Posted by psgels on 27 May 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews



It’s probably no surprise that romantic comedies are among my least favourite genres in anime. The reason for that is that 90% of the bunch just looks way too damn much like each other, is too afraid to go beyond the usual genre tropes, and/or just plain lazy. Nevertheless, I definitely enjoy that remaining ten percent that manages to avoid these pitfalls. Full Metal Panic belongs to those 10%, and is another example of a Good Gonzo series.

Full Metal Panic is a story that combines this romantic comedy with futuristic military combat (mechas included), and it tells the story of a teen-aged army sergeant (Sousuke) who grew up as a child soldier that ends up protecting a not-so-regular high school girl (Chidori). These two really are the reason why you would want to watch this series: even though the series is seven years old by now, they’re still fresh and dynamic, and the relationship between the two of them really grows on you. Sousuke’s socially inept antics will delight any fan of deadpan humour, while Chidori herself quickly sets herself apart from all other overused tsunderes with her wit. The two shine in the comedic part with some fresh jokes, but they definitely impress the most when they get serious.

Overall, this series has made a good use of its airtime; it consists out of four arcs, which all serve their own purpose: the first arc serves as introduction, the second fleshes out, the third one provides background and in the fourth one everything comes together in a great climax. This series knows how to build up and finish off with an impact, though my one complaint is that the comedy and drama don’t try to mix at all: an episode is either focused at completely at comedy or completely at drama; there’s hardly any in between.

Full Metal Panic is a series that shines in the way it takes a bunch of cliches, and makes them actually believable. Mechas and romantic comedies have been done to death before, but in this series, it’s actually made plausible: the situations that the characters are thrusted in make quite a bit of sense. The military side of the story is fleshed out really well and the battles are pretty realistic for anime’s standards. And take the seemingly oddball character of Tessa: she’s a young girl who commands an entire crew of a hyper-modern submarine. Throughout the course of the season, you can and will be wondering why the heck she is at such a position. And yeah, while there is of course no way that this would ever happen, her actions at the end of the series will have you convinced that she at least deserved her position.

Unfortunately, there were cliches that even this series didn’t escape (I’m looking at you, walking-into-bathroom-naked) and the building up during the drama parts does take a bit of patience when everything is being set up because during these parts there isn’t a lot that is going to make you keep watching, but the climaxes will definitely deliver in the end. My biggest complaint is that the main villain lacks any sort of background whatsoever: he’s definitely one of he smarter vilains out there, but he could have become so much better if we actually KNEW WO HE WAS. There are a few annoying side-characters (I’m looking at you, Chidori’s classmates), but overall Full Metal Panic can boast a well developed main cast, and I’m interested to see what Kyoani could have added to their development when they took over the franchise.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 8/10

12 Responses

  1. Avatar Camario says:

    I thought this had a bit too much filler, from what my memories tell me, but otherwise it was pretty good indeed. Not sure I would give that high of a score to the characters, at least at this stage, so I’ll take it as a sign of how much you liked them more than anything else in particular.

    KyoAni did do a better job, all in all, but Gonzo gave the series a fair start. The wait for another season is killing me though, if it will ever even come.

  2. Avatar Sparkie says:

    Tip: I’d avoid fumoffu, as it’s basically a series of filler episodes that don’t contribute to the story whatsoever. I doubt you’d enjoy it.

  3. Avatar HikkiZ says:

    Well Fumoffu isn’t meant to advance the story. It skips all the drama and just does pure comedy and does it very well IMO. I’d easily put it in the top 2 or 3 funniest anime series of all time.

  4. Avatar lialiakicks says:

    YOU MUST WATCH FULL METAL PANIC: THE SECOND RAID. If you enjoy the serious parts now, you’ll love TSR! :D That show is of the many reasons why I love KyoAni.

  5. Avatar lulu says:

    *may contains spoiler*
    Its amazing how this FMP novel turn anime could do. The animation illustrates the novel very well. Of course, everyone agree KyoAni did a good job, but I still think Gonzo did it fairly well, it made me love the series the first time I watched it. The graphic was great, it blew my mind when I watch it many years ago. The characters does deserve 9/10. Because they are original, means they don’t remind me of other anime characters out there. Although, many would disagree, I sure enjoy the talking mecha, AL, he’s got a sense of lamda humor. I sure hope they will continue to animaze the rest of the novel, because the best is yet to come… ARX-8, Banzai!

    jokes:
    If you ever see Lelouch smile, run. If you see Sousuke in the horizon, just duck and cover……its too late to run.

  6. Avatar Greenthy says:

    I would definitely NOT skip fumoffu
    as it’s one really good comedy

    I agree that FMP season 1 had to cope with a long amount of filler episodes before moving onto the plot
    but those filler episodes made the show so much more enjoyable

    TSR doesn’t have the mass filler episodes, they’re saved all in fumoffu

    Still eagerly awaiting a new season, although it’ll probably take a while (if there’ll even be one)

  7. Avatar Greenthy says:

    forgot to mention
    Tessa OVA =

  8. Avatar erwf says:

    Fumoffu is bloody hilarious

    much better then the original series imo

  9. Avatar cody says:

    Fumoffu was pretty funny but I can see how it gets old to people because of Sousuke and how easy it is to predict what’s going to happen because of him. The rest of the series is pretty decent as well. I’ve been watching some older shows lately though (macross, just started marmalade boy) and I gotta say…It’s going to be kind of hard to watch some romantic comedies now considering Marmalade boy as done more AND done better in a handful of episodes than a lot of romantic comedies out there.

    I know you’re into watching older shows so I would check it out when you have time despite your tight anime schedule.

  10. Avatar Zetatrain says:

    Love FMP, has such a nice balance between high school comedy and mecha action even if they don’t always mix well. While Gonzo did a fair job, Kyoani definitely improved FMP, especially in animation,story telling,and dialogue. TSR is a must if you liked the serious parts and Fummoffu is hilarious if some what repetitive.

    The only con with Kyoani being in charge of FMP is that it does not seem to be high on their to do list since there haven’t even been rumors about the next season ( been like 4 years since TSR). There’s always the light novels, but it seems that North America stopped licensing them after vol.4(the first half of TSR), so it may be a long time before I get to see what happens after TSR.

  11. Whoa! I’m surprised you liked this. It was okay for at first but after a few episodes I couldn’t stomach it anymore x_x

    *remembers her countless headaches*

    Though I admit fumoffu was hilarious! My friend “forced” me to watch it T_T

  12. Avatar Protodude says:

    If you enjoyed the first season this much then you have no excuse to watch the rest, since it only gets better from here. Definitely give Fumoffu a shot, it’s one of the funniest anime I’ve ever seen. They got the funny out of the way so TSR could be serious, and it turns out well.

Leave a Reply

Star Crossed Anime Blog

6 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Vinland Saga – 7 [Normanni]

Welcome to the true start of Vinland Saga, as this week adapts what was originally the 1st Chapter of the manga. This week Thorfinn hits puberty, Askeladd makes bank and the French get laughed at. Lets jump in! Starting off, this week was a series of highs and lows for Vinland’s production. I said it […]

DanMachi2 – 6 [City of Lust (Ishtar Familia)]

DanMachi, as an anime, grew up this week. From the show that brought you the cosplaying mechanic of the “Hestia ribbon” comes an episode dealing with largest taboo in hero anime, and in some ways, Japanese conservative culture as a whole. Watching DanMachi this week is like this: you have a friend who you hang […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 20 [Pretend Family]

After last week’s episode, I had high hopes for Kimetsu no Yaiba this week. Sadly, I think I came away from it with more criticisms than complements. Perhaps natural, since living up to last week was nigh impossible. But I wasn’t prepared for Yaiba to undercut its best episode either. Welcome to Yaiba, episode 20, […]

Dr.STONE – 7 [Where Two Million Years Have Gone]

Ah today is a good day. The day where Dr.STONE reinforces what I loved about it when I first read it. You see this week Science takes center stage, we meet the ancient sorcerer Chrome, and the legendary Kinro gets his fabled weapon. Enough with the preamble though, welcome to this weeks Dr.STONE and lets […]

Mononoke – 2 [Zashikiwarashi – Part 2] – Throwback Thursday

There really isn’t a good way to introduce this episode. Nothing is really going to soften the madness of what I just watched. As this week Mononoke has given us one of the darkest/creepiest yet most endearing episodes I have seen in a long time. So let’s just get on with it. Starting off, a […]

Cop Craft – 06 [Need For Speed]

Cop Craft mixes up many unusual elements such as porno magazines, gay policeman, car chases and even romance into its trip this week. The result is that while it’s light in content, it proves to be more entertaining than when it deals with serious plot. While at this point I still prefer the relationship between […]

Kanata no Astra – 08 [Past]

There sure is a lot to unpack in Kanata no Astra this week. Kanata no Astra loves to give clues, and with every reveal it opens up more questions and make it think how all these puzzles fit in a big narrative frame. I must say that I am enjoying the ride so far, it’s […]

Lord El-Melloi II Sei no Jikenbo: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note – 6 [A Girl, a Department Store, and a Gift ]

It turns out that next week will be the beginning of the adaption of the source material of volume four and five and this episode marks the end of original anime content. I rather like this episode as it breaks away from Waver solving cases and has a fun little shopping adventure with the three […]

Vinland Saga – 6 [The Journey Begins]

Another week, another dose of Viking murder, courtesy of Vinland Saga. This week we watch our baby boy grow up, learn a bit about Viking history, and get into the series proper. Let’s dive in! Starting off, as always, the production aspect. This week showed us some of the cracks in Vinland’s production. For while […]

Latest Reviews

Serial Experiments Lain Anime Review – 78/100 – Throwback Thursday

Serial Experiments Lain is weird. It is a series unlike any other, wholly unique in anime, both modern and historical. Every aspect of it, from presentation to narrative, is best described as an experience. It is because of this that I believe Lain is a must watch, if only to experience a piece of anime […]

Penguin Highway (2018) Movie Review – 89/100

You’re walking along in your neighborhood, going about your daily routine. It’s a fine morning. The sun is shining brightly. But suddenly, you see something strange. You squint your eyes; even rub them, to make sure it isn’t a mirage before exclaiming with excitement, “Oh, look. It’s a bird. No, it’s a plane! No no. […]

One Punch Man Season 2 Anime Review – 34/100

Often at the start of one of these reviews, I will wax philosophical about a series. Attempting to slowly draw you, the reader, in to whatever topic or anime I am discussing in that review. This time, none of that. This time, I have to come out and say from the beginning, that One Punch […]

Dororo Anime Review – 55/100

In the modern anime sphere, getting a complete story, start to finish, is a rare thing. As is getting an adaptation for an older work. Dororo however has, through the grace of Twin Engine, managed to get both of these. Based on the 1967 manga of the same name by legendary Mangaka Osamu Tezuka, Dororo […]

[Star Crossed Anime Exclusive] Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection Review – 80/100

I was lucky enough to be at Sakura-con in Seattle on 20 April 2019 for the Funimation’s movie premiere of Code Geass’ third movie with the Director himself, Gorō Taniguchi, along with his senior staff in attendance inside a room full of raving fans. Was it was worth the decade-long wait to have a worthy […]

Paranoia Agent Anime Review – 67/100

In an era of the mundane, where every series is the same moe blob, the weird sticks out. Even the most mediocre series can get attention just by being weird. Paranoia Agent is not mediocre, and it is far beyond simply “weird”. Written and Directed by Satoshi Kon, Paranoia Agent is one of his last […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) (Winter 2019) Anime Review – 78/100

Just like the titular character, Boogiepop Phantom the series has become some sort of urban legend itself in this medium. Its Light Novels are amongst the first Light Novel ever released, dating back to mid-90s. Moreover, the franchise has endured the test of time, as it inspires anime, live-action adaptations and Boogiepop is a well-known […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 77/100

Coming to Kotobuki, there are lots of aspect that catch my attention: it’s from a famed director Tsutomu Mizushima who can turn the most trashable and genre-able concepts into something intriguing; it’s an CG show about air pilots: it has extended aerial combat set-pieces. Watching it till the end, I have to tip my hat […]

Kemurikusa (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 79/100

Kemurikusa is your very definition of an overlooked gem, one that never really gain much discussion anywhere, but one that has a distinctive style from an up-and-coming auteur who has full control of his projects. Coming to Kemurikusa, all the attention it has came from the fact that it is created by TATSUKI, a mastermind […]