Watching P&Sw/G Eps. 01-09

Yesterday I started watching Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt out of a long-held principle that one should always give Gainax a chance.  Well, I just finished watching the 9th episode and I am very happy: this is the first current show I’ve seen all year!  I feel a bit more like a normal human being, though the crass procrastination of my duties involved in getting to this point leaves me bittersweet.

First off I’ll add my voice to all of those bloggers (Kiiragi, adaywithoutme etc.) praising the soundtrack.  Not only is most of the music more like what I listen to regularly (electronicky), but even the opening and ending songs sound nicer than the usual anime fare.  I also love the colors.  At the risk of going blind, I wouldn’t mind more shows with brighter colors like this.

I’ve seen a lot of discussion on just what is the point of the show.  The raison d’être is held to be any of these:

a) anti-moe

b) homage to American cartoons

c) satirical of American cartoons

d) mindless fun

e) mindless sexiness etc.

After watching 9 episodes my sense is that ultimately the folks behind the show are using it to flex their muscles.  This is a formal extravaganza, and by formal I don’t mean it’s a white tie affair 🙂 but that the content is ultimately irrelevant: the point is to show off skillz (directorial, composition, animation, action sequences, you name it).  The dudes behind P&Sw/G are telling us: look, we can do this.  I happen to like Dexter’s Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls, and I think the similarities are obvious, but once again I’m dazzled by the staggering difference in capabilities between Japanese and American animated products (a lot of which seems to be simply a case of more creativity, an assessment which I know goes against the stereotype).

Some might bemoan the lack of a plot, but IMO no plot is better than a bad plot, and Gainax has been known to come up with bad plots before so…

My favorite episodes so far are 6, 7 and 9, all of which I think are very, very good.

Episode 6’s long confrontation reminded of FLCL, and the best thing about it was that I didn’t have to worry about what it all meant, because I knew it meant nothing!

The Transformers in episode 7 were hilarious.  The parody was done just right: it exposed the silliness of that show to the point of making me question how I could endure it as a child, while at the same time reminding me precisely why I liked it so much.  The casino sequence was great as well.

Episode 9 was very odd.  The volleyball sequence in the first half was superb.  Stocking’s love affair was insane but neatly done, with the resolution reminding me of Piers Anthony’s Being a Green Mother, where Satan falls in love and perishes after singing a hymn to his beloved.

I don’t see a need to pick favorites though I see the factions already out in force (pro-Stocking, pro-Panty, pro-Demons).  I prefer to like the characters in the show as a harmonious whole (ain’t I nice??).  That said, the thing that has impressed me the most is Panty’s use of the word “Fuck”.  If Japanese people could use this word half as well (and frequently) as she does the government could stop sinking so much money into English-language education (or something).  Though I don’t have any favorites I do like cinnamon candy so I’ll end with this:

~ by Haloed Bane on November 28, 2010.

12 Responses to “Watching P&Sw/G Eps. 01-09”

  1. Favorite show this season no doubt. Glad you enjoy it as well.

    I too found the Transformers parody perfect… right down to Sugarscream (I have a collection of Starscream toys).

    A great showcase of ability maybe too masturbatory for some, but Fuck it. What disgusts them is probably none of my business anyway.

  2. Hands down, this is the best show this season. Pity everyone likes Oreimo too much.

  3. I’ve been looking at it as a Gainax sandbox, so I’m glad that someone else seems to view it like that. The kitchen sink approach works well probably because it’s being executed by a studio known for excess. But either way, it’s a giant steaming pile of fun.

  4. […] long-ass battle) were downright amazing, unmatched (except by a select few) in recent TV anime. I agree that it’s a formal affair, that is, an exercise by Gainax to show off their ability to fuck with the anime […]

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