Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt Review

Anime

Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt
Studio: Gainax
Publisher: FUNimation
Format: DVD
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Price: $64.98 – Available Here

Overview:
There are very few anime which don’t take themselves seriously and even fewer of these titles end up being released in North America. Sometimes when these anime are brought overseas, they are adjusted for the audience, similar to how FUNimation took Shin Chan, which was primarily a children’s show and turned it into a raunchy riot full of pop culture references and more.

On the other hand, FUNimation’s most recent release, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, or better known simply as Panty & Stocking, doesn’t need any special adjustments. Instead, FUNimation has brought forth perhaps one of the foulest mouthed anime to come out of Japan and they have done so in uncensored form, giving the actors free reign with their dialogue. Does Panty & Stocking contain enough wrong to make it so right for your money?

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 are not 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.

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, thus creating some of the most off the wall and unpredictable antics viewers will likely ever see.

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, often causing more damage than the ghosts themselves, all while swearing like sailors.

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:
Interestingly enough, Gainax began creating Panty & Stocking with a style similar to what they had called “American Animation” and then ran with a rather simplistic looking art style that featured the characters appearing with slightly pointy character models. However the art style found in Panty & Stocking changes abruptly from time to time, either dropping in quality to an even more simplistic style which appears to be mocking “chibi” comedy moments.

Along these same lines there are a number of times that the animation will take a drastic turn for the better, such as during transformation scenes, where the artwork will become extremely detailed and high in quality. While shifting in quality like this would usually be a detriment for a series, Panty & Stocking makes it feel like these shifts are also part of the series’ jokes.

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.

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 curse words.

Extras:
While the main series of Panty & Stocking can be watched multiple times for viewers to pick out little things they missed before, there are also a number of bonus features included in the release, a whole disc of them in fact. Of course there is your standard set of bonus features, such as clean opening and ending songs as well as trailers, but there is so much more included. To start with there is a collection of short one minute long clips called Panty And Stocking in Sanitary Box which have received an English dub, as well as a long set of outtakes from the English cast. These outtakes are actually broken up into mistakes, favorite moments and dirty jokes from the cast.

There are a number of other extra features which still feature the Japanese dub only, meaning viewers will have to watch these with English subtitles only. Some of these include a making of clip as well as the ghost explosion collection and documentary. Among these the documentary is an interesting watch as some of the little pieces of information revealed about the explosions and the set-pieces are surprising.

Overall:
Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt takes the anime standard and does unmentionable things to it as the series is unlike anything else you will probably find in the anime world. This is helped further by the fact that FUNimation has done a stellar job localizing the anime for English speaking audiences. To top it off the show features tons of pop culture references both old and new while also offering an original experience that will keep viewers laughing at the raunchy antics of the Anarchy Sisters while never knowing what could happen next.

9-5-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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