This has been one damned cluttered day, and I've had enough to do just staying awake, having been unable to sleep most of the night after drinking a lot of Bushmills while watching The Quiet Man--it was worth it, though, as I'd been needing just a nice relaxing evening with a movie. It was cryptess' idea, who watched the movie at the same time as me in Philadelphia.
With breakfast to-day, at the hazily perceived hour of 10am, I watched the first episode of the new Gainax series, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt. It's not a bad show, seeming to continue a lot of the tone of Re: Cutie Honey, as well as the sight gags involving absurd masses of policemen and cars.
It kind of feels like a cross between Invader Zim and Powerpuff Girls for perverts. Which sits well with me, except it feels a little too self-conscious, a little too tongue-in-cheek, as though its makers had been recently made aware of the fact that they were making fan-service and could only feel comfortable now continuing to make it if it's with a big, noisy wink. I love the concept of Panty and Stocking being superheroes, one of whom uses her panties, which transform into a pistol, and the other of whom uses her stocking, which transforms into a sword. That's the kind of thing that deserves copious cheesecake, but the self-conscious makers of the show feel compelled to draw them in a blocky, stylised form most of the time.
There's only one really pretty, pervy fan-service sequence, which is the transformation sequence. Which, since the days of Sailor Moon, has progressed in various anime series into something more overtly sexual, to comically sexual, to here, finally, self-consciously sexual and comical;
If only they'd gone the whole episode looking like that, but then I guess you'd basically have Re: Cutie Honey.
Like Gainax's Ebichu: The Housekeeping Hamster, Panty & Stocking features mature perspectives on sex that're extremely refreshing when compared to the standard parade of blushing virgins in anime series, though, again, it feels a bit more self-conscious here than in Ebichu.
Despite the lack of commitment to actual stakes for the characters, the action sequences are really nice, and the show really is funny, though I suppose not everyone will be comfortable with all the faecal humour in the first episode. But it's the best I've seen from Gainax in a while, despite being from the director of Gurren Lagann.