September 29th, 2003


Finished series: Full Metal Panic!

We finished Full Metal Panic! on friday. FMP is a 24-episode TV series by Gonzo, which aired last year. ADV has the US rights, and they will be cranking out DVDs soon.
Meanwhile, the second season of FMP is airing in Japan right now.

FMP! is a mecha show with a twist. The world is like the one we know today (with a few twists), except for one huge difference: mecha ("Arm Slave", or AS) roam the battlefields of the earth. The mercenary unit 'Mithril' battles terrorism wherever they can (and, presumably, when they get paid to do so). Sergeant Sagara Souske's team (the sexy sergeant major Mao, leader of the team, and sharpshooter Kurz Weber) are sent to Japan to protect Chidori Kaname, who is in danger of being abducted by icky people.
Souske is the same age as Chidori, so he goes undercover as a transfer student at the same school. However, he's a total military freak (he hasn't known anything else, his military career started when he was 8(!)), so he doesn't fit in at all. Much hilarity ensues (pay attention to what happens with the cloaked AS that Kurz pilots for surveillance duty).

And then Chidori does get kidnapped. Souske is forced to drop his cover to rescue her, and we get introduced to a strange new technology that Chidori is somehow linked to. It turns out that Souske's old nemesis is behind it all. So begins an interesting mix of highschool slapstick and serious military mecha action.

Good points:
- Some (but not all) of the comedy;
- Semi-realistic musings on military tactics;
- Some of the CGI shots are really beautiful.
Bad points:
- In the end, the motivations of the main bad guy aren't really clear;
- We don't need to see Chidori's panties, thank you. Luckily, this clears up after the first few episodes.
- The ending felt a bit rushed.

It's not world-class anime, but certainly enjoyable to watch. A 6.5.
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SD Fub


Saturday, we went to Gert and xaviar_nl. Babske was there as well. We gave them the presents we got for them in Japan, after which we did the photo thing. They had already read the travel reports that I wrote, so we didn't have to tell the whole story.
Then we played some Bust-A-Groove (as always, I ruled the dancefloor, except when xaviar_nl played with Capoeira and used his special attacks on me), after which dinner was being served. A wonderful fondue, but it was just too much food -- there was a lot left.
After dinner, we played Boonanza, a really interesting little game. I don't think I have a good grasp of the tactics involved yet, but it's certainly a game I'd want to play again.

Sunday, Onno and my in-laws came over to watch the photos. And of course we gave them their presents! Onno chose which poster he wanted to have framed (the one of the Legend of the Dragon Kings, which I liked best too). All in all, it was much too late before we went to bed...
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Writing course: Homework

I did my homework for next thursday today (because I don't have time for the rest of the week: tomorrow we're going to Hellsing in Filmhuis Arnhem and wednesday I have the next MagicCaptors session).
We had to take one of the rooms we described in the 'Symbolic detail' exercise and describe it through a camera. The camera is completely objective (so no interpretation!) and doesn't have audio. Near the end, at least one person enters the room and something happens.

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