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cokesque: Animeous: Full Metal Panic!

Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama, Mecha
Type: TV
Length: 24
Studio: Gonzo

Synopsis

Mithril is a secret organization with advanced technology and couragious operatives specializing in counter-terrorism that seeks to bring justice to the world. When a high school girl, Chidori Kaname, is found to hold within her the secrets of a lost Black Technology, Mithril sends three agents to protect her. Sagura Sousuke, who is high school aged himself, is assigned as her undercover bodyguard. Unfortunately he never had a normal childhood, growing up instead amongst guerilla fighters in a country resembling Afghanistan, so fitting in isn’t a cake walk.

Impressions

From Gonzo Digimation, FMP! combines mecha action with high school romantic comedy. Mecha fans will enjoy the battles, but I’m not a mecha fan so those scenes, while very well choreographed and animated, don’t engage me. Fortunately, the characters are interesting, particularly the triangle of Kana, Sousuke, and Teresa Testarossa, the teenaged genious captain of Mithril’s super-submarine.

Kana is cute and has the perfect disposition to clash with Sousuke’s agressive personality. And of course, what iron-jawed bishounen doesn’t want a small, shy girl like Tessa to protect? Oh, the laughs they’ll have….Er, anyway, there are a lot of genuinely funny moments and the characters are all likeable and exibit growth throughout the show. It’s very enjoyable, even if you don’t like mechs.

The character designs are nice and distinctively Gonzo; a lot of the older bit characters could be extras in Hellsing. The animation is well-done, though the usual Gonzo gripe of sore-thumb CG is still present. At least the 3D modelling is mostly limited to the submarine so it doesn’t detract too much from the overall presentation.

The OP music just shouts, “I am an action show theme song!” In a good way, though, bringing to mind signature pieces like the Six Million Dollar Man or Magnum PI. And on that note, I pity the fool who doesn’t recognize the A-Team tribute song “Tokkou Yarou?” in the BGM (the Japanese title for that 80s show was Tokkou-Yarou A-team).

Really, the only complaint about FMP! is that it has no staying power. While it’s fun to watch once, I’m left feeling “Eh, but what of it?”

Random Thoughts

Given two anime girls where one is tall, blue-haired, outgoing, and athletic and the other is small, silver-haired, quiet, and clumsy, which one is the American and which is Japanese? Well, the enemy soldiers couldn’t tell either.