- if she is posing in a certain way (e.g. bending over, spreading her legs while seated, standing or hanging upside down)
- if wind blows her skirt up
- if the photographer/videographer chooses a worm's eye view camera angle.
The girl or woman might be embarrassed if her panties are seen unintendedy, or she might just laugh, especially in the wind blowing case.
Panty shots were a regular feature of child-friendly comics (esp. Little Girl strips) during the so-called Golden Age. Cartoonists of the interwar period normally drew little girls according to a well established formula, which included (amongst other things), drastically abbreviated hemlines revealing plain white briefs. Needless to say, images of this nature were meant to be cute rather than risque, although Panty-spanking was often used as a form of comedy relief in many of the better known strips, including Little Iodine, Nancy, Little Lulu etc.
The convention was practiced well into the late seventies in various Harvey Comics titles (Little Audrey, Little Dot et al), but made only sporadic appearances during the eighties. Since the early nineties, traditional panty-spanking images have fallen out of favor with mainstream audiences, due in part to such material being deemed politically incorrect.
The rise of the WWW has prompted a minor renaissance of panty-spanking imagery amongst online SP communities, although it is generally considered the 'poor cousin' to the more popular BB variant. On the other hand, classic panty-spanking panels are held in high regard by many older enthusiasts for their unique and often nostalgic 'flavor.'
Manga and animeEdit
In manga and anime, panty shots are a very common kind of fan service, refered to in Japanese as "Panchira." Although the term actually refers to a "brief glimpse" of "panty", the word may be applied to any image in which a young girl's briefs are exposed for any length of time. The convention was (most probably) established in Japanese comics by Osamu Tezuka during the mid-fifties and transferred to the animated medium in 1963 with the original broadcasting of Tetsuwan Atom (Astroboy). Tezuka almost certainly borrowed the idea from Western comics and cartoons - panty shots featured regularly in both Disney and Fleischer Studios productions, and Tezuka was, by his own admission, a great admirer of both.
This influence extended to the design of his most famous female character, Astroboy's robotic sister, Uran (Astrogirl). As noted by numerous animation historians, Uran's appearance borrowed heavily from 1930s cartoon characters such as Minnie Mouse and Betty Boop, both of which were notable for their ongoing panty displays. Possible later influences include Little Lulu and Little Audrey, internationally recognised Little girl characters (though no direct evidence indicates direct copying on Tezuka's part).
Due to Tezuka's overwhelming impact on Japanese popular culture, panchira became a common practice in manga and anime during the 1960s, although the convention was confined mainly to the children's genre. As with their Western counterparts, shoujo characters were frequently represented as cute and naive; innocent panty-shots served to reinforce the image. Consequently, such depictions were considered kawaii (cute) rather than ecchi (risque) at the time. Towards the end of the sixties, however, a hint of sexuality had begun to creep into manga aimed at a slightly older demographic, particularly in titles featuring adolescent female characters. By the 1970s, a younger generation of mangaka such as Go Nagai were exploiting the voyeuristic connotations of the panty shot.
Ecchi-style panchira soon made the transition to anime, figuring largely in mahou shoujo (magic girl) programs like Cutey Honey and Majokko Megu-Chan. The convention was popular enough to spread to many other genres, even those seemingly devoid of sexual content (such as domestic comedy, martial arts and even 'sports romance'). While this increasingly voyeuristic approach led to some controversies during the early seventies, fanservice was mostly viewed as a harmless diversion by the Japanese public. In the present day, panchira is an almost-universal element of Japanese animation. Ironically, the classic American panty shot - once overwhelmingly common in Western comics and cartoons - has all but vanished from the popular media.
In American cartoons, a girl wearing a dress hanging upside down voluntarily (hanging on monkey bar or tree limb) or involuntarily (caught in snare, foot caught in hot air balloon tow rope) were subjected to the cartoon license of her skirt remaining in place to keep her panties covered. (e.g. The Batman episode "Love Is A Croc" has Killer Croc holding Baby Dahl upside down after she double crosses him—with Dahl upside down, her skirt remains in place but thanks to an aerial camera shot we still see her panties.) Even in family-friendly live-action fare, steps had to be procured to prevent graituitous shots. In the 2002 live-action Scooby-Doo movie, Linda Cardellini (as Velma) had her skirt taped to her legs in a scene where she is hanging upside down by one foot in a scaffold chain. Apart from that, panty shots in American cartoons were limited to fleeting shots of cheerleader bloomers and maybe a glimpse due to a skirt being physically forced up. Cartoon Network's "Ed, Edd & Eddy" did have a girl character, Nazz, who in two episodes was seen solely in a camisole, bed slippers and panties for extended minutes.
The wording of the 1954 Comics Code effectively forbade the depiction of sexual activity in comics, along with extreme violence, horror and bloodshed. Significantly, panty-shots and spanking scenes involving underaged girls were considered completely acceptable under the Code's policies.
- Pantsu Wiki, a database on anime & manga scenes where characters' underwear (usually panties) is visible, at Wikia
- Pantsu Chan, a wiki dedicated to panchira and panty shots in manga, comics and cartoons