Best of the Cons Part 1: 8 Standout TV Shows, Cosplays, Games and More from 2011
There are still a few more conventions left for 2011, but it's not too early to begin the countdown of the best of the superfan scene. This week, I'm counting down a few of the most popular trends spotted at conventions this year. This list avoids perennial favorites (i.e. Star Wars, Star Trek and Dr. Who). Some of the entries have been popular for a while, but the fandoms surrounding the franchises are more visible this year.
Shannon Cottrell My Little Pony fans at Anime Expo
8. Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt
Shannon Cottrell Kneesocks spotted at Pacific Media Expo 2011
There was no doubt that Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt would be a hit. The 13-episode anime was produced by Gainax, the company responsible for fan favorites like Neon Genesis Evangelion, FLCL and Gurren Lagann. It plays like a parody of U.S. animation, complete with a dog that looks like Gir from Invader ZIM and animation that often resembles the style of artists like Craig McCracken and Genndy Tartakovsky. It's also an incredibly randy show about two angels who are kicked out of heaven. One is obsessed with sex. The other is really into sweets.
Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt ran in Japan last fall with translated episodes streaming on Crunchyroll almost simultaneously. It was an immediate hit with U.S. anime fans. It didn't take long for people to show up at conventions dressed as sisters Panty and Stocking and the reverend Garterbelt. Soon, characters like geeky friend Brief and enemies Scanty and Kneesocks were showing up at the conventions as well. This year, Chocolate Covered Cosplay hosted a Panty & Stocking dance at Pacific Media Expo. Yes, it's popular enough to earn its own theme parties.
Funimation picked up the license for the series in the U.S., but the DVD release won't be out until next year. This can only mean one thing. Panty, Stocking, Garterbelt and the rest will only be more popular next year.