Full Metal Panic! is a series of light novels written by Shoji Gatoh and illustrated by Shiki Douji. The series follows Sousuke Sagara, a member of the covert anti-terrorist private military organization known as Mithril, tasked with protecting Kaname Chidori, a hot-headed Japanese high school girl.
Individual chapters are published on Monthly Dragon Magazine, followed by a paperback compilation released by Fujimi Shobo’s Fujimi Fantasia Bunko. The novels are split between stories focusing on Sousuke’s mission as a soldier of Mithril and comedic side stories centered on his life at Jindai High School.
The series has been adapted into different media; including three anime television series: Full Metal Panic! by Gonzo in 2002, Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu and Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid by Kyoto Animation in 2003 and 2005 respectively. An OVA was also released in 2006; and five different manga series.
Tokyopop licensed the novels for English-language publication in North America and released parts of the series, while ADV Films licensed and dubbed the first season and the spin-off. The second season was licensed by Kadokawa Pictures USA with ADV Films producing the dub yet again. Mandalay Pictures acquired the film rights to the series in 2009. At Anime USA 2009, Funimation announced that it had acquired the rights to the first and second series of Full Metal Panic! and both were re-released and remastered on DVD and Blu-ray in 2010. The series began airing in North America on November 22, 2010, on the FUNimation Channel. The Fumoffu series made its North American television debut on the FUNimation Channel on November 15, 2010.
A spin-off to the light-novel series called Full Metal Panic! Another was serialized between 2011 and 2016. Another received a manga adaptation split in two series, the second of which is still being published.
The light novel series Full Metal Panic! is written by Shoji Gatoh and illustrated by Shiki Douji. It was serialised by Fujimi Shobo in its monthly magazine Gekkan Dragon Magazine since June 1998 and published under the Fujimi Fantasia Bunko imprint in tankōbon format since September 1998. Gatoh often found delays in writing of the novels, which led to delays to the publication of the series’ volumes. The series focuses on Sergeant Sousuke Sagara’s arrival to the Jindai High School where he was assigned to protect the student Kaname Chidori while also acting as a student.
A total of twelve full length volumes have been released from September 18, 1998, to August 20, 2010. In parallel to the twelve volumes, nine autoconclusive light novels of the series (which form the short story collection) have also been published from December 17, 1998, to August 20, 2011. Finally two more volumes titled Side Arms focusing on the past of some characters (which form the side story collection) and the birth of Mithril and Amalgam have been published on April 20, 2004 and July 20, 2006. In contrast to the full length volumes, short story collection focuses on the comedy elements from the series. In January 2010, Gatoh wrote another of these stories in celebration of Gekkan Dragon Magazine‘s 300th issue, which has been included in the last short story collection volume. Another series of spin-off novels has been released by Naoto Ōguro with supervision of Shoji Gatoh from August 20, 2011 to February 20, 2016, consisting of thirteen volumes and set years after the original series’ ending. The light novels have also been adapted into various manga, as well as three anime television series and an OVA episode for which Gatoh was also part of the staff.
Tokyopop licensed the Full Metal Panic! series for North America release, publishing the first regular light novel on September 11, 2007. The latest released volume is the fourth on February 1, 2011, which is a compilation from the original fourth and fifth full length volumes from the series. No short story collection volumes nor side story collection ones have been published and the company has shut down its publishing operations in North America on May 31, 2011. In 2015, at Anime Expo and San Diego Comic-Con, Tokyopop announced that it would be relaunching its publishing operations in North America in 2016 and that they will consider light novels, but nothing has been disclosed about Full Metal Panic! novels publication.