Fly Away Now

My new favorite series for this anime season has to be the series Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt by Gainax. I love it so much it’s revived me back from the dead to make a post about the first episode. If you want a summary what happened in the first episode there are other great blogs out there. I want to focus on the smaller details.

If you’ve seen a number of Gainax’s past works then Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt can be described as the love child of of Re:Cutey Honey, FLCL and Dead Leaves that manages to defined itself as it’s own character.

Some people might be turned off by its Cartoon Network Power Puff Girls/Samurai Jack/Johnny Bravo/Invader Zim/etc. style but make no mistake, it’s a hundred times more detailed and a thousand times more crazy and is definitively Gainax.

Look at that fat cop. How are you going to tell me he’s NOT awesome. Hanging outside a car shooting akimbo sub machine guns while the car is fast enough to warrant the drawing of speed lines and the onomatopoeic text of a vehicle going really fast.

Speaking of sounds appearing as text, have you ever wondered what it’s like to have synesthesia? Watching this series is probably the closest you’ll ever get to having synesthesia… or reverse synesthesia. My brain is working over time, there’s a picture of a gun and the sound effect of a gun. That’s fine. It processes that. Then there’s all the scrolling text and the other part of my brain which deals with critical thinking and is normally shut off is rudely woken up by a loud “BLAM BLAM BLAM”.

Continuing the train of thought of rude awakenings, I accepted and got used to the American cartoon form factor. At some point there was a transition to the traditional anime style and I was floored.After spending the majority of the episode really deformed (not super deformed, just really deformed)the style shift was super sweet. Sweet like strippers.

That screen shot is from a magical girl type of transformation scene. A stripper magical girl transformation scene. A pole dancing stripper magical girl transformation scene. A dual pole dancing stripper — why are you still reading this and now watching it — magical girl transformation scene. But the style shift doesn’t end there, the final kills are done in a fantastic record of blowing up of models in front of a backdrop. They’ve mixed the real 3D world with 2D and the cartoon 2D with anime 2D. My mind is blown.

Oh sure, the cartoon network style may look simplistic but there is excruciating detail in this series.

You probably won’t notice that the train station is called “PENI STATION” the first time you see this scene.

However the subtle messages and fine detail are not immune to Engrish. As you notice that the train from PENI station is headed to CRITORI Station. I’m rather surprised by how much they got away with.

That image alone makes this blog no longer safe for children. The best advice I can give you is to watch this series. It’s fast pace, it’s unique and it’s an interesting evolution of Japanese animation.

 

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October 4, 2010. Uncategorized.

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