The Military Man and the Maiden
June 29, 2011
By Avi Green
Full Metal Panic, 2002
A perfect example of how surreal some anime series can be, FMP is
about a 17-year-old military expert named Sousuke Sagara, an
operative for an outift named MITHRIL, who’s been assigned by his
commanders to guard Kaname Chidori, a beautiful 16-year-old Japanese
school student who’s been targeted by terrorists, possibly because
she’s one of the “Whispered”, a species of telepaths.
Sousuke and Kaname don’t get off on the right foot at first. He’s
fairly clumsy in dealing with social matters, and while
unintentional, he initially outrages Kaname by accidentally doing
some perverted actions that get her to punch his lights out. Indeed,
gettting used to regular high school life is even harder than
protecting Kaname, at least initially.
Kaname isn’t the only girl to figure in Sousuke’s life – there’s
also Teletha Testarossa, a 16-year-old officer (like I said, this is
as surreal as you can get!) who’s a leading commander of operations
for MITHRIL, and who also cares about Sousuke.
The villain who’s really a thorn in their side is a slimy terrorist
named Gauln, who first tries to abduct Kaname and later takes over
the submarine Teletha is in charge of, in hopes of starting a war
between Japan and America.
FMP is a pretty entertaining comedy drama adventure based on the
Gatoh Shoji series of novels, and Kaname is depicted very charmingly
as the young lady whom the teen military officer is assigned to
watch over. There are several other characters who come into focus
here, as does the use of mechas – the source of the title – as a
backdrop. Naturally, depending on your viewpoint, it does require
that you overlook the very surreal notion of teenagers as senoir
military officials, but does it very well. It’s a very worthwhile
story that’s 24 episodes long.
Copyright 2011 Avi Green. All rights reserved.