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Full Metal Panic - Mission 03

ADV Films // Unrated // September 2, 2003
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Don Houston | posted October 6, 2003 | E-mail the Author
Movie: The latest spy/mech/teenager comedy from ADV, Full Metal Panic: Mission 3, is part of the ongoing adventures of Sgt Sousuke in a top-secret anti-terrorist organization (Mithral) and a young woman, Kaname, he is assigned to protect. She apparently has some kind of secret power and is classified as a "Whispered" although that really isn't explained very much this early in the series. The setting is the near future and technology is quite advanced with powerful mech-robots serving as military, and terrorist, weapons. The Second Volume furthered the overall plot by establishing a super-weapon of sorts that relies on some aspect of the pilot's personality to power up a nearly undefeatable weapon/shield system. Both sides have access to the technology, but the bad guys have more experience with it.

Episode 9: Dangerous Safe House:
ADV said, "Tessa rushes to an SDF base after hearing that a member of A21 has been arrested. She's shocked to see Takuma Kugayama, who has become a drug addict. Shortly after, Seina arrives in an RK-92 Savage and attacks Tessa." It becomes apparent that there are side effects to utilizing the Lambda Drive and Mithril hopes to discover more about them by capturing Takuma.

Episode 10: Run, Run, Run:
"Kaname Chidori is in a bad mood after seeing Tessa emerge from the bath. Sousuke Sagara tries to explain, but things only get worse when Tessa wickedly acts as if she and Sousuke had an indecent relationship. Then they find a transmitter in Takuma's arm." After a showdown, A21 attempts to rescue their agent while Sousuke and Tessa, joined by Kaname, try to escape.

Episode 11: Behemoth Awakening:
"Kaname and Tessa are taken away. Sousuke and Kurz drive a little pick-up truck. Mao goes in her M9. They all hurry to reach the destination based on the signal sent from the transmitter built in the bracelet Kaname wears. Finally, they reach the tanker anchored at Aomi wharf, but they end up being surrounded by the Self-Defense Force and police." As the team tries to escape the clutches of A21, the enemy prepares to fire up their massive new weapon, the Behemoth-a tremendously larger version of the mechs being used.

Episode 12: One Night Stand:
"Behemoth, a giant AS, finally unveils itself and moves. Mao's M9 is crushed into pieces in a second. They are in a desperate situation. They try to escape while the Behemoth's cannon opens fire. Kurz's shooting makes the Behemoth flinch momentarily. However, it's just a drop in the ocean. They think it is over, but a crusader comes down from the sky…" Sousuke gets a chance at fighting the Behemoth but it completely outgunned and over matched. Kaname has another flash of intelligence information and transmits it to the young Sgt but as he's already damaged, will he be able to survive, let alone win?

The show continued to impress me for all its positive aspects, from the technical matters to the story and direction, to the voice acting. As such, I think it warranted a rating of Highly Recommended as previous volumes have earned. The show placed less emphasis on the bash-em-up antics of the robots, although those were important too, than on the human story behind the two groups fighting for control.

Picture: The picture was presented in 1.33:1 ratio full screen with an action sequence or two in widescreen. It looked clear and crisp with a solid dvd transfer to enjoy.

Sound: The audio was presented in a few choices: English 5.1 or 2.0 (with optional song subtitles) or the original Japanese stereo track with English subtitles. Like the picture, the sound was exceptionally clear and well planned but I preferred the original language track.

Extras: The extras were pretty solid here. The dvd cover is double sided with the inside containing background data on the episodes. The paper insert had some great attention to detail and provided background on a number of the cast, their weapons, and props. There was the usual clean opening and closing, a bunch of trailers, some cute Japanese copyright warnings (English ones over the FBI warning at the beginning too) and some production sketches. The dvd case was clear plastic and solidly built and the dvd menus were great.

Final Thoughts: The show had more of an action emphasis in this set of episodes than in some of the previous episodes. The intrigue started getting particularly heavy as the dvd progressed and left the school background that was the basis of the first dvd. I think it was a sign of things to come and that pleased me since the action elements of the series are the best parts, along with the characterizations. There wasn't as much exposition on the secrets of the series this time but that can wait until later episodes.

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C O N T E N T

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A U D I O

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R E P L A Y

A D V I C E
Highly Recommended

E - M A I L
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