I don’t know.
Well, fanservice was never really my forte. I think over the years I’ve learned to enjoy it, and at the very least the fanservice in Ninomiya-kun is not terrible… To be precise it’s not really very serious fanservice–it gives you all the frills but it doesn’t give you much thrills. For some that’s a serious problem, but for me it’s just the right amount.
But even so, I think I’ve always stood firm on the line regarding the value of fanservice. Regardless if I can appreciate the sort of fanservice in a show or not, it has to serve a greater purpose. There has to be meaning behind the fanservice. It is not not in the sense that fanservice has to be a part of the plot–no, that is nonsense for a requirement–but fanservice has to serve some overall purpose in terms of the writing and direction.
For example, a recent episode of Blue Drop showed off some of the protagonists (notably, an all-girls bunch) but it was in line of the direction of the series–a balance of slice of life and strange alien mecha…crap. But it was clearly fanservice in some of the way things worked out, such as Miichi’s contemplation in the bath, and Hagino’s response to our spontaneous heroine as she jumped into the ocean. It was up to the viewer to find those things distracting or not.
Switch to Ninomiya. He is constantly tortured by his classmates and his sister and put in compromising situations. The international super agents that he and his sister are, the show has plenty of “reasons” to have the Ninomiya entourage dressed in skimpy wears suited for the tropics. And they do. But what was much more powerful was, say, episode 7’s prelude segment with Rika’s strange 4th wall fantasy about propaganda. It’s both satire and a joke rolled up into a fanservice package! That’s the stuff I like.
Needless to say I was less amused later on in the same episode when Mayu went bonkers and changed clothes. It was a silly joke, I suppose, but it didn’t really serve much beyond what it is–suddenly you have this girl dressed up like a cheerleader crossed with a nurse and crossed with a dominatrix, trying to stab you with a syringe full of unknown chemicals. I guess for some that’s amusing enough in itself, but it doesn’t cut it for me.
I laughed harder when Reika’s meeting with some unknown Arab-looking man was interrupted. So, yeah. I know Ninomiya-kun is one of those low budget crap shows on the menu right now, but it had some substance going into the series at first. The chemistry is right. But it looks like the show’s going nowhere right now, and that’s just too bad.