Type: TV (12 episodes)
Reviews @ Archen's Anime Page
Full Metal Panic: Fumoffu
The perils of being a bodyguard. There's danger at every corner. No one is safe. International terrorists could be waiting in that car. Gangsters might be approach on your way home. Those "sweet" old ladies who sell snacks every day better back off if they know what's good for them. That love letter looks suspicious, better to destroy it with high yield explosives. What what kind of military nutcase goes to a high school in Japan with all this firepower?
Sousuke Sagara, that's who. On paper he's perfectly suited to protect Kaname Chidori, with his exceptional record and well honed combat skills. The problem is that he has no people skills at all, and adopting combat techniques to every day problems doesn't seem to work very well. This is also a problem for the girl he's protecting, who likes Sousuke enough to try to help him out, but ends up getting involved with the ridiculous problems he invents for himself. Will Jindou High School survive Sergent Sagara? No, the military submarine captain from Mithril decides to take a vacation there. They're doomed.
FMP Fumoffu isn't exactly a sequel to Full Metal Panic, it's a companion series as they take place about the same time. The first season picked up the serious stories from the manga, while FMP Fumoffu picked up the humorous chapters. If you've read my review of FMP, then explaining this one might take some work. It has the same setup and characters, but this time I'm going to tell you it's funny. I find that hard to believe myself, but it's true.
The first series had problems with comedy and mecha-action that mixed like oil and water. You can take a serious character/concept and put it into a silly anime, but you can't take a silly character/concept and put it into a serious anime. It was hard to relate to one part when taken in context of the other. FMP Fumoffu, does away with all the serious stuff and concentrates on comedy. It works quite well.
Taking a serious character and putting him into a silly anime is exactly what is done here. Most shows use an over the top military antic as a one off gimmick, however FMP Fumoffu does this from start to finish. They key component is Sergent Sagara who never lets up and is always serious. He's not just a gun nut however, but fully embodies the military ethic. Sagara doesn't fight to win, he fights to survive. If relentlessly punching someone in the crotch eliminates the chance they'll retaliate, then this is what you do in Sagara's world. This would be fine in WWIII, but applying this mentality to every day life in Japan yields hilarious results. Kaname is the aggressive, loud schoolgirl that is a dime a dozen in anime, but is the only type of character that could play off of Sagara's deadpan reactions. I'm not sure how far a series can go on this formula, but at 12 episodes it was still pretty funny.
Fumoffu is a Tibetan term which means "victory through resilience." Actually I made that up, it doesn't mean anything. Fumoffu is the sound the character Bunta-kun makes when trying to talk. Bunta-kun is a mascot for a popular kids show, but utilized by Sagara as an outfit for "undercover" work. If you've ever wanted to see a large kids avatar kicking the crap out of people and assaulting criminals with machine guns, FMP Fumoffu is your title. Also amusing is how Sagara can't get the voice circuit to say anything but "fumoffu", yet Kaname can still understand him perfectly, and becomes his translator.
With nearly identical appearance, setup, and characters, it's strange season 1 and Fumoffu could be different anime considering how different they feel. The story isn't deep enough to require watching season 1, and you could jump into this one just fine. If this "military nut takes on a high school romance/comedy" theme looks interesting, then this is your title. If you only liked the "serious" parts of Full Metal Panic, you won't like Fumoffu. I think FMP is unoriginal as a mecha anime, but hilarious with its novel approach in Fumoffu.
Kaname: I'll summon Bunta-kun again and he'll fumoffu your ass til you cry.
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