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September 16, 2012

Anime Review: Full Metal Panic!

Full Metal Panic! is one of those action-packed anime that features a hilarious naive, airheaded, cool main character that gets sent on a mission to protect a seemingly average high schoolgirl from harm. The action, sci-fi, love and comedy elements in the anime are just exciting to watch.

Full Metal Panic!Synopsis:

Sousuke Sagara, a seventeen year old military specialist working for the secret organization MITHRIL, has been assigned to protect the latest "Whispered" candidate Kaname Chidori. To complete this task Sousuke will have to deal with enemies from his past as well as the occasional panty thief. Unfortunately for Sousuke, the toughest part of his mission isn't only protecting Miss Chidori but also getting used to living an average High School students life, no easy task for someone raised on the battlefield.

Review:

I must ask myself, why didn't I watch this earlier? Judging from the synopsis and various screenshots, the anime doesn't seem to stand out much and most people would definitely agree that at first glance, this may seem just another sci-fi mecha anime. I can assure you that this isn't the case here. Well, not always. Sure enough there are mechas involved int eh anime, but the whole story is not just about the mechas, but rather the people who operate them and here we see the story of Sousuke Sagara come into play. Here we see Sousuke Sagara as a military specialist workig for a secret organisation that is assigned to protect the latest "Whispered" candidate, Kaname Chidori without her knowledge. This already is an awesome beginning to a thrilling series. Not only that, Sousuke Sagara is a complete airhead and it is funny watching his interaction with the people around him. Naturally, he only knows about military things and most people would confuse him to be just another military nut (which is not the case), and so along with protecting Chidori, he also has to get used to normal everyday life of a highschool boy. The action is quite intense and entertaining, but of course, there are plenty of funny moments to enjoy as well as some facepalming at Sagara's naiveness.

This anime was release a decade ago, so you would expect the quality to be rather average to today's standards. I instantly felt the art was rather simplistic and plain, but I could notice the effort the animators did to make the anime rather detailed and fluidly animated for the audience to enjoy. The characters looked pretty great and the mechas were pretty well defined. Sceneries and backgrounds were no problem for me and they were well animated.

The sound was quite good throughout the entire series. Voice acting was excellent for most characters and especially Sagara, Chidori and Testarossa. The theme songs were quite good as well, much like your standard mecha sci-fi anime type music that gets you pumped for the episode. I noticed that the sound effects were also well used and appropriate throughout the anime. The battle sounds were perfect and every hit made an appropriate sound. The weapons also had unique sounds that accompanied them. The UI voices in the mechas were mechanical and electronic, which made sense.

I would say that Sagara is one complete naive and a really dense guy. He just makes the story so much more enjoyable and interesting to watch. Of course though, the battlefield and special operations is where he shines the most. When he gets serious, it is just so awesome and cool watching him leap about and taking down hostiles with whatever means necessary. Also, somehow he translates everything (even basic common sense) into military tactical jargon which confuses his school friends. Chidori is not your tsundere type girl but rather a down to earth, "normal" girl that isn't afraid to stand up for others and defend her beliefs. How she gets along with Sagara, I have no idea. Next up is Chidori's love rival, Testarossa, the captain of a military submarine. She is quite cute, and loos fragile, but when she gets serious, nothing can stop her. She slowly grows to like Sagara and towards the end of the series, she and Chidori accepts each other as rivals. There are also a few other characters which are quite interesting but I won't mention them here.

In the end, I was rather pleased and pleasantly surprised at the engagement of this anime. I was instantly captivated from the first episode and never got bored a single moment. Everything was well placed, well situated and well explained. The characters were great, and was up to my expectations as to who they were and what their personalities are like. There were some cliche moments to be had, but it was all well worth it to watch it play out. If you are into sci-fi, mecha anime with a highschool setting, this is definitely for you.

STORY: 8
It was entertaining, well played out and explained enough detail for me to watch without being bored or confused.

ART: 7
The art was pretty good, but not extremely detailed or fluidly animated.

SOUND: 8
Voice acting suited the characters really well and the theme songs were suitable for the anime. Sound effects were nicely placed at appropriate times and places.

CHARACTER: 8
I enjoyed watching the characters as they interacted with each other. The characters all suited their profile and personalities.

ENJOYMENT: 9
There was not one bit that I was disappointed in. Everything played out really well and it was captivating to watch.

OVERALL: 8
It was great and just had everything I wanted: mechas, sci-fi, highschool life, comedy. I would definitely recommend this anime to anyone that are into these type of animes.

Samsung's New Anti-iPhone Ad: It doesn't take a genius.

Well, if have been following the tech news recently, you would have heard about Samsung's big loss against Apple in court. Apple's newest product, the iPhone 5, sold out its preorders in a matter of hours. So what will Samsung do now? Sit back and watch as Apple rampages in the smartphone market? Of course not! Samsung attacks back!

In the US, Samsung has created a pretty aggressive ad comparing Apple's iPhone 5 to Samsung's own Galaxy S III. If you know your phones well, you can guess pretty much who will win this battle. The comparisons are pretty fair - the Samsung Galaxy S III does have NFC whilst the iPhone 5 does not. This is the same for the removable battery and microSD storage.

With a clever tagline "It doesn't take a genius.", the ad is due to roll out in a bunch of newspapers tomorrow, where it will reach many people who still reads printed newspapers.
[via Gizmodo]