Panty and Stocking: Wake up your Anarchy
May 15, 2011
Daten City. Surface world that exists between heaven and hell. A place where people live under constant threat of darkness that invades people’s souls, and not one person realises it is consuming them. There are angels who seek to obliterate these perverse manifestations of human desire with transcendent light, but has the duty of repelling the darkness fallen to these messengers of God? Or the servants of Evil?
As pointed out by ghostlightning, one can appreciate the binary of forces that operate within Daten city. There are demon sisters representing order, using fixed body of organisation that is constantly controlling and shaping the city. A deceptive place of uniforms, education of sex as fatal disease, media distortions, latest celeb fads, fixed looking down on fat/busaiku(ugly) people, and capitalist machines. Whatever desires left of people are channelled to this cancerous system, giving birth to dark manifestations of regret that conceals truth and taints one’s soul without desire, only sick needs.
I must say, the machinic imagery in this show is exceptionally expressive in how people and objects are reduced to mere clogs in an assemblage, moving and arranged in autonomous manner.
On the other hand, angel sisters represent anarchy (lack of order), not giving one damn about what the school or any system of organisation dictates. In contrast to demon sisters (organising agent) that binds a body to become blind, limp, and destructive, angel sisters are anarchic force that disobeys rules and tears through this assemblage of body and thoughts, where productive desire can then flow free. Driving their humvee named ‘See Through’, they search and destroy ghosts using the only weapons that can hurt them, their ‘holy garb’, which essentially tear the ghost apart.
Also interesting to note how expressive the act of disassembling most of their battles are, further underscored by paper-model explosion of each ghosts they defeat.
Interesting representations aside there isn’t much point rationalising every single details, because I agree with many viewers when they say Panty and Stockings is foremost an exercise in style, and that this binary serves more as a template for many kinky (if bit crass and lewd) ghost designs and scenarios to be created. But the last two episodes are simply begging for over-analysis, because many events take place that raises puzzling questions like, why was Stocking the only one given wings to the heaven? What’s the meaning behind Garterbelt’s claim that Corset’s form of bondage lacked self-control? And the ending…yea the ending.
Experimental to the very core, Panty and Stockings is an action comedy, parody, music video, ‘Yuasa-esque’ animation short. And also a love story in the case of episode 9 and Panty and Brief segment, which have to be my favourite moments. It’s hard not to see the ghost in episode 9 as anything other than a character, even though he is essentially dark manifestation from some ugly guy who no girl would date, ultimately twisting his soul to no longer desire and experience the sweetness of relationship, but addicted to the demented need for some girl, any girl, to go out with him. Behind the over the top presentation, it was actually a sweet and heart-warming story with a lesson that Panty too later learns to gain her own set of wings to heaven.
To remain true to her bitch self, not giving one hoot about demons or her lack of power. To see Brief no longer as a 1000th partner enslaved by her need, but to bear genuine desire to help him, and make love for who he is. There is no god to find in this city where people are constantly reduced to being limp and controlled as a part of assemblage. But there are angels who can wake up your anarchy, and bring forth the kind of desire so sweet and pure, enough to grow wings and reach heavenly light, even if only for that brief moment.
some music, including TATU