I’ve been trying to write this post since Thursday. I’ve been trying to think of a way to state it without it sounding…whiny or bitchy or super pissed. I’m not super pissed and generally not whiny or bitchy. So why have I been having such a hard time? I can’t say really cause I really don’t know. I’m going to be writing about fan service in anime. Let me preface this by saying my experience with anime has been very limited thus far. I’m not claiming to be some sort of expert, this is just what I have observed so far. With that said…
I started watching Free! Iwatobi Swim Club, which is full of blatant fan service for the ladies. There’s a lot of fit, attractive guys taking off their clothes and jumping into a pool. Good stuff. The story line so far is ok, nothing life changing, but ya know neither was Oran High School Host Club and I still liked that. So I’m giving Free! a try. I enjoyed the first two episodes. Then I started to see a few things pop up on Tumblr.
Now Tumblr, I’ve noticed (also haven’t been on Tumblr very long at all) overreacts to a lot of things. People get passionate on Tumblr and I’m learning to take things I see there with a grain of salt. But something I saw rankled me a bit. Apparently some folks were commenting on how unrealistic the swimmers bodies were on the show. First off, is ANY anime body attainable? Not really. Ridiculously huge muscles and breasts, tiny waists, gigantic shimmering eyes…no aside from steroids or cosmetic surgery anime bodies are unattainable. BUT I would argue that the guys bodies on Free! are pretty realistic as far as competitive swimmers go. And if one was so inclined, one could at least begin a workout and diet regime to attain such a body. In contrast there is no diet that give you enormous boobs and a tiny waist, so many of the female characters body types are totally unattainable aside from extensive plastic surgery but you don’t see anyone complaining about that much do you?
As I prepared to write what I just wrote above I did an internet search to see if anyone else had an opinion about the body type of the guys portrayed on Free! What I came across sort of bummed me out. There was a YouTube video of a guy “acting” as a girl reacting to Free! Through the whole episode he’s squealing, breathing heavily and having nosebleeds (which I still don’t get at all. If you’re becoming aroused doesn’t blood rush to your genitals and not out your nose?). At the end he fans himself and stands up to reveal his moistened crotch.
My issue with this “reaction” video is that it essentially makes fun of and shames women for being turned on by something. I’m not denying the fan service that’s in the show. I’m not denying that I enjoyed it. What I have a problem with is men making fun of women for getting sexually excited. Has there been a similar video made where a man gets made fun of for having a boner over huge boobs? I haven’t done a search or anything, but probably not. My big question is why are all these boys making fun of ladies for getting turned on?
After some discussion with some friends (who were girls) we decided it’s most likely insecurity. They make jokes about things they don’t understand so they don’t have to make an effort. They don’t have to change, they don’t have to evolve they can just sit there and attempt to make someone feel ashamed.
Well I refuse to be ashamed. I watch Free! I like it and I’m going to keep watching it. And no, my reaction to it is not nosebleeds and heavy breathing. It is smiles, a few laughs and also a bit of curiosity about the story. Seriously if the whole thing is just about guys whipping off their clothes with a threadbare story line I’ll stop watching. Because there are plenty of other attractive men to stare at in anime, Kakashi Sensei anyone?