|MegaDaffy's Full Metal Panic Review||2 out of 2 users found this review helpful.|
Sound familiar? It should because that’s the basic premise of the popular anime series “Full Metal Panic!” This series was dubbed and released in the states by ADV Films, who have also released hits like Azumanga Daioh and DN Angel. The series is not clearly rated, but I think this would get something equivalent to a PG-13. This series also falls under the genres of Action and Comedy.
The story behind the series is this; Sgt. Sousuke Sagara, who is voiced by Chris Patton, is assigned to protect high school student Kaname Chidori who is voiced by Luci Christian, at all costs from the enemies that want her for her special power, which is that she knows about the “dark technology” of the mechs that Sousuke and his fellow comrades use.
The comedy side of the series is that outside of military battles, Sousuke knows next to nothing about what Kaname calls a “normal, peaceful life”, which usually leads to him getting in trouble. Luckily, Kaname’s classmate Shinji Kazama, who is voiced by Greg Ayres, knows a lot about military stuff and lives a normal, peaceful life as well, starts a friendship with Sousuke. The rest of the story is mostly described in the intro paragraph. I thought the storyline was interesting and really cool because I think the idea for the storyline is awesome. I don’t know, I just kind of enjoy this type of “mech/romance/comedy” story.
I thought the drawing in this series was excellently done and meets expectations for the studio that animated Full Metal Panic. That studio was Gonzo Digimation, The Japanese studio that animated popular series like “Last Exile” and “Real Bout High School”. I think the drawing is good because of the way the animators made the characters and their emotions; Blushes actually look like blushes not sweat drops or a couple red lines under your eyes. Plus the environments were well drawn as well, while maybe not the best backgrounds I’ve ever seen they still looked good and near realistic.
The music is also good as well because it matches what is happening in the scene. An example is if something is bad is happening, they’ll play eerie, dramatic music in the background and if it’s one of the more lighter scenes, they play more upbeat, silly music. The music in the opening is also good but I don’t find it has anything to do with the series because it’s more or less a pop song with various scenes from the series and opening credits. The same goes for the credits sequence where there’s a softer but still pop-sounding song with various pictures of the character Kaname next to the U.S. and Japanese cast and credits.
The voiceovers are great as well; they are usually an important part for many anime fans except for me. I don’t care much about voiceovers because I’m usually just happy to see such a great series be legalized and made understandable for us gaijins, or foreigners in Japanese. Anyways, As mentioned before the main characters, Sgt. Sousuke Sagara, my personal favorite, and Kaname Chidori are voiced by veteran Anime Voice Actors, Chris Patton (Azumanga Daioh and Legend Of The Mystical Ninja) and Luci Christian (Peacemaker and Full Metal Alchemist) who do a great job with their characters. Mr. Chris Patton gives his character, Sousuke Sagara, a sort of calm but deep voice while Ms. Luci Christian gives her character, Kaname Chidori, a hyper, aggressive voice reminiscent of her voice for “Ms. Yukari”, a teacher on the later hit ADV Films series “Azumanga Daioh”. The voice sync or how well the dub speech matches the original animation would be 95% in my opinion, meaning that the dub is close to matching the original lip movements but don’t look like they really match too well on those long sentences. The other voiceovers, Legend of the Mystical Ninja’s Vic Mignogna, Peacemaker’s Kira Vincent-Davis and Gantz’s Jessica Boone all also do a great job at their characters as well as two main actors as well. In case you want to hear in its natural language, which is Japanese, ADV Films has added a Japanese language option onto the DVD.
The violence is pretty inevitable because of series storyline and the fact that the enemy will stop at nothing to get what they want. The gun usage might surprise some people but also seems inevitable knowing that the team that Sousuke is on uses mech fighters that use guns, Sousuke is also a sharpshooter and as mentioned before, always carries his handgun with him as well. Of course, Guns also lead to blood as well and in the 2 episode there is a little blood shown but not much as the 6 or 7 episode where they show a bad guy in a tree get shot and fall to the ground in slow motion, Blood is gushing out of him during that time as well.
There is also some implied “romance” in the series that has not been blown out into the open. The most popular one is the fandom-speculated relationship between Sousuke and Kaname because they seem to like each other and sometimes have romantic moments but that has never been fully exposed like in some animes like D.N.Angel, which pretty much writes its relationships “on-the-wall”, or put simply, You know that there is a relationship in series. This is also one of those series that has a lot of outside references, like the military references Sousuke makes or the fact that one of Kaname’s friends thought she saw a grease stain that looked like “Godzilla” referring to both U.S (foods that look like some special person or thing) and Japanese culture (Godzilla). What’s cool about the DVDs is that the characters also read the FBI warnings at the beginnings. At the end of the credits, they show the scenes from the next episode while the main characters describe the next episode. Lastly, this series has spawned 2 other series, Fumoffu and The Second Raid. “Fumoffu” is a “side-story” series with no real plot but also funnier than Full Metal Panic while “The Second Raid” takes place where Full Metal Panic left off.
All in All, This is an awesome series that I recommend for anyone! Hey, I wasn’t interested in “mecha” anime, many romantic animes or the military but I liked this.
Well, that’s all! I’m out of here, until next time!Notes and Addendum: Hey There, MegaDaffy here! I actually wrote this review a few years ago and most of it is still true, I would like add a new opinion here. *ahem*, I also think that anyone that enjoys watching "24", "NCIS/NCIS:Los Angeles" and the "Die Hard movies should give this series a try as well.