Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt Review (English)

Oh pitiful shadow lost in the darkness. Oh 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. Shattering your loathsome impurity and returning you from whence you came.


Panty & Stocking is a 13 episode Action/Comedy series based on nothing in particular. The anime originally aired in fall of 2010 with a manga released by Kadokawa Shoten a month prior to the anime and has not been licensed as of this review. Hence why it’s based on nothing in particular. The anime from Director Hiroyuki Imaishi and Studio Gainax is currently licensed by FUNimation Entertainment and Manga Entertainment.

The show revolves around the exploits of the Anarchy sisters, Panty and Stocking, angels who were kicked out of Heaven due to their bad behavior. They are sent to Daten City a place located on the border between Heaven and Hell, which is besieged by evil spirits referred to as "Ghosts". Under the watchful eye of the reverend Garterbelt, the two are tasked with collecting enough Heaven Coins to buy their way back into Heaven by destroying Ghosts using their powers, including the ability to transform their lingerie into weapons. However, Panty and Stocking are constantly sidetracked by their respective interests in men and sugar.

Studio Gainax has a tendency to take inspiration from Western cartoons, mostly because the studio started out as a bunch of fanboys who wanted to make anime. Panty & Stocking uses this heavily. I’m going to sound like a broken record on this one and say that there is a lot of inspiration coming from American cartoons in this show. Not only that but a lot of pop culture references. Part of that can be traced to the dub, which I’ll get to. However, there are moments that Gainax decided to use on their own that are Western influenced. For example, we have some South Park Animation and some puppetry in the series. As for the soundtrack, it’s a really fun listen and kinda makes me want to go dancing, and I’m not much into Night Life. I already have “Fly Away” on my iPod, but I should add a couple more now. Overall, the look of the series brings me back to the days of cartoons as a kid, though it is raunchy as hell.

Ok so the story is mostly the average weekly beat up the Ghosts kind of deal here, nothing entirely special. The actual plot doesn’t kick in till we meet the Demon Sisters about half way through, and then kinda drops off until the last two. It makes the plot seem a bit abrupt when it gets toward the end, but by that point I was having way too much fun to really care. That’s kind of the beauty of it. I watched these kinds of simple shows as a kid and fell in love with every moment of it. As an adult it’s hard to find something similar but not too childish. Panty and Stocking solves that with it’s adult humor, again a product of the dub. Something that this series loves to do a create shout outs to a lot of American Pop Culture in each episode. From the titles of the episodes to references to other cartoons to even some of the most famous of taglines. Panty and Stocking just went for it, and it's rather amusing to see this happen. It's almost like I'm watching and episode of Ed, Edd, and Eddy except with more pop culture mixed in.

Awwww how cute!
There’s something special about the characters that I didn’t really think about until I read a review for this series from Ink Black Analysis several months back and a separate conversation with with the blog's owner Matt. How he explained it to me was that the seven major characters (Panty, Stocking, Garterbelt, Brief, Scanty, Kneesocks, Corset) are all a Deadly Sin. Some of them are easy to spot like Panty as Lust and Stocking as Gluttony. Others take a little bit more time but once you do, it’s fun to see like Kneesocks as Pride and Scanty as Envy. Beyond that, these characters aren’t really all that developed and are mostly stuck in their ways. The one character that gets something out of it is Panty in the last couple of episodes though it’s rather Brief..... Get it? Brief? ....... Yeah I’m lame.

Jamie and Monica kick all kinds of ass!
The one thing that makes this series wonderful is the dub, hands down! ADR Director Colleen Clinkenbeard knew what she was getting into, and so didn’t the script writers Jamie Marchi, Jared Hedges, and Leah Clark. Though the dialogue can be stupid and raunchy at times, it’s what Panty and Stocking needed. Also, it never hurts to have an amazing cast! Jamie Marchi, Monica Rial, and Christopher Sabat as our three title characters is a blast and they work amazingly as they bounce off of one another! Then there’s Joel McDonald as the ever lovable Brief. Did I mention that I love me geeks? Cause I love me my geeks! Then there’s Colleen Clinkenbeard, Cherami Leigh, and Chris Ayres as our wonderful demons and it was a delight to listen to! Props to Ian Sinclair as good old Chuck, cause that dog was fun to watch! Add in a couple mentions to J. Michael Tatum, Vic Mignogna, and Todd Haberkorn and you get the general idea. Also, is it wrong for me to smile every time these voice actors swear or do all those sex bits (especially Vic Mignogna)?

By the end of the fight, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt isn’t the best thing since sliced bread. Gainax has done better, but that doesn’t mean this show isn’t fun. It’s a ton of fun, and I enjoyed marathoning the living s**t out of it! The influence of Western Animation coupled with the adult humor the dub brings in gives me a sense of a cartoon I won’t feel so childish about watching (granted that’s also a lot of fun). I don’t recommend this for a younger audience, but if you’re 18 and older and have an account with FUNimation, then check it out! As of writing this, the entire dub is free to watch so give it a go!

Next time, this flower becomes a deviant. Until then, otaku on my friends!

Final Rating - 7/10 This is one f**king fun ride!


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