When I first started watching this series, I had very high hopes for this, due to many of my friends saying great things about this series. You can safely say that I was not disappointed.
This series follows a member of the Mithril organization, Sousuke Sagara. He has been assigned with the task of protecting a high school girl, Chidori Kaname, from terrorists and other bad people. To do this, he has to enroll in her high school. Of course, when Sousuke is a stiff with no experience or knowledge whatsoever when it comes to socializing with other people, trouble is predestined to arise.
of this anime series is pretty good. In one moment, you're watching an intense and serious battle situation, where giant robot fights it out with futuristic technology, and in the next, you're watching a really good high school comedy. This series changes between those two a lot, and it's done well, because you get a mix of genres, varying from mecha to high school comedy at its best. This makes the story really enjoyable. There's one flaw, however, and that's the all to open ending of the series. But then again, it has a sequel, so I'm okay with that.
I really loved the animation style in this series. It didn't have a lot of unique features, if any at all, so I can't and won't give it a top score. There was however no noticeable flaws, and some very cool CGI at times (usually I'm not a fan of CGI in anime, but it was done pretty well here).
The soundtrack of this anime was, well, pretty average. It can boast about good OP and ED themes, but aside that, it's not very much to listen to at all.
The series feature a lot of various characters, from the un-killable bad guy to the stiff, no-experience-in-socializing military kid and the ever so normal teenage girl. There's a lot of other various characters (like a pacifistic girl who's the leader of the good guys' organization (at least she's the captain of their main submarine)), and the woman-loving, easy-going guy. Yes, the characters can seem very unoriginal, but I still enjoyed watching them. There was not a lot of character development present; aside a teeny bit on Chidori and Sousuke's part.
All in all, this was a very enjoyable anime series, and I'm keeping my hopes up for the sequel, as well as the spin-off. If you enjoy some good action as well as high school humor, you should definitely watch this series.
To 'Not Helpful' voters (and you 'Helpful' voters too): Feedback greatly appreciated =)
Despite not being much of a mecha fan, I decided to check this series out after a lot of strong recommendations from friends and online sites alike. I was expecting a compelling story, jaw-dropping action scenes, and decent humor. Those predictions went zero for three.
Instead, I got a series which seems to have no clue what kind of story it wants to tell. Is it a romance story framed around action and comedy? Or is it an action series with comedy and romance thrown in? This synthesis can work, as long as the director is talented enough, and as long as putting these
different elements together actually makes sense. Here, it doesn't.
It's ridiculously contrived; there's no logical reason for a secret military organization to protect a Japanese schoolgirl, there's no explanation for why they would do so by any means other than kidnapping her, and there's no attempt at justifying a valuable military agent being used for that purpose. The whole pay-off here is supposed to be the humor in a naive member of the Special Forces going undercover in a Japanese high school.
Now, if this set-up was treated as something absurd in its own right, with the fourth wall being broken, it could work. But therein lies the problem. It's treated seriously, just like a 14 year old, pink-haired, cute girl with giant eyes and a soft voice being the supreme commander of our secret military organization is treated with stone-faced sincerity, also.
Then, the viewer is suddenly expected to care when the show takes a serious turn, and our Japanese schoolgirl heroine Chidori is kidnapped by an evil terrorist. It just doesn't work together; either stick with a humorous, light-hearted comedy approach, or go with a suspenseful action series instead.
Worse still, neither the comedy, action, nor the romance in this series is particularly good.
The humor was bland. A lot of canned, frequently repeated jokes from live action films, and too much of it based on a clueless military protagonist who doesn't understand civilians, a running gag which wears thin quickly. Most disappointingly, the show at no point mocks its own absurd premise.
The cast is filled with shallow, cliche characters, stereotypical and retarded anime conventions (high school girls beat up a highly trained military operative), and perplexing and unreasonable events. One can't make a solid romance in such circumstances, either.
The action was marginal at best, and an awful, mailed in job at the worst. The hand-to-hand fighting was stiff, awkward, and is worse than at least half the action anime from the nineties, let alone this decade. The mecha action was worse than any Gundam series from the mid 90's onward.
The positives of the series is that it has good pacing and at least tries to inject some comedy into the work. The animation is also nice. That's about it. Don't believe the rest of the hype.
Basically, Sargeant Sagara Sousuke, from the anti-terrorism organization Mithril, goes undercover to protect Chidori Kaname, a girl who holds the key to "Black Technology" and is targeted by a terrorist and mastermind criminal. The twist is that Sousuke is socially retarded and he enjoys using his military knowledge in everyday life which causes all kinds of problems and hilarious situations. This definitely was not one of the more believable shows I’ve encountered. How could one of the world’s most feared and professional military units have a 16 year old commander who tolerates abuse from her peers and subordinates? If you can get past
this (I did), the storyline was pretty good.
As expected from GONZO, the animation was good. The character and mecha designs weren’t the most original I’ve encountered. One good point worth mentioning was the contrasting choices of colors. The battle/war scenes were expectedly dark and brooding, whilst the naïve and cheerful school environment was vibrantly bright. It was very nice and clean, and very colorful with the variety of characters' hair colors.The unimpressove cg for the submarine was the only thing that bothered me though. Most of the animation was pretty good, but it didn't really leave a big impression on me.
The OP and ED were extremely pleasant songs. The ED was especially serene. Even though I didn’t listen to it in full after all 24 episodes, it definitely was near to that. The voice actors also really fit their characters. From the emotional Chidori to serious Sousuke.
This is the forte of FMP. Each and every character is distinct and very likeable. It would be hard not to find a character in this show that you would not like. Also, the chemistry between Chidori and Sousuke really drives the plot forward. My favorite characters have to be Chidori, Sousuke and Testarossa. Chidori looks like an angel but can be a tough opponent the next moment. Enter Sousuke the professional teenage soldier who has no clue how to live as a normal student. Hence he keeps seeing a terrorist in almost every person, leading him to save her many times from things harmless. It was a joy to watch their relationship develop. I can't quite put my finger on why I like Testarossa but her being there added something to both Chidori and Sousuke characters that would otherwise be missing. She is also a solid character by herself, caring for her crew and trying to do the right thing but she is clumsy to the core and I suspect a hopeless romantic.
Great series and theres still more! Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid still awaits and it has a bundle of surprises just like this series. I couldn't stop watching this series even if my arms were cut off. Pretty grotesque but thats how fun this anime was. I loved the bipolar nature of this series. One episode a light-hearted high school comedy, the next a serious action adventure.
I would recommend this without any hesitation. A fun, enjoyable and entertaining watch.
-- [ Full Metal Panic :: Eps: 24 :: Overall: 9 ] -
Full Metal Panic. Now, this is something which you will want to see! It's a very good mixture of humour, action and suspense. In fact, it balanced everything very well so that the anime is neither too heavy, nor too light. It's serious, without being too serious, if you see what I mean. Well, there aren't many things to criticize about Full Metal Panic (FMP), rather there are many things to compliment. Up to now, I found nothing particularly bad. Save perhaps for the lack of details here and there. But if you
think a bit, or rewatch it, everything becomes clear. In brief, Animation is great. Sound is very satisfactory. Story is great. Characters are very detailed. And the enjoyment is ever present! What more to ask for? Let me start the detailed review then.
- [ Animation = 9 ] -
FMP was one of the first animes I saw. It must have been like 5 years before. But when I started watching, I found the animation extremely good. The colours were vivid, the play on lights was well made, the choice of colours rendered the moods well, and the overall animation was fluid. FMP is about mechas and other machinery. These were well detailed and very well designed, in terms of futuristic ideas and components. The characters too were well drawn, the eyes a bit too big sometimes which ruins the realism. However, they are cute, specially the girls. There are hardly any frame-reuse or things like that. The scenes too were good, although they are hardly animated (if you compare to the likes of Black Lagoon). However, FMP has a good standard. And also, note the use of CGI here and there, specially for the Dannan submarine and underwater scenes. For once, the CGI is good, and not bizarre like some animes portray. There are hardly any glitches in the animation, earning FMP a 9 for animation.
- [ Sound = 9] -
Sound rarely gets my attention. Here is was worth it. The music used is lively and suits the moods well. They can switch from heavy to lively in an instant, and through the use of sound effects, the transition is smooth. They did a good job on the soundworks for FMP. The OP and ED are good, although I have a preference for the OP's music. There are not much in-episode music, but when they come, they are good!
The voice actors too did their job, and did a great work at displaying the various emotions of the chracters, from the stern Sagara to the lively Chidori. It might just be me, but sometimes, I found the tones just slightly exaggerated. (However, this seems normal since all of Chidori's moods are exaggerated!)
- [ Story = 9 ] -
FMP packs a great story. I've seen animes revolve around mecha, displaying a wide array of fights and explosions, without a really good story. However, FMP did well again here.
The story is that of Kaname Chidori who is one of the Whispered, but who lives as a normal schoolgirl, unknowing of her own powers. The Whispered have special abilities that allow them to interact with machines and possess enormous amounts of knowledge on various things. They can design extremely complex machinery with their knowledge. Now, other organisations are after the Whispered to gain access to their knowledge, for the development of weapons and such. Sagara Souske is given the mission to protect Chidori, along with his comrades Melissa Mao and Weber Kruz. Sagara is a millitary expert and extremely proficient at his trade. He works under the command of Mithril, a high-tech mercenary organization.
The mission seems simple, but for Sagara who is foreign to normal school-life, things can get pretty dirty. Chidori things Sagara is stalking him, whereas he thinks he's protecting her. Expect lots of humour, ecchiness and fan-hits. Yes, paper-fan hits!
As you see, the story is quite complex and lively, and it ends beautifully. Not only that, there are 2 sequels afterwards, and 3 OVAs! If you want more FMP afterwards, check out FMP: Fumoffu (Joke episodes and fun) and FMP: The Second Raid (The second volet of FMP). The OVAs are pretty much humouristic than story-oriented.
I gave it an 8 because sometimes, the plot can be just a bit difficult to understand due to a lack of clear details.
- [ Character = 9 ] -
The characters in FMP, although not many, are very diversed. Sagara is too stern. Chidori is extremely lively. Weber is too relaxed. Mao is a perv. Tessa is an all-out Sagara admirer. Sagara? He lives in a nutshell like a hermit! :P
The characters and their behavior are very varied, and through interaction with each other, they evolve (no they are NOT pokemon!) and become better. It's quite fun to see this evolution, specially the haphazard one of Sagara!
Their respective backgrounds are also well introduced. Nothing is rushed and we are given enough details about them. Not too much (since the rest comes in the sequels). We also get to see the strange behavior of Sagara, like carrying a big arsenal of guns wherever he goes, and being over-protective of Chidori, who doesn't know she's protected. All these add to the fun!
- [ Value and Enjoyment = 9 ] -
FMP is really funny sometimes. The constant blunders of Sagara will always get you laughing. However, if you are looking for suspense and mystery, you'll also find it in FMP, when the stuff about Whispered comes up. If you are looking for mecha action and fights, you will be satisfied too!
There is also a fair bit of ecchiness for those who like it.. Also, expect violence and fights.
The rewatch value lies in going back to the fun parts of FMP, and also to check the mysteries again, just to get a better understanding.
- [ Conclusion ] -
FMP deserves a watch. It's a good anime, and well balanced at that. It's sequel too are good. So give it a try and you will not regret it IMHO...
Full Metal Panic is a series that tries to please two kinds of viewer, and as a result, succeeds at neither.
The problem with it, in general, is that Full Metal Panic is both a serious militaristic action series and a high school comedy at the same time. Now, I've seen quite a few things over my years that should not go together, but do anyway. This, however, is not one of them. The two of them are essentially a massive clash, rather than a well-mixed combination.
The premise of Full Metal Panic is this: Kaname Chidori is one of the "Whispered", a group of people who
have the power to generate information... or something along those lines. The details are kept vague, for the most part. As a result, terrorist organisations are after her, leading the military superpower Mithril, belonging to no particular government, to send Sosuke Sagara, our main character, into her school disguised as a student to watch over her. Hijinks ensue.
The high school comedy side of the series is lacking, to say the least. It's mostly the standard material you would expect to see in that kind of series, mainly humour based around comedic misunderstandings, very little of which is really funny at all. Played for laughs most of the time is Sosuke's complete maladjustment to normal society, which is usually more cringeworthy than it is entertaining.
The military half of the series is considerably more interesting, and are very true to a military style of series, and certainly fit the scene, whatever it may be. They use the perfect blend of dialogue, action, drama and realism to keep those episodes afloat. One of the things I like more about the series is the antagonist Gauron. The pure nihilism of his actions is always entertaining, if questionable. While the questionableness of his actions is, in one way, a good thing, what I refer more to is that you really have to wonder why in the hell he's doing them. One does not simply kidnap, murder, maime, hijack and possibly rape just for the fuck of it, and his reason for doing so isn't given passing mention in the series. The sequel, Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid clears a bit more on the subject, though it is still annoying to watch the first season without his motives brought into question.
A big problem with the series is the pacing. As one might expect, the constant switching every other episode from wacky comedy to serious action doesn't really work very well. Interesting parts of the story are kept few and far between, and a large number of the episodes in the show are thoroughly pointless.
Finally, my biggest complaint is the characters. Sosuke Sagara, as of the first season, is a character some enjoyed and others hated, and I have to say that I'm in the second boat with this. His actions, as said before, are generally quite cringeworthy for the comedy side of things, and in the more serious parts of the series he is as much as you would expect of the perfect soldier: a complete tool devoid of personality. Thankfully, the series that follow the first fix these problems and then some, but in the first season he can be really painful to watch. The supporting cast is also horribly one-dimensional. Kaname Chidori is the tsundere, Kurz Weber is the handsome lecher, Melissa Mao is the action chick, and Teletha "Tessa" Testerosa is the moe-girl. While Gauron is an excellent antagonist, he really doesn't outweigh the bad cast on show here.
In technical terms, Full Metal Panic isn't terrible, but not particularly great. The animation is OK, but there's a lot of CG scattered around the place. The music is unremarkable, and the voice acting isn't particularly great in either language. I wouldn't particularly recommend either track over the other. I'd say this kind of show works better in dub (the military side of it, anyway), so that would probably be a good choice, but if you generally prefer subs then you really aren't missing anything.
Overall, despite being pretty clearly flawed, it's hard to call Full Metal Panic outright bad. It's watchable on its own, in particular with the help of Gauron, and the series that followed (Fummofu and The Second Raid) are more than excellent enough to make this season worth watching just for the sake of watching those.
By no means a bad series, but very hit-and-miss. Worth watching if only to see the sequels.
English Dub: 5/10
I'm strongly of the opinion that Full Metal Panic is a wasted opportunity. It takes an interesting universe and an interesting political situation which would later be modified and evoked by Gundam 00, and then doesn't quite know if it wants to be a real robot show, a super robot show or a high-school comedy.
My main problem with the mech combat is the "gimmick" of the main units - the Lambda Driver. Essentially it's a thing which makes the impossible possible, acting variously as a force field, an energy weapon, a TRANS-AM style turbo boost and more. It doesn't work too well in my opinion.
Take it out and you've got the potential for exciting mecha fights ala Front Mission or Armored Core, which is an angle not really explored. Leave it in and fights tend to devolve into shouting, clashing barriers and stalemates.
The main villain for much of the show is an easily hated psycho in the vein of Yazan Gable, Ali Al-Sarshes etc, (female equivalents of course being Anemone, Cynthia Lane and Marida Cruz) with the added bonus of him being smug as hell and very powerful. The parts where he's scheming and fighting are generally very good, although as mentioned before the Lambda Driver makes the fights a little predictable by removing any chance of it being a fair fight.
However, for a roughly equal amount of the show FMP is a romantic comedy about a socially inept boy and a tsundere schoolgirl in the vein of Asuka Langley Soryu. It's not as funny as it thinks it is (it takes the second series, Fumoffu!, to really make the comedy work by removing the mecha parts) and it sometimes seems interminable, relying on a couple of jokes that don't really go anywhere.
If you really like high school comedy, you'll probably like these parts. I found they went on a bit long and ultimately weren't as funny as they could have been - and when the comedy mixes with the serious plot it simply leads to characters acting in completely ridiculous ways that sometimes make horror movie victims seem smart.
What does make FMP enjoyable are the side characters on the mecha half of the show. Tessa and the submarine crew, as well as Sousuke's wingmen, are consistently awesome. There's a good character dynamic set up and I found myself looking forward to their screentime more than the main plot until the very final arc, in which all hell breaks loose.
I think if FMP better balanced the Kindergarten Cop-esque high school parts with the mecha fights, and got rid of the Lambda Driver's ludicrous capabilities in order to make fights more interesting, it would be a good show. However, for me, the slightly dodgy pacing caused by the inability to smoothly mix the two genres and the at times uninteresting mech combat make it only an above average show.
Full Metal Panic! is the light-hearted story of a military teen with aspergers syndrome who teams up with a high school girl with ADHD and hilarity ensues.
At least that would be the story if there were no robots in it.
This anime fits the bill of being your typical high-school-romantic-comedy with the only major difference being that it's also a mecha anime. The story mostly revolves around the two characters Sousuke Sagara and Kaname Chidori.
Sousuke I-got-a-stick-up-my-ass Sagara is a mercenary working for the top secret military organization MITHRIL who has been assigned to protect Kaname from a host of terrorists and governments who want to
kidnap her. Part of what makes the comedy in this story is the fact that as a hardened military veteran at the age of seventeen Sousuke's understandably unable to cope with civilian life in a High School setting. Though when it comes to social etiquette and cues he seems so dense that light appears to bend around him. Not only that, but his military discipline seems to make him so uptight he'd shit diamonds if you fed him enough coal for a week. The writers on this series tend to overplay these two aspects of the character way too much unintentionally making him the most socially retarded protagonist since Shinji Ikari.
Kaname I-just-did-a-line-of-coke Chidori is the ala cart Tsundere girl in the series. So high-maintenance that she crosses into total-bitch territory a few times, her job is to adjust Sousuke to the peaceful life of Japan while making sure both of them don't get killed in the process. She is selfish, vain and very self-conscience. So, basically your typical high-school girl. Her manic behavior would be a major turn off if it weren't for the fact that she is also extremely good looking. Like Sousuke, the novelty of her character runs out of steam quickly and almost makes you wish Sousuke would just throw her to the wolves so as not to deal with her incessant harping.
Though I do give this anime a lot of shit I will concede the fact that the concept is pretty decent as well as the terrorist sub-plots throughout. I'll also mention that I do in fact like the manga which is what got me to watch the anime in the first place. However, Sousuke and Kaname, two of the major pillars that make Full Metal Panic! an action-comedy both fail to deliver on the comedy part (no thanks to the writers). The jokes eventually become self-referential and go from being the selling point to the crutch of the show, much like a dog gnawing on it's own leg to get out of a bear trap.
I give this one a five out of ten if only for trying to combine mecha, romance and high school comedy into one show, despite in my opinion failing at doing both and unfortunately creating a total mediocrity as a result. This also is because it falls into the category among anime fans of either being totally awesome or a bag of shit. Truth be told it's somewhere in the middle. Love may bloom on the battle field with this one, but watch out: it's a flower that comes with thorns.
"Full Metal Panic" and its sequels are a couple of my friends' favourite anime. But to be perfectly honest, I really don't see what all the fuss is about. Although the presentation is pretty shiny (it's GONZO after all), and the execution competent, for me, this is mostly just a bog standard action anime with some comedy moments (only some of which are funny) and some nice gripping scenes sprinkled over it. But the key word there is "mostly"... and more on this later.
You've probably seen the type before. You have a military organisation, and they go on the various missions, always running into this
seemingly unkillable boomerang of a bad guy who happens to be a bit insane and wants to destroy the world or something. At the end of the show, you get the obligatory final show down between the hero and that insane villain. Most of these missions are enjoyable at the time of watching, but ultimately forgettable (in fact I have actually forgotten them), but one does stick out. It's where they go on a desert mission that takes place in the the main character Sagara Sousuke's homeland. The internal conflicts within the mission team and Sousuke's meeting with an old acquaintance managed to spice up the flavour quite a bit and put that extra edge of tension as well as emotion onto the story and the action.
The story in "Full Metal Panic" is kinda incomplete, with a lot of it involving the "Whispered". The problem is that they don't really explain much about the Whispered, so by the end I was still kinda clueless about what they are. My first instinct is to blame it on GONZO, since throwing out ideas without thinking/developing/explaining them through properly is exactly the kind of thing they usually do. But now I think about it, this time the blame is probably with the manga source material rather than with the studio. I was kinda hoping "Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid" would be able to provide more answers, but now that I've seen it, I'm disappointed to say that it doesn't.
The cast of "Full Metal Panic" are also mostly templates taken out of their respective genres. You have the usual cold blooded, evil, ruthless and insane main villain taken from a typical action movie, and the loud mouthed, aggressive female lead taken from the school life settings. Admittedly the latter did fall into the likeable side of the fence rather than the annoying (I'm thinking of Asuka from Evangelion here). The sniper guy is a bit more interesting though, and no, not because he's a bit of a perv. What struck me was how useless the guy is at close combat. We're so used to seeing the generically all round elite soldier type who so commonly feature in today's media that it makes a refreshing change to see someone who's got clear strengths and weaknesses that reflect his role in the squad.
You've most likely seen the captain somewhere before. Tess - an innocent, ditzy teenage girl playing an important role on a warship, as a captain no less. Sounds familiar? [Hint hint: "Nadesico", "Vandread"]) In fact I hated her more than most, for some reason she just gets on my nerves sooo baaadly. Probably because she sticks out like a sore thumb when they're trying to sell the story off as more serious oriented as opposed to comedy oriented like in "Martian Successor Nadesico". Sure she's a genius that has "special abilities", but special abilities and brain power alone doesn't make a good captain - that's why you never see a complete geek playing the captain role . The primary traits required for the job are leadership and presence... and it would be too kind to say that she has zero presence... she has bloody negative presence. Small, clumsy, pretty teenage girl with squeaky voice who often looks to her second in command for reassurance whilst commanding a ship full of hardcore mercenaries? Sounds like recipe for rebellion to me. Are all these hardcore mercenaries really gonna stomach taking commands from someone like her and do no worse than wolf whistle behind her back? I have a hard time imagining it. She's pretty much a purely fanservice character. And if there's one thing I hate more than a fanservice oriented character, it's a fanservice character that plays an important role and ends up distorting a more serious storyline. But the worst thing is that is that the anime plays up this cuteness thing during the character interactions so you can't even claim that it's all superficial - notice all the guys in the mercenary group goes around saying how cute/hot Tessa is as though that's her defining characteristic. Maybe I'm the crazy one here, for thinking that the defining characteristic of a 16 year old captain should be something other than "cute"! *rolleyes* I wonder whether the full version of her name - Testarossa - is based off the word "testosterone", as it seems her whole fan-servicey design is geared towards stimulating the production of that particular hormone from the male viewers...
Luckily, there is one character that truly shines - and the bonus is that he happens to be the main character. Yes, it's that infamous Sagara Sousuke. In fact, he pretty much carries the anime on his back. He provides the extra spark that distinguishes this action/comedy series from its peers. Without him the anime would be a lot more dull and unremarkable. Unlike Tess, his comedy attributes doesn't "clash" with the settings very much because the jokes that involve him comes from the fact that he does his job not incompetently, but rather TOO competently. He doesn't know anything OTHER than doing his job. And this is clever because this one defining aspect of his character enables him to fill both the comedy role and the serious role perfectly. When it comes to comedy, he shines as it's mainly his inability to get out of his military mindset when in school (along with Chidori's reactions to his antics) that provides most of the chuckles for the show. When in serious mode, his hardcore military side allow him to play a believable and key role in the serious missions. In contrast, Tess is a complete failure - her comedy bumbling scenes just makes me grimace and her unignorable presence on the serious missions makes me grimace even harder.
For a while I was undecided whether to label this as good or very good... but Sousuke probably tipped the scales in the anime's favour. Still, this anime owes a lot to "Full Metal Alchemist". If it wasn't for people searching for "Full Metal Alchemist" and accidently stumbling across this show (like my friends and I did), I doubt it would have gotten so popular. On its own merit, it's an anime that has out performed its mostly unremarkable potential. Mostly.
I began watching this anime after reading a lot of very positive reviews on the internet, with many people saying it's one of their favourite anime of all time. But none of these reviews was well-argued, now I understand why.
That is the only good-point of the anime: Full Metal Panic have a story that is not original, but it have the merits of permitting to have both action and humor, and why not an thrilling fight for the sake of the world. But up to episode 15, i saw none of these.
The very firt episodes were okay, but
rapidly the jokes began to be less and less funny, and I started to notice that the author(s) did not knew what to do with this anime and more important were incapable of writing a story that is coherent. The story soon became ridiculous, with the mysterious power of Kaname which serves no purpose (at least in the 15 first episodes), the MITHRIL organisation that have no reason of existing, is not associated with any country and which financing seemed to be popping out of the void, and there is A LOT of things like theses...
Each episode is filled with blatant incoherences, but the worst is the characters and organisations that never act realistically. As an instance we have the militaries who in an episode are told to obey Sousuke because they face an ennemy (Gauron) that nobody but Sousuke can compare with in fighting skills and who is well-known by the latter. But these militaries, who are supposed to be well-trained professionals and even veteran warriors don't give a shit about their superiors orders and don't seem to have the minimum of intelligence required to know that on a battlefield you don't fucking do what you want, because it can make you and your comrades killed. They don't listen to Sousuke's advices and they go all-out on Gauron and his henchmans, i think Gauron then beat the crap out of them but I'm not very sure because I saw this anime quite some time ago.
This lead me to another very bad aspect of this show: the characters.
Again, there is no character that his credible in this show. We are told a lot of things about these characters but we never see these affirmations being confirmed by the facts.
For instance Sousuke and Teletha are supposed to be respectively a skilled and experience warrior and a genious, but they are just two brainless idiots. I understand that it can be used fo comic situations, but for me it was just impossible to appreciate this show with so enormous incoherences. For instance, in the episode where Kanade and Teletha are taken hostages and snipers are aiming their rifles at them, the so-called professional soldier make the worst choice possible
Kanade is as bad-written as the others, it's like the author read the definition of "tsundere" on the japanese wikipedia and decided to do a character like that, her mood swings are never explained neither justificated.
All the characters are like living and breathing robots, with no personnality, the voice actors (in the japanese dub) don't help, with Satsuki Yukino more shouting than acting and Tomokazu Seki who put in his acting as much emotion as a brainless zombie.
Secondary characters are no better, like Melissa and Curz whom I thought at first could be quite funny and likable are finally totally useless and irritating.
As expected from Gonzo, it's absolutely horrible, it's really hard to watch, the backgrounds are empty, the animation is poor, the characters move jerkily, the 3D and the colourisation are of very bad taste. I thought I was looking at a early-90's (or late 80's) anime show. Too bad that Gonzo animation quality started improving in the late 2000's with Saki and Strike Witches, just a moment before the studio dissapeared.
Absolutely not good, not truly bad, I just didn't notice the music most of the time and at times I found it even a little irritating. The opening was also quite bad, both the song and images seemed to be taken from some cheap bishoujo game.
Beside the first episode, it was really boring, and every episode I was wondering how is it even possible to make a show that is so crappy. I watched up to episode 15 out of curiosity for this anime which was so acclaimed by many people, and hoping that the quality will improve, that the show will suddenly become interesting and funny, bu it didn't happened. And I'm amazed I made it this far. I think in fact that after I had watched some episodes, I was just watching it for the lulz, like when you watch a very bad movie.
I think at Full Metal Panic as one of the worst anime I have ever watched, there is no redeeming feature for this show. At the contrary of, for instance, Lost Universe, which is bad but where there is good voice actors ( Megumi Hayashibara!), some quite funny episodes, and charming characters.
Also, sorry for the poor english, I'm not a native speaker, I'm french and it's currently 3 am in France, so I'm tired and I have difficulties reading over my text.
Full Metal Panic doesn't do anything new, it just does everything better
A lot of mechas alternate between school and action trying to be two different animes at once but were always lacking in one respect. Full Metal Panic is the exception. True, the young Sergeant moonlighting between school and working as a mercenary seems cliche at first, but there's something different about Sousuke and his personality that makes him interesting as a fighter as well as a student. Full Metal Panic does the best job of balancing the two so it never feels like the school episodes are fillers but are necessary
Straightforward, easy watching action comedy but has a good balance of suspense and fun.
The story is simple and straightforward. A young sergeant becomes the bodyguard of an important high school girl while also piloting the most advanced mech unit for a secret mercenary organization whose mission is to stop terrorism. The story never tries to extend itself so far as to explore the philosophy of life or the human condition. There are various devices used such as the secret advanced technology called "Black Technology" and a group of natural born geniuses called "Whispered" that exist merely to move the original plot along.
Unfortunately, for those hoping for a series like Code Geass where there are many twists and turns, they may become disappointed. However, the series does become more intense and more secrets are revealed during The Second Raid. The current series, however, focuses purely on entertainment.
So what makes this anime so good? It's the style. The pacing of the anime is fast during the action sequences and slower and more mellow during the school sequences. The transitions between civilian life and military battles are seemless. They come at appropriate times and contrast well with each other. Sometimes the contrast is done so perfectly that it can be considered artistic. For example, in one scene, during a heated battle the camera pans on Sousuke's look of intensity during battle and then flashes back to the quiet and relaxing beach with Chidori looking off in the distance as if she could see a wonderful future with Sousuke. Scenes like that vividly and subtley communicate the thoughts of each character without verbal expression.
In terms of action sequences, the series is good but not spectacular. The main problem is that some action sequences end very abruptly. The battle ensues for quite awhile but then at the last second they pull out their ultimate move (Lamda Driver) and it ends 5 seconds later when one person is left standing.
Despite that, I think the action sequences are still entertaining to watch because of its simplistic nature. The battle strategy is not as elaborate and mental as they are in animes like Code Geass and the fight scenes aren't complicated with a lot of special power moves. Instead, the action relies on Sousuke's decision making abilities and superior combat reflexes to win each battle as well as Kurtz Weber's accurate sniping ability. Both are legitimate abilities that are not only entertaining but are a solid basis for determining the outcome of each battle.
Simple but likable and entertaining.
Sousuke Sagara looks like your typical strong, justice-seeking shounen lead. He is simple, straightforward, honest, and courageous and during action sequences he reminds you of characters like Ichigo Kurosaki. However, something strange happens when you take a typical shounen character and place him in everyday situations without changing his tone and personality. Where his strengths were once desired, they become cumbersome and akward, and all that was once typical about his character dissipates in the cheerful, relaxed environments. He become's like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Kindergarden Cop. His do-or-die, everywhere is a battlefield personality conflicts with a normal person's perspective of common sense. This makes Sousuke's serious personality the butt of most of the jokes and one of the most entertaining characters to watch.
Opposite to Sousuke, Kaname Chidori is a typical, strong tsundere character whose main target of aggression is Sousuke Sagara. Most comedic moments stem from Sousuke's mistakes and Chidori correcting him, sometimes with a harisen. Fans of tsunderes such as any of the characters played by Kugimiya Rie will love Chidori. I'm not a tsundere fan myself, but I found Kaname Chidori's character be tolerable since she is somewhat more open and obvious with her affection towards Sousuke.
Fortunately or unfortunately, this anime lacks characters who overcome grave character flaws such as weakness and arrogance. If you are looking for character development similar to Neon Genesis Evangelion then you will not be happy with Full Metal Panic. Full Metal Panic tries its best to make characters likable and strong from the beginning to the end. This lack of depth and development may make the anime less realistic for some, but in terms of entertainment the characters leave nothing more to be desired.
Good art and animation from that time period but nothing ground-breaking.
My view towards mecha is that once you've seen one, you've seen them all so I may not be the best judge when it comes to judging how cool the designs are. That being said, I've always felt that the fact that Gauron's mecha had hair was a bit odd and out of place and that the Arbalest looked very similar to the other M9s and wasn't distinguished enough as a special unit. However, I must say that they definitely look better than the mecha from animes like Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann since they are more professional and more realistic.
The use of CGI was well integrated and I didn't feel like they went overboard which seems to be a common problem with Mecha animes such as the other Gonzo mecha series Kurogane no Linebarrels.
As for the characters, they seem to have a little old fashion style to them indicative to anime from the 90s and early 2000s but I enjoy the fact that their proportions are realistic. The men aren't too bulky and muscular while there aren't any women with unrealistically big breasts. In addition, they vary a lot of the facial features for the men such as eyes and bone structure so most characters differ by more than just hair color. However, if you take away the hair, most of the women look exactly the same.
Great utilization of music and talented voice actors enhance the realism and accurately portray each mood.
The background music for the action and suspense sequences are chosen well and timed to perfection. I couldn't help but think that if John Williams was doing background music for anime, it would be similar to instrumental background music used in Full Metal Panic. Great use of brass crescendos to build the suspense but even more important was their use of pauses and silence right before an explosion to create the added tension during crucial moments during battle.
I was a big fan of the OP music. Mikuni Shimokawa has such a soothing and beautiful voice and does the theme song for all three Full Metal Panic series. In addition, they synchronized it with the animation very well.
The voice acting cast does a good job of portraying the characters accurately. Masahiko Tanaka's voice is very suited for villains like Gauron with his deep voice and sinster laugh. Also, Tomokazu Seki does a great job of making a character like Sousuke believable and amiable. As for Chidori, Satsuki Yukino does a great job utilizing her vocal range to express every bit of emotion expressed in her character's face. She really feels alive and three dimensional rather than just a stereotypical tsundere.
It has a certain charm that you can't find anywhere else.
Full Metal Panic is a series that draws you into its pace and never gives you the feeling that it drags on too long or ends too quickly. Instead, it keeps pushing forward every episode so there is always something exciting to look forward to at every turn. In terms of comedy, this series is the best of the mecha genre and perhaps one of the best comedies ever. The laughs were neither cheap nor overplayed but felt fresh and unique to the series itself. In addition, they were neither hard to comprehend nor overly reliant on obscure parodies. Most of the comedy stems from Sousuke and his lack of common sense but oddly enough you never get tired of this scenario since it seems to be unique to the series itself. Whenever I am laughing at Sousuke, I always feel more like I am laughing with him than at him, and this makes all the difference since male leads need to seem reliable during serious moments.
If you like mecha action and comedy and aren't looking for something thought-provoking and ground breaking then Full Metal Panic provides just the right amount of pure entertainment value.
What do you get when you mix a stolid, obedient, loyal, emotionless killing machine with an average, popular, high school girl? HILARITY. Absolute hysterics, rolling on the floor laughing at the insanity of such a crazy combination of weird characters. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this odd mix of personalities.
Sagara Sousuke, a merciless killer and professional guerilla soldier, finds himself in the worse situation possible: protection of a high school girl in a civilian life he has never lived. His emotions, frayed and destroyed from constant warfare since childhood, are nonexistant- until he meets Chidori, that is. The story ranges
from the unique bond that develops between these two characters, the hilarity of their conversations, and the seriousness of high school romance sprinkled with drama and a military background.
Character development was rather static; though things tended to happen and the characters realized something, I think the developers of the anime knew they were making a second season, so the first season was sort of a prequel, a taste of what was to come. They wanted this season to be sort of a teaser of what really is to come.
I originally did not think this would be a very good story. The idea was far-fetched as it is! But Full Metal Panic left me wanting more and more, endlessly ceasing to surprise me with a convenient plot twist or a brief moment of humor. It was a pleasant anime, one with the "good guys" always win sort of macho attitude, but it was rather surprising, because the plot advanced rapidly once certain key events happened.
Overall, I did enjoy watching this little anime even though it's rather old. I liked how the characters personalities tended to clash, but when they meshed, a new sort of storyline emerged, one that you knew would be continued in the sequel. And though I initially had my reservations, I loved this little anime, and I heavily recommend it. Remember, the Tuath De Dannan needs you!
The first compilation review of the HTWA! Hope you find it handy!
"Haha, first to dis this anime :P. It's popular because it has hit US airwaves, other than that I don't know why it's popular. It was mostly boring for me, hated how they had to fight the same guy 4+ times to kill him, and I really hated the Lamda Driver thing, because I don't think something so unrealistic should be in this kind of mecha anime. I did like the characters, animation, and the romance however. Because I know this lamda (whatever) driver is in the next season, I'm not watching any more
seasons of this." - aoikishu
"Of the three installments I like Fumoffu best, followed by TSR... probably because Fumoffu hardly has any mecha in it. What makes it popular, I have no idea. But what I like in it is surely Sousuke. Gotta love him for his uh... n00bishness. IMO he's a pretty unique character, and he has good a background too. Not a fan of moe so I kinda don't like Tessa. I prefer Chidori, but sometimes she gets on my nerves too. Generic tsundere. Of all the mecha animes I've watched I prefer this the most. It's light on encyclopedic terms and I pretty much understand what's going on when they fight. The whole Whispered stuff is so-so. Also seconding what aoi said about the Lamda Driver(?). I think it's a good anime for beginners to watch. Also, never heard of any rumors regarding a third season, but my fingers are crossed xD" - Wetpantsu
"I thought it was ok, Fumoffu is definitely better than the first season, I haven't seen TSR though, I'm just not really that bothered to watch it atm. I also don't like Chidori that much, I don't really like Tsundere characters in general :/" - saintcross
"lol, tessa > chidori by a ton. Chidori is really tsundere, even more so than kugimiya rie characters and that's saying something. You really can't beat the onsen episode in fumoffu though. That was the funniest and most original onsen scene ever. It's really the standard I compare any onsen episode to but none ever live up to it." - tigerz
"I think that's why I had a problem with the show during my first watch of it. I REALLY wanted a military/mecha show & couldn't care less about the romanctic comedy aspect. I've gotten used to the combination after rewatches. But I prefer Fumoffu because it focused well on comedy & the TSR because it did an outstanding job on the military/mecha aspect.
It has one of my favorite story arcs though, & that's when he goes back to his country of origin & eventhough it was a disaster & very grim it was some of the best anime I've ever watched.
OH & yeah, TESSA RULZ!!" - DonKangolJones
"Personally, the first season was my favorite. I dropped Fumoffu because I'm not into romcom (or just plain comedy). I liked the mixture of high school life with mecha/military in the first. I prefer anime that have a mixture of different genres: romance, comedy, suspense, mecha... the first season did the best handling different aspects. I love how the first ended as well, just some sweet hanging out time fishing.
TSR was... mreh, boring. I don't know why I wasn't all that interested in it, but I wasn't. Maybe I just liked how the first season ended and seeing any more was just unnecessary.
Chidori was my favorite character. I love both Tessa and Chidori, but Chidori was definitely my favorite. I like how well she handled scary and dangerous situations even though she had no military background. The backbone that both of the girls have are what I admire." - willag
"Full Metal Panic series is one of my favorites and I would recommend this to anyone who hasn't seen it. Yeah, I said that there was a rumor about a 3rd season but I forgot where I read that so it's probably not even true.
Anyway, 1st season had a good story to it whereas the 3rd season had probably more action in it. My favorite is probably the 2nd sesason Fumoffu since it's takes the characters we all know and love and puts them into a different kind of anime. Plus, it's one of the funniest comedies I've seen. I can go back and laugh my ass off every time I watch it, it's that funny =D." - shoxk
We hope you have enjoyed reading through the opinions of your fellow MAL peers! ^^
Full Metal Panic!
Another anime that let me down, i had high expectations towards this anime because how well praised is, and from the beginning to the end this was just fine but not what they say it is.
The setting of the anime is kinda interesting, the problem is that is not well developed and not to mention that the bland characters didn't help at all, with an annoying MC Chidori Kaname who has constant angry problems that comes out of nowhere, and her mood doesn't make sense, why bitch to the person is trying to protect you, and she acts like if he doesn't have
a military job, poor Sousuke, he's sent to protect her because she is somehow special she's a ''Whispered'' and they explain a little what they are, but not what we want to know and they didn't explain how and why they exist, a lot of unexplained topics and the problem of the why wasn't explained is that there are a lot of filler boring eps, a lot of inconsistencies are found in this anime and again Kaname is really annoying, i hate that kind of characters, i like tsunderes but to the extent of being stupids, no thanks; There's a guy also, Gaul (whose reason of being a bad guys isn't explained) he's hard to kill even when he explodes, it's stupid how he always survive without any hint on to how he did it, i don't know why people are saying this is romcom, i don't see the romance in here, an attempt, yes but i don't get why people say they liked that aspect of the anime, makes no sense. The story is ok but not well presented.
Art & Animation
The animation sometimes can be good, but it has something that i didn't like, and i don't know what it is, the mouth and sound sync was weird, almost all of the time there were weird camara angles and unrelated shots for example when Sagara was fighting other AS mechas and all of a sudden shots of Chidori in the beach (?) but i think overall is ok.
The VA is good but sometimes sounds bad, maybe because of the animation of the mouths being looped to do the same movement, the OP is bad and skippable just like the ED and the background music wasn't fitting at the beginning but after 10 eps. it gets a little better and good and to mention that one song reminded me of an A-Team song, overall it was fine.
Most of the characters you don't care if they could be taken away from the anime and never appear again, because you won't miss them.
-Chidori Kaname is a meh character at the beginning but with her attitude becomes a bad one, she is useless and doesn't stop to be angry at Sousuke for some reason; She all of a sudden gets angry or gets angry at stupid reasons and even gets angry at him just because he's working on a mission where people die and that affects him but she doesn't ask him how he feels rather than that she gets mad at him, she doesn't have a background of any kind, what a bad character.
-Sousuke (Isegar) Sagara is a person that doesn't have social skills and that can be conflictive most of the times, but he's like that because he's a soldier since he was a kid, he has little background, just flashbacks; He's a good character but nothing amazing, i liked that he finally got angry at Chidori and somehow at the end he had more social skills.
-Tessa Testarossa is a sweet girl that wants to save everyone and she in fact is the captain of Mithril or was it just the Ship with the weird name? i don't remember, i liked her more than Chidori who in fact falls in love with Sousuke too and is more open than Chidori about it.
Then there's the rest of the cast that are meh, nothing special worth the mention, i thought the characters were ok jus for Sousuke and the Cap. Tessa.
There were good eps. that i enjoyed but the enjoyment was just fine for me, i wanted to finish the anime already, too much eps. and no explanations.
Full Metal Panic is a pulpy Cold-War era story that has been run through the Anime-machine. From the cold-war story side we get conspiracies to start World War 3 involving Soviet scum with gloriously evil villains and high-tech weaponry fighting guerilla warfare. From the anime side we get the heroes not being pumped full of testosterone faultlessly nationalistic Americans, but instead a teenage boy and a paramilitary force with terrible CG submarines captained by a cute teenage girl. Also giant robots. Because there is not a single story than cannot be improved with the addition of giant robots.
Full Metal Panic has to win some kind
of award for having its main character, Sagara Sousuke, come from Afghanistan. I know they say Sagara is from the non-existent Helmajistan, but let’s not kid ourselves. That’s just so the author could avoid having to deal with real politics in his nonsense cold war story. He’s got darker skin than the Japanese and had a really shitty childhood torn apart by war which he’s only been able to get over by immersing himself so much in military knowledge and protocol. When you take a step back and think about it for a second, that’s kind of crazy that this dumb anime had the balls to cast such an unconventional protagonist.
Sagara’s military-obsession is usually played for jokes, and it does get a bit tiring. Well, the tiring parts are mostly Chidori’s reactions. Sagara is so straight faced and meticulous about the way he pulls off these actions that it still cracked me up, much more so when the show made nothing of it. It’s such simple things too, like snapping his feet together when addressing someone new. It’s like they had a laundry list of things Sagara must do at all times to ensure they keep this image. Whenever Sagara enters a room, his eyes must dart to the four corners. Whenever he’s got over his initial introduction, he must stick his hands behind his back in his ‘at ease’ pose.
It’s because they keep up this image of Sagara in the dumb school segments that it’s really damn cool when he’s called into actual proper military action. What makes it satisfying is that, through his actions earlier on in the show, we know he’s competent but just not in this environment despite him clearly trying his hardest. I’m half tempted to call it moe, but it’s not quite that. You want to root for him when he’s sucking, and you get that emotional release when he’s finally put into a situation where he can be awesome. It’s a different sort of play on the emotional satisfaction you get from watching someone kick ass after going through training. The bonus here is that the non-awesome parts are still charming and funny in their goofy anime way.
Tessa plays to this strength too. Her shtick is that she’s frail and clumsy physically, but she’s a tactical genius and military expert. The way they play into this is kinda neat too, because they tease us with the idea of how the hell could this moeblob command the highest technologically advanced submarine full of buff macho military dudes when she’s so outwardly useless? They particularly play into this when, in her first real scene with Sagara, she deliberately plays to dunce in front of Kaname because she knows this will get on Sagara’s nerves.
Tessa’s story, or more accurately the slow reveal of her competence, is the secret best thing FMP does. Through the course of the show you slowly start to understand why it is she is able to command that submarine. The moral guardian, strong will, hard work, tactical genius and a whole load of various other strengths she has come to the fore so that by the end you totally understand why everyone listens to her. It’s a strange sort of command, where you get the feeling people follow her orders because they don’t want to let her down. But it works. I know that if I was on that sub and I was called into her office for not following orders and she had that hurt look on her face, I would be devastated and vow never to let her down again.
But anyway, Tessa is a badass and I weep for those of you who consider Kaname a better character.
I think the moment that sealed my dislike of Kaname was when Sagara was doing his first badass military action hero shtick. He dashed in and rescued Kaname from the research facility, only for Kaname to then yell “eeewww you pervert get away from me”. It’s not necessarily Kaname’s character that makes her bad, although she is a pretty boring person. It’s how the show treats her as well.
Like pantyshots. Full Metal Panic is in many ways a product of its time, and much of the shit it pulls that I don’t like are outdated anime tropes. Random upskirt pantyshots in otherwise serious scenes of generally serious anime appear to have gone from anime nowadays, and thank christ for that. The most egregious example is when Kaname is going through a mental breakdown, and they decide to have a little peep up her skirt. Great, because that’s really the time I feel like perving out over a girl. When she’s going through a mental breakdown. Tessa gets treated to this perv-cam sometimes too, albeit mostly just caressing her legs. With Kaname though, it seemed to be in perv mode the entire time.
Speaking of dumb shit that’s finally outdated, abusive girlfriends punching their men because it’s so funny when the violence is reversed! The it’s never funny because the joke is entirely Kaname hitting Sagara. It doesn’t evolve as a gag. We’re just expected to laugh because she hit him. It’s not going to evolve either because Kaname doesn’t have much of a personality to speak of. She is Ordinary High School Student Mark 591245. You can tell she’s a boring person because any scene with Sagara not around simply consists of her talking about TV and shopping and homework and tests and every other thing boring teenagers talk about.
Her saving grace is that her relationship with Sagara is genuinely charming. Their relationship is used to different effects through the show. Sometimes it’s about establishing trust, or how Sagara has grown to care for a person. The strangest, and I’d argue most surprisingly effective use was the surprisingly dark and gritty trio of episodes where Sagara goes back to his home country of Afgani-I mean Helmajistan. While they’re excellent episodes, they’re so tonally different from the rest of the series that it barely feels like the same anime. But how it draws attention to that is quite marvellous too, using the almost alien calmness of Sagara’s return to Kaname as a really effective bookend to the harshness of that arc.
I was not expecting Full Metal Panic to hold up, but it turns out I still love Full Metal Panic. It’s got its problems, almost all of them centring on Kaname, and I’ll whole-heartedly admit that it is totally My Kind of Anime, but it does what it sets out to do really well. It’s a huge amount of fun with great characters and giant robots.
This is going to be my first review, but bear with me. You're in for a treat.
Story: (9) For the story, I'd say originality is a key term for FMP. It is a brilliant, well layed out plot and to say that it's nearly perfect is an understatement!
The story goes about a young, yet skillful 17 year-old MITHRIL sergeant, Sousuke Sagara. In his bare nature, he is military-obsessed and also clueless of normal civilian conduct. As a sergeant under command of the military, Sousuke is instructed to look after and protect Ms. Kaname Chidori. Kaname, for one, is very unique. As one
would prejudge that she would be a timid, typical school girl, she can be almost the exact opposite. Kaname is clever, daring and also very beautiful, but what you don't expect is her impulsive and slightly obnoxious personality.
As part of Sousuke's mission, he is to relocate and transfer into the same school and class as Kaname. This is when the series takes off to be more enjoyable.
As i've mentioned, Sousuke is military obsessed and does not take his job lightly. So you can see how what conflicts are being set out; both internal and external and to a great extent, often humorous. (:
BUT, being the great anime that it is, that is not all that goes on. I will not disclose this information, but I can tell you that BIG things will happen (quite literally aswell) and you will be glad that you've watched this anime.
Art/Animation: (10) The animation quality of this anime is quite a looker! I mean the animation is astounding! Vast, vibrant colors with perfect saturation. I know there has to be some CG animation in this series, though I really don't remember seeing it. Know why? Because the CG is so perfectly blended with the animation! (; All in all, this is some Top-Shelf animation.
Sound: (9) To be honest, the opening song, "Tomorrow" is one of my favorite tracks of any anime soundtrack. It is a very nice Japanese-Rock and the voice is just beautiful! As for the sound in the series, like the animation, it just does wonders. Both the Japanese and English audio are incomparable, and if you're an English dub kind of person, the voice acting for english is very well acted and the sound quality is at it's finest. (unlike some emotionless dubbing I've heard) boom. Top-Shelf audio. All I can say.
Character: (10) When you have a good anime, you have a good cast of characters aswell. I can credibly say that there is outstanding character development throughout the series (which can prepare you for the next series) You will definitely 'feel' for all the characters in the series even if they're just supporting. I strongly believe that you will enjoy and accept the characters. (except for the bad guys, duh.) boom. Top-Shelf cast.
Enjoyment: (10) As for the enjoyment, I GUARANTEE you will absolutely enjoy this series. This is one of those series that you just can't go wrong with. It's story, art, sound, and cast is just so perfect. I certainly enjoyed watching every second of Full Metal Panic. I STRONGLY recommend you watch this series. For people who don't watch anime, I'd say FMP is the best start. After completing this series, all the other anime will just seem sub-par. Again, you will definitely enjoy this anime to it's fullest potential.
Full Metal Panic is ultimately my favorite anime of all time. Why you ask? Well in my personal opinion, I'd say that FMP is a masterpiece that has integrated a vast variety of genres into one. It has aspecs of Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Mecha, Sci-Fi, Comedy, Military, a little Romance, and a hint of Ecchi! What is not to like about this series? Again, this is my first time submitting a review and I am certainly glad that I have started with Full Metal Panic!
Okay. The following is a review I did ages ago, for another website. But I wrote it so here it is. Don\'t bitch if you think it\'s shit.
Plot Summary: Based on the Japanese Novels of the same name, Full Metal Panic! is a series set around Souske Sagara, a member of the Anit-Terrorist Organisation \'Mithril\', and Kaname Chidori. Souske\'s mission is to act as a bodygaurd to Ms. Chidori by becoming a fellow High School student.
Storyline: The story line towards the beginning relies on alot more of a comedic approach but quickly shocks you away with Terrorist Hijackings, Mecha battles and deep details of
characters pasts. There was only one real \'Side-Story\' which really didnt need to be there and wasnt much fun as they tried to break up action between one story arc and another. After this minor setback, the story flows completely and you will find your Playlist will be full of FMP.
Characters: The characters have depth, from Souske\'s deep teenage military past to Kaname\'s secrets. Souske is usually a complete dumbass when it comes to teenage life and its his mistakes that make the show funny, with the sugar being Kaname\'s reactions, sometimes with a dreaded Paper Fan. Kaname is more headstrong and smart, and her Love/Hate relationship with Souske is like one massive tub of Marmite.
Animation: The animation is some of the best in recent years, definately one of my favourites. Both character and mecha designs fit well into the series.
Voice Acting: Awesome. I liked the VA-ing so much when I watched episode 1 dubbed, I hunted everywhere for the series dubbed. It was definately worth the time as it has one of the best casts. I wouldnt expect any less from ADV.
Ending: Climactic battle between arch enemies both piloting Arm-Slaves(The Mecha of the Anime).Oh, so thats what Kaname can do stuff. Guy gets the girl.....kinda. Definately leaves you wanting more. Good job theres a few sequals then.
Conclusion:This series had hype, and I follow the hype, damn good thing too. The anime will always be close to me as a fav, I started off thinking it would be a nice relaxing comedy for me and boom, I get hit with all these storylines from no-where. Great anime.
This will be a quick overview on this show. So ill give my general statements on it. A more detailed one may appear at some point in the future. I wont give a synopsis cause there's already one provided. Spoilers ahead so be warned. With that out of the way, grab a seat. let's have a chat.
*Infinite Ryvius OST- nowhere plays*
Full metal panic tries its best to mix an overarching militaristic plot with SOL comedy antics. However the later is a lot more poorly handled than the former. I will say this, it can potentially be a way for us to delve in the
dysfunctional psychosis of our protag and also have him endear us to those around him, but not only are the jokes generally unfunny(only about two ever are) and are too big and overplayed to the point where it somewhat undermines his plight and also the lengths where this show wants you to take it seriously when it decides to not be grounded by reality. One minute its metal gear solid, the next Ranman 1/2. Couple that with the school cast being generally simplistic and cliche compared to the guys over at the Tuathe de Dana and you have a show that mostly has somewhat of an identity crisis. Which is especially disheartening seeing as how this is the shows MAIN SELLING POINT. It would be better if that stuff was a bit more downplayed, the jokes were more clever/subtle, and if it was coupled with clever dialogue to helps us get endeared to the characters in Sosuke's school life and how they impact his character, *inhale* but we got what we got. We'll come back to this later.
Now with the SOL aspects out of the way, how does the plot stuff stack up? Pretty alright. Most of the "arcs" in the show have to do with the MC dealing with terrorists threats and keeping bitch queen Chidori safe almost episodically over the course of a few or more episodes each and they are pretty tense and high energy. They pretty much are the best parts of the show. In fact the third arc of the show is the one that gives us a good understanding of Sosukes identity and why he is the way he is better than the comedic shit does and puts him through certain struggles that make him develop as the show goes on. However the one flaw i see is that a couple of them are mostly rather pointless in terms of how they develop the characters creating somewhat of a pasing issue. But these are at least somewhat effective and largely inoffensive.
*Gun X Sword OP*
I am a simple man who loves his mech battles. While many of the fights in the show are mostly passable, i wouldnt lie to you if i say id rather see gundam F91 for its action than this(as much as i hate that movie). The animation is fine, but not detailed enough to give you the sense of battle most of the time and can be quite janky in certain places, making it seem like some corners were cut in the production value in the mech fights. Especially in times when the MC and villain uses the Lambda driver, showing mostly unmemorable particle effects. They dont really get better until the half way point, where startegy, use of environment and militaristic tactics are used. Not to mention generally better fight choreography. The designs of the characters and mechs arent bad though(my fave being the main mech Arbelest).
Now we move to the characters and since i've already stated how the school side characters are practical pointless, uncharismatic and add nothing to our main duo, we'll move on to the guys that matter.
*Big O OST- Sure promise plays*
Sosuke Sagara is a boy who spent most of his life as a mercenary and knows practically nothing of domestic life, which causes him to have sporadic instances where he mistakes something normal for a time where he needs to "YOOOOOOO JOE!". This is the fundamental driving force for all his SOL antics, which i remind you is the least good part in the show for the reasons i stated above. I understand that those moments are design to showcase this aspect of his character and maybe have him go through a mid life crisis deal where he questions his own purpose and existence in life and if he can even be his own person let alone a force for good(a la Guts from berserk) and to be further enveloped by the new life he has made and the non combat experiences to creating a sort inner struggle within him. However his plight gets played too much for comedic effect and escalated a tad too much for us to take it seriously and since those moments barely advance his character at all, those moments are rendered pointless. When the show takes him out of the role of a highschool student, he might not become the most complex protag, but he's a lot more competent seeing as how he is in his element. Of course the fact that you become so comfortable within that state kinda goes against the general purpose of taking him out his comfort zone. And like i said, things do get revealed about in the later part of the show, which gives us an opportunity to show us whats in this G.I.jokes head. But the way he develops overall is mostly subpar and sporadic. He still has some moments that are pretty endearing despite how much of a socially inept straight faced hick he is. Just wished that showed off more often.
Now he does have a super special awesome mech (cause why wouldnt he) which has a hidden system that when activated can produce energy powered by Sosuke's will, and if your're wondering yes this does deus ex save his ass a couple times in the show. Of course Sosuke himself has a sort of love hate relationship with the machine that only works when it wants to. Kinda hard for someone as stiff as he is to rely on a machine that almost unscientifically powers you with your inner mojo, so he doesnt use it other than his important battles. He aint OP like Kira Yamato or nothing but it does make fights lack tension seeing as how all Sosuke needs to do is awaken his chakra G Gundam style and use shining finger. Overall Sosuke is an alright protag.
*Undertale OST Dummy Gooseworx cover*
Kaname Chidori ladies and gentleman. She's the main female lead of the show. A popular above average high school chick. She's the target for the terorists who want the secrets of super technology and psychic prowess in her head; as well as the target of my discomfort. She's basically every bratty teenage tsundere you can find in anime. Now admittedly i will say that her attitude towards our local MC is somewhat justified seeing as he somewhat is responsible for all the dumb shit happening around her and generally flipping her whole life upside down despite his aims to protect her from harm. This would be fine if the jokes were funny and... well you know the drill. So it kinda makes her come off as irritable at times. I get its only natural for her to be this way in this case but there are times in the show where its too overplayed and she makes outright dumb decisions where it does not justify her being a petulant cunt. She does use her hidden mcguffin powers to help the heroes and she does get a chance to understand sosuke better later on, including one charming scene in the last episode. Other than that, general personality isnt all that endearing and neither is her interactions/relationship with Sosuke. So yeah, this chick who looks like the descendent of Marth from Fire emblem is unlikable. Dabu Dee dabu die, bitch.
On to the characters who are a part of Mithral. Tessa is a pretty good supporting character. She's clumsy but still very charming. Despite her young age and demeanor she is a very effective captain of her group and made pretty sound decisions throughout the show(if you can ignore the probability of it). Other than that one pissing contest she had with another female character Mao in one episode, but it was mostly to have her understand the hardships and struggles her subordinates go through when they enter battle. She also has a crush on Sosuke (oooooh love triangle. Drama~) for actually understandable reasons. Given how somewhat of an awkward person she is and her environment and the fact that Sosuke is the only other person her age around, it would make sense for her to gravitate towards his military charm. She admires him for his strength and resilience which contrasts her own doubts about herself as well as the respect her crew gives her. And she doesnt come off as someone who exists soully for his sawed off shotgun, if you catch my drift. Plus she's a mcguffin like chidori so she's helpful in that area too. Which probably explains why she wouldnt have chidori put in a safe house somewhere under surveillance to keep her safe from the terrorists after her, cause she sympathizes with her plight to be a normal girl. Of course maybe sending Sosuke to protect her wasnt the best move. But overall she is a fun and effective character.
Others like Kurtz and Mao are fine. Mao is the no nonsense valkyrie bitch who has some okay dialogue and Kurtz is the charming pervert with very little actual charm. They both act as sort of besties to Sosuke in his soldier life and are very useful throughout the show. They've done little to damage their characters, but not too much sticks out. they do have some funny moments though despite not really changing throughout this season of the series.
*New Getter Robo OST- Deep Red*
The main big bad is Garam and he is a pretty entertaining villain to a point. He is a constant threat throughout the show, rival and nemesis of Sosuke, and has some pretty endearing dialogue that lets him shine. He's kinda like Kenpachi Zaraki from Bleach but evil and in a mech. Also he acts as a parallel to Sosuke's identity, him being mad and battle hungry and Sosuke trying his best to appear as less of a savage like him despite his upbringing. Although the one thing i have an issue with him is that he always has a severe case of the not deads throughout the show and it only took the last ep for the heroes to finally "kill" him. The unstoppable killing machine angle can work but its too overdone here. Seeing the same guy die over and over mostly cause of the Lambda driver thing protecting him is kinda tiring to see. If he had only appeared in two arcs in the story preferable the first and last , he wouldve been much better handled and his final fall would have more impact. But he is entertaining and formidable villain throughout the show overall.
So overall Full metal Panic season 1 is an alright semi-real mecha show that is kinda bogged down by its main gimmick that being its SOL aspects and occasional fanservice. If the show managed to integrate both of these aspects seamlessly it wouldve improve a lot and there wouldnt be near constant tonal whiplash. But the action is okay, plot inoffensive, and has a few likable characters. So I'd recommend it.
If you liked this review, ill be making one for Second Raid soon. Its been cool. Kaiser Shounen, LAUNCH!
Sousuke Sagara, a seventeen year old military specialist working for the secret organization MITHRIL, has been assigned to protect the latest "Whispered" candidate Kaname Chidori. To complete this task Sousuke will have to deal with enemies from his past as well as the occasional panty thief. Unfortunately for Sousuke, the toughest part of his mission isn't only protecting Miss Chidori but also getting used to living an average High School students life, no easy task for someone raised on the battlefield.
Now, I HATE mecha animes, but this one. THIS one caught my attention years ago with the novel I borrowed from a friend. I
fell in love with Sousuke, and decided to watch the anime. I was hooked. I Watched the entire series in one sitting, thats usually hard for me to do with series' over 13 episodes long. The story line goes into three arcs: Sousuke's mission to protect Kaname, Behemoth, and then Gauron. The story moves so smoothly along, that you dont realize that the entire thing is set in a 6 month period. It was the first Mecha anime I watched, and the story line was more romantic than I thought it was going to be, that fact kept my attention through the boring "lets sit down with the head people and talk about missions" parts. Which there werent many of, so that was a good point. I also call this anime "Mecha for girls". Seeing as I feel there is a GREAT equalization of romance and action, and very little ecchi.
I liked the art. The art was really pretty, and the tones and highlights were not highly over done (Unlike in TSR where everyone looks like they drank radiation liquid and glow). The art seems to be more Shoujo esqe more than anything, with Kaname and Kiyoko's big shiny eyes and the cute guys like Kurz and of course Sousuke. The mecha were AMAZINGLY done. Even though the Savages were fugly, I have to say with a huge emphasis, Vemons are SEXY. Dammit. Ive never liked mecha before, but seeing a shiny red Venom or M9 is just UGH. I want a figure of them. And then theres AL, Sousuke's white M-9. The Arbelest. He was pretty awesome too. The backgrounds were amazing, and actually looked like the city they were in, no matter what country they went too. And the De Daanan was cool, seeing at it was a huge submarine operated by a clitzy 16 year old girl. The effects were great and not over-done, giving it a realistic feel.
I first watched this in the english dub, and I have to say that it is one of the BEST dubs I have ever seen. ADV did a great job, with Chris, Luci and Vic. So much emotion can be heard in their voices, and unlike other dubbed animes, it sounded as they put their soul into making it an awesome sounding show. (Im not just saying this because Im Chris Patton's (Sousuke) fangirl or anything either.). However, there were times where they forgot to put the BGM and BGE back into the background, so it sounded a tad awkward.
The Japanese version was great too. It was more... Emotional, if thats how you put it. But, its worth watching both subbed and dubbed.
The only thing I had a problem with, was the OP & Ed. They Didnt fit the show at all... Mind you they are GREAT songs and I love them alot, but if they just used other songs as the themes, it may have been a little better.
This is where I might go on for a while about. The characters MAKE the show. Make it. I loved almost all of them, with the exception of Tessa. I REALLY dislike that girl, I think she may have only been there to add fanservice (C/O a clutzy, shy, ditzy 16 year old colonel of Mithril) for the male watchers. She REALLY got on my nerves, and she may just have been created to be hated.
Then theres Sousuke Sagara. The boy who knew nothing of school life, teen life and just about anything outside of Mithril and the Army. He added comedic relief with his "Must attack anyone that looks a tiny bit dangerous, even dogs!" attitude. Granted hes a sharp shooter, very knowledgable with millitary junk, but throw him into a school to protect a high mantinence girl, as Mithril did, and youve got problems. He ranks very high in my "Fave guys" list.
Kaname is a great character. Being quite the opposite of most female leads, she was level headed, strong and strong willed. She can be a bitch (Most of the time) but give her someone she lis and shes a Tsundere (A girl thats mean on the outside but soft around the guy she likes).
Theres also, Kurz. Every anime needs a retarded perv, and Kurz is exactly that in FMP. But give him some credit. He could shoot a target point blank without even looking. And he's really smart.
Then my second favorite... Gauron. The bad guy. The villian of all villians. I love him... A lot. He's one of the best villians Ive ever seen in an anime, and the first one Ive actually LIKED. You could shoot him in the head, blow him up in a mech, and drown him... And the damn guy still survives. He values his life more tha the earth, and hes one of the best when it comes to fighting. Best yet... He pilots the Venom. :D (God i love those Venom.)
Oh. Cant forget AL. Sousuke's mecha. Of course, he may be a robot, but still... He's an A.I. with spunk. He has a personality that everyone finds hilarious and funny. Sousuke, of course, HATES the damn thing, but I will always find him to be extremely loveable.
There are a ton of other likeable characters, Shinji, Mao, Kalinin & Kiyoko. They all have their traits, greeat personanilities and smarts... Ok. Kiyoko isnt THAT smart, but you get the picture.
FMP was the first Mecha Ive watched, and one of the first anime I watched. I never knew what MECHA really was, untill I saw this. I experimented with OTHER mecha, but this series was the only one I really liked. It may be seen as OLD, but its a series I will love forever. No matter how OLD I get!
Story: This anime is about a highly trained military commando/mecha pilot with no social skills named Sagara. He gets assigned to pose as a high school student to protect a large-breasted female student from being abducted by terrorists. As silly as the plot is, it creates room for interesting challenges. How will he blend in? How will he avoid suspicion? How will he protect this girl without blowing his cover? Etc. Well this anime chooses to brazenly ignore all of those concerns and have the Sagara act about as conspicuous as possible. It really requires that the audience suspend all disbelief. Example: What’s a normal
reaction when you see a student holding a submachine gun on school grounds? Run? Warn the students? Call police? Nope. It’s to scold him playfully and then forget about it. Well that’s the way it works in this anime at least. It’s hard to build suspense when the audience isn’t sure what’s supposed to be taken seriously and what isn’t.
However, if you decide to beat yourself over the head with a snow shovel until logic stops being important, FMP does become kind of endearing (it took 106 consecutive hits for me). The story has a lot of relationship/romance undertones which gives it quirky but cute feeling. Sagara is like a retarded Terminator sent to protect the prepiest and most volatile girl in school. It’s a recipe for a lot of odd and funny (often ecchi-related) misunderstandings. Over time, the audience gets to watch these characters interact and evolve…albeit very slowly. Unfortunately, they do tend to throw in useless arcs which distract from the overall plot and stall character development. I’ve read good things about the sequel so I watched S1 with that in mind.
The action isn’t bad. There are some intense scenes that I think are pretty well done. At the same time, I finished the anime without a good sense of how the mecha worked, why certain (let’s call them mecha techniques) were used in some battles but not in others, how some characters managed to cheat death, and why the mecha insisted on fighting with little chode-like chainsaw daggers. To each his own but these were problems for me.
Art: I’ve seen a lot better but it’s still pretty decent. I don’t have anything against it.
Sound: Soundtrack wasn’t bad…they’re not going on my ipod but they weren’t bad.
Characters: As much as I hated the simplicity and stupidity of the cast, it was that exact flaw that allowed this anime work. Instead of building a narrative based on complicated characters who have multiple layers, each character in FMP basically represents the extreme of a single, very simple concept. We as the audience get to see what happens when these extremes come together. It’s not pretty but it does get the job done.
Sagara: He is essentially an Unsullied from Game of Thrones. No real personality, curiosity, sex drive, independent thought…nothing except an unwavering devotion to duty. Of course, one of the main conflicts in the series (evident from the TITLE of the first episode) is whether he is capable of forming human feelings and relationships. Narrative-wise, it’s not the worst place to start; it lets him be a blank slate. Who knows what sort new things he’ll learn and experience. Wouldn’t that be fun and sweet? Like watching cyborg Arnold bond w/ John Connor. The problem is that the pacing was off. I’ll say that in S1 his character evolution is generally plodding, erratic and subpar.
Chidori: She was actually the most likeable character in my opinion despite being 100% anime cliché. Basically the chirpy, sassy hot girl who does the whole tsundere thing. I can think of half a dozen characters from other anime who have the same personality. As a main, she stands out only because she contrasts so heavily with Tessa…*sigh*.
Tessa: She’s a 16 year old attack submarine captain in charge of most of the military operations. Maybe it’s a sign of watching too much anime but I’ve gotten completely used to seeing teens in super powerful military positions. The impossibility of it doesn’t even bother me anymore. What did irritate me was her personality and the way she interacted with the other characters. It’s just really inconsistent. FMP wants to have a teen genius plan a military assault? No problem, L and Lelouch were awesome. But a crying, meek, swooning, scatterbrained little girl? That’s just pushing it for me. It also gave FMP a weird ecchi vibe…like they needed to insert a shapely female somewhere to hit a quota but didn’t know where to put her so BAM she’s the captain.
Overall: Overall it was watchable. I am looking forward to S2 in hopes that it can pull things together more.
Blood/Gore: Sagara actually shoots people lol. It’s a weird mix of goofy high school antics a violence.
Love/Romance: It’s a little disappointing. I think it’s the love triangle dynamic. I’m still trying to figure out what the appeal of LTs are. School Days was the only one that made sense to me. In order to make them interesting or plausible the guy/girl being fought over has to be either really dumb/oblivious or extremely indecisive and douchey. I guess I’ll find out in S2.
Sex/Nudity: non-nude shower scenes, panty thieves, unintentional awkward sexual situations…
After finishing season 1 of Full Metal Panic I can safely say that it makes me want to watch Fumoffu a lot more.
The first three or so episodes do a fantastic job introducing you into this world that's a mix between a high-school comedy and a military-mecha setting. It's really entertaining and I was looking forward to seeing more of it.
Sadly, after that initial arc the show begins to lean far more heavily into its military-mecha half, and the comedy all but dissipates.
Two out of the four featured "serious" arcs bored the hell out of me. The entire time I was watching them I
felt like I'd seen their exact scenarios played out in countless other military-dramas and thrillers. Thankfully there are two serious arcs that were actually enjoyable and kept me invested in the action. The only issue is that they were placed on opposite ends of the series, leading this deep sag in the middle of the show.
I also had issues with Chidori as the main female lead. Her comedic chemistry with Sagara was great to see, however I didn't like what the show did with her during its more serious story-arcs. Her personality seemed inconsistent during these parts, like it was getting constantly tweaked to fit whatever situation the show needed her to be in. She was hard to get a read on, especially when her psychic-link persona kicks in and she becomes a different person entirely.
Sagara on the other hand is really consistent as a character. He works remarkably well in a comedic role due to his fish-out-of-water nature as a military-pro attending high school. The only problem with his consistency is that during the serious moments he just feels like your standard military-action protagonist. He's not that interesting for most of the show, as it takes a while before he starts showing cracks in his battle-hardened persona during the tenser moments.
Connected to Sagara is the main villain who I honestly have very little to say about. He's just a bit of a slimy jerk who makes the same smug face the entire show. Not at all interesting, and I didn't care for him as the main villain.
On the technical front the show's animation is alright, just not the most exciting to look at. There are some aspects that have not aged well at all, be it some of the early 2000's anime style quirks, or the CG vehicles. There are some moments of pretty solid action choreography but the show didn't blow me away really.
Most of what kept me going was Sagara as a lead character. He worked amazingly well during his comedic bits, and he was likeable enough when the action started going down. It's a shame that the comedy got worse (and less prevalent) as the season went on, as it's what I was sticking around to see more of.
Despite all of these issues I still come away from Full Metal Panic feeling like giving it a strong 5 to a mild 6. It's certainly above average in some regards, and it at least ended on a high-note, however I doubt I'll ever want to rewatch it.