Full Metal Panic! [TV]
Equipped with technologically advanced weaponry and specialized elite troops, private military organization Mithril covertly protects the Earth’s peace and order from the threat of destruction and terrorism. The backbone of Mithril’s operations rely on the Whispered, a group of exemplary and intelligent individuals, responsible for the invention and production of powerful machinery.
The story follows 17 years old Mithril Sergeant Sousuke Sagara, who has been tasked to go undercover and protect a Whispered candidate named Kaname Chidori. In order to keep a close surveillance, Sousuke is ordered to enroll and blend in Kaname’s high school, and prevent her from falling into the enemies’ hands.
Watch combat-born Sousuke attempt to blend with the life of an average high schooler, and his fight against an unexpectedly familiar enemy.
About the Show
Full Metal Panic!, often abbreviated to FMP!, is an anime adaptation of the action sci-fi, comedy-drama, romance light novels written by Shoji Gatoh with illustrations by Shiki Douji. Studio Gonzo produced the first animated television series entitled Full Metal Panic!, and aired a total of 24 episodes between January 8, 2002 and June 18, 2002. Kyoto Animation produced a spin-off series, entitled Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu and Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid in the year 2003 and 2005 respectively. A 29-minute OVA was also released on May 26, 2006.
Sousuke Sagara is the main protagonist of the series. Although being Japanese, Sagara grew up in a war-torn region of Afghanistan. In order to survive, he joined guerilla movements in the young age of 8, until he was found and recruited by the Mithril. Eventually, he was assigned to an undercover mission to protect Kaname Chidori, which requires him to blend with high schoolers.
Due to having little to no experience in social interaction, Sagara is insensitive and oblivious, creating problems in his integration with high school life. His tactical approach and encyclopedic knowledge with weapons earned him the nickname “Military Maniac”.
Later in the series, Sousuke develops feelings towards Kaname. He eventually retires as a Mithril soldier, and decides to stay with Kaname instead.
Kaname Chidori is the female protagonist of the series. She is a loud and talkative girl, an attitude she picked up after she studied abroad. As his male classmates put it, she is often described as “The kind of girl everyone looks up to, but not even a boy wants as their girlfriend”.
She has a soft spot for Sousuke, who she always tries to protect from the high school life he clearly did not belong in. If not for his social retardation, Kaname would confess her feelings for Sousuke.
Teletha “Tessa” Testarossa
Teltha Testarossa is a 16 years old member of the Mithril, responsible for creation Tuatha De Danaan submarine equipped with artificial intelligence called Dana. Despite being a captain, she appears to be clumsy, stubborn, and frail, traits that prevent her crew to respect her.
She has a crush on Sousuke Sagara, ultimately forming a love triangle with Kaname Chidori.
Episode 1: The Guy I Kinda Like is a Sergeant
In order to protect Kaname Chidori from terrorist organizations, three of Mithril’s Special Response Team is tasked to watch over her. One of the SRT is Sousuke, who was assigned to enroll and blend in Kaname’s high school particularly due to his Japanese heritage and young age. However, having spent his entire life inside the military, Sousuke quickly faces a hard time in socializing with the other students, but still manages to catch Kaname’s interest.
Episode 2: I Want to Protect You
Sousuke’s disability to blend with high school life begins to pose more problems. Meanwhile, he closely follows Kaname wherever she goes, causing the latter to consider him as a nuisance.
Episode 3: Lingerie Panic
The SRT quickly springs into action, after they detected that an intruder has infiltrated Kaname’s apartment.
Episode 4: Kidnap
En route to Okinawa for a school field trip, Sousuke and Kaname’s plane gets hijacked by Gauron, a terrorist operative. The plane is rerouted to Lake Khanka in the USSR, where Kaname is abducted. Sousuke infiltrates the base and attempts to rescue Kaname from the scientific tests she was forced into.
Episode 5: Whispered
Sousuke saves Kaname with the help of his AS (Arm Slave), while Mithril launches a rescue operation. Melissa and Kurz arrive to confront Gauron, in order to buy time for Sousuke and Kaname to escape. However, they miss the rescue planes and were left behind.
Episode 6: Still Alive
Sousuke and Kaname escape into the nearby woods, where they find wounded Kurz. With the enemy on their tail, they attempt to ask for rescue from the Mithril, who arrives in the nick of time.
Episode 7: Boy Meets Girl
Kaname discovers her Whispered power, as she witnesses Sousuke’s trouble with his malfunctioning AS. With the help of Kaname’s instructions, Sousuke manages to defeat Gauron, and the submarine Tuatha De Danaan arrives to the rescue.
Full Metal Panic! has a good way of transitioning between awesome action-packed futuristic mecha battles and a hilarious romance-comedy high school life. Sousuke’s problem with his social skills create hilarious problems and situations. The story is well written, giving you the best of both genres.
The animation is excellently done, with amazing designs for its mecha units. Whenever a dark and chaotic setting like battles is needed, the color scheme does a great job preserving the theme. Same goes to the vibrant and colorful environment of a high school. However, the CGI parts are poorly done, especially with the Tuatha De Danaan submarine.
Although the OP and ED are songs that can get stuck in your head, the overall music does not really deserve much attention than it has, but was able to do perform its function well anyway.
The unique characters are praise-worthy, propelling the plot forwards with their interesting and distinct qualities.
There might be some few plot holes, but overall, Full Metal Panic! is a series worth to watch.