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.