The winter 2016 season is over, which means it's time for some solid recommendations!
Strongest series: Erased (Boku Dake ga Inai Machi)...
...and Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju
What's it about?
Setting: Contemporary high school
Sayuki Kuroda has a dream to make a 'bishojo game' (a choose-your-own-adventure style game about interacting with beautiful young women), and enlists classmate Buntaro Hojo to write the script after seeing his work with the drama club. She puts Bunta in charge of finding the rest of their team then sets them an impossible task: to complete a simple game in several months.
How's the fanservice content?
What fanservice exists is consistently either lampshaded or subverted. The characters are making a dating game, so the story goes to Akihabara, maid cafes, doujinshi sales etc., and Bunta is naturally intrigued. However, the team includes a mixture of male and female fans of both male and female erotica for both personal and professional reasons. Every time Bunta is distracted by bishojo aesthetics, he is criticised for not being discerning enough. Lesbians are objectified, as are gay men. It's not that the male gaze is absent so much as the female gaze is also present.
First fanservice: 20 minutes in, in Bunta's first visit to Akihabara as he takes in the sights. These are the moments that raised the pilot's rating from None to Minimal.
Thirtysomething Brit interested in film analysis, social justice and Japanese TV.