I was having trouble sleeping, and I was thinking about panties.
Why are anime and manga so obsessed with underwear? In America we don’t have that kind of fascination. (Or at least… not such a public fascination?) Underwear is seen as gross and dirty. It’s just one step removed from poop.
I was reading this book a few months ago, “The Book of Youkai” by Michael Foster. Great book. One of the majors themes of the book is that youkai appear in “in-between” places, like the twilight or early morning, or the bank of a river. One of the quotes I remember most described Hanako-san, the ghost girl who haunts the toilet on the third floor of the school:
…A toilet— with its hole leading to somewhere else— can be thought of as a kind of portal to another world.
It’s kind of the same thing with panties. They’re a portal to another world.
Perhaps that explains part of the fascination.
We see a number of cases where youkai inhabit panties as well— like the chapter of Youkai Shoujo I just read which made me think about this in the first place, or Sora no Otoshimono.
It’s also well known that by placing a pair of panties on one’s head, one can transform into a hero. Again, their key function is retained as a portal to another world.
I feel pretty confident I’m going to wake up tomorrow and feel really dumb for writing this. Oh well.