10 Shonen Anime With Overdone Fan Service
While most commonly associated with protagonist-centric, action-driven storylines, shonen anime has long demonstrated its aptitude for lighter elements. Despite the breadth of material covered by the genre, one aspect remains consistent across the vast majority of its titles: fan service.
Although a variety of anime titles frequently include fan service, a few select shonen series stand out for their particularly heavy usage. The concept’s use has not always been well received by anime watchers, but for some series it has become an integral part of their overall experience. Whether for better or for worse, these shonen anime are infamous for their commitment to satisfying their audience.
ten Bleach’s Filler provides plenty of time for fan service
As one of the anime’s “Big 3” Bleach once vied for the title of “world’s most popular shonen”; however, after its hiatus in 2012, the show quickly ran out of steam, leading to a production hiatus that lasted just over a decade. Luckily, it’s set to return in October 2022 and will finally cover Ichigo Kurasaki’s final act: the Thousand Year Blood War arc.
Given Bleach original release date (2004), it follows that the series would feature large amounts of fan service. Its voluptuous character designs, sexually charged novelty characters, and hilarious filler scenes — beach episode included — are all reminiscent of a time not so long ago.
9 Sword Art Online fan service permeates the entire product
Produced by A-1 Pictures (the studio behind Fairy tale, The seven deadly sinsand countless others), Sword Art Online quickly rose to fame after its release in 2012. With an excellent concept, beautiful art, and overall enjoyable tone, it won over mainstream fans and established itself as one of the most popular anime of the 2010s.
Despite Sword Art Online popularity, the series is not without fault, suffering from a trope plot, boring characters, and over-the-top fan service. The series struggled to retain the fans it gained through the initial pop surrounding its release.
8 LOVE-Ru fan service is as free as it gets
A shonen anime series is rarely criticized for its explicit nature, but that is exactly the case for TO LOVE-Ru. Technically referred to as a harem anime, this lewd title presents itself as a lighthearted adventure in which its main character, Rito Yuuki, tries to navigate his accidental engagement with a freshly landed alien.
The authors of TO LOVE-Ru admitted that they wanted to test the limits of what would be allowed in a shonen manga – hence, TO LOVE-Ru became their vessel for this experimentation. Its hastily cobbled-together plot simply serves as support for what is probably the most gratuitous fan service of the entire genre.
seven High School Of The Dead offers two things: zombies and curvy characters
High School of the Dead combines two fairly standard tropes of anime storytelling: zombies and incredibly capable high school kids. The series, published by Madhouse, revolves around teenagers Takashi Komuro and Rei Miyamoto as they try to adapt to the rapidly collapsing society around them.
Despite the serious circumstances of High School of the Dead characters, the show still has plenty of time left to give its audience some obligatory fan service. For fans of guns, busty women, and zombie apocalypses, this title should be more than their taste.
6 Fairy Tail’s #1 Gag Takes Characters’ Clothes Off
Fairy tale is representative of the tendencies used in shonen media – perhaps more so than any other show of its kind. The spin-off series doesn’t necessarily suffer from a lack of originality – its enjoyable cast of characters helps that – but it doesn’t break new ground either.
Fan service has long been an important aspect of shonen, so it’s only natural that it’s used frequently in Fairy tale. Lucy, Erza, and the show’s other female characters are subjected to a variety of suggestive gags episode by episode, especially during scenes that include Erza’s ability to magically (and slightly) change her armor.
5 Soul Eater’s Fan Service Looks Like Many Popular Shonen
Almost every shonen released in the late 2000s included some sort of consistent fan service – 2008 soul eater was no exception. Produced by animation studio Bones, this action/comedy was heralded for its jovial tone and sleek aesthetic, which comes across as a combination of Bleach urban art style and more cartoonish designs similar to series like shaman king.
soul eater is aimed at a slightly younger demographic than the more serious shonen, resulting in a similar youthful sexualization of its female characters compared to light-hearted series like Fairy tale. Many of these scenes focus on Blair, the show’s adorable cat witch, and while they don’t necessarily hold the show, they are extremely present.
4 Seven Deadly Sins Fan Service Polarizes Many Fans
A-1 Pictures has proven its penchant for anime that relies heavily on fan service, but among everything the company has worked on, The seven deadly sins may be his guiltiest title. The series was initially well received after being announced as Netflix’s second exclusive anime. However, the production issues surrounding its third season were only heightened by the hyper-sexualization of its female characters, which caused the series to fall out of favor with a good portion of fans.
Meliodas, the protagonist of The seven deadly sinsfrequently gropes his love interest, Elizabeth, to an uncomfortable degree – add the show’s propensity to objectify its giant female, Diane, and the result is a hyper-masculine shell of a show that can’t help but pull a punch bullet in the foot.
3 Fan service plays a big part in the unique tone of Food Wars!
Food wars! is one of the most eccentric anime to be released in the past 10 years, blending comedy, cooking, and plenty of fan service into one neat shonen package. Its story centers on Souma Yukihara, a sous chef determined to reach the pinnacle of culinary prowess.
Whereas Food wars! its focus on cooking may be rare for the shonen genre, its dogged commitment to absolutely outrageous fan service is not. The show is no stranger to promiscuous character designs, but what really reinforces its absurdity are the borderline orgasmic reactions its characters get after tasting various dishes.
2 Fire Force doesn’t try to hide its fan service
Published by David Production, the studio behind JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, fire force received strong reviews upon its release in 2019. It quickly capitalized on that success with another highly acclaimed season in 2020, establishing its lead character, Shinra Kusakabe, as one of the next generation’s torchbearers.
Arguably the most dated part of fire force is its determined commitment to include fan service. Tamaki, a prominent supporting character, suffers from what she calls “Lucky Lecher Lure Syndrome”, which is more or less akin to her frequent wardrobe malfunctions – not so lucky, depending on who you ask.
1 One Piece’s Timeskip Ushered In More Fan Service
A play will soon reach 25 years in syndication, and despite the long-awaited conclusion of the Wano arc, author Eiichiro Oda shows no signs of slowing down. The endgame for Monkey D. Luffy and his crew may be imminent, but with seemingly inevitable stops at Elbaf, Lodestar Island, Laugh Tale and (potentially) God Valley, who knows when the series will come to an end.
Although A play never engages in the more gratuitous and sexually charged scenes that are present in some other series, its female character models are perhaps the most fanservice-oriented of all major shonen. Incredibly curvy and disproportionately thin, Oda’s approach to drawing women only became more exaggerated after the timeskip.
NEXT: The 10 Coolest Anime Poses, Ranked