Just a typical Studio Gainax production
February 17, 2011 12:37 PM   Subscribe

Studio Gainax, most famous in the USA for Neon Genesis Evangelion (previously) has produced anime in a wide variety of genres. It is responsible for serious science fiction, both classic and deconstructed giant robots, slice of life comedy and drama, and productions that exist for little reason but sexual innuendo and obsessively animated jiggling breasts. With the last sometimes randomly appearing in otherwise serious productions.

Their latest effort, Panty And Stocking With Garterbelt breaks new ground for Gainax, especially in its visuals. With an art style, and some storytelling elements, that are an homage to Craig McCracken's Power Puff Girls, Gainax continues the long tradition of stylistic trading between America and Japan, and has introduced a series that rivals Super Milk Chan for sheer weirdness. It also involves more toilet humor and offensive characters than South Park ever dreamed possible.
posted by sotonohito (34 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
Panty and Stocking was all sorts of fantastic. I dare you to find a more entertaining show.
posted by reductiondesign at 12:45 PM on February 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

From what I could find, The Wings of HonnĂȘamise was the first anime film that Ebert ever reviewed, back in 1995. The Japanese trailer reminded me that the soundtrack was by Ryuichi Sakamoto. So good!

AND they're responsible for FLCL, which is some sort of brilliant madness.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:57 PM on February 17, 2011 [6 favorites]

Seriously. Run, don't walk to your favourite place to download such content. And while you're at it, the soundtrack album is all sorts of awesome.
posted by mikelieman at 1:23 PM on February 17, 2011

Seriously. Run, don't walk to your favourite place to download such content. And while you're at it, the soundtrack album is all sorts of awesome.

You could also legally stream here.
posted by zabuni at 1:33 PM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

posted by effugas at 1:34 PM on February 17, 2011

obsessively animated jiggling breasts

Perhaps the most promising, and disappointing, link I've ever seen at Metafilter.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:43 PM on February 17, 2011

I am so excited for FLCL on Blu-ray, I can barely contain myself.

Hey, what the hell is coming out of my head?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:57 PM on February 17, 2011

I saw a little clip of Panty and Stocking and facepalmed. And this comes from a former obsessive anime enthusiast lifestyle... I haven't kept up with anime in almost five years, but I thought I still saw some interesting things back then.

However, Gainax's Petite Princess Yucie and Kare Kano were very good, and didn't have to rely on cheesy gimmicks or fanservice to be quality.
posted by xtine at 1:57 PM on February 17, 2011

Ever since I first saw Gunbuster 2 sometime last year, the opening theme gets stuck in my head once every couple of weeks. Now I will replace it with the transformation scene music from Panty and Stocking with Garter Belt. Thanks Metafilter!
posted by jrb223 at 1:59 PM on February 17, 2011

I started watching FLCL yesterday!

My reaction has pretty much been "lol wtf"
posted by wayland at 2:17 PM on February 17, 2011

TheWhiteSkull: "I am so excited for FLCL on Blu-ray, I can barely contain myself.

FLCL.... Blu-ray??????? I just might have to buy the set first and worry about getting a Blu-ray player at some later point in time. Best news I've heard all day!
posted by aGee at 2:25 PM on February 17, 2011

"Panty and Stocking was all sorts of fantastic. I dare you to find a more entertaining show."

Ok then... How about Neon Genesis Evangelion? His and Her Circumstances? Mahoromatic? FLCL...?

The Powerpuff Girls?!
posted by markkraft at 2:35 PM on February 17, 2011

Who cares if it's Fooley or Cooley?!
posted by Brocktoon at 2:41 PM on February 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

Thank you for reminding me to order FLCL on blu-ray!

Also, if you have fond memories of Evangelion but don't really feel like sitting through the whole show again, I highly recommend the Rebuild of Evangelion films. 1.11 is widely available now, and 2.22 will be out in March.
posted by Oktober at 2:42 PM on February 17, 2011

Bu-bu-Bluray? FLCL? $25?!? THANK YOU!

I paid more for the DVDs, and second-hand! (They've been out of print for a while, so I was glad to find them when I did.)
posted by filthy light thief at 2:49 PM on February 17, 2011

My reaction has pretty much been "lol wtf"

Those eyebrows!
posted by JHarris at 2:55 PM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

I watched the first three Panty & Stockings w/ Garterbelt. Did not like. It didn't feel like "an homage to Craig McCracken's Power Puff Girls", as much as a cheapening of what I like about Japanese animation, ripping off the PPG's graphical stylings... badly... with flat characters doing unexciting, generally unfunny stuff. They didn't even maintain the pacing and energy required of the task, frankly.
posted by markkraft at 2:55 PM on February 17, 2011

I gave Panty & Stocking a try a few weeks ago, and was totally underwhelmed. It felt like wackiness by numbers, and the fact that we've been watching Adventure Time recently, which is genuinely, joyously random in its best moments, underlined how phoned in P&S seemed. Whether it was inspired by Power Puff Girls and Invader Zim or is just plain ripping them off is another matter.

I was disappointed, because I expected great things of a show that makes people on TVTropes regularly go into all-italics describing crazy, out there antics!
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 3:03 PM on February 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

Studio Gainax: breaking my mind since 1984.
posted by clockbound at 3:48 PM on February 17, 2011

I love FLCL so much. Baseball and rock and roll and robots and that soundtrack! Give me more!
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:37 PM on February 17, 2011 [4 favorites]

FLCL was pretty great. I always liked the closing credits.

posted by dr. moot at 4:58 PM on February 17, 2011

I'll chime in with the love for FLCL. It's bizarre and hilarious and not afraid even to directly riff on South Park. While it's a very "animeish" show, it also seems to have a good sense about itself.

Haven't watched P&S yet, but what Army of Kittens says about Adventure Time is true and wonderful thing. And it's not _entirely_ random. A lot of it is subverting viewer expectations, which it's very skillful at I've noticed.
posted by JHarris at 5:15 PM on February 17, 2011

So filthy light thief's recent big awesome thread convinced me to buy the (by this point an?) Evangelion boxed set.

And this thread has convinced me to preorder the new FLCL set.

Look. MetaFilter. We have to stop this. I would like to have a life. You're not making that easy.
posted by byanyothername at 5:35 PM on February 17, 2011

I have only watched the first 2.5 episodes of P&S so far, I find the humor hit and miss. I can't say yet whether I'll become a fan of the series or join the chorus of those who say it's not that great.

Mostly what I find fascinating is the continued back and forth of visual stylings between Japan and America. The classic anime style is derivative of Disney, though obviously it evolved in its own way. American animators, including Disney, have been borrowing from the anime style for a couple of decades.

McCracken took American animation in an interesting direction, I've liked his art style from the time I first saw it. So I'm delighted to see that passing back to Japan, along with what appears to be at least partially a dose of Tartakovsky's even more interesting style.
posted by sotonohito at 5:57 PM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

The first time I saw an ad for the FLCL DVD release on one of my favorite webcomics (smart placement), I clicked over to Amazon to pre-order it, where it currently sits next to my pre-order for Bullwinkle & Rocky Season 5 (I didn't get the Entire Series set because I already had Seasons 1-4, I am SUCH a cartoon geek).

But once I started watching P&SwC, one of the first things that really bothered me about it was seeing how often Panty's more extreme facial expressions reminded me of FLCL's Naruto. Maybe they were just recycling generalized Anime cliches, but it was like it was screaming at me "THIS IS FROM GAINAX, THE PEOPLE WHO MADE THAT OTHER SHOW YOU LIKE". Distracting.

I almost made it through the first three episodes (poop monster? mmmkay. demon driver with frantic chase? no surprises. high school drama queening? meh. panty's porno movie? that's a wtf. sister's rivalry threatens mission? been there a million times. 12-minutes of ejaculation references? okay, that's original but STUPID.) then went skipping through the YouTubers for the rest. Episode 12 started out all clip-show then went into SERIOUS DRAMA and the show's dependency on cliches became totally painful (I'm trying not to be spoilery, but when they start running the credits with 3 minutes left you KNOW the Happy Ending will turn into a cliffhanger for Season Two!)

One obvious comparison, anime-wise, would have to be "Excel Saga" (recommended to me as a 'if you like FLCL...') which started off at a very manic pace and drove itself into the ground over 26 episodes with a 'let's do every episode like a different genre' trope. The last episode of Excel was never aired on Japanese TV because it (intentionally) 'went too far', and EVERY episode of P&SwG easily beats it in "shock value".
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:01 PM on February 17, 2011

I have to admit a love of the show, from the first point i heard about it from jhonen vasquez, where he called Chuch (the dog thingy) a Mr. Sparkle version of Gir. Which the creators must be aware as one of the girls (stocking i think) wears a Slave Labor Graphics shirt in a later episode. It's not high art, well not high in the classy sense, but it's very different than their other shows, and i love the design shifts.

One of the new crop of anime this season that has now topped any of them, to me at least, is Puella Magi Madoka Magica. It's been described as the Evangelion of magical girl anime, and it fits. If you try it, be sure to at least make it past episode 3, they are all good, but that's when it hits you where the stakes are, and the show just keeps it up.
posted by usagizero at 7:19 PM on February 17, 2011

The Dirty Pair: Origins.
posted by SPrintF at 9:01 PM on February 17, 2011

Wasn't quite sure what this FLCL thing is, so I googled and found the Wikipedia article.
FLCL revolves around Naota. His life is interrupted by the arrival of Haruko Haruhara, who bursts on the scene by running Naota over with her Vespa scooter, then giving him CPR and hitting him on the head with a blue vintage Rickenbacker 4001 left-handed electric bass guitar. Later, Naota is shocked to find Haruko working in his house as a live-in maid.

Since then, Giant Robots from Medical Mechanica have been coming out of Naota's head
It had me at "Since then, Giant Robots... have been coming out of Naota's head."
posted by Zed at 10:33 PM on February 17, 2011

It had me at "Since then, Giant Robots... have been coming out of Naota's head."

That's only the first ten minute, It gets better from there.
posted by dr. moot at 10:41 PM on February 17, 2011

One of my favorite things about FLCL is an interview with the director one of the DVDs had. He said something like, "Of course we didn't need the robot [I'm fairly sure he meant Canti] to do this show, but I wanted a robot, so we put him in." Awesome.
posted by wandering steve at 11:45 PM on February 17, 2011

FLCL is absolutely beautiful and one of my favourite things ever. I hope anyone reading this thread isn't put off trying it by the underwhelming P&S.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:07 AM on February 18, 2011

FLCL is one of my favourite ...things... ever. The soundtrack (mostly licensed tracks by The Pillows) is sublime and perfectly attuned to the craziness present on screen. Hybrid Rainbows is an amazing track, independent of the show. FLCL is likely to appear as a tattoo on my body at some point - I regularly go back to it and it feels as fresh as always.

I actually have a soft spot for His and Her Cirumstance (or whatever it is called in English)... I watched the entire series at a weirdly melancholic and isolated time in my life and it affected me far more than it probably had any right to. Haven't dared to rewatch it to ruin my (emotionally charged) memories of the show.

Panty and Stocking I enjoyed for its hyper-kinetic stylings but the humour was a bit hit and miss. The absolutely batshit insane twists in the last 10 seconds is pretty awesome though. And again, I loved the music throughout.
posted by slimepuppy at 6:30 AM on February 18, 2011

Fooly, cooly?

FLCL's fucking awesome. I first saw episodes without dubbing or subtitles, & we were blown away by the inventiveness. And the sheer wtf?!

A friend turned me onto Gurren Lagann, which does this amazing continual ramping up in scale & audaciousness. And, the whole show is officially up on Youtube.
posted by Pronoiac at 8:20 AM on February 18, 2011

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