Fanservice, Ah! That exquisite way of raising one’s senses or interest in a particular series. Fanservice usually manifests itself in the form of the sexualization of characters (usually female). This help the studios to stay glued to the series. One might even argue that even the source material contains fanservice and usually anime stay faithful to the source, but even the source has to drive its sales.
Over the years the amount of Fanservice in Anime has drastically increased, so is the sheer amount of terrible shows.
There are these great shows which shine even with the amount of fanservice they have like Evangelion. Thing is they don’t heavily rely on it. While story can also be told explicitly like they do in the Monogatari series but there the entire series characteristically showcases itself in that way.
I even don’t find an issue with sexualization in genres like comedy where something like accidental nudity adds to the humor.
Yet, even after all these exceptions shows today tend to flow in more perverted stuff just to keep fans afloat instead of creating something amazing. Just look at the amount of shows depicting moe characters. Moe is a Japanese term used in connection with manga or anime to describe something precious, usually (but not always) the ideal of youthful and innocent femininity.
I am not saying that there aren’t any good shows in existence now, there are — just look at Death Parade or One Punch Man. Still the number of crappy shows is always more than such shows.
Yes, there are a very high percentage of shows that use fanservice shamelessly, but there are also those that use fanservice elements in clever ways and it would truly be a shame for this to be overlooked. The more recognition shows like Kill La Kill and Monogatari get for the way they handle these elements, the more likely we are to see more shows like them that take time to think and plan how to incorporate them into the greater mission of the story.
So in the end it all comes down to the very basic question, is fanservice ruining anime industry? Sort of. If you’re using it to cover up your mistakes and distract people from them while giving the characters no personalities, a story that’s nonexistent, and just throwing it in there in the hopes to get people’s attention than yes fanservice can kill an anime big time. However, if you use it in an effective way that doesn’t overshadow the plot or story, have good characters, and present it in a way where it doesn’t feel forced and comes out naturally than no fanservice doesn’t kill an anime.