Queens Blade Vol 1: Single Step

Fan Service: a vaguely defined term primarily used for anime and manga to refer to artificial or self-aware sensory elements that would operate to please a regular or target audience, material that is designed to amuse or excite the audience with sexually derived content. Excessive content is usually considered gratuitous regardless of its justification in relation to the narrative in which it takes place.

Any gratuitous content included in some form of entertainment primarily to please a core group of fans is fan service. The typical, but not only, variety of fan service is racy or sexual content used to titillate the viewer, such as nudity or other forms of eye candy.

The lengthy definition from Wikipedia placed above can and will tell you everything you need to know about the anime series to be discussed here today. It would also be wrong...albeit only technically. But I may be getting ahead of myself a bit.

The fantasy series takes place in a land where women from all over compete in the Queen’s Blade tournament, a competition of Strength and Beauty, to determine the next Queen.  All flourishes aside, the main plot is focused on girls in ever-more creatively designed outfits (that strictly conform to the rules of fantasy armor: The less it covers, the more it protects), fighting each other and frequently slashing off bits and pieces of each other’s armor in titillating ways.

Or to put it even more simply: It’s Boobs and Swords.

This is why this isn’t technically “fan service.” Fan service is a sideline distraction from the main goal of the story. Here, all the breast shots, panty shots, and other bits are the whole point. That said, it’s actually a mildly amusing show, with the plot taken straight out of a fighting game. Actually, the entire series is based on a series of game books, and was later translated to consoles as exactly that.

If you ever try to convince someone that either the sword and sorcery genre, or anime in general for that matter, are not the domain of immature adolescents and perverts, you would do well to stay far, far away from this series. However, the fight sequences are enjoyable, and I always enjoy being reminded of just how downright odd the Japanese culture can be. Seeing a bunch of ninjas melt and transform into a giant frog demon that’s several stories high is weird enough, seeing it caress another ninja’s breast with its several meter long tongue is downright bizarre.

All this after the previous episode featured a demon who lactated acid when squeezed by the hands that grew out of her hair.

This is the part where I’m compelled to tell you that this is not Hentai. This isn’t porn. Even further, it somehow got rated TV-14-and let me tell you: 14-year-old me is pleased as punch.