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The Fanservice Scale

Updated on April 7, 2013
Bubblegum Senpai profile image

Nigel, AKA Bubblegum Senpai was voted most likely to die due to accident involving a cuddle pillow. Haruhi Suzumiya for Life.

I've decided I'm going to use what I call a "Fanservice" scale to describe how much fanservice there are in a variety of animes and mangas. When discussing shows I will be using the following criteria to judge where on the scale the show should be placed.

  • How much fanservice is in the show
  • How explicit the fanservice content is
  • Does the fanservice contribute or take away from the show.

I now present: The fanservice scale!

Just pure innocent fun here
Just pure innocent fun here | Source

Hello Kitty (Fanservice Level: 0)

No fanservice here. Just pure innocent fun for people of all ages - provided those ages are five or under. These shows are mainly meant for children so the fanservice content is expected to be non-existent. You couldn't even pretend these shows have fanservice. It just doesn't even come close.

Of course I'm talking about the TV series here. Anything goes on the internet.

Polly Esther. Don't worry, the characters usually dress significantly more modest than this.
Polly Esther. Don't worry, the characters usually dress significantly more modest than this. | Source

Samurai Pizza Cats - English (Fanservice Level: 1)

Now, Samurai Pizza Cats is generally a children's show, with a fairly immature level of humor, in part because of the completely different translation. When the series was sent to Saban for it's American release, they never sent the transcript, so much of the series' dialogue was improvised based solely on what the Producers saw going on the stage. This show, while still childish, is designed for an older audience than Hello Kitty, mainly expressed through the violence, and while the humor is fairly clean, a lot of it revolves around the love triangle surrounding Speedy, Guido, and Lucille.

Shows of this level will have humors about dating and affection or romance, but are in no means crude.

Oh my gosh! She hugged them, and Hilarity ensues!
Oh my gosh! She hugged them, and Hilarity ensues! | Source

Fruits Basket (Fanservice Level 2)

This is a highly adorable show for teenagers and adults alike. The show surrounds a girl, who befriends members of a family cursed in which several members turn into animals of the Chinese Zodiac when hugged. The show usually has the characters in modest dress, except for one scene that takes place in a public bath, however even in this scene, the female character is shown from behind, and the males are wearing bathtowels. However, there is some humor involving hugging, as well as Ayame, who runs a fabric shop, but often makes special (see "fetish") items for people, and it the humor often surrounds the Tohru's naivete in not knowing what kind of shop would sell outfits such as costumes for maids, stewardess' and nurses, although all the outfits were modest at his shop whenever they visited. Additionally, one of the side characters, an adult, has an obsession with "high school girls."

The humor in shows of this rank is usually appropriate, but occasionally crude. However, these shows lack the visual gags that could usually be considered "fanservice"

When Haruhi looks at you like this, you know she's plotting something you won't like. The audience however, will.
When Haruhi looks at you like this, you know she's plotting something you won't like. The audience however, will. | Source

Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (Fanservice Level: 3)

I've blogged about this anime numerous times. This is where the fanservice starts to move into the visual gags, including two characters dressing in bunny outfits, several instances of groping, and several references to the well-endowed bosom of Mikuru Asahina.

Shows like this use visual gags and sometimes crude humor to entertain the audience, but aren't very revealing as far as skin goes.

Looks like Keitaro saw something he shouldn't have...
Looks like Keitaro saw something he shouldn't have... | Source

Love Hina (Fanservice Level: 4)

This show relies on visual gags, much like Haruhi Suzumiya. However, there is a lot more skin showing. Keitaro, through a series of (un)fortunate events, becomes a male manager in an all-girls dormitory. Obviously, there is a lot of stuff going to happen, which usually involves Keitaro falling into the hot springs (when the girls are using it, of course), or Keitaro being punched and flying facefirst into a girls chest.

These shows are significantly less modest than previous entries into this chart, however, still fail to show the really naughty bits, and also have a strong focus on story line, without letting the humor become too distracting.

One of the few pics I could find that doesn't violate my terms of agreement with HubPages.
One of the few pics I could find that doesn't violate my terms of agreement with HubPages. | Source

To Love Ru - Trouble! (Fanservice Level: 5)

Level 4 was story with fanservice tossed in. This one is 22 minutes of fanservice, with a plot thrown in. Borderlining on ecchi, it's basically as close as you can get to hentai without actually calling it hentai.

In my discussion of anime, I will be using this scale, by series title, to tell you how much fanservice there is in a show.

If you ever see "off the charts" it's probably an ecchi show, and I'm writing something that would probably affect my terms of service, as well as my Google ranking.

I hope this gives you a look at the wide variety of anime, and also some insight into cartoons that may or may not be family-friendly,


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