Customer Reviews: Full Metal Panic!: The Second Raid (Classic)
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on November 2, 2011
Movie - 4.5

Fans familiar with the FMP! franchise should know what to expect. But for those who don't, Full Metal Panic! (yes the exclamation always goes at the end every time outside of Fumoffu), is a series based on said light novels following the adventures of.. well, a lot of people. Sousuke Sagara is the main character: a soldier since childhood, 17 to the present day of these stories, and is an officer of the special-ops/military mercenary police group known as Mithril. At one point or another, he had to infiltrate a high school to serve as bodyguard for a girl named Kaname Chidori who is a person of interest to a lot of shady organizations for reasons I won't go to spoil. In performing his duty, though, a lot of the franchise's charm comes from many different angles. To this day, there are 3 different series in the following order: Full Metal Panic!, Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, and Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid. FMP! is a mix of action, comedy, drama, mecha, military, mystery, and science fiction for 24 episodes. Fumoffu is 100% comedy with no relevance to the central plot established in FMP! and is 12 episodes. TSR is a continuation from FMP!, runs for 13 episodes, and while it still has some of those trademark comedic elements, it's also the darkest of the 3 in terms of storytelling, plot, and violence. Depending on your tastes, you may prefer one of the post-FMP! series to the other, or if you're like me you'll take them at face value for what they are and for what they bring to the table in terms of presentation/continuity. That being said, I really like TSR because of its grittier story. Back when it first came out, I was amazed by its production quality (Kyoto Animation, who did this and Fumoffu, as opposed to Gonzo who did FMP!) alone, but in telling a more brooding and emotionally taut story, I think it added a lot more depth to some of the characters, particularly Sousuke, Kaname, and Tessa. The events that befall each of them really progress their personalities for the better, and I feel it makes them a lot more mature if you consider the facts that, 1) they're all still teenagers, and 2) given the physiological gifts they possess, the maturity that they gain in this series kind of equalizes their characters to the scope of the plot for possible future anime adaptations. If you've yet to see TSR and are intrigued by the stuff they hinted at in FMP!, this is definitely worth checking out.

Video - 4.5

- Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
- Video resolution: 1080p
- Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

TSR was produced in 2005 by Kyoto Animation and was animated digitally in SD, so this is an upscale. However, for an upscale it looks pretty darn amazing. I still own the single DVDs and artbox from the series' initial release, and I have to say the video quality is astounding in comparison. The actual art style and animation were considered to be of very high quality when this series first came out, but despite upscaling the SD animation into 1080p, there's actually quite a bit to like about this presentation. First, and foremost, I love the coloring. Colors are very vibrant from the various shades of hair color to the numerous backgrounds for all the exotic locations they show from the Middle East, to Japan, and to Hong Kong. Black levels are excellent as well with some very detailed shading techniques in some of the darker scenes or whenever some of the Arm Slaves endure scuff marks from battle. Contrast is handled especially well revealing some great detail in closeup shots of peoples' faces and delineating the lines in their clothes, hair, and other finely drawn areas. Particularly, you could look at any of the hairstyles of Sousuke, Kaname, or Tessa since they have a lot of layers drawn into them on a general basis. Or for even better detail, check out the scene when Gates is putting a CZ-75 into Yu Lan's mouth. You can see all the lines in her teeth (as graphic as the scene is), but only goes to justify the really high production value even more. But for all the pros that TSR's video has, there are a couple of noticeable drawbacks from the fact that the source material was SD. Banding (which never really bugged me) is apparent from time to time in the digital paint they used for the solid background colors that aren't black. And because a lot of the line art was drawn digitally, you can also see a little bit of pixelization which, again, can be attributed to the source material. But aside from completely re-animating the series, I believe this is as good as TSR is ever going to look. Pretty much any action sequence from the first or last episode are my go-to scenes for reference. There's a lot of action and movement on the screen and a lot of color as well for either one.

Audio - 5.0

- English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
- Japanese: Dolby TrueHD 5.1

- English

In addition to the higher quality animation, TSR also gets a boost in the sound department by getting the 5.1 treatment. As I've mentioned in other anime series reviews, it's a major upgrade when Japanese studios give their shows a bona fide 5.1 mix from the start. Contrary to what the English dubs do in creating a matrixed "fake-5.1" using 2.0 sound masters, it's just not the same unless the show was genuinely designed to be that way. Thankfully, though, the people at Kyoto Animation decided to really immerse the viewers by putting a lot of effort into the sound design. To start off, we get to hear the lovely vocal work of Mikuni Shimokawa in the series' opening. I've been a big fan of hers since she started singing for the first FMP! and absolutely fell in love with her voice when I heard an acoustic version of the opening from Grenadier, so hearing her in lossless audio is a great way to kick things off. And then there are the sound effects of the show itself. Episode 1 puts us in the Middle East where Mithril is trying to overthrow some dictator, but in the process has a lot of gunfire, explosions, and Arm Slave battle. Directionality and separation should be the most apparent thing you notice first as bullets fly across the rears, while helicopters pan in the front with the radio and non-radio dialogue staying crisp and clear in the center channel. High and low ends are also handled especially well with a good deal of thought going into the the size and weight of the shells and casings of all the various guns being fired. In the last episode, we get a great test of dynamics when the Lambda Driver on the Arbalest gets used quite a bit. In addition, there's also a great amount of LFEs from all the Arm Slaves involved in that particular sequence. As for everything in-between, directionality is generally balanced depending on the type of scene playing out, be it at the school with crowd noise and bells in the background, cityscapes with random happenings, or the general ambiance of Toshihiko Sahashi's excellent score. Considering that, again, this is ONLY a TV series, I'm quite happy with the way things turned out and that FUNimation was able to provide lossless audio for which ever language tickles your fancy.

Extras - 5.0

- Bonus Episode 000 (SD; 5:52)
This is something of a preview for the series. It shows Mithril saving some hostages from a terrorist about to execute them and was supposed to be a lead-in to the full-on series. It's pretty dated given the fact that the series has been out for so long by this point. Interestingly enough, though, while the footage itself is in SD, the audio is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1.

- Bonus OVA: "A Relatively Leisurely Day in the Life of a Fleet Captain" (HD; 29:26)
A bonus episode to end things on a cheerier note. It's something akin to the nature of Fumoffu with a lot of funny, fluffy, upbeat humor and even a little bit of fan service. The plot has Tessa getting inebriated from something Mao gave her, which then results in the captain sleepwalking half-naked, hitting on Sousuke, and eventually retracing her steps to find a special item she lost on her drunken-endeavor. In her short journey, she interacts with the crew and we see a lot of situational humor involving a bad recipe, some stolen anime, and some hilariously misunderstood dialogue at the end. Fans who enjoy the style of comedy from the franchise will like this one a lot. It's presented in 1080p with a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track as well.

- Dawn of the Light Novel (SD; 26:02)
A small look at the light novel medium where its compared to anime as a distant cousin, of sorts. While it's not quite as thick as novels, nor does it have as many illustrations as manga, they try to portray it as something in-between and as a fairly well-received form of the same kind of material. In addition, this feature follows creator Shouji Gatou around the offices of Kyoto Animation as he takes a look at the anime's production and talks to some of the crew. It's pretty interesting to see, as I now have a better idea of how their animation is so damn fluid.

- Location Scouting in Hong Kong (SD; 2:26:22)
Yeah, that says 2 hours, 26 minutes, and 22 seconds. Ported over from the DVDs, this 7-part videography chronicles the scouting they did to storyboard and illustrate the latter half of the series. The commentary provided is by creator Shouji Gatou and director Yasuhiro Takemoto and was recorded after the series had already ended. Content-wise, there's a lot they talk about. It's a little unorganized, but they cover a range of topics including the general architecture of Hong Kong itself, how they wanted to implement said backgrounds into the anime, their thoughts on some of the particular scenes in the anime, and then a LOT of goofing off in-between. It's not a constantly informative process, but it's informational enough when they get to the point and even pretty funny when they're just being candid. I wouldn't recommend watching too many parts in a row, though. The camerawork a little too shaky and gave me a headache after so long.

- Creditless OP (HD; 1:31)
- Creditless ED (HD; 1:30)
- Trailers

Pretty much everything from the DVDs is ported over aside from the episode commentaries by the Japanese cast and crew, which is a little disappointing. Even the reverse cover says the commentaries are on here, but the slipcase and original cover says otherwise, which is too bad.

Overall - 5.0

The Full Metal Panic! anime franchise is a fun series. It has a lot of quirky humor, some intriguing military and mecha elements and a great voice cast (in Japanese anyway). FMP! has a good balance of the two, while Fumoffu takes all the comedy and exaggerates it into a very entertaining frivolity. The Second Raid, however, gets back to the main storyline and does so in a much more violent and gritty fashion. Some people may not like the more dramatic turn some of the characters take, namely Sousuke and Kaname, but I think it adds a lot of maturity to them and a lot of potential for future development. I haven't read any of the light novels, but I'm really hoping they continue to adapt them someday. With much better video and audio than its DVD counterpart and most of the extras ported over, Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid comes highly recommended.
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VINE VOICEon October 1, 2009
Funimation has taken one of its most well respected mecha franchises and decided to give it digital remastering treatment for an upcoming Complete Series box set release.

Coming in at a total runtime of 320 minutes, Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid (TSR) The Complete Series spans 3-discs packaged in a pair of thin packs within a nice cardboard outer slipcase. As with the previous release, the set comes complete with the TSR OVA, Episode 000, 7-part featurette (scouting in Hong Kong), textless songs and a crop of Funimation anime trailers.

Language options are quite thorough with English (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround or original broadcast Stereo) and Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround or original broadcast Stereo) with the option of running English subtitles below either language track choice.

The program wears an appropriate TV 14 rating due to some violent sequences, themes of conflict, and a bit of non-suggestive female (incestual) nudity.

In my opinion the mark of a solid piece of sequel anime is a show's ability to not only present new material but to also seamlessly intertwine it with the plot of the original. Enter Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid (TSR) from anime master workers, Funimation. This gorgeous set represents the proper formula for improving upon the season before it (which just so happens to be the first of the series) without pulling the story off onto an unrelated tangent.

The Second Raid follows the exploits of mercenary soldier Sousuke Sagara who, right from the beginning, does an adequate job of fulfilling his undercover mission as a regular high school student. Unlike the first season, which focused more on the importance of female-lead character Kaname Chidori, this time the viewer is treated to a bit more sympathetic take on the almost child-like innocence of Sousuke. While their hot and cold romance still forms the backbone of the tale, there is no shortage of political motivation or interesting characters to accompany the action.

While Souske resumes his meteoric rise to the title of Sergeant for the paramilitary outfit called Mithril, the major struggle being presented finds Mithril locked in battle with the terrorist group Amalgam. In truth, and despite how well the good guys are presented here, it's tough not to find the bad guys terribly interesting. Among these is a lesbian pair of twin sister assassins, the enigmatic Leonard Testarossa (who just so happens to be the brother of Mithril's own cheery colonel, Teletha) and his extremely wicked robotic enforcers. Last but certainly not least is the lead villain Gates who, quite frankly, captures the concept of full ought insanity in animated form like something American animators can only dream of achieving through The Joker.

And since Full Metal Panic! initially hooked me with its near-flawless use of mecha, it's only proper that I take a moment to recognize the simple truth that TSR not only picks up where the first season left off, it may even supercede the robotic combat at times. Notable here is the ongoing struggle for Souske to make full use of the full abilities of his unit, the Arbalest, and its emotion controlled Lambda Driver. In my opinion the FMP series succeeds where other robot shows fail in both the mobility of the robots (called Arm Slaves or AS' for short) is in their sheer speed and maneuverability. Right from the beginning of the very first episode viewers are treated to an incredible display of AS stealth, speed, and power. It's cinematic showmanship in the purest form and enough to give even diehard anime fans the chills.

Although not entirely essential to the overall plot progression, I should mention that another Arm Slave, the M9 Falke, makes a few appearances that just dazzle with eerie coolness.

The discs themselves contain no shortage of bonus entertainment. The complete 13-episode series is presented across three discs in uncut, digitally remastered glory with dialog coming in the selectable form of English, Japanese or in original broadcast format with English subtitles. While the series itself technically consisted of 13 episodes, Funimation packed both a mini-bonus episode (complete with a scene that had this reviewer actually laughing out loud) and a conclusion OVA full-length episode as well. There is a 7-part featurette entirely in Japanese with English subtitles that does a few interesting things whether they were intentional or not. The first of which is that this section provides an unrivaled look at the Hong Kong lifestyle complete with unlimited comparisons to how life differs there from life in a typical US city. Next it paints the show's creative staff in an entirely different light. I'm guilty of stereotyping anime writers, producers, artists, and directors as moody, withdrawn and slightly disturbed individuals but nothing could be further from the truth with the down-to-earth team responsible for FMP. Finally, anime may be known for an unsurpassed level of detail but never is this reality made clearer than when the viewer is offered a chance to look at the actual Hong Kong locations that inspired the backgrounds of the show. It's downright mind-boggling and a testament to the amount of work that goes into putting a series like this together!

Additionally the set contains a comical little segment in which our creative team takes a trip to a Japanese Self-Defense Force expo for inspiration on the military equipment that appears throughout the series. There are Japanese (English subtitled) commentary tracks across every single episode from several of the show's voice actors and finally the set offer textless versions of the show's theme songs.

The truth is that it is very difficult if not impossible to come away from this presentation without having taken something worth remembering. The anime itself is rich, deep, and oftentimes silly enough to warrant a chuckle but there's something here even for those who wouldn't consider themselves fans of the genre. The creative process and attention to detail is downright awe-inspiring.
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on June 1, 2014
I'd been waffling on upgrading this set on bluray for a while. I bought the individual sets some time ago and the upscaling through my bluray player was "good enough" for a long time. After reading some reviews, and waiting for a good price here on Amazon, I pulled the trigger on a purchase and haven't regretted it. The upscaling through the player is good enough picture wise that I wouldn't complain if I had to watch the DVDs, but the biggest difference is the sound quality. Understand, the picture is all around better with the actual bluray version, the colors are bright and bold and the line quality is sharp. Actually, it's even too sharp in some instances as the lines can appear jagged at times. In and of itself it isn't bad, it's just that the picture is so enhanced you can see every pixel at times. So, just something to be aware of as the few times that happens it can be jarring at first.

The sound quality is amazing, especially in episode 4 when you have all kinds of radio chatter flowing back and forth switch from the Dedanan to the units in the tunnel to the mole in the hotel room. You feel like you're right there in each location as the audio switches and the clarity (or lack there of given which location is playing the audio) is top notch.

All of the extras that I've watched from the individual DVD sets are there from the trailers to the video logs. The only things that this set lacks were the individual books that came with the DVD sets. Those were FANTASTIC and included a wealth of information that you cannot get anywhere else. Everything from character sketches to details on the weapons, the arm slaves and the equipment used in the series were in those books and they are simply amazing. I kept all of them when I traded in the DVD sets because those books are phenomenal and if you're a FMP fan you should try to get all four of them as they really enhance the set by giving you a wealth of background information. I wish they were included in the bluray set, but alas they are not. I also wish I could have fit them in the bluray case, but they are DVD size so they don't fit which is a shame, but I know they won't get lost regardless.

All in all this is a great product and well worth the purchase. The excellent story makes it even better and the mecha action is superb. It's much short than the first FMP series, but as a followup/add-on it's well worth the time and money to acquire.
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on December 6, 2009
This review assumes you have already watched Full Metal Panic! season one.
The Second Raid (TSR) is characterised by violence and strong language. The enemies are crazier and deadlier, the Arm Slave action better and the Chidori-Sagara relationship cools a little. The upper echelons of Mithril play a strong part in the plot, which is unfortunate because several more seasons would be required to reveal what could be going on there. Tessa's brother plays a teaser role, again unfortunate because he obviously needs a full season on his own.
This season feels like the Empire Strikes Back of a trilogy. Dark, brutal, violent, it is excellent in its own right: but it requires at least another season to follow it.

TSR follows on reasonably directly from FMP season one. The Fumoffu! season can be seen as a comic relief interlude, and fits between the two.
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on April 19, 2014
Rising out of the shadows to threaten the Mithril organization is a terrorist group whose military might rivals Mithril`s own. Making matters worse the undermanned Mithril is still trying to recuperate their losses suffered during the conflicts of season one. Meanwhile the socially inept soldier Sousuke Sagara is still vigilantly protecting Kaname Chidori a high school girl who was born possessing knowledge of advanced technology.

The stakes have been raised for Sousuke, Kaname and the Mithril organization resulting in relationships being tested, alliances strained and lives put in jeopardy making season two an amazing thrill ride. Like season one Full Metal Panic The Second Raid blends comedy, drama and action together with expert precision transitioning from comedy hijinks to dramatic dilemmas that culminate in amazing action sequences.

The animation is top notch, the characters are intriguing, the story is both hilarious and compelling with an excellent English dub making this series a must own for any anime fan and one of my favorite mecha animes!

Be warned this anime contains some fan service, graphic violence and profanity so it may not be suitable for children! Fan service involves bouncing breasts, skimpy bikinis, revealing clothing, glimpses of panties, brief nudity and suggestive themes.
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on July 14, 2013
Awesome show. The third season is the best in my opinion. If you're a fan of FMP, you should definitely complete your collection with this third season set. Also, the service was really great. I accidentally ordered two, and they took the opened accidental set back, no questions or problems.
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on June 24, 2013
Not what I expected from Full Metal Panic.
Things get pretty serious in here; you still have the laughs here and there, but it gets very suspenseful.
Fans of the series gotta watch this one!
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on April 26, 2011
If you had a problem or just never cared for the comedy in the first two series then this series makes up for that with a more serious look at the fact that Kaname is in real danger and that is the reason Sousuke is there to protect her. Also reminds us that Sousuke is a human being who does care just doesn't know how to show it most of the time.

This release comes with some nice extras. The best being "A Relatively Leisurely Day in the Life of a Fleet Captain" OVA which has everything a fan could want, some fan service, everyone's favorite captain, and a closet otaku. Among the rest of the extras are location shooting/interviews while in Hong Kong.

This is only brought down by the fact that it could have and maybe should have been longer. Also leaves you wanting much more at the end, this worries me because its been 5 years and no news of another season has surfaced. Always keep hope though.
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on December 18, 2015
The price I got this at the time was only $10 so that was a huge incentive. The quality of the show is good and what sets this apart from the other seasons is it is fullscreen, so no black edging on the sides. Certainly, the third season...well perhaps second season depending on how you look at it gets much darker, which is saying something considering the first season got pretty dark in some places. I wouldn't recommend this for children as there is a character that is quite frankly insane. Suffice it to say, he makes references to beastiality, pedophilia, necrophilia, masochism, etc. Ya, that is a long list of messed up things, and it sounds like I'm trying to get you to not watch the show, but it is still very good as it delves further into the main plot of the series. The real reason this receives 4 stars from me though is because of the plot. The season ends basically on a cliff hangar. When an anime comes to an end, they either force an ending that is inconsistent with the series, or they cut it off halfway through; this is the latter. So you only get half of the plot and the other half must be read from the books. I knew that going into this, but even so it leaves much to be desired, especially since they introduced the baddest villain of the series, but gave no closure to him. If you are a fan who has been following this series as I have then you will get this regardless, and even if you are not this is a solid anime in terms of action and story, but if you love animes with endings that leave you satisfied you may want to look someplace else, though you could argue most animes never get the ending they deserve.
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on February 14, 2015
high school student and sergeant in a covert military organization. . .it could happen. Its different and continues from season 1. The enemy is still out for blood, but using different tactics and methods.
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