The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu

Title: Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu
Genre: Comedy
Company: Kyoto Animation
Format: 12 episodes
Dates: 25 Aug 2003 – 18 Nov 2003

Synopsis: High school is a time for maturation, for setting one’s life goals, and in Sagara Sousuke’s case, a time for blowing up everything that could possibly threaten Chidori Kaname. Jindai High School has had a few miscreants in the past, but none like Sousuke. Being a hardcore military freak, Sousuke is unable to understand that rigging lockers with C4 is a bad thing, and any attempt to assimilate him into society has failed. Yet, he is under orders from superiors to adjust to a normal high school life, but that can only happen by changing the definition of the word “normal.”

The Highlights
Animation: Sharp, vibrant and energetic.
Seiyuu: Strong performances from the entire cast.
Antics: Absolutely hilarious.

Comedy is probably one of the hardest forms of entertainment. Forget for a second how ubiquitous the genre is and think about the logistics of making people laugh. Good comedy can only be created by an appropriate chemistry of timing, wit, irony, presentation, stupidity and sheer luck. Misusing even one of these elements can bring an antic to its knees. Yet, despite all these hurdles, there still are a few shows go above and beyond the call of duty and prove themselves to be nothing short of amazing. For all those who thought that the first Full Metal Panic!(1,2) was hilarious, I present you the Holy Grail of comedy: Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu.

There is no plot to speak of, no character development to scrutinize, no real meat to bite into. This show is pure, high-octane comedy. Whether it is another pyrotechnic blunder from the socially inept but loveable Sousuke or a clever jab at other anime, Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu is the best at what it does. Production company Kyoto Animation lends a hand with its lush and energetic animation. The fun, bouncy music doesn’t slack off either. With hilarious hijinks shot at a constant, rapid fire pace, this show excels at bringing its audience to the ground in fits of laughter.

Like most comedies, this show will surely not be everyone’s cup of tea. Many of the jokes require extensive knowledge of other anime as well as a few tidbits of Japanese culture. Exposure to Gonzo’s original Full Metal Panic! is also a must. Furthermore, those who hated the style of comedy in the first need not view this sequel.

Despite not having any real “substance,” I don’t remember pure filler ever being this much fun. Epic stories with unforgettable characters may win the awards, but they are seldom half as entertaining as Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu.

The Rating: 8

Reviewed by: Shadowmage

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