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The Phantom Zone Anime Review Site.

Full Metal Panic

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Distributor: ADV
Original Story: Shouji Gatou
Volumes: 7
Rating: TV-14
Anime Rating: A

17 year old Sousuke Sagara is a member of the elite military group Mythril.  He's stoic and somewhat blunt but he's the best at what he does.  But his latest job proved to be more of a problem than expected.  He was assigned to secretly bodyguard Kaname Chidori, a girl who may or may not be one of the Whispered, people containing advanced intelligence due to "black technology."  But his job proved to be harder than expected when he tries to fit in at Kaname's high school.  The real danger to Sousuke may not be the terrorists, but Kaname's outgoing personality.

Review: This series seemed to be suffering from split personality syndrome.  It didn't know what it wanted to be, action, adventure, comedy, romance, slice-of-life, giant robot, science-fiction, fantasy.  I think this was a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth, or in this case, too many genres spoil the anime.  Not to say that FMP didn't have its merits.  I loved the characters and the dynamics in which they interacted.  However, I don't think that alone was enough to improve this anime.  It got over-the-top ridiculous or it got angsty on a Gundam-level (though it never reached Eva level, thankfully).  And the two teeter-tautered never reaching a balance between the two.  Though the characters doing the FBI Privacy warning at the beginning of each volume was clever and yes, even funny.

Action Level: 4/5
I really loved seeing Sasuke engage in hand-to-hand combat against a guy twice his height and age.  However, the robot battles got vaguely Dragonball-ish at times.

Romance Level: 3/5
The love triangle between Sousuke, Kaname, and Tessa could've been refined a little, especially between Tessa and Sousuke.  I mean I kind of knew something like this was going to happen the moment they introduced Tessa, but I still couldn't see the smooth development of the relationship between Tessa and Sousuke like I saw the one between Sousuke and Kaname.  And really, whoever made up the rule that romances aren't allowed in military organizations should be dragged out into the street and beat with a tire iron... and be forced to watch this.

Comedy Level: 2/5
Though I thought Chris Patton did a good job with Sousuke's dead pannery, the slapstick scenes with Sousuke and Kaname at school were irritating and only served to further convolute what this show was trying to aim for.

Adult Level: 2/5
There are of course a few brief scenes of nudity but no sex, and there is blood but no gore.  There is violence but you don't see anyone's mangled corpse.

Drama Level: 3/5
They did it a little better with the drama than the comedy.  But the drama was misplaced in a lot of areas, like the "argument" between Tessa and Mao, or Sousuke angsting because he couldn't activate his Lambda Driver.  However, with the feelings of the female cast, I thought they did a good job with.

Overall Level: 3/5
I was disappointed they diddn't do a better job on it.  If they picked one or even two genres and stuck with them, I think it would've been better.  But instead, they went off everywhere.  It's definitely worth a one-time watch, maybe even a second time if you enjoyed it, but I really can't see the fans who would get into this.