Fall 2010 Anime Impressions – Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt

Earlier this year Gainax shocked many (including me) with Hanamaru Kindergarten; first because it was so un-Gainaxy and then because it was so good. It was like Gainax decided to show that not only they could be masters of giant mechs and frantic action but they could also outdo J.C. Staff’s watercolor-look, slice-of-life/light comedy anime series. Fast forward a couple of seasons and Gainax is back and this time they’re on a mission to showcase their mastery of contemporary American-style animated shows.

Rating for episode 18/12 B+
Rating for episode 2
10/12 A
Rating for episode 3
10.5/12 Strong A
Anticipation Level:
3.5/5 Medium

The Story

Every city needs a super-powered protector and Daten City, at the crossroads of Heaven and Hell, is no different especially since the citizens are beset by rampaging angry ghosts on a frequent basis. It’s a shame, then, that all the good superheroes have apparently already been taken and only two misbehaving angels, on their last chance before getting sent to Hell, are all the protection that Daten City will get. The first angel has the ability to turn her underwear into a gun and goes by the name Panty and the second angel has the ability to turn her striped stockings into katanas and goes by the name Stocking (imagine that). Together with a black priest, Garterbelt, they keep Daten City safe.

The Fine Print

The summary of my thoughts on Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt (PSG) is that it’s the next hit for Gainax. It’s very funny and lots of fun; it’s different in a good way and it isn’t resting on it’s laurels.

The most pleasant revelation from the first three episodes of PSG is how great the music has been. Normally, I find it difficult to recall individual pieces of background music from even the best series and I have only a mild interest for the music of an anime outside of the opening/closing songs; but here, I’m already desperately wanting the soundtrack album to get released. Coming in a close second is the continued focus by Gainax to mix different animation styles into their works. I wish I knew more about the individual animators behind Gainax but, even as a neophyte animation fan, I can appreciate them. Strangely, it was this trait that most reminded me that PSG was not an American animation series.

Speaking of the origin behind PSG, after the first episode I had a hard time articulating what I thought about the show. (Making it difficult to write a first impression post. 🙂 ) At first, I thought I was a bit shell-shocked trying to reconcile the successful effort on Gainax’s part to get the look and feel of PSG to match that of shows like Power Puff Girls, Johnny Bravo, and Dexter’s Laboratory and having the subject matter being far removed from those same shows. I knew I didn’t dislike it but it didn’t feel like I really liked it. This happens sometimes and one remedy for me is to rewatch the episode a few times and focus on the different parts. These rewatches helped but it was only with the second episode that I started to really like PSG. This makes me think that the animators might have been trying too hard with the first episode to get us to understand what the series was going to be like and relaxed during the subsequent episodes and just let the characters and comedy carry the show.

I highly recommend Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt as being one of this season’s top comedies and I’d suggest watching at least 2 episodes before deciding one way or the other about liking PSG. There will be many people that’ll drop this because of the level of crude humor which is understandable but I hope no one will pass of PSG because of the animation style.

Gainax changing up the animation style.

Stocking is my favorite character.

Assorted screenshots that I just feel like including.

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