Good morrow to you, fine ladies and gentlemen. Before I start this review, I would like each and every one of you to correspond to the following queries. Nothing too difficult, just general questions that will help in your comprehension of the subject that I am about to dissect:
May I ask, do you enjoy watching anime?
Do you enjoy anime that display sheer intelligence and ooze cleverness in the storyline and narrative?
Do you enjoy anime characters that undergo a radical but natural development over the course of the series?
Are intellectual representations of current social trends in an episodic format your cup of tea?
And finally: do you enjoy high-class social entertainment that is at the peak of animation standards?
I thought so.
WELL TOO BAD, B#!%CES, CUZ THIS SHOW AIN’T ABOUT ANY OF THAT. WE TALKING ABOUT UNPRECEDENTED, RAUCOUS, NO-HOLDS-BARRED DEBAUCHERY THAT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND HARDER THAN YOUR AVERAGE @#$%@#%$^#. THIS AIN’T YOUR AVERAGE GIRLY-KIDDY POWERPUFFY FOSTER’S HOME FOR THE IMAGINARY BULLS#!%, BABY! THIS IS UNADULTERATED ENTERTAINMENT IN ITS PUREST MUTHAF#$!%^# FORM!
Well….for the most part anyways.
Greetings, veritable denizens of this virtually interconnected network known as the internet. May I introduce myself to you, lovely patrons of this awe-inspiring site, as Ken, from thebuttonsmashers.com, and I welcome you all to this elegant and sophisticated appraisal of studio Gainax’s MOTHER##$@#$ SH#$THOLE EXCUSE OF A F#@$KING B#$TCH @$$ ANIME:
…..I present to you guys a review of Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt.
Alrighty, I’m about to go technical on your asses, so listen up!
Made by studio Gainax, who made classics (good or bad, depends on you) such as Neon Genesis Evangelion and Gurren Lagann, to name a few, Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt was directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi, who’s repertoire included shows like the aforementioned Gurren Lagann, Dead Leaves, and, more recently, Kill la Kill. It ran from October 1, 2010 to December 24, 2010, with 13 episodes to its name. It belongs in the action and comedy genre, but not in the most traditional way, so to speak. The comedy in this show is usually very brash and risque, with sex jokes, innuendos, and fanservice sprinkled all over it, like a 6-inch lasagna with 4 different kinds of cheeses on top, reminiscent of western shows such as South Park and Archer.
It is immature, loud, audacious, and majorly mindless.
And it is quite “heavenly”, so to speak.
Alrighty, without further fanfare, let’s allons-y into the devilishly delirious debauchery that is Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt.
Story & Characters:
To say the least, the plot of this show is about as far-fetched as its title.
And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The show is set in a place called Daten City, a place on earth that borderlines heaven and hell. As you can expect from a city right above the gates of hell, it is plagued day in and day out by countless malicious beings, known only as “ghosts”, which are physical manifestations of evil, pain, and hatred. Fortunately, however, as you can expect from a city right below the doorways of heaven, 2 angelic guardians were sent down to earth in order to purge Daten City of these wretched atrocities. These heavenly guardians wield weapons forged by angels that aid them in their quest to smite evil and to protect the city from further harm.
…..no, for real, these two are responsible for saving the city from evil.
Well……the truth is that sisters Panty and Stocking Anarchy are angels that were kicked out of heaven because of their brash behaviour, and as such must earn their way back to heaven by achieving “heaven coins” from exterminating ghosts. Sadly though, the two seem to be more interested in their own agendas; Panty being more interested in having constant sex with various men, and Stocking showing more interest in eating sweets and gothic fashion.
Essentially, the show is episodic in nature. It does have bits and pieces scattered here and there that hint to something that resembles a storyline, but generally speaking, P&S is made up of a bunch of one-off half-episodes.
Oh, and yes I should probably mention: each 22-minute episode is divided into two seperate half-episodes, further cementing its references to traditional western cartoons (i.e. Powerpuff Girls). These episodes have no semblance of continuity (for the most part) and the entire status quo gets refreshed every new episode.
And this is where Panty & Stocking shines. I can’t really judge the show based on its plot, as it does not necessarily have a linear one. A huge majority of the series is episodic, therefore it is easy to consume those half-episodes, as you do not need any background knowledge of what happened beforehand, making for really fun popcorn material.
And by really fun, I mean REALLY HELLA FUN.
Seriously, this show cannot be taken seriously (hehe). The humour is ridiculously immature and rowdy (like the ones you’d see in an episode of South Park) and it loves making references to different forms of western media, be it cartoons or movies (I’ll leave it up to you guys to find them). However, I think that this form of comedy is entirely hit-or-miss. It’s definitely up to the viewer if they find this kind of humour amusing or obnoxious, and it can affect how they view the show.
I may not be able to judge the story (or lack thereof), but at the very least I can analyze its characters, as extravagant as they may be, and overall, I found them to be quite effective and that they provide at least 70% of the comedy that comes with a show such as P&S. In addition to their individual characteristics, the dynamics between the characters make the comedy aspect of the show that much more appealing. Panty being more raucous and risque version of the more reserved and sarcastic Stocking is great, but both of them having the same I-don’t-really-give-two-shets-about-anything-but-sex-and-sweets persona makes the contrast much saucier on-screen. Add those to the fact that their attitudes cause countless clashes with Garterbelt, who is the mature voice-of-reason of the threesome, and you have the essences of a funny interaction between the main characters. All of the secondary characters are brilliant as well and provide their own particular flavor to the plot of the show, if you wanna call it that.
Am I forgetting something?
I seriously feel like I’m forgetting something…….
Animated re-enactment of Gainax after they produced the ending for the show.
Seriously, out of all endings that I have seen, this one is especially frustrating, as it sorta ruins a perfectly good climatic ending with a nonsensical plot twist that made the entire thing look like an M. Night Shyamalan movie. Although, I said “sorta” because of the fact that, well, it is just like Panty and Stocking as a show: nonsensical, and thus, ironically, it kinda makes sense for them to pull off such a BS twist.
I would’ve greatly preferred it if that ending didn’t exist though, to be honest. And the fact that they even promoted a second season, AND IT’S BEEN 5 YEARS NOW, makes it all the more exasperating.
Representation of me attempting to erase all traces of the last 2 minutes of the last episode.
Animation and Sound:
I’m just gonna start off with the dub, because it is my belief that, as part of a western audience, there is simply no other way to watch this show other than in dub.
Not only does it contain a copious amount of swearing and brash language, which is definitely a HUGE plus in my book, but the English dub just nails the western references in the head a whole lot better than the original Japanese dub ever could, and it’s not just the main cast. Sure Jamie Marchi does a bang-up (hehe) job as Panty, and hearing the oh-so-sweet Monica Rial cuss profusely as Stocking is such a joy to listen to, but the rest of the supporting characters do an extremely excellent job portraying these characters as well and make the already highly entertaining characters of the show even more entertaining, which is something I rarely say for a dub. In my honest opinion, the English dub is where you’ll get the most fun out of.
Of course, if you’re a dub hater, then it’s ok too. I agree that the English dub is not for everyone, because not everyone has good taste.
Nah, I’m just messing with you 😀
The Japanese dub is pretty good too, not gonna lie, but personally I highly encourage watching P&S in dub.
Meanwhile, in a small, proverbial nutshell, P&S’s animation can only be described as “experimental”. It employs the use of a wide array of styles throughout its run, depending on the theme of the episodes. However it does tend to stick to its Powerpuff Girls-esque art and animation style for the majority of the episodes, which is essential more low-detailed than current animations, and I’m not saying that “low-detailed” equates to “horrible, outdated animation”. In fact, it works rather well with this series in terms of its playful tone and over-the-top silliness.
And relax, all you anime elitists out there who question the validity of this show being an “anime” because of its western-style animation, because there are also scenes where the animation transforms into the “traditional anime style”, as you would call it.
AND WHEN IT DOES…HO HO WHEN IT DOES…
….IT IS SOMETHING MAGICAL.
Also, have I mentioned how, when a ghost is annihilated in an episode, the animation shifts to a live-action shot of a 3D model of the particular ghost being blown up Power Rangers-style?
Well, good thing I just did, because it is simply bonkers. In a good way.
Now, the soundtrack for this show is, quite simply, divine.
Personally my favorite track from the show.
It has a certain mix-and-match of styles that I couldn’t really name (because I’m not much of a music guy) but I do know that it predominantly contains techno and electronica, which adds to the edgy feel of the show. That, combined with the animation style, makes for a highly amusing popcorn material that can be enjoyed practically at any season, kinda like pizza.
Only that pizza has strawberry jam instead of tomato sauce.
And instead of pepperoni, it has gummi worms, peach drops, and sour patch kids.
And oreo crumble and apple-pie filling and M&M’s.
It’s not the healthiest thing in the world, but it’s hella fun to eat.
As I’ve mentioned before, your enjoyment of this series will depend on your taste in comedy, whether or not you enjoy the kind of raunchy humour that P&S delivers. Additionally, this show should definitely not be taken seriously and you should probably leave your brain at home while watching. Not saying that there aren’t any intellectual episodes in P&S. On the contrary, there are a couple of thoughtful and unique stories throughout the show. It’s just that this is not their bread and butter, so to speak. Their selling point is of course their off-the-walls brashness and their R-18 style of humour.
Personally, I enjoyed this series. Like, a lot. So much so that, after finishing the show, I felt the void of not being able to watch other shows not resembling Panty &Stocking, which is hella difficult considering that there’s NOTHING like this show, at all, and I preceded to throw my initial review plans and made this one instead (sorry Aldnoah Zero fans, I’ll get to that next time).
I didn’t expect myself to actually enjoy this show initially, to be honest, as I am not usually a fan of shows with such risque humour like South Park. However, with P&S, the fact that it’s an anime parodying western media makes the humour so much more appealing to me. Add that to the quirky characters, fun storyline, the hi-larious dialogue (especially from the dub), the experimental animation style, and that HEAVENLY OST, then enjoying this show was kinda inevitable for me. Couple that with its explosive last few episodes that blew every epic moment in the show thus far out of the water in terms of scale and awesomeness, and you’ve got yourself something that’s definitely worth your time, even for just mindless enjoyment.
Side Note: Since I feel really discontent with the idea of giving a score/grade for an anime that I review, seeing as “reviews” should merely pose as suggestions from the reviewer and MUST NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, BE TAKEN AS LEGITIMATE DECONSTRUCTIONS OF A SHOW (because that would be hella boring). I will, however continue to experiment with certain styles of giving an absolute recommendation that would provide my suggestion for the show in question in a concise manner.
Soooooooooooooooooo, with all that’s been said and done under consideration…
Is Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt a Yay? Or a Nay?
My only recommendation is that you watch the first episode and give it a try. If you find it funny and the humour appeals to you, then go ahead and watch the whole thing. You will only enjoy so much more after that point.
However, if not, then this show might not really be for you, but feel free to continue watching if you want, if only for the experience of watching one of the most non-traditional anime ever created.
Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt is available, at the release of this review, for legal streaming over at Funimation, where all the episodes are available for subscribers and non-subscribers alike, although applying for a subscription to unlock all the latest anime content earlier is always a good thing to do.
As per usual, leave a comment down below pertaining to your thoughts on this review, on the show itself, or if you would like me to review anything. And, speaking of liking, give the review a thumbs-up if you enjoyed it.
Aaaaaaand, with that, I bid you all adieu. This has been Ken, for thebbuttonsmashers.com Anime Reviews, and I’ll see you guys in the future.
And by “the future”, I mean next week.
Yep, you heard that right. Next week = New review.
If you guys are used to my monthly stuff, then…