Reviews: Full Metal Panic

Amazing. Just Amazing.

Full Metal Panic is possibly the beat show I have ever watched. It offers an engaging storyline, lovable protagonists, and a wonderfully, wonderfully depraved villain. The romance between Sousuke and Kaname is handled with great tact, and the subtle progress they make in their relationship will have the viewer on the edge of their seat, wondering when they'll get together. Gauron is a memorable, if disgusting, villain, who's creepy attachment to Sousuke will make you cringe at his warped idea of love, which serves as a stark contrast to the purer, chaste love that the protagonists share. He may not have any real motivation for his actions, but dang it if he isn't fun to watch. It is this obsessive love for the protagonist that defines Gauron's character. Viewers will doubtless be horrified by his depravity and cruelty, perhaps even outright insanity. And the guy just. Won't. Die. It is very entertaining. The action scenes are fast-paced, thrilling, and enjoyable. The angst and drama are hair-tearingly painful, the humor will have you on the floor laughing, and the romantic scenes are completely heartwarming and 'aaaw' inducing. and, of course, there's the fanservice. While it is there, it is (usually) tastefully done, and not overused. Not the most family-friendly show out there, but certainly far from the worst. Anyone looking for a good series should give this a try. It's certainly worth it.

Entertaining but with Several Problems

This show has a premise that can only lead to Hilarity Ensues. Have Sagara Sosuke, a trained Child Soldier and assassin who is dead serious, Crazy Prepared to the point of paranoia, whose first solution to any problem is More Dakka, and has No Social Skills or experience in civilian life, be sent as a bodyguard for Hair Trigger Temper Tsundere Chidori Kaname, who is targetted by Large Ham Depraved Homosexual Gauron. The interaction between these and other characters can be quite hilarious. Conversely, the serious side of the show could be executed better.

For instance, it takes the first third of the first season to finally introduce the reason behind Kaname's importance, conflict between Sosuke and Gauron, and Super Prototype Arm Slaves Arbalest and Venom, with the first few episodes as comic filler followed by a slow-paced lead-in to the action; not exactly a good way to start off a series. The second season does pick up the pace, however.

Speaking of Humongous Mecha, the good part about the mecha battles is that some of them do have a touch of realism, such as the Helmajistan battle with the communications failure that raises the tension. The bad part is that the Arm Slaves are woefully under-equipped for their size; I would think they would have room for a few fixed guns, and come on, mecha-sized combat knives, REALLY? Not to mention that the Green Lantern style Lambda Driver basically turns the mecha battles into Dragonball Z style fights in an otherwise realistic setting.