The eponymous Panty and Stocking

A Cult Classic Anime Is Coming Back After Almost 15 Years

At nearly every level, Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt is a fascinating series with a fascinating history. Released in 2010, based on the manga by TAGRO, it became an instant cult classic that, despite ending on a cliffhanger, seemed doomed to only one season. Until recently.

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There are so many reasons Panty and Stocking stands out from the pack. While more and more American series over the last two decades have borrowed more and more from anime (see: Avatar the Last Airbender, Blue-Eyed Samurai, etc.), Panty and Stocking goes fully the opposite direction. It’s a Japanese series that deftly weaves through several art styles, including more “conventional” anime styles and even practical effects, but its baseline art style is clearly influenced by the likes of The Powerpuff Girls.

Additionally, Panty and Stocking is notoriously raunchy, but in a way that feels very self-conscious. The titular Panty and Stocking are angels that got kicked out of Heaven for poor behavior, which should clue you in a bit on what you’re in for. If you don’t know why they’re called “Panty and Stocking,” well …

Will there ever be a season 2?

Produced by Gainax, Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt premiered in 2010 with one season. Since then, there’s been a whole lot of nothing. Fans presumed the show was sadly dead … until they got a surprise announcement.

During their panel at Anime Expo in 2022, Studio Trigger announced that there would finally be more Panty and Stocking. There wasn’t a trailer, but considering the announcement came a full twelve years after the first season, fans were overjoyed. Panty and Stocking even began trending on social media.

The trailer for season two, entitled New Panty and Stocking, finally came out at the following Anime Expo in 2023. There’s still no release date for New Panty and Stocking, but it’s definitely coming.

Now that your anxieties have been cleared and it feels like a miracle has been delivered, there’s a couple followup questions which might be arising in your mind. Why did so many years elapse between the end of season one and the announcement of season two? And didn’t Gainax produce season one? So why is season two being produced by Trigger? That’s all deeply intertwined with the story of Studio Trigger.

But our story starts elsewhere, at Gainax. Gainax is mostly famous for Neon Genesis Evangelion, which was created by its co-founder Hideaki Anno, who proceeded to leave Gainax in 2007. But Gainax had some series success stories in the 2000s, including FLCL. Their other big hit from that decade was Gurren Lagann (2007), which marked the series director debut of Hiroyuki Imaishi, who’d been at Gainax since Evangelion. After Gurren Lagann, Imaishi’s next project was Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt, which released in 2010.

Panty and Stocking would be Imaishi’s final work for Gainax. In 2011, he and fellow Gainax employee Masahiko Ōtsuka left the company to form Studio Trigger. Gurren Lagann became so informative for Trigger’s stylebook—which was fully in form by its first series, Kill la Kill (2013)—that I and many others spent entire years of our lives assuming Gurren Lagann was Trigger.

Trigger became regarded as the successor to Gainax and proceeded to kick ass. They’ve produced such hits as Delicious in Dungeon, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, Little Witch Academia, Promare, and more. Meanwhile, Gainax fell onto hard times shortly after Imaishi’s departure. It became plagued with financial scandals, and the studio was bought out in 2018 and transformed into a subsidiary animation studio called Gaina.

Still, Gainax owned the rights (and royalties) to all of the series that were created under its watch. This became an issue for Anno and Neon Genesis Evangelion, for Production I.G and FLCL—and for Trigger and Panty and Stocking. Gainax finalized the sale of Panty and Stocking back to Imaishi absurdly recently, in 2023. That’s after the first announcement of New Panty and Stocking!

So the huge gap between FLCL seasons happened for the exact same reason as the gap between Panty and Stocking seasons. Don’t you hate it when you can’t shake an old boss?

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Kirsten Carey
Kirsten (she/her) is a contributing writer at the Mary Sue specializing in anime and gaming. In the last decade, she's also written for Channel Frederator (and its offshoots), Screen Rant, and more. In the other half of her professional life, she's also a musician, which includes leading a very weird rock band named Throwaway. When not talking about One Piece or The Legend of Zelda, she's talking about her cats, Momo and Jimbei.