill La Kill took fan service to a whole new world when it actively implemented nudity as a key part of the story line. It focuses on a young girl that has to overcame her own insecurities about the way she looks while trying to avenge the death of her father. She has a magical bikini that gains strength the more confident she is in the way she looks.
This leads to an over the top storyline were a rebel group called Nudist Beach who are attempting to free the world from the grips of an evil clothes manufacturer before they take over the world. It is ridiculous but kind of clever.
One could argue that the whole story line was done so they could throw in as much cleavage shots as possible. But I would not agree with them. The nudity in Kill La Kill is done to facilitate the story line and not the other way round. It brings up intelligent issues about how one should be proud of who they are and how they look. That expressing yourself physically, and sexually, is a form of empowerment and one that can lead to personal growth.
The reason it made this list is because of how in your face the visuals are. That above image is what people would use as an example of why they do not watch anime.
3) No Game No Life
No Game No Life is directed by Atsuko Ishizuka and produced by Madhouse. This is not only one of the best anime of the last decade but simply one of the smartest shows produced recently. It follows two siblings who are teleported to a world were everything is decided via games. There they use their abilities to help a princess of a struggling kingdom regain her people's rights.
No Game No Life is based around the relationship between the two siblings who are pretty much adjoined at the hip. It would make sense that there is no boundaries between these two characters and this obviously leads to a bit of over-exposure. Again, the fan service is not the point of this anime, even though it would put off certain people. But unlike HBO darlings like The Wire which throw in the occasional lesbian sex scene just because they can, No Game No Life manages to use those scenes to reflect the relationship of the characters.
It is uncomfortable to watch but that is also how it is looked upon by those around them. Unfortunately, No Game No Life also throws in a bunch of 'comedy' bath scenes that do not reveal anything about the characters involved and are there just to ruin an otherwise flawless show.
4) Sword Art Online
Sword Art Online is right up there with the biggest anime of the last few years, not only in Japan but also in the Western World. Directed by Tomohiko Ito and produced by Aniplex, Sword Art Online started off strong with an intriguing premise: Players are stuck in a Massive Virtual Online Multiplayer Game and the only way they can escape is if they beat the game. Also, if they die within the game, they die in real life.
That is a premise that offers a lot. Unfortunately, the anime seemed to lose itself in its fan service as it went on. It became less about breaking out from this massive online game and more about which anime girl the lead character, Kirito, will meet next. And they all, obviously, end up falling madly in love with him.
Sword Art Online is by far the worst offender of any of these five simply because it held so much initial promise. The plot ended up sidelined for so long just to focus on the fan service that the final battle ended up coming from nowhere. They even seemed to rush arcs so they could introduced other new female characters.
When non-fans says that anime is just a male fantasy about how the male protagonist saves the world and gets all the girls, this is what they are thinking about.
5) Highschool DxD
This is it. Highschool DxD is why anime is seen as porn by certain people. Highschool DxD is porn. I am not going to even try and sell it as anything else. There is no character development, the plot structure is muddled and barely makes sense and the lead protagonist is every stereotype rolled into one.
The whole purpose of Highschool DxD is to show a loser repeatedly get the hottest girl in his universe. And trust me, they do not shy away from showing the 'getting' part. The opening scene of season 2 is a full on sex scene.
Anime shows can be a bit perverted. They can show a little too much or be a bit too raunchy. Sometimes, they might disregard common sense just to show some skin. You know where else you can see that? Game of Thrones.
My point is that we are living in an age were these once ostracised mediums are embedded into the mainstream cultural consciousness. So, if you do not want to watch anime, that's fine. But do not try to put down those that enjoy it, it only makes it obvious how out of touch you are with reality.