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Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu

fmpfumoffu-1
Genre: Comedy
Company: Kyoto Animation
Format: 11 episodes
Dates: 8/25/2003 to 11/18/2003

Jindai High School is supposed to be quiet and peaceful, which Sagara Sousuke is anything but. With much of the action finally dying down and Chidori Kaname out of harm’s way, Sousuke has decided to attend school. However, he still cannot let go of his instincts as a soldier. Can he adjust to leading a normal life as a high school student?

summary by Eek

 

Reviewed: 04/12/2004 by
Grade: 69% av-Eek

Highs: Hilarious and entertaining first half

Lows: Gradually loses its charm; it’s just filler, albeit somewhat entertaining

Full Metal Panic! was a great success because it combined action with comedy to create an anime that was refreshing and worthwhile. The sequel, Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, concentrates strongly on comedy. While this is a feasible concept, it does not come off as well as it should have.

Where Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu works brilliantly is the comedy in the first half. All of the antics of Chidori and Sousuke are fresh and difficult not to laugh at. From detonating bombs in shoe lockers to beating the crap out of just about anyone, the high school shenanigans are great. And when Bonta-kun arrives on the scene, the laughs are nonstop as he runs around, kicks butt and says “fumoffu” a lot. Also, the anime takes time to parody several live-action war movies like Hamburger Hill and Full Metal Jacket; these are well done and worth watching all on their own.

While the comedy works very well in the first half, its effectiveness gradually dies off in the second half. Many of the antics, like Chidori’s Naru Punch™ and Sousuke’s lack of common sense regarding society, begin to become aggravating, and I lost interest in the comedy. Instead, I wanted the couple’s relationship to get quasi-serious and begin to go anywhere, but there are only three tiny hints of any romance. Then it dawned on me: this is nothing but filler. Sure, the first half is entertaining filler, but the second half begins to drop as anything beyond the same comedy routine is desired. Every episode is self-contained and provides zero character development; add in the fact that several characters from Full Metal Panic! make some fairly useless cameos, and it is not difficult to see that someone is just trying to milk this series for all that it is worth.

From my understanding, Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu follows the manga much more closely, but I felt cheated by how it turned out; a comedy can work well without much substance at all if the material continues to work. Perhaps a third installment will be able to properly put an emphasis on both romance and comedy, but I am not holding my breath for any sequels.

 

Reviewed: 04/12/2004 by
Grade: 73% av-Gatts

Highs: Bonta-kun; some really hilarious moments

Lows: Repetitive humor

Looking to learn more about Sergeant Sagara Sousuke and Mythril’s adventures? Have a hankerin’ for more fast-paced Arm Slave action? If you are, Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu is not the answer. While it is the sequel to Full Metal Panic!, it shares little in common with its predecessor. The characters are the same, but the mecha and serious action have been dropped in favor of a episodic high school comedy. Though the humor in the original worked well in conjunction with the action, I had my doubts about it on its own, but I was pleasantly surprised by how funny it ended up being.

Going into Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu expecting character development or a plot of any kind will no doubt result in disappointment. The focus is entirely on energetic, slapstick humor, and it works surprisingly well, largely thanks to the Sagara Sousuke. His lack of tact and Seki Tomokazu’s earnest performance combine to make some truly hilarious (and outrageous) scenes. However, thereal star is Bonta-kun. Although he only shows up in a couple episodes, these episodes are the funniest in the series due to this oversized mouse and his action-packed hijinks. And if you’re curious, the title gets its name because he only says “fumoffu”.

The basis for the vast majority of the humor is Sousuke’s actions. He’ll do something outlandish, and then Chidori will hit him. It’s a simple formula that is used throughout, and at the beginning, it’s quite funny. The chemistry between them makes it work, and their characters complement each other nicely. However, there is only so many times someone can be punched before it wears thin. By the end, many of the jokes have been overused that it’s difficult to find them funny. The fact that most of the episodes are only eleven minutes long helps to minimize this problem, and no matter how many times Sousuke pulled a gun on someone, it still managed to get a chuckle out of me.

Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu ended up being better than I had anticipated. At its best, it is an extremely entertaining comedy, but it becomes a bit too repetitive without anything to balance the humor. If for no other reason, it is worth watching just to see the Bonta-kun scenes, but if you’re looking for a few laughs or enjoyed the humor in Full Metal Panic!, then this is definitely worth watching.

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