What is your guilty pleasure anime?
This might actually be the hardest question on this list. You might be reading asking, why? Well, the reason is because I never really considered anything that I watched as something that wasn’t held in some regard.
At first, my mind wandered over to shows like Highschool DxD, Keijo, and Heaven’s Lost Property but to be honest, I never really considered those guilty pleasure shows. Usually, the people I introduced to the show found something enjoyable about them even if they were a bit different.
However, there was one show that seemed to always get a look. A series that never really caught on in my group but I found to be absolutely genius. And it wasn’t Shimoneta though no one wanted to watch that series with me either.
Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt was a show that I always wanted to watch but never really went out of my way to find it. It was made by the lovely people over at Gainax, who I had just discovered at that time to be behind shows like Gurren Lagann and would later release a little show called Medaka Box that took over my life when I found it.
Fast forward to last year and one random night on Amazon in the wee hours of the morning with a hole burning in my pocket to do something I had never done before. In my cart was the entire series of Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt and Nichijou. I am not a collector. The idea of having a bunch of stuff to bring around with me when I move makes me cringe. It is for that reason that I haven’t purchase any of the many figurines that I have in my wish list on Amazon that keep going up in price as the years continue to tally. But that night, I gave in and purchased both of them.
I absolutely love this show. It reminds me of what Dead Leaves could have been if they would have given that movie a series with the world and characters. I am totally immersed in shows that are stylish, raunchy, and raw. Watching an episode is like going for a ride with that family member that you can’t predict but you know SOMETHING is going to happen while you guys are out.
First, the premise is something you could consider plausible. Two angels that were kicked out of heaven due to their behavior is on quest for redemption in Daten-City, a place that borders between heaven and hell that is constantly being attacked by ghost. See? The story isn’t all that bad! Continue with the plot, because that is only half of it. Fine! Arms with weapons made of their lingerie, they have been charged with taking out these ghost to earn Heaven Coins which they need in order to purchase their ticket back into heaven. It still isn’t that bad!
And it wouldn’t be that bad if it wasn’t for our lovely characters. Characters that I feel make this show an absolute joy to watch from episode to episode.
Our first sister Panty, a blonde haired angel has sex drive I don’t believe can ever be satisfied. From the initial few episodes, it is clear that she doesn’t really care much about her duties and would much rather gain fame and popularity while fulfilling her personal goal of screwing one thousand men on Earth before returning Heaven. Her mouth, for lack of a better phrase, can be rather harsh and aggressive. She is usually the troublemaker and some of the things she says will have you wondering if she heard her correctly. Her weapon comes from her panties that transform into a pistol called Backlace.
The other sister, Stocking is a pink/violet haired goth Lolita who has a bottomless pit for sweets who can constantly be seen eating or talking about sweets. She doesn’t gain any weight from her hobby either, claiming that all of it goes to her breast. While not as bad as Panty when it comes to sex, she is more into masochistic activities. She is the level-headed of the two but has quips for days, making her just as rude and vulgar as her sister. Her stocking transforms into a razor-sharp pair of katanas called Stripe and Stripe II.
Acting as the Anarchy sisters’ guardian, Garterbelt relays the missions that the sisters must go on throughout the series. It is clear he cannot stand their behavior, often times harping on their lack of commitment and effort on their missions. Refusing a task by God, he has been cursed with immortality and forbidden from dying until he fulfills God’s wish which makes he stuck with the girls.
I can’t tell you how much I love to hear these characters go back and forth with each other. I would recommend watching this show in English just because of the jokes and quips land so much better. It is funny in Japanese, but the humor is more tailored to their culture and some of the jokes can be missed in translation. Whereas with the dub which has a wonderful cast of voice actors who do an amazing job bringing these characters to live, the jokes hit in rapid succession. The show doesn’t shy away from being edgy, deciding to tackle the edge in the same fashion that our characters do. Their transformation involves stripper poles. There is an entire hilarious episode that has skit from army movie that references sperm that had me dying! Hell, there is an episode early on that involves poop! This series has tons of sexual themes with anime shooting for vulgar and indecent jokes with the goal being that “if we are going to do this, we will try to do it thoroughly.”
The animation for the series blissfully awesome in my opinion. It was like the studio was able to crack out all of their weird and different ideas, getting bolder and daring each episode. Though it might look like a knockoff of the PowerPuff Girls, you get some truly jaw-dropping fight scenes here when Gainax decides to flex their muscles and it is a treat to watch. Picture combining Kill la Kill with Invader Zim with a dash of aforementioned PowerPuff girls. Can you see it? Good! These ladies can throw hands!
I love all the different art styles they switch between throughout the series as well. It’s something to be truly appreciated if you ask me. From the cartoony style like above to the over-the-top anime transformation and everything in between through the series, I think this show did a wonderful job and deserves some praise for what they were able to do. I love how they sit up the villain of the week, creating a doll of the ghost and blowing it up all Power Ranger style.
And the music! I discovered the wonderful sound of TeddyLoid because of this show. If you don’t know who that is, that is the artist behind the music of the ME! ME! ME! that featured Daoko. I love Daoko! Check out the sequel to that plot in the song called Girl! The original soundtrack for the show is lightning in a bottle. There isn’t a song on that album that I don’t like. Fly Away is by far the stand out track that always manages to get me pumped up and excite to see the action that usually follows.
The ending theme Fallen Angel makes me melt whenever I hear it. You would think that this ending doesn’t fit with a show like this but it does in a surreal way. The lyrics fit the characters in a way that it is hard to describe and it rather beautiful. I never skipped the ending. There is a certain hopelessness that I feel when I hear and I think about the characters to think that their efforts might not pay off. “So close, but far away so far I can’t touch.”
Ultimately, I love this series. I love it so much that I haven’t finished it because I know once I do, that could very well be it for me. There have been rumors floating about hinting a season 2 and if that comes true, I will probably burn through the series the night it is announced to be ready to wait patiently until it arrives. None of the episodes I have watched as gotten old and instead of continuing the series like a normal person, I start back from the beginning whenever I do watch it. What can I say? This is my type of humor but I can laugh at almost anything.
Have you watched Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt? What did you think of the series? I am curious because not a lot of people that I know gave this show a chance. But most of my friends won’t watch shows like this, Shinometa, Plastic-Nee, and Asobi Asobase. Nichijou is even off the list. So I don’t know why I eve tried with this one.
As always, thanks for stopping by and reading. You guys/gals are awesome!
And until the next post…