Weekly Review: Full Metal Panic!

Plot / Story

Chidori was just a normal high school student; she was popular, beautiful, and, of course, the class rep! She had everything going for her, not a care in the world. That was until Sousuke showed up. He’s this weird “military nut” that thinks about every situation from a military perspective, in fact, he doesn’t have a shred of normal social conduct in him. For some reason, wherever she goes, there he is. Is he stalking her? After he showed up, weird things started to go on. If it wasn’t Sousuke threatening someone or blowing something up, it was something worse. One day after the entire class got onto a hijacked airplane, it all started to come together…

Sousuke is a Seargant in an anti-military organization known as Mithril, their goal is to wipe out any and all terrorist organizations and do so by saving as many lives as possible. Sousuke is joined by he friends and comrades Kurz and Mao. Their most recent assignment is one that is a bit out of the ordinary. It has come to the attention of Mithril that there are special persons being sought after for their potential knowledge, these people are known as “whispered.” Their target is Chidori, they must protect her at all costs as they believe she is in danger of being kidnapped. The real kicker is she must know nothing of their presence, or at least why they are really there. Sousuke is set to enroll in Chidori’s high school so that he can have eyes on her at all times, Mao and Kurz play back up roles. This is interesting seeing as Sousuke has always been a soldier and has no idea about social norms or conduct, which makes for some humorous moments.

I don’t know how, sarcasm, but eventually Chidori finds out the truth of why Sousuke and the others are following her. Actually, this happens after the class’ field trip goes bad when the airplane is hijacked. She finds out everything after Sousuke, going against his orders, rescues her instead of prioritizing the other hostages. Just a sneak peak of their potential relationship, wink wink. There is one man that is, more or less, responsible for this; his name is Gauron, and he is pretty much Sousuke’s arch nemesis. He appears over and over in the show even though you swear Sousuke kills him every time they fight, which is kind of annoying, but it makes for interesting fight scenes.

That is the basis for the overall plot of this anime, the main story follows Sousuke and his team protecting Chidori. There are several little side stories that happen as Sousuke is ordered to do various missions, and also there are some episodes that are just dedicated to character and relationship building. Aside from Gauron, there are pretty much just no name people that Sousuke encounters along his battles. Well one more comes to mind, but I won’t spoil that!

Sequels

There are two official sequels to Full Metal Panic, those are: Fumoffu and Second Raid. Fumoffu is more of a side story that was released after the completion of the first season, everyone thought it was season two, but they were wrong. This is more of a spin off and humorous side story. This series focuses on random acts of hilarious moments and also works on building upon the relationship of Sousuke and Chidori. Second Raid takes place immediately after season 1, so it is the “official” season 2. It pretty much follows a similar plot, new enemy, new technology, and more missions and such. It’s still a fun watch, but seems to be a redo of season one with a new enemy.

Overall

So even though I love this anime, it gets quite obnoxious and boring. Sometimes it feels like the plot is just on repeat, especially after we see Sousuke fight Gauron for the third or fourth time. I really enjoy the comedy moments in the series, they are pretty much what kept me in it. The action is cool, but without a really unique story it can get kind of dry and unemotional. I find the love triangle that they introduce to be a little cliche but funny all the same, I am a huge fan of the Sousuke x Tessa pairing, just saying.

Overall, give it a whirl. The series starts out a little dull, but you will certainly be laughing as it picks up. Some of the things Sousuke does just because he doesn’t know normal social conduct is quite funny. Also, it’s available in English which is always a plus, and the voice actor for Sousuke is quite awesome!