10 Shonen Anime With Over-The-Top Fan Service


Despite being most commonly associated with action-heavy, protagonist-centric plots, shonen anime has long demonstrated its aptitude for more light-hearted elements. In spite of the breadth of material covered by the genre, one aspect remains a constant throughout the vast majority of its titles: fan service.



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Although a variety of anime titles frequently include fan service, a few select shonen series stand out as being particularly heavy-handed with their usage. The employment of the concept hasn’t always been positively received by anime watchers, yet for some series, it has become an integral part of their overall experience. Be it for better or for worse, these shonen anime are infamous for their commitment to pandering to their audiences.

10 Bleach’s Filler Provides Plenty Of Time For Fan Service

As one of anime’s “Big 3,” Bleach once vied for the title of “world’s most popular shonen”; however, after it went on hiatus in 2012, the show quickly lost steam, resulting in a production break that lasted just over a decade. Thankfully, it’s slated to return in October 2022 and will finally cover Ichigo Kurasaki’s final act: the Thousand-Year Blood War arc.

given Bleach’s original release date (2004), it only follows suit 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 not-so-distant era.

9 Sword Art Online’s Fan Service Permeates The Entire Product

Produced by A-1 Pictures (the studio behind Fairy Tail, The Seven Deadly Sinsand countless others), Sword Art Online quickly rose to fame following its release in 2012. With a great concept, beautiful art, and a pleasant overall tone, it won over mainstream fans and cemented itself as one of the most popular anime of the 2010s.

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Despite Sword Art Online’s popularity, the series is not without fault, suffering from a trope plot, boring characters, and over-the-top fan service. The series has struggled to retain the fans it earned from the initial pop surrounding its release.

8 To LOVE-Ru’s Fan Service Is As Gratuitous As It Gets

Rarely does a shonen anime series come under fire for its explicit nature, but that is exactly the case for To LOVE-Ru. Technically denoted as a harem anime, this lewd title presents itself as a light-hearted adventure in which its main character, Rito Yuuki, attempts to navigate his accidental engagement to a freshly-landed alien.

The authors of To LOVE-Ru admitted that they wanted to test the boundaries of what would be allowed in a shonen manga — consequently, To LOVE-Ru became their vessel for this experimentation. Its hastily cobbled-together plot simply serves as a medium for what is quite possibly the most gratuitous fan service in the entire genre.

7 High School Of The Dead Offers Two Things: Zombies & Curvy Characters

High School of the Dead combines two fairly standard tropes of anime storytelling: zombies and unbelievably capable high school students. The series, released by Madhouse, revolves around teenagers Takashi Komuro and Rei Miyamoto as they attempt to adapt to the rapidly collapsing society around them.

Despite the grave circumstances of High School of the Deads characters, the series still carves out plenty of time to provide its audience with obligatory fan service. For fans of guns, busty women, and zombie apocalypses, this title should be more than up their alley.

6 Fairy Tail’s #1 Gag Is Removing Characters’ Clothes

Fairy Tail is representative of the trends being used in shonen media — perhaps more than any other show in the genre. The derivative series doesn’t necessarily suffer from a lack of originality — its enjoyable cast of characters helps with that — but it doesn’t pave any new ground, either.

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Fan service has long been a prominent aspect of shonen, so it’s only natural that it would be frequently utilized in Fairy Tail. Lucy, Erza, and the series’ other female characters are subjected to a variety of suggestive gags on an episode-by-episode basis, especially during scenes that include Erza’s ability to magically (and scantily) change her armor.

Almost every single shonen released in the late 2000s included some sort of consistent fan service — 2008’s Soul Eater was no exception. A product of the Bones animation studio, this action/comedy was heralded for its jovial tone and stylish aesthetic, which presents as a combination of Bleach’s urban art style and more cartoonish designs akin to series like Shaman King.

Soul Eater is geared towards a slightly younger demographic than more serious shonen, resulting in a similar, juvenile sexualization of its female characters compared to light-hearted series like Fairy Tail. Many of these scenes are focused on Blair, the show’s adorable cat witch, and although they don’t necessarily hold the show back, they are overwhelmingly present.

4 The Seven Deadly Sins’ Fan Service Polarizes Many Fans

A-1 Pictures has proven its penchant for anime that heavily rely on fan service, but out of everything the company has worked on, The Seven Deadly Sins may be its most egregiously guilty title. The series was initially well-received after being announced as Netflix’s second exclusive anime. However, production issues surrounding its third season were only accentuated by the hyper-sexualization of its female characters, resulting in the series falling out of favor with a decent portion of fans.

Meliodas, the protagonist of The Seven Deadly Sinsfrequently gropes his love interest, Elizabeth, to an uncomfortable degree — throw in the show’s proclivity for objectifying its giant female, Diane, and the result is a hyper-masculine shell of a series that can’t help but shoot itself in the foot .

3 Fan Service Plays A Big Role In Food Wars!’s Unique Tone

Food Wars! is among the most eccentric anime to be released in the last 10 years, blending comedy, cooking, and loads of fan service into one neat shonen package. Its narrative centers around Souma Yukihara, a sous chef determined to reach the pinnacle of culinary prowess.

while Food Wars!’s emphasis on cooking may be uncommon 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 provide after tasting various dishes.

2 Fire Force Makes No Attempt To Hide Its Fan Service

Released by David Production, the studio behind JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, fire force received solid reviews upon its release in 2019. It quickly capitalized on this success with another well-regarded season in 2020, establishing its main character, Shinra Kusakabe, as one of the torchbearers of the new generation.

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Arguably the most dated part of fire force is its determined commitment to including fan service. Tamaki, a prominent secondary character, is afflicted with what she refers to as “Lucky Lecher Lure Syndrome,” which more or less amounts to her frequently ending up in wardrobe malfunctions — not so lucky, depending on who is asked.

1 One Piece’s Timeskip Ushered In More Fan Service

One Piece is soon to hit 25 years of syndication, and despite the long-awaited conclusion of the Wano arc, author Eiichiro Oda is showing no signs of slowing down. The endgame for Monkey D. Luffy and his crew may be just around the corner, but with seemingly unavoidable stops at Elbaf, Lodestar Island, Laugh Tale, and (potentially) God Valley, who knows when the series will actually draw to a close.

Although One Piece doesn’t ever commit to the more gratuitous, sexually charged scenes that are present in some other series, its female character models are perhaps the most fan service-oriented of any major shonen. Impossibly curvy and disproportionately slender, Oda’s approach to drawing women only became more exaggerated post-timeskip.

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