This will be a quick overview on this show. So ill give my general statements on it. A more detailed one may appear at some point in the future. I wont give a synopsis cause there's already one provided. Spoilers ahead so be warned. With that out of the way, grab a seat. let's have a chat.
Infinite Ryvius OST- nowhere plays
Full metal panic tries its best to mix an overarching militaristic plot with SOL comedy antics. However the later is a lot more poorly handled than the former. I will say this, it can potentially be a way for us to delve in the dysfunctional psychosis of our protag and also have him endear us to those around him, but not only are the jokes generally unfunny(only about two ever are) and are too big and overplayed to the point where it somewhat undermines his plight and also the lengths where this show wants you to take it seriously when it decides to not be grounded by reality. One minute its metal gear solid, the next Ranman 1/2. Couple that with the school cast being generally simplistic and cliche compared to the guys over at the Tuathe de Dana and you have a show that mostly has somewhat of an identity crisis. Which is especially disheartening seeing as how this is the shows MAIN SELLING POINT. It would be better if that stuff was a bit more downplayed, the jokes were more clever/subtle, and if it was coupled with clever dialogue to helps us get endeared to the characters in Sosuke's school life and how they impact his character, inhale but we got what we got. We'll come back to this later.
Now with the SOL aspects out of the way, how does the plot stuff stack up? Pretty alright. Most of the "arcs" in the show have to do with the MC dealing with terrorists threats and keeping bitch queen Chidori safe almost episodically over the course of a few or more episodes each and they are pretty tense and high energy. They pretty much are the best parts of the show. In fact the third arc of the show is the one that gives us a good understanding of Sosukes identity and why he is the way he is better than the comedic shit does and puts him through certain struggles that make him develop as the show goes on. However the one flaw i see is that a couple of them are mostly rather pointless in terms of how they develop the characters creating somewhat of a pasing issue. But these are at least somewhat effective and largely inoffensive.
Gun X Sword OP
I am a simple man who loves his mech battles. While many of the fights in the show are mostly passable, i wouldnt lie to you if i say id rather see gundam F91 for its action than this(as much as i hate that movie). The animation is fine, but not detailed enough to give you the sense of battle most of the time and can be quite janky in certain places, making it seem like some corners were cut in the production value in the mech fights. Especially in times when the MC and villain uses the Lambda driver, showing mostly unmemorable particle effects. They dont really get better until the half way point, where startegy, use of environment and militaristic tactics are used. Not to mention generally better fight choreography. The designs of the characters and mechs arent bad though(my fave being the main mech Arbelest).
Now we move to the characters and since i've already stated how the school side characters are practical pointless, uncharismatic and add nothing to our main duo, we'll move on to the guys that matter.
Big O OST- Sure promise plays
Sosuke Sagara is a boy who spent most of his life as a mercenary and knows practically nothing of domestic life, which causes him to have sporadic instances where he mistakes something normal for a time where he needs to "YOOOOOOO JOE!". This is the fundamental driving force for all his SOL antics, which i remind you is the least good part in the show for the reasons i stated above. I understand that those moments are design to showcase this aspect of his character and maybe have him go through a mid life crisis deal where he questions his own purpose and existence in life and if he can even be his own person let alone a force for good(a la Guts from berserk) and to be further enveloped by the new life he has made and the non combat experiences to creating a sort inner struggle within him. However his plight gets played too much for comedic effect and escalated a tad too much for us to take it seriously and since those moments barely advance his character at all, those moments are rendered pointless. When the show takes him out of the role of a highschool student, he might not become the most complex protag, but he's a lot more competent seeing as how he is in his element. Of course the fact that you become so comfortable within that state kinda goes against the general purpose of taking him out his comfort zone. And like i said, things do get revealed about in the later part of the show, which gives us an opportunity to show us whats in this G.I.jokes head. But the way he develops overall is mostly subpar and sporadic. He still has some moments that are pretty endearing despite how much of a socially inept straight faced hick he is. Just wished that showed off more often.
Now he does have a super special awesome mech (cause why wouldnt he) which has a hidden system that when activated can produce energy powered by Sosuke's will, and if your're wondering yes this does deus ex save his ass a couple times in the show. Of course Sosuke himself has a sort of love hate relationship with the machine that only works when it wants to. Kinda hard for someone as stiff as he is to rely on a machine that almost unscientifically powers you with your inner mojo, so he doesnt use it other than his important battles. He aint OP like Kira Yamato or nothing but it does make fights lack tension seeing as how all Sosuke needs to do is awaken his chakra G Gundam style and use shining finger. Overall Sosuke is an alright protag.
Undertale OST Dummy Gooseworx cover
Kaname Chidori ladies and gentleman. She's the main female lead of the show. A popular above average high school chick. She's the target for the terorists who want the secrets of super technology and psychic prowess in her head; as well as the target of my discomfort. She's basically every bratty teenage tsundere you can find in anime. Now admittedly i will say that her attitude towards our local MC is somewhat justified seeing as he somewhat is responsible for all the dumb shit happening around her and generally flipping her whole life upside down despite his aims to protect her from harm. This would be fine if the jokes were funny and... well you know the drill. So it kinda makes her come off as irritable at times. I get its only natural for her to be this way in this case but there are times in the show where its too overplayed and she makes outright dumb decisions where it does not justify her being a petulant cunt. She does use her hidden mcguffin powers to help the heroes and she does get a chance to understand sosuke better later on, including one charming scene in the last episode. Other than that, general personality isnt all that endearing and neither is her interactions/relationship with Sosuke. So yeah, this chick who looks like the descendent of Marth from Fire emblem is unlikable. Dabu Dee dabu die, bitch.
On to the characters who are a part of Mithral. Tessa is a pretty good supporting character. She's clumsy but still very charming. Despite her young age and demeanor she is a very effective captain of her group and made pretty sound decisions throughout the show(if you can ignore the probability of it). Other than that one pissing contest she had with another female character Mao in one episode, but it was mostly to have her understand the hardships and struggles her subordinates go through when they enter battle. She also has a crush on Sosuke (oooooh love triangle. Drama~) for actually understandable reasons. Given how somewhat of an awkward person she is and her environment and the fact that Sosuke is the only other person her age around, it would make sense for her to gravitate towards his military charm. She admires him for his strength and resilience which contrasts her own doubts about herself as well as the respect her crew gives her. And she doesnt come off as someone who exists soully for his sawed off shotgun, if you catch my drift. Plus she's a mcguffin like chidori so she's helpful in that area too. Which probably explains why she wouldnt have chidori put in a safe house somewhere under surveillance to keep her safe from the terrorists after her, cause she sympathizes with her plight to be a normal girl. Of course maybe sending Sosuke to protect her wasnt the best move. But overall she is a fun and effective character.
Others like Kurtz and Mao are fine. Mao is the no nonsense valkyrie bitch who has some okay dialogue and Kurtz is the charming pervert with very little actual charm. They both act as sort of besties to Sosuke in his soldier life and are very useful throughout the show. They've done little to damage their characters, but not too much sticks out. they do have some funny moments though despite not really changing throughout this season of the series.
New Getter Robo OST- Deep Red
The main big bad is Garam and he is a pretty entertaining villain to a point. He is a constant threat throughout the show, rival and nemesis of Sosuke, and has some pretty endearing dialogue that lets him shine. He's kinda like Kenpachi Zaraki from Bleach but evil and in a mech. Also he acts as a parallel to Sosuke's identity, him being mad and battle hungry and Sosuke trying his best to appear as less of a savage like him despite his upbringing. Although the one thing i have an issue with him is that he always has a severe case of the not deads throughout the show and it only took the last ep for the heroes to finally "kill" him. The unstoppable killing machine angle can work but its too overdone here. Seeing the same guy die over and over mostly cause of the Lambda driver thing protecting him is kinda tiring to see. If he had only appeared in two arcs in the story preferable the first and last , he wouldve been much better handled and his final fall would have more impact. But he is entertaining and formidable villain throughout the show overall.
So overall Full metal Panic season 1 is an alright semi-real mecha show that is kinda bogged down by its main gimmick that being its SOL aspects and occasional fanservice. If the show managed to integrate both of these aspects seamlessly it wouldve improve a lot and there wouldnt be near constant tonal whiplash. But the action is okay, plot inoffensive/concise, and has a few likable characters. So I'd recommend it. But only as a passtime.
If you liked this review, ill be making one for Second Raid soon. Its been cool. Kaiser Shounen, LAUNCH!