A while back in June 2009, I wrote a lengthy editorial on how fanservice can ruin the overall story of an anime. Well, this becomes a reality with Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu.
I have watch both seasons and the first season was far better besides a few panty shots is that they focused on the over lining purpose of the story. Yuuto and Haruka sweet romance and also her Otaku interest. However, the second season lost it’s purpose completely. Like Kimagure said on Melative, “sweetness replaced by pointless fanservice.” The second season of Nogizaka Haruka just proved what I have said in my editorial I wrote in June of 2009 that adding lots of fanservice makes the over lining story alot worse than it would without the fanservice. All I got from this is more pantyshots, boob groping and other stuff that shouldn’t be in the anime. If I want to watch a fanservice-oriented anime, I would of watched titles like Ladies vs Butlers, Kampfer or even Chu-Bra! I bet one minute that 90% of the fanservice seen in the second season is not in the Nogizaka Haruka light novels (yes, the Anime is adapted from the light novel…)
The problem with the route they taken is that it’s completely unnecessary and the story can do better without it, besides the other flaws besides fanservice. I felt that Diomedea is trying to use fanservice to try to attract more audience to the show, at the same time, alienating its viewers who liked the first season and be constantly let down by every episode. If there is ever a third season, Diomedea better shape up and not add the fanservice and bring it back to what the story is intended to be in the first place because viewers aren’t going to take this excessive, overdone and redundant fanservice and panty shots anymore. There are already enough fanservice laden titles out there already, Nogizaka Haruka is a series that doesn’t need to go down that path too. We already have other anime that does that.
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4 Comments… read them or add your own.
I feel like I’ve had this conversation way too many times with people, since it seems like everyone basically rushed to the same largely-unresearched conclusion: zOMG the second season was “ruined by fanservice”, it must have been the anime writer’s doing! All of the stories in the second season were taken right from the novels, and the manga which is also based on the novels is a lot more fanservicey than even the anime. So it’s not like this stuff isn’t part of the source material, but it’s just the balance of emphasis.
Fanservice in novels doesn’t stick out as much because it’s just one part of the overall prose. But since anime is a visual medium, adaptations usually focus on the parts that are more visual. In this case they also tried to cover 5 novels worth of content in only 12 episodes. When you try to compress that much content into such a short period of time, you’re left with only the “highlights” — and, in this case, that amounts to a fair bit of fanservice.
So basically I think the issue is not that they “added” fanservice — as far as I can tell, all that stuff is in the novels. The issue is more like they rushed through the content which made the fanservice seem more prominent than it otherwise would have been. I suppose they figured that was required in order to please as many novels fans as possible on their limited budget, since each fan wants to make sure their favourite scene gets adapted. I think that even the light novels have lost focus a bit as they get sidetracked into various other stories to please the fans of various characters; sort of in a “holding pattern” until they decide to move forward on the Akiba-kei/romance angles again.
Anyway, Diomedia is the animation production company, but it’s probably more instructive to look at the key staff involved. The Director of Nogizaka Haruka’s current/next project is Kiss x Sis, and the writer’s current Project is Ladies vs. Butlers. So they’re not exactly strangers to fanservicey shows. I expect that they made precisely the sort of show their producers and the people paying their salaries told them to write, and that’s probably why they were hired in the first place. So these kinds of rants are nice in terms of expressing disappointment, but I think the blame is a bit misplaced in some ways.
I decided to let the dust settle and yes, I have discussed this several months back. I enjoyed it although I was slightly frustrated on how the story go since the story is pretty much all over the place. First Season story telling was good, but the second season is a mess, except the idol arc. Fanservice is mostly blamed for the second season as both said, but I think the story in mind has completely lost its focus, which is sad. Then again, I never read the light novels since they aren’t in English, so I really can’t give a opinion on them. The second season really just needed better storytelling.
However, I still find it funny people complaining about it when a certain part of the story calls for it. Yes, I did enjoy it, but I’m happy that they haven’t show them completely naked…. although I was slightly disappointed. I don’t think I will pick up another fanservicey Anime series again since that sour taste is nasty at the end. 🙁
“The issue is more like they rushed through the content which made the fanservice seem more prominent than it otherwise would have been.”
I quote from Rentlessflame becasue I was going to say exactly the same. Just think about it, would it have been any better if there had been no fanservice? I don’t think so.
The problem was the structure. Since it was rushed, there was no sense of coherence, of a thread unifying all of the episodes. Most episodes were self-contained and thus seemed random since there was no time to elaborate on the story and connect the different arcs.
For example, I just read the other day the 5th novel, the one about the Christmas present, and at least here there was a plot: exposition (how Christmas approaches, how Yuuto finds out Haruka is working for a present), rising action (Yuuto starts working too, goes to buy a present for Haruka with Shiina), climax (Christmas party and the different stuff that happens, like Haruka nursing Yuuto), falling action (they give each other the presents, the fake snow), denouement (the epilogue).
in the anime however we suddenly began with Yuuto working as Touka’s slave and before you knew it it had ended, while you are left wondering what it was about and what the point was, it lacked structure
I agree, whether it’s as relentlessflame and Sergio say or not (but I think that it is), the second season just wasn’t as appealing as the first, especially for people like me who have never read the novels and are more interested in story and character development than fan service.
I wrote a similar but more detail post about Nogizaka Haruka 2, going through the flaws in each episode. You can read it here if you’re interested: http://animeyume.com/blog/2009/12/24/criticism-of-nogizaka-haruka-no-himitsu-purezza-episode-by-episode/
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