「前へ、前へ」 (Mae e, Mae e)
“Onward, Onward”

I hate ragging on about this seemingly every other week, but Full Metal Panic has not been doing well. As some of you may already know, episodes 11-12 of Invisible Victory are going to be delayed and will be broadcast as a single double-length special 18 July. This is somewhat disheartening news but not exactly surprising. Evidently, the two recap episodes we got were not exactly planned, and now strict TV schedules have forced the final two episodes of Invisible Victory to be bumped back. And perhaps this is welcome news for the team over at Xebec; they certainly need the time. I should have cited Girls und Panzer before, which was also a management disaster during its TV broadcast but ultimately produced a pretty good show and a financial success. It remains a fan favourite and its sins have been forgiven. But unfortunately, it seems that even with the extra time Xebec can’t reliably produce good looking anime. This episode, the one we’ve been left with, must mark a particular low point in the art and animation than no amount of random braservice can salvage. More than Girls und Panzer I’m reminded of Bakemonogatari, which was a production horror story half the time and had the visuals to match. It was quite successful despite, but it was also a very dialogue-centric show and could get away with a lot of cut corners and even downright failures so long as characters kept talking. Invisible Victory can’t really pull those tricks. Which is a crying shame, because visuals aside Invisible Victory is still pretty solid. Basic composition is fine, the plot is still chugging along apace, and there are still moments where I am engaged, even gripped. But then factor in any sort of motion and suddenly it’s all too difficult to maintain. Say what you want about The Second Raid, but even at its lowest it was still, even by today’s standards, a fairly good looking show. Would FMP have garnered the fans it did if it looked mediocre, even fugly? I wouldn’t bet money on it.

It doesn’t help that we’re currently at a low point in FMP, when Sousuke is a mess, all the protagonists are crashing, and there’s no mecha action. At least Sousuke kills a guy and that’s supposed to maintain our attention for the next 20 minutes but the poor sap was too badly animated to even stop, drop, and roll so the impact fizzles. There’s a very delicate balance between action and drama that Invisible Victory needs to maintain, interweaving the highs and the lows, but with the production issues there aren’t enough highs and too many lows. Sure, tehre’s a bit of comic relief in the form of a crazy person, but I don’t feel that it was enough to balance out the overall angst. It’s unfortunate that FMP is staggering at this point because narratively it’s just about prepared to ramp up again, with the preparation of the new ARX and some paths to combating Amalgam opened. Instead, we’re distracted by distracted by a lot of superficial flaws that taint the rest of the anime.

Well, this is what we’re going to have to hold onto for bit more than half a month. I would rather not wait, especially considering the cliffhanger of Kalinin apparently turning heel, but if we’ve got to do it let’s try to be positive about it. Perhaps the two weeks and change will be enough for Xebec, and we can at least get something glorious for what should be an approaching triumphant arc in FMP.


  1. It’s all abit weird to me that the show had so many production issues. I think anyone else who has watched Fafner Exodus would agree that Xebec are more than capable of producing high level visuals on a weekly basis without the need for breaks, recaps or whatever. Do they just not have the money to spend on this show or do they simply not care?

    1. luckyman asks about outsourcing further down the comments and despite the facetiousness there may be something to that line of thought. Not that outsourcing is a sign the staff don’t care, but that outsourcing can often go wrong. A lot of anime outsource some part of production these days; it’s an expensive business and there’s always a need to cut costs. But anyone who’s ever tried to organise something like that can tell you of the potential perils, and I doubt most studios out to save costs can afford a professional outsourcing firm to help them with management. Thus, disaster. What happens when the company you outsourced to simply does not deliver? Or deliver sub-part work. A studio has little choice but to throw something together themselves to have something to broadcast. I suspect, but cannot prove, that Xebec is stuck in one of these nightmare stories.

  2. I think the least damning thing I can say about this episode is what the f***ing f***?

    Don’t get me wrong, I love fanservice, but it just seemed so out of place here. It’s like the ending of the original Alien movie – for most of the time Ripley is a tough, action hero, but then she’s taking her clothes off and wandering around the place while the alien is eyeing her up (does it even have eyes?). And it seems the same here, we have the tough female characters, but it’s like the only way they can think of to express their underlying vulnerability is again to have them wandering around the place in their undies.

    1. The previous FMP also had its share of fanservice, but I agree that it felt out of place here. I saw it as essentially a bribe to the audience to get us through these low points in the narrative, but it didn’t really work for me.

    1. I doubt Gatoh had the prerogative here. And on the KyoAni side, their business model has changed greatly since the days of TSR, to one where they can still make very high-quality anime but only if they can guarantee some return on investment (mostly with in-house properties).

    2. There’s also this little issue where certain Kyoani member swore to never do a mecha series ever again after TSR. Whether or not that statement represents all of Kyoani, I don’t know. Still, the fact that Kyoani has never done a single mecha series again after TSR speaks for itself (unless you count Violet E. as a mecha anime for some reason).

  3. FMP right now has to any cooks that destroy the meal. They are all over the place. Sure Fate/Night was also not better, they had also many cooks. but they had the “master cooks of the week” (fighting). But here? can you see the Chief Cooks doing their job?

    1. Ist die Katze aus dem Haus tanzen die Mäuse auf dem Tisch


      If the cat is out of the house the mice are dancing on the table

      it means, when the chief or boss are away the underlings doing as their please

    2. i think i try an better picture what i mean:

      You know FMP? Of course you know it… Then how are the Faces of FMP? And of this Faces you know, who are on the Top and you think is very Important in this Show?

      Do you choose of “face” had enough screen time so far? Is it Sousuke? is it the Captain? is it the Mecha? Mecha battles? What is FMP (Anime… not Manga!) for you? What are the Pillar that shoulder the entire FMP Building?

      Do i made my picture now better in your mind? Focus on some iportant ones, to many “faces” (cooks) spoil the broth (thanks Angelus)

      and seems like the Cat let the mice play… and here i let it for yourself to find out what i mean. Anime or production? Your guess

    3. https://randomc.net/image/Full%20Metal%20Panic%20Invisible%20Victory/Full%20Metal%20Panic%20Invisible%20Victory%20-%2010%20-%20Large%2009.jpg

      “While i could not paid you anymore, no one left the Crew”….


      *beep* Error.. i think he is an Mitrhil Spy trying to infiltrate them deeper.. he shoot him so he can be threaten and will not die…

      The Captain here spoil the beans herself…also when these 2 looking back after the Truck left the building, Show Spoiler ▼

  4. I was constantly shaking my head watching this episode.
    It’s so sad, because I still like what is actually happening storywise. But sadly the botchered animation and off looking characters are just too distracting to really enjoy it.
    FMP didn’t merit this. 🙁

  5. Also this Submarine they use here in this Anime. Is this in real Life possible to build, too? I mean with even an Helipad hanger.. Wow.. i bet the Engine power source is an Atom reactor, but their propulsion system seems still Sci-fi for today. i think something similar was in the Move “The Hunt for Red October” with Sean Connery

    1. i mean is it possible?:

      You all know an Straw for drinking out of an class, right? Imagine it is full of Water, and now an external force (like your own fingers) squeeze the Water down or out of the straw, while because of the negative pressure fresh new water is sucked inside.. is it strong enough to propellant an submarine or ship like this?

      It is nearly the same effect like an air turbine..

      oh men, playing sci-fi engineering on an anime blog site… hope i did not open Pandoras box here

  6. “I hate ragging on about this seemingly every other week, but Full Metal Panic has not been doing well. As some of you may already know, episodes 11-12 of Invisible Victory are going to be delayed and will be broadcast as a single double-length special 18 July.”

    To quote Hellsing Ultimate Abridged!Integra:

    “Oh, f**k all kinds of duck.” (*cue facepalm*)

    When I saw that first “intermission episode,” I was already thinking, “Oh no, this feels like Girls und Panzer‘s troubled production all over again.” Then came the second intermission episode (“Oh, f**k no…”) and then this episode’s news about episodes 11 and 12 being pushed back to July 18 (Sauce plz?/Citation needed). As much as I’d like to say, “I knew it,” I’m not happy about being right on that one.

    It’s a shame, too. Xebec did such a stellar job with Space Battleship Yamato 2199 (though the staggered batch releases and collaboration with AIC helped), and I was hoping that FMP! Invisible Victory would turn out just as well based on their previous work. Perhaps I set my expectations too high.

    And you know, there are a few things that really get my goat about all this:

    1.) Invisible Victory was already delayed once back in 2017, and even with that leeway, they weren’t able to finish it in time? (“You had one job!”)
    2.) How come anime news websites haven’t picked up on Invisible Victory‘s production troubles?
    3.) I mentioned in the previous episode that the season-ender for Invisible Victory ends on a cliffhanger that’s well-known to light novel and Sigma readers. I fear that the anime-watching audience will react along the lines of, “You made us wait two weeks just to end in a cliffhanger?!”

    It saddens me to discuss this instead of what actually happened this episode. And it’s a crucial build-up episode for Sousuke after Nami’s death. Nevertheless, I’ll patiently wait, and I can only hope that the “Girls und Panzer/Hai-Furi curse” doesn’t rear its ugly head once more.

  7. The sub-par animation and constant breaks is not gonna help DVD sales, which means this is the last season we will ever get. Unfortunate..

    Xebec has never been known to be a top studio. They should have stuck with comedy and school life anime

    1. Xebec has never been known to be a top studio. They should have stuck with comedy and school life anime.

      Looks like somebody has never seen Nadesico, Heroic Age, Fafner series and Space Battleship Yamato reboot. Contrary to what you believe, Xebec is one of the top studios when it comes to quality mecha & sci-fi. This kind of production problems is actually an anomaly for them.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *