The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt

Title: Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt
Genre: Action/Comedy
Company: Gainax
Format: 13 episodes
Date: 1 Oct 2010 – 24 Dec 2010

Synopsis: Welcome to Daten City, a place that lies on the fault line between Heaven and Hell. Constantly under threat of attack by evil spirits, the city sees a ray of hope shining upon it in the form of two angel sisters named Panty and Stocking. However, rather than being assigned by Heaven to cleanse Daten City, they are actually rejects who are banished to Earth for misconduct. Under the guidance of reverend Garterbelt, in order to earn their way back home, they must destroy all the evil forces in the city and clean up their act, the latter seemingly being the more uphill task for the pair to achieve.

The Highlights
Brand of humor: Crude and unrestrained; not suited for every viewer’s palate.
Parodies: Great homage to 90’s Western media; several misses here and there.
Interest level: Inconsistent; a sharp dip in third quarter of the show.
Identity: Unmistakably anime with a strong Western flavor.
Episode 6: Shoo-in for Best (Cat)Fight of 2010.

“Unpretentious” would be a befitting word to describe Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, and with a title composed of names of female undergarments, it clearly isn’t holding back from being the kind of show it wants to be. Raunchy and purposely absurd, PSG is an in-your-face rambunctious ball of fun that pays tribute to Hollywood films and Cartoon Network titles of the 90’s. What’s commendable is how it maintains its identity in light of having a distinctively Western influence; while largely being made up of spoofs on Western media such as High School Musical and George Romero‘s apocalyptic zombie horror films, it stays firmly rooted to its Japanese foundation and establishes itself to be unmistakably an anime. This makes PSG quite an exotic (or more appropriately, erotic) title as a whole, even if it has consistency issues and subjective appeal.

PSG is very incisive with its approach towards comedy. The title for one is a clear indication that viewers are in for a sack full of vulgarity-laced gags and jokes dealing mainly with the nether region of the human anatomy. Naturally, people who appreciate crass humor will enjoy the shamelessly tongue-in-cheek jokes, but there will be those who inevitably get turned off if it’s not their cup of tea. While the adult brand defines PSG‘s style, ample parodies serve as the show’s main material. Most of them hit the spot, with the Transformers parody right on the bull’s eye, but after the halfway point, the show dips into a series of misses that ranges from boring to even baffling. It lost touch for a few episodes, which is disappointing since the rest of the series has fared well with the parodic punch.

Another unique trait of PSG is its generosity in pleasing the viewers’ eyes and ears. Visually, the show bears a striking resemblance in art style to Dexter’s Laboratory and Powerpuff Girls, and its marriage with adult elements results in an unorthodox yet nostalgic creation. As for the overall auditory experience, PSG‘s soundtrack is a cocktail of music of various genres composed for the right occasion, from the flashy electronic sounds of “Fly Away” for the dazzling transformation sequence to the pulsating “Corset Theme” that serves as a perfect background music for a vicious brawl on the dance floor. The only letdown is “Juice”, a track that, rather than real music, is more of a recording of orgasmic sounds that viewers are strongly advised to listen with a pair of headphones.

To sum it up, PSG is a foul-mouthed horny big sister of Western cartoons who cheekily shows the finger at several pop culture in its way. It starts off on the right foot, continues to improve for a short run, then trips and falls flat on its face but fortunately gets back up and ends the race with an empathetic loud bang. As icing on the cake, it features memorable villains, an over-the-top glorious catfight, and a Michael Bay-inspired climatic finish. PSG is imperfect – the show would have been a lot better if it had been more consistent with the parodic bite – but I won’t deny how entertained I was and I hope it gets a second outing, especially when there are still plenty of references out there that the show would be glad to make use of.

The Rating: 7

Reviewed by: AC

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