Sep 14, 2018
Frroku (All reviews)
Full Metal Panic! is a compelling mix between sci-fi series and comedy, which alternates between breathtaking combat between mecha and fun situations with a school background, military actions to more reflective moments, sometimes with a romantic twist. The plot, despite its simplicity, is well structured and proves immediately enjoyable and compelling. The episodes are divided into four main subplots: the aerial hijacking, the awakening of the Behemoth, the wind that dances at home and the final part. In the middle there are some filler episodes that serve to deepen the background and the personalities of some characters succeeding in pleasantly breaking the tight rhythm of the series. One of the best ideas of the anime is the invention of Whispered and the knowledge they hold, what is commonly called Black Technology.

This term refers to a type of technology so advanced that it borders on science fiction; quoting Major Kalinin: "For your generation it is difficult to understand, but modern weapon technology is quite unusual: I'm not just talking about the Lamda Driver but also about the ECS and the propulsion system of this submarine. And this robotic weapon worthy of a science fiction novel that imposes itself on the battlefield, has it ever occurred to you that it is unnatural? These machines should not exist, yet they are real. " It is never revealed what is the origin of Whispered, but their skills are explained at least in part during the series. Among the technological devices created by Black Technology are the submarine of Mithril, the Túatha Dé Danann; the Arm Slaves, abbreviated as AS; artificial intelligences; the invisibility device used by Mithril and the sci-fi Lamda Driver, which allows AS pilots to convert their thoughts into physical attacks.

A small note should also be made to the meaning of the name of the submarine, which may not be obvious to all: the "Túatha Dé Danann" were one of the ancient peoples who invaded and colonized Ireland before the Gaels. It is believed that they are identified with the same gods worshiped by the Gaels. Their name can be translated as "Tribe of the goddess Dana", hence the name of the AI ​​on board, precisely Dana. Even the name of the non-governmental military organization to which Sosuke belongs, takes inspiration from the fantastic: the Mithril is in fact an imaginary metal present in Tolkien's works. It is described as an elvish metal, endowed with particular magical properties such as to make it extremely resistant and at the same time very light.

The characters are well characterized, especially the two protagonists: Sosuke Sagara and Kaname Chidori. Kaname looks like a normal student, apart from her out-of-the-ordinary beauty, and her life runs quiet until several world agencies discover she might be a Whispered. That is why Mithril sends Sagara and others to protect her. Sosuke, despite his young age is an experienced mercenary, in particular he is very good at piloting the AS. His only problem is that he only knows military life and can not behave differently. This way of thinking leads him to exchange normal situations of daily life for tremendous dangers, thus ending up by combining one disaster after another. So Kaname finds himself between the feet a "sullen and gloomy man who always believes in war" that has the ability to make her go on a rampage, but who will conquer it (of course, without him giving it any thought). Unfortunately, however, their relationship does not evolve much, leaving things unfinished.

The two protagonists are supported, on both sides, by excellent supporters. During the series Chidori's classmates are introduced, including Kyoko Tokiwa, her best friend; Mizuki Inaba and Shinji Kazama, a set of Arm Slave who will make friends with Sosuke. We also get acquainted with the comrades of Sagara, starting with his teammates: Melissa Mao and Kurz Weber, who will give him a hand in the surveillance of Kaname, up to their commander, Colonel Teletha Testarossa (for friends Tessa), a girl of sixteen, captain of the submarine submarine Túatha Dé Danann. The reason why, despite her young age, has such a high degree is given by the fact that she is a Whispered herself. To complicate matters, Tessa takes a crush on Sosuke, with the relative embarrassing situations that will ensue. Completing the scene is the antagonist par excellence, the terrorist Gauron, who targets Kaname and tries in every way to kill Sagara.

From a technical point of view it is a great product: drawings with bright colors and excellent animations supported by a good use of computer graphics, which is never invasive. The mecha are very well made, especially the submarine of Mithril and the Arm Slaves. The soundtrack is not the best but can well support the various sequences, the two acronyms instead are particularly beautiful: the opening "Tomorrow" and the final theme "Karenai Hana" both performed by Mikuni Shimokawa. In conclusion it is really a great product, highly recommended.