Aaand we’re back. Enjoyed the recap episode last week? Yeah, me neither. Sometimes there’s a good reason for recap episodes. Long-running shows entering a new arc and just received a marketing push towards new viewers may want to slip in some recap. Shows targeted younger audiences usually recap by the week because young attention spans are goldfish-short. But we’re only four episodes into Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory and if the producers truly don’t think we can retain 80 minutes of information over a month then I am frankly insulted. If they were recapping the the previous seasons of FMP!, I can understand that; those were more than a decade ago and Invisible Victory started at a sprint without a pause for retrospection, so maybe turning back now to get everybody on the same page would be worthwhile. But, nope, the Invisible Victory recap only recapped Invisible Victory i.e. not much. So, yeah, there’s really no good reason for it. In the absence of good reasons, though, there are bad ones. When an anime resorts to an out-of-place recap episode like we got, it’s usually a sign of a production hiccup. Or rather, less of a production hiccup and more production vomiting all over itself. Nobody wants a recap episode, least of all the staff who are responsible for their art. Mere hiccups can be smoothed over over, and even if there’s some still scenes or derpy far-shots most studios try to push out an episode by any means. When all we have is a recap episode, when there’s not even enough to show on TV for 20 minutes, you just know that there was a disaster. If that’s true here, that’s rather disappointing for FMP!, which has all sorts of expectations behind it yet still can’t manage to muster in Invisible Victory the same aesthetic appeal of a fledgling Kyoto Animation managed in The Second Raid. But one recap episode does not doom us completely. Remember Girls und Panzer? That was plagued by management issues, but in the end it was still, and still is, a fan-favourite money spinner. Hopefully for Invisible Victory it was just Golden Week in Japan screwing with our anime and not any terminal production difficulty. And if it really is the latter, hopefully Invisible Victory manages to keep its pants on for at least the rest of the season and spare us another embarrassment. It’s a good show, I’d hate to see it implode suddenly.

Well, let’s push the negative thoughts aside and hype ourselves for this fresh arc of FMP!. And we can get no fresher for FMP! because, after four episodes sweeping out the the old, it’s now in with the new. We’re not even in Japan any more! What’s this place? Why are we here? Who are these people? If you haven’t watched the previous FMP! or are feeling forgetful after 13 years, perhaps you might be afraid that you’ve lost track of a subplot or a bunch of minor characters, but rest assured that they’re all new. Despite this revolution, though, FMP! is not entirely reinventing itself, and has retained enough familiar motifs to keep us comfortable. For one, Sousuke is still here, though perhaps sleeping less soundly than he did in Japan. The mecha are still here, just gaudier (and sponsered by Bandai Namco. Heh.), though perhaps ‘Crossbow’ is just a tad too cheeky. And while I’m fairly sure there’s no actual city called Namsac we can tell straight away it’s a hive of scum of villainy where we can set a season of Black Lagoon. Everything is fresh, but easy to grok. Even the new cast are curiously and likely deliberately familiar. Blondie (Tsuda Kenjiro) makes for a convincing Weber-in-glasses. And Nami is definitely our Kaname substitute, the inheritor of the, ‘I’m not an amateur, I’m a specialist’ line from Sousuke, damsel in distress, and our new designated cheescake. I like her already (hard not to. Pony!). I’m sure we’ll get more of her circumstances as we go.

Nami’s likeability will have to carry for a while as we get settled into all this newness. Change is always difficult but it’s been flagged for a while and it’s best that we roll with it as it comes. And it’s not like Sousuke has given up on the past. Even though he can’t rule out that he’s being hunted by Mithril, he’s still going around introducing himself by his real name and entering into flashy mecha tournaments. In a lesser story I might have chalked this up as just sloppiness, but I have respect for the writing of FMP! and the usually cagey Sousuke must have a greater design here. He’s deliberately attracting attention. Be sure that he’s hanging out in this backwater for a reason.


  1. I was so confused when this initially started. I had read about the other volumes way before I knew about a new season but I forgot everything.

    Your suggestion about having recap the other seasons was a solid idea but I actually thought they did a recap episode to sort of put space between the story arcs or am I being optimistic/naive?

    Either way by the time Sousuke made his appearance I remembered that I’m a ride or die and went with the flow.

    1. It could be a pacing thing, but if so I wish they had put more effort into the recap episode. Some recaps feel like less of a cop-out than others.

      Not like any sort of break can really prepare us for the complete shift FMP! does this episode. Just going with the flow is a good idea.

    1. This will Season will always be different for a few reasons.

      1. Many Anime had come out where FMP 2 ended and FMP 3 began. If you have been watching many Anime you have experienced many different topics used to build a Story and your taste matured maybe moved on. Example:
      – K-On
      – Anime-Gataris
      – Koufuku Graffiti

      2. FMP was back in 2005 I began College that year, that was 13 years ago. You want a production company to continue the same atmosphere where the second season left off?

      3. Maintaining the same kind of feeling the producers had with the last two seasons may be a plus for the strong fan base but doesn’t guarantee cash flow and all companies want to be paid for their services.

      Just be happy seeing this title again.


  2. Magnus Tancred
  3. Oh man. If you didn’t know by now that Invisible Victory is almost a completely different beast from the FMP! we know and love, this episode should put the nail in the coffin. I was almost convinced that’s not Weber, and with a different voice actor, maybe he really isn’t. We’ll have to find out for real as we go forward. Just as I was almost convinced that Nami in none other than the cheesecake navigator of the straw hats crew somehow making a jump onto FMP!. Like let’s be honest here, it’s not just her good looks and orange hair. It’s also her wily nature and commitment for her homeland. Expy or what. I tell ya, either I’m growing more naive, or this episode just threw me for a loop LOL.

  4. “♪ Welcome to the jungle!
    We got fun and games! ♪”

    With that lyrical waxing out of the way, it’s amusing to see Sousuke revert to sleeping under the bed. I don’t blame him, as the sense of normal civilian life that he got used to with Kaname has disappeared (for now).

    He’s no amateur. He’s a specialist. I loved those call-backs/continuity nods to the older seasons of FMP, as well as the reprise of the BGM that last played when Sousuke revealed himself to be an AS pilot to Kaname back in season 1. (I wonder if they can include the BGMs from The Second Raid as well?)

    That Savage’s colors remind me of a Dom (Mobile Suit Gundam). Or a Dreissen circa Unicorn.

    Anyway, “Blondie” (a.k.a.: Lemon) will be helpful to Sousuke’s efforts to bring back Kaname much later on. And the introduction of resident wrench wench Nami (voiced by the lovely Minori Chihara) went quite well in anime form. (*Resisting the urge to post Sigma spoilers*)

    And yep, I’m not the only one who remembered Girls und Panzer‘s troubled production when that recap episode aired. Part of me was fearing the Xebec staff might be stretched thin by multiple ongoing projects under their belt (chief being Invisible Victory and Yamato 2202–unsure if there are others).

    If it was just because of Golden Week, then phew. If it was because of actual production troubles…well, s**tballs… I hate to see Invisible Victory stumble at this point.

  5. Didn’t expect any more comedy so soon or even at all.
    Oh, so turns out that this blond guy is NOT Weber.
    Do we know how much time passed between this and what happened in the previous episode? Unless that’s something that will be revealed later.
    With the differences between the LN and this anime adaptation I wouldn’t be surprised if the bad guys actually tried to do something even worse to Nami in the LN, similar to what almost happened to Tessa in the previous episode.

  6. I enjoyed it.
    I expect the bad guys were going to get to the same rape Tessa faced but the main thug wanted to beat Nami into submission first were she would give in to any demand at that point.
    Sousuke I don’t think was being merciful or good when he did not kill those guys. I highly doubt Sousuke is in a being a good citizen mood and probably has backslid to the person he was before. Sousuke just knows he does not want police or larger organized crime hassles as he can handle the current level of thugs. Still, Sousuke was debating the issue again with himself after.

  7. look! there is a mech sponsored by Skynet!
    look! there is Black Lagoon expy!
    and the moment he wakes up with hangover with Nami in his bed… and Souske UNDEr the bed, is simply hilarious
    I doubt we have seen the last of Dao and his goons… they look like a bunch that likes to hold a grudge. Pity the fools when Sousuke goes full (metal panic) power on them.

    1. Sousuke probably will just kill them no dialog needed but if time permits he might say something like, “I was trying to avoid complications with the police and others in killing you but I figured you probably would not learn, should have killed you last time, I will not repeat that mistake!”

  8. Ep 06:

    – First it was an “Team based” Anime, we saw the first 4 Episodes how they work as team. Even if they are also mercenary

    – Now all of the sudden it turn into some “Sole survivor” one. Perhaps the contact broke off in these 3 Months. But i do not really trust it

    – I think the problem i have is this “from Team suddenly into Sole survivor Vendetta” hard cut

    – and as you can guess. Bad Cops everywhere that get corrupted by money and power (Street Judge alike)


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