Objectification & Fan Service in Anime
First of All
There's nothing wrong with enjoying your fair share of ecchi/harem shows with a plethora of fan service for that purpose and that purpose only. Shows that present themselves as nothing more an than ecchi have a certain expectation surrounding them, for all of their characters to be put into sexual situations. If the show clearly makes it seem that way, then there's no reason to get frustrated. We know what we get ourselves into when we watch these kinds of things and that's why we watch them. Although I personally don't like most shows like these, they're not necessarily annoying to the community since these shows were made for the sole purpose of fan service and those who aren't into that kind of show can easily stay away. A couple of examples would be High School DxD, To LOVE-Ru, and Rosario to Vampire.
When you start watching a serious anime for the purpose of quality, things begin to get annoying when the creators decide to sexualize every character on screen for stupid reasons. The effect is worsened when you actually get an attachment to some characters and expect them to play cool roles in the story and be useful to the plot.
Recently, I tried watching Toaru Majutsu no Index II because some of the characters are seriously lovable. The show itself isn't even good, and in addition to that, something awful kept happening over and over again. Essentially, every female character in the show got sexualized due to Touma's "misfortune". All that would need to happen is him be near a girl and 90% of the time you can expect him "accidentally" touching her breast, or putting his hand on her crotch and so on. This doesn't happen in entirely comedic moments, either. I can understand the argument "It's a form of comedic relief", however, this is a very serious show with very serious moments. No matter what, this "comedic relief" doesn't benefit the story in any way, and it's honestly frustrating.
Misaka Mikoto happens to be one of my favorite characters in anime. Do you understand how annoying it is that whenever she DOES get screen time, it's in the form of some sick, twisted, and perverted fan service? Not only is she a side character, but whenever she does show up, we have to deal with no form of development and no semblance of her true character at all, instead, the show forces her into sexualized situations.
Lazy, Pandering, and Annoying Filler
Fan service of the sexual kind is something lots of anime use as filler. It's forgivable in shows that revolve themselves around this entirely, bringing nothing to the table other than sexual situations and fan service. However, when it tries to be a real show, it can be quite frustrating when the fan service strikes. Sexualized stereotypical moments in anime are a lazy device used for nothing more than stupid filler. It only shows us that the anime is way too lazy to actually do something productive, so instead, it forces sexualized men/women onto us in a unforgivably stupid way. Not only that, but, it's a simple way to pander to the otaku mindset who are only interested in seeing sexy scenes. The problem here is that this form of entertainment makes money. If you sexualize a character, these people are going to go buy sfw/nsfw figures of them. If you have sexy scenes, these people will spread the news and make their otaku friends watch the anime. If the show makes these people super horny, they might just give it high ratings and waste their money on DVDs of it.
It's lazy and stupid, but it unfortunately works very well on the community. Many people let their hormones control their brains and desperately anticipate "sexy" moments. This is why the ecchi genre was created in the first place, and it's been extremely successful. You might be asking "What's the problem if it's enjoyable?". Well, if a character has had lots of fan service behind them, the creators have had much less time to actually develop them, resulting in an annoying two-dimensional piece of shit. They're most likely irrelevant and only there to be "sexy" without a single likable aspect. The effect is MUCH worse if it's a character you like (Misaka from Index) and they refuse to stop pushing sexual scenes onto their character.
There Is a Difference
I would also like to point out that there's a difference between mature sexualization and the immature trope fueled bullshit that anime presents us with.
A good example of the bullshit sexualization is the scene in Shakugan no Shana where Shana climbs into Yuuji's bed in her underwear, and when she wakes up, she gets super angry at him and blushes like a maniac, so she points her sword at him and says something along the lines of "Why am I in your bed PEEERRVERRTT". What kind of immature five year old thought up this scenario? How fucking horny are you? In the same anime, there's a scene where Yuuji hides in the closet so Shana can change her clothes, and as soon as Shana takes everything off, the closet door breaks and Yuuji comes rolling out. Oh wow, what a mature coincidence. I'm sure it took a fully fleshed adult mind to think up this kind of shit.
What's a good example of mature sexualization? Well, there's a scene in the Monogatari Series where Karen takes off her bra and panties in the same room as her brother, Araragi, so she can hop in the shower afterwards. No one overreacts, no one makes a big deal out of it, and it feels extremely natural. They continue talking normally as if nothing is wrong. What has this scene done? It has pandered to the otaku mindset who desire to see naked women while being realistic in a sense, not fueling the fire with retarded anime tropes. It's makes sense since siblings see each other naked all the time without overreacting in the slightest (I know this from experience). If this was a majority of other anime, I guarantee you that she would have blushed and thrown something at him screaming something along the lines of "BAKA ONII-CHAN".
This is the difference between mature sexualization and retarded stereotypical sexualization. They both pander to the people who want to see some form of a sexual scene but one does it in a way that is seriously less annoying than the other.
It Destroys the Name of Anime
Due to all of the over-sexualization and extreme objectification of characters in anime, are you even surprised that non-anime frequenters think it's all hentai or think it's all trash? When most anime is full of half-naked women with terribly written plots and shitty characters, what else should we expect from outsiders? Of course they will all think it's shit, since, most otaku's and weeaboo's spread the word of anime this way and this way only.
It saddens me how many anime's that come out nowadays are disappointing, but, not in a way that these creators understand. They think it's all fine and dandy because the majority of these fanbases don't care as long as it's full of naked characters, stupid tropes, and pander to their cringeworthy tastes. In other words, if the majority of your fans tell you to keep putting sexualized scenes into an anime, the best way to make money would be to do such things. This is why these kinds of shows keep coming out over and over again and unless there is serious reform, it won't stop.
What I'm Trying to Say Here
The point of this article isn't an attempt to single out people who enjoy this content or bash on those who like this kind of thing. It's more of an attempt to explain our problems with consistent sexualization and why it annoys us. It's understandable that you want to see that kind of content because of your hormones, but, it starts to get annoying when fans who don't want to see this kind of shit have to deal with companies pulling the same gimmick over and over again.
As a fan of anime, I'm exhausted of seeing my favorite characters get much less time for development because the creators desperately want to pander to the fans who desire over-sexualization. It's unfair, lazy, and absolute bullshit.
What do you think about this problem?
© 2016 Tabari