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Catch up - Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt

Episodes: 13 + 1 OVA
Release date: 2010
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Off-colour humour, Black humour, Adult Humour
Non-spoiler plot summary: The Anarchy sisters are a pair of angels…the most unangelic angels you will ever meet. So unangelic that they’ve been kicked out of Heaven for bad behaviour. Elder sister Panty (it’s her real name) is only interested in keeping her knickers off, while younger sister Stocking has a sugar vice that would make a diabetic proud. The only way for these bad bitches to leave Daten City (a pun on Datenshi meaning fallen angel), a place which borders Heaven and Hell, is to hunt down ghosts and collect enough Heaven Coins to pay their way into the clouds. But when you have characters who only have the original sins Lust and Gluttony on their minds…well, it’s a hot, entertaining train wreck to watch.

Left: Panty. Right: Stocking. Two sisters. Total bitches.
Watch It If You Like: Kill La Kill, Powerpuff Girls, Scary Movie
Why you should watch it: Lately, things at work have been real hectic. The kind of hectic where at the end of the day, you plop on the couch, rip open a bag of chips and watch some brain-damage inducing drivel. Sitcoms and reality TV are great for such occasions.
For the transformations, the animators went with the classic styles
But when you want some good ol’ badass animation filled with potty-mouthed characters performing barely-legal, nefarious activities that borders ever-so-faintly on hentai, saying and doing things that you wish you could sometimes (like flip your boss off or tape that yappy gossiper’s mouth shut—these are just examples, do not judge me), there’s Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt.
Be warned, this anime is not for the weak-hearted or underaged. It’s basically Powerpuff Girls, dubbed in Japanese and for adults. It’s utterly mindless, raunchy, gross…and impossible to turn your eyes away from. Curse words of the four-letter variety run rampant in both English and Japanese; it is vulgar in the most delightful way, and the animation leaves absolutely no ambiguity of how crass the subject matter actually is. In fact, this anime is best watched after a few swigs of beer (again, do not judge me!).
Pull the trigger, I'm back in cartoon mode!
For starters, the characters themselves are beyond help. They are skilled fighters, but the ability to care is something they will never gain over the course of the anime. Their given ability, however, is to transform specific clothing into weapons, and very effective ones at that. You’ll get no gold star for guessing what article of clothing is Panty’s weapon, and what is Stocking’s. Think. Think hard.
The sex-crazed slutty Panty only wants to increase her male conquest count. She doesn’t even seriously consider the poor infatuated love interest (his name is Brief, oy vey) until, shallow as she is, she discovers that he’s actually both good-looking and loaded. Stocking, on the other hand, is the gothic Lolita whose sickly-sweet love of desserts can only be matched by her sick taste in the bed—50 Shades of Grey meet 50 Shades of Stripes.

Ms Stocking, you need to be punished
Besides these two, there’s a myriad of equally messed up characters. Reverend Garterbelt is the guardian of the sisters, who embodies the sexual frustrations of paedophilic priests everywhere, with whips and bondage to boot. Later in the series, they’re faced with rivals in the form of the demons Scanty and Kneesocks, who, ironically, have far more morals than the angels.
Gaterbelt at his finest. FYI, that little creature is Chuck, the sidekick and kicktoy of the Anarchy sisters. He too, has a secret.
The drawing style is almost childish and crude, a deliberate departure from the stylised-human-but-better versions that we’re all so familiar with. But shortcuts are not taken with this anime. Even in action scenes, it’s frame by frame of lovingly-drawn consistency. No multiple cut scenes of various and very redundant angles of the same frame ala Bleach here.
Panty and Stocking might seem stupid, but it takes a team of very smart people to create something this dumb. The anime is produced by Gainax, the studio famed for gems like Neon Genesis Evangelion, Mahoromatic and Gurren Lagann. In fact, after Panty and Stocking, their next production was Medaka Box, a more pleasantly-drawn version of said anime.
The beauty of this anime is that each episode is self-contained, in 15 minute segments. The first episode is necessary to build the premise of the plot. After which, it’s a simple matter of popping an episode in, watching a segment, letting your fried brain cells recover, and then get on with life.
Even the soundtrack cover art is suggestive!
The soundtrack is dance club worthy. Produced by Taku Takahashi of hip-hop group M-Flo, it has some sick beats in it. Personally, not all of the tracks are to my taste, but my friends thought it was a real dance house track, and not an anime soundtrack, which is testimony enough. By far, my favourites are tracks called D City Rock and Champion. Do yourself a favour and Google the lyrics. You’ll understand how even the plot extends through the music.
In the meantime, I think it’s time for another episode. And another beer. Don’t judge me.

By Edmund

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