Full Metal Panic Vol. #2 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A-
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: ADV Films UK
  • MSRP: £19.99
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Full Metal Panic

Full Metal Panic Vol. #2

By Paul Jacques     January 05, 2004
Release Date: December 17, 2003


Full Metal Panic Vol. #2
© ADV Films UK


What They Say
They say vacations never go according to plan, and school trips are no exception. Instead of enjoying sunny skies in Okinawa, Sousuke and Kaname's classmates are under cloud cover in Siberia, playing the part of hostages. A vicious and unbalanced terrorist has kidnapped Kaname to donate her brain to science-with or without her consent! Will Sousuke and MITHRIL be able to scramble an ad-hoc rescue? Will they be able to get everyone out alive? Get ready as Full Metal Panic!

The Review!
The first volume was so good, I had to pinch myself just to see if it was real. Can the second volume continue the trend from the cliff- hanger ending of the first volume?

Audio:
I listened in alternate languages and no major problems were heard except there is a sound glitch on the 5.1, ep 6, around 9:57 into the show. Great audio with three choices, English 5.1, English 2.0 and Japanese 2.0. I have to say that the 5.1 is very good and carries a decent depth in the playback, so don’t feel obliged to stick with the stereo options. Also, is it just me, or does the incidental music sound a bit like the “A-Team” theme?

Opening theme is called “Tomorrow”, closing theme tune is called “Never Dying Flower”. Ok, the opening theme is now getting my toe tapping, whereas the closing track isn’t doing much for me just yet.

Video:
Very good video, clean, sharp and plenty of colour. No problems were seen and the only thing that could have improved this presentation would have been widescreen.

Packaging:
Excellent box (transparent), with reversible covers that are great to read. The foldout poster is once again full of information about characters and weapons you see in the volume on one side. The other side has a full sized picture of Mizuki (it’s reasonably lick proof).

Menu:
Menus are really cool looking, with sliding metal panels when you select an option. The opening menu links are Languages, Extras, Episode and Scene selection.

Extras:
We get clean Open and Close animation, Production sketches (around 25) and an anti-piracy warning from the characters (OK, you don’t need to watch that, I know you’re honest).

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Episode 5 starts with Kaname being experimented upon by the Doctor for her whispered abilities. Just when it looks bad for her Sousuke breaks into the test lab and rescues Kaname. And for those of you who grumbled about the lack of Mech action in the first volume, ep 5 finally gets the ball rolling (big time). Meanwhile the other Mithril forces land start the evacuation of the aircraft passengers. Only, just when things look as they are going well Gauron turns up in his superior AS and very seriously kicks Sousuke and Kurz butt. The episode ends with the passengers getting rescued but with Kaname, Sousake and Kurz left behind.

I couldn’t get Episode 6 fast enough (I so hate cliff-hanger endings) to see how our main characters escape. Only our main characters, including an injured Kurz, have been left behind by Mithril, and Gauron is on their trail. They make a run for the sea, but all seems hopeless as they have no way of attracting help in the dense forest they are hiding in. Then Kaname suggest a crazy idea to attract the attention of Mithril. Only Kaname is also having some mental problems, which were no doubt brought on by the experiments they were conducting. Luckily Mithril doesn’t give up that easily, and despite the risk they deploy the ARX-7 to find their missing comrades.

Episode 7 continues the battle as a trapped Kaname, Sousake and Kurz fight off the attacking forces whilst desperately making a run for the Mithril rendezvous point. It’s at this point that the ARX-7 engages Gaurons super-duper AS in a highly explosive, close combat fight. At last we get to see what Gauron and Sousake ARX-7 have under the hood in a no holds barred Mech fight. Throw in Kaname’s unusual words of support to Sousake and we get a really great battle scene with plenty of tension. All I’ll say is that things work out, and the ending is very funny.

Episode 8 sees Kaname and Sousake back at school, and things looks as though they are back to normal. There is a funny opening scene where Kaname showers, selects her girlie accessories (phone, comb, make-up) and heads off to school. At the same time Sousake showers, selects his boy accessories (uzi, knife, grenade) and heads off to school- yep, just another regular day. And it gets even funnier as the episodes continues, when a Shirai hits on Kaname and Sousake cautions the guy that if he, or any member of his family, tries that again, then there will be dire consequences (I LMAO watching this scene). Alas, the Shirai’s girlfriend is less than happy about the whole situation and starts a campaign of hate against Kaname. Only Sousake assumes that it’s Shirai being a sore looser, and so takes him into the toilet to “explain” a few facts. More high jinx follows as Sousake agrees to go out on a phony date with Shirai’s ex girlfriend (Mizuki) and her girlfriends. After the heavy action of the previous three episodes, this last episode is very funny and relaxing to watch.

So many nice touches; the direction of the sound changing as the camera angle switches; unexpected storyline twists; deep panning shots; humor in the midst of battle; great big Mechs fighting it out- sweet!

In summary- ADV, when can I have volume 3 please, pretty please (with sugar on top).

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language ,English 5.1 Language ,English 2.0 Language ,English Subtitles ,Fold-out poster with in-depth background information printed on the reverse ,Clean opening and closing animations ,Production sketches ,Japanese piracy warnings

Review Equipment
JVC 28" Pure Flat Wide Screen TV, Pioneer 454 Progressive Scan code free DVD player, Logitech Z-680 THX DD/DTS receiver & Speakers. Secondary equipment, 21” Sony Trinitron monitor, ATI 9700pro & PowerDVD v4, Creative Audigy 2 & headphones.


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