Full Metal Panic! Collector’s Edition Omnibus Volume Two is a hardcover release that includes the fourth, fifth, and sixth Full Metal Panic! light novels.

Full Metal Panic! Collector’s Edition Omnibus Volume Two
Written by: Shouji Gatou
Publisher: Kadokawa Corporation
English Publisher: J-Novel Club
Release Date: January 5, 2021

I’m reading the light novels after having already watched the Full Metal Panic! anime, and it turns out that the story presented in the first two volumes don’t start in the anime until the fifth episode of the second season. Of the eight episodes of that season that cover these two volumes, there is one episode where an event is added that didn’t take place in the original light novel telling of the story. From what I can see, the third volume included in this omnibus was never adapted for the anime series.

The first two light novels in this volume, Ending Day By Day Part 1 and Ending Day By Day Part 2, are one story that was broken into two parts. According to Gatou in the Afterword of Part 1, the volume had to be divided into two parts due to circumstances and reasons beyond his control. With the story Gatou was wanting to tell, it had to be as long as it was, and I guess that the publisher didn’t want to publish a light novel that was around 250 pages in length.

At the beginning of Ending Day By Day Part 1, it seems like that Sousuke and Kaname are finally starting to get a little closer. When you consider the type of relationship they had during the first three light novels, this is actually a rather impressive feat. However, their improving relationship becomes strained when Mithril orders Sousuke to end his mission of guarding Kaname, and to let Wraith (another person from Mithril who has been watching Kaname from a distance all this time) to take over bodyguard duties. Sousuke is unhappy about this, but since he always follows his orders, he has no choice but to follow them. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the nerve to say goodbye to Kaname, so she’s left in a lurch and is upset by the situation. She suspects that Sousuke is interested in Tessa, his superior officer, and this incident just feeds into her jealousy.

These two volumes also introduce new characters who become important to the series. First is Lt. Belfangan Clouseau, who becomes the new commander for Sousouke, Kurz, Mao, and their other teammates. After the death of their former commander, they needed someone new, so this addition makes sense. It turns out that he and Mao already know each other, so this adds a nice layer for Clouseau and his introduction to the series. We are also introduced to Leonard Testarossa, Tessa’s brother, and his ties with Amalgam, the organization that is after Kaname. Amalgam plays an important role in all three light novels included in this omnibus, so it makes sense that the reader starts learning more about this group. I can’t forget to mention that Kaname has a fateful encounter with Leonard, and she also discovers Wraith’s existence. As we see later, Kaname uses the discovery of Wraith to her advantage if she wants to find out things about Sousuke or Mithril.

Even though the relationship between Sousuke and Kaname is important in the first two volumes, especially how being forced to leave Kaname’s side starts a change in Sousuke, the relationship issue isn’t resolved by the end of it. In fact, the confusion that Sousuke and Kaname have continues into the third volume in the omnibus.

The third volume is Dancing Very Merry Christmas, and it appears this story was never adapted for the anime series. After reading this omnibus, it’s a little disappointing that it wasn’t, because this story marks a very important turning point for the triangle between Sousuke, Kaname, and Tessa. When I watched Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory, it felt like something was missing, because Sousuke and Kaname just seemed to be too close. At the time, I chalked it up to the fact that it had been a while since I’d seen Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid and I thought I had just forgotten something. No, it turns out that the story that showed how Sousuke and Kaname got closer was never adapted for the anime, so viewers who haven’t read the light novels are missing out on this piece of the story.

The setup for Dancing Very Merry Christmas is that Jindai High School (the school that Kaname and Sousuke attend) is approached about a Christmas Eve cruise as a makeup trip for the students whose class trip was ruined by the highjacking that took place earlier in the series. Unknown to everyone, though, this is a plot by Amalgam to try to get their hands on Kaname. However, Mithril figures out that Amalgam has something up their sleeve, so they infiltrate the cruise ship and stage a “shipjacking.” Before the trip, Tessa asks Sousuke to come to a Christmas party at the base, so he tells Kaname he’s going to be on a mission and won’t be going on the class trip. This angers Kaname, especially since it turns out that Kaname’s birthday is on Christmas Eve, so Sousuke won’t be spending that time with her. When Kaname hears about the party from Wraith, she assumes that Sousuke is in love with Tessa and is lying to her about a mission in order to cover this up.

During the “shipjacking,” a disguised Sousuke can’t stay in character, and Kaname figures out it’s him. Their classmates, however, don’t pick up on this. It turns out that Tessa is also part of this operation, disguised as a maid. Chaos ensues when Killy B. Sailor from the U.S. Navy thinks he’s going to be a hero by taking down the “terrorists” (who, unknown to him, aren’t really terrorists). Due to mishaps, Tessa ends up stuck with Sailor, and it’s through being around him and something she witnessed earlier that makes her realize that Sousuke doesn’t have the same feelings for her as he does for Kaname. And Sousuke and Kaname work together in order to foil Amalgam’s plans and save everyone on the ship. It’s during all of this that Sousuke figures out how he truly feels about Kaname.

After reading Dancing a Very Merry Christmas, I’m a little disappointed that this was never adapted for the anime. I think this would have worked great in an animated format, and this story is very important for progressing the relationships between Kaname, Sousuke, and Tessa. This story right here is enough for me to highly recommend the light novels to fans of the Full Metal Panic! anime series, because this omnibus contains an important story that wasn’t adapted for the anime. As someone who has watched the anime series and had only read the first omnibus release of the light novel before reading this story, I enjoyed getting a “new” adventure with these characters.

The art Shikidouji provides for the light novels continues to perfectly capture both the action scenes and the poignant moments in the series. Shikidouji was a great choice to provide the art for the series.

Fans of Full Metal Panic! who haven’t read the light novel series should really read both the first omnibus volume and this one. While the first volume doesn’t really contain anything new, the second omnibus does. Even though I knew the events of the first two volumes in this omnibus from the second season of the anime adaptation, I enjoyed getting to experience these events in a different medium.

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