Reviews: Panty And Stocking With Garterbelt
What Happens When Japan Pretends to be America?
What's your favorite cartoon? By itself, this question would act as an icebreaker for conversation. For this show, however, it's a vital part of pre-viewing consideration. The premise of the show is as simple as it is unremarkable. Two anti-heroines (with emphasis on the anti) are angels kicked out of heaven, who now have to hunt down different monsters of the week and grab coins so they can eventually return. Typical macguffin hunt. The meat of the show, however, lies in the characters' interactions, both with each other and their environments. This is where that question comes in. The biggest thing that sets this show apart from other anime is the fact that it heavily takes from western cartoons. Hiromi Wakabayashi said that the inspiration for the show started from Drawn Together, and you can see a smorgasbord of other influences shoveled in as well. Fans of shows like South Park, Cow & Chicken, Ren & Stimpy, or The Haunted World of El Superbeasto will find many similarities. The jokes are lewd and crude, the heroines are selfish and irreverent, things are exaggerated to the point of irreconcilability, and crazy situations are preferred to anything coherent. The very first episode has the duo fighting a literal pile of shit, and one memorable fight sequence with another duo takes a large chunk of time in the bathroom. What if your preferences lie with Jonny Quest, Gargoyles, Batman: The Animated Series, Thundercats, Mummies Alive!, or Thundarr the Barbarian? Fans of cartoons with an overarching plot, relateable characters, and drama may be horribly disappointed—or even insulted. While that's not to say they simply don't exist in Panty and Stocking, their presence is vastly shafted in favor of comedy. In a way, this works in its favor, as it instantly sets itself apart from its contemporaries. Unfortunately, most of that seems to come about from trying to imitate a niche, rather than develop its own identity. In trying so much to be like shallow toilet-humor action-comedies, it succeeds on every single front. The story is shallow, the toilet humor is almost constant, the comedy becomes predictable as a result, which seriously hurts the action. For fans of such things, it may be just as entertaining. For everyone else? Steer very clear.
Worth a look, but DEFINITELY not for everyone. (Dub)
Okay, first things first: how much you enjoy this is going to depend really heavily on your tolerance for profanity and sex-based humor, because this show consists of almost nothing else. It was basically created for two reasons: as a massive Shout Out to western animation in general, and to give the censors an aneurysm. 90 percent of the show consists of vulgar, profanity-laden humor. That said, even though I personally don't care for that type of humor much, I think PSG pulls it off most of the time. As far as I'm concerned, I think the dub cast did a very good job with the comedic timing (I definitely enjoyed the dub more than the sub). The animation is also top notch; it's extremely vibrant and dynamic and the occasional stylistic switches are usually funny as well as showing off the animators' ability. The fight with Scanty and Kneesocks is one of the coolest fights I've ever seen in any form of animation. The background music is almost entirely awesome as well. Not that the show doesn't make a few missteps, some of the episodes go into overkill with the vulgar elements to the point that it overshadows the real comedy, and obviously some of the jokes are going to fall flat, but most of the time the delivery salvages it. Long story short, if you have a high tolerance for vulgarity it's worth checking this show out, but if you're easily offended you should probably give this one a wide berth.
Can't Wait For Season 2.
When my girlfriend recommended this show to me, the very synopsis I asked her for hooked me, and I'll never forget her exact words. "A whore who can turn her panties into guns, and a diabetic goth who can turn her stockings into swords." Hooked me. Now, does that make me part of the common denominator? The easily amazed chump who just watched Inuyasha for the first time and gave it a positive review? No. Why? Becausse the show, and the creators HATE the fucking common denominator. GAINAX always has a greater purpose in mind for their shows, even though they do it mostly for the anime fans. Through all the fanservice and explosions, there's always something better at work, that folks like myself who view fiction through the lens of Popcultural Osmosis can appreciate. The title characters, with their own idiosyncracies and identities manage to stand out by being magnificent deconstuctions of who they are in varying degrees. Particularly Panty, who I believe there's a large unwarranted amount of hate by the fandom at large because she's such a bitch. SHE'S A BITCH WHO KNOWS SHE IS AND WEARS IT PROUDLY! Instead of it being some foil for some sort of vunerablilty that she drew up out of the usually reasons characters like her would perform the obvious Heel Face Turn later for it, it IS her. She's a brash, stupidly confident, un-slapped filthy trick bitch who is, of all things, an angel. As is the ever-cooler headed Stocking, who plays on aspects of Moe while still ridiculously selfish, and still manages to be as rude (if not even moreso) as her sister. Garterbelt manages to hold these dysfunctional siblings together by being a constant reminder of why the got their assed kicked out of Heaven in the first place, while being that one black character that fades into obscurity who was a gangster at some point in his life, but got called upon to serve higher calling in the name of redemption. The characters, however, are only one aspect of this series and I seem to have wasted most of my space by gushing about them, so to try and round things out in les than thrity words, the premise is great, the sountrack is awesome, the episodes go from episodic to plot relevant in a heartbeat (though, not as often as one would like), fights exciting, jokes insanely over-the-top and the ending is a rather impressive expert troll by GAINAX.
Definitely worth a look.
Short summary of the show: Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi meets Powerpuff Girls and Invader Zim. Add in some sexual innuendos and some other... rather mature humor, and you get this. A show about two angels that must defeat ghosts, but would rather give in to their own pleasures instead. Okay, the part they fight with clothing articles may have some time to getting used to, but the rest of the show is great. The show has amazing animation and dubbing, almost making it seem as if you're watching a real Western cartoon. The animation is very flowing, as well as the voices perfectly matching the characters. Not to mention the soundtrack as well. Who ever would have thought that using electronica in an anime would actually work. It perfectly gets along with the scenes that it is played in. I give applaud to Gainax for the work they've done on this part. The characters are well made. They are anything but flat characters, and each have different personalities, developed to fit right into the plot. I have to say Scanty and Stocking are my favorite characters out of all of them, with Brief running as third. The characters aren't despicable or scrappies either, so you won't really have a character that you don't like. The things that I'm bothered with however, is the overuse of innuendos. Though they are funny, there is only so many innuendos that one could handle. Then again, this is based on Western Animation, so don't be too surprised. Something else I can't handle is some of the disturbing scenes in this anime. You have to admit that some of the chopped up body parts in this anime is very... unsettling. Even if it's just a cartoon. They also swear like sailors. Needless to say, this anime, at times, is very NSFW. Panty And Stocking With Garterbelt is definitely worthy to watch, though it may not be your kind of thing. Though, don't watch it if you don't like innuendos, and easily offended by even the smallest thing. Because honestly, this could get beyond just normal offensive at times. Most likely to become a legend upon the animes, this is another animation that Gainax had just done right.
Wow Gainax, after coming off of Gurren Lagan, I was wondering how you were gonna top it. But I never really expected this. Short Premise of the show: Fallen Angels take on ghosts but would rather screw men and eat sweets all day. So, as of this review, we're four episodes in. So what do I think? Well on one hand, its crazy funny. It never takes itself seriously and just goes with the flow. The decision to make the show look like a western cartoon too was certainly inspired. The U.S has ribbed on anime so it only fair Japan takes a shot at us. Extra points for using Powerpuff Girls style visual (Craig Mc Craken must be honored). The animation is as always top notched, fast, fluid, and frantic. It also nice we get art shifts too; from detailed to sketchy to live action when the monsters go boom. Really adds to the hilarity. I'll admit I wasn't really fond of Panty and Stocking at first. Years of watching Family Guy have left a bad taste in my mouth for jerkass characters. But thankfully the writers were wise to let karma deal with the girls on occasion, so they don't always get off scott free. Also helps they're not above dissing each other. (Then again they are sisters =p) But then we reach the other hand, the show is absolutely vulgar and crass. It spits out as many sexual innuendos as it can and honestly, some of the jokes are gonna turn stomachs (the second half of episode 3 for example, Ugh). The characters curse without fear and some of the visuals can be rather disturbing (be honest, you cringed when you saw a boney looking Stocking in episode 4.) All in all, I'd say its a guilty pleasure. Pretty sure it bound to be a cult classic among fans, but its not for everyone. If your into lowbrow humor, its a must watch. If your a casual anime viewer, a glance at best to see if its right for you before going full throttle. But if this ain't your cup of tea at all (especially the easily offended), then yeah stay as far away as you can.