Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt is irrationally good fun for the newly desensitized generation of Anime and Adult Swim lovers. The oversexed Panty and her younger, goth sister Stocking are on a quest to get back into heaven. Any time these rambunctious angels help out humanity, often to the detriment of having a good time, they earn one more angel token towards getting their wings. The edgy pop-culture humor is enough to make Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane giddy with delight. However, what really makes the Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt series stand out is the versatile animation. As Forrest Gump would say, each episode is “a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”
The Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt – Complete Series DVD collects the entire 13-episode series as well as mini OVA episodes. Most episodes are either two-part episodes or two anime shorts. The blond-haired vixen Panty is aptly named, especially since she likes nothing more than to take off her panties for any guy she meets – except Briefers, a neighborhood kid who adores Panty and her sister. Stocking is the more levelheaded angelic sister, but has an undying thirst for sweets. The two go on missions for Garterbelt, a priest with a massive afro, potty mouth and a whole lot of angst.
This frisky festival of angelic cartoon chaos isn’t designed for the timid viewer. The adult humor features Panty taking off her panties and turns it into a mystical gun. Oddly enough, and this is going to make me sound bad, it’s one of the coolest parts of the show. When Panty takes off her panties and Stocking takes off her leggings, which turn into katanas, the animation actually transforms to show how they’ve changed. If you’ve ever watched a cartoon like Voltron, you’ll note that during the transformation from five individual lions into one Voltron robot always has a recycled animation sequence. In this series, they often use the same mechanism, however, the entire cartoon changes. It’s like going from watching Samurai Jack to watching Sailor Moon. This happens frequently throughout the series. Although there is definitely a standard artistic style used, the animation will always change to fit certain scenes. For instance an explosion, may switch up to a claymation explosion for effect. It keeps each episode fresh and exciting.
Also, much like South Park, the series mocks pop culture. There are references that stretch from standard Tom Cruise jokes to funny Super Mario Bros spoofs and zombie escapades. There is a plot line throughout the series, the angels’ reluctant quest to get back into heaven, but without the plot it could have (and truthfully should have) gone on for at least two seasons. The zombie episode alone was so good that it deserved at least one follow-up episode. I only wish the series were available on Blu-ray because it needs more special features and I just love Blu-ray collections and cool box art.
If a Blu-ray collection were released, and dammit it needs to be released, it would be nice to have a 16-24 page insert, which showed off some of the varying styles of animation found in this wonderful series. Take that as a note Funimation. Nuff said.