OP Sequence

OP: 「Even…if」by 山田タマル (Yamada Tamaru)

「損害制御」 (Songai Seigyo)
“Damage Control”

I’m sure most of you are familiar with the convention. Act I, Scene I: open with the protagonist living an idyllic life in their hometown. It’s a peaceful place full of good people. Act I, Scene II: burn it all to the ground. It’s a tried and true way to push the hero out the door and onto the road of adventure. If Luke Skywalker is too attached to the moisture farm, destroy it. Simple, direct and effective. As a bonus, turning the protagonist’s world upside down is a fast way to change a naivé perspective, and it also gives them a spot of personal tragedy to hold onto for some development down the line. And for us, the audience, there is no better way to signal that there is no turning back than to burn all the bridges behind us.

That’s basically what Invisible Victory is doing now. Sure, we’re far past Act I by now, but the idea is the same. Full Metal Panic! is embarking on something new — or is at least forcing our protagonists to — and has decided that scorched earth is the best policy. And so everything must go. The peaceful town. Mithril’s stronghold at Merida island. Every place that we associated with sanctuary before must be torn down. Our main takeaway from all this should be impact it has on Kaname. She’s not stupid nor particularly frail, but she’s a civilian nonetheless and Mithril had thus far shielded her from the worst of the secret war over the Whispered, but they’re obviously in no position to do that now. Now she needs to go through something of an anagnorisis, realising that peace is not the status quo, that her safety is bought with the blood, and that even that may not be enough in the face of the true menace of Amalgam.

But the star of this episode is definitely Tessa, who contrasts Kaname by maintaining an unwavering gaze on reality the entire time. She stares certain death in the face, keeps her calm through incomparable disaster, and puts down a mutiny all by herself. With the larger Mithril organisation basically dismantled, Tessa has to keep her crew of mercenaries together by strength of will alone, and watching her do it was glorious. Her personal conflict throughout FMP! has been whether a young girl, no matter the intelligence, is worthy of a command position. And she is undermined at times. Often she’s treated as just ‘the cutie’, a decoration, or just an alternate love interest. She got a fanservice OVA all to herself, after all. But in times of crisis Tessa demands respect and earns it with sheer mettle even when she shouldn’t have to. I’m no military man and I’m behind a monitor, but damn did I not get the urge to salute.

But FMP! is in full thriller mode right now, so even as Tessa’s TDD outfit stabilises Kaname’s school gets hijacked. Evidently FMP! is going to keep ramping up from here, no doubt leading to a show stopper in episode 03. I’m look forward to it. Sure, I’m still getting used the the CGI mecha — maybe they could use more textures, or I’m subconsciously too used to the 2D look of TSR — but overall I’ve been quite happy with what we’ve got. Invisible Victory is not going to maintain this level of tension forever, but so far the return of FMP! has been thrilling. Keep up the hype.


ED Sequence

ED: 「yes」 by 山田タマル (Yamada Tamaru)


  1. as far as i can see, they are doing great job adapting the novels.
    I just miss tessa’s smug face when putting down the rebelion. She looked in novel illustration pretty much high and mighty. It was much more milder here

    Overall, opening is gorgeous. If they are doing split cours then it’s for certain this season will cover
    Show Spoiler ▼

    so that leaves only 2-3 volumes left for the second part, or fifth season, if they want.

  2. Just an reminder for “fans of Car chasing action movies, where it has more holes as an cheese”.. Well, first it is Anime and 2nd an Action movie.. but in reality alone the bullets would penetrate important pieces of the Engine or even the fuel tank.. alone the conscience and cooling parts would kill the engine. So do not do it at home, boys and Girls

    1. Much like how in TV shows/movies characters with plot armor can survive a hail of bullets or pretty much anything that would kill them ten times over. Or gunfights where your cast suddenly loses the ability to hit the target because the plot dictates the bad guy live for longer.

    2. While it is certainly possible to disable a car with a shot in the right place, even unarmored vehicles can be quite resilient against small arms fire, especially the SMG and carbine weapons that were being used. From a discussion of military norms:

      “When you shoot a car, it only tells you what happened that day on that car with that shot placement. On the last demonstration I saw, the engine was shot 3 times with an AK, 3 times with an M4, 3 times with a 9mm, and twice with 12 gauge slugs. The engine ran the entire time, and the car was driven off afterwards… The instructors stated that the only cars ever stopped during similar demonstrations were stopped as the result of shots destroying electronic components, or the battery cable.”

      The way to reliably stop vehicles is by shooting the driver or using a .50 caliber or larger weapon, or an anti-tank weapon.

  3. @Tessa

    Well the Guards in her back back her up. So Tessa alone did not end this mutiny, she still had support of them..

    She suppressed this mutiny fire before it becomes even greater, is more accurate in my eyes

    1. Tessa time and time again proves why she’s the Captain of the Tuatha de Danaan. She may be a bit shy/ditzy/girly at times, whatever. But if you push her too far she’ll kick your ass all over the ship.

    2. Hell, she’s stoic enough to stare at possible death by nuke-tipped cruise missiles in the face:

      Tessa: (*to a panicked subordinate*) “Remain calm! If they’re nuclear, it will be instantaneous.”

      “Best Girl” indeed. (Would have loved an animated adaptation of Dancing Very Mery Christmas, though…if only to see Tessa in a maid outfit. Hope the manga version also covered that.)

  4. So the Pacific Chrysalis arc from DVMC is not going to get animated? If so that’s a damn shame because I would have LOVED seeing Mardukas in his badass mode in the anime…

    Anyway solid quality so far from XEBEC, still waiting for the best parts. I’m kinda hoping that they don’t try to cram everything from the novels into the last 10 eps though.

  5. Apparently the anime’s skipping FMP LN Vol 6, a cruise ship hijacking adventure, because it was adapted as a radio drama back in 2016.

    Oddly, Gatoh Shoji stated in a 2017 ANN interview that the anime would “take place from volume 6 and move onwards”, but would say no more.

      1. Helicopters are most vulnerable when hovering (as shown in Black Hawk Down), especially in this case where it’s a hot LZ and there’s no ground support aside from Uruz 7 who’s already busy protecting Kaname. Even worse since the missile isn’t a MANPADs like Stinger, but an anti-tank missile (the launcher looks like a Javelin).

        I wonder if it’s possible to mount active protection systems like Trophy or Iron Fist on them.

        Magnus Tancred
      2. *presses “F” to pay respects*

        You’ve done your duty, Gebo 9. Rest now. o7

        Also, considering that Mithril’s transport helicopter is heavily armored against MGs and (I’m assuming) Stinger-sized missiles, using a Javelin is a good demonstration that Amalgam isn’t screwing around this time.

  6. Holy shit, the plot was just warming up last week. I love how being a mercenary who escapes deadly situations is not glorified, the contrast between warriors going at each other and mundane life, and the bold depiction of the horrifying damage a mecha can inflict on humans. Usually in a show it’s just robot vs robots or robot vs monsters. If mechas were around we’d surely have this sort of slaughters.
    Oh and Tessa doesn’t screw around either. Total respect.

  7. Oh man, this is getting serious. Completely different from season 1 where the entire cast were all goofballs.

    This season reminds me of Rosin Maiden Traumad where the first season was all fun and games and the second is a high stake poker game.

  8. Damn! This season isn’t pulling any punches!

    In retrospect, it’s amusing to think that those who’ve watched the first season of Full Metal Panic as teenagers back when it was first shown (including yours truly) have since then went to college, graduate, find jobs, and for some–started a family with their significant other.

    It’s like the anime itself was waiting for those same fans to mature and become able to handle the darker themes of the light novels’ later chapters. Considering that the Oughties (2000s) and New Tens (2010s) had some rather tumultuous events, I’d say they were more than ready to handle Invisible Victory. Granted, the light novel fans already have it great that they’ve completed the original series at the start of the New Tens, but for the anime fans, to be reunited with this show feels so freaking good–even if things are indeed starting to get grim.

    1. No kidding. 16 years ago…. Think some of us can divide our ages by 2 to reach that number…

      Still, I’m hoping that they will eventually complete this series. It would bring to closure one of my all time favorite classics.

      1. Would be interesting to know whether he’s at least watching it.
        Last I heard was that he still followed certain anime titles? Why shouldn’t he, it’s like anime is a genre that you grow tired of.

  9. Kaname and Sousuke’s relationship has been one of the most engaging parts of fullmetal panic for me so I’m anticipating how it evolves over the course of invisible victory. It’s nice to see characters who started off as archetypal and derivative (by today’s standards anyway) be optimally fleshed out over the course of three seasons, especially in TSR. Surprisingly enough, Fumoffu also does a pretty good job in fleshing out both Sousuke and Kaname’s relationship. One of the things I liked about Fumoffu was the implied “tragedy” of Sousuke’s impulsive actions during their school life and how it affected Kaname. Kyoko notes during the first FMP that Sousuke doesn’t go out of his way to make everyone’s lives difficult, to which Kaname remarks that it’s for that very reason that it makes dealing with him that much harder; because she knows it’s not his fault and yet she can’t help but lose her patience with him. As much as she’d like to hand-wave away all his actions, the reality of the situation is that at the end of the day, he causes LEGITIMATE problems. It’d be so much easier on her if Sousuke was being malicious, because it’d be easier to give up on him. Fumoffu mines all this for comedy mind you, but it never forgets to remind the audience that there are some serious implications behind these character dynamics. There are some that would argue that fumoffu has slight tinges of dark comedy in its DNA, an argument to which the underlining note of tragedy in Sousuke’s actions makes a case for. Sousuke almost always feels a bit of guilt for the trouble he causes, especially since he does it so reflexively; and in return, Kaname can’t help but feel guilty at times for losing her temper the way she does. You can’t help but feel bad for him. But as much as they both stress each other out, they need one another; they work well together. Fumoffu knows this and makes this clear in some cleverly subtle ways (like the second half of ep 2 where Sousuke and Kaname try to evade the crazy policewoman).

    A story doesn’t always need to have perceived literary value like being some intellectual dialogue about humanity, philosophy, technology, romanticism, etc. to be exceptional. Sometimes, your story just needs to be able to maximize all its narrative mechanics to appropriately present everything it is trying to do and fumoffu does it so well. It’s comedic timing is on point; the directing is on point; the pacing is on point; the dialogue is definitely on point. The show is so capable of indulging in its erratic, and sometimes irreverent humor while still fleshing out its characters and crafting some genuinely heartwarming moments. The show feels really uniform, which makes sense considering Yasuhiro Takemoto (our man on hyouka) basically had full control– storyboard, scripts, directing; the whole nine. The end-result is a huge net positive of storytelling quality which is why it’s one of my favorite anime of all time. The second raid never reaches this level of brilliance in terms of the whole package but its still pretty damn good. What it does do better than Fumoffu is evolve Sousuke’s character even further, challenging him to make changes for his own betterment. We’ll see where invisible victory stacks up when everything is said and done. While i thought this episode was another solid effort from FMP, the cgi is not doing the show any favors.

    1. Fumoffu was definitely a dark comedy, which it got away with mostly with absurdity. Because sometimes life is dark, or absurd, or both, and in the face of that perhaps all we can do is laugh. If someone like Sousuke existed in real life and acted the way he did all the time he would be at once disruptive, disturbing and tragic. The humour is in him not being part of our world, and the clash of his values against ours.

      The question posed to Sousuke in TSR is whether the two worlds — him and Kaname — can be reconciled, and now the question is posed to Kaname in Invisible Victory. As the two worlds actually start to collide with the full frontal Amalgam invasion, it’s not so absurd anymore and things can’t really be played for laughs. That’s basically what Hayashimizu’s graduation in e01 was signalling; the consequences are serious now and we can’t laugh them off anymore. The great storytelling that you note in Fumoffu basically leads to this moment. That’s why even if it’s a comedy spinoff I consider it essential watching for FMP!.

      1. “That’s basically what Hayashimizu’s graduation in e01 was signalling; the consequences are serious now and we can’t laugh them off anymore.”

        Exactly! Damn dude; well said. What you wrote is exactly why when people say: “Oh you can skip fumoffu if you’re trying to catch up,” I’m like: “NO!! dont’t skip fumoffu.” It has the narrative effect of fleshing out Kaname and Sousuke’s relationship and the meta-narrative effect of influencing your appreciation of kaname and Sousuke’s jovial school life so that there’s weight in seeing it crumble in the following seasons. Invisible Victory is basically the half way point where Gatoh was like: “this is where the duality of my story’s tone ends. I slowly conditioned my audience to get used to things getting really serious; now i have officially cut the breaks.” Plus at this point Gatoh’s writing saw some improvement

      2. Not quite… to be a dark comedy, there would have to be some intrinsic dramatic aspect to Fumoffu… but there isn’t. It’s only a “dark comedy” in the context of the preceding and succeeding adaptations. By itself, Fumoffu is an absurdist comedy.

      3. @Arsene An argument can be made that it’s both simultaneously. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive. And besides, there doesn’t need to an intrinsic dramatic aspect pervading fumoffu’s overarching narrative to be considered a dark comedy. How it deals with its subject matter is what decisively qualifies it as a dark comedy or not.

  10. Not too annoyed with the CGI Arbalest, but that car chase… I’m sure they could’ve gotten the people who did Initial D to do it. With modern hardware, the computations would be real quick. Just need to add a few explosions and voilà.

    The whole episode seem to be made to contrast Chidori with Tessa. We all know Tessa can take command even though everyone treats her like a little girl. She certainly showed that here. While Chidori is on the verge of a breakdown. Very much understandable and a complete reversal of their roles during peace time. (Okay, Tessa never really broke down, but I remember her being as confused as Sagara in normal everyday life)

  11. Remember that car chase fight scene in Sicily back in TSR? Yeah, that was more than 10 years ago and still looked better than the poor CGI fest we got this episode…

  12. I have one question:

    – in my past it did not occur me or i wanted to know the very reason why they want this Girl “Brain skill” i only know that Mitrihl was some “Guardian” faction to save them?

    – But i grown older and now my brain want some answers. Why they trow in so much Money and Private Army and War (and i also bet that they Shoot some Rockets into the Sun to get an predictable Solar Storm), just to get this Girl?

    – What if they kill her on the Way, or she just refuse to help them? an No is not an option i know, but…

    oh well..

    As i wrote.. when i grow older my innocent fun are gone and an inner loud voice asking “why!?” inside my mind

    But as you can guess.. i do not want an answer, not even in spoiler tags. This is just the red line the show has for us and go with it and mostly all fans just enjoy the trip and not thinking about the destination

  13. My own Analyze why many found this Car Chasing CG not well made:


    – What you see here? The Car and 2 Cyborgs? are holding on his engine bonnet
    – Where is the extra add weight of these 2 seen on the damper on the wheels? It take the turns like an Train on Wheels
    – We have here Wheels of Steel.. i mean also tires
    – When the Car landed on the roof, the entire Passenger Cabin stood intact, not even an little bend of the own Weight of the car.. some would say rollover bar, but no signs in the interior…

    – the entire car chasing did felled like their ignore the dampers of the cars. Also it is an Jeep… an normal street car would be okay. But an jeep has an higher floor clearance then normal cars..

    Perhaps this is the “ugly” meaning what many are speaking of


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