Anime Vice News

Watch & Learn: FULL METAL PANIC! #1

Mecha and high schoool drama go together peas and carrots.

 Walking WMDs and espionage was never this smiley.
 Walking WMDs and espionage was never this smiley.

Was FULL METAL JACKET a profound cultural phenomenon in Japan? Between this and FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST, I'm beginning to suspect as much. Then again, I vaguely remember somebody telling me that “fullmetal” means stubborn or hot blooded in some kind of Japanese wordplay, and I figure that’s a crazy coincidence. If that is, in fact, the case, then maybe Kubrick’s Vietnam movie got one of those wacky, foreign audience-appropriate titles like MR. JOKER’S LONG-TIME LOVE or something to that effect. I mean, if AS GOOD AS IT GETS was renamed MR. CAT POOP for Asia, would it be that hard to believe?

Anyway, I realized a while back that mecha’s basically the equivalent of superheroes in the whole manga/anime sphere; it’s the bread & butter genre that’s gotten every spin and angle imaginable. With GUNDAM, EVA, G-FORCE, MACROSS, GURREN LAGANN, ESCAFLOWNE and, now, CODE GEASS for comparison, I’d say that the mech’s in this show aren’t especially memorable, but the execution of this episode is noticeably solid for a first-y. I’ve noticed that a lot of these word-building, high concept show have a tendency to cram too much in at the beginning and the result’s a little disjointed (see my thoughts on GAME OF THRONES at Screened.) While there certainly is a drastic disparity between the high tech espionage action and girly high school hijinks (the intro makes this look like it’s going like CLANNAD,) I’d say it balances the two a bit more... smoothly than CODE GEASS does.

Having stepped out of the Funimation bubble for this extended survey of shows, I’ll say that I’ve definitely developed a better appreciation for the nuances of their dub work. Even beyond getting voice actors who sound more real and less affected, they also go the extra mile of translating the actual dialog to better suit the cadence, slang and idioms of American English. It’s subtle enough that I actually leaned back and realized, “Hey, none of this sounds awkward,” and I deem that the measure of a good dub. And hey - - looking at the voice credits, this seems like a mini-EVANGELION reunion. Good on it for that.

Watch this episode "The Guy I Kinda Like Is A Sergeant" below and decide for yourself.  

  

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of  HYBRID BASTARDS!  &  UNIMAGINABLE . Order them on Amazon   here  &   here .  Follow him on Twitter:  @tompinchuk

ZombiePieon April 25, 2011 at 6 p.m.
Now this is a show that I absolutely hate. It got better with later editions but this show never jived with me. Too many parts to that never really came together in a cohesive or satisfying manner, but don't tell MattyFTM that I said that. He thinks this show is the greatest. And yes that is me putting words in his mouth but whatever.
sotyfan16on April 25, 2011 at 6:08 p.m.
This show is a bunch of 'meh'. The first season is ok. The "second" is a bunch of ridiculousness. The "third" I have only gotten to ep 3 because I haven't mustered the strength to finish it for the sake of finishing it.

The story is sloppy and slow, the comedy isn't all that good, and the action is kind of anti-climactic. The best part of the franchise is the animation, which, while not awesome, is good.
ReyGitanoon April 25, 2011 at 6:19 p.m.
I remember enjoying watching this and still have some good memories of some set pieces when talking to friend, but other than that this show is strangely forgettable.
Lurkeroon April 25, 2011 at 6:40 p.m.
It's weird. I watched all 3 seasons of Full Metal Panic and I can barely remember any of it. The show is well disguised as an interesting and special show, but it is mostly forgettable. I'd look forward to reading a watch and learn about it just to see if I can remember events.

I really hated the high school high jinks in this show, and at the time I watched it I was still in high school.
CrazyCanuckon April 25, 2011 at 6:41 p.m.
The first season was good show but it could have been better towards the end.  I like the second season a lot though.
buhssuhton April 25, 2011 at 6:47 p.m.
When I saw this, I though the show would some light-hearted action, with bit of comedy and some happy school life. It was anything but. The only season that was worth watching fumoffu(?), i hope i spelled that right, it was almost non-canonical but hilarious. I've been reading Full Metal Panic Sigma, and from what I've read the series and gets dark.
Marshal Victoryon April 25, 2011 at 8:53 p.m.


1st season was pretty good imho. second the more silly of the two an the real 2nd season is pretty good an gets dark . Series is like the bodyguard/archie love triangle/metal gear solid sorta.Tho from what i understand its lighter tone than the books by far.

 

If your looking for something as serious as say darker than black you will be disapointed.Or as something as light hearted as say Kore wa Zombie desu ka  you will be disapointed. Its just a odd mix but is well worth watching.I liked it over all tho im stil working threw the silly Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu which is out side of canon the story that is Full Metal Panic! an Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid.

WarlordPayneon April 25, 2011 at 11:17 p.m.
I agree with a lot of other people here, the series is just okay.  There's nothing aggressively bad about it, but nothing particularly interesting either.  I remember there being a couple of parts in Fumoffu that I found surprisingly funny, but I can't remember anything specific.
eldiaxon April 26, 2011 at 3:47 a.m.
This is actually my absolute favorite show. It perfectly balances the comedy, action and romance. The later episodes (especially in The Second Raid) gradually get very serious and kind of dark, which is a positive thing, at least for me.
NegaZurgon April 26, 2011 at 1:18 p.m.
I loved the Second Raid, it actually made great strides in character development unlike the first series. That being said, The second raid is so good it's worth suffering through the original series just to watch it. fumofu is also pretty good.
Belonpopoon April 26, 2011 at 4:20 p.m.
I am almost done with season1 and it is not good. I hope season 2 is better.
Wandering_Idioton April 27, 2011 at 3:52 a.m.
Man, some of you are really critical.  First season FMP! had a quite good first story arc, although after that the animation and story went downhill somewhat (and the battle animation was never as good as in the first episode).  The arc with Sousuke in Afghanistan was probably the nadir; repetitive, depressing, and badly animated.  The second season,  FMP? Fumoffu, is a straight comedy, and my favorite of the three.  Some of the episodes on the second disc are among the funniest things I've seen in the animated medium.  FMP! The Second Raid is definitely an improvement in story and animation from the first season while going back to the mech' action and mixture of comedy and seriousness.  I felt like it kind of petered off towards the end as well, though, never really living up to the first few episodes in the season.
 
I like the show overall, although the central will-they-won't-they romantic tension gets extremely tiresome.  I was assuming Sousuke and Kaname were together following the first arc when I watched it originally, and it didn't detract at all.  It's not like she couldn't still get mad at him or feel jealousy, or that he couldn't still apply military solutions to mundane problems, if they were boyfriend and girlfriend. 
 
 

vergiliuson April 27, 2011 at 9:15 p.m.
This show works better after they separate the action and the comedy in seasons 2 and 3. In general though, I concur with the prevailing opinion here...FMP is well-executed but lacks that je ne sais quoi that would make it very good rather than hanging out in that gray area between average and good.

I seem to remember thinking it had pacing problems--a lot of running helter skelter to not much effect in terms of plot movement. The opposite problem of Code Geass's freneticness.
tacosRcoolon May 4, 2011 at 3:11 p.m.
I guess I am one of the few that actually really enjoyed the series. I found it pretty enjoyable in fact so enjoyable that I bought all 3 seasons on blu ray!

Dig Deeper into Full Metal Panic!

Jindai High School is a normal everyday high school, with no so ordinary students and staff. Souske Sagara is going there even though he is part of an Anti-terrorist group and he has no common sense except for military wise. He thinks every thing is a terrorist plot. Fun!

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