Panty & Stocking 10

Panty & Stocking got all, like, experimental this week. It has a fairly conventional first half (in which a shrunken P&S explore Brief’s internal organs), but then all bets are off. The animation exists for its own sake in a three-part trilogy of life, death, re-birth, and love between Chuck and his evil counterpart.

Turns out tiny demons are inside each plushie, who are the source of life in the pets. These three shorts are slow and suspenseful one moment and dazzlingly fast and chaotic the next. Because there’s no dialogue – only Chuck’s indecipherable chattering – you can really focus on imagery. The old-time movie white noise is a haunting touch. And those visuals – take the visual language of PSG right to its limits.

As if this episode weren’t strange enough, it ends with a music video, in which Panty, Stocking, Garterbelt and Chuck perform in Daten City and, throughout the song, appear as perhaps five dozen different parodies of bands, from the Beatles to Lady Gaga and everything in between. Kudos to the producers for making so many cheeky, weird-ass choices in one episode. I was certainly not expecting it, and it was a blast to behold. Rating: 4

enjoyed their taking the visual language of PSG as far as it can go.

Shiki 18

Oho! Now things are getting interesting…and they were already plenty interesting before. Toshio replenished the blood he lost with an infusion at the clinic, which lessons the effect of Chizuru’s glamor. Allowing her to bite him was an immense risk (though it was going to happen anyway), but it seems to have paid off big.

Sunako is the vampire queen, not Chizuru. Chizuru, it would seem, is her daughter, who lived part of her adult life as a human, and even had a husband. Toshio taps into that and lays on the charm, with good results: asking her out for a harmless date to help her mingle more with the still-living villagers and allay their fears, Toshio is able to get her close enough to a temple so that her worst fears surface. The fear weakens her, and Toshio gets everyone’s attention that this is indeed a okiagiri – including Megumi’s dad, who remembers the scent of her perfume. This scene where Toshio turns the tables is delicious in its justice.

This is huge, as for once a good chunk of the living are forced to shed their denial and face facts. It also raises the stakes considerably for the vamps: a full-on assault to finish the villagers seems necessary. Meanwhile, the blue-haired daywalker pays Natsuno (and his now-crazed dad) a visit. He and Natsuno are called jinrou, the best of both worlds. But he won’t let Natsuno keep living if he won’t suck blood. Oh yeah, Ritsuko rose and doesn’t want to suck blood either. More power, more problems. Rating: 3.5

Fall 2010 Anime Rankings – Thru Week 9

Don’t know about ya’ll, but we love charts and statistics. It’s why we love sports, cars, sports cars…and anime. We were wondering how we’d rank the anime we’ve watched so far this season, and then realized, we’ve already done that; we just needed to organize them and tally the averages. Below is the result. (Click here or the tab above for an explanation of our Rating system.)

No big surprises: Star Driver is the top-ranked series, fueled by four 4 Ratings, while an inconsistent MM! brings up the rear, owning the only “Mediocre” 2 Rating among the shows on the list. Zakuro, Yakumo, and Yosuga no Sora are exactly tied, interestingly enough. Note that none of the series stray too far below our 3 Rating of “Recommended”. If they did, well, we wouldn’t be watching them!

You’ll see an updated version of this chart when the season concludes.

Episode # : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 AVG

Star Driver 3.5 3.5 3.5 4 3.5 4 4 4 3.5 3.722
Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt 4 4 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 4 3.5 3.5 3.667
Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 4 4 3.625
Bakuman. 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 4 4 3.611
Kuragehime 3.5 3.5 3.5 4 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.571
Ore no Imouto 3.5 3 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.444
To Aru Majutsu no Index II
3.5 3 3 3.5 3 4 4 3.5 3.438
Shinryaku! Ika Musume 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3 3.5 3 3.389
Arakawa Under the Bridge x 2 3.5 3 3.5 2.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.313
The World God Only Knows 3 3 3.5 3 3.5 3.5 3.5 2.5 3.5 3.222
Otome Youkai Zakuro 3 3 3.5 3 3.5 3 3 3.5 3 3.167
Psychic Detective Yakumo 3 3 3 3 3 3 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.167
Yosuga no Sora 2.5 2.5 3 3.5 3.5 3.5 3 3.5 3.5 3.167
Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls 2.5 2.5 3 3 3 2.5 3 3 3.5 2.889
MM! 2.5 3 3 3 2 2.5 3 3.5 3 2.833

Weekly Average 3.2 3.2 3.3 3.3 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.5 3.4 3.345

Nurarihyon no Mago 22

When I thought last week that the talking was going to be over…well, I jumped the gun a bit. There was more talking – and more build-up – in this episode. On the other hand, there were some nice sage exchanges between the Tanuki and Nurarihyon, and we learn why his son Tamazuki is so confident – he possesses the Devil’s Hammer, a sword that gets stronger with each youkai it kills. At this point it may as well be Sauron’s mace.

Meanwhile, just for kicks Tamazuki bumps into Kana to try to figure out why Rikuo wants to protect her (she’s cute, duh.) Kana and Yura (who again comes to the rescue but is all bark and no bite) are the only two of Rikuo’s friends we see this week. You can’t have too many weakling humans hanging around a youkai war, after all. By episode’s end, Rikuo is leading a much larger parade of demons than he started with, and they’re marching out to meet the Shikoku, not waiting for gramps. Maybe next week there will be actual combat. Rating: 3