Anime Title: Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt
Production Studio: Gainax
Director: Hiroyuki Imaishi
Premiered: Fall 2010
Genres: Action, Comedy, Parody, Supernatural, Ecchi
Don’t be fooled, this is an anime series, despite looking like a Craig McCracken cartoon on crack (yeah that was a terrible a pun and you should punch me in the dick). Much like you would see in shows like South Park and Family Guy, this anime has it all lots of excessive swearing, lots of sex and sweets, lots of outdated references, and of course some good wholesome family values… I mean fan service. So yeah this is Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt, the brainchild of Gainax and everything you would come to expect from the same studio that brought us shows like Gurren Lagann and FLCL, both totally batshit insane in just about every regard. Yet I think Panty and Stocking take the cake, a cake that I’m sure even Stocking would wanna take a bite out of.
Here is all you need to know, Panty and her sister Stocking are two angels that were kicked out of heaven for disorderly conduct and now reside in Daten City, where they must take orders from a stereotypical black priest named Garterbelt. He gives them missions in which they are sent to vanquish vengeful spirits, and in return after defeating said vengeful spirit they earn heaven coins, which is the currency they need to buy their way back into heaven.
Rather than having a central plot, instead each episode is broken up into two parts. Each part has a different story, so there really isn’t any continuity in terms of the format. I should also mention that this show is filled to the brim with Western references, like for example you have one episode they reference Saving Private Ryan with Sperm ghosts, yeah I shit you not. The obvious reference is during the transformation scene when the characters are chanting “O evil spirit born of those drifting between heaven and earth, may the thunderous power from the garments of these holy, delicate maidens strike down upon you with great vengeance and furious anger…”. And those are just a few examples, as there are so many references thrown in that I couldn’t even begin to count all of them. So yeah this is the kinda show you just wanna turn off your brain for, as each episode just keeps getting crazier and crazier, and the humor can sometimes be a hit or miss depending on your sense of humor.
The characters are so straightforward and easy to explain that it doesn’t even take a rocket scientist to figure them out. First things first we have Panty, the Paris Hilton look-alike whose traits mostly consist of being a snarky bitch and a total slut who fucks every man she sees. You then have her sister Stocking, who resembles Twilight Sparkle if she were a goth chick, she is highly intelligent and more level minded than her sister, but can easily be brash and rude when provoked. She also has a craving for sweets, and while she isn’t into sex like her sister she loves bondage.
You also have Garterbelt, the stereotypical black priest whose role is to be the caretaker of Panty and Stocking, he is the one who gives them their missions and is the voice of reason. Not only does he have a checkered past that he’d soon forget than remember, but he also has a fetish for bondage and young male which is just hilarious. Later on we get introduced to a whole slew cast of supporting characters such Briefs, who is the nerdy guy with the Ghostbusters get up, who’s in love with Panty, who is always repulsed by him. And of course who could forget the devil sisters Scanty and Kneesocks, who I guess you could they are the arch-rivals of Panty and Stocking, and they also have their own transformation scene, as well as their own quirks and fetishes. Yeah, I think every character in this goddamn anime is one big sex joke, so you mind as well go all the way or no way hose.
Nevertheless, the characters in this show are easily the best part and where this show shines. However, my biggest qualm with the characters is the fact that we don’t get much in terms of actual development. Also another thing that didn’t help is the fact that Panty gets most of the screen time out of all the other characters. I don’t know if it’s because the creators of this show loved Panty’s rebellious and sex-crazed nature, but I can honestly say that she isn’t my favorite character in this show and that I’d prefer to see more from Stocking, because Stocking in many ways is a character I can better relate to.
The animation and art style is unique for this anime, and though Gainax has been known to produce some very appealing visuals, as was the case with Gurren Lagann, Panty & Stocking’s artistic direction is more along the lines of American animated series like Dexter’s Laboratory or The Powerpuff Girls. There are, however, a handful of scenes drawn in a more current anime style, most notably when the angels or demons power up their weapons for battle. The defeat of each ghost is shown with an intentionally cheesy live-action prop explosion, which of course being the longtime fan of Super Sentai, it’s always a beauty to behold. However this isn’t just a comedy anime, it’s also an action anime, and I gotta say this series definitely delivers with some awe-inspiring action scenes. One of the more notable moments is the epic catfight against Scanty and Knee Socks where the action is fast paced and fluid.
Of course, you have the soundtrack which is comprised of some original compositions by various artists and maintains a club techno feel throughout which is not only very catchy but also incredibly befitting of the series. Some of my favorite tracks include Fly Away Now which is used during Panty and Stockings transformation sequence and Juice which is a jazz tune accompanied with a female making orgasmic sounds.
Then you have the dub which honestly I can say just stick with the dub for this one. Sure the Japanese dub has it’s fair share of funny moments especially when you see the Japanese actors butcher the English language. But nevertheless this show just sounds better in English, and that’s my personal opinion so dub haters can go fuck off. Anyways the dub has an excellent casting choice you Jamie Marchi as the raunchy sex crazed Panty and hearing her swear her ass off is always such a delight, then you have Monica Rial as Stocking who is absolutely hilarious in every single line of dialogue, and of course you have the man himself Christopher Sabat as Garterbelt, doing the best Samuel Jackson impression he possibly can. It’s obvious the voice actors had so much fun doing the voice work for this dub, and I gotta say out of all of Funimation dubs I’ve listened to this one would definitely be up there as one of my personal favorites.
Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt isn’t for everyone. If you’re not into the raunchy and sexualized nature of this series then chances are you will hate this show. But if all that doesn’t bother you then I say go for it because watch you are getting is action-packed and highly entertaining comedy series. It has a unique art style that is reminiscent to Western cartoons, it has the most explicit dub since Black Lagoon, impressive action scenes, and it’s just an overall fun series to watch as long as you turn your brain off and not take any of it seriously. This show has been licensed by Funimation and is available for streaming on their website in both dub and sub.