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Misused: Ms Fanservice
Deadlock Clock: 23rd Aug '14 11:59 PM
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Misused: Ms Fanservice get usage counts

 1 d Roy, Fri, 22nd Nov '13 11:27:15 PM Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
A while ago, I brought this matter to Trope Description Improvement Drive, because the queue to this subforum was full.

My problem is that the trope's definition of "a female character who shows a lot of skin" is far too broad, causing a lot of misuse. I've seen characters wearing short skirts and remotely tight uniform being listed as Ms. Fanservice.

Is this something that can solved by just changing the description, or should the definition itself be changed?
"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
Why do short skirts and tight uniform not qualify characters from this trope?

edited 23rd Nov '13 12:53:34 AM by Leaper

 3 Septimus Heap, Sat, 23rd Nov '13 2:14:01 AM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
A Wizard boy
I think that narrowing down the description is the only way to go here.

 4 Willbyr, Sat, 23rd Nov '13 8:35:35 AM from North Little Rock, AR Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
Anime-ted
Definitely too generalized. I think it needs to specify that it's a character whose wardrobe is so consistently fanservicey that when she wears something modest it's surprising to both the viewers and the cast.
It has always meant "character who is used for the purpose of being attractive" to me.

 6 d Roy, Sat, 23rd Nov '13 11:27:13 AM Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
[up]Hence, the misuse.

[up][up] Do you think we need to set some more specific criteria?
"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
The description indicates that that is the correct use.

More characters are attractive than not, and wardrobe/makeup typically shows this off. Nothing notable there.

Ms. Fanservice should be for characters who keep losing their clothes, getting a significant number of scenes naked/in underwear/in fetish getups.

edited 23rd Nov '13 11:51:00 AM by AmyGdala

 9 d Roy, Sat, 23rd Nov '13 12:08:02 PM Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
[up][up] And that's the problematic, too broad definition that is causing this mess.

[up] I suppose a character who consistently loses clothing or not wearing much clothes to begin with definitely counts as Ms. Fanservice.
"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
 10 Willbyr, Sat, 23rd Nov '13 8:20:59 PM from North Little Rock, AR Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
Anime-ted
[up] Agreed, although I think there's another trope that addresses that particular instance as well.
I agree that this should be where a character has a significant number of scenes naked/in underwear/in fetish getups. I've also been thinking that "a female character who shows a lot of skin" shouldn't count for this if there's not an effort of sexiness.

Wait, wait.

I have one litmus test for that definition.

Do these characters qualify?

Because if not, there's something wrong with that definition.

[up] I don't watch Star Trek but I think the other three fit the trope. To me this trope is supposed to be about a female character who provides the majority of the fanservice for a show.

 14 nrjxll, Sun, 24th Nov '13 12:25:06 AM Relationship Status: Not war
As long as "in really close-fitting clothing" is added to lexicon's list up there, those characters easily qualify.

Honestly, I don't see this as a particularly complicated issue as long as we keep creepiness out of the examples. What constitutes Fanservice is pretty clear, and which female character(s) contribute most of it in a given series is also pretty easy to tell. As long as it's made clearer that this is not "any character who had a scene that could be termed fanservice, ever" I don't see there being a big problem.

By the way, does Mr. Fanservice have these same issues?

edited 24th Nov '13 12:28:52 AM by nrjxll

 15 Septimus Heap, Sun, 24th Nov '13 1:43:12 AM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
A Wizard boy
Mr. Fanservice: Check the Projects Morgue - it did have such issues in the past.

 16 Willbyr, Sun, 24th Nov '13 5:41:41 AM from North Little Rock, AR Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
Anime-ted
Yoko and Emma Frost, and Seven of Nine to a lesser degree, definitely count; I don't know who the last character is but that outfit doesn't seem especially fanservicey to me.
The last one is Miranda Lawsom, and she is the undisputed Ms. Fanservice of Mass Effect.

I chose all four of those examples because if you're familiar with the work they appear in, there is zero argument that they are the Ms. Fanservice in it.

The thing that I think is missing is the consideration that a Ms./Mr. Fanservice does not always meet the same standard of "sexy". In the four pictures, each woman's outfit is less revealing/form-fitting than the one before her, but each character is still blatantly used to titillate the audience in their respective works.

Obviously they are Ms. Fanservice for their respective works.
 
I'd say you can't tell if someone is Ms. Fanservice from a single photo. You might be able to tell if that's a fanservice scene, but Ms. Fanservice and Mr. Fanservice have to be something other than "character who exhibits fanservice, at some point, " else they cover every example of fanservice ever between them.

I also say this can't be defined as "sexy character." If a character is attractive without habitually and notably wearing skimpy clothing or no clothing at all, that's not Ms. Fanservice.

[up]The photos were only examples, obviously. My point is that "skimpy clothes or naked" is not the only way to define a fanservice-based character.

I can see this getting analyzed to the point of self-destruction. Ms. Fanservice is a woman whose presence alone provides a healthy degree of fanservice. That is all. Obviously it is more than just a pretty face but the amount of skin they show or how often they find themselves in blatant fanservice-y situations is getting too caught up in the details. It's one of those tropes you have to feel out by how the media portrays them.

For instance:
  • Do they regularly dress in a provocative manner? How practical is their clothing for regular wear?
  • How often are they shown in an unflattering light? Would it seem out of place if their Dirt Forcefield is broken?
  • Are there personality quirks that accentuate it? Are they flirty, seductive, demure, have a sexy accent, etc.
  • How is this shown compared to other characters?

There is always wriggle room, but those factors are needed. From what examples I know first hand, it seems fairly accurate. Anything else needs some sort of wick check to see actual misuse and not generic claims.

 22 Willbyr, Sun, 24th Nov '13 8:50:44 PM from North Little Rock, AR Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
Anime-ted
[up] That seems like a good checklist for examples to be made to conform to.
Except for the practicality of clothing, that seems a good core to start with. Practicality, or lack thereof, has nothing to do with the trope.

edited 24th Nov '13 9:10:36 PM by KingZeal

Those are good points, especially, "Are there personality quirks that accentuate it? Are they flirty, seductive, demure, have a sexy accent, etc." Simply wearing tight or skimpy clothes isn't enough without "teasing and titillating the audience, " as the Fanservice page says.

Total posts: 242
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