Full Metal Panic! is a hybrid novel/manga/anime franchise, which tells the stories of Sergeant Sōsuke Sagara, a young soldier of the mercenary anti-terrorism organization Mithril, and Kaname Chidori, the Japanese high school student he's assigned to protect.Unbeknownst even to herself, Kaname possesses special knowledge that numerous organizations would like dearly to control for their own means. As such, Sōsuke is assigned to infiltrate her high school in order to protect her while pretending to be an ordinary student, and without her knowing that she's in danger. Sōsuke, unfortunately, has no social experience outside his military life, having been literally raised as a soldier, and thus has no idea how to properly act in civilian life.Hilarity Ensues but before long Kaname will be drawn into Sōsuke's world as well when the forces that want her for their own make their move to seize the girl, kicking off a globe-hopping plot as Sōsuke balances his bodyguard duties for Kaname with his duties as a member of Mithril's military forces.Full Metal Panic! originally debuted as a series of Light Novels in Japan, books with interspersed illustrations. The series proved so popular that it was adapted first as a serialized manga in Newtype magazine, and later as an anime by Gonzo Animation. Two more series, Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu (2003), and Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid (2005) were made by Kyoto Animation (Fumoffu was actually the first anime that Kyo Ani did on its own). While the original and Second Raid are both more serious action stories, Fumoffu is much Lighter and Softer.Despite the multiple formats, FMP! has managed to remain rather consistent between the novels themselves and the media that adapt them, with only minor changes. The twelfth novel (which is set to be the last full-length volume, though more short stories have not been ruled out) was released in 2010, while the anime itself has adapted the storyline of the first five (Which are the only novels to have been released in English commercially). Two of the mangas, Full Metal Panic! and its sequel Full Metal Panic! Sigma, cover the complete story, and have been fully scanlated into English. There was brief talk of a live-action movie adaptation in 2009, but that died down quickly and no more is expected to come of it.However, there is now a new gaiden novel coming, set some years after the events of the last book, starring a bonafide cake eater, a new machine, and a thrice divorced Kurz. Spoilers ahoy.◊The principal cast includes:
Sōsuke Sagara, the lifetime soldier with No Social Skills who is attempting to fit into normal society so he can protect Kaname. Also referred to by the Big Bad as Kashim.
Kaname Chidori, a Tsundere whose status as one of the mysterious Whispered is the driving force of the original plot.
Teletha "Tessa" Testarossa, young captain of Mithril's aquatic base of operations, the Tuatha De Danaan, and the other corner of the Love Triangle with Kaname and Sōsuke.
Handwaved as the Principal specifically not wanting to interfere in their decisions. The way she says it, we are definitely led to believe that she could if she wanted to. (The generous donations that Mithril makes to the school appear to have something to do with her attitude.)
Adaptation Expansion: The Second Raid mostly adapts the 5th novel, End of Day by Day, significantly expanding the smaller plot of the traitor in the novel, and doing sufficient justice to the story... and changing the male chinese twin assassins to girls, for added fanservice and emotional impact when they die.
Almost Kiss: When pulling Sousuke out of the water near the end of episode 8 in Season 1, Kaname thinks he's going to kiss her, so she closes her eyes and puckers up. Then the next scene occurs, and Sousuke is merely getting excess water off his clothing, while Kaname is still in a kissing mode. She later angrily storms off when he thinks her red face is from sickness.
The Soviet Union continues to exist in the present and so does the Cold War (plus mecha).
In addition, China went through a civil war, with Hong Kong partitioned into Communist-controlled north and Democratic-controlled south sections, similar to Berlin, and an ECS-using nuclear missile was used on US-led coalition forces during the 1991 Gulf War.
This is a plot point. According to both Leonard and Tessa, the experiment at Yamsk-11 made it possible for information to travel back in time and into the "whispered", which ended up altering history from that point forward.
Always Save the Girl: Played somewhat straight and subverted horribly in Sigma — simultaneously, since there are two girls in question; Sousuke experiences an excruciating ten seconds where he wonders if he should save Nami and probably die in the process, or let her die so he can save Kaname. He decides with just two seconds left to try to save them both. Unfortunately, he waits too long, and the guy holding a gun to Nami doesn't wait until the ten seconds are up before shooting her multiple times in the chest.
And Man Grew Proud: The first TAROS, left behind in Yamsk 11, was an experiment that went horribly wrong. Even while it's deactivated, getting close to it causes you to experience deja vu over and over, and, if you discover its true power, you'll be driven to kill anyone else around to have it all to yourself. All the scientists working on the project died that way.
Kaname:This ruin is the product of human insanity and arrogance.
And This Is for...: Kaname includes this in her speech she gives while beating the ever-loving crap out of a BSODing Sousuke.
Kaname: This is for the pain in my heart! *BAM!* This is for the pain in my body! *BAM!* And this is for . . . THE PAIN IN MY SOOOOUL! *BAM!!*
Gauron's "I LOVE YOU KASHIM!" Sōsuke was NOT amused.
In Come Make my Day, when Kaname and Sousuke get to speak to each other for the first time in six months (over the radio), they both finally admit their feelings for each other and promise to share their First Kiss the next time they meet in person. Which doesn't happen for ANOTHER six months...
Tessa does this to Sousuke in the OVA. Being Sousuke, he completely misinterprets it.
Used as a gag in Fumoffu episode "The Hamburger Hill of Art", when Ono-D is "killed" by one of Sousuke's traps and, over the radio, asks Kaname for a final date. She responds "Not gonna happen", and he signs off by shouting "You're so mean!"
Asleep in Class: In the second novel, Sousuke falls asleep with his eyes open after having spent the night dealing with a Humongous Mecha rampaging through Tokyo.
The Atoner: Kalinin towards Sōsuke, as revealed in their backstory. He always feels extremely guilty for allowing Sōsuke's mother to die, and also for leaving Sōsuke in the orphanage which led to Sōsuke eventually becoming a cold-blooded killer.
Ax-Crazy: Gauron, Gates, the kid who piloted the Behemoth... Pretty much all Lambda Driver users except Sousuke, point of fact.
Bad Boss: Gates, who has a Running Gag about killing his own men for pretty much no reason at all.
Bad Ass Boast: In Episode 13 of Season 1, during a heated argument, Tessa says that she can pilot an AS better than Mao can. Mao then challenges her to an AS duel, with the loser having to run around the base naked, and in the heat of the moment, Tessa agrees to it.
Badass Normal: After TSR Kaname certainly gained this status. Also, is hinted in one episode in the first season, that she'd make an awesome AS pilot.
Averted in The Second Raid with Yu Fan and Yu Lan.
Batman Gambit: Gauron pulls one off at the end of the first season. He attacks a chemical weapons dump, knowing Mithril will come to stop him; when they do, he surrenders, claiming his AS overheated. He and his AS are taken into custody on board the Tuatha de Danaan - which turns out to have been his objective all along so that he can take over the ship, although he's foiled in this by the main cast (and also fails to die taking Sousuke with him by self-destructing his mech, which was his backup objective).
Beautiful All Along: Although she's pretty cute normally, THIS is what Kyoko looks like with her glasses off and her hair let out of its braids.
Become a Real Boy: This happens to Al, Sousuke's support AI. Through out the series, Al develops human-like traits like making jokes, using sarcasm, annoying Sousuke by playing BGM during battles, and making decisions based on "gut feeling" rather than calculations. This cumulates in the penultimate chapter of the series right before Merida Island was hit by a nuclear strike, Al asks Sousuke "I want to try something, but first I want to ask. Am I human, or machine?" and Sousuke responds with "...decide it for yourself. People... do that." This in turn saves both Sousuke and Al by allowing Al to activate the lambda driver on his own without a human catalyst.
Boobs of Steel: At least regarding the relative athletic and combat skills of Mao, Kaname, and Tessa.
Bond One-Liner: One line of Sousuke's becomes this in the English dub. When asked "Who are you?!" during his infiltration of the enemy base during the school trip, his answer in Japanese is simply, "The garbage man," but in the dub it becomes, "I take out the garbage."
Boy Meets Girl: The first novel and first episode is literally called "Fighting Boy Meets Girl".
Breather Episode: The Second Raid episode 6, "Edge of Heaven," the haircut episode.
Episodes 8 and 13 in the first season, which are rather light-hearted compared to the previous episodes where a lot of intense action takes place.
Bridge Bunny: When first meeting Tessa, Kaname (trying to be Genre Savvy) assumes she couldn't possibly be the captain of the De Danaan and must be one of these instead. Tessa plays along, just to mess with her.
Brick Joke: During the Behemoth Arc, as Sousuke and Kurz make their way to A21's ship, Mao trails them in her M9, and keeps running into highway signs. Mao remarks that at least it isn't as bad as Hong Kong, with signs everywhere. The endgame of TSR takes place in Hong Kong.
Tessa can seem like this, at least in the first few episodes of the anime. Her clumsiness is Played for Laughs in Fumoffu.
Busman's Holiday: The "Into the Blue" arc (covered in the third novel and last part of the anime) has Sōsuke inviting Kaname to a Mithril-held island so they can have something resembling a normal summer vacation trip. Unfortunately, they didn't count on Gauron attempting to hijack the Dannan...
Can Not Spit It Out: As a Romantic Comedy, naturally Sōsuke and Kaname can never work up the nerve to express their feelings in words. They finally do so in "Come Make My Day", after spending months apart and going through hell to see each other again.
Can't Hold His Liquor: Sōsuke funny enough he got drunk, and passed out, off amazake, which is a sweeter, low-alcoholic version of traditional sake. He only drank one cup.
As of recently in the novels, he literally Can't Hold His Liquor, due to debilitating internal injuries courtesy of a rifle round that relieved him of a portion of his liver, among other things.
Caucasian Asian: An early episode has one of the KGB agents referring to Gauron as a "Chinaman". He corrects the agent, saying that he's Japanese. Given the original market, it seems to be more to explain to viewers that Gauron isn't Chinese despite having a Cantonese handle (technically speaking, he's known as "Gaulung") and to foreshadow that he's not Khmer, despite his service as a Child Soldier under the Khmer Rouge.
Chaste Hero: Sōsuke doesn't understand anything about romance. He thinks that "kissing" is a synonym for CPR, "flirting" means trapping girls in cages and holding them captive at gunpoint, and that a condom is for storing water. His squad was going over the supplies he packed to try and blend in as a high schooler, and they found a condom. Mao asked him if he knew what it was for, and he said storing water. It's a very common survival kit supply item, specifically because of how much water it can hold.
Chekhov's Gag: We all know Sousuke causes all sorts of trouble in the school since day one, including an accidental biochemical's release. These are all made for laughs. And this is what made the schoolmates escape the campus by lightspeed possible, as Kurama holds the whole school as hostage (for Kaname) when Sousuke comes to rescue them. Granted Hayashimizu's announcement helped, but still.
Chekhov's Gunman: The red-haired Whispered girl Sousuke saves in the first episode returns later in the novels and actually helped design the ARX-8 Laevatein for him.
Chick Magnet: Sōsuke. Kaname, Tessa, Ena Saeki, Gray (who has heavy implications of being at least attracted to him), and Nami (from the novels) have the hots for him. Several girls at his school also show that they find him extremely handsome. And that's not even getting into how Even the Guys Want Him...
Remember that drugged-out whispered girl at the very beginning of the series that Sousuke rescued? Later on in the novels, she plays a larger role (and yes, she has a name - Mira Kudan), and guess what? She also has the hots for Sousuke, and sends him a love letter telling him she had already given her heart to him since that time. She's a realist, though - she acknowledges that if she were to put the moves on him, Kaname and Tessa would kill her.
Sousuke is some sort of "Whispered" magnet. As mentioned by Tessa, he seems to be have some sort of connection with the "Whispered". Every female "Whispered" that he has met has fallen for him, and fast. Even the male ones have connections; he is the only person recognized by Al, the ARX system developed the Bani, as its pilot and Leonard has great hatred for him, which itself is a strong connection.
Child Soldier: Sōsuke. Pretty much all of the various ways in which he is "stupid" about the world is because he has literally known nothing outside of the mercenary life until he gets assigned to protect Kaname. Full Metal Panic loses something of its comedy when you realise that Sōsuke's antics are caused because of complete and total ignorance of anything that doesn't have to do with killing and surviving to keep on killing.
Christmas in Japan: Dancing Very Merry Christmas occurs around this time, obviously; Kaname's upset about Sōsuke apparently missing the class cruise trip not just because of the romantic implications Christmas Eve carries in Japan, but because it's also her birthday. As well as the birthday of every other Whispered.
Clingy Jealous Girl: Kaname vehemently denies having feelings for Sousuke, but sure hates it whenever Tessa is around him. Especially in Fumoffu.
Mizuki in episode 8 of the first season. It's likely she wrote/spread the rumors about Kaname, leading Sousuke to interrogate Shirai in the boy's restroom. After her breakup, she forces Sousuke to pretend to be her boyfriend for her friends, and Kaname doesn't exactly feel comfortable with it. Particularly when Mizuki has him practicing saying "I love you" to her, and later on when he kisses her in front of her friends.
Closet Otaku: The OVA reveals that Closeau, the head of the SRT, is a huge anime fan, but keeps it under wraps because he wants to be a seen as an authority figure to his subordinates
Clown Car: The Tuatha De Danaan looks like a exceptionally large aircraft carrier turned into a submarine when we see it from the inside or during one of its oceanic voyages, but then an AS (25ft tall) stands on top of the thing and suddenly we find out it's the size of a frigate at most. Which means there's no way any of what it carries can fit in it at all. "Toy Box" indeed.
It actually weighs 44,000 tonnes, so at least it has that capacity.
Cluster F-Bomb: Sōsuke cusses Kaname out in the last novel, yelling out to her that she's a "stupid bitch"... which is what makes her snap back into reality. ** And Gates from the English dub of The Second Raid.
Conspiracy Theorist: Mithril has programs that troll online forums and denounce anyone who makes connections about events Mithril was involved in as a conspiracy theorist so that nobody pays any attention to the (sometimes accurate) conclusions that the posters are coming to.
Among many other things. Offhand he has: Fought martial artists with shotguns, tear gas, beanbag rounds from a grenade launcher, and hand grenades, used his small size/young age to get the drop on enemies, shown a willingness to use anything nearby as a weapon, threatened to blow up an aggressor's child brother, disguised himself as a cartoon mascot, shot people in the back, and targeted the groin of both men and women.
Crazy-Prepared: Sōsuke. In one episode, he's even shown having a biochemical suit handy.
The various death traps mounted around an onsen resort in the manga count as well. With, of course, a little help from Mao (or maybe she set it all up herself).
Crapsaccharine World: A strong argument can be made for this, given that the Cold War is still ongoing as of 1998 (novels)/2002 (anime), China is in the middle of a civil war between Communist North and Democratic South, Hong Kong is split in two, controlled by North and South China, at least one Soviet submarine attempted a nuclear strike on London, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan succeeded, Mikhail Gorbachev was assassinated and glasnost never happened... the list goes on and on. This is what prompts Leonard's plans of remaking the world, which Kalinin buys into.
Create Your Own Villain: Inverted. Mithril was founded and initially bankrolled by Mr Mercury, last of the original founders of Amalgam, to stop his out of control creation.
Crouching Moron Hidden Bad Ass: Sousuke at first seems like an awkward guy who's a bit too obsessed with the military, but put Kaname or any of his other friends in danger...
Tessa as well. She seems like comic relief with her clumsiness, but when its time to get serious, she can prove to be quite a formidable opponent as well, such as when Gauron tries to take over the Tuatha De Danann.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Happens to Kurz when he first fights Gauron, who barely manages to escape.
Gauron in fact does a lot of these until he's fighting Sousuke 1 on 1.
Sousuke later delivers one to Amalgam at the end of Second Raid after snapping out of his Heroic BSOD.
Leonard's Belial hands one to Sousuke and his Arbalest.
Bloodier and Gorier: The Second Raid is also a significant margin grittier than the original Full Metal Panic. Special mention goes to a scene where a man's throat is cut open, and all the muscles and cartilage inside is clearly visible.
The Full Metal Panic Sigma manga is this to the 3rd anime season and it's even more gritter, one of the changes is with the twin sent to kill Kaname instead of getting her neck crushed like in the anime she is instead nearly blown in half with some of her guts sent flying from the Gun blast from the Alastor'sArm Cannon.
The main story also turned sour and darker after The End of Day by Day.
Dark Lord on Life Support: In The Second Raid Gauron has been reduced to lying in a bed tied to a machine after he was defeated in the previous season, but still manages to ruin everyone's day.
Deadpan Snarker: Alnote The AI for the Arbalest, of all people, in the OVA episode following The Second Raid.
Believe or not he's even more so in the later novels suggesting they sing or tell jokes in the heat of battle to calm themselves down...all in that cold robotic voice. Much to Sousuke's chargin of course.
Of course, from Second Raid, we have:
Sousuke: It seems you think you're funnier than me.
Depraved Homosexual: Again, Gauron. He wants Sousuke. He really wants Sousuke. So much so that he will describe his fantasies to Sousuke.
Deus ex Machina: At the end of season one, they plug Kaname into a machine that was never mentioned up until that point, have her control the ship in ways that were never mentioned to be possible prior to that episode, and pretty much have her save the day with absolutely no warning. Wonderful.
To be fair, it's explained better in the novels. But since it's done mostly through inner monologues, it was difficult to do in the anime.
Not to mention, the Deus Ex Machina was kinda the point (almost literally). Kaname herself doesn't know what she's doing at the time, and it is a valid plot point that they keep seeking an explanation for during several books, and is only truly revealed in the last 2 novels. So I'd say they get a pass with this one. Now, Gauron, on the other hand...
Die Hard on an X: Captain Sailor treated A Dancing Very Merry Christmas as Die Hard On A Cruise Ship. The Mithril agents who had taken the Pacific Chrysalis refer to the person trying to retake the ship as "John MacClane".
Does This Remind You of Anything?: A hair cut, of all things. The entire scene is treated with a large degree of intimacy, and afterwards Sousuke and Kaname are acting as though they just got it on. Normally this would sound ridiculous... but since it's Sousuke, it makes sense. On Sousuke's part, that act was probably the equivalent of them making out, taking into account his intimacyissues and the fact that appealing to his trust issues turns him on more than anything else (including skimpy outfits or overt flirting). On Kaname's part, this act was the most intimate that they've had. Seeing how their relationship thus far had strictly been on a No Hugging, No Kissing basis, her standards of intimacy had been lowered considerably. So in other words he closest thing to sex with Sousuke was giving him a haircut. note To go further, even with Kaname being the one to do it, he still has trust issues about it that subconsciously bother him later on. He has nightmares about it, where she slits his throat with the razor. So yes, to him, it was a bit too intimate and a very large sacrifice for him to allow her to do that. Guess she was moving too fast for him.
The "Feudal Japanese Spider-Man" show in Second Raid. Spider-Man gets this a lot with his webbing, but this time the webbing really didn't look like webbing at all. Especially when he shot it all over that guy's face.
Enjo Kosai: Fleeing an assassin, Kaname first plays this trope straight to convince a middle-aged salaryman to take her to a love motel so she'll have someplace to hide. Once there she promptly subverts it by zapping him with a stun gun and handcuffing him to the bathtub, telling him it's his own fault for being such a perv.
Also, in The Second Raid, when Kaname was giving Sōsuke a haircut, she had told him to turn to the right. He then moves to the left, prompting her to say "No, your other right." He then gets a clear view of her cleavage.
Lampshaded in Fumoffu, in the next episode preview of A Goddess Comes to Japan: Pt. 1
The girl you have all been waiting for finally makes her appearance! The beautiful Captain Tessa from Sousuke's secret organisation is coming to school. And that would be what they call 'service for the fans'.
A Father to His Men: Andrei Kalinin. So much so that Sousuke can't kill him in the last novel, in their duel to the death - Kalinin eventually dies of crash injuries.
Fish out of Water: Sōsuke; to a lesser extent Kaname, since she's a lot more assertive and emotionally open than most Japanese people due to her spending part of her childhood in America.
Fission Mailed: A non-Video Game example. At Yamsk 11, after coming into contact with the Whisperer, Kaname seemingly goes nuts and shoots Tessa and Sōsuke dead. Sōsuke wakes up shortly thereafter, realizing that it was just a vision of a possible future. Kaname, however, remains convinced that it really happened and they're both dead; after it's revealed that the Whisperer took over Kaname's body, we learn that the real Kaname was forcing her to believe in the illusion so Amalgam wouldn't consider Mithril a threat anymore and lower their defenses.
Flawed Prototype: as powerful as the Belial and Laevatein are, thay are also very flawed, the belial is entirely dependent on its lambda driver for offence and defence, and the only reason the Laevatein can even move is becuase AL is there
Foreshadowing: Whether on purpose or by coincidence, the lyrics to "Tomorrow" (the first anime's theme song) end up foreshadowing the series' final arc, where the villains' goal is to change history while Sōsuke and Kaname fight to preserve the world that exists now:
Let's go and find out The reason we're born into this world Holding on, even to our pain Let's go and welcome the new world.
Kaname does a one-person version during the vacation hijacking early on: when the Whisperings start becoming too much to bear, she bashes her head against a nearby tree, which seems to do the trick and helps her focus enough so she can radio Sousuke to tell him about the Lambda Driver.
Get Up, Go To School, Save The World: An unusually militaristic example, but quite noticeable in The Second Raid. Sousuke spends half his time playing Ordinary High-School Student with Kaname, and the other half participating in dangerous missions with Mithril. Particularly amusing in the 5th episode, when Kaname calls Sousuke's cellphone to complain about him missing a test and potentially being held back a year... while he's in the middle of a high-speed Car Chase involving copious amounts of heavy weapons and Stuff Blowing Up.
Gratuitous English: Kaname should probably work on hers. "Don't Worry, Everything is gonna Happy. ♥"
"HEYYYYYY, PRETTY JAPANESE GIRLS!"
Of course, Kurz speaks fluent Japanese; his brief use of Gratuitous English when introducing himself to Kaname and Kyouko is a completely intentional Funny Foreigner act.
Mao says "SHUT UP!" instead of the traditional "urusei!"
Guilty Pleasures: The Second Raid: the OVA is about Tessa trying to get her teddy bear back before somebody else finds out about it. Clouseau tries to keep his Anime habits a secret as well, mostly Played for Laughs.
Shinji loves all things military, with his love of guns only second to Arm Slaves. When he bumps into Sousuke on Kanami's deck they get so distracted talking about weapons that they forget why they were even there in the first place.
Hero with an F in Good: Sōsuke. Because he's less good and more of a military Idiot Savant who happens to be to working on the side of a heroic mercenary group. He does get better as exposure to Kaname (who, admittedly, could really benefit from some lessons in properly "training" him) and a normal life starts to get him to understand that his way of viewing the world isn't the only way to do so.
"Hey, You!" Haymaker: Sōsuke uses this one on the head of the Amateur Karate club while he's distracted by flirting with Kaname. Not that he's jealous or anything, he just needed to defeat the guy so they would leave and let the club house be demolished like the Absurdly Powerful Student Council wanted.
Hyperspace Arsenal: Sōsuke's — mostly in Fumoffu, but it pops up briefly in The Second Raid as well.
Gets a lampshade in The Second Raid where, after Sōsuke pulls out a bunch of non-lethal weapons (like stun guns and tear gas), Kaname remarks "And as usual, I have no idea where you were keeping all that."
Hypocritical Humor: In "The Second Raid", a weapons dealer orders a client who refused to pay killed. He also orders all said client's men killed. Then he sings Ave Maria. When he finally snaps out of it, he realizes that because he killed all the men he can't get paid. So he laments how the world has turned to violence.
Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The titles of the Japanese light novels follow the format "[Verb, usually progressive] [Three word English phrase]."
And the titles of the side-story collections are puns on Japanese phrases containing the number of the collection.
I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: In "Come Make My Day", Leonard tries to Break Kaname by Talking, offering her a gun and saying she's free to leave if she can work up the nerve to kill him in 30 seconds. While Kaname can't bring herself to do it, when Leonard tries to take the gun back she struggles with him and ends up literally shooting him in the face, which results in his nearly dying, coming away with a vertical scar between his eyes.
Ill Girl: A good bit of Kurz Weber's pay turns out to go towards the medical bills of a girl who was critically injured by his Cold Sniper mentor, Casper.
Info Drop: In the anime adaptation, Chidori mentions that she's an orphan when bitch-slapping a captured enemy. "Oh, you've got no parents? Well, same for me and Sergeant Sagara over here." Up until that point, it's not explicitly stated that her parents are dead, and the statement goes a long way toward explaining her character (and current living conditions).
Interservice Rivalry: It's alluded to in TSR and End of Day by Day - Mithril's Intelligence Division and Operations Division don't really see eye to eye on a lot of things.
More humorously, Mao reveals that when she ditched her wedding to join the Marines, the recruiters kept trying to talk her out of it... until they learned her old man was a USAF Colonel. "Okay, sign here."
I Surrender, Suckers: This is how Gauron (with a little help from his infiltrated friends) took over the Tuatha de Danaan at the final episode arc of the first season.
Juggling Loaded Guns: Sousuke is playing an arcade light gun game, and doing quite well until he runs out of bullets. After a moment's indecision, he pulls out his personal pistol and blows the game away. When it's explained to him that you're supposed to shoot away from the screen to reload, he protests that that would be horribly unsafe. (He's not wrong, From a Certain Point of View: pointing, let alone firing, a gun at something you don't plan to shoot violates one of the three core rules of gun safety.)
Lampshade Hanging: Kalinin talks to Sōsuke about how "science fiction" weapons like the Arm Slaves exist despite all logic saying they shouldn't.
In "A Cat and Kitten's Rock & Roll", Tessa is late for her duel against Mao, to the latter's annoyance. Kurz recognizes that she's doing it on purpose like Miyamoto Musashi, but Mao's never heard of him.
Last Name Basis: Sōsuke and Kaname towards each other, at first. She warms up to him enough to start calling him "Sōsuke" after the plane hijacking (novel #1/episodes 4-7 of the first anime), while he doesn't start calling her "Kaname" until the end of the final novel, when they're reunited after a year apart and become an Official Couple, complete with their long-delayed First Kiss.
Laughing Mad: Kaname has a crazy laugh that she gives whenever she's lying about something — such as the possibility of being attracted to that nutcase Sōsuke. Or that his latest bone-headed antic bothers her in the least. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Death Note characters can be sighted briefly in The Second Raid, and a superhero from a show Kaname watches bears more than a passing resemblance to Spider-Mannote His name even contains "kumo", the Japanese word for spider., among several others.
Left Hanging: Many important plot points, such as the origin of the Whispered and Black Technology, have been left unanswered by the end of The Second Raid; however, they are answered in the source novel material.
Lethal Chef: Kalinin's effort to replicate his late wife's special borscht requires on-the-second stirring, PH balance testing, Cocao powder, and Miso Paste; the result is enough to make Sousuke very anxious to be anywhere else. It's heavily implied that Kalinin's wife intentionally made terrible food as her "revenge" for his being Married to the Job, but he seems oblivious to that fact.
In the manga, Sousuke tries cooking rice in a rice cooker. Over a fire. Indoors. Later he manages to make a good-looking Hamburg steak, but Kaname learns the hard way that he over-salted it.
Lighter and Softer: Fumoffu and the OVA episode, "A Relatively Leisurely Day in the Life of a Fleet Captain", taking place shortly after the events of The Second Raid
The spinoff manga Overload is so lighthearted and silly that it makes even Fumoffu look serious.
Loners Are Freaks: Sousuke specifically tries not to get too attached to anyone. Unfortunately, being a Magnetic Hero, people just keep flocking to him. Gauron later tells Sousuke the opposite of this trope - that being a loner is a good thing, and being surrounded by friends weakens him.
Loud Gulp: Sousuke visibly gulping can only mean one thing: Kaname is PISSED.
Love at First Sight: No matter how you look at it, Gauron (in his own warped, weird way) fell in love at first sight with "beautiful" Kashim.
Mauve Shirt: Gail McAllen. He gets a kiss then a few episodes later he dies.
Meaningful Name: The top bosses of Amalgam all have names that refer to metals. The original founders were American, Russian, German, Japanese, and English; since Amalgam's founding was just after World War II, these men obviously wouldn't ordinarily get along, hence the name Amalgam. Mithril is also the name of a metal, though a made-up one; it's a metal that's lighter and stronger than tempered steel, found in the Lord of the Rings universe.
Mission Control: Tessa often performs this role, but sometimes Mardukas or Kalinin does this as well.
The Mole: John Danigan and Nguyen Bien Bo in the original series, Vincent Brunoin The Second Raid
Moment Killer: TSR, Episode 13. It's not even a kiss, but when that group of girls comes out of the classroom to find Kaname crying in Sōsuke's arms, juuust as he was about to hug her for the first time, he gives up and lets them assume whatever. Argh!
Not to mention earlier in the same episode where Kaname hilariously does this to herself. Of course, she blames Sousuke.
Mood Whiplash: The manga alternates between several chapters of hilarity involving Sōsuke's misadventures at school and longer, far more serious story arcs with more realistic battles involving giant robots and people getting blown up.
More Dakka: ARX-8 Laevatein, especially with its XL-3 Flight Unit.
Motive Decay: Amalgam had good intentions back when it was formed. By the time of the story, roughly 50 years later, every leadership position in Amalgam other than Mr Mercury's had been replaced at least twice, with people who were invariably not as principled as the founders, resulting in the organization that is Mithril's nemesis. Specifically, it turned from a war-stopping organization (even Cuban Missile Crisis, natch) into a war-prolonging one for personal profits. In fact, Mr Mercury was so horrified as to what Amalgam had become that he created Mithril to stop them.invoked
It's stated that, given enough time, Mithril would suffer the same fate as Amalgam, as the original members would be replaced and their objectives would change.
Mundangerous: Anything that Kaname is holding becomes dangerous when used on Sōsuke.
Mundane Made Awesome: Sōsuke reciting his class responsibilities after being asked "Who are you!?" in the middle of an sequence where he trashes five other Lambda Driver-equipped Arm Slaves. After almost fifty episodes in which Sousuke defined himself mostly or entirely in terms of his military functions - a theme that was especially prominent in The Second Raid - it was at the very least an impressive bit of Character Development to see him embrace the nonmilitary part of his life so passionately.
Murder the Hypotenuse: Depending on how you look at it, this could be considered Gauron's intention when he orders the Chinese twins to kill Kaname.
Nails on a Blackboard: Kaname uses this to calm a mass panic instantly. The mass panic is the result of class 4 being informed that they were infected with a lethal bacteria and they were all going to die. They try to escape as a result and only Kaname's badass factor allows her to invoke this trope to a successful conclusion.
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The backstory of A21. It was founded by ex-mercenary Seiji Takechi to reform juvenile delinquents, teaching them military and survival skills so they could become better people. However, when the media found out about it, they were labeled terrorists and attacked by the Japanese government. In the ensuing struggle, Takechi was killed and his former students became actual terrorists, intending to take revenge on Japan with the Behemoth AS.
No One Could Survive That: Gauron, who pulls this around 4-5 times, with each instance getting more and more ridiculous as to how he could survive it.
Not So Different: Sōsuke is obviously a Fish out of Water in high school because he's been a soldier all his life, but to an extent so is Kaname because her assertive, emotionally open, take-no-crap personality (thanks in part to her living in the US as a child) clashes with a lot of Japanese societal norms.
Not What It Looks Like: Played straight until it's subverted in Fumoffu, when Chidori has full knowledge on how incapable Sōsuke is on acting on anything even remotely connected to sex.
Oblivious to Love: Sōsuke for the majority of the series. Why are all these girls (and guys) so angry when he hangs out with a particular girl? He can't possibly think of any reason.
Sousuke (yelling at the laptop as a "Game Over" appears): Wait a minute, if you cut off the negotiations from one side, it will become a war. Accept the negotiations! I'll listen to anything you have to say. We should compromise a little bit.
Sousuke (looks around): Where did Chidori and the others go?
Official Couple: Well, duh. But they've finally gotten together as of the last volume
Panty Shot: The anime really seems to enjoy these in its first six or seven episodes.
Panty Thief: Episode 3 of the first season. Although Sousuke apprehends the thief, they both end up talking about military equipment for so long that Kaname catches them both and tries to beat them down with a bat.
In Fumoffu, one smile is when Sōsuke is struggling with studying and Chidori lends him her notes. She tells him to bring it back the next day and he accepts it with a smile and saying he'll return it. He forgets to. Hilarity Ensues.
Plot Armor: Leonard describes this is the case, in-universe, for Chidori, as she's the one that is supposed to be the "whisperer" in the future, while being a "whispered" in the past, and thus the reason that Alternate Timeline / Alternate History exist in the first place. Although Leonard also implies that there might be more than one "whisperer".
After her normal manners get nowhere with one of her brother Leonard's subordinates, Tessa decides to spell it out in plain English: "I fucking hate shits like you who pretend to be the good guys!" Needless to say, the shocked look on Leonard's face when the subordinate delivers the message says it all.
Sōsuke, after being a nigh-perfect Stoic for the entire first season, is subjected to a Breaking Speech by Gauron, beats him up and drops this line in his first real display of emotion:
Sōsuke: "Kashim!... Kashim!?! We're not friends!! YOU SHITHEAD!!
Primal Scene: One of the reasons Leonard, Tessa's older brother is so terribly screwed up is because he caught his mother having sex with another man while his dad was away. His mother notices him and becomes furious, which leads to another mind-breaking experience for him.
Prisoner Exchange: Sousuke has to make the decision of trading his hostage for either Kaname or Tessa. He picks Tessa, knowing that Kaname can protect herself just fine, and her Action Girl instincts means that she'll mess up the bad guys plans by reacting in a way they don't expect.
Product Placement: in the dub of the Second Raid OVA, Closet Otaku Closeau mentions that "I even read Newtype USA in order to keep up with the latest shows...I love that magazine!"
In the first episode of the original anime, the pile of "average high schooler belongings" gathered for Sōsuke includes a copy of Dragon Magazine, the publication which serialized the FMP novels — it even has Lina Inverse on the cover.
Properly Paranoid: Kaname's increasingly paranoid and extreme precautions in episode 9 of The Second Raid are entirely justified.
Ramming Always Works: While escaping from Merida Island, the Danaan rams through a Behemoth; presumably it worked because the pilot was too surprised to erect a Lambda Driver barrier. Clouceau and Kurz's (unintensional) diversions also helped.
Rank Up: Later in the light novels and Sigma, Mao and Kurz are promoted to 2nd Lieutenant and Sergeant Major respectively.
Real Robot Genre: Played "straight" with the Arm Slaves. The ones without Lambda Drivers anyway.
Reliably Unreliable Guns: Averted in The Second Raid. In "Her Problem," Yu Lan's silenced pistol jams when she tries to shoot Kaname. She just clears the jam and quickly resumes firing.
Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Several times throughout the series, characters are seemingly killed only to turn up fine; Sōsuke in particular specializes in this. In the final novel alone, there are three separate times where Kaname/Sofia thinks he's dead only to be proven wrong.
Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Leonard's not in it for For the Evulz; the man's got a plan. He wants to go back in time and prevent Black Technology from being invented in order to ensure a more peaceful world. Kaname/Sofia also joins in because without Black Technology, the Whispereds won't have special powers in the Alternate Universe.
In the English dub, whole quotes from a certainDrill Sergeant Nasty from Full Metal Jacket are used for the Rugby team's Training from Hell. Even without that, near the end of their training, the Rugby team members started talking extremely... affectionately to Rugby balls that they were cleaning.
In a later episode in which Shinji goes into SEED mode.
The OAV that comes after The Second Raid features an Affectionate Parody mashup of Future Boy Conan and Detective Conan called Future Detective Boy Conan, depicting a famous scene from Future Boy Conan with the addition of glasses and a bow tie. The video box cover is also seen, and is a parody of the cover of Future Boy ConanóJimsy from Future Boy Conan is given the face of Detective Conan's Mouri Kogoro.
Two major shout-outs to Neon Genesis Evangelion in Always Stand By Me (Part 2): Sophia/Chidori wearing a Rei-style plugsuit, and Al stopping an incoming nuke with an AT Field.
The Pacific Chrysalis events has several shout-outs to Die Hard.
And the submarine battle during those same Pacific Chrysalis events are very reminiscent of The Hunt for Red October, including Mardukas being a British version of Marko Ramius.
One of the Yakuza in episode 10 mentions Osamu Tezuka's manga, Ambassador Magma, when Kaname says she summons Bonta-kun by blowing her whistle three times. The picture of Magma's spaceship and yakuza's voice were censored due to "copyright reasons."
Reading the novels, it becomes apparent that Gatoh is a Tom Clancy fan: Kalinin's wife dies in the same manner as Marko Ramius' wife, prompting his defection; the three USN submarines that appear in FMP also made appearances in Clancy's books.
Bonta-kun is an obvious Shout-Out to Gonta-kun, the mascot of the classic children's educational show Dekirukana.
The Filler episode "Is Narashino Burning?" (episode 14 of the first anime) has a lot of Gundam references. The head of the Nerima Red Dragons is a nod to Char Aznable. He loves the color red, has swept-back blond hair and sunglasses, flirts with younger women, and (at the end of the episode) starts to deliver Char's famous "mistakes of youth" speech. Chidori lampshades all this by asking "Is that supposed to be cosplay?" when she first meets him. When Sousuke shows up in an AS, we're told it's moving three times faster than a normal AS, which was supposedly an attribute of Char's Ace Custom Zaku II. Finally, the Red Dragons's Red Stream Attack is a reference to the Jet Stream Attack used by the Black Tri-Stars in Mobile Suit Gundam, complete with three machines charging an enemy in a straight line and one jumping over its partners (as well as the hero using one of the enemy machines as a springboard, as Amuro did against the Tri-Stars).
Furthermore, the box for the Arm Slave model kit in this episode resembles a combination of the boxes for Bandai's EX Modelnote A large blue stripe surrounded on both sides by thin white stripes and High Grade Universal Centurynote Horizontal layout, illustration of the mecha on the left side lines. It's even said to be made by Banpresto, a division of Bandai (though one that usually makes video games like Super Robot Wars).
Mardukas' backstory short reveals that the author did a lot of research on submarine warfare.
Kalinin's backstory short reveals that that the author did a lot of research into the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and gave a lot of thought towards keeping the Cold War running beyond 1991.
Slap-Slap-Kiss: Mao and Kurz, though they haven't reached the "kiss" part yet in the anime. This is taken to epic proportions in the gaiden set 10 years after the last light novel, where it's said that Mao and Kurz have gotten married and divorced...THREE TIMES.
Sōsuke and Kaname, and they have gotten so agonizingly close to the kissing part in the anime to the point that it's starting to hurt. At least it finally happened in the last novel.
The Spartan Way: Sōsuke became an assassin at age eight, then became a terrorist at age eleven...
He also subjects the School Rugby team to this method. It gets lampshaded when Kaname asks where he got the idea for such a brutal training method, at which point he produces a training book written by Melissa Mao. Let's just say, she's something of an expert on this.
Spell My Name with an S: Tessa's full name seems like it ought to be "Theresa" or "Teresa," but the official spelling is "Teletha" instead.
Squee: This is basically the captain's response when Sousuke calls her Tessa for the first time.
Stairs Are Faster: In a hurry to get up to Sousuke's apartment to retrieve her homework, Kaname first goes to the elevator, presses the button, and waits for a few seconds — then screams in frustration and runs for the stairs.
Stalking Is Love: Kaname is happy when she interprets Sōsuke's following her around as him being a Stalker with a Crush. Of course, she's very much unhappier with it after she finds out he isn't following her because of that, but because it's his job.
Stop, or I Shoot Myself!: In "Come Make My Day", Kaname gets a handgun off of an Amalgam soldier and tries to threaten them into releasing her, but they rightly figure that she can't actually kill another person. So instead, she puts the gun to her own temple and demands to be given a wireless radio so she can speak to Sōsuke, during which she finally confesses to him.
Super Robot Wars: J, W and Z3 Jigoku-hen; while these three only cover the anime, it's implied in the epliogue that the second part of Z3 will complete the FMP storyline by covering all the novels from Dancing Very Merry Christmas onwards (as mentioned by the chief artist on Twitter, but it was soon deleted, so up until now it's still in the air).
For real humor, in the authors' notes section for one novel Gatoh said that when he sent info on the ARX-8 Laevatein (Sōsuke's final Mid-Season Upgrade) to the mechanical designer, he included a list of requirements put in terms of Super Robot Wars, including: MAP weapon, Air terrain ranking of A, Movement of at least 6, Attack power 5000-plus by default, and 4 item slots.
Suspiciously Specific Denial: Sōsuke's very specific description of how he's a completely normal person who doesn't have anything to do with the military during his outing with Mizuki and her friends.
Sousuke when he first starts to follow Kaname around, even when he suddenly rushes out of a moving train after Kaname tries to lose him.
Sousuke: It's just a coincidence.
Kaname several times when her friend Kyoko asks about her current mood, and wondering if Sousuke was responsible in some way. Often tries laughing to attempt to avoid the question.
Talkative Loon: Gates, who tends to scream around and playact for long, long periods of time. Gauron, as well - especially considering that one word from Sousuke can prompt him to ramble on and on nonstop.
Teen Genius: Tessa, Sōsuke, and under the right circumstances, Kaname.
Thanks for the Mammary: In the second episode of the anime, Sōsuke does a Diving Save to protect Kaname from an oncoming truck...and when they land one of his hands is on her chest. Making matters even funnier, she doesn't even notice until he gives her a reassuring squeeze, and her initial reaction is actually a little moan of pleasure; three seconds later when she realizes what's going on, we get the mood swing and Dope Slap.
Too Much Information: In the novels, Gauron telling Sōsuke exactly what he fantasized doing to him back in Kanka. Sōsuke is, unsurprisingly, horrified. It certainly puts a whole new meaning to Gauron's "So — what's that face for?" remark afterwards.
Likewise, Overload has a chapter where Kaname's trying to slim down for swimsuit season and Sōsuke offers to help...which means he puts her in an automated Bonta-kun suit that forces her to exercise. Eventually he reveals he was trying to teach her An Aesop because her previous exercise regemin, which included skipping meals, was incredibly unhealthy.
Trigger Happy: Gauron, who has to be restrained from shooting people he shouldn't. And Sōsuke, although he mitigates it by mostly using rubber bullets while he's at school or on outings with Kaname and her friends. Sōsuke's trigger-happy tendencies are also significantly more pronounced in the Full Metal Panic: Overload manga, where he's more trigger-happy than Gauron.
In Overload Sousuke is literally addicted to guns and starts experiencing withdrawal symptoms after Kaname forbids him to fire a gun for a day.
Tsundere: Kaname. It's possible that being a tsundere is not a natural part of her personality and Sousuke is an extremely frustrating person. This makes her the Dere-dere subtype.
Twice Shy: Sousuke and Kaname's relationship which is also the reason why they haven't even kissed in the entire series (yes, even in the 10 novels thusfar). The most intimate they've gotten has been holding hands.
Of course, there's a factor beyond their control, too: separation. Kaname leaves with Leonard in Continuing On My Own (Novel 7), and she and Sōsuke spend the next in-series year apart (during which time they confess their love over radio). The next time they actually get to meet in person when their lives aren't in danger, they finally share their First Kiss.
Unable to Cry: Sōsuke. It's not that he doesn't feel the pain of his loss, he just can't emote it well. He even states at one point, "Piloting the A.S. is the only form of self-expression I know." He ends up breaking down in the final novel, sobbing that he doesn't want to die before he returns to Jindai High with Kaname like he promised.
Not to mention both Kaname and Tessa in the final novel, after it looks like Sōsuke was killed in a nuclear blast. They both think to themselves that it seems too unreal to believe, and Tessa thinks it'll probably catch up with her later.
Unexpected Genre Change: The second season, Fumoffu, served mostly to give the fans something to watch in between the more serious first and third seasons. As a result, it goes from gritty realism to off-the-wall slapstick comedy and back again.
Occurs to a lesser extent in "filler" episodes of the first season, where it has an ALMOST Fumoffu-like style to it. Such as using Arm Slaves for a school event.
Oh, Kaname and Sōsuke have a fair amount of it in the manga, too.
Unstoppable Rage: The Lambda Driver turns anger into physical power. t's implied that once they get the kinks worked out it'll make nukes obsolete gives enough of a reason why this trope applies.
It's not anger, per se. It's imagination and will. It's referenced in the novels that Sousuke never really uses his unless he is pushed, usually to the point of despair, and rage is his way of dealing with that.
This is the real Sōsuke. You might be in charge at school, but here, you're a liability. One wrong move, and you'll be a bloodstain. Now, let's go walk through hell.
What Beautiful Eyes: Sōsuke. Although he doesn't have eyes that have a particularly special color, they are huge and pretty. Gauron became infatuated with him initially because of his emotionless, cold eyes. "Anyone would say they're beautiful" indeed.
What the Hell, Hero?: Kaname reacts this way to basically everything Sousuke does. A notable one is when she got kidnapped in the first episode of Fumoffu, and he showed up at the negotiations with the offending gang leader's little brother as a hostage of his own. Turns out the kid was in on it.
Who Would Want to Watch Us?: In a later chapter of Overload, Kaname runs into her favorite author who's working on a novel series about "a high-school-mystery-action-love-comedy about a mercenary who suddenly starts wreaking havoc in the life of a normal teenage girl". Initially she calls it farfetched and hard to believe, but decides Sōsuke and Kaname would be the perfect inspiration.
Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: Sousuke had Gauron at gunpoint before being arrested and going on to hijack the Danaan. Hell, Gauron himself points this trope out. When the resident Psycho for HireSmug Snake tells you that shooting him would make things easier, you should probably do it.
Sousuke finally agreed with everyone and just shot Gauron.
Wild Hair: Sousuke's long hair when he was a young guerilla.
Wishful Projection: Kurz Weber is quite taken with Kaname's photograph during the initial mission briefing, and upon seeing the real thing walking down the lane underneath blooming cherry blossoms, he describes her as an angel. Then Kaname starts reading Kyoko the riot act over a horrible blind date, and Kurz is very disappointed.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Kaname's an interesting case in that her hair is explicitly stated as being black in the novels, even though the cover art for those novels shows her with blue hair. When the first season was produced, the animators chose to go with the blue hair, but selected a relatively dark shade. This was changed to a lighter shade of blue in the second season. The new, lighter shade may be part of the reason some fans have had difficulty accepting that black is her 'real' hair colour.
Young Entrepreneur: Sōsuke tries to patent and sell his Bonta-Kun combat suit entirely for the technological advantage it provides, without realizing its outward appearance was preventing sales. He succeeded in selling a few of them to the FBI, the Miami police and a local Yakuza gang.
The fact that Sousuke had enough money and contacts to do that implies that he's probably been moonlighting in the weapons business for a while.