After poo monsters, sex tapes, and “Angel vs. Devil” confrontations, anything goes at this point for Gainax’s angelic duo. With the series a decent way into its second half, some may think that the angels are running out of steam. Far from it; Episode 9 proved that the series can both blossom on classic ideas and try new ones. As a coupling of a traditional Gainax swimsuit adventure and a remarkably touching love story, Episode 9 edges past its very few flaws to deliver something truly special for the two angels.
Yup...it's a beach episode.
In the heat of summer, Panty and Stocking travel down to the beach of Daten City to relax. After tantalizing their male following (Brief included), the girls are encountered once again by Scanty and Kneesocks, who aim to claim the beach for themselves. In an effort to settle the fight, the angels and demons start a volleyball game. Things heat up quickly once the demon sisters use their devil magic for an upper hand, but the angels even the odds when they use their angelic weapons. The demon sisters suggest a wager for the game, with the losers having to strip in front of the beach crowd. The game reaches a breaking point when the duos use their full strength. After a number of special moves, Panty and Stocking successfully nail the finishing point. As Panty and Stocking remind the demons of the wager, Scanty and Kneesocks release sea creature Ghosts on the beach while they escape. Scanty, still pissed off at their loss, accidentally hits the self-destruct button. The sequence ends with the girls undergoing a number of marine-life-related…pleasure scenes.
Gainax loves stories like this. Whether it’s at a beach, hot spring, or whatever, they know that girls in bikinis make for good anime. “If Angels Wore Swimsuits” doesn’t change that. This is another laid-back scenario that doesn’t do much new, but still manages to be purely entertaining. There were a number of memorable moments in “If Angels Wore Swimsuits”, ranging from Garterbelt raking in the cash for bets, Panty asking Brief to rub suntan lotion on her back, and of course, Stocking’s tentacle fetish. The battle wasn’t particularly epic, but seeing the angels and devils duke it out in a scene like the beach fueled their hilariously designed characters. There really isn’t much to say about this one. It doesn’t push the beach scene to stupidly sexual levels the way that other anime have, but it packs in enough sexual humor to be worthy of the Panty and Stocking pedigree. With barely a plot to note, it may seem rather mindless, but “If Angels Wore Swimsuits” was still a riotously good time.
Sorry, ladies. He's taken.
The second sequence is “Ghost: The Phantom of Daten City.” Panty and Stocking are scouting Daten City for potential boy toys. After turning down many of Panty’s suggestions, Stocking encounters an ugly, lazy, and flatulent Ghost and instantly falls in love. Against Panty’s advice, Stocking goes out on a date with the Ghost, who insults her and farts in her face. Despite the poor treatment by the Ghost, Stocking continues to spend time with him. Panty discovers Stocking’s infatuation with the Ghost and reiterates the fact that her love interest is negligent, disgusting, and a Ghost. Stocking ignores her advice, but is hesitant to tell her love interest of her role as an angel and killer of Ghosts. Stocking and the Ghost meet up, with Stocking confessing her desire to be with him and to turn her back on her duty from Heaven. Panty finds Stocking leaving to be with the Ghost, and impersonates Stocking in an effort to kill him. Before Panty can attack, Stocking returns. After Panty claims that the Ghost can’t fall in love, the Ghost proposes marriage to Stocking. Upon Stocking receiving the smelly ring, the Ghost dissipates. The Ghost turned out to be composed of the spirit of those who no one could love, and Stocking’s love broke the curse. The last scene has Stocking saving the ring given to her in remembrance of the Ghost, while returning to her duty as an angel.
This Ghost puts the "eww" in "true love."
This episode was a love story above all else, and a fine one at that. We haven’t gotten to dive too far into Stocking’s love interest thus far, and while it was a wildly crass one, the Ghost offered a significantly different approach to the archetypal “falling in love” theme. Admittedly, there weren’t many laughs. Aside from some onlookers throwing up at the Ghost’s actions, the amount of comedy was significantly turned down. That may bother some, but this was still fantastically emotional and solid. Its message of how love can persevere was a tremendous theme, one that anyone can learn from. Also, a big thumbs-up to the musical theme “Chocolat” which set the stage perfectly. This sequence broke new ground in ways that even “Vomiting Point” didn’t. “Ghost: The Phantom of Daten City” is not your traditional Panty and Stocking adventure, and it really didn’t try to be. It captured a surreal spirit that no other adventure has nailed, showing that Panty and Stocking can still be superb even when they’re not performing super-sexual transformations or tearing giant Ghost monsters a new one.
This episode pretty much had something for everyone. To those who’ve stuck by Gainax throughout its history (or any comedy anime, for that matter), “If Angels Wore Swimsuits” is sure to delight. It wasn’t deep, but it was a very funny and well-written one with plenty of crazy beach humor. “Ghost: The Phantom of Daten City” counterparts the first sequence, shedding every bit of banal expectation you may receive from any other Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt scenario. Episode 9 kept its strengths front and center while also stepping out of the series’ comfort zone, making it another home run for the angel sisters.