Mecha Fridays: Full Metal Plamo!

So let’s talk about FMP.

A high school student who turned out to be the fruit of a military project, a soldier who tries awkwardly disguises as an average member of society, a cute, white-haired lady being the captain of a highly advanced Nuclear submarine and some robot battles, that ladies and gents is Full Metal Panic! one of the mecha anime hits of the early 2000s which run received 2 seasons, a comedy slice of life spinoff and a new season, which fans are still debating if it should be called Season 3 or Season 4 but nevertheless is titled “Full Metal Panic! IV”, early this year.

IV meaning “Invisible Victory”

Originally a light novel written by Shoji Gatoh, who is also the author behind the romcom series Amagi Brilliant Park, Full Metal Panic! follows the story of Kaname Chidori, a high school student who turned out to be implanted with knowledge of advanced technology within her subconscious, and Sonusuke Sagara, a soldier of the elite Mercenary unit Mithril who serves as Kaname Chidori’s protector and is also awkwardly trying to blend in with society while at the same time fighting terrorist from all over the globe.

A “typical” interaction between Sagara and Chidori

 

The first season of the show turned out to be a good mix of romantic comedy and serious military tones, with the second season banking more on character development and the explosive action with new villains introduced to the series. Of course, being part of the sci fi mecha genre, Full Metal Panic! had its own signature line of robots which are called Arm Slaves, mobile suits which appear to be at little more advanced than your average Gundam, while at the same time trying to be grounded in reality with the use of bullets, and limited engine run capacities, up until the Lambda Driver was introduced and we went full shonen with power beams.

Kaio-ken!

Now of course with the new season in the works, and with FMP being a mecha series, it did not take long before Bandai wanted a slice of the show as they introduce their new line of FMP model kits featuring some of the titular mechs, the Arbalest, and the Gernsback. Standing at 1/60 scale, these kits are presumably almost the same size as a Master Grade Gunpla given that the actual specifications list Arm Slaves to stand at around 8-10 meters in height, which is half your average Gundam. The kits are slated for release once the anime comes out in April and are surprisingly cheap as the average price is only JPY 3,000 or PHP 1,400.

ARX-7 Arbalest
Price: JPY 3,024
Release Date: April 2018

 

M9E Gernsback (Melissa Mao custom)
Price: JPY 3,024
Release Date: April 2018

 

M9 Gernsback Ver. IV
Price: 3,024
Release Date: April 2018

 

Given its very, very inviting Price-to-size ratio, we can assume that perhaps Bandai is utilizing its Full Mechanics tech which they used with the Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans gunpla line to pull off something like this with good articulation and detail while only using minimal parts. Also, the fact that Arm Slaves don’t really come with much variety when it comes to equipment and accessories might also add to the inviting price factor as all kits only come with 2 guns, the Anti Tank dagger, and of course a number of hands.

Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory will kick-off this coming April 2018 and will be directed by Katsuichi Nakayama with the animation production to be handled by Xebec.

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