Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu – Anime Review

Japanese Title: Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu

 

Related: Full Metal Panic! (main series)

Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid (main series sequel)

Similar: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

 

Watched in: Japanese & English

Genre: Action Comedy Romance

Length: 12 episodes

 

Positives:

  • Funniest anime I have seen.
  • Bonta-kun: Best. Mascot. Ever.
  • Same phenomenal acting and chemistry between Sagara and Chidori.
  • Script doesn’t waste a moment.
  • Even when using anime staples, Fumoffu does something fresh.

Negatives:

  • If you wanted the serious action and dramatic elements from FMP, you may be disappointed. No problem otherwise.

Sagara is up to his old antics, still taking every little incident as a terrorist plot against Chidori. He sets landmines around the school for protection and perceives a love letter from a girl as a bomb threat – you know, the usual. Full Metal Panic Fumoffu spins off Full Metal Panic’s comedy into an insanity-fuelled adventure in Sagara and Chidori’s daily life. Fumoffu hits the ground running and never stops.

Sagara and Chidori’s chemistry is better than before, for she is involved in every debacle. Each episode introduces new characters to kick off a hilarious dilemma. I was in stitches during Sagara versus the gym teacher, who hates Sagara’s chaos and tries to sabotage his duties with the lunch stand – Sagara caused a panic by demanding to buy a bread roll at gunpoint (put some spirit into it, Chidori said) – but keeps falling into Sagara’s traps. Poison gas, electrocution – you know, the usual. Sagara sees the teacher’s aggression as the sign of a good instructor. Sagara’s literal view on the world is as brilliant as ever.

School’s rugby team never wins because they are too effeminate with a focus on tea making instead of practice? No problem, Sagara will put them through Hell Week.

Matters start hilarious, but reach even greater levels with the entrance of Bonta-kun, a once peaceful teddy bear mascot turned into fighting mech at the hands of Sagara, disguised to fight “terrorists.” It can only say ‘Fumoffu’ like a Pokémon, for some reason, and a psychotic policewoman is hell bent on catching that ‘yellow bastard.’

Even when using clichéd episodes such as the beach or hot spring types, Fumoffu brings something new and criminally hilarious to them. A covert military operation led by sniper Kurtz into the girls’ bath? I couldn’t breathe. Fumoffu manages all this without resorting to ‘random’ humour.

The secret to Fumoffu’s humour is the tight script, reminiscent of Hot Fuzz’s sharp writing. Not a wasted line. Often with pure comedy anime, I find that the writers don’t know how to carry a joke for the full twenty minutes. As a result, one grows tired of the joke before the episode ends. Here, every joke is succinct and witty, and the writers aren’t afraid to keep it brief, breaking some episodes into two mini episodes when necessary. Watching Fumoffu yet again for review, I caught several jokes I had missed before, so packed is this anime.

While not a complaint of mine, some may be disappointed by the lack of military action and romance from the original. There is plenty of violent physical humour and touches of romance between the two, though it never gets heavy.

Spin-offs rarely work. It’s even rarer if they aren’t complete rubbish. Full Metal Panic Fumoffu is not only excellent, but also surpasses the original in several aspects.

Art – High

Same quality as Full Metal Panic, just more energetic to match the heightened comedy. Master class in visual humour. Mechs replaced by Bonta-kuns!

Sound – Very High

As with the art, audio is the same quality as the prequel – phenomenal; Sagara and Chidori have even greater chemistry in Japanese, if that was somehow possible. Bloody hell this acting is good.

Story – Very High

Fumoffu takes the high school side of Full Metal Panic, dials the comedy up to a thousand and turns the action insane.

Overall Quality – Very High

Recommendation: Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu is a must watch, though I do recommend watching the original series first for context. I could make a case for attempted murder with how many times this anime has slayed me with its jokes.

(Request reviews here. Find out more about the rating system here.)

 

Awards: (hover mouse over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)

Positive:

CharmEngaging DialogueHilariousStellar Voice ActingStrong Lead CharactersStrong Support Characters

Negative: None

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