A Mecha with a Computerized Coat of Paint
- Episodes : 12
- Genre : Action, Mecha, Military
- Airing Date : April 2018 to July 2018
- Studios : Xebec
Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory Introduction and Story
After more than a decade since their last appearance and with a different studio handling the animation, Sousuke Sagara and Kaname Chidori have finally made their long-awaited comeback! Focusing nearly exclusively on action rather than the comedic hijinks which permeated the first season and Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, Invisible Victory launches right after the events that transpired in 2005's sequel. Fueled by a couple of substantial loses, Amalgam seeks to wipe Mithril off the map, and Leonard Testarossa has set his sights firmly on Chidori. Simultaneously familiar and progressive, Invisible Victory needs to be near perfect to meet expectations!
1. Ageless Cast
In the sphere of action anime, Full Metal Panic! requires little introduction. Despite most of the main seasons prioritizing fights above anything else, the franchise has amassed a reputation for being among the funniest anime of all time. While this largely comes down to the hilarious Fumoffu spin-off, the original Full Metal Panic! also dedicated a fair amount of time to comedy. The complete focus on mecha and military battles might disappoint certain fans, but Invisible Victory still manages to accurately capture the essence of this beloved cast of characters. Sousuke and Chidori's relationship takes center stage for the first half of the season, while a couple of fun new additions are introduced from around the fifth episode. As the show's main villain, Leonard remains a thoroughly intimidating but relatable foe.
2. Poetry In Motion
Besides packing the narrative with countless memorable characters, Full Metal Panic!'s other claim to fame has to be its fluidly animated combat scenes that could rival any mecha series in existence. Superseding Gonzo and Kyoto Animation is a tall task for any studio, but Xebec proved its mecha credentials with the Break Blade OVAs. Putting aside a single but inescapable flaw that will be discussed in due time, Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory compares favorably with any recent anime series. Frankly, Sousuke and Chidori have never looked better, while the backgrounds are detailed and crisp. Obviously, this high level of quality extends to the many battles featuring massive robots, and these scenes are generally quite impressive.
3. Action, Action, And Even More Action
If paced poorly and without much consideration for the involved individuals, an onslaught of neverending action could quickly become rather dull and repetitive. In this day and age, when people have access to thousands of series, anime fans hardly need to turn to Full Metal Panic! to satisfy their mecha urges. When Sousuke is not fighting in a tournament or chasing Chidori and Leonard, Invisible Victory shifts focus to Tessa's military base under attack. Even though the anime seldom pauses for a breather, Xebec's splendidly choreographed fights continuously find ways to remain engaging. More importantly, there is enough variety to resist the onset of boredom.
1. CG Troubles
Okay, we have stalled long enough, time to discuss the elephant in the room. As tends to be the case with most modern anime, Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory mixes traditional animation with CGI, especially when it comes to some of the more action-heavy scenes. Even though there are multiple shows which put together even worse attempts to bridge the gap between the two styles, few of them are being contrasted to a classic series boasting gorgeous and timeless animation. Invisible Victory's second episode features a CGI car chase that borders on embarrassing, and Xebec never quite manage to transition seamlessly between the two forms.
2. Rushed & Inconclusive
For those seeking closure, Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory may leave you frustrated. Xebec crammed a ton of material into this single cour; however, rather than the end of the line, this season is more of a precursor to a potentially decisive arc. With a couple of short time skips, Invisible Victory can be somewhat overwhelming, as the entire dynamic of the main couple changes over the course of 12 chapters. The fifth episode introduces multiple new characters, including a potential love interest for Sousuke, and throws the audience into a sudden tournament arc. Just to be clear, the finale is quite fantastic, but it is not meant to be conclusive or even satisfying.
Does Xebec's anime manage to live up to expectations? Despite some growing pains, Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory is an enjoyable addition to the franchise. Admittedly, the latest season is arguably the weakest of the bunch, but that has more to do with the unbelievably high standards set by its predecessors. Overall, Invisible Victory is a triumph!
Did you agree with our review? Is Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory a worthy follow-up? Please let us know in the comments below!