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Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu (フルメタル ふもっふ Furumetaru Fumoffu?) is a companion series to the anime series Full Metal Panic! by Kyoto Animation, and takes place between the first season and The Second Raid.

Markedly different in tone to the first series, Fumoffu emphasizes the high school romantic comedy aspects of Full Metal Panic! with often crude humor and focuses on the romantic tension between Sousuke Sagara and Kaname Chidori. It frequently parodies itself and anime stereotypes. None of the mecha combat or political intrigue, which characterized much of the original Full Metal Panic!, can be seen in the series. The only reference to the mecha aspect of Full Metal Panic! is the Bonta-kun, which is one of the most prominent parodies in the anime.

The series was animated by Kyoto Animation, which replaced Gonzo as the series producer, and became the first anime TV show from this studio. The English version was produced by ADV Films. The original broadcast in Japan aired from August 25 to November 18, 2003. 12 half-hour episodes were created, but only 11 were broadcast on Japanese television. The missing episode was not broadcast because its plot dealt with kidnapping and was similar to a series of kidnappings that happened in real-life Japan shortly before the planned broadcast. However, the missing stories are featured on all DVD releases. To coincide with seasonal change, the last three episodes feature character animations in an autumn setting, as opposed to a summer setting in the rest of the series. At Anime USA 2009, Funimation Entertainment announced that it acquired the rights to the first and second series of Full Metal Panic! and will re-release them on DVD and Blu-ray in 2010.[1][2]

The fictional Jindai (陣代) High School, which Kaname and Sousuke are students of, is based on the real life Jindai (神代) High School in Chōfu, Tokyo.[3]

Plot

In contrast to the original series, there is little plot continuity between episodes and most of them can stand alone, needing very little recap, if any. The only break from this pattern is a handful of two-part stories which are told over two episodes. Most of the stories in Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu are adaptations of plots from the original Full Metal Panic! short stories written by Shoji Gatoh and published in the Dragon Magazine.

The creators of Full Metal Panic! planned to give the new series title Full Metal Panic? - with the exclamation mark exchanged for a question mark. However, they quickly realized that such a minor alternation was insufficient to properly differentiate between the new series and the original. For that reason, it was decided that the fictional word "Fumoffu" would be used.[citation needed]

"Fumoffu" is the sound made by Bonta-kun, the series' fictional mascot, which resembles a human-sized, yellow teddy-bear. It is a personal armor suit, designed by Sousuke for the purpose of providing aid in tactical situations. Even though only capable of moving with human running speed and limited by its size, the suit is essentially a miniature Arm Slave. However, due to the suit's main computer's malfunction, all syllables uttered by the pilot are changed to either Fu, Mo, Ffu, or Ru. The suit's Operating System immediately crashes if the pilot tries to deactivate the voice changer. For that reason, Kaname has to translate what Sousuke wants to say using a headset radio, which is a frequent cause of humor in the series.

Characters

Characters not found in the original Full Metal Panic! anime and Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid, who besides Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu appear only in the light novels, are listed below.

Atsunobu Hayashimizu

File:Full Metal Panic Fumoffu Hayashimizu.jpg

Atsunobu Hayashimizu (林水 敦信 Hayashimizu Atsunobu?) is the president of the Jindai High's Student Council and a third year student. He is highly intelligent and seems to be able to deal with any situation - no matter how difficult. His behavior is always calm and he is never seen angry. He often considers Sousuke's behavior a reasonable response to the kind of situations he finds himself in, much to the frustration of Kaname. He assigns Sousuke to be the head of security in the Student Council. Sousuke and Atsunobu share mutual respect. On many occasions involving the school, Sousuke tends to treat Atsunobu just as he would a senior officer in the military. Atsunobu is also known for holding a white fan, on which various Japanese characters are written. In addition, he is seen reading famous books - Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince among them. As with the Japanese characters on his white fan, the books often change even within the same scene - a reference to his high intelligence and calm attitude that provides a comic aspect to the character. Atsunobu is voiced by Toshiyuki Morikawa in the original Japanese anime and by Christopher Ayres in the English version by ADV Films.

Ren Mikihara

File:Full Metal Panic Fumoffu Ren.jpg

Ren Mikihara (美樹原 蓮 Mikihara Ren?) is the Secretary of Jindai High's Student Council, friend of Kaname's and daughter of a Yakuza boss. She is an example of Yamato Nadeshiko - Japanese ideal of femininity - and as such, she is beautiful, dependable and caring. She seems to have feelings for Atsunobu Hayashimizu, the Student Council's president. However, much about her is still unknown. Because women in the time of the Tokugawa shogunate were given names with two syllables only (usually adding the prefix "O-" to refer to someone of a higher social standing and considered a honorific), Kaname prefers to address her as Oren-san. She is voiced by Rie Tanaka in the original Japanese anime and by Nancy Novotny in the English version by ADV Films.

Issei Tsubaki

Issei Tsubaki (椿 一成 Tsubaki Issei?) is the black belt leader of Jindai High's Karate Club. However, he is extremely nearsighted and can see clearly only when wearing his glasses, which leads to several comic incidents. His sense of pride cannot accept the fact that he was defeated by Sousuke and is constantly challenging him to rematches, which Sousuke usually avoids. He has a huge crush on Kaname and in the short story Irrelevant Emotion accidentally indicates Sousuke when confessing his love for her. Thus, it is thought throughout the episode that Tsubaki is homosexual. In the Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu anime, Mizuki falls in love with him in the last episode. In Irrelevant Emotion, however, she falls for him after he saves her from falling out of a window. He is voiced by Jun Fukuyama in the original Japanese anime and by Nomed Kaerf in the English version by ADV Films.

Media

Anime

Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu was first released on DVD in 2005. The initial release consisted of 4 discs and was slightly different for Region 2 (Europe and Japan) and Region 1 (North America). Since then, the DVDs were repackaged several times and a number of subsequent releases exist to date. In addition, the series was released on Blu-ray in 2008 in Japan. However, it did not feature English subtitles and after enabling English audio, Japanese subtitles were forced on the screen.[4] The US distribution rights for the series were bought by Funimation in late 2009. DVD and Blu-ray re-release is scheduled for September 28, 2010. Unfortunately, the video resolution will be 1440 x 1080p due to a 4:3 source and the image will only be upscaled (as was the case with the Japanese release).[5]

Soundtrack

Music for the series was composed by Toshihiko Sahashi, while opening and closing songs were performed by Mikuni Shimokawa. Complete soundtrack, which features full versions of both songs along with instrumental themes, was released by Pony Canyon Records on a single CD in 2003.

Song Japanese Title English Title Singer
Opening Sore ga, Ai deshou? Isn't That Love? Mikuni Shimokawa
Closing Kimi ni fuku kaze The Wind That Blows To You Mikuni Shimokawa

Reception

Bryce Coulter of Mania gave the series a B+ rating. He noted the series could be watched by those unfamiliar with the main series as almost no references were made that required watching the first season.[6]

Comparison

The season vastly contrasts with the rest of the series. Coulter notes that the first season is known for its fierce battles while Fumoffu is noted for merriment and comedy stating, "It seems to be more akin to a comedy spin-off of loosely gathered slap-stick side stories that the author couldn’t find a place for in FMP. The true embodiment and symbol of this series is a cuddly bear costume gone Rambo. Fumoffu!"[6]

References

  1. "Funimation Announces Three New Titles". Toon Zone. 2009-11-21. 
  2. "Funimation Adds Sekirei, Testuwan Birdy Decode And Decode 02". Anime News Network. 2009-11-22. 
  3. Official Jindai High Japanese webpage. Retrieved on November 5, 2008. (Japanese)
  4. "Asian Blu-ray Guide: Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu". Asian Blu-ray Guide. Retrieved August 2, 2010. 
  5. "Asian Blu-ray Guide: Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu". Asian Blu-ray Guide. Retrieved August 2, 2010. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu DVD Complete Collection (Thinpak)". Mania. December 10, 2008. Retrieved October 3, 2009. 

External links

ko:풀 메탈 패닉!#풀 메탈 패닉? 후못후

it:Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu ru:Стальная тревога? Фумоффу uk:Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu

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