So, last week I decided to start up watching anime again after a 4-5 month period of nothing but school and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. And since I kinda got hooked onto its music a week or two prior to watching, I decided to watch Panty and Stocking!
A quick summary of the series: two sibling angels (named Panty and Stocking) were banished from heaven for being obnoxious as fuck and now have to keep Daten City safe from evil spirits called ghosts. Upon defeat, ghosts drop ‘Heaven Coins’, and once enough are collected the sisters may return to heaven. To help them is Garterbelt, a priest who runs the local church, and Chuck, who is Gir’s (from Invader Zim) long lost younger brother.
Simple enough, right? WRONG. This anime takes the “obnoxious as fuck” part and plays it hard. Combine that with some American-style animation, some of the best music I’ve heard in ages, and a Gainax plot, and you have yourself one memorable anime.
Let me start out by saying that each episode is split up into two mini episodes ala most 90’s American cartoons. After the first part of episode 1, the first thought that ran through my head was, “This is a lot like Powerpuff Girls.” For those of you who remember and loved Powerpuff Girls, I think you’ll really enjoy Panty and Stocking. It’s got a lot of the core elements of Powerpuff Girls with a little bit of standard Japanese anime style thrown in there.
Let’s dive in!
Art and Animation:
I actually really enjoyed the art style because it’s so PPG-esque. I’m not really a fan of American art when it comes to modern-day cartoons, so this was really refreshing to see American style that I really enjoyed. The animation really fit the series. Everything was quick and jarred, and the sound effects being worded out gave it a kind of comic book feel, which really went with the art style. The only episode I didn’t really enjoy was part 2 of episode 5, where they went with a more traditional Japanese style. Other than that, the animation was great!
Plot and Characters:
Let’s start with characters. I enjoyed how they took Panty and Stocking and really played the “fallen angel” bit about them. They swore, they stripped, they beat the shit out of shit and other grotesque demons. And the way they interact with each other, Garterbelt, Chuck, Brief, and their two rivals, Scanty and Kneesocks, are hilarious. I especially enjoyed Scanty and Kneesocks, because they reminded me SO MUCH of MoJoJoJo from PPG. And that kind of character was a great addition midway into the series. And Chuck, because he’s like Gir. What a badass.
And now for the plot. I don’t mind the plot; it’s coherent enough where progression happens. It’s the stupid ending that I HATE. I enjoy the occasional curveball, but not curveballs that don’t make any sense. Gainax decided to do that with Panty and Stocking, and that really disappointed me, especially since I had really been enjoying the series until then. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen the series, but prepare yourself… it’s one hell of a curveball.
Listen to this:
Then to this:
And tell yourself this music isn’t ridiculously good. I love the music. It’s great! It’s PERFECT for this series, and it’s memorable. There’s not a lot of anime where I’ll download an entire soundtrack; I downloaded the entire soundtrack. It fits every scene to a T.
A no holds-barred show about two angels who need to get back to heaven? Not a bad idea. It reminds me of PPG; great idea! The way the show speaks to the viewer is pretty clear – make fun of everything that presents itself onscreen with crude humor and a hint of satire. There are a lot of references to everyday things (like going to the bathroom and having “the top” in high school) that get blown out of proportion, and it works.
What doesn’t work is the way the show ends and a few parts of episodes here and there that just didn’t seem to fit (I’m looking at you, Chuck to the Future).
All in all, it doesn’t shy away from its message, and the way it presents itself goes pretty well with the art, the animation, and the music. Some polish, I think, definitely would’ve helped.
Overall Score: 7/10
R-Rated Powerpuff Girls. Not bad in any respect, but could’ve really worked on a few things (especially that ENDING!!!)
Chuck’s my favorite character.