John Sato on Nazo no Kanojo X

July 1st, 2012 by Author

This is interesting, and although I only watched a couple of episodes, I think he may be on to something:

MGX has no conflict or confusion about its fanservice. Instead, it actually embraces it, making it a major plot device. What I find interesting is that MGX manages to make its fanservice acceptable and unobjectionable despite failing to make it particularly classy or elegant.

So why is it that I still watched this show every week […]? The answer is romance. See, MGX, for all its drool, blushing, and fetish representing, is the story of two high schoolers in love. Sure, it’s a very… unique, very very awkward, and at times frustrated love, but that doesn’t change its core nature. How does fanservice fit into all of this? Because it’s a lesser part of a greater whole. MGX embraces its various fanservice elements, and it makes them less important than the story. And that solves the greatest problem associated with fanservice; stopping the story for it. For all its drool, MGX is all about being in a relationship.

John uses “fanservice” to describe something other than fanservice as I know it. Rather than depictions of pretty girls, he is talking about the hypersexualization messaging through innuendo (e.g. Urabe undressing, notionally off camera, and posting signs of extreme arousal is what? People were panning Upotte so badly for it.). So just run s/fanservice/johnservice/ in the text above, if that helps.

With terminology aside, isn’t it nice that they “did not stop story for it”?

Oh and heh:

If I had to describe the experience of watching MGX with one word, I have no doubt in my mind that the word I’d pick would be uncomfortable. […] If you thought that the idea of someone licking another person’s drool off their finger was awkward (and it is), then you’ve got another thing coming when this show really steps things up.

When I find an anime “uncomfortable”, I drop it (“uncomfortable” was my capsule reason to suspend Accel World; Chihayafuru received “maddening”). John persists, so he’s not uncomfortable enough, without quotes, when he’s “uncomfortable”. I don’t want to press the point too far before I finish the series, considering that it “steps up” somewhere ahead, but it’s possible that our dictionaries split again.