Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt – 06
「悪魔のような女たち」 (Akuma no youna Onnatachi)
There is no amount of expletives to describe the latter 10 minutes of epic ridiculousness, so I’m not even going to attempt trying. There is no doubt that this is the best episode so far, pulling out the many tropes of television and mashing them all into what felt almost like a movie counterpart compared to previous half-sodes. The feeling I got was pretty much exactly what was felt during the final arcs of TTGL, but with much less exposition backing it up, so it felt more like an epic snack than an epic meal.
Anyway, me babbling won’t do much good, so let’s take this on with some structure. Instead of the usual 10 minute episode we have been getting, this one is a full length 20 minute showing, and frankly, it felt like watching a movie. Right away, the usual format is thrown out the window, as we get P&S in the middle of a mission. As they soon find out, new queens have replaced them at their local school, namely two demons named Scanty & Kneesocks. The tropes come in here, as if the similar names didn’t already give away that they’re simply “Evil Knockoffs”. There’s some irony here that the angels abhor rules, while the devils insist on them. Being the evil knockoffs that they are, it’s only natural that they surpass P&S at everything they do. They even have a transformation scene mirroring that of P&S (but I still like P&S’s trans more) while one-upping them with Scanty wearing TWO panties instead of one (is this fanservice? :P). You wouldn’t believe the amount of fanart these two characters have on the net already, and it’s only been a single day.
There’s been something I’ve been wanting to say since episode one, and that is that the music is absolutely amazing, with upbeat electronic tracks that work like dosages of epinephrine. The absolute highlight of the show has always been the action for me, and these fight scenes pretty much have it all. You’ve got dual pistols, dual katanas and scythes, humvees riding up buildings, humvees crashing into each other, gunfights, swordfights, gunkata (lolequilibrium), gun gattai, bullet time, bullets meeting in midair, bullet deflection, and it just goes on and on. There’s the bathroom shootouts that remind me of Terminator 2, the Humvee crashes reminiscent of Matrix Reloaded, and you’ve even got bad-ass face-off poses that hark back from spaghetti westerns to James effin’ Bond. And exactly what just makes this all work? The animation required to pull all this shit off (<3 Gainax) coupled with Imaishi’s brilliant brain for crafting obscene amounts of epic (who worked ONLY on the pivotal episodes in TTGL, that being ep 8 and 27, and this was NOT a coincidence) that I just can’t praise enough, and as a spice to add to the flavor, the frenetically thumping soundtrack. All action movies should be directed by this guy, so do a live action movie Imaishi!
And lo and behold folks, you wanted it, now you got it, effin’ plot. The demon girls are something else, and with the grand villain behind it all who just happens to be the mayor, I expect an unbelievably awesome final confrontation that may just top FLCL’s finale (for some variance). With seven episodes left, what’s there to stop them from making the most explosive rush of adrenaline powered storyline ever? Absolutely nothing. (Though judging by the next few episode titles, it will return to an episodic nature. Crossing my fingers for a mini final arc though.)
Note: Oh and December 29th, OST release. Mark it. Pine for it. Get it.