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Jul 9, 2011 11:26 AM
Anime Relations: Full Metal Panic!, Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou
FULLMETAL PANIC
While not a big fan of mecha, that's not the problem I have with this anime.
Apparently, it is the general consensus that this anime is the weakest, being that Fumoffu and the Second Raid are often hailed as being much better (KyoAni anyone?). So I guess I'd recommend watching the first few eps (the school arc) and then immediately stop and move on to fumoffu (I think that's enough to make sense of fumoffu) if you want a no plot comedy. As for FMP itself, it only goes down... I knew from watching a certain episode preview that that "arc" would be terrible and it was.

FILLER COMEDY
Most of the time the FILLERS were more interesting than main "story". The comedy aspect is just so underplayed since it just so happens the comedy/school filler aspect is just much better. By much better, they were the only good parts because they were really funny but were sometimes fillery/boring as fillers usually are. It's redeeming factors are the antics between the two main characters. The first couple of episodes were funny and I enjoyed the relationship between Sosuke and Chidori but it gets old.

STORY:
Everything boils down to "throw the mercenary and the schoolgirl in a painfully ridiculous situation". But beyond the antics for popularity, Full Metal Panic is hollow.
The "plot" comes in and it isn't strong or intriguing in the slightest. It's just not COOL... They put too much emphasis on that but even so the series is just a bunch of arcs and once one ends, it's completely forgotten. The whole reason the events took place is not fully explained. Whispers? Lambda drive? Nothing is explained and we know so little that's it's laughable. It feels like the people who made it, they themselves didn't really know what to do with the ideas. But at the same time or maybe because of such poor development, I just couldn't care about all that uninteresting Mithril, mecha stuff. FMP is one of those unfortunate anime that expects you to sympathize with characters and situations when you don't even care. It has an uncohesive story that never brings anything to the table. There are some funny scenes, but there isn't anything really compelling about this series.

Actually, the worst part is that it pretends that it does have a story, but there isn't really. Everything is black and white; there are no moral issues, political intrigue, motives, etc to make it worthwhile/interesting/smart/etc. The story is lame; the episodes with few exceptions are either far-fetched or clearly melodramatic. The episodes get more and more ridiculous with each episode.
The plot tries too hard to blend hard military SF with school hijinks and it just doesn't work. They the anime will try to transition from one of these "serious" tones to another between episodes, and sometimes, within one episode. If the anime were to devote it self entirely to one or the other, I'm sure it would've been much better.

ACTION
I was bored by the action parts, because I really didn't get any detailed/decent reasons on why they are fighting and so there's no way I could care that much. But the action scenes themselves are not exciting and the result is predictable.
I didn't feel much excitement watching it, it wasn't well planned out and things didn't fall in place well enough. The fight scenes were, in a couple of words, unbelievable, simple, lame, and boring.
No to the action
No to whatever "story" that isn't much of a story...
Yes to the comedy

CHARACTERS
The absolute worst part of this show is the bad guys. The absurdity with which they are written makes the show unfun and worse. G was the worst character, he has no personality and has all the predictable qualities in any given bad guy and honestly he doesn't even seem to have a real motive or story which makes him that much more uninteresting. It's like we get it, he's evil so what...
As expectedly so, he's boring and looks ugly in that typical cheap shonen anime way...

As for the other characters, they're all very typical. There's not much complexity in the personalities. However Sousuke's uniqueness is likely to appeal to most fans (he's pretty odd). Tessa is quite bland. They are generic as an archetype can be, cliché but they are likable.
I find the female lead to be unattractive (though I'm not a guy but still come on... NO). Therefore the fan-service with her was that much worse~ (I guess that's a big warning to anything).

ANIMATION
The mecha designs are dull and nothing special. The CG with the submarines, torpedoes, and whatnot were pretty well done, but even so I don't care about them. Thick lines, thick colors, and thick just about everything else don’t do the anime justice. Average animation, though there were some noticeable variations in production quality; at times it got better, at others worse. The character designs aren't half bad but are fairly simple.

SOUND
The opening and ending songs are like standard poppy whatever songs which is fine with me but even so they don't really fit with the actual show that much. The insert music is decent, doing its job, but nothing spectacular. On a good note, Sousuke and Chidori's voice actors are were very good and held up the only aspect of the show I enjoyed...

SO
The first 3 episodes or so (before that darn field trip) were "fun", but then the show just nose-dives, and I came to the realization it became bad, boring compared to its beginning. I couldn't finish it because I found this anime to be rather bad. It's purely typical anime in late 90's vein? Though nothing groundbreaking in the realm of plot, character development, comedy or drama, Full Metal Panic tried to do a lot in a small span of time thus not able to do anything even decently so I could not help but feel disappointed.

Very fragmented plots, very ordinary anime plot tools, cheesy humor at times, ridiculous dialogues and even more ridiculous situations. As much as I wanted to like it and as fun as it was in the beginning, it turned out to be mediocre.

KARE KANO
There is nothing about this anime that is truly special in any way; it’s your average romantic drama comedy. Anyone who mistakenly believes anything in Kare Kano is “original” never saw another very popular shoujo that precedes it by two years. I did enjoy parts of the story but honestly it has some flaws...

COMEDY
On the whole, it's nothing extraordinary and so the humor part is very limited. The jokes are relatively boring, I don't know why people say hilarious... After you see one joke, most of the time they just repeat it, thinking that we'll laugh at it even if we didn't laugh at it that much the first time...

STORY - More in recap/characters
It's slow-paced and boring at times to be honest. There really isn't much of a story going on. We get to follow some high school students through their everyday lives. It's about the characters and their relationships pretty much. Some episodes are nice but most of them are just not nice enough. It's like mixed and I think there's a couple fillers in there too.

There are too many flashbacks, and too many parts which characters are just thinking and speaking out their minds over and over.
They keep having self-discoveries and keep thinking about how people would think about them. I would prefer the story line to keep moving rather than to pause for all those monologues because honestly they do this so much it just loses its value, etc real quick. Speaking of which, the past of Arima and Yukino could have been cut down instead of repeatedly showing it.

ANIMATION
If the storyline and characters are good I can look past mediocre animation, but this one went way beyond anyone's tolerance. This hardly should be called "anime" at all; simply not very much animation going on. The ending theme consists of someone holding a camera while walking through some random building. OMG at least take some random scenes from the show for the ending but wait they used up all the ACTUALLY ANIMATED scenes from the series for the intro and they had enough recaps without having their credits sequence be one too. Almost everything in this anime is either stills or terrible live-action clips of traffic signs, buildings, and cats. The animation put a damper on scenes at times for example a meaningful scene with Yukino ruined by the ugly insertion of two live-action traffic signs in the middle of it. In the rare times something ACTUALLY moves, it moves badly and very cartoony.
They color the main characters sometimes and put something that resembles a background in the back and frequently recycled pictures from the first 8 episodes. Around half way through the series, it for the most part stops being animated. The screen pans through still images of a street or a traffic light while you hear the voices of the characters. Animation reached an all-time low after episode 19, I've never seen such horrid animation, it's as if they took paper cutouts and haphazardly drawn sketches done with crayons and taped them to popsicle sticks and just moved them with their hands (actually I am SO sure they did that at some points). Rather than enjoy such creativity, such massive abuse of animation annoyed me and took me away from the story. They're obviously cheap tricks from lazy illustrators to save work from the many standstills/zooms, dumb industrial-scenery-shots with no meaning or reference to the show, everyone constantly drawn deformed....
One of the very last episodes was a photocopy from the manga with square boxes one after another.

If I want to read a manga, I'll read a manga, not watch one.
If you haven't read the manga just go and buy that instead and to get the full experience of the animated version put your eyes very close to the pages and slowly scroll along them while having your friend squawk out the characters voices, be sure to go back a chapter and re-read it for the recap experience like every 2 pages.
Just taking into account when it's animated at its best it STILL looks older than 1998, that's for sure...

1998 anime on average do NOT look like this...

`RE-CAP
WHY are there tons of recaps? There is an ELABORATE recap at the start of almost EVERY episode that you just don't need. Heck, some episodes wasted more than 10 minutes telling back what happened and bore you with the stuff you've already watched and what you already heard get recapped before countless times. Even during the episodes, the dialogue often rehashes what has been shown over and over again. Honestly, it just makes the plot seem more lame and more average, etc... In the middle of the series, there are two consecutive recaps, which is unforgivable being that there are lengthy recaps at the beginning of each episode not to mention those re-caps only plays this annoying classical music song for the whole episode (needlessly to say I didn't watch those episodes). If there was some advanced story or web of character relations, it would be understandable, but for this anime the recaps were a total waste of screen time. They repeat the most basic premise of this whole show is based on so many times...

CHARACTERS
Too many 'characters and their stories'. Apart from Yukino/Arima and a couple others' stories, others to me are somewhat 'extras', redundant and pointless. No great drama, just some normal high school romance.
While the series does develop its characters in a decent fashion, it plays musical chairs with its cast. There were whole episodes where the main people, Yukino and Arima, did nothing. It's unfortunate because some the supporting characters' side-stories are actually quite uninteresting to me.
I didn't like any one of them in particular, but the interactions between them were amusing. But their exaggerated expressions and actions spoiled the mood of certain sentimental and poignant scenes. Characters were good but I felt they weren't taken to their full potential like finishing their stories. Some of the side characters are good, and some aren't like Yukino's bratty know-it-all sisters, generic tomboy Tsubaki, and ill-tempered Tsubasa.

SOUND
Most of the voices are great although Tsubasa's voice was annoying as hell though it may fit the character nicely perhaps but that didn’t keep me from cringing.
The opening and ending themes felt a little nostalgic and fits the mood of the scenes. Some episodes where there were no scripts but a narration done roughly by a man and a woman telling what's happening in a cold, emotionless voice I just couldn't help myself but fast forward.
Posted by midori- | Jul 9, 2011 11:26 AM | Add a comment