After the rollercoaster ride of their debut episode, everyone’s favorite angel duo returns for their second episode. Panty and Stocking’s second episode is a mixed bag of mature humor, clever parody, and generally underwhelming pokes at teen tension. If Gainax kept it up with the edgy humor in the first sequence, this would’ve been another must-see episode. Even with those flaws, however, Panty and Stocking show no sign of stopping. It’s a solid episode that just takes a while to really get itself in gear.
Queen Barby's reputation is on the rocks!
The first adventure in this episode is “The Clamor of the Beehive.” Okay, so we’ve seen crap and car Ghosts, super sexy transformation scenes, and a whole lot of dirty innuendo jokes, so what do Panty and Stocking do now? They go to school. Yes, a local principal is struggling to keep his students from disappearing, so it’s up to the duo to find out what’s up. When arriving, the angels encounter a nerdy, paranormal investigator (wait, a green dog and a paranormal investigator sound familiar…hmmm) named Briefs along with a high-and-mighty “Queen Bee” named Barby. Panty and Stocking get a stalker following while at school, leaving the Queen Barby’s popularity dwindling. Eventually, Barby reveals her true form, a Ghost who brainwashes cheerleaders and football players to do her bidding. Panty and Stocking save the day as usual.
This adventure bothered me. It paled in comparison to the crazy crap-monster and sexual innuendo car chase of the previous episode. In fact, this episode just didn’t have that “Panty and Stocking” spark to it. It felt flat. Briefs is a dork, yeah, but there really isn’t much reason to actually like the guy. Queen Barby was a flat, though remarkably tame character, and even her fight sequence left much to be desired. We only got a short look at Garterbelt and Chuck. The adventure did have its moments, though. The perverted sex education scene was particularly weird and funny, and the arrival of Panty and Stocking to the school was pretty wild. Still, this was a very tame first adventure, and considering that this series has thus far relied on shocking the viewer, it was a disappointing one.
Fortunately, the second adventure made up for it. A parody of the movie industry, the second adventure “Sex and the Daten City” follows Panty and Stocking’s rise to movie stardom. Panty embraces the celebrity lifestyle, developing a debut movie featuring her and Stocking. Turns out that her “debut” was actually a porno film, leaving the duo’s new film (and Panty’s reputation) on the edge. Stocking helps the diva out by traveling all over the world to find copies of the raunchy sex film, whether on tape, DVD, or Blu-ray. After collecting and destroying all of the copies (destroying by which I mean feeding them to Chuck), Panty and Stocking premiere their new film. However, Panty convinced the crew to edit out any Stocking scenes. Vengefully, Stocking uploads the original film to YouTobe (yes, You-TOBE) with Briefs being its first (and more than likely not its last) viewer.
The celebrity life turns sour after Panty's debut film reaches the public.
After the generic and boring first adventure, “Sex and the Daten City” was a much-needed picker-upper. Unlike the crass humor of the first episode, the humor felt interestingly sophisticated this time around. Sure, it was about a porno tape, but the constant movie scenes and references (one specifically towards M. Night Shyamalan) were funny. The whole trek to find the copies was extensive and had some good, mature humor in it. Some cool auto-tuned pop music throughout added some flair. While it’s not the duo at their best, it still had some funny moments well worth checking out.
This episode redeemed itself thanks to its second part, which was able to actually add some clever and parody-filled mature humor into an otherwise bland outing. While Gainax are experts at parody, they also manage to add crazy, over-the-top humor into their works. That’s all the more reason that the “Clamor of the Beehive” episode was so disappointing. Generic characters and underwhelming battles hindered the first adventure, but “Sex and the Daten City” was a funny and clever one. Hopefully Gainax will make the next episode more consistent in what they do best: shocking the viewer into a wacky and expertly-visualized daze.
If you are looking for another crap-monster, look elsewhere. If you are looking for something a bit more high-brow (but not too high-brow, this is Panty and Stocking, of course,) this episode will satisfy, or at least the second-half will.