Of Cyberpunk: Edge Runners at demon slayer, one would be hard pressed to find an anime series that doesn’t lean into fan service when it comes to its sexually suggestive imagery and character designs to keep its audiences intrigued and excited. There are several shows that have proven that fan service can be handled with taste and subtlety, but those who invest in anime for characters and story are often put off by those who go a bit too far.
A little fan service can go a long way, and while there are those who see it as a benefit, there are many in the anime community who see excessive amounts of it as an unnecessary detriment. In fact, several Reddit users claimed that it even resulted in some of their favorite shows being completely ruined for them, and continued to openly express their disgust for those who did.
Code Geass (2006 – 2008)
Code Geass tells the story of an exiled prince who revolts against an all-powerful empire. With its engaging plot and fast-paced action, this might not seem like the kind of anime that would need a lot of fan service to keep viewers’ attention, but much to the chagrin of many (and the joy of others ) it does exactly that.
Editor AnnaLaBelle admitted to giving up Code Geass around the halfway point, because according to them, “the fan service made me unable to take the series seriously”. In a response, the user much more much agreed that the fan service “makes it impossible” to recommend the series “as a politically oriented anime to a wider non-animated audience” and that it “definitely limits what the series could have been”.
Food Wars (2015 – )
Among a select group of anime that are surprisingly educational, food wars has built a mixed reputation with its use of fan service. While the show does not fail to trigger appetites with its satisfying cooking scenes, it does maintain the potential to alienate some viewers as several episodes also contain a good amount of PG-13 level nudity, especially during scenes involving tasting food.
Within their same initial position, AnnaLaBelle also mentioned how fan service slightly hampered their love of food wars, saying “I hate that I can’t watch it in public.” As charming and entertaining as the show’s premise and characters are, it can distract anyone unwilling or unable to look past the constant sexual innuendos.
Mayo Chiki! (2011 – )
It may look like a wholesome romantic comedy at first glance, but after a few episodes, viewers of Mayo Chiki! may find that its images are not as healthy as they might have thought. When it comes to harem anime, fan service footage is almost inevitable, but it’s a series that viewers seem to think it would have been better not to have at all.
For the Reddit user Avery Bradleyif it weren’t for its excessive fan service, “this would have been a PERFECT rom-com series”, even admitting that they “got pissed watching emotional or serious scenes being ruined” by it.
Fire Force (2019)
fire force has become one of the most popular anime over the past couple of years, but not without its fair share of criticism. Even among its most dedicated fans, the series has faced some serious backlash against its approach to fan service, especially with the continued use of the character Tamaki as a prime target for brazen sexual exploitation.
Countless Redditors have called out the show for it, to the point where the user RoshanGill441 admitted, “I dropped that shit in Season 1 and never watched it again.” Although it didn’t exactly spoil the show for Redditor. Cheetah357they admitted that “it made it a little less enjoyable”, while acknowledging that the second season had “cut back on Tamaki’s fan service”.
Sword Art Online (2012 – )
While the fanbase of Sword Art Online praised him for his story ideas and for having one of the best romances in shonen anime, there have been other aspects throughout the series that continue to divide them. The series is infamous for the not-so-subtle approach it takes to its fan service and the arguably gratuitous and over-the-top sexualization of its female characters.
Alfheim’s arc in the second half of the first season caught Redditor comet1 off guard, especially with a scene (one that practically bordered on hentai territory) in the subplot involving Asuna, saying, “The whole story with Asuna bothered me, and it got weird watching that scene tentacle snail.” The franchise toned it down (for the most part) with the most recent season, as well as the progressive movies, but it’s still a common occurrence
Fairy Tail (2009 – 2019)
With magic, wizards, dragons and sword games, Fairy tale is an anime that has something for all fantasy fans. However, it’s also one of those rare anime that has not only been criticized for sexualizing its female characters, but also its male characters.
Star Kanon called the show’s handling of fan service “extremely bad”, as well as “unnatural and 100% commercial”. They also went on to say that not only did it feel out of place with the established aesthetic of the show and the world it is set in, but it also “weakens the plot and the characters”.
The Seven Deadly Sins (2014 – 2021)
Even though The seven deadly sins was acclaimed for the strength of its female characters and its depth, the way the series has also gone out of its way to overly sexualize them has been a constant gripe among a portion of its fanbase. Set in the Middle Ages, this fantasy anime revolves around a group of disbanded knights who reunite to vindicate themselves and take back their kingdom from a tyrannical new ruler.
It seems that even those like Redditor Intelligent_Workerwho willingly tried to give the show a second chance, just couldn’t get past the excessive fan service, saying it was all “too much. I know it’s a good story, but I can’t do it all.” just not handle it.”
High School of the Dead (2010)
There’s a lot of media to choose from in the zombie genre, but when it comes to the best anime about zombies, High School of the Dead is the one that is often mentioned. While it has all the violent action and intensity one could want from a show set in a zombie apocalypse, it also has a strong habit of blatantly over-sexualizing its main female characters.
Despite Redditor Rimu Z impressed with the show’s premise and action, calling it a “really solid zombie apocalypse show”, they also criticized its over-the-top fan service, saying “the action or tension is completely ruined” and that the show “would’ve been perfectly fine without those parts.” User Your name here___ also acknowledged how his sexual images “made it hard to watch”.
Witches Strike (2008 – )
Set in an alternate World War II, Hit the witches is a surprisingly thought-provoking feminist anime, which Sailor Moon fans will definitely enjoy. Of course, while the show features a healthy dose of female empowerment, its main characters are also depicted wearing high-tech leg armor instead of actual pants, resulting in several shots that are sure to be missed. to make some viewers uncomfortable.
Editor k4r6000 rented Hit the witches as a “legitimately good show with appealing characters” and acknowledged that “the creators actually put a lot of effort and research” into its historical references. However, they also believe that its fan service distracts from all of its best aspects, saying the way the main characters “don’t wear pants” is “the only thing anyone knows about it”.
Kizumonogatari Part 1: Tekketsu (2016)
They may not be as over the top as in other anime, but the fan service moments of Monogatari were reported by his fans as a serious distraction. The series follows a boy who decides to help a group of girls against various supernatural phenomena after surviving a vampire attack.
While the fan service wasn’t enough to completely ruin the show for them, the Reddit user Golden fox299 wish they had toned it down, saying it was “too much” and “very scary to watch at times”. Although the user Kinestezja admitted that they still loved the show despite the fan service, they were disturbed by it, saying “I hate it with all my heart”.