I am utterly and completely entranced by Shouji Gatou’s Full Metal Panic Series. And to think that I can count on both hands the mecha anime I’ve liked, Full Metal Panic (FMP) is above and beyond all my exceptions and criteria for great anime viewing! Pardon the fangirl rant inserts you’ll be finding in this post but I want to scream it out in the world, Sousoke Sagara is so freaking HOT!
FMP or furumetaru panikku is a series of light science novels by Shouji Gatou and is blend of mecha action, comedy and dare I say it, romance at its best. The novels are still ongoing, 9 at the last count and fans at are their wits end hoping to have the translated copies of Burning One Man Force and Tsudou Make My Day. Tsudou Make My Day is also FMP’s latest novel but only one chapter is being released every month in Japan’s Dragon Magazine. The manga/novel is waaaaaaaaaaay (insert more a’s) ahead of the FMP anime and OVAs.
1. The Guy I Kinda Like is a Sergeant
2. I Want to Protect You
3. Lingerie Panic
6. Still Alive
7. Boy Meets Girl
8. Part Time Steady
9. Dangerous Safe House
10. Run Running Run
11. Behemoth Awakening
12. One Night Stand
13. A Cat and Kitten’s Rock and Roll
14. Is Narashino Burning?
15. The Wind Blows at Home Part 1
16. The Wind Blows at Home Part 2
17. The Wind Blows at Home Part 3
18. Deep Sea Party
19. Engaging Six and Seven
20. Venom’s Flare
21. Deep Trap
22. Jack in the Box
23. Field of Giants
24. Into the Blue
The 24 episodes covered the first three novels. FMP Fumuffo came out in 2003 but it was mostly based on the short stories and focused mainly on the characters’ high school life.
1. The Man From The South A Hostage With No Compromises
2. Hostility Passing-By A Fruitless Lunchtime
3. Summer Illusion of Steel
4. The Hamburger Hill Of Art Single-Minded Stakeout
5. The Pure Yet Impure Grappler Trespassing On Good Faith
6. The Hard Sell Fetish The Patient Of Darkness
7. The War Cry of Excessiveness
8. A Goddess Comes To Japan (Part 1: The Suffering)
9. A Goddess Comes To Japan (Part 1: The Hot Spring)
10. A Fancy Without Honor or Humanity
11. Uncontrollable Blue Bird
12. 5th Period’s Hot Spot
The last animated FMP was The Second Raid (TSR) and it dived back into the story as it covered the events of the two Ending Day by Day novels. Full Metal Panic! TSR pre-festival: night of the light novel
1. Ending Day by Day
2. Scenes Underwater
3. The Dungeon and the Dragon
5. Lovely Sicilia
6. Edge of Heaven
7. Left Behind
8. Jungle Groove
9. Her Issues
10. The Two HongKongs
11. His Issues
12. Burning Hongkong
13. Continuing Days OVA. The Battle Commander’s Sort of Boring Day
Since then, three other novels have been released and the fourth is currently ongoing. Dancing Very Merry Christmas follows after TSR’s events, Continuing On My Own (COMO), Burning One Man Force (BOMF) and Tsudou Make My Day (TMMD) continue the trails and tribulations of Sgt. Sousuke Sagara as he fights to protect Kaname Chidori. *insert fangirl squeeing*
While at first glance, FMP seems to a war/mecha anime with battle scenes galore, I was riveted by the amazing character development and intricate storyline. While history was changed in the story, at the heart of all the conflict is human resilience and determination.
The story begins when Mithril, an anti-terrorist military organization sends Sgt. Sousuke Sagara to Tokyo to protect Kaname Chidori from the KGB. Reasons for the added security was unnamed and before long, Sousuke is now tasked to go undercover as a high school student because of his young age (16-17) and keep an eye on Kaname. Sgt Kurz Weber and Sgt Melissa Mao join in his mission but the team have left their guard down considerably when Kaname continues to live her normal high school life, albeit a bit more exciting after Sousuke’s fumbling and socially inept efforts to protect her which resulted in humorous situations.
The story picks up when terrorists hijack Kaname’s plane during a school trip with only Sousuke around to save her. Kaname is now thrust in the middle of a war as she discovers that she is one of the “Whispered”, a Manhattan type project group of super intellects who are the bringers of Black technology– they have the ability to create impossibly powerful weapons of war that trascend or go against the laws of science. Examples of Black technology is the AI of ARX 7, Arm Slaves, TDD-1, Lambda Driver, and even the ECS.
Kaname now finds herself in the middle of a war and a powerful pawn in a battle for peace and supremacy. The KGB and the new enemy, the Amalgam will stop at nothing to get her and her abilities. And in the heat of battle, she finds herself falling in love with Sousuke, will there be a happy ending in the Full Metal world? Or will it be another cliche ending where love is sacrificed to save the lives of others? *author wails at the prospect*
Spoilers on the novels though, Sousuke and Chidori have come a loooooong (add more o’s) way after TSR. Again, SPOILER ALERT HERE! Don’t read if you want to be spoiled when it gets animated! While fans who’ve only seen the anime version are still hotly debating over the love triangle of Kaname x Sousuke x Tessa, the novel has officially stated Kaname and Sousuke’s feelings for each other! Yes, Sousuke likes Kaname back! In fact, they even hold hands!
But the confession was short-lived as Kaname gives herself over to Leonardo in order to save Sousuke’s life and spare the lives of other innocents who got caught in the crossfire of Amalgam’s all out attack on Mithril. The ARX 7 was destroyed, Mithril’s headquarters decimated and Tessa and the TDD barely escaped from Amalgam’s annihilation. Mithril suffered heavy losses and casualties and Sousuke was severely injured from his fight with Leonardo as well. These spoilers are from the novel, Continuing On My Own (COMO).
Here now are my favorite characters in the series. *rabid fangirl mode on* Who can not love Sousuke Sagara and Kaname Chidori? The first novel dubbed them, Fighting Boy Meets Girl and I’m praying to God that they don’t just meet to fall in love and grow from it but to actually fall in love and live together happily ever after. I did this profile with the two of them entwined because their character development grows side by side.
Sousuke Sagara is a fighting boy in every sense of the word. At his young age, he’s a sergeant of the anti-terrorist group Mithril and he has already been through several wars. He describes himself as a specialist because not only is he an extremely capable Arm Slave pilot, he also specializes in Arm Slave operations and maintenance, improvised explosives, small arms, survival training, anti-armor combat, trap setting and camouflage. Additionally, he is proficient in logistics, demolitions, breach and forced entry, covert intrusion, and hand to hand combat. He also has a deep background as a guerilla fighter. His social skills on the other hand is simply horrendous. Because of his military training, he is very stiff and formal and is paranoid to the extremes. Kaname corrects his paranoid and over the top military behavior by hitting him with a harisen (paper fan).
Kaname Chidori on the other hand was a normal high school student. Although she lives alone, she’s considered to be a school idol despite her tough class leader attitude. She’s extremely beautiful and Kurz even takes to calling her “angel” before her tomboyish attitude breaks the pretty face routine. She’s extremely athletic and popular in school and she also gets good grades. But when her abilitities as a Whispered were finally triggered, she had to tone it down by controlling her answers during her exams. Her father works in the UN and she has a sister named Ayame. Her mother is deceased.
More spoiler updates, character info and pictures on the next update!!!