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Other Tuesday- Full Metal Panic! Light Novels

Other Tuesday- Full Metal Panic! Light Novels

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.

Light novels

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 Magazines 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.

Manga Monday- Full Metal Panic!

Manga Monday- Full Metal Panic!

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.

Main characters

Sousuke Sagara

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.

Kaname Chidori

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.

Kurz Weber

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.

Melissa Mao

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.

Gauron

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.