Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt
Panty & Stocking isn’t doing anything half-way: It’s nailed that late-90s Cartoon Network aesthetic perfectly, the levels of crudeness are consistently high, and the energy never lets up. Between the Dexter’s Laboratory-esque title cards and a very Japanese-looking transformation sequence, Panty & Stocking encapsulates why I liked American cartooons as a kid, and why I love Japanese animation now. This opening episode is tons of fun, and you can tell the staff had fun while making it, too. The show’s unrelenting dirtiness juxtaposed against its childish aesthetic is what drives things home for me, so as long as GAINAX can remix the dirt well enough each time, I think we’ll be in for one hell of a Japanese cartoon.
Having not read Bakuman, I just assume it’s some crazy, over-the-top shounen fight manga about… making manga. And it may be just that, but JC Staff’s opening episode doesn’t really convince me! Right off the bat, the show’s incredibly boring opening makes the whole deal out to be a romance more than anything else. But the show is indeed about making manga, and the opening episode (which I assume is shot for shot from the manga) touches upon that a good amount to keep me interested, and also introduces what seems to be a quirky love element as opposed to a traditional, straightforward one. What is traditional and straightforward is the show’s execution: the direction lacks any sort of flare, the color work is sound but boring, and the animation doesn’t really do anything special. But it’s JC Staff, so I guess it can’t be helped.
Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai!
This one’s a shocker–I was expecting not to like it, but not because I have some vendetta against moe anime (Hah!) but because I assumed I’d be completely unenthusiastic about the main character, thinking she’d just be sharp-tongued tsun for all the super-M guys out there. And while there is some of that, it’s all very down to the earth, realistic, and pulled off with class. The show also boasts a nice laid back color scheme, very aesthetically pleasing designs, great animation, and a rather note-worthy soundtrack. The girl basically spills the beans about her secret in the first episode, but the show looks like it has a lot other characters and avenues to explore, so I don’t think it’ll run out of ideas before too long. It’ll probably stop being about otaku stuff, though. Kinda like Nogizaka Haruka.
And yes, I like Nogizaka Haruka, JEEZE.