Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt was easily one of the most anticipated anime of the fall season. Conceived under the influence of excessive alcohol by the brilliantly insane folk at Gainax, it had the creative team behind Gurren Lagann mixed with artistic inspiration from Jhonen Vasquez and Genndy Tartakovsky. It was a match made in heaven! And after the borefest known as Hanamaru Kindergarten, everybody was eager for Gainax get back on top of their game. We expected something incredible, something that would sear our eyeballs and burn our brains. We wanted another Evangelion, another FLCL, another Gunbuster.
Perhaps because of our high expectations, PSG was a disappointment at first. Sure, it was frenetic and fun, but the comedy was incredibly one-note. The whole ‘barrage of lewd humor’ bit had been done far better in other anime, including this summer’s Mitsudomoe. So we wound up with a show that was pretty to look at and had a kickass soundtrack, but was otherwise unremarkable. People were starting to lose faith. Had Gainax laid another egg?
Then, salvation came from the most unexpected of places… the fiery pits of hell!
Yup, these devilishly sexy villains managed to singlehandedly save PSG from the purgatory of mediocrity. The Demon Sisters brought a sorely-needed vibrant energy to every episode they starred in with their forceful personalities. This was a turning point for PSG; instead of an endless barrage of tired sex jokes, we got actual story and clever parody. Of course, there was the occasional off episode, but on the whole it was a vast improvement. It’s no wonder why these two hellish vixens have gained such widespread popularity… perhaps even greater than that of the protagonists themselves.