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The Polarizing of Anarchy Panty

12. January 2011
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It’s no secret that I haven’t kept up with the anime scene the past year or so. I can blame it on having too much to do or the quality of the shows themselves, but after AWA, I decided to make a solid effort to keep up with the new season. How lucky I was to find that Gainax was putting out a new show then: Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt. This show is different from anything you’ve seen out of Japan recently: one part homage to Western animation, one part body-fluid and sex jokes, and one part Imaishi wackiness. The art style varies from incredibly simple…

Episode 9: The Beach Episode

to the usual fare…

The Transformation Scene

to incredibly detailed.

Episode 7: Transhomers

Even the casual viewer can see some of the styles Gainax experiments with in the same breath as it alludes to Western icons like South Park…

Also from the Beach Episode

and the Gorillaz.

Episode 10: The Music Video

Interestingly, opinions on Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt tend to be varied. It has easily made my list of favorites, among several other Gainax works of course, and several of the people I’ve introduced to the show also thoroughly enjoy it. However, a quick search of the internet reveals a number of people who flat-out hate this show. They cite the same reasons I do for liking it: the animation is different and the writing doesn’t take itself seriously. Another common complaint is the vulgarity of the show, something which the fans have taken the stride. I don’t believe the show really revolves around the toilet humor or sex jokes themselves as it uses them to create a tone of, well, nonseriousness. However, I can still see it as a valid complaint that would keep people from watching the show, even if it does not affect my enjoyment of it.

I’m not going to continue the argument of whether Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt is “good” or “bad,” but I do think it is important to look into the future and where this is going. A second season has been all but confirmed, but will other studios start dabbling with non-traditional animation themes? Will we start to see homages like the music video segment from Episode 10 cropping up in other series? Or will the other studios ignore PSG and continue to put out more light-novel-moe adaptations?

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