If you’ve ever been military minded then it’s time to take your passion to the next level. Don’t worry, I’m not about to ask you to drop and give me 10. But if you’re somewhat like me and thought everything remotely “military” was boring then it’s time to be shocked. Full Metal Panic! is an oddly hilarious series that flicks between high school comedy and mecha military madness. It’s fun, quirky, a little bit ruthless and occasionally outright bizarre.
In Full Metal Panic! 17-year-old Sousuke Sagara is tasked with protecting high-school student Kaname Chidori, one of the whispered, from terrorists who wish to use her subconscious knowledge to aid their technological advancement. You know, for bad guy stuff. Sousuke’s an agent from mercenary organisation Mithril, and between protecting Kaname and other sporadic shenanigans there’s never a dull moment (like Christmas!…but a lot more violent). While this tale of protection is somewhat stock-standard, it comes to life and differentiates itself with the inclusion of an incredible cast.
From the get go you’ll be sucked in by the ludicrous main character with zero social skills – yes, we’re talking about Sousuke. He’s the classic example of “you can’t have everything,” with his military prowess and relatively good looks drowning out an ability to be even remotely normal, and it makes for excellent viewing. While dense, this man’s a great guy a heart. He’s unique, lovable and an awesome catalyst for situations as awkward as when you buy condoms and a family friend serves you. Ideally i’d next like to see him on the next season of the bachelor. And while I know that isn’t really a thing in anime I think it would be great.
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And the amazing characters don’t stop with Mithril mercenary Sousuke. As the basis for high school craziness we have Kaname. The blue-haired, hot-headed, somewhat bi-polar character who holds the key to technology that terrorists desire. She’s both kind-hearted and emotionally violent. And despite her somewhat abusive ways you’ll think she’s great. While I won’t go into more character-specific detail I will affirm that many more characters in Full Metal Panic! are depicted as fittingly as when you nail your Saturday night outfit.
For a series that balances two extremes – a comical school life and explosions, it does a really good job at making sense. Each seems to somehow compliment the other and when an episode starts in the school yard and ends with a thousand gun shots and few shells it seems completely logical. As an anime that dates back to 2002 it also looks great. Not many anime series from this period can boast animation and art that’s as refined as Full Metal Panic! While yes, the anime’s making an appearance today are a little crisper, it can’t really be compared to the charm that this art style brings.
So. Pick up your (fake) gun, your sense of humour and your ability to adapt. It’s time to rocket launch into a great time. If you give this anime a shot then I hope you’ll end up liking it as much as I did.
Thank you for reading my review!