If you had told me that Full Metal Panic would have a sequel five years ago, I would’ve laughed at your face. This series is considered vaporware because of how long has it been since its last. In fact, Second Raid, which was the previous Anime from this franchise was made by none other than KyoAni, back when the studio wasn’t doing their moe shit. Before that it was Gonzo, and they did have their demons to battle in the past decade and are in no shape to tackle this kind of project. While KyoAni, which can do it is busy counting their moe money is disinterested in deviating away from their current image. The title remained in limbo for so long; I thought that we would see the light of day when Half-Life 3 gets even a whiff of a mention by the benevolent Gabe Newell. But alas, the anime gods are indeed listening, because we finally have Full Metal Panic. Gods do exist in this world.
Being late in this review gave me at least enough to judge for what its worth. Xebec is doing God’s work for us, which isn’t new in the mecha genre. But they aren’t exactly the studio you would hire to adapt. While I was happy for their last mecha piece, which was Argevollen for me. Something that I won’t fault anyone not remembering since it wasn’t that great. But I like what it stood for, and I can see the diamonds in the rough from the story. Concerning FMP however, they are cautiously put effort on things where it matters and skips those that arent. It is like they know who this anime is for and recognises how big of a responsibility it is for them to make. After all, fans from both the series and the novel are looking like an old lady in the wet market, meticulously.
Coming from a fan of the Anime, I am happy with how it turned out. They went straight through the meat of the story like it never left the air. The story went straight after the ending of the Second Raid. Now that Souske finally got a grip on himself after his excursion from Hong Kong. It is now Chidori’s turn to be in the spotlight when her peaceful days at school comes to a close. Amglam is getting serious and boy they know how to raise hell. This series is dark. Something that some fans realised because some of them came from Fumoffu that is more of a side-track from the main story than an actual story. The Second Raid was darker from the main story, and Invisible Victory just cranked it even more. War is closer than ever for Chidori. It is happing close to home, and shit got serious pretty fast. I love how everything went down and how quick it was. The story never strayed and it never wastes its time to make a point. I also like how they kept the music score to a minimum, especially during the urban combat. It is just metal clashing and explosions echoing in the air. Words are hard to come by to describe how Xebec nails it for me.
Overall, it is the top anime show for me this season. Twelve years. Twelve years I had waited for this .to happen and that now I am here and seeing all of it. I may just have found that my life is finally complete.