Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt Episode #04 Anime Review

Having splurged on sweets a little too much lately, Stocking's taken the rather drastic step of going on a diet. Which kinda puts the lie on her claim to Panty that she doesn't put on weight, but still. No matter what she does, though, she doesn't seem to be able to lose any of the weight she's put on - and it eventually becomes clear that it's not just her, but a Ghost at work. Later, the girls head back to high school to take part in the Daten High Lingerie Run, a legendary (and illicit) event that sees the students running around the city in their underwear. Or less. It's a good way to beat the boredom that Ghost-hunting brings, but the run itself has caught the attention of a Ghost with a strange thing against underwear. And guess who gets to put things right..

Oh, so many things you can interpret in a lower-than-the-gutter way in just a 25-minute period. Although what that says about the state of my mind, I'd rather not know, thank you. Panty and Stocking's fourth outing continues in much the same vein as the previous ones, with two more instalments of over-the-top lowbrow humour that you'll either love or hate.

The first segment gives Stocking some time in the spotlight, and to be honest it's the weaker of the two. P&S runs a fine line with every story, having to be extremely careful that it doesn't run a gag into the ground or cross any lines that shouldn't be crossed, and Stocking's battle against the demon weight doesn't quite get the balance right. There are some genuinely funny moments there, but after the fourth trip to the bathroom scales (helpfully calibrated to tell you which animal your weight is most like - Stocking tips the scales at "pig"), you begin to wish they'd get another gag.

Still, no show is perfect, and the odd lapse can be forgiven for as long as the show can still come up with segments like the second one in this episode, with which there's so much wrong that you can't help but love it. Garterbelt dressing up in a bad disguise, to check out male students in their underwear? Check. Panty robbing the boys of their underwear in search of the perfect weapon? Check. A mass naked student event (gee, I wonder what that could be referencing)? Check. The story's also littered with other smaller gags, leaving you constantly checking the backgrounds or the subtitle lines to see what else it's going to reference and to make sure you don't miss anything, all while what passes for a story unfolds at the usual lightning pace, leaving you with very little time to pause for breath.

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