Full Metal Panic Review

Kaname is one of “the Whispered,” though she doesn’t know this. She also doesn’t know a group of very dangerous terrorists are after her. And Sousuke is the hot blooded soldier assigned by an anti-terrorist group to protect the popular high school girl. But piloting a mech is one thing. High school? That’s another.

The violence in this show is on par with some moments of Fullmetal Alchemist, although it never gets much worse (this does not include the other seasons. Just the first one). So expect some gunshot wounds, cuts, bruises and even a broken bone or two.

The worst offender in this category is Kurtz (start laughing Vic fans). He uses some pretty nasty language, such as the b-words, d-mn, sh-t and so on. Since he’s in the military, it’s not like it comes out of nowhere. That said, this section alone is bad enough to bunk this to a YA.

Your typical fanservice goes riiiight here. Boob jokes, conversations in the tub with mist covering anything “too bad,” hot springs, innuendo and even some “artistic” nudity at the end. No details are there, but it’s just not needed. At all. And it nearly got this show into the Warning Zone at the very end.

It’s unclear exactly what “the Whispered” are, but they are likely connected to having ESP abilities. The show never really goes in depth with that, however. And it doesn’t try to make any overall point with life in general.

Personal Impression:
There’s a reason this show had such a fan following. It’s fairly entertaining for mech fans. Unfortunately, it tries a bit too hard to be too many things. It tries to both be funny and deadly serious at the same time. It really would have done better choosing one over the other (which actually is the case for the next two seasons). As it is, the serious parts are hampered by the comedy and the comedy is darkened by the plot. So it’s hard to fully enjoy either element.
It’s also hard to not associate Sousuke as Heero Yuy from Gundam Wing. Honestly. He’s like Heero’s twin. With more comedy. A lot more.
If you like mech shows, this is probably one of the better mech shows in the last decade or so. Just don’t expect it to match Gundam in terms of plot. At least not in this season. Also, the high school element keeps this show from fully reveling in its mech roots, so don’t get too excited for the first season to rival Gundam in terms of mech battles either. Still, it’s a good start and skipping it risks losing out on a lot of necessary info for the more serious third season.

Personal Rating: Young adult

Episodes: 24 (first season only)
Languages: Sub and dub
Official rating: TV14
Genre(s): Action, comedy
Website: http://www.funimation.com/full-metal-panic
Legal streaming: FUNimation and YouTube
Screen shots:
 photo fmp1_zpsc59f6a76.jpg photo fmp2_zps16e54c27.jpg photo fmp3_zps9016169a.jpg


Warning Zone: Revolutionary Girl Utena

The why:
Officially this show isn’t rated. If it was at some point, it isn’t now. Although various places rate it between a generic PG14 to an allusive “objectionable content” warning (honestly, what the heck does that even mean?). In any case, to clear up any misunderstandings, this show should be strapped with a big M rating. And not because anything is outright… bad. However, you’d have to be amazingly dense not to know what is going on. And what’s going on is: numerous rape accounts, incest amongst various individuals and countless sexual abuses. Like I said, nothing is ever seen in full detail. But it doesn’t have to be. The “artistic” nudity, where details are always conveniently covered up by long hair and such, hardly distracts from what’s going on.
Aside from these elements, there’s also a decent amount of bad language here and there and some violence (although it isn’t nearly as bad as other TV14 shows).

Personal thoughts:
This show attempts to do far more than most shows. And for that, I commend it. It’s defiantly not for young viewers. It’s not family stuff. And I don’t appreciate the inappropriate elements. Even so, I commend it. I often found that much of the issues presented are extremely legitimate and painfully realistic.
However, while many found the symbolism focused on the breaking of the “Prince as Savior” mentality (aka the Fairy Tale mindset many men and women often live by), I found that Himemiya was a nearly perfect portrait of suicidal depression. Waiting for someone to save her, when she didn’t really wish to be saved. No matter how much others tried to. No matter how much others loved her. She didn’t believe them. And they couldn’t save her. She wouldn’t allow it. And in the end she had to decide for herself what her fate would be. There was no prince to do it. Because the only one imprisoning her was herself.
Of course, the show is so vague on so many points that the conclusion could honestly be anything. The theories are honestly endless (Tumblr is a fascinating example of this). However, it is for that reason that I appreciate this show and found it a refreshing watch. It’s a shame it’s too much for younger audiences. Then again, it tackles some extremely heavy issues that, while they may have been addressed in a cleaner manner, had to be dealt with. The point of the show was to break the fairy tail. To show its weakness. And it did. In what ways exactly, well, that’s up to viewers.
So if you have a solid foundation of fairy tail knowledge (just check out a bunch of Grimm’s tails if you don’t) and enjoy extreme symbolism regardless of some strong content, this show will deliver. Just go in well warned, my friend. This show may have some comedy elements going in, but they disappear at the end and it’s clear that the story is far from funny and very adult centered. You’ve been warned.