Full Metal Panic: FUMOFFU

By Louis Klapper

Start with boy meets girl, boy has secret, girl has secret, they have an adventure for five episodes, have some feelings for each other that they don’t admit, toss in some filler episodes, add another five-or-six-episode adventure, follow with filler, then a longer plot arc, then more filler, and chase with epic conclusion.

Sound familiar? This recipe accurately describes many anime, including the first “Full Metal Panic!” series. But what if much of that filler was taken and expanded into a second “sequel” series? Perhaps you would entitle it “Full Metal Panic? FUMOFFU”?

The first show presented Sousuke Sagara, a military nut working for a top-secret mercenary group, who was sent to Japan to watch over Kaname Chidori, a girl who possesses mysterious knowledge and abilities unknown even to herself. Yet a boy raised in a military unit, and Sousuke in particular, would be less experienced in the social niceties of everyday life, something touched on in FMP!, and hammered home in FUMOFFU.

FUMOFFU is blunt with its premise from the very start, the first episode beginning with a conversation between the principal and vice principal over Sousuke’s property damage costs. The series then segues into Sousuke blowing up his locker because a “suspicious person” had “unauthorized access” to it (the culprit, in this case, being a love-stricken girl slipping a love letter into his locker.) Further hilarity ensues throughout the show, with Souske setting traps for all of his friends, battling with the Karate club, and, of course, saving the school from a deadly virus that threatens to kill them all… Disguised as milk.

This series is an excellent, if heavy-handed, brush at the humor touched upon in the original series. The series plays out like one giant filler arc, no plot lasting more than two episodes with the exception of a token visit to the hot springs, which brings the gang from Mithril (the above-mentioned mercenary organization) into the series. It takes and expands the interactions used as light-hearted filler in the original series, making it more character-driven, less action-based, and more comical.

I give it a hearty 5/5 stars, recommending it especially for people who enjoy dynamic characters, hilarious antics, and, of course, fans of the original series.