Characters that made my year – Panty & Stocking (12 Days of Christmas: Day 10)
Now here’s a show that was a complete wildcard when it popped up for preview; no one really knew what to expect, and many (including me) felt like GAINAX had gone off their collective rocker! However the series quickly proved to be genius, so today for this tenth Day of Christmas, I give you the foul-mouthed angels Panty & Stocking from Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt.
As characters Panty & Stocking aren’t particularly likable, but they are endlessly entertaining and memorable. Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt is an anime that is clearly taking its lead from american cartoons, but its got a Gainax spin that makes it reach levels of genius at times. Panty & Stocking themselves are pretty superficial – angels exiled to earth to hunt ghosts and earn their re-entry to heaven, but these sisters are the least angelic beings you could imagine! Panty is completely sex mad and swears up a storm, whereas Stocking only seems concerned with sweets and has very a questionable taste in men. However there is no denying that they kick arse when they have to, and the mahou-shoujo transformation sequence they go though is probably one of the most memorable aspects of this series – art-shifting into a more traditional anime style, swinging around a pole while removing articles of clothing; its blatant fanservice, but utterly brilliant – plus the accompanying music of ‘Fly away’ is insanely catchy.
For Panty & Stocking the moment I’ve chosen as their best comes in episode six when the Demon Sisters are introduced. The Demon Sisters are the first villains to really give the girls a run for their money – Scanty & Kneesocks are mirror images of Panty & Stocking after all. Almost the entire episode is a frantic action scene – the animation is stunning, there’s never a dull moment! But I most enjoyed when Panty & Stocking decided to get really serious and start duel-wielding their weapons. For Stocking this only involved removing her other stocking, but Panty only wears one pair of knickers so Stocking has to give hers to her sister. The action just keeps escalating from that point on – episode six is probably one of the best action scenes I’ve seen this year, and Panty & Stocking going toe-to-toe with Scanty & Kneesocks was just wonderfully entertaining. Great pair of characters, with endlessly entertaining lines.