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.