WTF? Panty & Stocking Trailer Revealed

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present… the official trailer for Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt.

I’m not sure what I just watched, but I know it was AWESOME. After seeing this trailer, Sheentaku on Twitter described this show as “an adult version of The Powerpuff Girls,” an assessment I agree with wholeheartedly. It appears that my earlier prediction was correct; Panty & Stocking is indeed a Gainax-style tribute to the great American cartoons of the 90s. The implications of this are clear. In my humble opinion, this is the must-watch show of the 2010 Fall anime season.

Notice the audio track may not be suitable for the work /open public environment.

Don’t Panic! Analyzing the Decline of Anime

Many people have been talking about the the recent lull in the anime industry, both in Japan itself and abroad. The question is, does this lull spell the doom of anime as some have predicted? Or is it just a temporary setback for an industry that’s too mighty to perish? Well, to answer this question, we need to take a good look at the history of anime. This is an informative ANN article giving a good overview of the size of the anime industry over the last forty years. Of particular interest is this chart, a bar graph representing the growth of the industry since 1970.

What is quickly noticeable is the big boom around 1990, which is the time conventions began popping up in the United States and also when series like Tenchi Muyo and Ranma ½ were being released. Again, the industry sees another impressive climb by 1995, which is when Neon Genesis Evangelion and Ghost in the Shell were released. Moving into the new century, anime received increased exposure on cable television in the United States in the form of Toonami, which featured Sailor MoonDragon Ball Z and Gundam Wing starting in the late 90’s, and Adult Swim with Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, Lupin III and FLCL into the early 00’s.

Many of these shows were critically acclaimed and financially successful in North America and the volume and quality of anime being produced and subsequently licensed overseas saw something of a golden age, noticeably peaking in 2006 at nearly 220% higher than just 11 years prior. The future of the industry was bright, many series were being licensed for North America before they even finished their initial television run in Japan, and it seemed like the world couldn’t get enough of Japan’s fastest growing cultural export.

But could the industry maintain that unprecedented success? Find out more after the break!

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What the Hell is Panty & Stocking?

Who are riot girls?

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!

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Haruhi Season 2 DVD Details Revealed

Image unrelated but awesome.

How much would you pay for Endless Eight?

Bandai has just released detailed information about The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Season 2 DVD boxset.This release will contain 14 episodes, both dubbed and subbed. Also included are various special features such as “location scouting videos”, “Behind The Scenes of Aya Hirano’s Music Video”, “Endless Eight Prologue”,  and a “special event video”, as well as CD tracks for “Super Driver” and “Tomare.” Oh, and don’t forget the exciting “interactive menus!” Oh boy!

And the best part: this all-frills boxset can be yours for the low, low price of $64.98!

Wait a minute… sixty-five dollars? Bandai wants to charge me sixty-five dollars for fourteen episodes of Haruhi? Worse, eight of those are the same friggin’ episode! GO TO HELL, BANDAI!

Sorry, I know I shouldn’t be so pissed. After all, the Japanese had to pay over five times as much for their Season 2 DVDs. Still, charging sixty-five bucks for less than six hours of anime seems a bit extreme, especially when the anime industry (not to mention the entire economy) is in a state of decline.

So, yeah… I think I’ll wait for the Anime Legends boxset. How about you, dear readers? Are you willing to dish out the big bucks for Haruhi S2? Let us know in the poll below, then discuss the issue further in our forums!

Will you buy the upcoming Haruhi S2 boxset?

  • Yes! I don't mind paying $65. (32%, 45 Votes)
  • Yes, but I'll wait for a bargain price... perhaps at RightStuf. (23%, 32 Votes)
  • I think I'll wait for a cheaper boxset. (18%, 26 Votes)
  • Screw Bandai! I'm sticking with my fansubs. (13%, 19 Votes)
  • No, I'm not planning to buy it. (8%, 11 Votes)
  • I'm still not sure. (6%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 142

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Crunchyroll Licenses EVERY Haruhi Series

Crunchyroll, the subscription-based anime streaming site, just announced that they’ve acquired the online streaming and digital distribution rights to all of the Haruhi series. This includes The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya seasons 1 and 2, as well as the webseries Melancholy of Haruhi-chan Suzumiya and Nyoron Churuya-san. It does NOT, however, include the Disappearance film. These shows will soon be available for free to everybody in America, the British Isles, Scandanavia and the Middle East (but not Australia). However, in order to see the ad-free HD-quality streams, you have to subscribe to their Anime Membership service for $6.95 a month. Personally, I don’t think subscribing is worth it. Although I admire what Crunchyroll is trying to do, I’m also frustrated by the crappy quality of their video streams. For example, when I tried to watch Heroman, the HD stream looked so bad that the show was nigh-unwatchable. I think I’ll stick with my trusty Haruhi DVDs for the time being.