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'Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt' enters uncharted waters in animé storytelling

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Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt

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A wise person once said that sometimes it’s hell trying to get to Heaven, and no one knows that better than the title characters in the popular animé series, ”Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt.” The series focuses around the adventures of the Anarchy Sisters, two angels that are trying to earn their way back into Heaven. Panty (Jamie Marchi) is a blonde beauty with a sex drive that puts even the “Sex & The City” girls to shame, where Stocking (Monica Rial) prefers the sweeter things in life, like cookies, candy, and cakes.

This diva duo's mission is to clean up the sin and evil that inhabits the streets of Daten City. Along with their pet dog Chuck, who bears a similarity to Gir from “Invader Zim,” and the guidance of the Reverend Garterbelt, Panty and Stocking must destroy the ghosts that terrorize the citizens and retrieve “Heaven Coins” to earn their way back to Heaven. To do this, both girls have unique weapons that transform from their clothing. Panty’s underwear turns into a gun for sharp shooting, and Stocking’s stockings turn into a pair of swords that can slide through anything.

Panty and Stocking’s greatest challenge, however, comes in the form of two demon sisters named Scanty (Colleen Clinkenbeard) and Kneesocks (Cherami Leigh), an obvious rip on the main character’s names. They quickly establish themselves as the Anarchy sister’s greatest rivals and show they have the looks and the mean streak to back up their claim. It also helps that their father, Corset, is the mayor of Daten City. His importance is revealed later in the show, but if there is one word to describe these drop dead demons, it would be “bad.”

“Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt” is not a series for every animé enthusiast, but seeing that it’s produced by Gainax, the same studio that brought us classics such as "Neon Genesis Evangelion," "Gurren Lagann," and "Fooly Cooly (FLCL)," explains the over the top antics, suggestive themes, and interesting story lines. Even Hiromi Wakabayashi, the concept developer for the series, cited that he got a lot of inspiration for “Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt” from the series “Drawn Together," a show known for its incredible amounts of crudeness.

The animation for the series is in a sense that of an american cartoon, but switches several times throughout the series. During several scenes, both the Anarchy and Demon sisters go from block and cartoon looking to fully drawn out and more realistic looking like anime normally shows. Other times, they look like they took a page right out of "South Park." The animation constantly changes and that’s what adds to the uniqueness of the series. This is not in any way a cookie cuter series, and really attempts to push the envelope in ways no Gainax series has ever done before.

Overall, “Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt” is a very entertaining series. Despite only being thirteen episodes long, the replay value is high and a lot of moments from the show will have you double taking and going back to watch again. If you’re not a fan of down and dirty animé, this might not be a series for you. However, if you enjoy promiscuous girls, inappropriate humor, and sex-filled ghost busting shenanigans, “Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt” is a series you might want to try on.

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