Anime Blu-ray/DVD Combo Review: Full Metal Panic! The Complete Series

Full Metal Panic! The Complete Series is a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack that includes three Blu-ray discs and four DVDs, and each format contains all 24 episodes of the series. The language options available on this release are the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and an English dub.

Full Metal Panic! The Complete Series
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray/DVD Combo
Release Date: September 15, 2015

Sousuke Sagara is a member of an anti-terrorist private military organization called Mithril. He is assigned to protect Kaname Chidori, a high school student who is a target for kidnappers. Sousuke goes undercover and transfers into Kaname’s school, and he is assigned to her class. He is backed up by his comrades, Kurz Weber and Melissa Mao. Unfortunately, due to not having experienced social interactions, Sousuke comes across as a military geek to his new classmates. Even though Chidori comes to realize that Sousuke is protecting her, he doesn’t reveal the reason to her due to his orders. But as the series progresses, she learns the truth about what’s going on. And a romance angle develops as well. Chidori develops feelings for Sousuke, even though she keeps denying this fact to herself. Sousuke’s commanding officer, who is also a teenager herself, has feelings for him as well.

Full Metal Panic! starts out as a light-hearted series that focuses a little more on the comedic side. But as it progresses, the storytelling adds more dramatic elements… but the comedy never truly goes away. It just becomes less important over the course of the 24 episodes of the series. The relationships between characters feel genuine, and those relationships evolve realistically. The relationship between Sousuke and Kaname is the most riveting.

The animation for the series definitely looks like it came from the early 2000’s. It’s not bad for what it is, but it does look a little on the dated side.

Overall, I enjoyed the first Full Metal Panic! anime series. It’s something I would be willing to recommend to viewers who enjoy mecha and action, but also have an appreciation for character relationships and how those relationships evolve over time.

The Blu-ray video for this set has 1080p High Definition 4×3 SD Remaster, and the audio includes Dolby TrueHD English: 5.1 and Dolby TrueHD: Japanese 2.0. The audio the DVDs include English 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound and Japanese Stereo. I had no complaints about either the video or the audio on this release.

The big bonus feature on this set, which only appears on the final Blu-ray disc, is an interview with Koichi Chigira and Shouji Gatou (the director for the anime and author of the light novels that the Full Metal Panic! anime is based on). This feature runs for around 23 minutes, and it’s by far the best and most interesting bonus feature included in the set.

There are also Japanese piracy warnings that feature various characters from Full Metal Panic! These were mildly amusing, but they’re not an extra I would rush to watch again. There’s also the standard textless opening song, textless closing song, and trailers for other FUNimation Entertainment releases.

If you are a fan of Full Metal Panic! and don’t have the series in your anime home video library yet, this release would be worth getting in order to have the 24 episodes of the first series.

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