Full Metal Panic! (フルメタル·パニック! Furumetaru Panikku!?, often abbreviated to FMP!) is an ongoing series of light novels written by Shoji Gatoh and illustrated by Shiki Douji. The series follows Sousuke Sagara, a member of the covert anti-terrorist private military organization known as Mithril, tasked with protecting Kaname Chidori, a spirited Japanese high school girl.
Individual chapters are published on Monthly Dragon Magazine, followed by a paperback compilation released by Fujimi Shobo's Fujimi Fantasia Bunko. The novels are split between stories focusing on Sousuke's mission as a soldier of Mithril and comedic side stories centered on his life at Jindai High School.
The series has been adapted into different media; including three animated television series: Full Metal Panic! by Gonzo in 2002, Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu and Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid by Kyoto Animation in 2003 and 2005 respectively. An OVA was also released in 2006; and five different manga series.
Tokyopop licensed the novels for English-language publication in North America and released parts of the series, while ADV Films licensed and dubbed the first season and the spinoff, and released them in North America and the United Kingdom. The second season was licensed by Kadokawa Pictures USA and Funimation Entertainment with ADV Films producing the dub yet again. Mandalay Pictures acquired the film rights to the series in 2009. At Anime USA 2009, Funimation announced that it had acquired the rights to the first and second series of Full Metal Panic and both will be re-released remastered on DVD & Blu-ray in 2010.
The main story develops its characters carefully, and is the shadow or "unusual" events of the protagonist's life. These stories feature the mercenary group Mithril, their mobile base/submarine, called the TDD-1 Tuatha De Danaan, giant humanoid powered suits called Arm Slaves, and the various missions to which Sousuke Sagara is assigned. A highlight of the series is a serious and semi-realistic view of humanoid robotic weapons on the battlefield. The Arm Slave has significant consideration in its portrayal, with explanations given for its power source, operations, maintenance and pilot user interface. The existence of such advanced weaponry and equipment is explained through Black Technology.
The series is set in a parallel world, based upon actual world events around the late 20th century to the early 21st century. The story begins in Heisei 10 (1998 AD), where the Cold War has yet to end. China has split into a north and south, with Hong Kong being split much like Berlin. The major differences between real life Earth and the Full Metal Panic! universe are:
- China has split into the People's Liberation Committee (North China) and the Democratic Chinese Alliance (South China) along the Yangtze River. Kowloon is a North Chinese territory, while Hong Kong Island is held by South Chinese forces. Combat in Hong Kong is prohibited by terms of a recent peace treaty.
- A nuclear warhead was used in the 1991 Gulf War. This triggered the Fifth Middle East War.
- Following the beginning of the fifth Middle East war, the Soviet Union successfully reinvaded Afghanistan (Helmajistan).
- Mikhail Gorbachev was assassinated and the Perestroika was halted.
- Distinct military technology such as Arm Slaves and Black Technology were developed.
A number of other details differentiates the fictional world. Common changes occur in the Japanese names, as they use homonyms to the names of real life locations. The fictional Jindai (陣代) High School is based on the real life Jindai (神代) High School in Chōfu, Tokyo. The closest station to the real life Jindai High School is the Senkawa station, changed from 仙川 to 泉川. The Japanese calendar of Heisei is altered from 平成 to 平政.
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Full Metal Panic! novels and stories were written by Shoji Gatoh and illustrated by Shiki Douji. They were serialized in Fujimi Shobo's Monthly Dragon Age since 1998. There are two discrete series of books that exist within the narrative: the collected short stories, and the full novels. As of April 2007, there have been nine novels and ten short story collections published. There is also a significant number of short stories that have not yet been published in a collection, making the stories difficult to find outside back issues of the magazine. The main storyline is still continuing, with the latest novel, Approaching Nick of Time, released on February 2008. Shoji Gatoh has recently stated in his blog that the next novel will be the climax of the series. But actually after that it became known that the next novel will be only the first part. On 20 May 2010 it was announced that novel "Full Metal Panic! 11: Always, Stand by Me Part I" will be released on July 17, 2010 in Japan. Always, Stand by Me Part I was released on that day, with Part II being released on August 20, 2010.
Full Metal Panic! was adapted into a manga on several occasions. The first series entitled Full Metal Panic, was serialized in Newtype by Retsu Tateo. It is collected in nine volumes published by Kadokawa Comics. Much like the novels, a parallel series entitled Full Metal Panic! Comic Mission, was written by Retsu Tateo. Five volumes were published as of June 2006. Third and most recent manga adaptation Full Metal Panic! Σ (sigma) was written by Hiroshi Ueda.
- Full Metal Panic!
- Full Metal Panic! is the first manga adaptation of the light novels by Retsu Tateo. The events of the manga parallel those of the first anime and the comedy anime Fumoffu.
- Full Metal Panic! Overload
- Full Metal Panic! Overload is a comedy manga by Tomohiro Nagai that consists of five volumes. It is licensed and published in English by ADV Manga.
- Full Metal Panic! Comic Mission
- Full Metal Panic! Comic Mission is a comedy manga by Retsu Tateo.
- Full Metal Panic! Sigma
- Full Metal Panic! Sigma is a manga by Hiroshi Ueda. The storyline parallels the light novels, starting at the beginning of the anime season 3 The Second Raid and deals with the events after The Second Raid. The manga is still being released and currently has a total of 14 volumes, the last of which was released November 9, 2010.
- Full Metal Panic! Surplus
- Full Metal Panic! Surplus is a single tankōbon manga by Tomohiro Nagai.
Full Metal Panic!
The anime series was produced by Gonzo Digimation and originally aired in 2002 after its original air date was canceled because of the September 11 attacks. The series was licensed to ADV Films for North American release in 2003. The first three novels form the basis for the anime.
Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu
Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu (フルメタル? ふもっふ Furumetaru? Fumoffu?) is a companion series to the anime series Full Metal Panic! by Kyoto Animation, and takes place between the first season and The Second Raid. Markedly different in tone to the first series, Fumoffu emphasizes the high school romantic comedy aspects of Full Metal Panic! with often crude humor and focuses on the romantic tension between Sousuke Sagara and Chidori Kaname. It frequently parodies itself and anime stereotypes. None of the mecha combat or political intrigue, which characterized much of the original Full Metal Panic!, can be seen in the series. The only reference to the mecha aspect of Full Metal Panic! is the Bonta-kun, which is one of the most prominent parodies in the anime. Sousuke uses spare Bonta-kun costumes to make highly-effective suits of power armor, but they look like teddy bears wearing army gear and can only say: "Fu" and "Mo" in different combinations.
Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid
Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid (フルメタル TSR Furumetaru TSR?) is the direct sequel to the original anime series. It was produced by Kyoto Animation and ran for 13 episodes. The series is based on The End of Day by Day novels and takes place three months after the events that occurred in the Tuatha de Danaan at the end of the original Full Metal Panic! series. Mithril learns of a secret organization that has technology able to counter the ECS (Electronic Conceal System) mode. The organization, known as Amalgam, has access to Black Technology, which was obtained from the Whispered. Like the other intelligence agencies, Amalgam intends to obtain more. Sousuke's mission to protect Chidori is terminated by Mithril, instead leaving her in the care of an anonymous agent known as Wraith (though this ends up being temporary).
Full Metal Panic! OVA
There is a one episode OVA that takes place after 'Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid'. It focuses on the Captain of the Tuatha De Danaan: Teletha Tessa Testarossa, rather than the two main characters of the series. The OVA is based on short story Wari to Hima na Sentaichou no Ichi Nichi in short story collection Dounimo Naranai Gori Muchuu. Story is also told in chapters 13 & 14 in Full Metal Panic Sigma Volume 04.
On her day off, Tessa wakes up in her commander chair. After regaining her composure, she notices that her favorite stuffed animal is missing and thus tries to remember what actually transpired the night before. To do so, she will spend time with all the main characters of the Danaan crew, and eventually recalls the events of the previous night.
Live action film
A live action film adaptation was announced by Mandalay Pictures in April 2009, with Zac Efron rumored to be attached to the project. Efron has since confirmed a meeting took place regarding the projected but added that the adaptation was unlikely to happen.
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The second DVD volume of Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid was given a favorable review by Theron Martin of Anime News Network for pushing the character developments of Sousuke and Kaname as well as dramatic elements beyond comedy and action. Describing the impact of the volume, Martin explains that "[t]he full impact of that [Sousuke and Kaname's relationship] comes out beautifully in episode 7, when Kaname seeks out Sousuke in a moment of fear and, for the first time, Sousuke isn't there for her. It's one of those telling moments that can define an entire series."
- "Tokyopop New York ComicCon 2007". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2007-02-24.
- Zeitchik, Steven (April 6, 2009). "Mandalay nabs rights to 'Full Metal Panic'". Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2009-04-09. Retrieved 2009-04-08.
- "Funimation Announces Three New Titles". Toon Zone. 2009-11-21.
- "Funimation Adds Sekirei, Testuwan Birdy Decode And Decode 02". Anime News Network. 2009-11-22.
- "Funimation Mon 22 Nov 2010". Funimationchannel.com. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- "Funimation Tue 16 Nov 2010". Funimationchannel.com. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid, Episode 3.
- Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid, Episode 10.
- S. Gatou, "The Birth of the Tuatha De Danaan", Voice from the north - Side Arms 2. Fujimi Shobo, 07/2006. ISBN 4829118423.
- Official Jindai High Japanese webpage. Retrieved on November 5, 2008. (Japanese)
- "Last Full Metal Panic Light Novel Volume Being Written". Anime News Network. January 5, 2010. Retrieved March 1, 2010.
- "Full Metal Panic's Next Novel Listed for July Release". Anime News Network. May 20, 2010. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- "Japanese Anime Pulled Because of WTC". Anime News Network. 2001-09-28.
- AnimeSuki Forum - View Single Post - Information and FAQs regarding FMP
- "Zac Efron: Not 'Likely' to Be in Full Metal Panic! Project - Anime News network". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
- Martin, Theron (2007-01-29). "Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid: DVD 2". Review. Anime News Network. Retrieved 2009-05-19.
- Full Metal Panic! (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Full Metal Panic! at the Internet Movie Database
- Full Metal Panic! at TV.com
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