Fanservice in manga and anime is like the government in dystopian novels: it’s always there, no matter where you go, but if it does the job it’s supposed to you shouldn’t notice. Of course I’ve seen far too many examples of it being used in both good and bad ways, but there was always one series that went further over the top with it than any I’ve read. That was History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi, which started as a Panty Fighter and spent over 450 chapters pushing it’s own limits. Reading that series has actually produced an interesting effect in that it caused the fanservice in other manga to feel tame and wholesome by comparison. Nami’s outfit in the current One Piece chapters seems much more acceptable when you see Miu’s spandex, which I can only assume is vacuum-sealed. For a while I assumed I would never come across anything worse than that, or at least not willingly.
Recently, something strange has been happening that I never anticipated. Somehow over time, Fairy Tail has accomplished what I considered impossible and made the fanservice in Kenichi feel more acceptable! It managed this by taking a slightly different path from what that series did in terms of extreme content. Since it can’t compete in terms of ridiculous outfits or ways to remove those outfits, Fairy Tail went to the furthest lengths to make every situation it could as absolutely perverse and uncomfortable as possible. Read the rest of this entry