September 04, 2007

FMP: Fumoffu - Final Thoughts

Well, eleven out of twelve ain't bad. And, paradoxically, the worst episode may have been the best episode... which makes no sense at all, but bear with me.

Biohazard!  Ask for it by name...

FMP:F is a comedy series about a teenaged boy who has grown up fighting wars as a mercenary, and knows nothing else. Oh, sure, ask him to blow something up, or shoot someone, he's your guy, no question! Ask him to flirt with a girl, though...
...see, he doesn't know what flirting is. He's never done it, never HAD to do it. He asks one of his classmates, who tells him it's a "girl hunt," and... well, this is the result:
Got another one!  That's six, so far...

Yup... fish outta water, that's Sagara. So what's he doing in school? Rowr.

He's keeping Chidori from being kidnapped. In the main series, she has special talents that are VERY useful to the Powers That Be, so she needs to be protected. That's Sagara's job, since he's the only member of his organization that's of an appropriate age to be in High School.

Together, they fight crime.

Actually, they're perfect foils for each other. He's out of his element, she's perfectly in hers... and determined to housebreak him. And how best does one housebreak an animal?

Bad Sagara!  No biscuit!

That's right, hit him with a rolled up newspaper... or a paper fan, in this case. There's a lot of that in this show, but it's almost always funny.

Point in fact, the entire series is hilarious. There is no overarching plot, it's all filler... which is great. There's one two-episode story, and that is entirely fanservice. And good fanservice, to boot:

(her name is Tessa. She's Sagara's commander. There's no reason for this shot to be in the episode. I love anime.)

Really, this is just about the perfect comedy. There's explosions, hilarity, romantic tension, faux violence (slapstick and facefaults abound), and all of it at no real cost to the watcher. At most, I'll watch two or three episodes of a series at once; there's always other things pulling at me that prevent me from doing more.

With FMP:F, I watched the first eight in one sitting, then finished off the remainder the next day. It put a smile on my face, which is high praise indeed.

Until I hit episode 12: "5th Period Hot Spot." A classroom of students (including our heroes) are infected with a bioagent (accidents do happen, y'know...), and everybody believes they're about to die. It's completely out of tone with the rest of the series, with a surprising amount of seriousness from what's supposed to be a comedy. It might be the best single episode of the series... except it's not very funny (which is bad, in a comedy), and therefore makes it the WORST episode, too.

Of course, all's okay in the end: it's a bioagent, yes, but not the human-killing kind... more like the 'clothes-eating kind.' Cue wacky hijinks!

...cut to a beautiful sky... and a loud 'squish' sound...

I think the best way to describe Full Metal Panic?: Fumoffu is "empty calories." It's the anime version of Doritos: tasty, but with no great nutritional value.

If you're looking for something fun (and funny) to watch, I can't recommend the show highly enough. If you're looking for something serious, stay very far far away.

The Duck Sez: Two wingtips up!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 06:44 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
Post contains 548 words, total size 4 kb.

1 Rugby forever!

Posted by: HC at September 04, 2007 09:15 PM (V+5Zy)

2 The Girl Hunt episode was my favorite. If only for Wife Chodori. Oy!

Posted by: Mob at September 05, 2007 12:42 AM (f+cPk)

3 I'm still new to the whole anime thing. Having only watched a handful of episodes from four different series, I would have to agree with your comments. I'm currently watching two series, the original "Full Metal Panic" and "Divergence Eve" and I have to say that as a newbie Full Metal Panic is entertaining, humorous and easily "accessible" to someone still learning what's what when it comes to anime. That is in comparison to Divergence Eve where I feel like there's something I'm just "not getting". Sounds like the entire FMP series might be exactly like the first... light fun entertainment (which there's definitely a place for).

Posted by: madmike at September 06, 2007 06:44 AM (o+iiH)

4 Mike, I'll be honest with you: I dislike the first series of FMP. It didn't click with me at all. The humor seemed weak, the rest of the show too grim, for me to really get into it... or WANT to.

Obviously, FMP:Fumoffu is far from grim (except for the last episode), with a lot more of teh funnay. It took watching two entire episodes on an ADVocates Screener DVD and laughing the entire time for me to go out and pick the series up... and a bit of insanity.

So I'm not sure that the entire series is like Fumoffu, nor am I sure that it SHOULD be. I think that 12 episodes was the right length: they were repeating storylines (rugby/yakuza training, for the most obvious example), and that's a BAD thing in a short series.

I CAN see that FMP could be 'accessable', though, and that's a great thing. Just because it wasn't my flavor of the month doesn't mean it can't be yours! Plenty of anime to go around, after all!

Posted by: Wonderduck at September 06, 2007 03:53 PM (DMnkh)

5 I can definitely see now what everyone meant the first time I asked about "where to start" with anime and everyone said..."just because I liked it doesn't mean you will". Wiser words were never spoken. It's been a fun learning experience so far!

Posted by: madmike at September 07, 2007 04:14 AM (o+iiH)

6 Ooh...thanks for the Tessa shot. She was always my favorite character in the first series (which I liked)...mostly because she's cute.

Posted by: Arson55 at September 08, 2007 04:24 PM (6drOH)

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