When Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt debuted, the introduction of two naughty angels fired from Heaven was a unique one, especially when filled to the brim with English onomatopoeia and pokes at American-drawn cartoon design. The characters were exceptionally constructed, the jokes pushed the limit of nastiness and vulgarity, and the plots were ridiculously implemented. I thought it couldn’t get better than that, and after a few episodes, I also thought we wouldn’t see that spark that made the angels’ debut work. Enter Episode 6. If you’ve been waiting for the same dynamic, hilarious, parodic, edgy, and out-of-control insanity that made Episode 1 so stylish, this is the Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt episode to watch. No filler, no lame jokes: just all goodness.
Stocking's pretty sensitive about her weight.
The story, “Les Diaboliques”, starts with Panty and Stocking returning to Daten City High School and going through a quick one-on-one talk in the ladies’ room after a lengthy and fruitless endeavor to earn Heaven Coins. A diminutive Ghost interrupts their conversation, compelling the angels to chase it through the toilet pipes. Brief later on informs the girls that while they were skipping class and dealing with the city’s Ghost problem, two uppity girls named Scanty and Kneesocks seized control of the school and usurped Panty and Stocking’s role as queens. The new queens enforce strict, almost totalitarian rules, leaving Panty and Stocking in a rut. Scanty and Kneesocks’ egotism eventually pushes Panty and Stocking to their breaking point, but the angels are humiliated, defeated, and sent to a “geek classroom” deep beneath the school. Brief appears, but is followed by the same annoying Ghost that Panty and Stocking found earlier. The Ghost reveals Scanty and Kneesocks’ secret power over the school: a giant stone harnessing the power of Ghosts to attack the surface. The Ghost also reveals his secret passage to the production plant, which happens to be through the plumbing. Panty and Stocking are caught by Scanty and Kneesocks (who turn out to be devils from Hell), with both duos going through their über-sexualized transformation scenes. The true battle begins between the angels and devils, with Brief keeping the magical stone out of sight. After a downright explosive battle throughout the school, the devils capture Brief, leaving Panty and Stocking to make a decision: whether to save Brief or not. Expectedly, they pass on the savior act, taking out the devil girls instead and destroying the stone. The plant explodes, taking the school with it. Scanty and Kneesocks retreat to their master, the Mayor of Daten City, who banishes them to an unseen room of crap.
Panty and Stocking aren't the only ones with super-sexy transformations!
“Les Diaboliques” is the first episode in the series to be a full 30-minute adventure instead of two divided 15-minute escapades, and it benefits immensely from that. This adventure could not have reached this level of quality if it was a slim 15 minutes. There was so much packed into this episode, but it never took a break from the action or comedy. The return of Panty and Stocking’s sexy transformation scene was excellent, complimented by Scanty and Kneesocks’ transformation as well (of which there was an awesome background musical theme). The introduction of the so-called Anti-Panty and Anti-Stocking was a clever one, and the contrast between the two duos was very well-implemented.
The latest victim of road rage just happens to be Chuck.
The action was constant. From the dual-gunfights of Panty (helped out with Stocking’s panties) to the car battle in the school hallway, everything was action-packed and adrenaline-fueled. It rivaled Gurren Lagaan in its over-the-top-ness. Bullet collisions, awesome special effects, it all just didn’t stop. Fortunately, the battle’s climactic finish settled down well, while also going out with a bang (quite literally). The parody was there, the storyline (interestingly enough) was rich and offered both questions and answers, and the cliffhanger ending shows that there just might be more to Panty and Stocking than poo-monsters, catfights, and nose-picking.
Gainax has a great concept in Panty and Stocking, and in this episode, they’ve reached what they set out to achieve: a furious assault on the senses filled with clever innuendo and parody, climactic setpieces, and enjoyably expressive characters. This episode fired on all cylinders, never stopping to catch its breath or regain its footing. It takes risks for sure, especially with the over-the-top battles intensity and amount of animated insanity, but the end result is some of the best that Gainax has ever produced, comedy or otherwise. I never thought that Gainax could top the debut of Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt, but they’ve made me a believer with “Les Diaboliques.” It’s the best episode in the series thus far.