Full Metal Panic? FUMOFFU DVD Complete Collection (Thinpak) - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: C
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 13+
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 49.98
  • Running time: 300
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Full Metal Panic? FUMOFFU

Full Metal Panic? FUMOFFU DVD Complete Collection (Thinpak)

By Bryce Coulter     December 10, 2008
Release Date: July 15, 2008

I have one statement… Fumoffu!

What They Say
Otaku love Full Metal Panic? FUMOFFU Whereas the first Full Metal Panic! Series was a sci-fi drama with flashes of comedy, FUMOFFU doesn't even pretend to be serieous! Action-packed and full of laughs, FUMOFFU is a must-have for any anime fan!

The Review!
Audio:
We listened to this show using the English dub.  Having followed Full Metal Panic! and Second Raid in the English format, it only felt appropriate to continue with the same cast. The stereo mix was clean and clear and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.  The other thing that I have to mention is how the theme song music used in the disc menus sounds so similar to the A-team, what a hoot!

Video:
Originally airing in 2003, the transfer for this series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. While the colors, animation, and background look great, the source material appears to reveal cross coloration that does show up along hairlines and can be quite noticeable.   The rest of the transfer just shines though with great colors, no visible color gradation issues or blocking in backgrounds.

Packaging:
The packaging for this release is in red, just like the recently released thinkpack for the first series.  It is eye grabbing, but doesn’t fit into the overall blue color scheme that one would identify with Full Metal Panic.  The thinpack case features Tessa on the front holding a machine gun that is way too big for her to handle while the back side features Kaname and Souske.  The three cases inside the thinpack case feature Souske’s bear costume, Mizuki, and Kyoko.  Of course, each girl is holding a gun!!  The backside of each disc case reveals a few screen shots of the episodes along with the typical information about the shows, technical specs, etc..

Menu:
The menu layout is standard and does not offer much in the ways of creativity.  There not any submenus to access other than the languages, previews, and credits.  This is just for the first disc.  The other two discs do not have any other submenu access points other than language.  Access times are fast and easy to navigate.   The menus feel very cheaply put together and appear to be different than what was presented in the original collection.

Extras:
Like the flyers say, 3 discs and twelve episodes… That’s all you get.  I am a bit disappointed in that one would think that ADV would have put in the extras from the original collection here as it is becoming more of a standard now.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers). 
The tight balance of Full Metal Panic’s fun and fierce battles gives way to merriment and random laughs in FUMOFFU.  Even though FUMOFFU is a technically after the first season of Full Metal Panic (FMP), it is not the typical continuing storyline.  It seems to be more akin to a comedy spin-off of loosely gathered slap-stick side stories that the author couldn’t find a place for in FMP.  The true embodiment and symbol of this series is a cuddly bear costume gone Rambo.

The fairly stand-alone stories center more on Sousuke Sagara and his exaggerated ‘square-peg’, pragmatic, military side that just doesn’t have the capacity to understand the social context in which he’s immersed.  Think well-written, fast-action slap stick where there is a Jack Bauer (from the series 24) or Marcus Fenix (from Gears of War) mentality about all the menial details of life and war. What do you do if you think someone put a love note in your footlocker?  Blow it up with C – 4, of course (duh!).  Are delinquent boys trying to come on to Chidori?  Conduct a sniping stakeout in a full ghillie suit with a subsequent rubber bullet takedown of the offenders.  Playing a video game that cheats you out of a round of bullets?  Sousuke does what I know every gamer has desired to do. Pull out a real gun and finish the job.  Talk about total pwnage of a game.  In Sousuke’s somewhat skewed logic, it makes sense.  Kaname Chidori has her hands full trying to reign in his over the top antics, but in the long run she actuality causes just as much grief for everyone around her.  

Within our educational experiences with Souske and Chidori, we learn to appreciate the finer qualities of some of their teachers.  The twosome help several such professionals realize their need for time off from their earnest, hard work to remedy both mental and physical hazards of their occupation.  As a bonus, we also learn a really great wrestling move, the Japanese Ocean Cyclone Suplex Hold.

Even though the ongoing relationship between the Sousuke and Chidori is a continuing theme, other side characters as well as some new, interesting individuals, get air time in this series. The setting for Fumafu is school life, we get to see characters like Kyoko, Kaname's camera-happy, pig-tailed friend, the guy-crazy Mizuki, the eccentric student body president and even Captain Tessa.   Most notable of these new characters are Issei Tsubaki, a nearsighted martial arts specialist who becomes Sousuke's rival.  Added to that mix are the duo of Atsunobu Hayashimizu and Ren Mikihara, the student council president and secretary.

Characters make appearances and then may never be seen again.  One such individual is the pervert out after girls.  The dastardly dude runs around shirtless in a raincoat, pants and pony head.  The mob doesn’t have the only corner on the horse-head market.  He strikes fear in the heart of his victims by crying out “Pony!” and then proceeding to gently take his victims by the hair, gently brush their hair out and put it in a pony tail.  Pony!  What great hentai-sque fun. 

People who have not watched the first season can watch FUMOFFU as references are rarely made to the original, and other than having to understand the relationship between the characters and their background story, everything else is self-contained here. Once the story gets rolling it develops a comfortable rhythm, and even brings the loose plot together with an appropriate conclusion and purpose for Sousuke’s new war toy.  
 
In Summary:
The tight balance of Full Metal Panic’s fun and fierce battles gives way to merriment and random laughs in FUMOFFU.  It seems to be more akin to a comedy spin-off of loosely gathered slap-stick side stories that the author couldn’t find a place for in FMP.  The true embodiment and symbol of this series is a cuddly bear costume gone Rambo. Fumoffu!

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 5.1 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Hitachi 62VS69 62" UltraVision LCD Projection HDTV, Samsung BDP-1000 Blu-ray Player with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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jnager 3/13/2012 10:25:35 PM

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