Full Metal Panic (original series)

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Genre: Sci-fi/Mech

Studio/Creator: Gonzo/Shoji Gatoh (writer)/Shiki Douji (illustrator)

Distributor: FUNimation, streams on Hulu

No. of Episodes: 24

My Rating: 9/10

Suggested Age: 14+

Summary: Sousuke Sagara is a member of the anti-terrorist group Mithril.  He is charged with protecting a high school student named Kaname Chidori, who has exhibited “Whispered” abilities, giving her a heightened sense of intuition. There’s just one problem: he is completely unprepared for the life of an ordinary high school student.

Review: I’d heard this was one of Studio Gonzo’s best titles, and I’ve had it on my watch list for quite some time. Despite the fact that they went bankrupt, I consider Studio Gonzo one of Japan’s best animators.

What I think sells this series for me is the chemistry between Sousuke and Kanami.  Sousuki has spent practically his whole life in combat.  He is used to situations where he has to put his life on the line to protect innocent people.  He is bred for combat, with the speed of a track runner and a quick thinker, both of which are qualities that make him the ideal soldier.

Kaname , on the other hand, has never seen actual combat.  She’s spent all her life as the stereotypical normal student, oblivious to her gift.  However, she is thrust into a military life because she is a target of terrorists for her abilities.  What’s funny about her though is that she is a huge fan of action movies and thinks being in combat is going to be like those movies. She will often make suggestions that would only work in movies. (Even funnier is that these suggestions have the uncanny habit of actually working! There are rare cases where her suggestions fail, though.)

I also enjoyed the inner workings of Sousuke’s comrades in Mithril. My favorite soldier, other than Sousuke, was Kurz Weber, a sniper for Mithril.  He’d be flirtatious and passing himself off as a ladykiller type, but you put him in a combat situation and you see his real talent. He is well-suited for the kind of position a sniper has because he can keep himself calm in battle and focus solely on his target. He was a great foil for Sousuke.

This series lived up to its hype. I am eager to check out the other two series, Fumoffu and The Second Raid. In fact, I will be reviewing them in the future.

Music/Score: It was pretty good. I like the opening theme best.

Opening Theme Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmwVZ-p9XOk

Sub/Dub: One of FUNimation’s best dubs. It features Vic Mignogna of Full Metal Alchemist fame as Weber, and two voice actors FUNimation inherited from ADV’s folding, Monica Rial as Kanami and Chris Patton as Sousuke (both of who were my favorites in Rahxephon).

Violence: (6/10) Some mech violence and light blood in non-mech situations.

Language: (2/10) For a story set in a military environment, the swearing is quite mild.

Nudity: (4/10) There is a scene towards the end where Kanami pushes her powers to their limit, causing us a glimpse into her mind. Her psychic form is naked, but not detailed. We also see this form in the opening credits.

Sexuality: (3/10) There’s quite a few “not what it looks like” scenes from Sousuke in the early episodes and Kurz is somewhat perverted.

Religion: (0/10)

Related Media: This is one of three anime series based on the Full Metal Panic light novels.  The other two series are Full Metal Panic: Fumoffu and Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid. There is also a manga series.

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  1. #1 by medievalotaku on May 18, 2015 - 4:18 pm

    This happens to be one of my favorite series. Gonzo deserves more credit than they usually get. So, Luci Christian doesn’t play Kaname in the Funimation version? That’s a shame, because I thought that she did a great job in the original ADV dub.

    • #2 by rocklobsterjwt on May 31, 2015 - 8:00 pm

      I thought I said she was playing her.

      • #3 by medievalotaku on May 31, 2015 - 9:09 pm

        It says Monica Rial under the Sub/Dub section. She plays Kyoko in FMP.

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