Sunday, September 23, 2007

:anime: When Big Busts Go Bust:: Fanservice Gone Bad (and Good) -[Intro]-

Since antiquity, human beings have held certain interests and "obsessions", for lack of a better word, of select matters across many fields. Violence, machinery, art, recreation, and nature are a few of which has fueled the fancies of mankind. One of its greatest is that of the human body. As an avatar and the primary visual distinction between individuals, the body has gained a high level of admiration and influence in terms of human relations, artistic expression, and physical activities. Perhaps the most focused-upon body type in our history is that of the female. In ways of maternity, fertility, and sexuality, the female form has been captured and idolized in generations of art forms and artwork. As such, the noteriety from it can create varying sensations of "obsession". Males, stemming from a number of factors, have shown over time to be tantilized by and strongly attracted to the female body, while the females themselves have shown a propensity for altering, or "bettering," their appearance in order to improve it, also for various reasons. This strive and attraction towards bodily perfection, either total or selective, is an ever present, ever evolving aspect in human existance. Every era and every culture has its own unique ideals as well as identical traits. One reoccuring aspect across time in repect to women has been of the breasts, one of their most noticible features. Though not pertaining to all periods and peoples, the penchant of having a large, full chest has been one sought after by both sexes for many generations. Males have tended to take notice of, if not become fixated on, them due to carnal or sexual notions, where as females may hold them in esteem or wish to attain that certain look for personal reasons or affectionate gain from the opposite sex.

In art, the female body has often been depicted nude completely or from the waist up, though realistically proportioned. In sub-field of animation, where visual exaggeration is common, such images (albeit more clothed) deviate in depiction and proportion, depending on the targeted age group and the subject matter of the feature. This style has been one of the more criticized aspects of Japanese animation. Women depicted with well-exaggerated breasts is a matter that has long dogged the genre, despite it not being a frequent fixture among the majority of shows. A similar example of this comes in the form of what is known as "fanservice", instances where part of a character's (mainly a female's) body or undergarments is exposed. Both facets have led to an unsavory view of shows that either heavily features fanservice or females with overly large breasts. This holds some flavor of truth, as a vast majority of such works have been of lesser quality.

This series takes a look at these types of shows and their focus on such character designs and fanservice and how it effects them. Of the two to be covered, two others will counter the notion that these qualities lead to a weaker show.

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