The Joy of 90s Anime Fan Service
One of the great things about being an anime fan in the 1990s was discovering the joy of anime fan service, which really blew up in that decade as animators realized they could win more fans by adding jiggling boobs and pantyshots to already exciting stories.
Fan service in anime has always been a thing, since before men walked on the moon. The genre can generally be traced back 44 years to the original Cutey Honey, the story of a sexy android who transforms (nude of course) into a magical girl to fight evil monsters. My beloved Space Battleship Yamato had more than its share of pantyshots, which had to be edited out of the English release, and even Miyazaki made an anime about a Pippi Longstockings-inspired girl who walks on her hands, showing her underwear.
Fan service gained steam in the 1980s with the invention of “Gainaxing,” the practice of focusing on “juggle physics” in busty female characters. One of the first shows to be composed almost entirely of fan service was Agent AIKa [sic], the story of a super sexy agent in an SF world who does battle with scantily-clad females in mini-skirts, which entertained many fans in the late 90s and gave me lots of fun anime gifs to post to Twitter today.
While the trend of endless anime fan service would continue to be refined, giving us such gems as To Love-Ru, Maken-ki!, Ikki Tousen and Rosario + Vampire, I kind of like old-school feel of 90s fan service, which captured so much simplicity and grace in each meticulously hand-painted cel.
Do you agree? Which era of anime fan service is your favorite?
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