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Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid

This series is set about two months after the events ocurred in the Tuatha de Danaan at the end of the original series. Mithril becomes aware of a secret organization that has technology able to counter the ECS (Electronic Cloaking System) mode. This organization, known as Amalgam, also has "Black Technology," obtained from "Whispered" like Kaname Chidori, and like the other intelligence agencies, they intend to obtain more; however, when Sousuke's mission to protect Chidori is terminated by Mithril, all seems to be in place for Amalgam's plans... (Source: ANN)
User Count19372
Favorites Count142
Start Date14th Jul 2005
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank590
Rating Rank617
Age RatingR
Age Rating GuideMild Nudity
SubtypeTV
Statusfinished

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All Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid released episodes

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Story - Chidori is being targeted... AGAIN! Has love interfered with Sagara's job? Who is the mysterious man who looks like Tessa, HE'S STILL ALIVE? Find out what I'm talking about and watch it, if you haven't already - which is a crime against humanity. :)Art/Animation - It's a beautiful anime and I enjoyed the beauty of the backgrounds, cities and other locations shown. It's vibrant and very tasteful. It's nothing like the GONZO junk from the original. You get your time's worth!Sound -I really liked the OP and ED very much. The inbetween songs were also very good. No complaints in this area, honestly. It was all relatively the best of the 3 series.Character -The best character development between Chidori and Sagara yet. Tessa also gets involved! I won't spoil anything for you, character-wise, because it's easy to spoil it. I'll stop right there and let the curiousity get to you. :PEnjoyment -I'd say this is my personal favorite of the 3 FMP series. Beautiful story, nice character advancements, great music, gorgeous animation. I enjoyed every bit of this series. Overall, it's worth a 9/10.

Sleek animation, adrenalin pumping action, and a great plot containing many twists and turns, I really should have enjoyed this more than I did. I lay the blame on one of my friends, who hyped it up way too much for me. I mean, there is no doubt that "Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid" is very good show, but it's no where near the best anime ever, or even one of the best, like my friend had claimed."The Second Raid" is a generally good all-round anime that succeeds very well at what it tries to do, which is to be a kick ass action driven show. Nevertheless, it contains some flaws, and lacks that certain I-don't-know-what that distinguishes something that's one of the greats from something that's just another great anime. It's the kind of aura that makes you love it even when it's uber hyped. "Berserk" has it, even though incompleteness marred the series badly; "Full Metal Alchemist" has it enough to overcome my general hate for anime comedy. "The Second Raid" however, doesn't have "it".When it comes to the animation, "The Second Raid" is almost impeccable. Wonderfully rich colours and clean artwork combines with the great CG makes this an absolute treat for the eyes. The only problem is, the characters look so great for the most part that Chidori's slightly exaggerated character design (inherited from the original series) that reflects her rather loud, brash personality seems out of place when everything else looks so perfect. This kind of thing is reflected in the content of the anime too. "The Second Raid" is mostly serious, and when it is serious, it is for the most part, really good. But occasionally they try to slip in some comedy, and it just doesn't work as it well as it does in previous series.The story is well executed, and contains enough twists to keep you on the edge of your seat, but there's nothing that extraordinary about it, nothing you've not seen a couple of times before from somewhere. I still remember the desert mission from the original series, but I barely remember anything from "The Second Raid". In addition, there still doesn't seem to be much information on certain enigmas such as the whispered etc that's left unexplained in the first season. Whether this is because Kyoto Animation didn't feel like wiping Gonzo's arse after them as they took over the franchise following season 1, or whether it's because the answers to those mysteries are still not revealed in the source material, I can only speculate.In many ways, the characters makes and breaks this show. My friend especially like the way they developed Sousuke out of his box personality in "The Second Raid", and though it didn't quite have the same amount of affect on me, I can certainly see what he was getting at. Chidori also gets some nice development, as the extreme back-to-the-wall circumstances she faces in the series brings out a steely quality in her character. Thankfully, they are the central characters of the franchise, so the fact that they are good weighs heavily in the favour of this anime, which is just as well, because the side characters aren't all that.Like with the first season, I really feel the need to let off some steam with a "Tessa rant". "Watch TSR, then you'll see why Tessa makes such a good captain," my friend told me, in response to when I said a character like Tessa being captain is absurd. It's true that during one incident in this particular series Tessa shows some backbone, but it's also true that previous to the incident she does something that makes her look like the lovesick little girl that she is. It also speaks volumes when her subordinate are all so surprised that she could show such backbone... such faith they place in their commanding officer :P It pretty much proves my point about her lack of presence. A certain conversation between Tessa and her superior indicated that her superior also habours doubts about her ability to be captain, but that she had insisted. So let me get this straight - her superior didn't think she was suitable, and yet he still let her be captain just cos that is what she wanted?? Are they suppose to be a military organisation or a nursery?!And don't forget the new fanservice characters. In addition to Tessa, they've now added a pair of Chinese twin sisters. In case being lesbians ain't servicing the fans enough, they've also thrown in some incest action for good measure. The fact that they were originally male in the source material speaks for itself, really. Then we have the villain. Clearly they're trying to make the most crazy villain ever here. Perhaps they succeeded, but for me they've gone a bit overboard with it. The effort of making him crazy purely for the sake of craziness just made him seem waaay too weird for my liking, not to mention annoying.Just like the previous series, "The Second Raid" features some nice jpop opening/ending themes and background music. Here's something interesting: I was listening to my iPod, and mistook the background music from "Full Metal Panic" for the epic sound track off "Gundam Seed". Not such a surprise once I found out that Sahashi Toshihiko is the composer behind both. Just listening to the sound track, it's hard to distinguish between the two anime, but while watching the anime, I found the music in "Gundam Seed" to be a lot more powerful and memorable. I guess it just goes to show that the music and the contents of the anime can be mutually influencing, and that "Full Metal Panic" just isn't as epic as "Gundam Seed". The one major complaint I have with the otherwise great sound production is the wooden Chinese spoken in the anime ("The Second Raid" takes place in China). In fact, it seems like a general trend that foreign language spoken by natives in anime sounds flat. I'm guessing that one reason might be because it's not worth the effort looking for native speakers with voice acting credentials just for the purpose of voicing extras, and so they just end up pulling ordinary people off the streets to voice these roles... and surprise surprise they turn out not to be very good at it.Until the last episode, I was prepared to rate this higher than the first season, as I was quite enthralled by the numerous turn of events, but the last episode is very weak. Sousuke's conversation with his mecha is just so... cheesey... there's just no other term for it, as much as I dislike using that word. That attempt at light humour totally falls flat on its face. I did rather like the ending involving Sousuke and Chidori, but I suspect what one guy said about their relationship most likely returning to their static state eventually to be true. After all, that is the main attraction of the whole franchise, and at the very least, it's something that "Full Metal Panic" does consistently well.

Picture the scene: A rainy night on top of a love hotel. A girl wearing nothing but a tattered dressing gown is down on her knees. She’s been sexually assaulted and just had to watch someone be choked to death. Shivering with her arms wrapped around her, she casts her face towards the sky, tears and rain dripping down her face, and screams “WHHHHYYYYYYYYY”. Fade to black, roll end of episode credits.This is a thing that happens in The Second Raid. I get that you wanted to get serious this season after Fumoffu, but there’s serious and there’s surgically removing all the fun from a franchise.The Second Raid is a huge angst-fest, growing an emo-fringe down to its knees as characters throw aside their regular characterisation to shiver and moan and agonise over the pain of existence. Sagara, the once straight talking, straight shooting male lead, goes down the path of alcohol and hookers. He regards the death of his comrades with cold apathy. He starts following the cult of nihilism, asking what is the point in living on this gay earth anymore. I get that they’re trying to communicate to us that he just really cares about Kaname and doesn’t want to be apart from her, but there has to be a better way to demonstrate this that doesn’t involve beating up repeatedly with the frying pan of angstyness. I’m sure there’s another way we can understand his pain without it being so tedious and irritating to watch.The new villains in this arc, brought upon by this shift in tone, are equally terrible. The Chinese assassin twins are where most of the horribleness revolves around. They’re the main recipients of the anime’s new turn into the Violence and Tits arena, and it comes off as immature at best and exploitative and worst. Particularly when you consider there’s tits everywhere while they too are contemplating the pain of their existence and them being raped by their new boss. The violence usually surrounds them too, with shots of things like spinal columns poking out the top of slit necks and things like that. It’s not saying anything with the violence and sexuality either. With the tone of TSR, it comes off as trying to appear hardcore.The leader of the military group in TSR deserves credit for making me appreciate the first season’s Gauron a whole lot more. I’d always thought Gauron was a bit crazy and psychotic and wondered why people kept funding him, but at least Gauron didn’t randomly shoot dudes in the face who were on his team. At least Gauron was capable of holding a conversation enough for a deal to go through. You only realise Gauron’s insanity when you get up close and look into his eyes when he makes a near suicidal decision, but up until then you can see why someone would follow his orders. His obsession with Sagara gave him some actual depth. The lunatic in TSR, on the other hand, is nothing more than a lunatic. What’s most bizarre is the show seemed to be trying to play up his lunacy as comedy. His actions are so cartoony and exaggerated it feels like he belongs in a totally different anime to the otherwise oppressive angst that the rest of the show has.The plot is also nonsensical. Sagara’s story with Kaname is the main draw here, and that at least makes sense, if admittedly tonally off. The actual terrorism committed in this show is way stupider though. Asides from random nothings like “hey, lets introduce Tessa’s brother like it’s no big deal, and then do absolutely fuck all with him”, the entire mission in the second half revolves around two depressed Chinese twins following the orders of a psychotic cripple as they escape from a lunatic scientist who rapes them when he’s not shooting his subordinates in the face, all for the incredibly roundabout purpose of getting Sagara to walk into a single building. That’s leaving aside the fact that somehow that guy managed to survive a self-destruct sequence inside his own robot with several tons of explosives right out in the middle of the ocean. I know he’s supposed to give off this Terminator-vibe, but that’s just silly. I’m choosing to believe that he was just a figment of Sagara’s depressed imagination. The plot arguably makes more sense that way.What makes this more depressing (for me that is, because I’m not sure the tone of TSR could get more depressed) is that there’s clearly a better show here. Kyoto Animation’s production quality and general shine is light-years ahead of anything Gonzo ever did, even accounting for the 3 years advances in animation technology KyoAni had. Shame that they put this talent into something so angsty and hardcore. This sounds especially weird coming from me, who could not give a rats ass about anything KyoAni make nowadays because of their devotion to the bible of cute, but badly made hardcore angst is just as tedious as shallow cuteness.Thing is, there are two episodes in the middle of TSR that are amazing. It has a fantastic chase sequence through some town in Sicily where Kurz, Mao and Sagara try to escape the mafia in a crappy little car, which has that brilliant quality of any great chase sequence in that events keep spiralling up and become more dramatic as it goes on. Then that episode is followed by easily the best scene in the entire FMP canon: The haircut scene. Its remarkable in its low-key simplicity. Wonderfully directed, with pregnant pauses and great sound design and a closeness to it that captures fantastically how much Sagara and Kaname feel safe around each other, with so much being said with so little. Its perfection hurts, with makes it that much more disappointing when the rest of the show careers off into angst-town.…now where’s season 3 damnit.

As Yahtzee Croshaw once said, "A good sequel is one that uses the original as a jumping-off point for a brand new story, while a bad sequel simply wallows in the original like a hippo in a vat of liquidized children". Seeing as how the original Full Metal Panic was fairly mediocre, with only a particularly impressive antagonist pulling it through its inconsistency, poor characterization and bad pacing, it would have been very regrettable if The Second Raid had simply taken the latter route and rehashed the first series in an inferior format. So what a shock we're in for, as Full Metal Panic: TSR is by far superior to its predecessor in almost every way.Part of what helps is Full Metal Panic: Fumoffu. One of the major problems the first series had was that it kept swinging between generic highschool comedy and military action, and made no real attempt to weave it together. Overall, it would have been better if they had been two shorter series as opposed to one 24-episode one. And that is exactly what they did here. Whilst Fumoffu went about doing the highschool comedy much better than the original did, TSR does the exact same thing for the military action. Whilst TSR does have some comedy here and there, this time around it feels necessary, and gets woven into the story, rather than being some pointless distraction from the plot.Whilst the plot does take a handful of episodes to properly kick in, it follows as such: Mithril discovers that another organisation creating chaos has similar technology to their Lambda Driver, a one-of-a-kind device that only the protagonist has the ability to use... and doesn't seem to be able to anymore. Also, rogue members of the aforementioned organisation are starting chaos in the unstable Chinese government, for an unknown "Sensei" of theirs. All through this, Sosuke is being put through the serious strain of protecting the "Whispered" Kaname Chidori, whilst maintaining his highschool façade, and undertaking his regular military missions.Through this, our previously annoying, personality-devoid protagonist is put between a rock and a hard place, gets forced to genuinely come into his own as a character, and rebel... and this is where the series shines. Whilst in the first season, the characters were bland, annoying, and totally devoid of development, with Sosuke being the worst, here Sosuke manages to get some extremely impressive character development turning him from perhaps the worst to the best character over the course of only a few episodes. They also manage to replace antagonist Gauron with another fantastically psychotic antagonist, Gates. Whilst Gauron was more entertainingly evil, and outright disturbed, Gates' outright psychopathy is actually played more for laughs, e.g. having his crew kill off his attackers, and then suddenly remembering he needed to extract information from them first. They play his brand of hilarious gore so well that there's never a dull moment with him on screen. This is all somewhat underplayed by the fact that Gates isn't actually that important to the plot, though. Whilst an antagonistic force is clearly in effect, Gates never really seems to effect the plot as a character, as though his personality and plot significance are two separate beings entirely. In fact, if i'm not mistaken, I don't think Gates ever speaks to a single one of the protagonists once in the entire course of the series.And whilst we're speaking of antagonists, Gauron's motivations are finally explained here. Whilst they made little sense in the first series, they finally have some light shed on them, although they are rumouredly more fleshed out in the manga. With this given, the only truly annoying character remaining is Kaname Chidori, who manages to fall easily into the "helpless maiden" archetype, going through every "Dead Teenager" horror movie cliché in one particular episode.Sadly, unlike the first series, this episode cuts in at only 13 episodes, being one of those series that really leaves you wanting more. In fact, it almost feels rushed, and in some ways feels like a clichéd attempt to pull things together. To its credit, though, it manages to tie up all but a few unimportant plot threads this time... and those look as though they'll be tied up in another series anyway. We can only hope, because with this and Fumoffu under FMP's belt, it's definitely worth watching the first series just to get to this.Final Words: Frankly, one of the best anime sequels, if not the best, that i've ever seen.Animation/Graphics: 9/10Story/Plot: 9/10Music/Background: 4/10English Dub: 5/10Overall: 8/10

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