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Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory – 11, 12 (END) »« Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory – 09

Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory – 10

「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 bra-service 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.

June 30, 2018 at 7:30 am
  • June 30, 2018 at 7:43 amLyfe

    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?

    • June 30, 2018 at 9:30 pmPasserby

      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.

  • June 30, 2018 at 8:15 amAngelus

    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.

    • June 30, 2018 at 9:19 pmPasserby

      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.

  • June 30, 2018 at 9:06 amBakapooru

    Was KyoAni too busy to do this job? =(

    The author and them collaborated before.

    • June 30, 2018 at 9:16 pmPasserby

      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).

    • July 3, 2018 at 7:26 amOby

      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).

  • June 30, 2018 at 9:35 amluckyman

    Holy molly, the animation quality hit a new low in this episode !!!
    Did they outsource this to some Chinese studio in the boonies . Outright horrible !!

  • June 30, 2018 at 9:42 amMagnus Tancred

    Then there’s ufotable’s God Eater, where the last 4 episodes were shown 6 months later(!!).

    • June 30, 2018 at 9:11 pmPasserby

      At least God Eater looked good for the most part. It was mostly a lesson for ufotable in what was sustainable and what wasn’t.

      • June 30, 2018 at 11:21 pmMagnus Tancred

        True, that.

        I guess I should have used Marchen Madchen as an example instead. LOL

  • June 30, 2018 at 12:26 pmWorldwidedepp

    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?

    • June 30, 2018 at 12:30 pmWorldwidedepp

      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

      • June 30, 2018 at 12:50 pmAngelus

        The English equivalents would be:

        “Too many cooks spoil the broth”, and “While the cat’s away, the mice will play”

      • June 30, 2018 at 1:19 pmWorldwidedepp

        Thank you Angelus

    • June 30, 2018 at 2:39 pmWorldwidedepp

      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

    • June 30, 2018 at 2:43 pmWorldwidedepp


      “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 ▼

      • June 30, 2018 at 2:54 pmboingman

        Yeah, seeing Wraith staying back there, the outcome seems obvious. Sosuke about to kick mecha ass soon.

      • June 30, 2018 at 4:02 pmWorldwidedepp

        i found some similar (old Black and White) movie what describes what is happen here

        Show Spoiler ▼

        i know, i know. I am very old but my brain still had this in their drawers and still some old are there

  • June 30, 2018 at 2:45 pmboingman

    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. :(

  • June 30, 2018 at 3:08 pmWorldwidedepp

    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

    • June 30, 2018 at 3:13 pmWorldwidedepp

      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

      • June 30, 2018 at 3:18 pmWorldwidedepp

        of course they could use the effect of heating water and cooled one to boost up. Like i said, something like an Jet Air Turbine

    • June 30, 2018 at 9:10 pmPasserby

      That’s the entire premise behind FMP. The Whispered allow for all manner of ridiculous sci-fi supertechnology, and Mithril’s ‘Toybox’ is but one of them.

  • June 30, 2018 at 10:54 pmsonicsenryaku

    ummm..why do people give TSR flack again? You know….besides Gates

  • June 30, 2018 at 11:20 pmSyaoran Li

    Yeah. what a shitty animation we’ve this week. Sadly, KyoAni is busy doing anime for fujoshi

  • July 1, 2018 at 4:13 amIncognito

    “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.

  • July 1, 2018 at 5:29 amSv

    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

    • July 3, 2018 at 7:14 amOby

      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.

  • July 4, 2018 at 4:35 amMormegil

    It’s like they saved the episode’s entire budget for the “Chidori randomly swims in her underwear” scene. What the hell?

    • July 4, 2018 at 9:55 amMagnus Tancred

      It probably means they don’t have much of a budget to begin with. T_T