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フルメタル・パニック? ふもっふ

I finally finished watching 「フルメタル・パニック? ふもっふ」 or "Full Metal - Panic? Fumoffu!". In brief, it's an okay anime. It's supposed to be a comedy, and while there were some fun scenes, I don't think anything ever really made me laught out loud. Not much plot or character development though, and this anime definitely won't change your life. The series is definitely a time-waste, though not nescessarily a waste of time.

Background: From what I understand, there was a manga series called "Full Metal Panic". An anime series, also titled "Full Metal Panic", was created based on the manga. The anime focused on the core plot which had something to do with the military experimenting with psychic abilities in children and mecha. It cut out a lot of the side stories and silliness, and was more or less a "serious" anime. Then they made the "Fumoffu" anime series, which is based on all the parts from the magna that were cut out of the first series. Fumoffu is a highschool romance comedy.

Plot and Characters: Being a collection of side stories, there isn't much plot continuity in Fumoffu. You should watch episode number one first, because that's the episode in which the lead protagonist, Sousuke, first arrives as a new transfer student to the highschool. From there on, the episodes can be watched in any order and still make sense.

This Sousuke character really bugs me; he was born and raised by the military, and they use that as an excuse to make him into an idiot. In one scene, Sousuke is asked to make sure the taxi cab they rode in on doesn't leave. Sousuke pulls out his gun and tells the driver that if he leaves, Sousuke will shoot him. Satisfied, Sousuke walks off and as soon as he is out of sight, the taxi driver races off. Being raised in the military, I'd understand if Sousuke didn't know how to flirt with girls or something, but his not realizing that when he turns his back, "prisoners" have an opportunity to run away makes no sense.

The other characters are relatively bland. There's a police woman I really like because she's psychotic (I don't mind that she's psychotic, because they don't try to rationalize it with her being raised in the military or anything) and she dual-wields FN-P90s. Unfortunately, she only plays bit parts, and only in 3 episodes. The other entertaining character is the pervert named "Pony" who wears a horse mask on his head and runs around braiding girl's hair into ponytails while shouting "Pony!". He only appears in one episode.

Visuals: About average. A lot of the time, when a girl's hair is drawn, the black outlines are too thick, and so the results look too noisy and messy. Otherwise, there's nothing remarkable visually about this anime.

Audio: Music was not particularly noticeable (the opening song is mediocre, but the ending song is kind of fun). Likewise, no spectacularly appropriate sound effects or anything.

Closing comments: I like the fact that the series didn't degenerate into a mushy love story. The relationship between the lead female protagonist and lead male protagonist is believably "real". You know she likes him because she helps him get out of trouble, not because she blushes whenever someone mentions his name, or cries when he misinterprets something or anything like that. Unlike some other animes, she doesn't fall madly in love with him in the last episode, and you don't know if they're going to get married and have lots of children. In fact, you don't even know if it'll go anywhere further than friendship. 6 out of 10.

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