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Time: 600 Minutes (complete series)
-Screen Format: 4:3 Fullscreen
-Number of Discs: 1 per volume (7 total)
-Special: Collectors box available with
vol. 1, Thin Pack box available
|On the surface, Kaname
Chidori appears to be a normal, popular high school student.
The problem is, she doesn't realize just how popular she is.
Unbeknownst to her, a group of terrorists believe she possesses
the special powers of "the Whispered," and they're
out to kidnap her.
Enter Sousuke Sagara, a young, hotshot
agent from the stealthy anti-terrorist organization Mithril.
Will he be able to protect Kaname without her finding out
what's really going on? Or will he just drive her crazy
as he tries to fit in as her awkward, gung-ho, war-crazed
|Full Metal Panic isn’t
known as a good series without a good reason. It has plenty
of mecha action for the robot fans, it has comedy for the
comedy fans and it has some awkward love comedy/drama thrown
in for good measure. One would assume that with the mixture
of so many different aspects that the show would lose focus
and just be another has been show; a flash in the pan. One
who would assume this would be incorrect.
Sagara Sousuke is a special agent working
for the independent military forces of Mithril. Mithril
is a group devoted to keeping world peace with as little
human life lost as possible and run by the teen age beauty,
Tessa Testarossa. In Sagar’s first mission shown in
the beginning of the first episode, we meet what is known
as a whispered. Whispereds are people who are born with
a subconscious knowledge known as Black Technology. Black
Technology covers all range of military applications from
new Arm Slaves (the mecha in the show) to armor to advanced
After completing his first mission, Sousuke
is assigned a new duty: protect Kaname Chidori whom is possibly
a whispered being targeted by a terrorist organization run
by an old enemy of Sagara’s. The hardest part of the
mission for Sousuke, having been brought up in an environment
led by military discipline, is just trying to live the life
of a normal high school student, an experience he has never
This is where the love and comedy aspects
come in. Sagara has two interested females, Tessa and Kaname,
though he is too dense to really understand it, causing
much suffering to Kaname and delight at torturing him by
From big explosions to fights between Arm
Slaves to fighting for the peace of Jindai High School,
Sagara Sousuke has a lot of work for himself.
In regards to the ending, I have to say
I was quite satisfied even though it left one of the bigger
pieces of the puzzle wide open. Without giving anything
away, it is kind of like the choice is made, yet it is left
ambiguous enough for one to question if that's REALLY how
it will be. The action pieces are all closed off nicely,
but you can tell there is more than enough room for a sequel
of some sort.
opening uses some of the animation from the episodes themselves,
but is well chosen and flows together to present the viewer
a fair idea of what to expect in the coming show. It shows
explosions, Arm Slaves and the high school acquaintances that
Sagara meets. The opening is well chosen and laid out. The
opening theme, ‘Tomorrow,’ sung by Mikuni Shimokawa,
works perfectly and is quite memorable. It should be noted
that roughly half way through the series the opening animation
changes and the theme changes in that it is the same track,
but takes place after the first refrain, whereas this is about
where the original opening theme ended..
The ending animation consists of photos
of Kaname and the life being led at High School. I assume
these are pictures taken by her photo taking friend, Kyoko.
It is really well done and plays out to the Karenai Hana
also performed by Mikuni Shimokawa. The end theme is also
well done and fits the feel of the animation it plays over.
I consider the opening and ending sequences
to be excellent, thanks to fitting the mood of the show
and presenting what to expect from the show.
Metal Panic’s animation, coming from Gonzo, is extremely
high quality. The character artwork is of the highest quality
for TV animation from the time and shows off Gonzo’s
animation capabilities perfectly. The animation is a mixture
of digitally painted 2D with 3D CG. The CG would be mecha
in the show, such as the Arm Slaves and the Tuatha de Danan
(Mithril’s submarine) while the people and backgrounds
are digitally painted 2D. The animation is smooth and the
merging of 2D and 3D is near seamless. This is what Gonzo
is known for after all.
On the audio side of things, the Japanese
is presented in its original stereo format in Dolby Digital
Stereo 2.0. The English audio, however, has been presented
in both the original stereo mix but also redone by ADV for
English audio in 5.1.All three audio tracks are well done
and the 5.1 mix is passable. What gets the biggest boost
in 5.1 is the bass, which helps you feel the Arm Slave battles,
while the rest of the show neither suffers nor really benefits
from this presentation.
a final note, Full Metal Panic is easily one of my favorite
Anime properties and is done well on every level. ADV has
also released Full Metal Panic: Fumoffu!? In the US, while
FUNimation has just recently announced Full Metal Panic:
The Second Raid for the US market. Fumoffu concentrates
on the comedy, while TSR focuses on action and the love
drama aspects with very little comedy thrown in.