Gainax is a Japanese animation studio that’s long been famous for pushing the envelope. Ever since their first Daicon productions, they’ve been going beyond the impossible and creating anime that challenge viewers and defy genre conventions. Of course, not everything they make is a hit, and they’ve had their fair share of unexceptional (but still well-made) series like Hanamaru Kindergarten or He is My Master. Regardless, anything they produce is worth at least a quick look for any self-respecting otaku.
That said… what the hell is up with their new fall season show, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt?
Here’s the basic premise, as far as I can tell. Panty and Stocking are two angels sent from “the upper region” to fight ghosts on Earth. They take up residence in Daten City (along with their dog Zipper, who bears a striking resemblance to GIR), where Panty spends most of her time sleeping with men, and Stocking does… uh, goth loli things. When threats appear, these girls transform their clothing into weaponry: Panty’s panties turn into a gun, and Stocking’s stockings into a sword.
Despite knowing the basic plot, Panty & Stocking is still a complete mystery to me. The art style looks like an homage to every great American cartoon of the past fifteen years; an ecletic mix of Dexter’s Laboratory, Powerpuff Girls and Invader Zim. So is this a kid’s show? No, the advertising material we’ve seen thus far seems to indicate an odd mix of mature and juvenile themes. Superpowered girls fighting giant monsters with weapons made out of their lingerie? Who exactly is this show trying to appeal to?
If anybody can make such a ludicrous concept work, it’s Gainax. One thing is certain… nobody knows quite what to expect from this show. However, given the creative talent behind it, I’m hoping for something awesome.
Check out the gallery of Panty & Stocking images below the break, and leave your own theories in the comment section!