Full Metal Panic! was adapted into a manga on several occasions. The first series entitled Full Metal Panic, was serialized in Monthly Comic Dragon by Retsu Tateo. The first Full Metal Panic! manga was collected in nine tankōbon volumes published from August 30, 2000, to July 1, 2005. Full Metal Panic! was one of the first manga licensed by ADV Manga, being announced in July 2003. They released all of its volumes from November 10, 2003 to April 11, 2006. A parallel series entitled Full Metal Panic! Comic Mission, was also written by Retsu Tateo and focuses on the comedy elements from the series. Seven volumes were published from November 1, 2003, to September 1, 2006.
Another spin-off series is Full Metal Panic! Overload! by Tomohiro Nagai. It was released in five volumes from January 30, 2001, to April 1, 2003. Overload was licensed by ADV Manga in December 2004, and all of its volumes were published in English from June 6, 2005, to May 24, 2006. Nagai also wrote Full Metal Panic! Surplus which is a single tankōbon manga published on July 1, 2003, focused more on the action elements from the franchise. Next manga adaptation Full Metal Panic! Sigma was written by Shoji Gatoh and illustrated by Hiroshi Ueda and focuses on the missions of Sousuke as a sergeant. The first volume was published on August 1, 2005, and the last volume, the nineteenth, was published on September 20, 2013. Its events are based from the fourth Full Metal Panic! light novel onwards.
Voiced by: Tomokazu Seki (Japanese); Chris Patton (English)
Sergent Sousuke Sagara is the male protagonist of the series. He is of Afghan Japanese heritage. While he is inherently Japanese due to his name, Sagara grew up in Helmajistan, a region in Afghanistan that was caught up in political strife. At age 8, he joined a guerrilla movement to survive, and was eventually recruited by Mithril. Sousuke only knows military life and as a result he does not handle the everyday occurrences of civilian life very well. He also has a tough time integrating into high school life as his social skills are not quite up to par. His military bearing and encyclopedic knowledge of weapons earns him the nickname ‘Military Maniac’. The basic problem this causes is, for instance, how he blows up the shoes lockers if there is any clue that someone has tampered with them. Sousuke can be quite insensitive at times, for example in volume 7 he bought a pregnancy test while out with Kaname and did not understand what was wrong, though his intentions are always in the right place. His deep feelings for Chidori Kaname are unavoidably clear by the beginning of TSR when he punches his fist through a laptop with the message of his direct order to not contact her anymore. Sousuke eventually decides to give up his life as a soldier and retires from Mithril, deciding that he wanted to be with Chidori instead. Upon his return, Sousuke confirms his feelings for Chidori and the two share a kiss in the school court yard.
Also, he was formerly known as ‘Kashim’ according to Gauron.
Voiced by: Satsuki Yukino (Japanese); Luci Christian (English)
Kaname Chidori is the female protagonist of the series. She is often described as, ‘The kind of girl everyone looks up to, but not even a boy wants as their girlfriend’, as a male fellow student put it. She’s very much the loud mouth, speak your mind kind of girl; a trait she picked up when she studied abroad in the United States. Until then, she feels like she must protect Sousuke from the harsh, cruel world of high school – a place where he doesn’t quite fit.
Sousuke is assigned to guard her as she is one of the “Whispered”. People that have in their subconscious very technologically advanced knowledge that numerous governments and other groups want to use for their own means.
She often uses a paper fan to hit Sousuke, besides berating him on how the kinds of weapons he uses are not exactly proper for a high school student. While she criticizes Sousuke for being too militaristic and overprotective, she appreciates it under life or death situations. Chidori develops serious feelings for Sousuke and is dejected when he is so obtuse in such matters. Eventually Chidori confesses her love to Sousuke and the latter reciprocates it. Towards the end, Chidori feels hollow upon learning Sousuke’s death and is shocked when Sousuke is revealed to be alive. Sousuke and Chidori finally kiss each other.
Teresa “Tessa” Testarossa
Voiced by: Yukana (Japanese); Hilary Haag (English)
Teresa Testarossa is the Captain of the Mithril’s submarine Tuatha de Danaan. She is a young girl of 16 who has a crush on Sousuke and bears the weight of Mithril’s mission – to make the world safer by destroying terrorist organizations and drug facilities. Tessa is young, and therefore, hasn’t lost that optimism that she can make a difference. She is also stubborn and will try her hardest to prove wrong those who tell her she can’t do something. Still, most of her crew sees her as weak and frail – someone who never got her hands dirty on the battle field and therefore can’t defend herself.
Voiced by: Shin’ichiro Miki (Japanese); Vic Mignogna (English)
Sergent Kurz Weber first appears to your typical lady’s man, yet he is often the one giving Sousuke advice about life and love. He’s a laid back kind of guy who won’t dodge responsibility if it comes his way, and is one of the finest snipers in Mithril. Kurz is shot down by his mentor Casper in Volume 13 of the Manga. Later on it was found out that he survived.
Voiced by: Michiko Neya (Japanese); Allison Keith (English)
Sergent Major Melissa Mao is the superior officer of both Sousuke and Kurz and demands respect for her role. She is also a spunky woman who loves beer, smokes a lot, and wishes she could be free spirited and optimistic like Tessa. She was originally a member of the Marines, signing her recruitment contract on the day she was supposed to marry a businessman her father had pushed onto her. Eventually, she left the Marines and joined Mithril, where she met Kurz and Sousuke as new recruits. The two were downplaying their skills intentionally, Kurz pretending to be a terrible shot and Sousuke purposefully scoring low on written exams. Eventually, she realized what they were doing and picked them out of the camp to be her new teammates.
Voiced by: Masahiko Tanaka (Japanese); Mike MacRae (English)
Gauron is Full Metal Panic’s main antagonist. He’s an especially twisted and violent mercenary deeply involved in the black market and global terrorism. Despite possessing an extremely vile personality, his ruthless cunning and mastery of the Lambda Drive system make him a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield. In combat, his vehicle of choice is the super AS called Venom.