Summery: Two angels have come to Earth and must earn “heaven coins” in order to return home. They do so by banishing Ghosts from the Daten City, a city that sits on the border between heaven and earth.
Review: The most compelling aspect of Gainax’s Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt was the animation. Instead of the normal anime style it instead decides to barrow from a more western style that mimics early 2000s Cartoon Network shows like the Powerpuff Girls and Dexter’s Laboratory, with the protagonist’s dog being completely lifted from Invader Zim. Even the format, two 12 minute shorts per episodes, is in the style of an American cartoon. While at first refreshing I just couldn’t enjoy the art, it was more distracting than enjoyable after the opening animation. Being different certainly got the show noticed but one of the reasons I enjoy anime is because of the art style and I assume most western fans share the same feelings. I assume that Gainax is attempting to capture a Japanese audience that enjoys this style much like Cartoon Network’s attempt to capture fans by mimicking anime. While I applaud Gainax for trying something new this art style is not for me.
The show itself is just a gag anime filled with toilet humor and sex jokes. While the animation is inspired by American cartoons the plot is clearly Japanese, at its core it is about two Shinigami sent to Warth to take care of some misbehaving ghosts, no where near the most original concept for a show. The characters are about as shallow as one would expect from a gag anime, Panty is a slut and the only jokes involving her are centered on that fact: she talks in sexual innuendo, is found sleeping with several guys, and when she runs into a guy she likes her first action is to drag him into a motel. Stocking barely gets any development in this first episode because of the how much the “Panty is a slut” joke is played up. She is characterized as the goth Lolita who is obsessed with sweets, a slightly less forced flaw than Panty’s sexual appetite.
The protagonist’s names, and the show’s title, come from their ability to turn their clothes into weapons. Obviously, Panty has to remove her.. and so on. During the first fight Gainax tosses in a classically animated sequence of the two girls stripping the appropriate garment off and fondling themselves. While it was a bit tasteless it was animated extremely well and allowed me to clearly see at once how much I disliked the art style of Panty and Stocking and longed for the Japanese style to take over during the fight scene. But, unfortunately, the adult anime version of Panty and Stocking were there for only brief fan service and then gone.
Verdict: I suppose if you like the humor you’ll find Panty and Stocking enjoyable. I rolled my eyes at all the “jokes” and found the action sequences boring. The animation is clearly well done but the style is not to my liking and clearly done just to be different.
Watch Panty and Stocking on Crunchyroll.com