October 25, 2005

Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid 13

Filed under: FMP: The Second Raid — Ren @ 11:01 pm

So I’m still not 100% better, but I’m feeling well enough to blog the final episode of TSR. Plus, I just couldn’t wait to watch it anymore. More screencaps than usual, and I’ll put my writeup in the extended entry.


October 16, 2005

Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid 12

Filed under: FMP: The Second Raid — Ren @ 1:28 pm

Gates utter lack of humanity is bone chilling. How could he taunt Xia Yu Fang about her sister’s death like that? I would be very interested to know what kind of childhood and upbringing Gates had that contributed to turning him into the monster he is today. Is it weird that as much as I am horrified by him, I also feel really sorry for him? But with only one more episode to go I doubt it’ll happen.

Gah! Gauron is still alive! I certainly didn’t see that coming, and apparently neither did Sousuke. Granted, he’s not exactly in the best shape, but still! It’s noteworthy that after only a couple of minutes with Sousuke even Gauron can tell that he’s not the same man he used to be. He’s become down-right emotional.

“Each Whispered has knowledge inherent to that Whispered alone.” Which is why even though Amalgam has one Whispered in its group - Tessa’s brother, they still have much to gain by capturing Chidori. Finally we are given more knowledge about the Whispered. I wish there was more time to learn even more.

Gauron also remarks that when he first met Sousuke the boy had no fear, no doubts, no thoughts whatsoever about life or death, he just carried out his missions. I believe that throughout the first season of FMP, but especially during this one, we have seen Sousuke grow by leaps and bounds as a character. But it can’t just be described as character development. What Sousuke has been on has been a journey towards becoming human. A human with wants, needs, hopes, fears, and dreams; with all of our frailties and uncertainties, but also the ability to draw upon courage and strength in spite of these so-called weaknesses of human flesh. A line from one of my favourite books comes to mind: “How can I become human, and stay human?” This to me is a picture of Sousuke’s journey so far.

One final note: Tessa deserves an Academy Award for her beautiful defence of Sousuke as well as her own self.

One episode to go, and with how this one ended that’s sooo not fair.

October 8, 2005

Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid 11

Filed under: FMP: The Second Raid — Ren @ 4:53 pm

It’s funny that Gates talks about balance since he’s so FREAKING INSANE and uh, off balance. That’s all I have to say about that.

Sousuke has definitely hit the breaking point. Everything has fallen apart around him and now we will see if he chooses to pick up the pieces and carry on, or give up. “Die? That’s a good idea too,” he says in the beginning, and at this point it seems that he is choosing the latter option.

He meets up with a prostitute who looks like Chidori. At first it doesn’t look like he’s going to go with her until she yells at him, much like the real Chidori would. He might have chosen to go with her because he thought being around someone who looks like her might make him feel better, but as memories of Chidori flash through his mind he only becomes more agitated. I wasn’t surprised that he ended up pushing the prostitute away and not going through with it, but the scene was very well done nonetheless.

Two more episodes to go! Argh, only two!

October 1, 2005

Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid 10

Filed under: FMP: The Second Raid — Ren @ 2:04 am

This time around we learn more about the Lambda Driver. It must have been hard for Sousuke to hear his comrades indirectly criticizing his ability to activate it and reminding him of this failure in that regard in Nanking.

It’s weird to see Sousuke having a conversation with the Arbalest like it’s a person, weirder still that it seems to be able to actually learn things like a person. And it has instincts? That’s simultaneously creepy and wicked cool. But these supposed human-like qualities seem to only increase Sousuke’s hatred for the Arbalest.

Oh, and Mao’s story about how her father tried to marry her off but she snuck away on the day of the wedding to join the marines to piss him off was great! And very Mao-like. Heh.

Now Mao telling Sousuke off for being distracted by thoughts of Chidori was quite powerful, though I don’t think she was 100% on the mark. He was brooding the whole episode, but over the Arbalest in addition to Chidori.

He couldn’t protect Chidori, and he can’t seem to activate the Lambda Driver when he needs to. It all boils down to feeling like a failure, which leads to the questions of, “What am I good at? What am I good for? What do I want to be good at? Where is my life going and what am I living for?” These are powerful questions, and if one goes on a journey to truly find the answers internal and external chaos inevitably ensues.

It’s risky and crazy and hard, but true growth will never happen if you don’t take the chance. I commend Sousuke for questioning himself, and I respect him even more for his blunt honesty in the words, “I can’t take it anymore.” It never helps to try and pretend you’re ok when you’re not.

Yup, so at the time of finishing this post it’s just after 3:00 a.m. and I can’t sleep. Insomnia causes me to have many so-called deep throughts. Heh.

September 28, 2005

Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid 9

Filed under: FMP: The Second Raid — Ren @ 7:26 pm

Freaking intense! I almost turned blue from not breathing! Chidori is awesome!

That’s all I have to say. :)

September 20, 2005

Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid 8

Filed under: FMP: The Second Raid — Ren @ 6:12 pm

The animation continues to astound. The plane at the beginning of the ep looked freaking real.

We meet a new character, Lieutenant Grouseaux. (His hair is stupid, btw) And um, he’s not very good at making friends. But he’s pretty perceptive, so I can’t hate him.

Tessa obviously feels bad about what’s happening to Sousuke, but I guess she has to do what she has to do, and her decisions aren’t completely her own. She also has people to answer to. Add in her personal feelings and you’ve got one complicated situation.

When Sousuke enters her office he makes a forced effort to be his usual order-taking, emotionless soldier self. He tries so hard to keep his cool but this is one situation in which he can’t stop his emotions from getting the better of him. This is a marked difference from the Sousuke we first met, and a sign of character development.

As usual, I can’t wait for the next episode. I can’t BELIEVE this season is only going to be 13 eps. That’s a sin against humanity! How can they possibly tell everything in just 5 more episodes?? Aggghhhh. I’m so disappointed.

August 26, 2005

Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid 7

Filed under: FMP: The Second Raid — Ren @ 12:35 pm

Aggh!! Amazing episode!

More thoughts when I get home from work and then Future Shop. Ima go buy me a digital camera. (Like I’m not poor enough already..)

Ok here it is:

This ep was absolutely intense. To see Sousuke completely lose his cool and start shouting confidential information was awesome. Of course it quickly got the response he wanted - a phone call from Wraith. Even though Wraith says his job is to protect Chidori, Sousuke is skeptical.

The conversation with Wraith was painful and frustrating. He seemed bent on hitting Sousuke in every weak spot.

Wraith calls him an annoyance, said he’s even thought of killing him. Sousuke is all tough and tells him to try it, but I think that comment will actually hurt him. Not as bad as what follows, though. Wraith makes fun of Sousuke for the salon incident. He tells him he’s not a student, never has been, that his achievements and school records are all lies, and he couldn’t even be with Chidori all the time because of his other missions. Basically, he’s calling him useless. Sousuke is already torn with trying to be a soldier, and trying to act more like a normal guy.

His feelings are already in turmoil. Biting comments like these can only serve to further cause Sousuke’s precarious balancing act to become more unstable. Sousuke no doubt will walk away from this event more confused as to who he is and what he wants, and whether he’s of any value to anyone.

Wraith goes so far as to call him a burden to Chidori, and that his mere presence endangers her.

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

Bah! It killed me to see Chidori on cloud nine only to be crushed flat when Sousuke didn’t show up at school. I’m sure she started out wondering if she had done something wrong to make him stay away. But by the end of the ep she was figuring out that there’s more to it.

Agh and when she was walking with Kyouko and then Xia Yu Lan walked by and everything slowed down and the music changed, and Chidori started panicking…Wow, what an amazingly intense moment, and the tension built right to the end when Chidori stood in Sousuke’s empty apartment, feeling vulnerable and afraid.

The small details are one of this series’ strong points: The way her hand shook, the way her breathing got more rapid. How she hurriedly phoned Sousuke and kept telling herself “it’s ok it’s ok it’s ok.” They way she turned the tv up to drown out any other sounds. The way every little bump and noise made her jump, a marked difference from her normal demeanor. She knows, she knows something isn’t right. She’s lived all of this time in relative peace, but suddenly Sousuke is gone, a strange girl passes by her, and her world is beginning to crumble again and she’s reminded that she is a target.

I can’t believe we don’t get more FMP for three weeks. I’m going to die.

August 20, 2005

Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid 6

Filed under: FMP: The Second Raid — Ren @ 5:10 pm

All through this episode it felt kind of like the calm before the storm. But then the ending happened and !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Ughh!!! How can this happen now when Chidori openly admitted that Sousuke is the only person she trusts! ARrghhh!!

They removed Sousuke from protecting Chidori and have forbidden him from having any contact with her!!!! Seems they believe he’s more valuable as a soldier than a bodyguard, but i doubt he’ll see it that way. Even though he said in the previous episode that all he wants to do is follow orders, I wonder if that will continue to be the case.

As he was sitting in the hairdresser’s chair and his face was covered with a towel, there was a brief moment when Sousuke was about to freak out, but he controlled himself. In fact, through the whole time he was there he tried to remind himself that this is something that normal highschoolers do. It all fell apart when the hairdresser pulled out the sharp scissors of course.

I think this is the first time that I have seen Sousuke make such a concious effort not to react as a soldier. It normally seems like such an automatic reaction. Even though it seems he’s been aware of the fact that he’s causing trouble for Chidori and the rest, this appears to be the first time in his life that he’s actually letting it bother him. Day by day, episode by episode, we see him questioning his own actions, which inevitably leads to questioning one’s desires and motivations.

I can’t wait to see how this all plays out!

August 16, 2005

Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid 5

Filed under: FMP: The Second Raid — Ren @ 6:35 pm

The scenes between Chidori and Sousuke were priceless this episode. I was practically rolling on the floor upon seeing their teacher once again being the poor victim of Sousuke’s attempts to protect Chidori.

I really think this series balances the comedic and serious elements very well. The funny parts are always funny, the serious engrossing, and the action astounding. The conference scene did a very good job of depicting the way organizations love to shift blame around with no one ever taking full responsibility.

I was moved by Melissa’s keen observations and obvious concern for Sousuke. It’s true that he’s very young to be taking on so much. How much longer can he fulfill the role of soldier, bodyguard, and student before he collapses under the pressure? His dedication is admirable, but is this really what he wants in his life? If Sousuke chooses to seriously ask himself these questions it could lead to chaotic results and will have consequences for not only himself but also for the people in his life.

August 14, 2005

Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid 4

Filed under: FMP: The Second Raid — Ren @ 7:34 am

An intense and action packed episode. It was fabulous to see Tessa doing something useful besides sitting and staring at Sousuke. I’ve always wondered what makes her so special that she already holds such a high position in Mithril, but she really came through this time.

The fight scene between Mao and Xia Yu Lan was beautifully fluid, a real treat to the eyes.

I could say more, but I’m heading back over to Ai-Kon for the final day.

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