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September 17, 2012

Anime Review: Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu

Chidori and Sagara are back in this exciting side-story somewhat related to the main story of Full Mental Panic!. This time, it is all about the mayhem and chaos caused by Sagara in high school and his experiences of trying to be a normal teenage highschooler.

Full Metal Panic? FumoffuSynopsis:

It's back-to-school mayhem with Kaname Chidori and her war-freak classmate Sousuke Sagara as they encounter more misadventures in and out of Jindai High School. But when Kaname gets into some serious trouble, Sousuke takes the guise of Bonta-kun - the gun-wielding, butt-kicking mascot. And while he struggles to continue living as a normal teenager, Sousuke also has to deal with protecting his superior officer Teletha Testarossa, who has decided to take a vacation from Mithril and spend a couple of weeks as his and Kaname's classmate.

Review:

At first I thought that this side-story based anime would be either pretty boring or totally irrelevant to the main story. However, after watching the first episode I was hooked in already. Not only did the anime series contain the action we all liked, but it had hilarious and silly moments along with comic relief that we have come to enjoy in the prequel.  Why isn't this a sequel? Because it is not meant to be. Rather, it continues chronologically where Full Metal Panic! left off, but episodes are all mostly set in the high school that Sagara and Chidori attends. Just think of this as an action, sci-fi, comedy, slice of life in high school anime rather than what you perceive in the prequel. The story is quite simple to follow as we see the everyday life of Sagara as he attends Jindai High School protecting Chidori from accidental, intentional and misunderstood harm as well as striving and surviving to become a normal teenage boy. As you can imagine, there are plenty of hilarious moments to expect as well as the rivalry between Chidori and Teletha as they try to take Sagara for themselves.

The art was slightly better than the prequel but still the same standard quality (no widescreen or high definition) as before though it wasn't really a hindrance to my viewing experience. I noticed though that the art style has been slightly improved with a bit more textured environments and detail on characters and mechas. The characters looked slightly better in this series than in the last and it is really noticeable when close-ups are shown on screen.

The voice acting was actually quite good and suited the characters really well especially the distinct personalities between Chidori and Teletha. Anyway, the theme songs were quite pleasant and enjoyable to listen to and was appropriate to the anime. Sound effects were improved in this series and there was some nice accompaniment background music for some scenes. The characters felt really expressive and alive due to the excellent voice acting. I loved Bonta-kun! His "fumo~ fumoffu~!"s never got boring!

Sagara is still as dense as ever and Chidori seemed to never cool down for a moment. However, there are some expressive terms and mutual understanding that happens in some scenes which is quite enjoyable. You will definitely love watching Sagara and Chidori interact with each other usually ending with Chidori hitting Sagara with a paper fan. Those classic moments never get bored. Of course, I have to mention Teletha and her plot to get close to Sagara as much as possible by any means. She even transfers to Sagara's highschool for two weeks just for that purpose. Anyway, apart from those three the other supporting characters such as Mao and Kurz are pretty hilarious to watch as well.

There is always something lively going on in every episode and you will never get bored. Even though this is more of a slice of life anime with some heavy action in it, the story does move along at a nice pace. No new main characters are introduced but we do see the development of the current characters strengthened as each episode progresses. You must watch this if you have watched Full Metal Panic! already and you must watch this before Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid as this leads into the sequel.

STORY: 8
Taking a much different direction than Full Metal Panic!, the anime actually does make sense and is quite enjoyable to watch.

ART: 8
The art felt somewhat improved in various minor details that is barely noticeable. The characters all looked great and the backgrounds were awesome.

SOUND: 8
Theme songs were nice and suited the theme of the anime. Voice acting was excellent for the characters.

CHARACTER: 8
You felt more connected to the characters as the story progresses. It was well directed and scripted.

ENJOYMENT: 9
I loved the comical scenes as well as the intense action scenes. It was entertaining and not boring at all.

OVERALL: 8
You must watch this if you are into sci-fi action anime and also if you have watched Full Metal Panic!.