Based on the series of light novels by Shoji Gatoh, which continued to be published up until this year, Full Metal Panic is a twenty-four episode series that hits all the right notes even eight years after its original release. When the series was first released, it was all the rage as Gonzo was riding high on several series that had been working on and those behind the character designs of it. The series is one that managed to find just the right blend of action, comedy and intrigue with likable characters, but I felt that as the series progressed, when watched in its original single disc form, that it didn't hold up well in the long run. Having not seen it since that original run, I was very keen to see how it's held up all these years later.
Taking place in an alternate present day world, circa turn of the century, Full Metal Panic gives us a world where decent sized mecha are part and parcel of military adventures now that are called Arm Slaves. The use of the AS machines adds a new element to such missions around the world, but by and large things are still relatively the same, just with the addition of a new mechanized unit. One thing that's very different in this world is that there is a secret military organization that claims UN ties but doesn't appear to actually be associated with them called Mithril. Mithril is a mercenary organization that's out there to do the right things that nobody else can do. That means getting involved in critical military missions to try and stave off more serious battles or toppling drug empires. They're a force for good, though not all involved really view themselves that way but as strictly mercenaries.
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