Love it or hate it, you can’t escape fan-service in shonen. Try as they might, manga fans have trouble finding titles which forgo such scintillating drawings. The nearly NSFW panels have become expected by readers, and anime series do their best to keep fan-service alive. However, that isn’t always the case.
Just check out One Piece’s latest episode. Its fan-service scene has spurred plenty conversation thanks to Nami’s bathing sequence.
Last weekend, Toei Animation saw One Piece debut its 827th episode. The release saw Luffy and Sanji speak more about the latter’s wedding with Pudding, but much of its controversy is geared around Nami.
During the episode, fans met up with Nami and Carrot as the two girls took a bath. The pair scrubbed down at the Fire Tank Pirates’ base, and they met Chiffon. The impromptu meeting helped explain Big Mom’s on-going clash with Lola. Sadly, fans had trouble taking the story to heart because of Nami.
As you can see above, Nami and Carrot stripped down for the bathing scene as expected. The rabbit girl was kept modest in a bubble bath, but Nami showed more skin as she showered in this fan-service scene. Still, Toei Animation kept everything PG-friendly with its frames. No shots went far below Nami’s neck, and some fans were not pleased about the deviation. After all, the chapter which this episode adapted from the manga is a bit more naughty.
In chapter 858, One Piece fans were shown this scene for the first time on paper. When Nami began talking with Chiffon, a bird’s-eye shot was used to show the navigators full-on. The pirate’s modesty was only barely kept by sudsy bubbles, and fans were quick to point out the unusually revealing piece of fan-service.
Of course, there is a simple reason why One Piece toned down the moment in the anime. The show airs in Japan on Fuji TV, one of the nationa’s top cable networks. Its slot on Sunday mornings ensures One Piece faces strict censorship guidelines, and Toei isn’t going to risk one of its episodes getting flagged over something as extraneous as suggestive fan-service.
Did you notice this nerfed moment in One Piece? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!