Chatty AF 166: Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt Retrospective (WITH TRANSCRIPT)

By: Anime Feminist July 24, 20220 Comments

In honor of the “new project” announcement, Vrai, Chiaki, and Meru look back at the proto-TRIGGER comedy, put its intensely 2010 vibes in context, and ask how and if the show can function for a modern audience.

Episode Information

Date Recorded: July 16th, 2022
Hosts: Vrai, Chiaki, Meru

Episode Breakdown

0:00:22 Intros
0:01:38 Why?
0:05:36 Background and Western influence
0:10:49 First impressions
0:14:27 Sub vs dub
0:23:06 The vibe of the time
0:26:42 Chris Sabat playing a Black man
0:31:09 Fatphobia
0:34:58 Garterbelt
0:37:52 Portrayal of women and sexuality
0:42:36 The re-virgining
0:49:38 The Japanese voice cast
0:51:47 Things we like: Scanty & Kneesocks
0:54:03 The soundtrack and the Weird Stuff
0:57:26 Referenceability
1:01:23 What can the sequel do?
1:08:00 Final thoughts
1:10:09 Outro

VRAI: Because we’re talking about edgelord humor, we’re gonna get a lot into all of the “isms”—you know, racism, queerphobia, misogyny, a lot of very tacky jokes about sensitive issues. And we’re going to try to talk about them in a respectful manner. But also, we grew up during this era, so… we apologize!

[Theme music]

VRAI: Hello and welcome to Chatty AF: The Anime Feminist podcast. My name is Vrai Kaiser. I’m the managing content editor at Anime Feminist. You can find me on Twitter @WriterVrai. And with me today are my fellow staff members Meru and Chiaki.

[A brief silence]

MERU: You want to go first, Chiaki?

CHIAKI: Sure, okay. I’m sorry. I was like, “Uh…”

MERU: [Laughs]

VRAI: I kind of threw you into that.

CHIAKI: Hi, I’m Chiaki Hirai, one of the editors for AniFem. You can find me at @Chiaki 747 or @AnimatedEmpress on Twitter. I’m a fucking bitch on both.

MERU: [Chuckles] And I’m your high-class demon commander Meru. You can find me on Twitter @pixelatedlenses or @pixelatedrhapsody. And I am also an editor here at Anime Feminist and an editor in so many places. Please give me a break. [Chuckles]

VRAI: They’re so tired! Meru’s so tired.

MERU: I’m so tired!

VRAI: [sympathetic] We’re all tired.

MERU: I’m so tired.

VRAI: If you couldn’t guess from reading the title of this episode or the general vibe so far, we are looking back in honor of the announcement that season 2 is finally happening 12 years later at Studio Gainax’s Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt. I know what you are thinking out there in the audience: “All right, is this just a waste of time? Because obviously, they didn’t like it. Because look at it. This is a feminist anime website.” 

Well, part of the reason we wanted to look at it, actually, is that both Chiaki and Meru were big, big fans of this back in the day. And so we thought it would be useful to look at why so many people do have a lot of affection for this series, what its legacy is, its many, many problems, yes, and what we do with that going forward into a sequel made in the year of our Lord 2023 probably. 

And we figured that would be pretty… I don’t know where I was going with that thought. Chiaki, you were gonna say?

CHIAKI: I mean, I think both of us or all three of us… we’re longtime internet people. Right?

VRAI: Decidedly.

MERU: [Hums in agreement]

CHIAKI: We’ve seen things.

MERU: Look, I was on Tumblr for most of college.

VRAI: [Chuckles]

MERU: I’ve been through. I’ve been through.

CHIAKI: I feel like… This show comes from a time that we can firmly say is of its time. Does it excuse us for liking it? I mean, probably not. It’s pretty bad. I hadn’t actually watched this show in a good eight or nine years. And revisiting it, I just kind of felt like, “Wow!”

MERU: It’s a whole lot of oof! [Chuckles]

VRAI: I will say, in y’all’s defense, I volunteered to be the person for this retrospective who… no, I watched the first episode back when it was coming out, bounced off it real, real hard, and then marathoned the entire series in about a day and a half before this recording. And there were as many as 10 of the 26 shorts that I quite enjoyed. So, that’s…

MERU: [Chuckles] Okay! That’s almost 50%!

VRAI: Almost.

CHIAKI: And I mean, just to be fair here, I did watch this show… I marathoned this show as well. Because [of] the relatively short turnaround in getting this retrospective up and the announcement for season 2, we all had to really just watch this in about a week. But I watched it over about twice. I watched it once dubbed—which is the first time I’ve seen dubbed, by the way. I watched it natively back in the day. Don’t ask me how. But…

VRAI: I thought… Well, you did at one point, you said, watch it on Niconico, didn’t you?

CHIAKI: Yes. Yes. Way back in the day, 2010, when it was simulcasting. [Chuckles]

MERU: I know I watched it back in the day, but I’m just gonna be real: I’m pretty sure I watched it on, probably, GogoAnime or KissAnime.

CHIAKI: Yeah, and by the way, 2010 Nico didn’t have legal streaming, just so we’re clear.

VRAI: The sub-versus-dub question is definitely one I want to come back around to. But before we do, I want to set the scene on the production of the series itself before we get to the era around it. 

So, Panty & Stocking is classically or in a modern sense, I think, associated with Studio Trigger. They’re the ones who will be making the second season. But it was originally made by Studio Gainax circa 2010. And then those Gainax employees, similar to with Gurren Lagann, were the ones who would go on to form the core of Studio Trigger. 

So, in 2010, allegedly, according to an interview in the 2010 November issue of Young Ace—which also ran the Panty & Stocking manga—the director, Imaishi Hiroyuki was saying that after Gurren Lagann the staff was kind of blowing off steam from the stress of that production and saying, “Here’s all the weird, gross, crass things that we would want to do. And if we’re going to do a series that’s about tasteless jokes, we should go all in on it.” And allegedly, that was the core for Panty & Stocking. So, in essence, this series is to Gurren Lagann as FLCL [pronounced “Fooly Cooly”] was to Evangelion back in the day.

I also found some folks alleging… because obviously this series takes an incredible amount of inspiration from and pays homage to Western work in a way that I think is very interesting and you don’t see in such a concentrated fashion in a lot of other series. I saw some allegations that Drawn Together in particular—which, if you’ve forgotten that show or don’t know it, good for you—was an inspiration for the team. 

But take that with an enormous shaker of salt because the main blog post that everybody links to in regards to this information no longer exists and wasn’t archived by Wayback from a time when the Gainax crew came to visit Pixar. Which, that really did happen. There’s other corroborating pictures, but I don’t know if during that trip they did in fact see Drawn Together and decided, “We must make a series like this.”

CHIAKI: I’ll just chime in real quick. I mean, the Gainax crew does come to California quite often. They’re a regular mainstay at Fanime in San Jose, or at least they used to be. Their entire staff came one year and had a whole party. Pretty amazing, actually.

VRAI: That’s kinda cool.

CHIAKI: Yeah. So, I mean, them visiting Pixar, them getting to know American shows, mid-2000s, 2006-to-2010-ish, that checks out. That definitely checks out. Also, I would… I mean, Drawn Together, I feel, could have inspired it, but I think there’s a lot more going for it because Japan also has American cartoons running a lot of the times, dubbed over there. And so, South Park isn’t totally an alien show to them. Ren & Stimpy, I think, has a stronger lineage to this show than Drawn Together, in my opinion.

VRAI: Uh-huh. Oh, yeah. I mean, we know they’ve seen South Park because there is at least one cut in there that is deliberately done in the style during the beach episode. And of course, Chuck is an obvious reference to GIR. And the particularly thick line art, I’ve always wondered if it might be a direct reference to Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi.

MERU: They do… You know, until you just said that, I never had really considered the fact that they do kind of have that very similar look. Or, alternatively, Powerpuff Girls.

VRAI: Oh, definitely also Powerpuff Girls. Yeah, because I know that that’s popular in Japan, enough that it got its own anime version. I just wondered about Puffy AmiYumi because that was a case of some pop idols, er, rock stars who then got a Western animated series, and that was a weird piece of animation history.

MERU: [Chuckles] It sure was.

VRAI: But yeah, so, the series is made and comes out over the course of 2010. And then, not long after, in August 2011, the main crew, Imaishi—y’all probably know not just for Gurren Lagann but for going on to make Kill la Kill and later Promare—they form Studio Trigger in August of 2011.

You both mentioned you watched this series through very, extremely legal means. What was it that drew you to it back in the day when it was airing?

MERU: I know for me, it was very specifically the crassness. I don’t think I had ever… Because, I should say, growing up, The Simpsons, Family Guy, South Park were things that were very strongly prohibited in my home. I think The Simpsons because Bart maybe talks to an adult like they’re equals and, you know, adults really don’t like that. And so, I wasn’t allowed that media growing up. 

And this comes out when I am a freshman in college into my spring semester of my first year of school, and so the crassness was really appealing because I had never been allowed to speak that way and I had never heard specifically cis women or feminine people speak that way at all. And so it was really kind of like, “Ooh! Oh my God, it’s rebellious!” And also I really like the character designs. I’m not even going to lie. I’ve cosplayed as Stocking before and it’s a cute design.

VRAI: Cute.

CHIAKI: Yeah, definitely, the character design is one thing that really attracted me. But just to put it into context for me: 2010, I’m a senior in college. I’m at the height of being a 4chan camwhore. And so this was extremely my culture at the time. Very crass, very taboo, breaking tradition from what people consider anime, and I thought it was like, “Yeah, this is the shit. This makes me extremely smart for watching it.” 

I was a shitlord back then, by the way. I still am, but I was even more so.

VRAI: I do remember the dialogue around this series. And part of the reason that I think I then got frustrated with the show when I really didn’t like that first episode was that “If you don’t like Panty & Stocking, you don’t really like animation; you just want to look at hot anime girls.” And by 2010, I had well and truly gotten over my middle school annoying phase of “Oh, Western cartoons are so shallow compared to the depth of anime from Japan.”

MERU: [Chuckles]

CHIAKI: No, I was… I was…

VRAI: Which I think a lot of anime fans go through. And so I was just really frustrated, like “No, I can see why this is very technically cool. But the shit though!”

MERU: Oh, Vrai, this was my feminine praxis in college. I was like, “This show is the metric for every anime!” [Chuckles]

VRAI: [Laughs]


MERU: Oh no! This was it for me. This was peak! This was the best anime was ever gonna get.

VRAI: You know, watching it now, even the episodes that I truly fucking hated, my God, this show looks good!

MERU: It’s good!

CHIAKI: [Laughs]

MERU: It really is pretty! I was gonna say, the music video? That is the best part of this show! That entire music video.

CHIAKI: [crosstalk] Oh, that is still pretty good. That is worth the show.

MERU: [crosstalk] Rocks! It slaps!

VRAI:  You know what, even if you don’t want to watch this show and you get through this and you’re like, “I have no desire to interact with this ever,” go watch the music video. It’s really quite good.

CHIAKI: Just don’t watch the rest of that episode because you’ll probably hate it. Just skip to the last half.

[Hums of agreement]

CHIAKI: Or find the music video separately.

VRAI: Yeah. Yeah. But, so, you both watched it subbed when it came out?

MERU: Yes.

CHIAKI: I watched it raw, but yeah. [Chuckles]

VRAI: Well, yeah, sorry, in Japanese, I should say more correctly.

MERU: Yes. Yes.

VRAI: That is another thing that I think marks this show as “Wow, it really has been a long time.” Simulcasting wasn’t really a thing when Panty & Stocking came out. Even though the show debuted in 2010, it didn’t legally make its way over to America until 2012, when it was released by Funimation.

MERU: Simulcasting wasn’t really a thing, I think, until I was in grad school, and I got into grad school in ’14. And that’s when I really remember, maybe a year before that, it had started to creep in.

VRAI: There was some before that because I watched the simulcast of Tiger & Bunny, but it wasn’t exactly a simulcast; it was aired on a week delay. So, there was some by mid-2011, but it was in its extremely infant stages and a lot of weird series like Panty & Stocking were not getting that treatment.

CHIAKI: Yeah, 2010, Crunchyroll had just gone legit, I think, or was about to.

MERU: [crosstalk] Yeah. They were about to.

CHIAKI: Yeah. So, around that time, the only simulcast that was really happening was fansubbers getting stuff up the next day after something aired. Like, it was a race.

MERU: God, what a Wild West we used to live in.

CHIAKI: Uh-huh.

VRAI: Truly, truly. And that leads me to the Panty & Stocking dub, which, this time around, it is how I watched it. That was a little gift to me, that if I watched it in English I would be able to multitask a little bit.

CHIAKI: [Chuckles]

VRAI: Because a day and a half! That is how long it took me to watch this series!

MERU: [Chuckles]

VRAI: The dub is sort of famous for coming from a certain era of Funimation dub, is what I will…

MERU: Ooh! Yeah.

CHIAKI: [Chuckles knowingly]

VRAI: Funimation has always been known to play kind of fast and loose with their localization, which in some cases, I think, really works for shows. I think the Yu Yu Hakusho dub is a really good example of [being] kind of loose and a lot more jokey in certain scenes, but it flows and it’s really charming. And so, I am not somebody who thinks that a dub necessarily has to be super strict if a looser thing helps get across the vibe a little bit better. 

But Funimation hit a time in the late 2000s to early-mid-2010s, where they decided that they were just going to kind of jazz up their material.

MERU: Well, there’s a lot of jazz in this series! [Chuckles]

VRAI: Yep! I think—

CHIAKI: It’s free jazz, really.

MERU: [Chuckles]

VRAI: And now, to put it in the context of when this happened, 2012, this goes all the way back, I think you could maybe argue… I mean, gag dubs have been a thing for forever. This isn’t quite a gag dub, but I think the era of the gag dub is important to Panty & Stocking’s existence. I think you can argue it goes all the way back to Evangelion: ReDeath, which is a gag dub of End of Eva, that would show it at anime cons around 2000.

CHIAKI: Also, a Fanime tradition, by the way. It’s a local production from De Anza College.

VRAI: “It’s Gendo.”

CHIAKI: “It’s Gendo.” Doo-doo-doot! [Chuckles]

VRAI: It’s not good!

CHIAKI: Sorry!

VRAI: [Chuckles] No, listen, I respect that it was of its era.


VRAI: Of course, the gag dub people are perhaps most famously still kind of fond about—probably because they haven’t rewatched it recently—is the infamous 2005 ADV dub of Ghost Stories, which took a pretty unremarkable, fine children’s story about cute little kid ghost hunters and put in a lot of edgy jokes.

MERU: Jewish jokes! A lot of Jewish jokes, and it’s not good! Not good!

VRAI: [crosstalk] Lot of racist jokes in general.

MERU: It’s not good! [Chuckles] Ghost Stories is always interesting to me because, from my understanding, it actually did fairly fine in Japan as the story it actually is, and over here…

CHIAKI: Again, context for Ghost Stories: It’s a major franchise in Japan for children, like elementary school age, to enjoy Ghost Stories. It scared the crap out of me back in my day when I was an elementary school kid. But yeah, it was the thing to watch.

MERU: But you would not know that based on the dub, I feel.


VRAI: Yes, and then Funimation looked at the cult success of ADV’s Ghost Stories dub, and then they got a hold of Crayon Shin-chan, which ran on Adult Swim in 2006 despite being a children’s show. And you may wonder, how did that happen? Chiaki, would you like to explain?

CHIAKI: So, Shin-chan is also, again, a beloved children’s anime, and because American execs figured children’s anime wouldn’t exactly sell as well because they already have a Pokémon over here…

VRAI: Well, and it’s also just a little bit crass.

CHIAKI: Just a little bit crass in the Japanese sense of the way, of “Oh yeah, there’s a child who is running around pantsless and mooning people.” It’s very Bart Simpson. But overall, it’s a very wholesome show. And so, I guess Funimation decided, “All right, we’re gonna do this as Japan’s South Park! That’s how we’re going to market this.”

MERU: Oh no.

CHIAKI: And everything became a sex joke. I mean, there were a bunch of sex jokes in Shin-chan already, but it became like everyone swears, everything is a sex joke, there is no wholesome family bonding, everyone is just a sex addict, kind of thing.

VRAI: There was a lot of additions about one character being molested, as I recall.

CHIAKI: Yeah. Yeah.

MERU: [Inhales sharply and exhales deeply]

CHIAKI: I think I have the DVD somewhere because I got it for review, and I was pretty mad about it.

VRAI: So, after Shin-chan, the other really major example, the only other really big one that I can think of, is the Hetalia dub, which I did own physical copies of because I am not free of sin!

MERU: [Chuckles] Oh God.

CHIAKI: Remarkably, I never watched Hetalia. I couldn’t stand it. [Chuckles]

MERU: Y’all, I was knee deep in Hetalia fandom, and it’s…

VRAI: High five!

MERU: High five. I can’t say it’s my biggest shame because I’m sure there’s something else, but Hetalia fandom was wild!

CHIAKI: Mm-hm!

VRAI: Yeah, in the earliest days, I think you could make an argument before the anime came out that the fandom included some neat takeoffs of using the characters to do cool little comics about history. But then mostly it was weird fashy apologia using cute anime boys!

MERU: Yeah, and then it became like cosplayers going into, I don’t know, Jewish Holocaust heritage sites to get that sweet cosplay picture for the Gram.

CHIAKI: [Sighs heavily]

MERU: And just… it’s not good! It’s not good!

VRAI: [crosstalk] No.


VRAI: But even then, the jokes of Hetalia, the dub version, are pretty softball.

MERU: It’s that dub.

VRAI: Besides the inherent offensiveness to the concept, the actual series is pretty soft, almost like slice-of-life stuff, especially after those first couple arcs where it moved away from talking about World War II and just started being about silly cultural differences or, like, weird items.

MERU: It’s really the dub that elevates it, and I don’t think I mean that positively.

VRAI: Mm-hm. Because the dub decided to just do a lot of racism, just do a lot of racism. You may be noticing a theme.

MERU: [Chuckles sorrowfully] The theme is racism.

VRAI: Chiaki, now, you were on 4chan. Do you want to illustrate for our listeners and readers of transcript at home what the general kind of vibe of the internet was at this time?

CHIAKI: “America, fuck yeah.”

VRAI: Crying glitter eagle, yeah.


MERU: [Chuckles deeply]

VRAI: [Chuckles]

MERU: [Sighs and chuckles]

VRAI: In keeping with the era of the Internet, yeah, there was a lot more “We’re pretending we’re ironic while we just kind of do the upsetting thing.”

CHIAKI: Yeah. Yeah, it’s like, “I’m not really racist. I just play a racist on the internet.”

MERU: I mean, I think it’s worth saying, this was Barack Obama’s America, and I think a lot of people from ‘08 to ‘12 thought racism was just done; it had been eradicated. You can be edgy and ironic about it, right? Because for sure I was maybe someone who also was like, [mock-chuckles] “It’s not so bad!” And… it was bad!

CHIAKI: [crosstalk] Especially coming out of the Bush years. Especially coming out of the Bush years, because Bush years, it was like, “Oh, we’re gonna get a third-term Bush. We’re gonna be in perpetual war forever.” And then suddenly, we have Obama and we’re like, “Ah, great. Everything’s fixed.”

MERU: The pendulum had swung so far. And I think it needs to be said, too, that culturally this was before the mass murdering of innocent Black people had really become a thing. That would not become really a big talking point until Trayvon Martin. So, anti-Black racism wasn’t really something that I think a lot of people thought about and I would even dare say Black people didn’t necessarily think about. With Trayvon Martin—a lot of these series predate that kind of kicking off [of] what would eventually become the Black Lives Matter movement and things that would become very polarizing. 

And so, I think when you put that in context of these dubs, racism wasn’t really something anyone was thinking about because for all intents and purposes, social media wasn’t where it is now and we didn’t have these quite overwhelming incidents happening.

CHIAKI: Yeah. Like, GG didn’t start until, what, 2013, 2014?

MERU: Yeah.

VRAI: Yeah, I think at this time, there were a lot of people saying, “There are no girls on the internet,” unironically. It was still very much assumed that if you were on the internet, you were a cishet white man.

MERU: Yeah.

CHIAKI: Yeah. And then we all came out as girls. Well…

VRAI: [Chuckles]

CHIAKI: Sorry, I wasn’t a white man. I was an Asian. But, you know…

MERU: I too am not a white man.


VRAI: Yes, I am the closest to a white man on this podcast…


VRAI: … which is a terrifying thought. [Laughs]

MERU: Oh my God. [Chuckles]

VRAI: But yeah, at the time that Panty & Stocking was made, you had very common jokes, and I think for a lot of marginalized people there was the impetus to lean into showing that you were cool and not one of those offended people and you could take a joke and you could give the joke harder.

MERU: [crosstalk] Lean in hard.

VRAI: So you could talk about “surprise sex,” which was a colloquial term for rape, and make jokes about Pedobear.

MERU: Oh! [Chuckles painfully]

VRAI: Yeah! It was a whole time!

MERU: Battle damage! [Chuckles] I’m taking damage. Oh no! I have not thought about Pedobear in forever!

VRAI: So, now that I’ve spent almost half an hour too long discussing the background of Panty & Stocking, let’s get into what’s wrong with Panty & Stocking, and then I promise at the end we will talk about what we still like about it. So hang in there at home, folks, because we’re gonna get to that point.

CHIAKI: [Chuckles]

MERU: So, we’re going to talk about Chris Sabat first, right? [Chuckles]

VRAI: Yes, obviously we’re going to talk about Chris Sabat first!

MERU: [Chuckles] We’re gonna talk about that. Because I only found out in 2020 that…

VRAI: On air! On this very podcast!

CHIAKI: [Chuckles]

MERU: Yeah, with you two, on Akudama Drive, I only found out that Chris Sabat is (A) a white dude and (B) that Garterbelt is not voiced by a Black man, which I don’t… I don’t know if that’s good or bad. I still really can’t tell how I feel. [Chuckles]

VRAI: I’m going to go with bad. [Chuckles]

MERU: Yeah, I ultimately think bad. I think Garterbelt’s a bad character, so I’m like, did we save a Black person from that?

VRAI: [Chuckles]

MERU: I don’t know. I really don’t know. I don’t know!

VRAI: Yeah, do you want to break down, for the folks at home, the stereotype elements of this character?

MERU: I mean, we gotta start off with the lips. The lips! We gotta start with the lips! Oh my God, Garterbelt looks like Little Black Sambo if he were an adult, and it’s very bad and it’s a bad caricature. And before anyone says it, yes, Japan can be blamed for it. They also like minstrelsy, too. Commodore Perry brought it to Japan and people were like, “Ah, this is great!” And it’s not great, and blackface still does happen. It’s not good.

I mean, it’s all supposed to be stylized, but this ostensibly a dark brown, taller, hulking Black man with an Afro. He looks like Shaft if Shaft were a Catholic priest who also had a predilection towards sexual abuse of teenage boys. It’s bad! It’s not good! It’s very bad! I don’t know what to say other than “Oof! It’s bad.” And then you have Chris about voicing him—with a blaccent! It’s bad! [Chuckles]

VRAI: I should mention, this is before Funimation caught a lot of deserved heat when they dubbed Michiko and Hatchin, a dub that I mostly think is really good, but they cast Monica Rial to play the Afro-Latina lead and her family is from Spain.

MERU: Ah, no! Ah!

VRAI: And that was their big shield of “She’s Latina!” Family’s from Spain.

MERU: Oh my God! Oh, Funimation! Ooh, I should not be watching. [Chuckles]

CHIAKI: Did we just reveal another truth to you, Meru?

MERU: Yes! I didn’t know! Y’all have gotta stop telling me when white people do stuff that’s non-white.


MERU: Like, what next? Am I gonna find out Laura Bailey’s done a Black role? Please don’t tell me that.

CHIAKI: I’m gonna look it up.

VRAI: I don’t think I have to tell you that! I think we’re okay!

MERU: Please don’t tell me that. [Chuckles] Yeah, I mean, Garterbelt, he is Black, but there’s a lot going on there that’s just not great. The whole blaccent… There’s a lot of use of African-American vernacular in this show anyway. They use the word “ghetto” a lot, which I’m not… I don’t think Black people really like that. I’m gonna speak for all Black people; we don’t really like that. 

I mean, this show uses a blaccent heavier than Awkwafina used to. It just really is borrowing from a culture that it doesn’t really have a right to borrow from. It’s very uncomfortable. And I didn’t realize it until watching it with my 2022 eyes, and I was like, “Oh. Fraught!”

CHIAKI: I’ll definitely say a lot of that is on Funimation, because the coding is not really there in Japanese. The visual coding is there. The visual coding is there.

MERU: But the original did not do it as heavily as Funimation, who just whole-hog leans in and it’s very uncomfortable.

VRAI: Also, this show hates fat people.

MERU: Ooh, this show hates fat people.

VRAI: I got so excited that there’s an… One of the shorts is boarded and directed by Sayo Yamamoto. And then I remembered, “Oh, right! The one downside of my favorite anime director’s work is just the rampant fatphobia that tends to pop up in that.” And then this short is nothing but that one thing I don’t like about my favorite anime director. She did the Little Red Riding Hood episode early on.

MERU: This show wants you to know that if you’re fat, you are a punch line or you should be bulimic. And I believe at one point it says that. At one point Stocking is like, “Ah, I wish I could vomit. Where’s my bulimia on demand?” or something, and I was like, “Oh my God! Like, sis! What?”

CHIAKI: The whole point of that ghost was “Yeah, this is the angry spirit of a lady who got too fat,” essentially.

VRAI: Well, and the dub at least is very deliberately putting fat-positive dialogue in her mouth, too. Like it’s not just that she’s fat; it’s that she’s talking about the liberation of fat bodies.

MERU: But then it gets wrecked by the fact that someone makes a comment, something to the extent of “This is for the girls who are fat and think that you should like them for their personality.” And I was just like, oh, God! Oh, that’s not nice. That’s not nice at all! You can be fat and that’s okay, speaking as a fat person!

VRAI: I think that the dub at least is trying to speak out both sides of its mouth, of rolling around in this and then throwing in like two lines that are about how actually this is shitty—that don’t stick.

I did watch one episode of this subbed. It was the movie episode. And this is me defending… I guess defending the dub is the wrong thing. The reason I am happy that I watched the dub is I tried out one subbed… They get up on stage, right? And Panty is talking to the announcer, something or other, for not crediting her for her sex tape work, and she straight-up calls him the F word. 

Whereas in the dub, the queerphobia is still present but she calls him Schlong Breath or something and I was like, okay! You know what? I’m just gonna… The dub is leaning into being offensive as hell, but it’s going so far that at least I can distance myself from it, whereas genuinely, reading the subtitles was a little bit of a slap in the face.

I will say there are one or two lines that I did genuinely laugh at. Like, there’s an episode where they’re fighting… I think it might be the Sayo Yamamoto episode where it opens with Stocking talking about a guy she’d banged and she wasn’t really in love with him but she’d want to have his abortion.

MERU: [Laughs] Yeah!

VRAI: Which, to put that in context for the folks at home, that is famously a line that they were forced to cut from Fight Club for being too edgy, and the line that they were allowed to replace it with was “I haven’t been fucked like that since grade school.” And I’ve always found that a really interesting example of what is considered permissible in terms of jokes about women’s bodies. And so, that line for the dub I wholeheartedly and unironically tip my hat to.

But yeah, so, this show also does use queer people as a punch line, not unusually for the era.

CHIAKI: Yeah, at the same time, we have to go back to Garterbelt, right?

VRAI: Yeah.

MERU: Yeah, we sure do.

CHIAKI: Because his whole thing is about the fact that he might be a predatory Catholic priest.

MERU: I feel like we could take the “might” out.

CHIAKI: I mean, I’m saying it in the sense of he was placed in to reference the predatory nature of Catholic priests rather than Garterbelt being a pedophile in general.

MERU: Yeah, it’s not good. And it’s a shame. It’s a shame because I do think there’s genuinely funny parts of Garterbelt’s entire story, like the part in episode 10 where it shows his trajectory and you realize he was at the Flood and on Noah’s ark and all these different pivotal events. It’s very funny because he just inexplicably shows up at everything.

VRAI: Yeah, I actually quite liked that episode, although, as you were pointing out in chat, they decided to make his backstory before he died a reference to Scarface and merrily traipsed their way into accidentally referencing COINTELPRO.

MERU: I was like, “Oh, no, Garterbelt! Ronald Reagan got you, too!” I was just like, “No!” [Chuckles]

VRAI: But the backstory where he wanders the earth and that whole montage, I thought that was really great, actually!

MERU: It’s really well done. And the fact that he pops up in the Garden of Eden and eats the apple and that’s why everything happens is very funny! And then it swings back to a hard pivot to him and Brief, and you’re just like, “No, no, no, no, no, please go back to where Garterbelt’s wandering the earth and sees the dinosaurs get destroyed. Go back to that. Go back to that. That was funny. I don’t want to see him with this teenage boy and the implications that you’re trying to present. Go back to the Garden of Eden. That was funny.”

VRAI: Let Garterbelt hit on some adult men. Let’s just do that.

MERU: Yeah.

CHIAKI: Yeah. Also, I think it’s his dedication to God that, I guess, made him gay, didn’t it? Because back in his origin story, he was mostly with women, it seemed.

VRAI: I guess you could bend over backwards in a way this show doesn’t deserve and call it comphet.

MERU: I mean, alternatively, either die het or live long enough to see yourself become bi.

VRAI: That’s true.

MERU: I mean, you know, maybe Garterbelt likes everyone.

VRAI: I mean, he is supposed to be the hilariously kinky character, I guess. Looking good in stockings?

MERU: I mean, he does look good. It looked good. I was like, yeah.

CHIAKI: I mean, I think Stocking is the kinky one, though, to be fair.

VRAI: That’s true. Yeah, I was really interested to hear you say, Meru, that you were really into just the image of women being vulgar and how that was kind of an unheard-of thing… because I think the series hates women, watching it from a modern perspective!

MERU: I would say that you’re not wrong. It really was a revelation this time seeing that, wow, this show that was and I would say is still ultimately really important to me… this show kind of really hates women and cis female sexuality. It plays the joke of “Ha-ha. Panty’s so slutty. She wants to sleep with a thousand guys,” but also it routinely punishes both of them for having sexual interests. And I was just like, “Well, I don’t think the show is as feminist as I thought.”

VRAI: It was really interesting to watch the sex jokes about Panty, honestly, because I have an immense… So, I am a Yoko Taro apologist, and one of the things that I am very fond of is Drakengard 3, which, at least 80% of the dialogue in that game, no exaggeration, is people talking crassly about sex. Nobody ever has sex. Nobody’s doing sexy fanservice really, outside of a couple shots and Zero’s very revealing outfit. But everybody talks about sex all the time in this very odd and deliberately unsexy way, and Zero isn’t shamed for the fact that she’s fucking all of her dude party members. 

And it was really interesting to watch Panty & Stocking with Drakengard in the back of my mind, because, yeah, everything about Panty having a lot of sex is… Even in episodes where she’s not trying to have sex, there’s at least six lines about how she’s a slut.

CHIAKI: I think part of the misconception of sex positivity that people might take from this show initially—and for me back in 2010s—was just going for that sexual liberation of “Everyone should be fucking,” which I think has generally evolved to be “You can have sex if you want to” for a lot of folks. 

And so, again, I think this is another case of “of its time,” but also, a lot of people watching this show probably weren’t really thinking as deeply and really asking. “Okay, so Panty and Stocking, the characters themselves, don’t care about having sex. Well, Stocking maybe slut-shames a little bit more, but at least Panty does not give a fuck about it. And that’s what makes her cool”— overlooking the fact that the show itself, overall the writing, all of that is generally misogynistic.

MERU: Yeah, and it’s something that in 2010… Because I’ll fully admit, in 2010 I had not yet ever had sex; I had never dated. So this show was kind of like… I hope this doesn’t sound nerdy of me: it was kind of my intro to how women hypothetically could talk about sex—which [chuckles] is a curious thing to have as your introduction to conversations about not being slut-shamed and things. 

And so, when you really look at the broader story, it really does say a lot about sex, and it’s that sex is bad if you have too much of it, but it’s okay if you’re an angel; you can get that virginity back.

VRAI: Oh my God.

CHIAKI: [Chuckles]

VRAI: I do want to give you credit, though, tiny baby college you, that, the broader scope of the series’s writing aside, this is a series that is talking about ways that women could enjoy sex and having different positions or the fact that women can have unsatisfying sex. And granted, all of this is par for the course in Sex in the City, but tiny college anime fans aren’t watching Sex in the City.

CHIAKI: I was.

VRAI: Good for you, girl!

MERU: [Chuckles]

VRAI: But, so, yeah. The revirgining. It sucks so bad and I do hate it.

MERU: In hindsight, it is a rough episode, wherein… because I had forgotten that that happened. I think I’ve remembered everything around that and then there was just a blank spot. And it happened and I was like, “She gets her virginity back. What?” [Chuckles] “What?” [Chuckles] It’s so much! It’s just so much! I don’t even know what to say about it other than, like, huh!

VRAI: I was so annoyed because the logic of it doesn’t make any good goddamn sense. And the listeners at home are saying, “Vrai, are you expecting a show like Panty & Stocking to have good worldbuilding?” And I say I expect it to follow its own internal logic because… Okay, so it never gives a reason as to why Panty gets her virginity back. Like, did Heaven give it back to her? Why is she a virgin again now? And also, there’s so many jokes about how Heaven is angry that Panty has a lot of sex. But then once she’s a virgin again, her angel powers do not work.

MERU: Yeah.

VRAI: [Starts speaking, then groans, frustrated] Go on.

MERU: Her angelic nature is deeply connected to the fact that Panty is promiscuous and she willingly has a lot of sex, right? That’s what’s powering her, and assumably something equal is what’s powering Stocking. Maybe Stocking’s love of BDSM is powering her, which, more power to you, sis.

CHIAKI: Mm, I think it’s her vanity.

MERU: Yeah. And it’s weird because Panty does get the weird virginity MacGuffin, and that is ultimately what is necessary for the… [chuckles] the climax of the series.

VRAI: Heh-heh-heh.

CHIAKI: There’s a lot of climaxes in the series.

MERU: There’s a lot.

VRAI: I felt so betrayed because I spent the entire series side-eyeing Brief as the slightly creepy, nebbish Xander, Joss Whedon stand-in type character—


MERU: Not Joss! [Laughs]

VRAI: —who ostensibly is so in love with this strong woman, but then what he really needs to feel manly is not just to help her and save her back, which is a normal romance reciprocal writing thing, but specifically for her to be disempowered and weak and helpless so that he can feel good and manly next to her. But I then really liked the episode at the party where they did the Baz Luhrmann fish tank shot, and I thought it was sweet.

MERU: It’s a really sweet scene.

VRAI: And I kind of had nice… by the time they got to the start of the awkward cabin sex, I was like, “Yeah. You know what, fine, you’ve earned this from me, show.” And then they pull this horseshit where Panty has to get her virginity back because it’s only special for our audience stand-in character if she’s never had anything in that vadge before. Fuck you!

MERU: [Chuckles] Heaven got a grip on her. Like, it really…

VRAI: That’s so insulting!

MERU: It hit differently in 2010. In 2022, I was like, “Dang. That’s not right! Y’all did my girl dirty!” [Chuckles]

CHIAKI: Yeah. The end, the final episodes are just… [exasperated] Mm!

MERU: The final episodes are very, very phallic because it ranges from “A penis is the key to Hell” to “Defeat the giant dick demon.” It’s just so much. And my girl loses her unvirginity at the same time? That’s just not equitable.

VRAI: [crosstalk] Also, the assumption that when you have a hymen, the sex will be… Like, it is common to have painful sex your first time, but that’s probably because you’re not doing enough prep. It’s not the hymen itself.

MERU: It’s the lube. You gotta—

CHIAKI: It just means that you suck at sex.

VRAI: Mm-hm!

MERU: And also, this weird myth around hymens as if there’s some magical thing. Like, y’all, I hate to tell you: most people with a vagina, hymen is gone by the time that they might actually be having consensual sex. It’s skin! It’s not like the pearly gates.


MERU: It’s just skin! It’s just a membrane! And this anime treats it like it’s some sort of… I don’t know, like it’s gold-encrusted. Makes me very mad! [Chuckles]

VRAI: [Chuckles] It’s a lesser thing on the way, but I was really pissed off by the bachelor ghost episode because it’s not that… I could… Fine, we’re doing a Ghost reference, and I could get on with the fact that it’s like, this guy’s the ghost of all the sad otaku losers out there like you, our audience, question mark, I guess, who are fat and maybe they smell a little funny because puberty is hell. 

But no, specifically the reason nobody likes this guy is he’s a dick! He’s an abusive dick who treats Stocking like shit until she saves him with the power of her love. And I hate!

MERU: I mean, this ghost just negs her the entire time, and it’s the worst.

VRAI: I hated that episode possibly more than the dick thing, although it’s a close call.

MERU: Both are bad.

CHIAKI: Yeah, both are pretty bad. Both are pretty bad. I wouldn’t call these the worst episodes in the batch.

VRAI: [crosstalk] No.

MERU: No. No, the mucus one is the worst. The mucus one is the worst of all the episodes.

CHIAKI: Okay, that one’s pretty bad too. I don’t know.

MERU: The mucus one, especially in the dub, because it’s got Vic Lasagna. It’s real bad!

CHIAKI: Oh, okay, that…

VRAI: [crosstalk] Yeah, that does add some stank on it.

CHIAKI: That’ll do it. Okay, now, the snot one is ranked below the ghost one.

MERU: [crosstalk] It’s bad. It’s bad. It’s bad.

CHIAKI: And I guess Revirgining is a little bit worse than Snot. Yeah.

VRAI: Yeah. All right, any last complaints we want to talk about before, as promised, we get back around to (A) things we like and then (B) talking about how the hell you make a second season of this in 2022.

CHIAKI: Mine’s like a mixed thing, so if anyone has more harder things to talk about…

VRAI: Carry on.

CHIAKI: Oh, okay. One thing I will say, and this is more of a technical issue, is going back to the dub versus sub or the original audio for the show. I want to point out that the Japanese audio track… they got voice actors who are very, very good references or people to have. 

One thing, like episode 7, for the Transformers parody, they got Tessho Genda, Optimus Prime’s voice actor, to do Masculinus or Cocktimus Prime. And also, Mingeatron née Femitron’s is Seizo Kato, Megatron’s voice actor. The American dub didn’t get anyone who was involved with Transformers to do it. I guess it was just the thing where they used everyone in-house.

VRAI: Oh yeah.

CHIAKI: Another thing, when they got Tom Croose on that game show to play the lawyer, the Japanese voice actor is Tomoyuki Morikawa [sic], who is Tom Cruise’s voice in dubs in Japan.

MERU: Oh my God. [Chuckles]

VRAI: That’s quite good.

CHIAKI: So, there are some really choice voice acting choices in the original Japanese, and it’s hilarious.

VRAI: So, it is layered. It is not just a reference to Magnolia; it is Magnolia and then also we have Japanese Tom Cruise dub. That’s quite good.

CHIAKI: [Chuckles]

MERU: That’s really funny.

CHIAKI: So, that’s the one last slap I will give the dub, for not stepping up and having Tom Cruise come on cast.

MERU: God, could you imagine though?

CHIAKI: [Chuckles]

MERU: Could you imagine? Scientology having to promote this?

CHIAKI: Oh, God, you’re right.

MERU: Having to promote this series? [Laughs]

VRAI: All right. As promised, we do have to talk about things we still like, even watching and/or rewatching it from a modern perspective. And those things are Scanty and Kneesocks because I do love a Team Rocket.

MERU: [crosstalk] Queens! Queens!

CHIAKI: Honestly, the best point of watching this show is just Scanty and Kneesocks.

MERU: They’re so good. They’re so good.

CHIAKI: Would you say they “ruuru”?

MERU: I would. Their transformation is so good. “I Want You” is such a banger of a song! It’s so good! Oh my God. It’s so good!

VRAI: It’s really good. I love… They’re just blatantly, in certain episodes, proto–Satsuki Kiryuin, and I’m fine with that. I’m fine with it. They’re so much fun. They just… apparently incestuous, a random episode decided to just throw in for some reason. Fine, whatever. That certainly was the time that that was happening. 

Also, the episodes that they’re in are, I think, the show at its strongest, maybe putting aside the first one that has the casual fatphobia sprinkled in and a lot of fascistic undertones to their uniform and so on.

MERU: Ooh, yeah, that armband don’t hit right in 2022.

VRAI: Uh-huh. But once they’re just the Team Rocket villains of the week, I think that’s the show at its strongest, because it’s weird and gross, and in a kind of silly way as opposed to in a way that feels a little more hateful like I think the worst episodes do.

MERU: Yeah. I’m gonna also throw in Corset because I find him really interesting as a villain and I really like his design.

CHIAKI: He has like no presence whatsoever in the show until the very end, and I wish he came out a little earlier, yeah.

MERU: Yeah, and I’m fascinated. Please bring my boy back for season 2!


MERU: Bring him back! And I like his theme a lot. Corset’s theme is really good!

CHIAKI: You know what’s one thing, though? I have the soundtrack for this show. It was one of the first soundtracks that I spent my own money dollars on because it was so good. It is so good.

MERU: TeddyLoid makes this slap!

CHIAKI: Yeah, they need to get TeddyLoid back for season 2 or else the show falls apart.

MERU: Automatically.

CHIAKI: [crosstalk] Like, why are we even here? But I am going— This is a grudge. This is a grudge for 12 years running. I want the epilogue track that’s also Garterbelt’s theme from the epilogue of “High School Nudical” and also during the interludes…

MERU: Such a good song!

CHIAKI: Yeah. That is the one song I want that is not on the OST!

MERU: TeddyLoid. My guy, my bro, my dude.

CHIAKI: Release it!

MERU: Five-minute cut! Minimum.

CHIAKI: This is like the Wu-Tang Clan album.


CHIAKI: Release it already! Who has it?

MERU: Oh my God. That song slaps. That’s actually one of the stronger episodes, too, I will say. As that underwear is falling like snow upon Daten City, I was like, “You know what, I really like this! I really like this!” Beautiful song, great table-setting. Love it! It’s great.

VRAI: Also, I thought… You know, I’m realizing that my favorite episodes were kind of the ones that tended to focus on secondary characters and less on Panty and Stocking. “Chuck to the Future” is fucking great. It’s just film homages for 12 minutes and it’s my shit.

CHIAKI: True. Okay, you appreciate that for that, yeah. That’s true.

MERU: I love that for you.

VRAI: Like, it’s a Tom and Jerry cartoon and then there’s a fucking Doctor Manhattan parody and then it’s doing Eraserhead. And like, yes! Yes, show, this is what I want you to do: is just weird experimental animation homaging things that you like. I will watch this happily. This is why I liked Gal & Dino.

MERU: I love that for you.

CHIAKI: Fair, fair.

VRAI: [Chuckles]

CHIAKI: I’m glad you like that one because the ending… I cannot handle the—

MERU: [crosstalk] Yeah, that’s what I was gonna say: the ending! The ending!

VRAI: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, it’s upsetting, but, you know, famously the ending of Eraserhead is upsetting and I guess we’re just going to replicate that trauma.

CHIAKI: [Groans]

VRAI: [Laughs]

MERU: That is a solid one. I’m also going to swing back with the “D City Rock” music video. It’s just really… That’s the peak of this show.

VRAI: It really is.

MERU: It’s so good. Debra Zeer has a beautiful voice in that, singing as Panty. The song slaps. It’s so good! It’s so good! It’s got a K-On reference at one point, I think. It’s great.

VRAI: No, I wasn’t sure if it was K-On or if it was a reference to the “God Knows” scene from Haruhi Suzumiya.

MERU: It’s probably more “God Knows.”

CHIAKI: Probably more “God Knows,” yeah. But I really appreciate that because even back in 2010 when I was watching it, I was literally just googling like “Okay, which music video is this ripping off of?” one after another because there’s so many. And it’s such a beautiful piece of work.

VRAI: There is a gift in this show that every time it does a reference to something it feels loving, as opposed to cheap, and I think that that does take talent. Although my head did spin all the way around when it was a particularly gross episode and then all of a sudden, here is a Cagliostro reference, the most wholesome adventure film of all time.

MERU: This show really likes to take you through the five stages of grieving in anime, of just… you go back and forth between really cool references to “What did I just watch?”

VRAI: I will say, I know… and we talked about this off air and I know, Chiaki, very legit, you did not care for it: “Vomiting Point,” the 11-minute “Now we’re a Satoshi Kon anime”?


VRAI: That was made for me! That was made for me. We’re a Satoshi Kon anime where all of a sudden Panty and Stocking show up at the end. That’s absurd. That’s the kind of absurdity I can get behind.

MERU: Inexplicable. And they show up in the original show’s art style! It’s the best! So good.

CHIAKI: By the way, the—

MERU: I did not like—


MERU: I did not like “Vomiting Point” when I first watched it. I really liked it this time.

CHIAKI: Okay. No, I mean, I accept it. I accept it. Also, the director for that mini-episode is Osamu Kobayashi, who unfortunately passed away last year.

MERU: [Hums sadly]


CHIAKI: But, seems like he liked doing weird things overall.

VRAI: Yeah. That episode I think is like the “Homer’s Enemy” episode of this series, which is famously the episode with Frank Grimes. Basically a normal dude stumbles into The Simpsons and tries to point out how absurd it is that Homer has this job until finally it kills him. And it’s sort of infamously polarizing as being maybe too dark compared to the rest of the series. And I feel like “Vomiting Point” is that for Panty & Stocking.

MERU: Yeah, because it comes on the heels of… I can’t remember what episode precedes it.

VRAI: The booger episode.

MERU: Oh, God. Yeah, and when you compare the vibe, it does go from weird gross-out humor to, like, “Oh, all the characters in this show might need some therapy.” It gets really dark really quick, but I like that. I like that it kind of yo-yos that and then you’re just back to a regular episode.

VRAI: Mm-hm. Watching episodes like that, I was like, you know, I do have to tip my hat to the show in some respects for the door to absolute weirdness that it really kicked open in a way that I think FLCL [pronounced “Fooly Cooly”] was respected but didn’t necessarily have the wider lineage that Panty & Stocking did, where stuff that I really love now, that’s weird and experimental like Gal & Dino or Pop Team Epic, really exists because Panty & Stocking just kind of went out and did whatever the fuck.

CHIAKI: Yeah. Just to denote Japanese fan reactions to the show, it was literally called a shit anime. And this was probably one of the first cases where people called it lovingly a shit anime, a kuso-anime. Yeah, Panty & Stocking walked so Pop Team Epic could run, but also so that Panty & Stocking could later fly in 2023.

VRAI: What—?

CHIAKI: [Chuckles]

MERU: I mean, it really is that Domino’s meme, like the small one is Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt and the big one is Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt.

CHIAKI: [Laughs]

MERU: It really just is that.

VRAI: All right, so what do they do? We’ve only got a few minutes left, but what do? Are they going to redesign Garterbelt? Are they…?

MERU: Here’s the Occam’s razor: it’s going to be in the same vein as the show was originally. And I think people are going to have to go into it knowing that a lot of the jokes… Now I don’t want to say that for the dub because we have no clue what that’s going to be like. But I think the main content is going to be what it is going to be in 2023.


MERU: And that’s a bit bitter. It’s bittersweet in a way, because I would love for the show to grow out of some of its bad elements, but I also think there is an argument to be made that then it becomes a very different show. And it’s not… [Sighs] 

I think that there has to be space for anime that are doing something crass and offensive and wrong and are being unabashed about that. I think there has to be a space to have the conversation about that, but also, there kind of has to be an understanding of “This is probably gonna be what it’s going to be.” It’s going to be the sum of its parts, and that’s not going to change. And it hurts a little, because I’m like, mm, I really wish it would!

VRAI: I want to hold it to the standard of something like… You know, I’m a big fan of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which, the first season of that is rough. But they’ve really blossomed in terms of writing a show about horrible characters in a way that has really matured in its understanding of how to write that joke and who to aim the joke at. And I want that for Panty & Stocking, but also, I’ve watched a lot of Imaishi anime and I’m not sure he has that level of skill.

MERU: I think that Panty & Stocking is kind of gonna be like how I felt about rewatching Parks and Rec in 2020, which is that you want to say this is a show that gets better, but ultimately it’s a show that kind of still hates fat people by the end, right? 

I think the jokes that exist in Panty & Stocking in 2010 might be different in 2023. I fully expect them to reference the pandemic in this new production, too. I think that the kind of crassness is going to be a little different flavor, but I think unfortunately, for better or for worse, it’s going to probably stay the course. 

And that sucks, right? That sucks a little because I do think you need nostalgia to a great degree to make the original series work. That’s why I ultimately still like it is: I have a lot of nostalgia. But I think if I didn’t— How do you feel, Vrai? [Chuckles] How do you feel?

VRAI: I feel like I did this for work.

CHIAKI: [Chuckles]

MERU: Mm-kay. Mm-kay, yeah, that tracks. That tracks.

VRAI: But, I mean, I was serious: those nine or ten episodes that I liked, I really was quite impressed with. And I am glad I watched those, and now I feel duty bound to watch season 2 just because of that fucking cliffhanger. Although if season 2 doesn’t open up immediately with Brief getting the last piece of Panty back together and it’s like “All right, we’re going from here,” I will flip a table, because I do not want her to be literally put in the fridge for half of a series because Brief is not somebody I want to follow as the protagonist. That sucks.

CHIAKI: My call is nothing matters, like nothing mattered in the first 13 episodes. They’re gonna just pick up where nothing happened in the first episode of the second season. That’s my called shot. And I want to be hopeful that the writing becomes a little bit more updated and able to kind of finesse itself into the 2020s. I’m not exactly confident. But hopefully… I just hope that there’s been some growth.

MERU: I’d like this series to prove me wrong about what I expect from a season 2. I would really like that. I would really like that.

VRAI: Please let the series go on pretending that it has no idea what trans people are, because it can’t.

MERU: Please.


VRAI: It simply cannot. I already almost had a heart attack when I saw the name of the Transformers parody episode, and then it was just about robot sex jokes. You know what? I don’t need that stress again.

MERU: All I really want is another music video, more Scanty and Kneesocks… I feel like they’re probably going to do “High School Nudical 2” because High School Musical is kind of a weird meme now, maybe. Maybe they’ll do that. And yeah, no transphobia. Don’t add that in. Don’t add that in. We’re suffering enough.

CHIAKI: Yeah. Yeah.

VRAI: Boy, are we. And also, now that Stocking is a demon, maybe she and one of Scanty and/or Kneesocks could do a kiss. I would like that.

MERU: Look, Kneesocks, I ship them so hard.

CHIAKI: [Chuckles]

VRAI: Yo. Yo yo yo yo yo, send me your fan art!

MERU: Yeah! Yeah, good taste! Good taste.

CHIAKI: I also hope that this updates a lot of the references, the homages, because cartooning on the U.S. side has increasingly also made homages to anime as well. So I want to see that interplay of… what if they made a Gumball reference? That would be pretty funny.

MERU: Yo! That would be good. That would be good.

CHIAKI: Right. I think that would be a good fit.

VRAI: Honestly, yeah, that might get me through quite a few episodes, looking for the new homages, because that was one of my favorite parts of watching, just seeing what they were watching and interested in.

MERU: That would be really interesting because a lot has happened in the 12 years since this first came out. Yeah, I’d like to see. What new homages could there be? Ooh!

VRAI: Surely an Adventure Time or Steven Universe one. Surely.

CHIAKI: Mm-hm.

MERU: Yeah. Yeah.

VRAI: All right. Any last stray thoughts before we wrap this up for the day?

MERU: I think that this is worth watching if you’re curious about this very specific part of global internet culture, especially through a North American lens with the dub. But I also think, hm, don’t go out of your way to re-up your Funimation account for this. [Chuckles]

VRAI: Probably not.

CHIAKI: Remember: it’s on Crunchyroll.

MERU: Oh, it’s on Crunchyroll. Yeah.

VRAI: Yeah, yeah, just @ me on Twitter and I will tell you the nine or ten episodes I liked and you can just watch those.

CHIAKI: And you can ask me on Twitter so I can tell you which episodes I liked, which are probably the other episodes compared to Vrai’s.

VRAI: [Laughs]

MERU: I was just gonna say, you can ask me on Twitter for my recommendation of what TeddyLoid music you should listen to after watching this series.

CHIAKI: That too.

VRAI: There you go.

CHIAKI: That too. I will send you a screenshot of Scanty and Kneesocks and a YouTube link to some music.

MERU: The good stuff.


VRAI: And this, AniFam, has been an object lesson on how you can like something a lot and still talk critically about the aspects of it that are harmful or upsetting. We hope you have enjoyed our skit.

MERU: And even have fun doing it.

VRAI: Mm-hm!

CHIAKI: You had fun, Vrai?

VRAI: You know what? I did!

CHIAKI: Okay, good.

VRAI: I mean, again, my partner might come and find y’all while you’re sleeping because she very much did have to suffer through some of this while I was watching it in the living room…

MERU: Oh, I’m so sorry.


MERU: I’m so sorry.

VRAI: … and vocally resented it, which is fair. But no, I had a good time and I am glad to have seen this as a historical object, because that’s the kind of weirdo that I am. 

And you know what? If season 2 turns out to suck, we’ll always have more Pop Team Epic.

MERU: That is true.

VRAI: All right, thank you so much for joining us, AniFam. If you liked what you heard, you can always find more from us by going to or finding the podcast on SoundCloud or your podcatcher of choice.

If you really liked what you heard, you can go to our Patreon, where even $1 a month really helps us to continue paying our contributors and our staff. And we really do appreciate the help and we are hoping to find some new patrons because we want to be able to pay our contributors more. That is something that we want to be able to do to honor people’s hard works and because life is hard and we want to be able to pay people more money.

We also have a store at [if you’d] like to get some cool merch for the progressive geek on-the-go.

You can find us on social media on Tumblr at animefeminist and on Twitter @AnimeFeminist. And we also have Mastodon @animefeminist if you are on that website instead of Twitter.

CHIAKI: We should have a cohost.


VRAI: You know? Why not? I already update five different social media things every time we breathe. So, thank you so much for joining us, AniFam. And in conclusion…

MERU and VRAI: Repent, motherfucker!


MERU: Why did I make the gun with my hands?

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