Monday, December 10, 2012
25 Days of Anime - #16: Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt
Let's get something straight - Panty and Stocking is, without question, one of the dirtiest, low-brow comedic works I have ever viewed. It is downright stupid at times, there's a near overload of vulgarities and sexual content, and it's all wrapped up in a strangely cartoonish presentation. Even so, I have found few shows (anime or otherwise) that have made me laugh as hard as Panty and Stocking does. It's so raunchy and inappropriate, yet the dialogue is so perfectly scripted and the jokes perfect in timing and execution.
Panty and Stocking presents a curious scenario where I actually enjoy the subtitled and dubbed versions equally. Much like Sgt. Frog and Axis Powers: Hetalia, both takes are funny, but have different approaches to how they deliver the comedy. In the case of Panty and Stocking, the jokes are rewritten slightly, so that they more or less carry the same implications, but use slang terms and swear words familiar to western audiences. Thus, I found it was very easy to transition into the dub of the anime after having already viewed the original Japanese version.
Each of the characters borders on caricature, with enough time and development allowing them to flesh out a bit more than other similar comedies. The bickering that Panty and Stocking do with Garterbelt is only half as fun as their death battles with resident demons Scanty and Kneesocks. Throw in innocent and genuine modern gentleman Brief and spastic pet Chuck, and you have yourself a recipe for success.
Aside from the highly original art style, the soundtrack is absolutely killer. There are few soundtracks so deeply rooted in a single genre that I find I can immediately learn to love as I did with songs like "Fly Away", "Corset's Theme", and even "D Rock City". Presentation is a huge part of why Panty and Stocking works in the first place, and despite my frustrations with the final episode, I really wouldn't change anything about the series. It's balls-to-the-wall action combined with a take-no-prisoners sense of comedy, and I wouldn't change it for anything.