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Light Novel / Full Metal Panic!

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The novel that started a franchise.

Full Metal Panic! is a hybrid novel/manga/anime franchise, which tells the stories of Sergeant Sousuke 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, Sousuke 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. Sousuke, 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 Sousuke'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 Sousuke 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 produced by Kyoto Animation (With Fumoffu actually being the first anime that KyoAni produced themselves) and were directed by Yasuhiro Takemoto with Shoji Gatoh and Fumihiko Shimo both serving as series composers and Osamu Horiuchi serving as character designer and chief animation director. While the original and Second Raid are both more serious action stories, Fumoffu is much Lighter and Softer. Xebec continued the anime as Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory in 2018.


There's a stand alone manga called Full Metal Panic! Surplus, which doesn't have a determined timeline, but it takes place in Hong Kong where a rogue Arm Slave tries to wreak havoc in the Taiwan Strait.

Bandai Namco Entertainment released Full Metal Panic! Fight Who Dares Wins for the Playstation 4, which is a retelling of Invisible Victory with some hidden endings, cutscenes and has a turn-based fighting system, albeit it's called the Action Order System.

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. The first season of the anime adapts the storyline of the first three novels while The Second Raid adapts the next two. Invisible Victory adapts novels 7-9. 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.

As part of the release of Invisible Victory, Lantis worked with Shouji Gatou in creating an audio drama adaptation of the sixth light novel, Dancing Very Merry Christmas. It began releasing in 2016.

Originally licensed for North American release by Tokyopop in 2007, the light novels were re-licensed by J-Novel Club in March 2019.

A sequel novel series titled Full Metal Panic! Another came out between 2011 and 2016; set ten years after the events of the original series, it inverts Sosuke and Kaname's dynamic by focusing on Tatsuya Ichinose, an Ordinary High-School Student (though one who prefers older foreign women), and Adelina Aleksandrovina Kurenskaya, a cool-headed female soldier who works for DOMS, a Private Military Contractor run by Melissa Mao, now thrice-divorced from Kurz. Spoilers ahoy.

The principal cast includes:

Intelligent and with a definite look at putting realism into Humongous Mecha, FMP! nonetheless is also charming, funny, and at times, touching. Certainly worth a look by most anime fans.

Should not be confused with Fullmetal Alchemist or even Full Metal Jacket - no matter what Sousuke thinks. Definitely should not be confused with Strawberry Panic!.

Tropes related to Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu go on this page. Feel free to check out and contribute to the Character Sheet.

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Provides Examples Of:

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  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council: Between Hayashimizu's negotiation tactics and Sousuke's overkill.
    • 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.)
  • Ace Custom: Subverted with the Rk-91 Savage "Crossbow" Sousuke pilots during Continuing On My Own and Invisible Victory. It's an older model Savage, so compared to the standardized Rk-92 seen elsewhere in FMP! it's lighter, underpowered, has cooling issues, and the controls can be kind of finicky. The only aspects that match up with this trope are the custom paint job (white with navy accents) and nickname, both of which hearken back to Sousuke's Arbalest.
  • A Day in the Limelight: In Sigma, Kurz gets four chapters focusing on his backstory after his apparent death.
  • 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.
  • All There in the Manual: Borderline, as one can follow the story easily in each incarnation, but the details missing from either adaptation still make this a completionist's minor nightmare.
    • DVD booklets, anime/manga/novel guidebooks and information released on official websites are the way to get info on the characters beyond what the show mentions.
  • Alliterative Name: Sousuke Sagara, Teletha "Tessa" Testarossa, Melissa Mao.
  • 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.
    • Played straight in Episode 6 when it looks like they will kiss after Kaname refuses to leave a wounded Sousuke and Kurz behind. They jump apart on realizing Kurz is awake and grinning at them.
  • Alternate History:
    • 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.
    • The UN has its own assets such as aircraft, rather than seconding them from member nations as in our reality.
    • The Chemical Weapons Treaty apparently does not exist.
  • 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.
  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: The Lambda Driver, though most characters who have it are awesome enough without having to use it.
  • 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!!*
  • Anguished Declaration of Love:
    • Gauron's "I LOVE YOU KASHIM!" Sousuke 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.
  • Ascended Extra: Yu Fan and Yu Lan in the anime.
  • 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.
  • Attack the Mouth: A gun is shoved at or into the mouths of characters at several points of the series.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Leonard's Plan-1055 Belial. While it has an extremely powerful Lambda Driver, which makes the thing almost invincible, it has no ranged weapons (like the Savage's twin 14.5mm cheek machine guns or the Arbalest's head Vulcan guns) bar a strange bow. Said lack of weaponry comes back to bite Leonard in the ass when Sousuke fires the Laevatein's Demolition Gun at point-blank, exploding the Belial's left side and overloading its Lambda Driver, putting it out of commission. A few moments after that, he escapes the Laevatein's cockpit and fires an M72 LAW rocket at the damaged Belial, taking it out with a wounded Leonard incapable of retaliating.
    • In a similar vein, the Plan-1201 Behemoth. Its colossal size makes it a force to be reckoned with, but the fact that it requires a Lambda Driver to not collapse upon itself strains the device to the point it creates a weak spot in its defensive barrier, and allows Kurz to defeat one.
  • Ax-Crazy: Gauron, Gates, the kid who piloted the Behemoth... Pretty much all Lambda Driver users except Sousuke, point of fact.
  • 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.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Most noticeably in the first anime's opening.
    • Averted in The Second Raid with Yu Fan and Yu Lan.
  • Bathtub Bonding: Tessa, Kaname and Melissa share a tub on board Tessa's submarine (it's normally used for cleaning AS parts). Melissa takes the opportunity to tell the story of how she met Sousuke and Kurz.
  • 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).
  • Beach Episode: Twice, Kaname gets primed and ready for a beach vacation only to end up having Sousuke drag her somewhere else (once to a submarine, once to a military festival) instead. When Kaname does go to the beach for a vacation in the middle of the series, the episodes focus almost entirely on Sousuke's mission in the Middle East instead, with only a few brief cuts to Kaname showing her bored and worrying about him.
  • 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. Later in the novels, Al needs his AI upgraded in order to use the XL-3 flight booster, with the Mithril mechanic noting that it'll bring him close to full sentience. This culminates 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.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Sousuke and Kaname.
  • Between My Legs: Chidori has this shot in episode six and episode 10, and episode 11 of Fumoffu?.
  • BFG: The ARX-8 Laevatein's 165mm Demolition Gun. Even more so in Long Range mode, with an effective range of 30 KM!
    • It's so powerful, it can't be fired without activating the Lambda Driver, as the recoil would end up destroying the mech.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Most of the major characters have at least one throughout. Even Kaname has one at the end of Second Raid, when she helps snap Sousuke out of his Heroic BSoD.
  • Big Little Man: We know the Behemoth is a Humongous Mecha, but we only get a clear idea of its size when it envelops Melissa's Arm Slave in one hand!
  • Bishōnen: Kurz Weber, Leonard Testarossa. Hell, Leonard is as pretty as his sister. Sousuke's good looks are also noted, but he doesn't fall into the trope's aesthetic.
  • Bittersweet 17: The three mains start off as 16, but it's after all of them hit 17 that life starts going hard on them.
  • Black Box: Black Technology.
  • Blatant Lies: Sousuke insists he's not following Kaname, even after jumping off a moving train to do so. Eventually even Kaname gets tired of shouting at him about it.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: One of the minor characters, Guen Bien Bo, is a mistranslation of Nguyen Bien Bo.
    • More obviously, Teletha, who's supposed to be called Theresa.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Sousuke, on Kaname obviously. This becomes an important plot point in The Second Raid, and leads to Sosuke's Heroic BSoD later on.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Referenced in episode 6 as part of a whole reference to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Kurz and Sousuke are even prepared to invoke this trope at that point, but then the Arbalest AS arrives.
  • 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."
  • Bowdlerization: In the novels Sousuke uses the alias "Sousky Seagal", but Invisible Victory changes the surname to "Seagull", possibly to avoid legal troubles.
  • 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.
    • Sigma does this by re-arranging the order of the stories adapted. After Kurz dies, the next three volumes are composed of lighter stories including "Engaging Six and Seven"note  and "A Cat and Kitten's Rock 'n Roll"note , capping off with the "Die Hard" on an X Christmas Episode Dancing Very Merry Christmas, which was originally the 6th novel overall and is depicted here as Kaname's Flash Back. After that, the story swings into the final story arc, comprised of the events of the last two novels.
  • 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.
    • Also in that Arc, Kaname thinks Tessa can't be The Captain because he's always an unfriendly old guy with a beard. Kalinin ends up playing this role so his captors will believe he's the leader, not Tessa.
    • The longest Brick Joke, however, is Sousuke's pet tiger, who was adopted and moved to Merida Island in a side story. In the final volume, Tessa's team rushes to evacuate the soon-to-be-nuked Merida Island, only to discover that a white Bengal tiger has already boarded their escape plane. Short on time and seeing the tiger to be bafflingly tame, Tessa and Mardukas decide the tiger can come with them. They wind up turning it over to the Honolulu Zoo.
  • Bridge Bunny: When first meeting Tessa, Kaname 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.
  • Bring the Anchor Along: The day Kaname first meets Sousuke, she eventually gets tired of the military nut transfer student following her around all day and handcuffs him to a folding chair. Sousuke is forced to make his way back to his safehouse while still shackled to the chair.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer:
    • Mao.
    • 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 Sousuke 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...
  • But Not Too Foreign: Belfangan Clouseau and Kurz Weber.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: As a Romantic Comedy, naturally Sousuke 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.
    • Played seriously in "The Second Raid" when Tessa tearfully denounces Sousuke's inability to just say he prefers Kaname over her.
  • Can't Stay Normal: Just as Sousuke starts getting comfortable with high school life and he and Kaname begin to openly act on their feelings, Amalgam launches a direct assault on Sengawa.
  • 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.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Tessa lets her frustrations spill out in episode 8 of The Second Raid, not to mention her anger at being the odd girl out in the Love Triangle.
  • 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 in Fumoffu. 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.
  • Christmas in Japan: Dancing Very Merry Christmas occurs around this time, obviously; Kaname's upset about Sousuke 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.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Gauron. He changes sides like crazy, without much reason other than that another side will give him more opportunities for destruction and meeting Kashim.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Cluster F-Bomb:
    • Sousuke 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.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • Sousuke is the Anthropomorphic Personification of this.
    • Special mention for Kurz who upon seeing the gum that Gauron very deliberately pressed into his Arm Slave complains about litterbugs. Thrown gum does not flatten like that!
  • 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.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: In the novels, Mardukas threatens Sousuke with such punishments as making him Silly Walk around the base and having him teach the self-defense class using a banana. Sadly, these references are removed from the anime.
  • Cool Ship: The Tuatha De Danaan, of course.
  • Countrystan:
    • Helmajistan is a South Asian country similar to Afghanistan.
    • In the manga, Mithril is deployed to Manistan to take out Manistani guerrillas
  • 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.
  • Crossdressing Voices: Mamiko Noto as Shinji Kazama?... Okay then...
  • 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.
    • Lieutenant Commander Killy B may be an idiot and pervert but he did take on Mitril with nothing but rubber bullets
      • He is also a higher rank then him more savvy lieutenant.
      • It turns out he also nearly sank the Arbalest
  • 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.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Second Raid is marginally Darker and Edgier than the first season, and can come as quite a shock for viewers coming fresh off of Fumoffu.
    • 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's Arm 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.
  • Dating Sim: Sousuke plays one of these to help him better understand women. It doesn't work.
  • 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 intimacy issues 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 
    • 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.
  • Easy Amnesia: Played for laughs in Overload, where Sousuke accidentally falls into one of his own traps and loses his memory. Chidori explains to him who he is and what his mission is, which makes him laugh and call it ridiculous, like "something out of a novel or manga." He gets his memory back when Chidori kicks him off the roof. And then he loses it again when a pebble falls on his head. The chapter ends with Kyoko throwing pebbles at him, making him forget everything and then ask Chidori why she's angry over and over again in rapid succession.
  • The Eeyore: Along his more violent forms of Mood Killing, Sousuke has a habit of regularly ruining his friends' enthusiasm for a fun trip, usually by relaying a tragic war story it reminds him of or highlighting all the (highly unlikely) ways it can go horribly wrong. Kaname usually finds these almost as infuriating as the
  • 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.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Mafia cars are prone to this during The Second Raid.
  • Evil Counterpart: Amalgam is technically the antithesis to Mithril. The latter focuses on suppressing the use of Black Technology, eliminating terrorism, and stopping war and crime. The former, on the other hand, engages in many criminal activities, intensifying disputes, and further developing Black Technology for public usage. What's even more frightening is that their superiors are both fighting for what they believe is right.
  • Evil Gloating: A lot of the villains like to do this, notably Gauron.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: Gauron has a sense of humor... except it's a really horrible one. Lampshaded and made fun of in The Abridged Series.
  • Expy:
  • Extended Disarming - See Hammerspace below.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: The end of the Rising Wind in the Homeland arc.
  • Fanservice: Many examples throughout the series, mostly focusing on the female characters. One bit for the ladies that particularly stood out, however, was Sousuke walking out of the shower... not wearing a Modesty Towel.
    • Also, in The Second Raid, when Kaname was giving Sousuke 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'.
  • Failed Future Forecast: The idea that series' Alternate History is much less peaceful than the real world's is generally true right up until you get to September 11, 2001, three years after the first novel's publication. It certainly adds a great deal of irony to Leonard's plan for a "world of peace."
  • Faux Affably Evil: Gauron and Gates.
  • The Final Temptation: Near the end of the series, Sophia makes one last attempt to convince Kaname to willingly going along with her and Leonard's plan by showing her a vision of the "corrected" timeline, including a Sousuke who grew up as an ordinary Japanese boy rather than a Child Soldier. However, when this Sousuke confesses to Kaname, she takes a good look at his face — which lacks his distinctive scars — and realizes that it wouldn't be the same because he's not the same Sousuke she fell in love with, which leads to her rejecting Sophia.
  • 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 Sousuke dead. Sousuke 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 almost entirely dependent on its Lambda Driver for offense and defense, its only actual weapons being 40mm chainguns in the forearms (though it gets a giant bow in the final battle). Meanwhile, the Laevatein was built with a severe lack of resources and rushed in order to get it to Sousuke as quickly as possible; as a result, it only has a few hours of operational time total and is on the verge of breaking down the entire time.
  • 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 Sousuke 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.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Of the Stealth Pun variety. Invisible Victory is the 4th anime adaptation.
  • Gaussian Girl: Gauron, while reminiscing about the "beautiful" 12-year-old Sousuke, is shown seeing Sousuke in this manner. Yeah, Gauron has problems.
  • Gender Reveal: the last episode of The Second Raid reveals that Wraith is a woman (the "fat man with glasses" she had always previously appeared as apparently being some sort of full-body disguise)
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: A rare female-to-male example, at the end of TSR.
    • 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.
  • Gratuitous English:
    • Kaname should probably work on hers. "Don't Worry, Everything is gonna Happy. ♥"
      • Of course, Kurz speaks fluent Japanese; his brief use of Gratuitous English when introducing himself to Kaname and Kyoko is a completely intentional Funny Foreigner act.
    • Mao says "SHUT UP!" instead of the traditional "urusei!"
  • Groin Attack: Kurz attempted one in episode 23 to Gen (one of Gauron's moles). It just didn't work because he sucks at close combat.
  • 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.
  • Gun Nut:
    • Sousuke is a major gun nut, as well as being rather Trigger-Happy and storing large amounts of guns into Hammerspace.
    • 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.
  • Happily Adopted: First, Sousuke was sent by Soviet to assassinate an Afghan warlord. The attempt failed and the warlord adopted him instead. Later, he was sent to kill Kalinin but adopted by Kalinin after the war was over.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Amalgam was originally a peace-keeping organization, but after the leadership had changed a couple of times they assumed their current form. Mithril's founder, a former member of Amalgam, even remarked that Mithril itself could easily go down the same route in time.
  • Heroic BSoD: Sousuke spends a substantial portion of The Second Raid in the throes of one.
  • Heroic Resolve: Kaname often instills this in Sousuke, such as his first fight in the Arbalest, against the Behemoth, and later during the end of Second Raid.
  • Hey, You!: Gauron tends to call certain people by overly familiar names, and when they express discomfort and anger, it only fuels him to do it more.
  • "Hey, You!" Haymaker: Sousuke 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.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Mellisa Kurz and Sousuke were sent to rescue the Murugan President’s daughter as well as the men who were sent before them from a communist rebel cell. The rebel leader stated as punishment he would force Mellissa to wear the presidents favorite obscene swim suit. After the rebels were defeated the captured men forced the leader to wear the suit.
    Rebel Leader: What happened to honorable treatment
  • Hostage Situation: Handled by Sousuke in a typically insane way.
  • Humanizing Tears:
  • Humongous Mecha: With hair! (The hair's used for cooling).
  • 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.
    I - O 
  • I Choose to Stay: Sousuke pulls this at the end of series, effectively leaving his old life behind.
  • Identical Stranger: When Sousuke goes AWOL in Hong Kong he met a prostitute who really resemble Kaname. Foil points are while Kaname is violent Tsundere cheerful Ordinary High-School Student, the prostitute is one world-weary drunk Hooker. Fortunately, Sousuke didn't do much beyond drinking alcohol together in her room and got his spirit back in time to save the day.
    • Sousuke is shown to have his own identical stranger in one story, a popular actor and Teen Idol who briefly begs to switch places with him so he can see what being an Ordinary High-School Student is like
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The titles of the Japanese light novels follow the format "[Verb, usually progressive] [Three word English phrase]."
    • For every story arc adapted into anime, the final episode of that arc takes its name from the English phrase of the corresponding novel. With the exception of The Second Raid, each episode uses the phrase in English. (TSR uses the phrase "hi bi" in both the first and last episodes, which translates to "day by day.")
    • And the titles of the side-story collections are puns on Japanese phrases containing the number of the collection.
  • Ignored Expert: In the three-parter The Wind Blows at Home, Sousuke is assigned a special mission to kill Gauron in Helmajistan. He's been giving' five squadmates who mock him because of his young age (except for one who read and believe the reports of Sousuke's past accomplishments). On the field, Sousuke advise them not to attack the enemy convoy because Gauron has not been sighted. They ignore his call and it comes to no surprise when the attack end up with one injured and one dead on their side.
  • 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.
  • Improbable Age: Tessa. Sousuke is one of the best deconstructions of the concept out there, and the series doesn't pull many punches in describing the horrifying kind of childhood one would have in order to be a full-time bodyguard/mech pilot at age 16 and exactly how useful those basic skills Sousuke sacrificed for awesome training actually are.
  • Improvised Weapon: Kaname use of second base to knock out Sousuke comes to mind.
    • Not how it sounds; a literal second base
  • Inconvenient Attraction: Kaname is annoyed and, at times, even scared of her attraction to Sousuke, recognizing that Sousuke is too dysfunctional and broken to ever be a good boyfriend and that a romantic relationship with him will inevitably be frustrating, painful, and even dangerous. Sousuke, meanwhile, has so much trouble processing his feelings that the very sensation of attraction is scary and confusing for him, though he's much more willing to embrace it once he realizes what's happening to him.
  • 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 (In the original novels, her father and sister are living in New York because her father has a job with the UN, and her mother died of cancer when she was a tween. Kaname was sent to Japan in an effort to give her a fresh start, since her grief over her mother's death sent Kaname spectactularly off the rails), and the statement goes a long way toward explaining her character (and current living conditions).
  • In-Joke: In Continuing On My Own, Sousuke nicknames the Savage he pilots for Nami the "Crossbow", explaining that "It's good, but it's no Arbalest." Nobody else gets the reference, though Lemon does recognize "arbalest" as the name of a siege weapon that was basically a giant crossbow.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: Gauron is this way towards Sousuke, calling Sousuke the "Assassin-Saint Kashim", and tries to get Kaname killed because she changed Sousuke.
  • Instant Sedation : Employed on occasion for variety from the several instances of giving someone a Tap on the Head.
  • 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."
  • In Spite of a Nail: The Chernobyl accident happened in our world regardless. In the Alternate History, it happened years earlier thanks to the accident at Yamsk-11.
  • 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.
  • Just the Way You Are: A more dramatic, sci-fi variation: As part of her final temptation, Kaname is shown what Sousuke could have been had the Cold War never destroyed his life—the kind Boy Next Door that had everything that made him attractive and none of the dysfunctional baggage. Kaname almost does choose him over the real deal (if only because he had seemingly just died minutes ago), but seeing him without his scar makes her realize that she'd never be able to love this "unbroken" Sousuke the same way as the original and that she'd much rather have her shell-shocked, maladjusted military otaku, even if only in memory.
  • 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.)
  • Kick the Dog: Kurama killing Nami.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • Kalinin talks to Sousuke 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: Sousuke and Kaname towards each other, at first. She warms up to him enough to start calling him "Sousuke" 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 Sousuke. 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 , 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.
    • Kaname is still in enemy hands at the end of the anime adaptation of Invisible Victory. It is unknown whether there will be a follow-up to wrap up this story. And given that Xebec has shut down, the franchise will either have to move to yet another studio to wrap up this arc or be forever in limbo.
  • 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.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Bonta-kun, especially in Super Robot Wars.
    • Later on in the series, the Savage Crossbow: despite being an earlier, lower powered model (Rk-91) than the already horribly outdated Rk-92 Savage, and being forced to fight the fantastic M9 Gernsback, its ruggedness and primitivity enable Sousuke to win by trapping himself and the Gernsback in a mount of rubble, and managing to pull out due to the Savage's large diesel engine and simplistic joints, while the palladium reactor powered and pseudomuscle jointed M9 is rendered useless and disabled, which enables Sousuke to win and take the enemy pilot at gunpoint.
  • 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.
  • Live-Action Adaptation: Mandalay Pictures has announced they have acquired the rights. See What The Hell, Casting Agency? below...
  • 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.
  • Love Letter Lunacy: Starting with the lockers being demolished again...
  • Love Triangle: Kaname, Sousuke, Tessa. Sousuke, Kaname, Leonard. It's hinted that there is one (albeit very warped) with Gauron, Sousuke, and Yu Fang and Yu Lan.
  • Luminescent Blush:
    • Sousuke does this a few times, most notably in Fumoffu. It's really rather entertaining.
    • Kaname has one in the first episode when discussing that weirdo Sousukeon the phone, showing that she's lying about not finding him attractive. And any future occasion when she realises this attraction.
  • Magic from Technology: The Lambda Driver allows Humongous Mecha to pull off distinctly magical feats, such as throwing around blasts of destructive energy and casually defying the laws of physics to allow a grossly oversized mech to move. Oh yeah, and it runs on the strong emotions of the pilot.
  • Magic Skirt: In Fumoffu and The Second Raid, most definitely not present in the first series, coincidentally the only Gonzo-produced one.
  • Mascot with Attitude: Bonta-Kun. More specifically, Sousuke's own Bonta-Kun Power Armor - which has a cross-shaped scar on its chin.
  • Mass Super-Empowering Event: 24 December 1981 (or 1984 in the anime), 1150 GMT.
  • Mauve Shirt: Gail McAllen. He gets a kiss then a few episodes later he dies.
  • Meaningful Echo: Kaname says, "I guess a day really does sap your determination," after finding herself too Emotionally Tongue-Tied to go through with her planned Love Confession to Sousuke. Sousuke has no idea what she's going on about at the time; but come the following volume, he repeats her word-for-word during his own Aborted Declaration of Love, implying that he's finally recognized they're both feeling the same thing and just can't articulate it.
  • Mecha-Enabling Phlebotinum: The Applied Phlebotinum Driver is the only thing keeping the massive Behemoth mech from collapsing under its own weight.
  • 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 The Lord of the Rings universe.
    • The initials of the fourth anime series, Invisible Victory, spell IV, which is, As You Know, 4 in Roman numerals.
  • Mental Time Travel: The "Whispered", to some extent.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Later on in the novels, Sousuke gets the ARX-8 Laevatein to replace the destroyed ARX-7 Arbalest.
  • Mission Control: Tessa often performs this role, but sometimes Mardukas or Kalinin does this as well.
  • Modesty Towel: The only thing Tessa is wearing when she first meets Kaname. Sousuke has trouble explaining to Kaname that the pretty girl that just came out of his shower was a coworker (who happened to outrank him).
  • 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 Sousuke'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 Sousuke'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.
  • Motion-Capture Mecha: Downplayed by the Arm Slaves, which have their pilots strapped into seats in the cockpit but are controlled primarily by petals strapped to the pilot's legs and articulating armatures they slip their arms into. Moving the pedals and armatures moves the legs and arms of the machine, "slaving" the movement of mech to the movements of the pilot, hence their name. However, a cockpit limits the full range of motion, so Arm Slaves allow the pilot to set the sensitivity of the motions, requiring only small motions on the part of the pilot to enable large motions on the part of the Arm Slave. Lower sensitivity is easier for a novice pilot to use but limit the responsiveness of the machine, while higher sensitivity allows for more rapid maneuvers but requires much finer control on the pilot's part to avoid overbalancing and falling over.
  • 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.
  • Multinational Team:
    • The titular Mithril is crewed by people of many nations. For named characters we got: Kurz Weber (Germany - West), Melissa Mao (USA), Richard Madukas(UK), Kalinin (Soviet), and Closeau (France).
    • Amalgam is also comprised of many members of different nationalities, be it current form or when it was founded.
  • Mundangerous: Anything that Kaname is holding becomes dangerous when used on Sousuke.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Sousuke 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.
  • Musical Pastiche: "Tokkou Yarou" (meaning roughly "Suicide Squad"), the track used for the Next Episode previews, is a pastiche of The A-Team theme song (Tokkou Yarou A-Team was the show's Japanese Market-Based Title). It tends to be used when FMP appears in Super Robot Wars, particularly as Bonta-kun's theme.
  • 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.
  • Newspaper-Thin Disguise: Sousuke does this a few times. After the first time, it doesn't fool Kaname at all, mainly because he's using a paper that's several years old.
  • N.G.O. Superpower: Mithril.
    • Also, Amalgam. At least at their founding.
  • 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.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup:
    • Mithril has only one Arbalest unit and only Sousuke can operate it because it's locked to his brainwave pattern. The Whispered engineer that created it has died and despite being a highly-advanced para-military organization, Mithril never had the schematics stored somewhere.
    • Amalgam has create the world's first personal AS, miniaturized enough so they operate as deadly anti-personal units. Sousuke destroys them with the Arbalest and we never see them again.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Played straight until it's subverted in Fumoffu, when Chidori has full knowledge on how incapable Sousuke is on acting on anything even remotely connected to sex.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Both Sousuke and Kurz are shown to have deliberately underperformed at the Mithril training camp where Mao met them, due to their suspicions about the mysterious organization behind the camp. Mao catches on when she notices that Sousuke curbstomped a much more advanced AS during a training match (something he claims was a lucky fluke).
    • Offscreen Teleportation: Moments after Melissa questioned him about the training match 'fluke', Sousuke breaks up an impending fight between her and Kurz, moving from his bunk at the end of the barracks to her side without her noticing.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: General Mayer Amit of Mithril's Intelligence Division tries to get Sousuke reassigned from his duty as Kaname's bodyguard. He actually succeeds in The Second Raid.
    • Towards the end of the series, Sousuke is captured by the American military and taken to a secure location for interrogation. Admiral Borda suspects that Amit is behind Sousuke's detainment.
    • Commander Mardukas almost singlehandedly prevents Mithril's victory against Gates by refusing to send Sousuke the Arbalest, due to the latter's having deserted the mission. Fortunately, Tessa talks him out of it.
  • Official Couple: Well, duh. But they've finally gotten together as of the last volume
  • Organ Dodge: Sousuke had thought Gauron dead after shooting him in the head, only for him to show up and hijack his flight during the first story arc. It turned out that Gauron had been injured there before, and had a metal plate in his skull from the treatment of that earlier injury that stopped the bullet.
  • Overranked Soldier: Sousuke Sagara is 16 at the beginning of the anime;, but a fearsomely-skilled sergeant in a paramilitary organization.
    • His commander, Teletha "Tessa" Testarossa, is about the same age and has her position almost solely by virtue of the bizarre racial memory gift possessed by those called The Whispered, which meant that she designed the submarine.
    • Sousuke's colleague Kurz Weber also qualifies, though not to quite the same extreme as Sousuke and Tessa; he's only nineteen at the start of the series and the Light Novels eventually reveal that he began training as a sniper at the age of about fifteen.
    P - Z 
  • Pædo Hunt: Gauron's been a creepy Stalker with a Crush towards Sousuke since the latter was twelve. Yeah.
  • Paper Fan of Doom: Kaname's, used on Sousuke 90% of the time.
  • 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.
  • Parental Abandonment: Sousuke; Kaname; Tessa and her brother, Leonard.
  • Parental Substitute: Madukas is good friend of Tessa's parents and became her guardian after their demise; Sousuke at first raised in a Soviet Child Soldier facility, later adopted by local warlord, then adopted by Kalinin.
  • Platonic Prostitution: Subverted on the client's part. The prostitute is okay with non-platonic service but the prostitute reminds Sousuke of Kaname too much for his comfort. The prostitute then kicks out Sousuke from her room but by then Sousuke's fighting spirit has returned.
  • 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".
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • 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!"(complete with rude gesture) Needless to say, the shocked look on Leonard's face when the subordinate delivers the message says it all.
    • Sousuke, 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:
      Sousuke: "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. Protocol dictates that he prioritize the civilian, but Sousuke picks Tessa instead, reasoning that her clumsiness and lack of physical ability will make it harder for her to protect herself, while Kaname is more athletic and her Action Survivor instincts will 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 Sousuke 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.
  • Psycho for Hire: Gauron, and Gates in The Second Raid.
  • Race Lift: In Ending Day By Day, Gauron's minions are twin Chinese boys; in The Second Raid (the anime adaptation), they're changed into girls, presumably for the Fanservice of the Sister-Sister Incest Sub Text. In FMP! Sigma (the manga adaptation) they're turned into Non-Specifically Europeans in Elegant Gothic Lolita dresses. This creates an Adaptation Induced Plothole: one twin pronounces "Chidori" using the Chinese reading of the characters rather than the Japanese, which doesn't make sense in Sigma because they aren't Chinese anymore.
  • Rare Guns: In the first episode of Invisible Victory, Sousuke is shown wielding a Heckler and Koch XM8; since the series takes place during the period where the rifle was actually being made, it's not unreasonable to imagine Mithril got their hands on some.
  • 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 (unintentional) 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.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Student Council President Hayashima. Almost a bit too reasonable, insofar he's perfectly understanding of Sousuke's usual approach to school life and considers him a model student council member.
  • 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; Sousuke 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.
  • Re-Release Soundtrack: In a quite odd edit, the home release versions of The Second Raid changed some of the music from the broadcast version, including removing an instance of the opening theme being used as an insert song in episode 13, replacing it with generic battle music instead.
  • Riddle for the Ages: During the OAV, Tessa spent the whole episode trying to figure out what she did the previous night and what happened to her stuffed animal. By the end, she pieced everything together except for one part: Sousuke put her on her command chair while she was unconscious and she was clothed. If so, how did she wake up half-naked? She never tried to figure out that part.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Sousuke going after Kurama, in an old Savage that is falling apart, against 8 other Arm Slaves
  • Robot Hair: Gauron's Armslave has a long blond topknot, making it resemble an armoured samurai.
  • Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training:
    • Sousuke, if that was not clear by now.
    • As a mecha example, we have the ARX-8 Laevatein, which sacrificed ECS and other basic sensory and anti-detection systems common to Mythril Arm Slaves for sheer strength, mobility and firepower.
  • Scars are Forever: Sousuke has a permanent cross-shaped scar on his chin, though it's never explained. And Gauron — oh boy, Gauron.
  • Science-Related Memetic Disorder: The Whispered. Technically, because they have the ability without the madness.
  • 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.
  • Ship Tease: A simply classic one in Ep. 6 of The Second Raid.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • 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.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Invisible Victory starts out basically dropping the in-school shenanigans for dark no-holds-barred attacks on Chidori and Mithril.
  • Significant Birth Date: Kaname was born on Christmas Eve. So was Tessa. In fact, if you adjust for time zones, every Whispered is exactly the same age, to within three minutes.
  • Simple Solution Won't Work: One of the major running gags in the franchise is how much people try to talk down Sousuke Sagara from applying simple solutions to whatever problems he encounters (with varying degrees of success and collateral damage) — mostly because as a spy and former guerrilla who is a frankly bizarre Combat Pragmatist, his "simple solutions" constantly involve trying to shoot/stab/torture/blow up whatever gets in his way. Works mighty fine to protect his charge/girlfriend from assassins, but for dealing with a school bully... yeah.
  • 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.
    • Sousuke 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.
  • Slice of Life: Some of interesting points of this series beside the political and war action is, "What would happen to No Social Skills Shell-Shocked Veteran soldier if he goes to peaceful 1990s Japan." Anime Fumoffu and Manga Overload have this as their focus; so do most of the short stories.
  • South Asian Terrorists: Sousuke and Kalinin were part of the Mujahideen during the Soviet-Afghan war.
  • The Spartan Way: Sousuke became an assassin at age eight, then became a terrorist at age eleven...
    • He subjects Jindai High's Rugby Club to 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.
  • Spit Take: Two times with Kaname. The first was when she found out the cop she was talking to is the same one that chased her and Sousuke a few episodes ago. The other was in the manga adaptation where Kaname's sister Ayame asked her how was her date with Sousuke.
  • 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.
  • Stalker with a Crush:
    • Gauron to Sousuke.
    • And Leonard to Kaname.
  • Stalking Is Love: While Kaname is initially creeped out by Sousuke's Incredibly Obvious Tail, it quickly becomes a point of bemusement and curiousity for her rather than worry. For lack of better ideas, she casually chats him up in hopes that she can pull an answer from him, but instead finds herself oddly charmed by his awkwardness and decides she'll let the "stray puppy" follow her around for a little longer... Until he shows up on her porch with her underwear in his hands, after which she beats him half to death with a baseball bat and makes a point of avoiding him until his true intentions come to light
  • 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 Sousuke, during which she finally confesses to him.
  • Super Prototype: The Arbalest.
    • In a similar vein, Clouseau's M9D Falke, which was supposed to be equipped with a Lambda Driver as well, and was the counterpart to the Arbalest. However, when the original creator of the Arbalest died, the Falke was kept deprived of the Driver.
    • Gauron's Plan-1056 Codarl technically qualifies as one: it's the only one of its type, with the later visually identical (if not for the different color scheme) Plan-1059 Codarl-m being a mass produced version of the original silver suit.
    • The ARX-8 Laevatein, an upgrade to the Arbalest, and Leonard's Plan-1055 Belial, as well.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Sousuke'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.
  • Take Me Instead: Kaname's teacher Ms. Kagurazaka offers to be the hostage in place of Kaname when Gauron hijacks the airplane they're on. Of course, Gauron refuses, because the teacher isn't a Whispered, and is therefore useless. In fact he's about to shoot Kagurazaka after she continues to object, when Sousuke provides a distraction by 'accidentally' dropping a tray. Gauron stares at him for an uncomfortably long time, clearly suspicious, before leaving with Kaname. Kagurazaka promptly collapses in shock, and blames herself until Kaname turns up alive in hospital later.
  • 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.
  • Tanks for Nothing /Tank Goodness: Tanks are never a match for Armslaves when there is a Lambda Driver involved. When one is not involved, Armslaves have the edge in single battles or even with a dozen thanks to advances in technology, but advanced numbers present a major problem to them (considering limited ammo and metal durability).
  • Teen Genius: Tessa, Sousuke, and under the right circumstances, Kaname.
  • Terrible Pick-Up Lines: Mao is baffled and appalled when, during a very serious discussion regarding Mithril's final two missions, Sousuke abrubtly suggests that a Pre-Climax Climax might calm her nerves and that he'd be happy to engage in some "hot exercise" with her to that end. It turns out he just wanted to cheer Mao up after Kurz's apparent death and asked himself what Kurz would say if he were still with them.
  • Thanks for the Mammary: In the second episode of the anime, Sousuke 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.
  • Theme Naming: Mizuki's color-coded friends, Manami Akagi (red), Madoka Tsuge (yellow), and Shouko Midorikawa (green). Kaname even compares them to a traffic light.
  • There Are No Therapists: "A Voice from the North Pole" confirms that Sousuke has had untreated PTSD since the age of ten. However, Sousuke's foster dad, Kalinin, comes from the Soviet Union, and the Soviet Union's management of mental illness was, well, terrible. So not only does Kalinin make no attempts to seek out treatment for Sousukenote , he's made some effort to hide Sousuke's condition, as he's afraid being recognized as mentally ill would ruin Sousuke's life more than any bullet could.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Sousuke. Oh, Sousuke.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Played for Laughs by Hayashimizu when Kaname is kidnapped by thugs in the second season's first episode. The completely deadpan delivery of his "translation" of the spokesthug's threat into terms Sousuke can understand, and vice versa, sets the tone for the season to follow.
  • Too Much Information: In the novels, Gauron telling Sousuke exactly what he fantasized doing to him back in Kanka. Sousuke is, unsurprisingly, horrified. It certainly puts a whole new meaning to Gauron's "So — what's that face for?" remark afterwards.
  • Training from Hell: Overload has a chapter where Kaname's trying to slim down for swimsuit season and Sousuke 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.
  • It's only made clear in the original light novels that the characters are speaking in either Japanese or English depending on their location and situation, usually in Japan or on a Mithril base/mission respectively. It helps that most of the major characters are fluent in both languages. This is mostly given a Hand Wave in all dubs of the anime.
  • Trigger-Happy:
    • Gauron, who has to be restrained from shooting people he shouldn't. And Sousuke, although he mitigates it by mostly using rubber bullets while he's at school or on outings with Kaname and her friends. Sousuke'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.
  • Trope Trigger: Every time Sousuke brings his military background into the school (such as Stuff Blowing Up), Kaname hits him. This Trope Trigger activates Paper Fan of Doom or Wrestler in All of Us depending on how angry she gets.
  • 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 Sousuke 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:
    • Sousuke. 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 Sousuke 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.
  • Unconventional Vehicle Chase: In the Behemoth Arc, our heroes in a van being chased through the streets of Tokyo by a 40 metre high Humongous Mecha.
  • 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.
  • Unknowingly in Love: Sousuke takes a long time to recognize his growing feelings for Kaname for what they are; when he and Kurz discuss the subject in the novels and Kurz tells him it's love, Sousuke doesn't believe him, as love is supposed to be happy and he is miserable. Sousuke's warped, sexually exploitative upbringing also contributes to his ignorance.
  • 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.
  • Vibroweapon: Monomolecular Cutters are the Sharpened to a Single Atom combat knives utilized by Arm Slaves. In actuality they are micro-chainsaws that can cut through armor like cardboard.
  • Wake 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.
  • Was It All a Lie?: Kyoko doesn't react well when she realizes Sousuke had some professional reasons for being so close to Kaname.
    Kyoko: I knew that there seemed to be something really worrying her. No matter how many times I said, ‘Tell me about it’, she never would. And I thought we were best friends. Even then... You knew about it, didn't you? Just you and her. Weren't we friends? Am I just an outsider to you!? What the hell is going on? I don't want to die without knowing anything!
  • We Have to Get the Bullet Out!: Batist's squad mates act as if the bullet is the ongoing threat to his health, instead of the injury itself.
  • Welcome to My World: to quote Kaname's internal monologue in the first book:
    This is the real Sousuke. 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 the Hell, Hero?: Kaname reacts this way to basically everything Sousuke does.
  • Where It All Began: Leonard attempts to invoke this by choosing a Soviet nuclear base in the Badakhshan region of Afghanistan, hoping that the added emotional significance will sway Sousuke into joining the team deployed to stop the impending nuclear attack. However, Sousuke quickly susses out that Leonard is trying to divert Mithril's only Lambda-driver equipped Arm Slave away from Merida Island, where he and the Belial will be. Thus, he leaves the Afghanistan mission to Clouseau and Mao while he and Tessa head off to confront Leonard.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: Dancing Very Merry Christmas is a full-volume sendup of Die Hard.
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: Kurama's exact question when seeing that Sousuke and Hayashimizu plan to evacuate Jindai High School with a false announcement that a student accidentally released a chemical weapon on campus, unaware of Sousuke's very extensive school disciplinary record.
  • 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 Sousuke and Kaname would be the perfect inspiration.
    • Kurz also pokes fun at Sousuke's intimacy issues by insisting that a lead like him would invariably tank the viewership of whatever romantic drama he starred in.
  • 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 Hire Smug Snake tells you that shooting him would make things easier, you should probably do it.
    • Sousuke finally agreed with everyone and just shot Gauron.
  • Wife Husbandry: Very, very strongly implied in TSR between Gauron and the twins Yu Fan and Yu Lan. Apparently, in the novels, he was also trying to do this with the young Sousuke, but unfortunately for him, Sousuke declined.
  • 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.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: Invisible Victory episode 9 has a scene where a doctor web-searches the name "Mithril" after hearing it from Tessa; her search produces a page which is literally just the first paragraph from the Wikipedia page for Mithril but with all the proper names replaced (J. R. R. Tolkien becomes "R.J. Pollack", The Lord of the Rings becomes The Lord of the Fire, etc).
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: When Mithril posed as terrorist during a school trip in a Batman Gambit to goad out the actual terrorist a U.S. Naval officer who happened to be vacationing on the ship felt that it would play out exactly like it does in Hollywood movies when this scenario happens.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Full Metal Panic


Sousuke Disarms

The bad guys have Chidori hostage and tell Sousuke to disarm. They don't find it as comforting as they though when he does.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / ExtendedDisarming

Media sources: