Aug 29, 2008
Arbalyst (All reviews)
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.