Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt Blu-ray Review

Anime

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Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt
Studio: Gainax
Publisher: FUNimation
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: January 15, 2013
Price: $69.98 – Available Here

Overview:
Every company is concerned about losing money to competition, especially competition from overseas. This fear has recently caused quite a stir in the anime industry thanks to the fact that many Japanese companies are either afraid to sell the license to Western companies to release in English or make it so certain versions of an anime are delayed.

Such is the case with Panty & Stocking, an anime which was originally released on DVD back in July. The original license holder feared that anime fans from Japan would purchase the Blu-ray version of the anime for a severe discount from North America. As such, FUNimation’s Blu-ray release was delayed until the beginning of 2013. However now that the series has debuted on Blu-ray, is it worth picking up for those who may have waited or are looking for the ultimate Panty & Stocking experience?

Story:
Daten City lies between the border of Heaven and Hell and because of its unfortunate location, the city is always plagued by evil spirits that take the form of various ghosts. The ghosts can come in all shapes and sizes and can cause mass chaos and destruction whenever they form. However the citizens of the city aren’t on their own, as two angels reside in the city under the eye of the local priest. Now if only one of them could stop having sex with anything that moves while the other is too busy eating anything sweet.

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These two angels, called the Anarchy sisters are Panty and Stocking. They have been kicked out of Heaven due to the fact that their behavior is unbecoming of a heavenly being. To try and buy their way back into heaven they must destroy any ghosts they come across and receive Heaven Coins by making them “repent.” These two are monitored by an over the top priest named Garterbelt and are accompanied by their… pet like creature named Chuck.

Now while this may sound like a relatively simple story all on its own, that promises chances at redemption and plenty of action, it is far from it. The reason for this is simply because Panty & Stocking really never takes itself seriously as a show as the angels are more focused on sex and candy, thus creating some of the most off the wall and unpredictable antics viewers will likely ever see.

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Panty is a nymphomaniac who would be much happier spending her time sleeping with four guys at once, while Stocking is a glutton for sweets who happens to love bondage, which seems to be trait shared with the priest Garterbelt. Throughout the series these two angels act like anything but angels, use their stockings and panties as weapons, often cause more damage than the ghosts themselves, all while swearing more than most people do in a year.

With this off the wall style, there is pretty much zero continuity between episodes barring a minor closing story arc. Instead the story mostly follows a monster of the week type style with the Anarchy sisters screwing and eating anything that moves, then fighting against whatever adversary pops up to stop their fun. But you know what? This formula and style work perfectly when combined together, creating an unpredictable laugh-riot of a show that will be impossible to forget.

Visuals:
To say that Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt received an upgrade by being released on Blu-ray rather than DVD would be an understatement. The reason for this is thanks to the fact that Gainax’s bright color palette and mostly simplistic art style shine on this Blu-ray release. You see, while the DVDs may have still looked impressive, the series has never looked better than it does now on Blu-ray.

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Even the most basic sequences appear crisp and vibrant and whenever the art style changes into one with more detail, these crisp visuals never miss a beat as the entire series, minus one half of an episode which features a real-life type art style, impresses from start to finish, especially whenever these two angels battle. While fans may be satisfied with the DVD portrayal of the series, this Blu-ray offering is the definitive Panty & Stocking experience.

Audio:
As standard with a FUNimation release, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt does contain the original Japanese voice track for those who would prefer it, though all of the rolled R’s and Japanese voice actors swearing in English can’t compare to what FUNimation has done with the English dub of the show.

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Panty is voiced by Jamie Marchi while Monica Rial is handling the voice of Stocking and hearing these two go at one another and saying their outrageous lines is absolutely wonderful. Each voice actor has done a stellar job bringing these characters to life, and this praise doesn’t just end at the main characters. Even Colleen Clinkenbeard, Scanty’s voice, Cherami Leigh, Kneesocks’ voice, and Garterbelt’s voice actor Christopher Sabat have outdone themselves with this raunchy show.

The stellar voice acting of the series is accompanied by some stellar music as well. While Panty & Stocking may feature a rather simple opening song, the ending song “Fallen Angel” is not only a surprise given the series’ tone but also a joy to listen to. Besides these songs, the series is also rife with stunning background music and character themes, including both transformation sequences and the Anarchy Sisters’ theme song, making the show quite a treat for the ears, albeit one full of foul language.

Extras:
Along with the various bonus features which were included with the original DVD release of the title, this Blu-ray version of Panty & Stocking features a number of new English special features. More on those shortly, but for now here are the extras that some may already have seen in the DVD release. There are a plethora of marketing trailers for the anime, a clean version of both the opening and ending tracks as well as the US trailer for the show and an outtakes sequence which features the already hilarious voice cast making even more humorous mistakes as they worked on the dub for this show.

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Along with these is the Sanitary Box OVA which still features an English dub. Sanitary Box is a collection of minimally animated sequences which are meant to take place after certain events in an episode but do not tie directly into the story in any way. Also included are the Japanese dubbed ghost explosion documentary and collection, the Making of the Lingerie Scene and a “Talk Live Animated at Loft/Plus One.” Each of these specials are worth a peak, as the “Making of” bonus describes how they created a certain event in the final episode and the ghost explosion documentary shows how the  animation studio managed to make each ghost explode differently.

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Outside of these extra features that were also available on the DVD release, there are two brand new English bonus features in the form of “Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt Revealed: Unrated Cut” and “Sit Down with Panty and Stocking.” Both of these bonuses feature filmed interviews with four of the English cast members, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Jamie Marchi, Monica Rial and even Christopher Sabat. These live recordings are a real treat and better than any simple voice commentary could have been and each one features new information about the process of the English dub as well as the cast’s opinion of the show and how they enjoyed working on a series as crazy as this one.

Overall:
While the original offering of Panty & Stocking back in July may have been great in its own way, anyone who has chosen to wait for the series to find it’s home on Blu-ray will not be disappointed. This raunchy and hilarious anime features amazing English voice work alongside gorgeous animation that looks better than ever.

Fans that have already joined the Anarchy Sisters on DVD, while this Blu-ray does feature some nice new extras and an impressive visual upgrade, its cost may be a bit too much to swallow once more. However if you have never experienced what Panty & Stocking have to offer, then this Blu-ray release will not leave you disappointed.

9-0-capsules-out-of-10

As a big fan of anime and games I'll be quick to cover anything that happens to be of interest.

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