LAB Notes: Fanservice Rubric
Low: The series emphasizes realism and utilizes few, if any, sexual moments to increase viewership. Characters are well proportioned and action sequences flow from a place of literary necessity.
Mild: The series utilizes a below average amount of fan-pleasing material. One or two main characters feature a heavily sexualized design, either in body morph, or clothing. Sexual situations are uncommon, but are featured. Action is occasionally used for action’s sake.
Average: The series uses an average amount of fanservice, and may be formulaic in its approach to the story, and the images used. Several main characters feature sexually provocative bodies or clothes. The series features at least one ‘beach/hot spring’ episode. Action sequences are common and flow from a ‘villain of the week’ mentality.
Heavy: The series calls attention to its fanservice though exaggerated character design, animation and storyline. Many main characters and supporting characters feature sexualized design, and some of those approach caricature levels. Nudity is common. Actions sequences are deliberately overdone and feature heavy use of attack callouts and stylized backgrounds.
Severe: The series is completely over the top in terms of fanservice. A majority of main characters, both male and female, feature sexual or hypersexual designs. Nudity is present in nearly every episode. Action sequences are sexualized. The series explicitly uses the themes of harem or reverse harem.
Notes: Some series can be fanservice heavy, without being sexually explicit. A good example is Sailor Moon, which uses formulaic action, predictable comedy and transformation sequences (which can be viewed as sexual) to reach Heavy status. The rubric is intentionally designed to be biased against hyper-sexualized material, but does sort for action porn, formulaic stories, and industry jokes.
There are also a small number of series (disproportionately represented by Studio GAINAX) where the fanservice is present as a deliberate satire on mainstream fanservice. These shows will receive special notation.