News (Updated) Manga Entertainment Comments on Fanservice
Manga Entertainment has made a series of comments about fanservice through its twitter feed, prompted by its upcoming release of Highschool of the Dead. The series is scheduled for release on DVD/BR on August 29.
Manga twittered, "I enjoyed Disc 1 of Highschool of the Dead today... It's pervy as hell but the action and horror elements are spot [on]. On the topic of fanservice. If it doesn't serve any real purpose to the story, I would not miss it if it wasn't there. Mixed feelings about releasing anime that features it so blatantly. However, Highschool of the Dead is such a fun ride and cool story I am prepared to overlook [it].
'Fanservice does nothing to bring a new female and more mature audience into anime though. It does [the] medium no favours. I had a friend at [Studio] Gonzo once tell me that one of the main reasons that fanservice exists is because so many of the creators in the studios are [...] and they are single and they have never had a girlfriend. It's a pervy, super-idealised view of women and it serves the male otaku audience. Fanservice is as much a part of the anime economy as Bandai model kits, plushies and the Ghibli museum.'
Replying to various comments on the twitter feed, Manga went on to describe series such as Strike Witches and Dance in the Vampire Bund (both upcoming Manga licences) as mostly 'graveyard shift programming' in Japan that pulled very low TV ratings. Gainax's series Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, which Manga has expressed an interest in licensing, was called "a post-modern comment and extension" of the fanservice phenomenon.
One tweeter, MangaMasters thought that the word 'fanservice' also applied to fan-pleasing elements such as mecha battles. However, Manga claimed, "I think fanservice these days is exclusive to titillating content (bouncing breasts, cleavage and panty shots)."
When another tweeter, Matthew Young, observed that the otaku audience was reflected in the number of 'nerdy guy' heroes in harem-style anime, Manga replied, 'Ironically, it's when these men grow up and start respecting women that they may have [a] chance to meet some."
Manga concluded, "Fanservice is insurance. It guaruntees x amounts of viewers, x amounts of DVD sales and x anounts of merchandise sales. Sex sells."
According to a previous Manga tweet, Highschool of the Dead had been passed uncut by the BBFC at a "15" certificate (despite the certificate in the image above, taken from the UK Amazon site). The series Strike Witches was given a "12" certificate and will be released as an uncut two-disc DVD on October 10. Dance in the Vampire Bund is scheduled for November.
Erratum: An earlier version of the story wrongly claimed that Highschool of the Dead was scheduled for release on July 29. We apologise for this error; thanks to Jerome Mazandarani of Manga for pointing it out.
Erratum 2: Girubaato on the feedback page points out an anomaly with the BBFC page on Highschool of the Dead. This reference has been removed, pending verification from the BBFC.
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history