“Full Metal Panic!” about to return.

“Full Metal Panic!” about to return.

Hey gang! Wow. This month has seen the return of two old favorite anime titles. First was the announcement for Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 4. More recently, the action-adventure (with romantic-comedy on the side) mecha series Full Metal Panic looks like it will finally get an anime conclusion.

For those who don’t know, Full Metal Panic is set on an alternate Earth, where in addition to the Strategic Defense Initiative, President Reagan also had work started on the Armored Mobile Master-Slave System, or Arm Slave for short, mecha units. In this world where the Soviet Union still exists, there are rare humans known as the Whispered, who somehow have knowledge of Black Technology. One such Whispered is a Japanese high school girl named CHIDORI Kaname, who is targeted for kidnapping for her knowledge. The mercenary, anti-terror group Mithril learns of this and dispatches half Japanese/half-Afghani, seventeen year old SAGARA Souske to be her covert bodyguard at school.

Full Metal Panic

While superb at all manner of warfare, Sousuke has no social skills and thus causes Kaname lots of unintended problems at school while trying to protect her. However, once she learns of the danger to her life, she and Sousuke become closer, especially after sharing an adventure or two, though she still has to whack him with a harisen from time to time. So on one hand, you get the romantic comedy stuff between Sousuke and Kaname, which is mostly relegated to the Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu anime series (which is a really funny series, which is all but totally divorced from the main series, save for the characters) and the short story collections, but you also get this very interesting mecha, action-adventure title, which is what most of the original Full Metal Panic! anime is about, as well as the  entire Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid series (sans the OVA episode).

Full Metal Panic

It is really hard for me to believe that after a decade since Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid ended, we are finally going to get to see the Full Metal Panic! story completed (the light novels from Gatoh-sensei having come to an end in 2011). I think it was in 2011 (or so) that we were teased with what turned out to be a fake announcement regarding the return of Full Metal Panic!, which lead to some folks putting the title into their “this season’s anime” list with a remark signifying that this was a joke. Since then, anytime I hear rumors of the return Full Metal Panic!, I am always skeptical. However, with Gatoh-sensei involved in the announcement, combined with it not being April 1, I guess it is real.

One thing that has me very encouraged about this conclusion to the Full Metal Panic! is that Gatoh-sensei will apparently be writing the new series. My understanding is that he was involved at some level with the first anime adaptation, but he wasn’t the writer and it shows since the first series, while good, is disjointed. Because the first series ended in a way that radically departed from the light novels, I’m told that Gatoh-sensei wrote the first part of Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid in order to get it back on track with the light novels. If he’s writing the final series, then I’m pretty sure he’ll be faithful to his novels and not feel the need to go off some other path.

Full Metal Panic Gatoh-sensei

I’ve got all of my old ADV DVDs for Full Metal Panic! and Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu. I think FUNimation did Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid, but basically allowed ADV to do everything (which annoyed me when it came to the subtitles) I really need to break them out again sometime and rewatch them. I’m guessing that they have a ton of dust on them. 🙁

Hopefully, when the new series comes out, someone will allow it to be legally streamed.

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15 Responses to ““Full Metal Panic!” about to return.”

  1. D-Omen says:

    I am still in disbelief about this and extremely ecstatic. I’ve been a huge FMP fan ever since watching the first season back in 2002 and today I have all seasons on DVD, both of the main manga series (FMP and Sigma), the light novels currently available in my country and the FMP Another sequel manga. This tease went on since mid-Summer and it was pure torture for me and many other fans, but it was all worth it when we watched that livestream on Nico Nico which confirmed the new series.

    Not to mention, the seven remanining novels (which will all be adapted according to Gatoh) contain what are by far the best parts of the story and I can’t wait for stuff like Burning One Man Force and Approaching Nick of Time. Glad to know you’re a fan as well, though I don’t know where you got the idea that the first season ended in a radically different way from the LNs. It doesn’t, Into the Blue ends pretty much the same way. The first episode of The Second Raid was anime-original but it mostly just served to reintroduce the serious tone after Fumoffu, it wasn’t necessary to “fix” the plot.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Here’s what I wrote back in the day for my review of Second Raid.

      Speaking of make-ups, the new studio in charge of the franchise needed to make up for some of the writers’s decision to not include certain things in the original series, notably the betrayal story at the end of that series. As such, the writers of TSR had to write new materials to encorporate this since it is an important element for the series. It comes off a little weak, making the audience go, “Here we go again!” However, it is only a minor complaint on my part.

      My understanding is that there was a betrayal plot thread in the novels that the first anime series didn’t touch because it would have left a dangling thread for the series when it ended. (Such edits are not uncommon for anime adaptations.) As such, I was told that Gatoh-sensei (I didn’t know it was him at the time I wrote my review) constructed a new tale in order to introduce that betrayal thread into the anime so that the anime could resume adapting the novels as normal. This was stuff I picked up in fan forums from fans who supposedly had read the light novels.

      • D-Omen says:

        Hmmm… There was a member of Mithril who betrayed the organization during Into the Blue and let Gauron free in the Tuatha de Danaan, but I seem to remember it was already present in the first series… Oh well, I’ll rewatch it sooner or later and get back to you on this, now I’m not sure.

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          It has been a while since I watched it as well. I just remember this being a topic of discussion as it further fueled my dislike of non-accurate adaptations.

  2. arimareiji says:

    Thanks for the great news. (^_^)

    If it’s certain to be a series, that’s absolutely wonderful. On my first read-through I missed where you said “new series“, and was afraid it would get O*A’ed like many of my other favorites that got a series or two, but apparently didn’t make enough money to satisfy their backers. Seems more common than not, at least for the ones I follow. └(•́︿•̀)┘

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Well, financial backing is critical for anime. Without sponsors, there is no anime made (as I understand it). That’s different from how cartoons are made in the West.

      • arimareiji says:

        No doubt. I’m not angry that it seems like Japanese backers tend to back away (no pun intended) from series that aren’t an unqualified success, just sad. Their money, their game… even if I think it’s a mistake, it’s still their decision to make.

        Mostly I’m sad because I think that if my perception is accurate, they’re heading down a road that leads toward being more like Hollywood (i.e. swing for the fences every time, because getting a hit isn’t good enough – but do so by copying the form of someone else who hit a home run rather than understanding how they did it). Or as Frank Herbert called it, an “addict’s dead-end cycle”.

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          I don’t think the Japanese will do that. The modern day pattern is that a light novel or manga is created and sells quite well. Then a sponsor fronts the money for the show, after which it is created and then the money is made on the back end, which is where the Japanese fleece their customers massively. From what I understand, an anime-original story is quite hard to get approved these days.

  3. Lan says:

    so damn cool. We need the conclusion to Sousukes and Kanames relationship.

  4. Dhdhd says:

    [spoiler]Tessa lost.[/spoiler]

    Screw this series.

  5. Rob C. says:

    I’m not sure what to think. I disliked Second Raid, i was actually getting into the newer offering, Full Metal Panic! Another, which set 10 years after the original series.

    Having this late entry, I’m not sure if can capture the magic of the original series.

  6. ginoth says:

    I think that its not easy to believe, but Hoping is true.
    There is a Bluray version with 1440×1080 of FMP. If anyone cares about, go to nyaa or buy it if you prefer so.

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