If you haven't watched the original Full Metal Panic! series, you should watch it before watching The Second Raid, because it's the sequel to the original series. In regards to Fumoffu?, you don't have to watch it before TSR.
With that away, let's get to reviewing. The story in TSR easily surpasses any 13-episode show I've watched as of writing this review. The pacing varies a bit; suddenly this and that happens and then it's done quickly, and you may be left baffled ), but some scenes are very slow, like the scene when Chidori cut Sousuke's hair. Some may not like that, but I think
that the pace was just right at the right moments, and that it created just the kind of mood the scene needed.
TSR moves a bit away the funny high school life of Chidori and Sousuke, leaving the room for more drama and a couple of episodes focusing on Chidori and Sousuke's emotional struggles with themselves and each other after certain events happen. However, it preserves a bit of the great high school humor you're probably familiar with by now, especially in the earlier episodes. The story was excellent in my opinion, and the only thing that drags it down is the rather loose ending; it seems like things aren't over yet. There are also small bits of fanservice here and there, just so you're warned.
The animation quality is, to quote a friend of mine, "unreal". I thought the quality of the original series was excellent, but this just blew me right out of the water. The coloring is vivid, and the level of detail in the backgrounds is very good. The Special effects are very good too, and the lighting effects are astounding. In fact, the best I've seen. The detail of screens and monitors is incredible, too. Shortly summarized, the animation quality is just perfect.
The soundtrack is a vast improvement from the original series. The OP and ED themes are as good as ever, and songs I'd listen to over and over again. The background music is incredible, too. The pieces are great to listen to, and they fit right in with the mood, and amplify it. The tense music during Chidori's episode was the best when it came to setting the mood, if you ask me. The sound effects are nothing I can say bad things about either, from birds chirping to explosion sounds.
The characters have gotten a lift, too. Of course, it's the characters we have learned to love, and now they're getting some good character development. Especially on Chidori and Sousuke's part. I really liked how they portrayed Chidori's feelings towards Sousuke, and in the finale episodes, Sousuke changed a lot. He's slowly turning into a human and not just a stiff guy who acts only on orders. Throw in a hilariously paranoid bad guy as well as two messed-up twin sisters, and it's perfect.
All in all, I really, really enjoyed The Second Raid, but I do hope there's more Full Metal Panic! to come.
To 'Not Helpful' voters (and you 'Helpful' voters too): Feedback greatly appreciated =)
It is fairly uncommon for a sequel to excel over the original in virtually every way possible. That is, typically, even if the sequel is mostly superior, there are often a few noticeable elements missing from it which made the original enjoyable (A personal example would be Batman Begins and The Dark Knight). Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid (TSR), on the other hand, is one of these rare instances of a sequel surpassing its predecessor in all respects.
All around, The Second Raid has a better plot, better scripting, better character development, better action, better humor, and better animation. To get a good idea about
the essence of The Second Raid, simply imagine a tighter, darker, more focused, serious, and mature series which takes all of the good and worthwhile elements from the original and improves on them. In a nutshell, this is Full Metal Panic: The Grown-Up Version.
First and foremost, what The Second Raid does remarkably well is genuinely challenge its characters, not only physically and psychologically, but also morally. Unlike much of the tactical action sequences of the first season, the sense of danger and isolation is now much more real, as well as enemies which are genuine threats and not simply a string of forgettable, one-dimensional "terrorist/bad guys" (Takima Kugayama and his "sister" from the first series) or anonymous henchmen to be easily defeated. For a more specific contrast, think of the scene from the original Full Metal Panic where Melissa Mao, armed with only a rifle, taunts and entire troop of hostiles from a rooftop, with no cover, apparently not the least bit concerned about being shot, despite the fact that half a dozen enemy arm slaves have their guns trained on her. On the other hand, simply seeing TSR's brutal and effective killing machines, the Xia twins, in action should be enough to realize that the days of relatively easy and unrealistic victories are over.
Furthermore, our heroic protagonist Souske Sagara, who was previously a fairly single-minded "military maniac" with very little sense of self-doubt, now finds himself actually having to ask the important, life-changing questions, namely, who am I? What am I doing? Is what I am doing right? and more specifically, Do I like doing nothing but following orders? Do I like being surrounded by weak people who constantly need me for support?--All questions which the first series never dares to ask. As an example, a particularly memorable and extremely well-written phone conversation occurs between Souske and the mysterious MITHRIL intelligence agent, Wraith, in which he is for the first time forced to deal with the actual consequences of his inability to adapt to civilian life--thus the series' oft-used and never-questioned "comic relief" device quickly and seamlessly turns into an opportunity for some very interesting and dramatic character development. It is also impressive the way in which the writers subtly work in a couple references to the seemingly insignificant events from Fumoffu . Later on we also get to witness firsthand what happens to Kaname when Souske is no longer there to protect her. The results are equally as enticing.
This motif applies not only to the characters, but MITHRIL as an organization itself. In TSR, we are no longer simply expected to believe that a mercenary organization which acts as some kind of a non-partisan global police force ("we fight terrorists and blow up drug factories" [sic]) can exist without its own set of serious internal problems and existential, even moral dilemmas. The most prominent instance of this is the way in which the issue of double-agents simply working for the highest bidder (i.e. mercenaries being mercenaries) is dealt with in a much more serious and significant way than the first season. TSR singlehandedly makes MITHRIL into a well-rounded, believable organization, and not simply a bunch of people with high-tech equipment on a high-tech submarine--as was implied in the original series.
Aesthetically, The Second Raid is, not surprisingly, also a significant improvement over the first series. Kyoto Animation, now known almost exclusively for their "moe" shows, demonstrate their ability to make an action series which looks just as good, if not better, than most similar shows coming out today. The CGI is surprisingly well integrated, the character designs are still faithfully adapted from Gonzo's original, and the background designs are detailed and believable (the production staff did some lengthy on-site research of downtown Hong Kong). In fact, the sheer attention to detail in general is one of the things that makes this series truly stand out on the technical level. This includes all the little things which add to the overall sense of realism, particularly in the action scenes, such as a gun jamming, someone stumbling or tripping while running, desperately padding the ground behind them for an object to throw, or even something like tiny drops of bottled Scotch hitting the table during the pouring process. On a audio-related note, ADV's dub of this series is one of the best I have heard thus far, especially in regards to rendering important conversations and lines of dialogue in a strikingly dramatic, yet believable fashion.
So while the examples are too numerous to list exhaustively, all of this hopefully can somewhat elucidate how well The Second Raid in essence works within the confines and limitations of the "Full Metal Panic universe," while at the same time managing to fully flesh out many of the interesting and underdeveloped potentialities of that universe. As a technical achievement, it is both more colorful as well as more violent, and as a writing achievement it is also much deeper and far more realistic. On the whole, this series manages to be highly engaging on both the intellectual and visceral levels, in a way that the first offering simply never fully realized. All these elements combined make Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid a personal number one favorite within the mecha-action genre.
Aside from a somewhat "rushed" finale, perhaps my only complaint about this series is its length: at a mere 13 episodes, and an intentionally "open" ending, it naturally leaves one wishing for more. However, keeping in mind that a series' length can be a curse as well as a blessing, perhaps the relatively short episode count is something to be desired if the tightly-written, plot-driven quality is sustained throughout. After all, keeping in mind that decent chunks of the first series were simply filler, perhaps a 24-episode reboot of this would not be preferable after all.
I believe this sequel is aimed at adults, not teenagers, and will have less appeal to people are faint of heart or generally unwilling to ask any serious moral and/or existential questions. Therefore for those who perhaps were, or currently are dismayed by the initial series' somewhat mediocre and "juvenile" nature, I can firmly say that the existence of The Second Raid makes it all completely worth it. Basically, this is Full Metal Panic's The Dark Knight. Only better.
People may look at this and think of it as a typical mecha anime but if you’ve seen Full Metal Panic then you’ll know that this franchise isn’t loved only for its mechs.
Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid is the true sequel to the fantastic Shounen, Romance, Comedy, Mecha anime; Full Metal Panic! It basically starts where the story left of with teenage mercenary Sousuke Sagara continuing to fulfill missions for Mithril (the military organization), whilst protecting the teenage girl Kaname Chidori who is being targeted by other organizations. However this time round TSR focuses on a more serious storyline, full of drama.
The series begins
literally with a bang, as the Mithril team intervene with what seems to be a civil war. This first episode is basically just to reintroduce all the characters in one incredibly action-packed episode. This is then followed by a school episode, which is full of the usual hilarious comedy that this series is loved for. However after this small amount of light-hearted comedy the story becomes mostly serious, as it focuses more on the action and drama side of things, by introducing new enemies.
The action is brought about by the exciting and nerve-whacking missions, which flow well from one another. There is a good sense, with the pacing of the action, in the series because it never rushes or drags things out like many anime tend to do. The drama on the other hand is what sets TSR apart from the previous ones as it really centres on the 2 main characters; Sousuke and Kaname and how the change in their situations affected them. With that fans get to see a different side to both of them, which is a good change however because of this the other characters (namely Tessa) are somewhat neglected.
When looking into the animation of TSR, the one thing that comes to mind is the guys who produced it, “Kyoto Animation”. Having the series produced by KyoAni was the best move ever as we have consistent, crystal clear visuals, with completely fluid animation. The music is nothing particularly amazing but it definitely goes well with every situation; with nice pumping beats for the action and solemn tunes to go with the dismal mood in the drama.
Overall TSR on its own could easily take the title of Best Mecha anime ever, with so much going for it like: the animation, story, the lovable characters, excitement and its appeal. Yet the fact that it’s only 13 episodes long leaves so much untold and begging for a sequel. Hopefully there will be a continuation to this amazing story but for now fans will need to be contented with what is available. ^_^
You know, honestly, I'm not sure why Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid (TSR for short) is not ranked with a higher score than it currently has. This show surpasses every aspect of Full Metal Panic! and Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, which you should be watching first for the sake of chronological order. Like any sequel in a series, people expect the next one to deliver more than the previous, and deliver TSR has. Even though the prequel, Fumoffu, is a great comedy between the main characters, Sousuke and Kaname,
TSR does not follow suit. Instead, think of the first series, but much better overall.
First off, the story is great. For a thirteen episode series, TSR packs a lot of plot into it. The story is continuously interesting from the very first opening scene to the last ending scene. Again, although TSR carries a lot of it's predecessors' traits into this series, it is quite apparent from the first couple of minutes into the show that this storyline is darker than what fans may be used to. But, don't let this deter you because it sets a serious tone which attracts your attention throughout the entire thirteen episodes. It's not like TSR doesn't have any comedy in it, it's just that they use it more sparingly than the previous two series. All in all though, TSR storyline is a roller coaster of emotions, which will not disappoint anyone, as it is simply fantastic.
What can I say about the art? It's very good. Again, compared to the other two series, the animation in TSR is a huge step up. The backgrounds are incredibly detailed, and the lighting effects used in this series are awesome. The colors are sharp and crisp, and the animation is smooth beyond belief. Just by watching even the smallest movement in the characters, you can see the effort that was put into TSR. This over-the-top quality animation is very apparent during the mech battles, which look just fantastic. There are only a couple of brief instances where the animation suffers a little, but it definitely does not take anything away from the series.
The music and sounds in TSR are also great. The song artist from the first two series returns, and she does not disappoint with the opening and ending themes. Like the other openings and endings in the Full Metal Panic! series, the songs fit the tone of TSR perfectly. The background music is great as well, as it really sets the right atmosphere depicted by the story. As for the sound effects, they are as realistic as can be, and some of them were quite unique in my opinion.
Ah yes, the characters. I must say that I simply love watching the characters interact with each other in the Full Metal Panic! series. From the minor characters to the major ones, TSR will not disappoint in this department. I kid you not; the character development in TSR is truly outstanding. Watching the relationship between Sousuke and Kaname in this series alone has personally made them my favorite anime couple. I definitely thought it was the most attracting part about the show, as you can really feel what they are thinking and what they are going through. This is why you need to see the other two series before this one. Watching these characters grow and develop in TSR gives you a roller coaster ride of emotions, and it is just fantastic.
Well, finally, the enjoyment factor. To sum it up in three words: I love it. This is how an anime should be done in every aspect. The episodes in TSR were consistently very good, and it basically improved on everything that made Full Metal Panic! good in the first place, and turned it into something outstanding. By the way, I am not a critic who gives out an overall score of ten very easily. In fact, Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid and only one other anime have received an overall score of ten from me. But you don't have to take my word for it. Just give it a try for yourself.
FMP! The Second Raid
Ok this is an improvement from the first season but still has the same problems that makes it not enjoyable, just like in the first one and that problem is Chidori and her constant unjustified violence and other considerable problems of interaction between Sousuke and Chidori.
The story starts two months after the first season with a somehow changed enviroment, like if Chidori was more violent and isn't aware of the hard work Sousuke is put on by Mithril but for some reason she is bitchy towards him for not being there for her (he should be sorry for saving people) and when
he is close to her she starts with her unjustified violence and that happens even in serious scenes where ''comedy'' is not required and i even thought she improved because of one particular ep. and therefore starting to understand Sousuke but when she reappears after what was a mature story with Sousuke as the protagonist, she blew my enjoyment, that enjoyment that could gave the anime a higher score, that enjoymen that i was having with an improved story, i was thinking that the story was much better without Chidori and just focused on Sousuke and the Mecha drama, it was a much better setting, what was the best is that Sousuke was finally asking himself what was he doing with his life? is that what he wants to keep doing? does he want to keep following orders even if he by following them couldn't protect Chidori? and i knew the story was more mature in the manga because i was spoiled that scene of what he did with that Chinese woman, it only surprised me that it wasn't adapted like it was in the manga, the thing is that Chidori ruined the story with her uncalled violence, but the story is good even with all that mess.
Art & Animation
The animation improved a lot, more smooth and much better in general, nothing to complain about it but yeah is very good considering it was from 2005.
Better music and it has the same VA but more concentrated to make a great job at doing the voices; The OP is kind of like in the first season skippable and the ED was odd, it has something that made me think it was sad for some reason, it's crazy considering the clip is Sousuke and Chidori walking but with a maybe normal ED song, i don't know just that in general it's very good.
A more improved cast of good characters but is not enough to consider the characters the strong point of the anime because if it has a particular character improvement like Sousuke then we are presented with Chidori and her same attitude, for some reason they act different, what happened in the gap time of two months from first season and second raid because is not explained why Chidori has Alzheimer with Sousuke and what he does in his daily life and why Sousuke acts like a douche with Tessa and Tessa's character was another problem, she was one of the few that i liked in the first season and now she is like almost not there and why would Sousuke say she's important to him but he doesn't show it, it's a mess, i liked that Chidori was missing Sousuke and acting like him when he was not around in one particular ep. and i thought that she was finally going to understand him and his protective persona and at that point for some reason i didn't hated her but when she finally reunites with him like i pointed before she blew it with her stupidity again, i was trying to find the reason on why she used violence with him, i can't even... The Xia twins were interesting but it wasn't enough, i wanted more of them and it was obvious who their master was when that Gates guy mocked their master and of course Melissa and Kurz are the same.
Like i stated the enjoyment is good and even more if people don't mind a character like Chidori, not her character as the whole problem but her attitude, i can't stand that kind of character with unjustified violence and not that i don't like Tsunderes because i do but that is one of those cases that are annoying and not enjoyable at all because that ''comedy'' is not comedy for me.
This is probably going to be difficult to review without giving too much away, but I'll try to keep it simple. I'm not too used to reviewing - so bare with me here! I'll start off by saying that I absolutely adored the first series of FMP! And, to be honest, was completely overjoyed when I found out that a second season was also being released. However, I have to say that I was slightly disappointed by the length of FMP!TSR. At a mere 13 episodes, I didn't really think that it was long enough - compared to its predecessor at a
just right episode count of 24. But this small problem didn't stop me from actually watching the series. But despite it's length, it certainly contains enough action. There's a lot more going on in this second series than the first - and they still managed to do it all in a small amount of episodes.
Everyone's favorite clueless Sargent is having problems in balancing his work with Mythril, as well as his 'public' life as a sort-of bodyguard for Kaname. As a result of this conflict, Sousuke is having difficulty in trying to balance his life between the two, but mostly it causes problems for the Mythril side of operations. This continues on during the entire series.
The love triangle that existed in the first series and transcended into the 'spin-off' series FMP!Fumoffu is even more apparent here. Of course, there's also Tessa the ever present captain of the Tuatha de Danaan (or Toybox). It's quite interesting to see how the relationship between these three characters continued to develop from the first season, through to fumoffu? and then to TSR. I won't reveal too much though.
All in all, the character development in this series is very good. Better than in some other anime's that I have seen in this particular genre. The animation style continues it's high standard, and is definitely no exception in this season either. And to put the cherry on the top Mikuni Shimokawa returns to perform both the opening and closing themes of the anime. Could you ask for anything better? If you're a fan of the anime - or even a fan of the novels that this series is based on, I would most definitely recommend it. I'm just hoping now that they do a third season! As I think that this season really left some openings for a third series. But I'll let you make your own conclusions about that.
As Yahtzee Croshaw once said, "A good sequel is one that uses the original as a jumping-off point for a brand new story, while a bad sequel simply wallows in the original like a hippo in a vat of liquidized children". Seeing as how the original Full Metal Panic was fairly mediocre, with only a particularly impressive antagonist pulling it through its inconsistency, poor characterization and bad pacing, it would have been very regrettable if The Second Raid had simply taken the latter route and rehashed the first series in an inferior format. So what a shock we're in for, as Full Metal Panic: TSR
is by far superior to its predecessor in almost every way.
Part of what helps is Full Metal Panic: Fumoffu. One of the major problems the first series had was that it kept swinging between generic highschool comedy and military action, and made no real attempt to weave it together. Overall, it would have been better if they had been two shorter series as opposed to one 24-episode one. And that is exactly what they did here. Whilst Fumoffu went about doing the highschool comedy much better than the original did, TSR does the exact same thing for the military action. Whilst TSR does have some comedy here and there, this time around it feels necessary, and gets woven into the story, rather than being some pointless distraction from the plot.
Whilst the plot does take a handful of episodes to properly kick in, it follows as such: Mithril discovers that another organisation creating chaos has similar technology to their Lambda Driver, a one-of-a-kind device that only the protagonist has the ability to use... and doesn't seem to be able to anymore. Also, rogue members of the aforementioned organisation are starting chaos in the unstable Chinese government, for an unknown "Sensei" of theirs. All through this, Sosuke is being put through the serious strain of protecting the "Whispered" Kaname Chidori, whilst maintaining his highschool façade, and undertaking his regular military missions.
Through this, our previously annoying, personality-devoid protagonist is put between a rock and a hard place, gets forced to genuinely come into his own as a character, and rebel... and this is where the series shines. Whilst in the first season, the characters were bland, annoying, and totally devoid of development, with Sosuke being the worst, here Sosuke manages to get some extremely impressive character development turning him from perhaps the worst to the best character over the course of only a few episodes. They also manage to replace antagonist Gauron with another fantastically psychotic antagonist, Gates. Whilst Gauron was more entertainingly evil, and outright disturbed, Gates' outright psychopathy is actually played more for laughs, e.g. having his crew kill off his attackers, and then suddenly remembering he needed to extract information from them first. They play his brand of hilarious gore so well that there's never a dull moment with him on screen. This is all somewhat underplayed by the fact that Gates isn't actually that important to the plot, though. Whilst an antagonistic force is clearly in effect, Gates never really seems to effect the plot as a character, as though his personality and plot significance are two separate beings entirely. In fact, if i'm not mistaken, I don't think Gates ever speaks to a single one of the protagonists once in the entire course of the series.
And whilst we're speaking of antagonists, Gauron's motivations are finally explained here. Whilst they made little sense in the first series, they finally have some light shed on them, although they are rumouredly more fleshed out in the manga. With this given, the only truly annoying character remaining is Kaname Chidori, who manages to fall easily into the "helpless maiden" archetype, going through every "Dead Teenager" horror movie cliché in one particular episode.
Sadly, unlike the first series, this episode cuts in at only 13 episodes, being one of those series that really leaves you wanting more. In fact, it almost feels rushed, and in some ways feels like a clichéd attempt to pull things together. To its credit, though, it manages to tie up all but a few unimportant plot threads this time... and those look as though they'll be tied up in another series anyway. We can only hope, because with this and Fumoffu under FMP's belt, it's definitely worth watching the first series just to get to this.
Final Words: Frankly, one of the best anime sequels, if not the best, that i've ever seen.
English Dub: 5/10
After finishing watching The Second Raid (TSR) around 20 minutes ago, I was left with a feeling of fulfillment anime rarely ever gives me these days. As an action series it's hard to fault: the action was enjoyable to watch, helped by the high production values, and it had a strong cast of characters that painted over the simplicity of the story. It did everything it needed to do right and ticked all of my boxes, meeting my overly critical standards.
This wasn't the case with the original FMP series, though. Back when I watched that I was left a bit underwhelmed by an experience I'd
expected to be a lot more enjoyable than it turned out to be. The constant switching between school comedy and anti-terrorism/mecha action let it down, interrupting the flow and making it difficult to get into the serious episodes. And, with the quality of the serious stories and comedy varying from decent to very good, the quality of the content wasn't enough save a series suffering from an identity crisis. I gave it 7/10.
After the first series, someone with a brain obviously decided it would be a better idea to separate the serious and comedy elements into two series, removing the problems caused by the conflicting genres. The comedy side of things got its very own series first in the way Fumoffu and, as you'd expect, lots of school insanity involving Sagara and Kaname followed. It worked out far better without any robot goings on getting in the way, helped by the comedy scenes being far more funny than most of those shown in the original series. I gave it 8/10, but I would've probably scored it higher if not for my sense of humour failure.
TSR, which came out after Fumoffu, did the reverse and focused on the anti-terrorism side. I wasn't really sure what to expect after ending up disappointed with the more serious sections of the original series, not even the high ratings making me confident. I only got around to watching it after I saw and won an auction for the art box + entire series on eBay.co.uk, the motivation not having been there after finishing Fumoffu many months earlier. But, when I did finally get around to watching it, I found myself struggling to find faults, and even the faults I found were only relatively minor things, such as the use of abbreviations without any explanations being given.
As you'd expect with TSR being an action series, the story wasn't memorable. The threat of civil war appears, Mythril send out Arm Slaves to intervene, the threat of war is averted and the cycle starts anew. Mixed in is an organization called Amalgam that creates wars to test out weapons and profits from doing so. None of it is hard to understand or what I'd consider to be memorable.
So, what made TSR better than most other action series? The characters. Since most watchers would've viewed the previous FMP series before getting into this, most of the character introductions and basic development wasn't necessary, leaving more than enough time for the new characters to get introduced and allowing for the already established characters to get additional development. Talking of new additions, the new characters were pretty good, the insane new villain Gates and a pair of sexy Chinese twins being the best of the lot.
Unsurprisingly, The Sagara/Kaname relationship received the most time and, as a result, was the strongest non-action point of the series. I came to like/love/want to sex Kaname far more by the end, the determination and emotions shown by her raising my opinion of her even higher than it was prior to watching. Sagara, on the other hand, was more hit and miss: I hated him for a lengthy period of TSR for being a coward, but I did end up warming up to him towards the end; when the interaction between the two resumed. The one consistent thought that ran through my mind when watching Sagara was that without Kaname around him he's neither likable nor very interesting...
Overall, I can't help but rate TSR highly. It successfully pleased someone hard to please, meaning it's a show that I'm sure the majority of anime fans out there that haven't got around to watching it yet would love to bits. Looking for a short and high quality action/mecha series? If so, this is for you.
When Full Metal Panic: Fumoffu aired many fans questioned whether or not the then unknown animation studio Kyoto Animation (Kyoani) would be up to the task. It was pretty obvious that they were and after establishing themselves with the otakun community with Air: TV it was clear they were a force to be reckoned with. Full Metal Panic!: The Second Raid (FMP: TSR) the direct sequel of Full Metal Panic! (FMP) would be their next project and in the end became a worthy sequel. Perhaps FMP:TSR could even be considered to be superior to the first FMP.
FMP: TSR story/structure can be easily
described by its opening and ending. The opening, Minami Kaze is a song that features hardship yet remains optimistic for the future while, accompanying primarily military/mecha scenes. Where as the ending, Mou Ichido Kimi ni Aitai is a somber piece about 2 lover separated and wish to meet again. This song is accompanied with shots of an empty school and Sagara and Chidori walking together. The opening is distinctly representative of the first half of FMP: TSR as there is quite a bit of fact paced action. Easily some of the best ‘light’ military action scenes I’ve seen. In addition, there is a bit of military drama but it never gets too heavy. Mou Ichido Kimi ni Aitai, the ending song is best representative of the 2nd half. FMP: TSR takes a more serious turn focusing on the character drama between Sagara and Chidori, in particular Sagara. Both halves were very good in their right however, the transition between them could have been better. The beginning was very story driven but suddenly ends up character driven.
Many of my complaints for the first Full Metal Panic! still apply. All of the villains are extremely flat, Gates isn’t much more than a crazed lunatic and the Xia sisters are pretty boring albeit badass. They did introduce another villain that should to prove interesting in the next Full Metal Panic’s. There are also a few plot holes/inconsistencies that can be annoying. The use of comedy, one of FMP best parts felt a bit awkward the beginning of FMP: TSR. In particular, the 2nd episode, it felt like they were forcing the comedy in-between story segments. Thankfully, the balance was found later on in the series.
Character wise, once again similar to the first FMP, they are pretty interesting and fun to watch. However, what really separates FMP: TSR and FMP! would be the more serious character drama in the 2nd half of the series. This part was extremely well done and gives Sagara the much needed character depth and growth. I’ll stop now for fear of spoiling any more. Let me just say that for the next FMP’s this is easily one of the biggest things I’m looking forward to.
The one part that FMP: TSR really improves upon would be the animation/art. Action was extremely fluid and well choreographed. They were among the best mecha action scenes I’ve seen in any anime. In addition, many of the actions scenes are extremely fun to watch, as it never got too gritty/realistic. Art was equally good and consistant. Overall, Kyoani truly deserve the reputation they have for high quality animation/art. Music, was good, but nothing really note worthy.
Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid features an action packed beginning with bits of drama. Actions scenes are among the best I’ve seen and the art/animation is of the highest quality, as expected of Kyoani. However, the 2nd half takes a more serious turn, focusing on character drama between Sagara and Chidori, in particular Sagara. This darker more serious turn is was really separates itself from the first Full Metal Panic! In addition, this gives Sagara the much needed character depth and growth. The transition between the 2 halves could have been done better as it feels a bit too much of a jump between the story driven first half and the character driven second half. Also, the villains were a bit flat, with the exception of one who should prove interesting in the upcoming Full Metal Panic’s. However, these complaints can’t take away from the fact that Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid is an enjoyable watch featuring excellent actions scenes and character drama. Now where’s the sequel?
Sleek animation, adrenalin pumping action, and a great plot containing many twists and turns, I really should have enjoyed this more than I did. I lay the blame on one of my friends, who hyped it up way too much for me. I mean, there is no doubt that "Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid" is very good show, but it's no where near the best anime ever, or even one of the best, like my friend had claimed.
"The Second Raid" is a generally good all-round anime that succeeds very well at what it tries to do, which is to be a kick ass action
driven show. Nevertheless, it contains some flaws, and lacks that certain I-don't-know-what that distinguishes something that's one of the greats from something that's just another great anime. It's the kind of aura that makes you love it even when it's uber hyped. "Berserk" has it, even though incompleteness marred the series badly; "Full Metal Alchemist" has it enough to overcome my general hate for anime comedy. "The Second Raid" however, doesn't have "it".
When it comes to the animation, "The Second Raid" is almost impeccable. Wonderfully rich colours and clean artwork combines with the great CG makes this an absolute treat for the eyes. The only problem is, the characters look so great for the most part that Chidori's slightly exaggerated character design (inherited from the original series) that reflects her rather loud, brash personality seems out of place when everything else looks so perfect. This kind of thing is reflected in the content of the anime too. "The Second Raid" is mostly serious, and when it is serious, it is for the most part, really good. But occasionally they try to slip in some comedy, and it just doesn't work as it well as it does in previous series.
The story is well executed, and contains enough twists to keep you on the edge of your seat, but there's nothing that extraordinary about it, nothing you've not seen a couple of times before from somewhere. I still remember the desert mission from the original series, but I barely remember anything from "The Second Raid". In addition, there still doesn't seem to be much information on certain enigmas such as the whispered etc that's left unexplained in the first season. Whether this is because Kyoto Animation didn't feel like wiping Gonzo's arse after them as they took over the franchise following season 1, or whether it's because the answers to those mysteries are still not revealed in the source material, I can only speculate.
In many ways, the characters makes and breaks this show. My friend especially like the way they developed Sousuke out of his box personality in "The Second Raid", and though it didn't quite have the same amount of affect on me, I can certainly see what he was getting at. Chidori also gets some nice development, as the extreme back-to-the-wall circumstances she faces in the series brings out a steely quality in her character. Thankfully, they are the central characters of the franchise, so the fact that they are good weighs heavily in the favour of this anime, which is just as well, because the side characters aren't all that.
Like with the first season, I really feel the need to let off some steam with a "Tessa rant". "Watch TSR, then you'll see why Tessa makes such a good captain," my friend told me, in response to when I said a character like Tessa being captain is absurd. It's true that during one incident in this particular series Tessa shows some backbone, but it's also true that previous to the incident she does something that makes her look like the lovesick little girl that she is. It also speaks volumes when her subordinate are all so surprised that she could show such backbone... such faith they place in their commanding officer :P It pretty much proves my point about her lack of presence. A certain conversation between Tessa and her superior indicated that her superior also habours doubts about her ability to be captain, but that she had insisted. So let me get this straight - her superior didn't think she was suitable, and yet he still let her be captain just cos that is what she wanted?? Are they suppose to be a military organisation or a nursery?!
And don't forget the new fanservice characters. In addition to Tessa, they've now added a pair of Chinese twin sisters. In case being lesbians ain't servicing the fans enough, they've also thrown in some incest action for good measure. The fact that they were originally male in the source material speaks for itself, really. Then we have the villain. Clearly they're trying to make the most crazy villain ever here. Perhaps they succeeded, but for me they've gone a bit overboard with it. The effort of making him crazy purely for the sake of craziness just made him seem waaay too weird for my liking, not to mention annoying.
Just like the previous series, "The Second Raid" features some nice jpop opening/ending themes and background music. Here's something interesting: I was listening to my iPod, and mistook the background music from "Full Metal Panic" for the epic sound track off "Gundam Seed". Not such a surprise once I found out that Sahashi Toshihiko is the composer behind both. Just listening to the sound track, it's hard to distinguish between the two anime, but while watching the anime, I found the music in "Gundam Seed" to be a lot more powerful and memorable. I guess it just goes to show that the music and the contents of the anime can be mutually influencing, and that "Full Metal Panic" just isn't as epic as "Gundam Seed".
The one major complaint I have with the otherwise great sound production is the wooden Chinese spoken in the anime ("The Second Raid" takes place in China). In fact, it seems like a general trend that foreign language spoken by natives in anime sounds flat. I'm guessing that one reason might be because it's not worth the effort looking for native speakers with voice acting credentials just for the purpose of voicing extras, and so they just end up pulling ordinary people off the streets to voice these roles... and surprise surprise they turn out not to be very good at it.
Until the last episode, I was prepared to rate this higher than the first season, as I was quite enthralled by the numerous turn of events, but the last episode is very weak. Sousuke's conversation with his mecha is just so... cheesey... there's just no other term for it, as much as I dislike using that word. That attempt at light humour totally falls flat on its face. I did rather like the ending involving Sousuke and Chidori, but I suspect what one guy said about their relationship most likely returning to their static state eventually to be true. After all, that is the main attraction of the whole franchise, and at the very least, it's something that "Full Metal Panic" does consistently well.
Picture the scene: A rainy night on top of a love hotel. A girl wearing nothing but a tattered dressing gown is down on her knees. She’s been sexually assaulted and just had to watch someone be choked to death. Shivering with her arms wrapped around her, she casts her face towards the sky, tears and rain dripping down her face, and screams “WHHHHYYYYYYYYY”. Fade to black, roll end of episode credits.
This is a thing that happens in The Second Raid. I get that you wanted to get serious this season after Fumoffu, but there’s serious and there’s surgically removing all the fun from a
The Second Raid is a huge angst-fest, growing an emo-fringe down to its knees as characters throw aside their regular characterisation to shiver and moan and agonise over the pain of existence. Sagara, the once straight talking, straight shooting male lead, goes down the path of alcohol and hookers. He regards the death of his comrades with cold apathy. He starts following the cult of nihilism, asking what is the point in living on this gay earth anymore. I get that they’re trying to communicate to us that he just really cares about Kaname and doesn’t want to be apart from her, but there has to be a better way to demonstrate this that doesn’t involve beating up repeatedly with the frying pan of angstyness. I’m sure there’s another way we can understand his pain without it being so tedious and irritating to watch.
The new villains in this arc, brought upon by this shift in tone, are equally terrible. The Chinese assassin twins are where most of the horribleness revolves around. They’re the main recipients of the anime’s new turn into the Violence and Tits arena, and it comes off as immature at best and exploitative and worst. Particularly when you consider there’s tits everywhere while they too are contemplating the pain of their existence and them being raped by their new boss. The violence usually surrounds them too, with shots of things like spinal columns poking out the top of slit necks and things like that. It’s not saying anything with the violence and sexuality either. With the tone of TSR, it comes off as trying to appear hardcore.
The leader of the military group in TSR deserves credit for making me appreciate the first season’s Gauron a whole lot more. I’d always thought Gauron was a bit crazy and psychotic and wondered why people kept funding him, but at least Gauron didn’t randomly shoot dudes in the face who were on his team. At least Gauron was capable of holding a conversation enough for a deal to go through. You only realise Gauron’s insanity when you get up close and look into his eyes when he makes a near suicidal decision, but up until then you can see why someone would follow his orders. His obsession with Sagara gave him some actual depth. The lunatic in TSR, on the other hand, is nothing more than a lunatic. What’s most bizarre is the show seemed to be trying to play up his lunacy as comedy. His actions are so cartoony and exaggerated it feels like he belongs in a totally different anime to the otherwise oppressive angst that the rest of the show has.
The plot is also nonsensical. Sagara’s story with Kaname is the main draw here, and that at least makes sense, if admittedly tonally off. The actual terrorism committed in this show is way stupider though. Asides from random nothings like “hey, lets introduce Tessa’s brother like it’s no big deal, and then do absolutely fuck all with him”, the entire mission in the second half revolves around two depressed Chinese twins following the orders of a psychotic cripple as they escape from a lunatic scientist who rapes them when he’s not shooting his subordinates in the face, all for the incredibly roundabout purpose of getting Sagara to walk into a single building. That’s leaving aside the fact that somehow that guy managed to survive a self-destruct sequence inside his own robot with several tons of explosives right out in the middle of the ocean. I know he’s supposed to give off this Terminator-vibe, but that’s just silly. I’m choosing to believe that he was just a figment of Sagara’s depressed imagination. The plot arguably makes more sense that way.
What makes this more depressing (for me that is, because I’m not sure the tone of TSR could get more depressed) is that there’s clearly a better show here. Kyoto Animation’s production quality and general shine is light-years ahead of anything Gonzo ever did, even accounting for the 3 years advances in animation technology KyoAni had. Shame that they put this talent into something so angsty and hardcore. This sounds especially weird coming from me, who could not give a rats ass about anything KyoAni make nowadays because of their devotion to the bible of cute, but badly made hardcore angst is just as tedious as shallow cuteness.
Thing is, there are two episodes in the middle of TSR that are amazing. It has a fantastic chase sequence through some town in Sicily where Kurz, Mao and Sagara try to escape the mafia in a crappy little car, which has that brilliant quality of any great chase sequence in that events keep spiralling up and become more dramatic as it goes on. Then that episode is followed by easily the best scene in the entire FMP canon: The haircut scene. Its remarkable in its low-key simplicity. Wonderfully directed, with pregnant pauses and great sound design and a closeness to it that captures fantastically how much Sagara and Kaname feel safe around each other, with so much being said with so little. Its perfection hurts, with makes it that much more disappointing when the rest of the show careers off into angst-town.
Full Metal Panic! TSR is 13 episodes long sequel to FMP! and FMP: Fumoffu. Story begins from three months after the original FMP.
Story was good and overall better balanced than in first series. Story was rather quick because of limidet episode quantity. I feel that story would have been maybe better if they had made few more episodes but it was good even now. This one had less humour and darker athmosphere than first one but I actually liked it. It felt somehow better and better fitted for this series.
This in one thing that I loved the most in this series. Art and drawing are
really awesome. You wont notice bad detailed parts like in some marathon series (Naruto, Bleach etc.) Everything is really precisely done and the animation studio has really put effort to this.
Sound and the sountrack was overall good. Nothing earthbreaking but they fitted well in the series and its athmosphere. Nicely done.
Characters were easely likable and overall there were something for everyone. Most of the characters were from the first series but some new ones made their first appereance. The new bad guy Gates was well done and very unique. Overall new characters fitted well in the story and I didn't hate anyone. It is good sign if you don't dislike any character. It means they are done well. This one had more character development too. Sousuke really stardet to think something other than military and I liked that change. It made him feel moore natural.
I really enjoyed this series. It had good mix of action, drama and humour.
Overall I liked this anime very much. everything was so well made that this sucked me truly with it. Only complain is the episode quantity. 13 is really small amount for anime. I highly recommend this anime even if you don't like mecha.
Compaired to the last series of full metal panic which i found was below average to good at best, this is certainly an improvement.
The animation in the original was lack luster at best and at times looked extremely ugly. I know that can be a factor of me just liking the look of new anime moor, but I think this still looks worse then some anime during that time or before it. but, the animation in the second season looks spectacular and still holds up to this day
the story is a lot better then the firs and it seems a lot less repetitive.
I think the reason for this is because the characters deal with more internal conflicts now. The protagonist seems less of a blank slate in this season then he did in the last season. and i feel like some of the side characters are actually decent now.
The sound track is still the same as the first one i think
the characters are way better this season. the villain has a more bombastic personality and i like watching him, and the other new characters are good as well.
I enjoyed this show and would recommend it. i myself am not much of a mech fan so if i can watch it then most people can to. its also a great introduction to mech series.
This third season of Full Metal Panic "The Second Raid" is probably my favorite of the three. It's definitely the most competently made: It has fantastic action sequences, an interesting plot and features much better pacing, animation and characterizations! The military stuff in this one is actually pretty damn good and it's balanced much better with the show's campier side which is hilarious as ever!
On the dramatic side of things: Sousuke and Kaname's relationship is pushed to its limits when they're unwillingly split up! In one heartbreaking scene Kaname calls out for Sousuke's help, but for the first time in the series - Sousuke is
not there for her. It gets very tense and you really feel for both of them during their lonesome struggles! They're obviously deeply in love but neither is willing to admit it to one another, which is of course one of the reason why we love this show so much.
My favorite scene of the whole season is where Kaname cuts Sousuke's hair. It's perfectly written, perfectly acted (at least in the English dub) and perfectly directed. I've never been into shipping much, but Kaname and Sousuke are hands down my favorite anime couple of all time so this scene was very sweet and satisfying! For all the REAL shippers out there - This is probably the closest thing we'll get to a sex-scene with these two!
By the end of the season you're left wanting more and saddened that Kyoto Animation cant figure out how to continue the anime... I award "The Second Raid" a glowing 9/10 - It's an excellent (if slightly unforfilling) end to one of the best and funniest anime series ever conceived!
The story is defiantly strong, it picks off well from where the first series left off, and has a good pacing speeding up/slowing down when necessary, There isn't a single filler episode in this series, and I felt that after every episode I watched that the plot or the characters had developed a little; which is obviously very positive. I won't talk too much about the story itself so not to ruin it for people who haven't seen it yet, but it is defiantly a good continuation of the first series
FMP! has always had it's own distintive art style,
the animation is certainly superb; the moment the intro sequence begins you know you are in for something special and the attention to detail really makes for a realistic setting, the fight scenes are especially good and the blood looks really realistic, the settings are much darker than the other two series and really adds to the overall tone of the series.
No anime series is complete without a good OST, and this series defiantly doesn't let up in this department. From fantastic opening and ending songs to fantastic mood music, the whole score sounds perfect and really seems to fit well with where it's put, whether it's low sounding beats for mysterious scenes or softer songs for more delacit moments, there's never a moment when the music seems irregular or out of place
Now the characters have always been my favourite part of the FMP! series, but this series sees more development than the first two combined. Never have we seen Sousuke more emotional or Kaname more helpless, there were genuine moments when I was on the edge of my seat to see what happens next between them. Not only does there relationship develop, but also Sousuke as a character, he defiantly seems like he's grown up alittle by the end of the series and is ready to live life the way he wants to, which is a message that applies to us all. Appearances from the ever perverted Kurtz and the strong willed Melissa just help add to the character side with Sousuke experiencing different emotions around the both of them. The new villians introduced were excellent and worked on so many levels, there more violent nature really made the series alot darker than I imaged it would be, and really had character that made them stand out as memorable villians.
Enjoyment? Well that's a combination of everything above really, the fact I was a big fan before this series just meant that I was hyped as hell waiting and then watching this series, and seeing some more development between the characters I love really made it a worthwhile watch, but to fully enjoy it you defiantly have to atleast seen the first series (the second series, being a spin off, is briefly referred to in scenes but not in relevence to the plot).
I'm a harsh critic so I very rarely hand out 10s, but this series really ticked all the boxes it had to and defiantly exceeded all expectations, I'd reccomend watching this if you watched and enjoyed the first two series, be warned this one is more violent and does contain a few bloody scenes.
Fans of the original Full Metal Panic will find more of exactly what they loved about the first season with Full Metal Panic the 2nd Raid. The show really doesn’t deviate from what made the first season a success, and even manages to build onto that a bit.
Story: I won’t go into the specifics of the story, but the second season seems to focus less on the dangers to Chidori and instead focuses more on Sousuke’s life as a soldier as well as some new enemies he will have to face. As with the first series, I’ve always thought that FMP is
weaker when it tries to focus on the mecha and military aspect of the show. I think the heart of the show is the comedy that usually goes with the pairing of Sousuke and Chidori, and since this season seems to be more focused on the military aspect, I think it loses something for that. On the flip side, there is a lot of growth for the characters in this season, particularly Sousuke who you really wind up liking more by end of the season. The enemies in this particular season are hit or miss, as I enjoyed the twin sisters as villains, but found myself utterly annoyed with the crazy bastard they’ve setup as the main villain. Despite the fact that I think the show once again strays from its real heart and lacks a truly enjoyable antagonist, it’s still a great season overall and one that fans of the series will love none the less.
Characters: I’ve already talked a bit about Chidori and Sousuke. Chidori doesn’t seem to grow as much in this season as does Sousuke, although she faces some challenges and she has some of the best moments in the entire show. This season is really about Sousuke, his growth as a person beyond his military career and his feelings towards Chidori. I think the best scene in the entire season is the haircut scene, which ironically other people have chided for being too slow. That scene really shows the growth of their relationship and again, these two and their relationship is the real core of this show, so the better that is, the better the show is overall. The side characters pretty much all take a back seat in this season though, as almost none of the classmates are even seen, and even Mao and Kurz have very minor roles, but largely that’s due to the shortened season I believe.
Presentation: Overall, there isn’t anything to really complain about when it comes to the visuals and audio of FMP. The animation is solid and the music is all around pretty good. The only downside is that nothing really stands out in either area. The people are all rather bland in terms of anime characters, and the robots are easily among the blandest mecha I’ve ever seen period. It makes sense within the confines of the show that you’d want them to be realistic looking, but they don’t need to be downright boring looking. In the end, the presentation isn’t anything to detract from the show, it just doesn’t add anything great to it either.
Enjoyment: This is where FMP really shines and picks up most of its score with me. Despite the fact that I still think the show waddles in the middle of doing anything in particular exceptionally, it still manages to be really enjoyable. The fight scenes are fun, if not spectacular and the comedy portions are still hysterical. Despite not finding anything in particular to really draw me into FMP, I still found myself loving this season. I think the reason that everyone loves this show is that it has some distinct charm, and that goes a long way.
In the end, FMP: 2nd Raid is another good season to a good show. I can’t classify it as great, as I think that there are shows out there that handle each of its respective parts better. But as a blending of high school comedy and mecha action shows, it works incredibly well. And it’s just a charming show that you always find yourself loving. Fans of FMP won’t need to be told to watch this season, so for everyone else, I can only say that if you give it a shot, this will probably win you over.
It was three years ago (on my 17th birthday) that I sat down and watched the first series of Full Metal Panic! Heck I enjoyed it, I thought it was clever, funny, suspenseful and terribly entertaining. However when it came to the end I was happy to move on with my life expecting it to be over (I'm used to one series anime). I really regret waiting those three years to watch the second raid.
The storyline (in which it really is essential that you have watched the first series) relies less on the meccha action side and really focusses on character development. Souske finally
starts showing emotions and that is the part that had me wishing that every episode was that little bit longer. One of the main plot points revolves around Souske being forbidden to contact Kaname in any way shape or form and these episodes were really fascinating. Seeing Kaname suffer through abandonment made you feel something for the both of them and that's what makes a moving piece of art.
My one and only dissapointment was that they introduced some new and really interesting characters (Gates, Xia Yu Lan, Xia Yu Fan and Leonard Testarossa especially) that I really wish had some more screen time. Although the series was more dramatic because of the 13 episode run which meant it could really focus on the main plot it also means we get less time understanding these new characters. Maybe a few more couldn't hurt?
The Full Metal Panic series, be it the first run, Fumoffu or The Second Raid has a little bit of everything in for everyone no matter what their tastes are. I only hope they continue to make a fourth series because they know how to hit every mark right.
And the panic keeps going, it seems. I was not too fond of the first series, nor the Fumoffu comedy, but this actually was quite ok. I really wanted to like the earlier FMP stuff, and at last something cood came up.
Flawless as usual from this title. It's basically the same as in the earlier incarnations, but with better animated fighting scenes and a little bit more gore. Character design and backgrounds are as great as always. Top notch!
The FMP titles have always had nice intro/outro songs, and this is no exception, although I must say it is worse than 1nd season and Fumoffu. Still
You get a bit irritated over Chidori's constant screaming, but overall the voice acting feels genuine. Not that I speak japanese, so I wouldn't know. The feeling is good, though.
The story focuses almost entirely on Sosuke this time, which means lots of mecha action and less of the school life. I guess we all got enough of that in Fumoffu. Still, I think the big potential FMP has, is the tension between Sosuke and Chidori and much of that risked getting lost in the Second Raid. It turned out ok, since much of the story is about his confusion having to choose between duty and the lass.
The more combat-oriented story is quite good, with some cool intrigues and a couple of twists. A couple of things felt wierd, and really twisted to get the story going.
All in all, a more than decent story.
Sosuke is finally starting to feel like at least part human, rather than a war droid. His increasing affection towards Chidori is confusing him, making him queston his role. Interesting.
Chidori is as stubborn and loud as ever, but as we have seem before, she actually likes Sosuke. Sometimes this shines through, and these times she is really cute. She doesn't add much to the story herself, though.
The villains are cool, I didn't get what that blonde boy was all about (I suppose he'll come back in a later FMP), but the twin girls and the crazy boss were great in their own ways. The crazy guy was actually one of the best villains I have ever seen in an anime, almost as good as Papacha from "Photon".
Sosuke's comrades-in-arms are... well, they are also great. Teresa gets a little more screen time, which is nice. I like her, she is such a paradox.
I probably won't watch this again in a long time, but it made me feel like watching the 1st season again just to check out some background fluff. It probably will make me disappointed again, just as it did the first time. Doesn't change the fact that I actually liked this anime, though.
So this is the second time for me watching this season, and i am glad i did.
It`s animation is far surperior to any show from 2005, and its prior seasons.
Rigth now i am having some heavy anime hangovers, but that is probably just me, because i experience some nostalgia watching this serie again. However i am still amazed of how good its story is, and even through i am one of does guys who DO NOT LIKE MECHA ANIME I STILL LOVE THIS SHOW.
One of the reason for my love of the Full Metal Panic Franchies, can be that its one of the few anime`s
out there, with a very strong female lead, even compared to today. I can`t think of a show with a female lead, as unique as Kaname Chidori from this show. On the other site we have Tessa, Sosukes captain, that have to take extreamly hard desition, and put her own situation aside, to support our main characters, even though it is emotional hard for her.
This season is alot more action packed than season 1, and it tells a far better story, and expants the universe just like a good sequel should do. At the same times it keeps its humor high, while still stepping into some emotional territory and it is doing it got damn good. I would say that my enjoyment of this was outstanding, compared to the first season, and one of the reason may be that it was some good and packed 13 episodes i was provided with.
I am in such love with the Characters that i have to give it 10/10, i don`t know if its nostalgia that let me think so high of this serie, but it just hits me like a wrecking ball.
"Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid" (TSR) is a wast improvement to it´s prequel "Full Metal Panic!" (FMP). It´s not often the sequel surpasses the prequel, but in this case it really does - in every category. I did enjoy the first part, but it contained many things that could been done better (better pacing, better character interactions, better music and so on). So what made "TSR" so much better in my eyes? I will get down to that now.
The story is picking up two months after the events "FMP", so you have to watch the first part to understand what´s happening. In
TSR we get more of the things that was so good in "FMP". It contains more action (mostly really nice mecha fights), connected to Mithrils missions. And in TSR you can start to see a red thread in this missions. Something is starting be clear - it´s not just random events but a enemy group (Amalgam) is actually behind most of the situations that Mithril has to take care of. Amalgams objectives also starts to come into the light, which makes the whole story much more compelling to me (love evil arch enemies with more objectives then just being evil). The story also takes a bit more serious tone (don´t worry, its still a lot of comedy involved), which suites the situations more and made me feel more for the characters. The interaction between many characters was also much better, which deepened the bond between them more (HUGE plus). It made me feel a whole a lot more for them in this 13 episodes then all the other 26. The pacing was much more even (not 2-3 intense ones and 4-5 slow ones), the flow between more action toned episodes and story filling toned episodes felt much more balanced. The only thing I´m missing is more info about the "whispered". It´s a build up for a continuation, but so far a new season hasn´t been announced. But it´s much more source material, so I guess I have to dig in to the manga now.
For a 2005 production the art and animation is great! It also a significant improvement to the prequel. The colors, motions, light setting and so on looks really good. The backgrounds and the details of them are amazing - really liked that they have put so much time and money in them. The mechas never seems out of place, which they sometimes can do in other anime. The characters look the same but have got an upgrade in quality and coloring. Overall very much to my liking.
Thank god that they did something drastic about the soundtrack! The soundtrack to FMP sounded much like something to a 90´s action cartoon (hated it). But the soundtrack to TSR are much more pleasing and suiting to the feeling of the anime - MEGA plus. OP and ED was also really good. A more up beat OP and a more slow and emotional ED. For VA (I watched the dubbed), I think most of them did a good job of catching the core of the character and how they expresses them self.
For starters I can say I like most of the cast. They have a broad variety of personalities and backgrounds. Most characters don´t feel shallow or boring. They all have personal traits and way of acting. Most of their emotions and expression of them is relatable and logical. The interaction between the characters also gained a new level, both in comical situations and more serious ones. That made the whole experiences of TSR that much more greater for me. The main characters had a lot more development in this season, compared to the first. We are also introduced to new characters, both allies and enemies. The most entertaining of them for me was the psycho villain dude and the psycho (incestious?) twin sisters. They shore made their impact on the story. We are also introduced to a new major player form the Amalgam organization, who has close connection with one in the top of Mithril. He really peaked my interest.
One thing I liked a lot is that we get to know more about Sousukes past, which highly explains way he is like and acts like he does. He also developed much during TSR. He goes from being the stiff and non questioning soldier, to being more human that can feel and express emotions. He also starts to think about how he want to live his life, and starts to become aware of his feelings for Kaname. Kaname is still her old loud and violent self, but is tested raver hard when she is left alone and have to fend for her self. But that makes her grow and become even stronger - the girl is a survivor for shore. She also starts to realize her feeling for Sousuke but don´t really have the guts to tell him how she feels. And my girl Major Melissa Mao. Always a pleasure to see her do her thing.
I really enjoyed myself watching TSR! I watched in two days, that´s saying something. I had high hopes for it after reading some very positive reviews on it, and I wasn´t the least disappointed - I agree to the letter. I was intrigued, excited and almost couldn´t wait to click forth next episode.
BAAM! Now we talking. Now I´m totally on the "Full metal panic!" hype train. A good balanced pace and mix of action, drama and comedy made this ride awesome for me. Add to that the show got a bit of more serious tone, which I think it´s suited for and we got some good character development. If you are into mechas with a loads of comedy and drama with some hints of romance - well this is the shit for you.