October 30, 2010

Hip and Horrible, Good and Bad, Panty and Stocking

I find that, when I describe many things I like to Cara and Cole, who have known me for less time and just “get” my sense of taste less, I describe them as being “wonderfully terrible.” This can mean a variety of things, of course. The “wonderfully terrible” of Deadly Premonition, for example, is completely different than, say, the “wonderfully terrible” of Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt, the anime I am currently following.

Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt is kind of a Japanese love letter to the more “adult” shows on Cartoon Network. Its art style is reminiscent of things like Samurai Jack and Powerpuff Girls, while the humor is rude, crude, and attempting to push the envelope of taste. Watching it is an experience not unlike watching the original programming on Adult Swim for the first time back in the day. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, and it was awesome, but sometimes it just doesn’t know where to stop, and follows through with some terrible ideas.

Some examples, I suppose, would be useful. Episode where Panty and Stocking are fighting a sentient shit blob that’s eating people through toilets? Kind of eh, but fine. Episode where Panty and Stocking are fighting a ghost car while constantly making very blatant jokes about premature ejaculation? Yeah, it fits, it’s fun, and it makes you smile the whole time. Episode where they’re fighting the ghosts of dead sperm, which is between very, very long and intensely drawn “storm the beach” scenes starring sperm, with a lovingly drawn vagina on screen… pretty stupid, not funny, and annoying. It’s this kind of random swings in quality that remind me of Adult Swim, actually. Most of their shows, besides pure gold like Venture Brothers, are like this. Some episodes are hilarious, and push the envelope in novel ways, while others have stepped completely across the line and refuse to realize it, creating something intensely stupid and insulting to view. Panty and Stocking is exactly this way.

However, like most shows on Adult Swim, I keep watching because, when the show is on, it is ON. It’s very funny and entertaining when it’s doing things right. I mean, just take a look at this classy scene. It made me laugh my ass off the first time I saw it. It’s a great parody of many a magical girl transformation sequence and, what’s more, it completely fits the characters. There are tons of moments like this. It works. This is why I’m going to continue to watch the show.

There’s still plenty of season left, of course, but I’m going to see this series out until the end. I mean, it’s no lesbian mah jong, but it’s pretty solid, and completely worth your time. (Hey, there’s another show that’s “wonderfully terrible.” See? I like that stuff.)

I guess wonderfully terrible is better than terribly terrible.

I guess.

Comment by Levi — October 30, 2010 @ 1:30 am

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