"Full Metal Panic! didn't become one of the best selling anime titles in North America just because it was a great action show. The series' great cast of characters and its blend of romantic comedy with serious action and drama helped to make it one of the most satisfying anime in quite some time.
The series itself has a very simple plot. Secret anti-terrorist organization MITHRIL has been given a mission to protect young Japanese student Kaname Chidori, a popular 16 year old high school student who is also a "whispered"- a person who subconsciously taps infinite amounts of knowledge while in a trance like state. MITHRIL believes Kaname may be the target of a kidnapping by a rogue terrorist organization and thus sends agents out to protect her.
Sosuke Sagura, military minded weapons fanatic is selected for the mission along with his co-workers Kurz and Melissa. Sosuke is enrolled in high school to watch out for Kaname which sets up the comedic aspects of the show.
Sosuke is an amazing field agent, capable of any mission, no matter how dangerous. Yet, he has a hard time relating to everyday people in a "normal" fashion. He is also paranoid of the most common things which causes him to overreact most of the time. Kaname outwardly acts annoyed by Sosuke's antics of blowing up the school stairways and crashing the girls locker room but deep down she has a strange affinity for him. She has no knowledge of his real reason for being at high school nor of her abilities so she (as well as the rest of the school) accept him as the strange and eccentric transfer student.
Through the series 24 episodes we follow Sosuke and his cohorts at MITHRIL as they rescue kaname and her classmates, fight bad guys and overcome the challenge of organizing a high school festival. The characters are very well developed with their own quirks and shortcomings and the stories never get bogged down in too much drama or get ridiculously stupid. The writers balanced episodes fairly well with some episodes focusing on action and drama while others developed characters and were more comedic.
This Full Metal Panic! set collects the entire 7 disc series into a neat space saving thinpak collection complete with collecors box. The original series booklets and reversible covers are not included in the package, with buyers only getting the dvd sleeves featuring the arm slave mechas on the covers. ADV did a nice job on the box with a slightly raised mechanical look and a cast shot on the box spine. For those that missed FMP! the first time, this is a great addition to any anime collection and one that really merits watching multiple viewings.
A humble opinion that shall give an overview idea of the FMP
Niko | 06/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To begin with, for someone who is not familiar with these series the amount to pay in order to get this show may be considered a little bit high compared to some other shows out there. Therefore, a potential question could be, is it worth the money for buying it? My personal answer is: Yes, it is worth every penny. Below I shall explain why:
To begin with, this is a brief story outline so that to get an overview picture:
The story starts off in our time continuum, in which a secret special military organization, called MITHRIL, uses the last state of the art technology in order to protect humanity from various kinds of terrorist acts and so forth. In its weaponry, amongst others, it has a super sub-marine, AI computers, Mechas etc. Also, there are young people out there, especially (high school) girls that are able to connect mentally to an unknown source of knowledge. These people are called `whisperers' which are used not only by the `good-guys' but by the `bad-guys' as well. Obviously, the one who can control this kind of knowledge will dominate over others Now to the main plot: A Japanese high school girl named Kaname Chidori, is a `whispered' person and because MITHRIL fears the fact that she will be kidnapped by terrorists who wish for her powers, assigns three of its best soldiers in order to protect her. Therefore, besides Kaname, the other main protagonist, Sosuke Sagura, goes undercover to her high school as another student. To his support come Melissa Mao, a beautiful, nice but also short tempered and bad/kick a** woman, and of course his partner Kurz Weber the sniper, something like a surfer boy, who loves to chase behind (every) women.
So some may ask, what is so special about it anyway?
I shall start with the story in a bullet-like-style so not to tire you:
- The problem is that what Sosuke did all his life was fighting battles and when he goes to high school he carries with him guns, explosives etc. and basically blowing the school apart, the so called Jindai High. He has basically no knowledge of what an ordinary life is and how to behave, especially when he will be caught up in the love triangle (see the third bullet point) - The story is not only focusing on the high school life but will carry us all around the globe and the viewer will be introduced to all sorts of fights and battles (especially with Mechas) - It involves a love triangle between: Sosuke, Kaname and Tessa, who is the captain of METHRIL (she is basically the same age as Kaname, 16 years old, but a `whisperer' as well) which will result to a series of funny situations... Romance on its way... - It has a main villain, among other terrorists, who is as cold as ice - The viewer will be introduced to many other characters which are very well developed as well - Even if to some of you the storyline may seem, more or less, stereotypical (good guys vs. bad guys, young teenagers and Mechas, action with comedy etc.) however, for some reason this series manage to give a new breeze to these kind of shows and succeed in what they are doing
Apart from all it:
- The animation is very good - Has a solid storyline and very good character development - The shows are a mix of: Science fiction/action/Mechas/(slap stick)comedy/romance/drama - It manages to keep the balance between slapstick comedy ( like how Kaname tries to teach Sosuke how to behave in ordinary life, obviously he will completely `misinterpret' her lessons, what love is etc.) and hard core action (which is very well done, even how the Mechas will spread out in the battle field, is very professional done like in true battle situations). Not to mention the fact, that people you will like in the series will also die - The viewer will never get tired of the show - The show is about 600 min long (7 DVDs) - Has very good opening and ending songs - Has its share of fan service - Even if you prefer the English dub, it is very well executed and you will enjoy it - The DVDs have a few extras, like trailers, opening/ending with no credits etc. - But most of all, no matter what kind of anime fan you are, you will definitely find something for you in these shows
Furthermore, there are two more continuations of Full Metal Panic out there (as another reviewer correctly stated it) which are: FMP fumoffu and FMP overload
Either way, I hope I could help in some way so that anyone who stumbles upon these shows will be able to grasp an `overview picture' of the FMP series...
All these been said, if you decide to buy it (something you will not regret), than there is only one thing left to say: Enjoy them... "
Great Mecha Series with Comedy Emphasis
Antonio D. Paolucci | Beaver Falls, PA | 03/02/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was blown away by the beginning to this series. Not only was it hilarious, but the sparse action that was there only seemed to add to the comedy of the series. And early on, though advertised as a mecha anime, I didn't see anything that could really classify this as a mecha anime, but more of a comedy/romance with some mechs in it. Later, it proved me wrong, and in many ways this is why I didn't give the series five stars. Let me explain.
To put it simply: This series was at its best when it was presenting comedy rather than drama. I personally loved the episodes when Sousuke and Kaname are at school, usually feuding it out or dealing with problems all teenagers deal with, only with the added twist that Kaname has secret psychic powers and Sousuke is a military genius. These episodes were just plain funny, very little being forced comedy or that stuff that can easily be lost in the translation from Japanese to English.
Though the mech episodes weren't bad, and the antagonist was menacing enough to be convincing, these episodes just kind of shut off the comedy of the series. All of a sudden, the characters were dead serious, and the fun was sapped right out. I enjoyed the action in these episodes, but I enjoyed the comedy more. This, though, didn't happen until about halfway through the series, so this wasn't too dramatic a change, as you'd expect an anime series to get serious when it needed to. I only wish it didn't happen as suddenly as it did. And many who have seen this series knows when it happens: when the opening credits change.
Still, the story is great in this series, with a lot political undertones that adds some validity to the plot. Though the characters were as stereotypically anime as they could get (young girls with magical powers, young men with incredible skills with giant robots), something seemed to click together in this series to make these types of character not seem so cliche. I only wish the pacing of the plot was done a little better.
Either way, though, I will recommend this to fans of good anime, especially if you like good comedy or a fan of GONZO (Last Exile, Samurai 7, GANTZ), like me. And, if you like giant-robe anime, then I'd also recommend this. It isn't something that's heavily stressed until later on, but this series definitely has a lot of decent mech fights."
Very solid series
Michial A. Green | Richmond, CA USA | 02/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Full Metal panic! was a solid buy for me and I enjoyed it. The story is of a Boy named Souske Sagara who has been fighting for about his whole life, knowing only the military, getting a special assignment to guard a girl named Kaname Chidori who is a special type of Human being called a whispered. The love interests in the series were never concluded, and the action wasn't on par with other mech animes, but I could tell that wasn't the point from the begining. The series is more about Souske's social growth and how his relationship with Kaname changes him, and how overcoming the obvious struggles of his past caused him to become solely about Duty and never tapped into his own emotions. (But that's just one little bear's opinion) Its a very fun series and you just fall in love with the characters. if it wasn't for fumoffu I would probably had been daydreaming about how the rest of their lives would have gone after the series ended. Full Metal Panic! is an anime that can break anyone into the mech and/or anime genre. If there was aver an anime series to buy, it would be this one. Not for the action, not for the love interest, but because of a cast of characters that work so well with each other and a main character thats in a class of his own. (in cluelessness) If not for anything else look at the series just to try and guess how Souske would react to things, haha. adios!"
Full Metal Panic!
S. Savino | Williams,AZ USA | 01/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Full Metal Panic!(FMP)was one of ADV's biggest shows in '03.The GONZO show based on Shouji Gatohs' shonen masterpiece now available through ADV manga, has finally arrived as one complete thin-pak collection.The entire 24 episode series available all at once at one great price,but what makes this a need to own set,let's take a look. The premise while not entirely unique,is very entertaining.There are people called "the whispered",individuals who have knowledge of "black technology".They know it's secrets,how to use,and abuse it's power.To that extent most of the world is oblivious to it's exsistence,except the men and women of Mithril.Mithril is a secret organization outside of the governments control,an organization who is both aware of this black technology, and implements it as part of their formidable arsenal.Kaname Chidori(Kana-chan to her close friends)is one of the whispered .Ordinary high school student by day and uh...ordinary high school student by night!Anyway when a certain group becomes aware of Ms.Chidori's special abilities,no not her figure, or her mouth,her abilities as one of the whispered,she becomes their primary intrest.Well not one to slouch,Mithril members Sgt. Major Melissa Mao,Sgt. Kurtz Weber,and Sgt. Sousuke Sagara spring into action.As part of their assignment Melissa,Kurtz,and Sgt.Somber Sousuke are assigned to guard Ms.Chidori 24/7.When at school,in the shower,anywhere she goes they go,or rather Sgt. Sagara goes.So begins life at Jindai High,until a ghost from Sousukes' past comes back to haunt him.Excited!Well you should be,it only gets better after that. From start to finish FMP delivers a fullcourse of action,comedy,romance,and of course giant humanoid robots.This is one of ADV's better dubs in my humble opinion and it doesn't hurt that GONZO is known for it's theatical quality animation,high prodution values and great direction as well.FMP is a masterpiece,another series on it's way up.The fun doesn't stop here though,the follow-up to FMP,Full Metal Panic!Fummofu?is out and the third piece in the trilogy,Full Metal Panic!The Second Raid just wrapped -up in Japan.(It should be noted that TSR,The Second Raid,is rated R-15 in Japan,meaning no one under fifteen years of age should watch it.It is cosiderably more violent and there is brief nudity throughout the series.).FMP is one of my favorites and i'm sure you will like it as well,so check it out NOW!!!!You will not be dissapointed."