I was there



The prototype of the Trigger formula

Yes, dear reader. Ten thousand internet years ago, I was there. I watched the whole of Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt as it came out and participated in the yotsuba threads. Anime subscription sites were picking up steam and M〇L had become to /a/ what steam friend threads had become to /v/. The great age of fansubbing was nearing its twilight and the toonami generation was opening the floodgates for their piece of silver.

Just like for gurren lagann three years earlier, yotsuba was the place to be. And this time, with the internet on the verge of a new age, the pieces were set for another decade of cultural relevance. The great studio Gainax was making anime cool again for real this time and everybody wanted to be part of the great revolution. Except not.

The overwhelming feeling concerning this animated TV show was:

"Wow, this show is JUST ABOUT to get good. I can't wait for next week!

The first episode set the tone perfectly with how it ends. The art style shift into uninspired, Bill 156-compliant fanservice hinting that when things need to get serious, the legendary studio Gainax will pull all the stops. Except they didn't.

The pattern continued with the introduction of Scanty and Kneesocks. And culminated with le day Gainax ruined christmas - Stocking stabs through Panty's head with her katana, setting things up for a possible sequel with a cliffhanger. And now that all the set pieces are in place, this show is definitely gonna get good!

The empty spam that ensued contrasted heavily with the weekly threads in which nervously grinning anons dug deep trying to find meaning where none existed, from a stray piece of dialogue referencing Johny Bravo to the ED symbolizing Panty and Stocking's death. Everyone was trying very hard to make Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt into an anime. Looking back, it's like the collective subconscious of /a/ was coming to grips with the reality of the situation: the niche was spreaded too thin for a cohesive community and the internet was leaving them behind -- every apparently positive development was in truth one of many factors that would contribute to /a/'s ego death.
They were acting out of desperation for a last hurrah.

Giving time for my thoughts to settle, I realized I wasted my time with a mediocre animated TV show. I can count the memorable moments on one hand and I am not going to watch it again after all this time just for an in-depth review. Time better spent watching Genndy Tartakovsky's clone wars.

Sound (music): NORPshit -- the type failed NORPs think popular NORPs listen to. Fits the show well. The piece "Pantscada" perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the show.

Sound (seiyuu): Competent -- Even if they messed up, they are far from the reason to avoid this show.

Animation: with traces of brilliance -- but are they worth soldiering through to get to them? I say no.

Presentation: Good -- often well structured episodes and the mayhem occasionally builds up to satisfying conclusions. Too much scatological humor for my liking.

Art direction: Unique -- style over substance. Too preoccupied with looking western. Commendable use of cel-shading style for 3D CGI as it blends perfectly with the 2D art. But is that because the cel-shading and placement of 3DCG is brilliant, or because the 2D art is so bland?

Story: unlikeable people have to prove they're not unlikable and fail at doing so. Watching them fail can be entertaining, but you won't find yourself rooting for them to succeed. The story, presentation and art direction mesh into a trashy mess. And I'm not talking about the glamorous type of trashy that you see in fashion magazines. I mean painted toenails with fungi festering underneath. I mean the smell of Candida albicans permeating a bathroom. I mean flies buzzing over a pile of dirty underwear in a corner of the bedroom.

Ideal seasons to watch in:

Autumn          Winter

It aired in the fall season, ending in Christmas. Get the authentic experience.

Seasons came and went. The decline of fansubbing settled and /a/'s influence in the western niche waned. The wheel of anime kept spinning and Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt was left behind, wikimembered as a show that broke /a/. New flavor of the month came and went. But although an underwhelming lay with a hot chick you met at the club only lasts one night, HSV-2 lasts forever. Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt set the standard for the future of flavor of the month anime.

The so-called "good talent" of Gainax bailed to the new studio Trigger and continued on their merry way. What followed was a slew of anime with a lot of potential carried to the end by the audience's goodwill. These guys made DAICON IV, don't you know.

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