The first half is glorified recaps, but this week more than makes up for it with one of the best episodes of the series, which manages to meld a parody (Baz Lehrmann’s Romeo+Juliet, in this case) with the actual plot-line of Panty and Brief’s relationship. The fish tank scene was inspired, and Panty has never looked cuter. While she starts out her usual promiscuous self, we finally introduced to the powerless, vulnerable Panty who falls for someone (Stocking already had her love story, and in any case, was admitted back to heaven). It also features another excellent cut into conventional anime style; this has always been used as a scalpel, not a hammer, with great effect.
It’s amazing that all the various strings of the series are all tied up together here: the Demon Sister’s boss is the mayor, Corset, who has been trying all along to awaken the “Hellsmonkey”, likely the uber-ghost that will give him power over the world or something. (the one redeeming virtue of the recap is it established the purpose and motivations of the baddies). In any case, with Stocking gone and reverted to a virgin, Panty can’t have sex or summon her pistol anymore. I never knew she’s be in this much of a spot.
One thing I don’t understand: heaven is okay with one deadly sin – gluttony in Stocking’s case – but not okay with another? Also, both angels are pretty equally big “bitches”, so I don’t see why Panty is the one to remain fallen. No matter; this sets up something GAINAX isn’t known for doing too well – endings – but there’s certainly potential for there to be a great one. Great to see things getting serious, but not tackily so, and to finally see Panty’s human side. Rating: 4