Talking about fan service in the anime world is a minefield. Some people love it and some people hate it. So no matter which way you lean, haters are gonna hate. We here at Recommend Me Anime are pro-fan service, it doesn’t bother us, but we acknowledge that it sometimes gets in the way. It can ruin shows, but even some of the anime world’s favorite series like Elfen Lied or Neon Genesis Evangelion had fan service moments in it. Usually the key is to have a better plot and characters than boobs and panty shots.
All that being said, there are fan service series out there with big busts and the coveted striped cotton pantsu that aren’t actually terrible shows. For some, the fan service may be an added thrill, for others, they can completely look past it to the treasures of the story within. However, this definitely isn’t a list for those that hate fan service shows, and that’s fine.
Kill la Kill
Killl la Kill is a series that is a parody of the action genre in many ways. From the over-the-top screaming to the scantily clad outfits of power, it is all for parody. However, while the fan service takes a back seat by the end, the show is pretty much about fighting in skimpy kamui with significant clothing damages happening throughout most fights.
High School of the Dead
High School of the Dead is fan service-y trash, but it is the best kind of trash. It isn’t one of those shows that tried to hide what it is. The fan service is apparent and prominent right in the OP, and it is not like it was added on for the anime, it was just as bad in the manga. While there are times where it is just straight up ridiculous, you knew what you were getting into. However, its sole redeeming quality is some of the characters and its genre. While zombies aren’t a rarity in anime, zombie apocalypse survival stories are, so that was nice to see. You also have a main character that isn’t the straight up good guy heroic type, but a nice mix of human trash and heroism that that makes him the worst kind of harem king, the undeserving one.
Elfen Lied starts off with a murderfest that is lead by the main female lead who is stark naked. However, as fan service as that could have been, they gave her a normal body and the situation made sense for the plot. While there were other moments of fan service throughout, many of them continued to make sense and definitely didn’t try to compete with the overall dramatic and tragic plot that carried the show.
Is It Wrong to Pick Up Girls In a Dungeon?
This series was adapted from the source material to hop on the fantasy, semi-video game genre trend that is still going on after the soaring popularity of Sword Art Online. However, you pretty much only really needed to watch it for Hestia and her ribbon-hoisted bust right up until the badass battle at the end of the first season. Of course, Hestia was the best use of fan service, there were other examples such as Gods that should, in mythological terms, be men, but were busty women instead. Yet, despite all that, even Hestia’s hypnotic bouncing didn’t take away from the show. In fact, it was something to watch until Cranel stopped being so shitty and actually got good.
Rosario + Vampire
Let’s get this out of the way first: Yes, the manga is so, so much better. Everyone should know that by now, but the anime has its moments. Unfortunately, this show can be a bit much, not so much with its fan service, but with its harem dynamic. Despite this, a lot of it is more like parody, or ended up seeming like parody, rather then actually being serious. Rosario + Vampire is either genius or really hugging their tropes, we still can’t decide.
Between Yoko, everything that she is, and Kamina’s glorious bare chest, Gurren Lagann has its fair bit of fan service moments. It even has a beach episode, which is how you know you are watching a fan service anime. However, like Kill la Kill, Gurren Lagann is a lot of parody. Unfortunately, most of the fan service is for serious, but it doesn’t take away or try to distract from all the epic moments in the show.
The Gangsta anime had a lot of problems, but the big-busted fan service characters weren’t part of it. It makes sense that a character that was previously a prostitute would have a nice body and dress like, well, a prostitute. While it presented an intriguing story, it didn’t really end up going anywhere, and certainly could have been a better show if they adapted more of the source material.
B Gata H Kei
This series was built on the huge potential to be fan service, but it ended up being more parody and comedy. The whole show is about a thirsty girl trying to get laid for the first time, but wanting it to be special and ends up being more like a normal girl about it. Girl perverts are a rarity (shown in anime, anyway) and a treasure. With gratuitous fan service kept to a minimum, this show really works as a comedy.
Fairy Tail is beloved by many anime fans, but you can’t argue that there isn’t fan service for both men and women. Ezra’s armor designs are questionable and the men, Gray in particular, are hard-bodied husbando bait. Still, Fairy Tail, despite its fan service moments, rose to be one of the most popular shows in the shounen genre.
The foodgasms in Food Wars, well, there is nothing wrong with them. Yes, as the show goes on, they are overused, but there is no better way to visually show the sheer pleasure that can come from eating really good food. However, while some of the foodgasms are kind of funny, they are overused, we admit it. However, if you are passionate about competitive cooking shows or food in general, the way Food Wars adapts a shounen feel makes it a great show.
There are a lot of series that are about kicking butts and bouncing boobs. However, rarely do these shows go into anything serious plot-wise or with their characters. However, Tenjo Tenge features the whole package. Yes, it has large busts and panty shots, but it also get very intriguing and some of its characters are well developed in other areas than just the body.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
Oh, Quetzalcoatl. You and your ridiculously overly large bosom were a treasure to watch in animation. However, while every female character in Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, save for Kobayashi herself, had an aspect of fan service to it – Yes, even Kanna and her moe-ness – the show wasn’t about fan service. In fact, we are not sure what the overall goal was aside from exploring the relationship between Tohru and Kobayashi as well as humans and dragons. The fan service didn’t take away from that, in fact it wasn’t even a focus even when Quetzalcoatl was bouncing all over the screen. It was there for fun, and that is what fan service used to be about, it used to be a joke to be wielded for the sake of making the audience laugh, not for arousing them.
This is a questionable choice, we know. However, even if you hate exaggerated female bodies and the fact that the whole show is based on pervert comedy, Love Hina is still extremely well done. You have your main girl and your whimpy harem king, two staples in pure fan service shows, but it is not like everyone else is ignored. Every character has their stories told and you see the potential for romance from all sides like a dating sim.
Although underrated, Blood Lad is a show that uses fan service more like it should be used. It is sparse and obvious, but not annoying and in half the frames of each episode. Again, it is used for the sake of comedy and you are still getting a show with an enjoyable plot and enjoyable characters that aren’t just there to provide a little T&A.
The Monogatari Series
Bakemonogatari and all the other Monogatari series are probably the best ecchi shows that are non-ecchi that you could possibly watch. The shows are wordy, yes, but extremely intelligent. Yet, there are moments, like that orgasmic toe-curling tooth brushing scene in Nisemonogatari that are just hilarious if only because of the direction and quality of the animation for them.
Do you have any other fan service shows you would recommend for the plot and not for the …plot? Let us know in the comments section below.