Divine Debauchery

Episodic nonsense and pop-culture satire unite in Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt; the story about two naughty angels trying to earn their way back into heaven.

The series follows Panty and Stocking Anarchy, angels booted from heaven for behavior unbefitting their celestial status. To atone, the pair must slay vengeful spirits in Daten City; a seedy limbo of self indulgence.

Panty is a raucous, sex-crazed, impatient blond bombshell with the power to create a magical handgun from her undies.  Stocking is a gothic type who creates samurai swords from her signature thigh-highs. She is a bit more reserved than her sister and spends her time obsessing over sugary treats. Both are generally vulgar, lazy, self-indulgent and incredibly bitchy.

Helping them on their quest is Garterbelt,  a priest with a bondage fetish and Brief (a.k.a “Geekboy”), Ghostbuster wanna-be. A dumb, green dog-thing named Chuck usually tags along to do absolutely nothing but get constantly mangled.

The loose plot involves the sister’s using their angelic powers to destroy ghosts and letting their more base tendencies lead them into trouble. Aside from their primary mission, there is little cohesion between episodes. Eventually reoccurring enemies appear in the angels’ demonic counterparts, Scanty and Kneesocks, demons sisters under the employ of an evil creature with nefarious plans for Dated named Corset. The series’ final few episodes pulls together a story arc pitting the angels against the mayor as he and the demon sisters try to gain entrance into heaven using very unconventional means.

Where the show gets interesting is the non-stop pop culture references. Panty and Stocking reaches into a vast bag of worldwide clichés, and it is fun to watch the two react in their predictable fashion to familiar situations such as zombie attacks and volleyball tournaments. The show parodies everything from Transformers and Sex in the City to World War II movies and fad diets.

The show abounds with anime conventions as well, and the two angels tend to make everything vulgar and sexy, no matter how inappropriate it may be.

The look of the show itself is interesting, forgoing traditional anime style for more of a grown-up version of the Powerpuff Girls. Despite the show’s somewhat cartoonish appearance, the characters have a surprising amount of detail and some ghost designs are down-right cool.

Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt was created by the anime studio Gainax (Neon Genesis Evangelion, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann) runs for 13 episodes, ending with what appears to be a shocker of a setup for a second season. Episodes are available free at many anime streaming sites such as Crunchyroll. I do not know if the series has been released on DVD for region 2 players. A soundtrack for the series has also been released.

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