The Redemption of Panty And Stocking

Panty to the left and Stocking to the right

If you have not heard of or seen Gainax' Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt, you better do so.

I'd call it a shock show, and even then that term seems to be an understatement. Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt (let's call it PASWG from now on) feels like a Gendy Tartakovzky cartoon on crack. It follows the adventures of Panty and Stocking (sic), an angelic pair of sisters who fell from Heaven's grace and who must now redeem themselves in order to go back. Aided by Garterbelt (a black priest with a huge afro), who has a storied past himself, they cleanse Daten City of nefarious beings known as Ghosts.

Sounds fluffy? Not actually.
the main cast (clockwise) Garterbelt, Panty, Chuck and Stocking

You see, Panty and Stocking are a dysfunctional pair with Garterbelt and the rest of the cast adding in the chaos. The sisters slack, bicker and bitch their way through each and every episode laced with Gainax' trademark twisted humor. That is the meat of the show and revolves quite a bit around how many guys Panty romped with and how much sweets Stocking devours in each 15-minute segment. Garterbelt on the other hand tries each and every time to be the moral anchor of the sisters though his own flaws tie him up.

Ghosts were mentioned a while ago, them being the main antagonists of the show. Each one is dealt with by Panty and Stocking in a brutal way. The sisters do this for 'heaven coins' which are tokens they collect for them to return to Heaven. Most of the time, Panty and Stocking are shown to be discontented with their rewards and in a way represents how things go about in Daten City.

Scanty and Kneesocks

Midway through the show, it was revealed that the Ghosts are merely puppets of the Mayor of Daten City, Corset with the demon sisters Scanty and Kneesocks as his subordinates. Corset is determined to open the gates of Hell contained within Daten City and like Garterbelt, orders the demon sisters around to do his deeds for him. Scanty and Kneesocks on the other hand are not mere palette swaps of Panty and Stocking. Scanty is nefarious but pompous while Kneesocks is the more aggressive of the pair but both are obsessed with 'rules' and are surprisingly polite and proper despite being tagged as demons. 

So we've got all those things happening on the show and more. Each and every episode is different and may seem to be incoherent or unrelated to each other but truth is, the whole show stitches itself together as it nears the end. And in a way, despite the characters and situations being brash, uncultured, rude and explicit (there's sex in it, go figure) PASWG manages to be an entertaining and heartfelt show like any other Gainax offering made thus far.

So don't let all the crass and crudeness hinder you from watching this. No not even if the characters are named after underwear. Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt like Neon Genesis Evangelion, FLCL and Aim for the top before it is true to the Gainax mold of bringing the unconventional to the otherwise mundane world we live in.



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