Full Metal Panic!

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"FUMOFFU!"
Bonta-Kun

Full Metal Panic! is a hybrid novel/manga/anime series, which tells the stories of Sergeant Sōsuke Sagara, a young soldier of the mercenary anti-terrorism organization Mithril, and Kaname Chidori, the Japanese high school student he's assigned to protect.

Unbeknownst even to herself, Kaname possesses special knowledge that numerous organizations would like dearly to control for their own means. As such, Sōsuke is assigned to infiltrate her high school in order to protect her while pretending to be an ordinary student, and without her knowing that she's in danger. Sōsuke, unfortunately, has no social experience outside his military life, having been literally raised as a soldier, and thus has no idea how to properly act in civilian life.

Hilarity Ensues but before long Kaname will be drawn into Sōsuke's world as well when the forces that want her for their own make their move to seize the girl, kicking off a globe-hopping plot as Sōsuke balances his bodyguard duties for Kaname with his duties as a member of Mithril's military forces.

Full Metal Panic! originally debuted as a series of Light Novels in Japan, books with interspersed illustrations. The series proved so popular that it was adapted first as a serialized manga in Newtype magazine, and later as an anime by Gonzo Animation. Two more series, Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, and Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid were made by Kyoto Animation. While the original and Second Raid are both more serious action stories, Fumoffu is much Lighter and Softer, in that it focuses on Sōsuke's misadventures in school.

Despite the multiple formats, FMP! has actually managed to remain rather consistent between the novels themselves and the media that adapt them, with only minor changes. The twelfth novel (which is set to be the last full-length volume, though more short stories have not been ruled out) was released recently,[when?] while the anime itself has adapted the storyline of the first five. There was brief talk of a live-action movie adaptation in 2009, but that died down quickly and no more is expected to come of it.

However, there is now[when?] a new gaiden novel coming, set some years after the events of the last book, starring a bonafide cake eater, a new machine, and a thrice divorced Kurz. Spoilers ahoy.

The principal cast includes:

Intelligent and with a definite look at putting realism into Humongous Mecha, FMP! nonetheless is also charming, funny, and at times, touching. Certainly worth a look by most anime fans.

Should not be confused with Fullmetal Alchemist or even Full Metal Jacket - no matter what Sōsuke thinks. Definitely should not be confused with Strawberry Panic!.

Feel free to check out and contribute to the Character Sheet.


Tropes used in Full Metal Panic! include:
  • The Abridged Series: And it's highly reminiscent of the early episodes of hbi's Berserk.
  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council: Between Hayashimizu's negotiation tactics and Sousuke's overkill.
    • Handwaved as the Principal specifically not wanting to interfere in their decisions. The way she says it, we are definitely led to believe that she could if she wanted to. (The generous donations that Mithril makes to the school appear to have something to do with her attitude.)
  • Accidental Pervert: Sōsuke. Happens so often that Kaname has become Genre Savvy about it.
    • Happens to Mardukas in episode 8 of Fumoffu. He accidentally opens a door to a girl's locker room, then excuses himself immediately, but a rumor of a pervert running around the school causes Sousuke to apprehend him. Hilarity Ensues after Sousuke realizes who it is, and the mission Mardukas has for him, which adds more difficulty to a sleep-deprived Sousuke.
  • Action Survivor: Kaname is one at times, particularly when she got the jump on an assassin with nothing but a taser and a bathrobe.
  • Actor Allusion: The English dub created one by casting Spike Spencer, the English voice of Shinji Ikari, as Takuma, who protests that he doesn't want to climb into a giant mecha and is told that he mustn't run away.
    • In Fumoffu, Kaname muses that she'd like to install a device in Sousuke's brain that would let her zap him whenever he did something embarassing. Kaname's voice actress, Satsuki Yukino, also voiced Kagome from Inuyasha, who did much the same to the title character via his Restraining Bolt necklace. The allusion is lampshaded when Kyouko protests that Sousuke isn't a dog.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The Second Raid mostly adapts the 5th novel, End of Day by Day, significantly expanding the smaller plot of the traitor in the novel, and doing sufficient justice to the story... and changing the male chinese twin assassins to girls, for added fanservice and emotional impact when they die.
  • Almost Kiss: When pulling Sousuke out of the water near the end of episode 8 in Season 1, Kaname thinks he's going to kiss her, so she closes her eyes and puckers up. Then the next scene occurs, and Sousuke is merely getting excess water off his clothing, while Kaname is still in a kissing mode. She later angrily storms off when he thinks her red face is from sickness.
  • Angst Coma: Played for Laughs in Fumoffu--Sousuke faints from stress when Tessa's advances become too much for him.
    • Well, that and the fact that he'd been awake for four days straight.
  • Against the Setting Sun: Subverted.
  • All There in the Manual: Borderline, as one can follow the story easily in each incarnation, but the details missing from either adaptation still make this a completist's minor nightmare.
  • Alliterative Name: Sōsuke Sagara, Teletha "Tessa" Testarossa, Melissa Mao.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Leonard Testarossa
  • Alternate History: The Soviet Union continues to exist in the present. And so does the Cold War (plus mecha).
    • In addition, China went through a civil war, with Hong Kong partitioned into Communist-controlled north and Democratic-controlled south sections, similar to Berlin, and an ECS-using nuclear missile was used on US-led coalition forces during the 1991 Gulf War.
    • And is actually a plot point. According to both Leonard and Tessa, the experiment at Yamsk-11 made it possible for information to travel back in time and into the "whispered", which ended up history from that point forward.
  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: The Lambda Driver, though most characters who have it are awesome enough without having to use it.
  • An Aesop: Parodied in the legendary rugby episode. After witnessing a group of total wimps turned psychopathic beat the shit out of the Opposing Sports Team, Sosuke (the one who MADE them psycho) muses that his time with the team taught him that violence is the worst possible outcome for any situation. Then Chidori smacks him with her fan and says "Don't go trying to give this a neat little conclusion!"
  • Anger Born of Worry: Kaname.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Gauron's "I LOVE YOU KASHIM!" Sōsuke was NOT amused.
    • Then in Come Make my Day, Sousuke & Kaname FINALLY confessed their feelings to each other on the radio while Kaname is being taken away by the enemy by helicopter. Kaname actually threatened to kill herself if they didn't allow her to do so.
    • Tessa does this to Sousuke in the OVA. Being Sousuke, he completely misinterprets it.
  • Ascended Extra: Yu Fan and Yu Lan in the anime.
  • Asleep in Class: In the second novel, Sousuke falls asleep with his eyes open after having spent the night dealing with a Humongous Mecha rampaging through Tokyo.
  • The Atoner: Kalinin towards Sōsuke, as revealed in their backstory. He always feels extremely guilty for allowing Sōsuke's mother to die, and also for leaving Sōsuke in the orphanage which led to Sōsuke eventually becoming a cold-blooded killer.
  • Ax Crazy: Gauron, Gates, the kid who piloted the Behemoth... Pretty much all Lambda Driver users except Sousuke, point of fact.
  • Bad Boss: Gates, who has a Running Gag about killing his own men for pretty much no reason at all.
  • Badass Boast: In Episode 13 of Season 1, during a heated argument, Tessa says that she can pilot an AS better than Mao can. Mao then challenges her to an AS duel, with the loser having to run around the base naked, and in the heat of the moment, Tessa agrees to it.
  • Badass Normal: After TSR Kaname certainly gained this status. Also, is hinted in one episode in the first season, that she'd make an awesome AS pilot.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Most noticeably in the first anime's opening.
    • Averted in The Second Raid with Yu Fan and Yu Lan.
  • Batman Gambit: Gauron pulls one off at the end of the first season. He attacks a chemical weapons dump, knowing Mithril will come to stop him; when they do, he surrenders, claiming his AS overheated. He and his AS are taken into custody on board the Tuatha de Danaan - which turns out to have been his objective all along so that he can take over the ship, although he's foiled in this by the main cast (and also fails to die taking Sousuke with him by self-destructing his mech, which was his backup objective).
  • Beach Episode
  • Beautiful All Along: Although she's actually pretty cute normally, THIS is apparently what Kyoko looks like with her glasses off and her hair let out of its braids.
  • Become a Real Boy: This happens to Al, Sousuke's support AI. Through out the series, Al develops human-like traits like making jokes, using sarcasm, annoying Sousuke by playing BGM during battles, and making decisions based on "gut feeling" rather than calculations. This cumulates in the penultimate chapter of the series right before Merida Island was hit by a nuclear strike, Al asks Sousuke "I want to try something, but first I want to ask. Am I human, or machine?" and Sousuke responds with "...decide it for yourself. People... do that." This in turn saves both Sousuke and Al by allowing Al to activate the lambda driver on his own without a human catalyst.
  • Bedmate Reveal: Tessa likes to sneak into Sousuke's bed during Fumoffu, to the point where Mao handcuffs her to prevent it.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Sōsuke and Kaname.
  • Between My Legs: Chidori has this shot in episode six and episode 10, and episode 11 of Fumoffu?.
  • BFG: The ARX-8 Laevatein's 165mm Demolition Gun. Even more so in Long Range mode, with an effective range of 30 KM!
  • Big Damn Heroes: Most of the major characters have at least one throughout. Even Kaname has one at the end of Second Raid, when she helps snap Sousuke out of his Heroic BSOD.
  • Bishonen: Kurz Weber, Leonard Testarossa. Hell, Leonard is as pretty as his sister. Sousuke's good looks are also noted, but he doesn't fall into the trope's aesthetic.
  • Black Box: Black Technology.
  • Blood Knight: Gauron. He doesn't care which side he's on, as long as he can cause destruction and have his Foe Yay with Sōsuke.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Sōsuke, on Kaname obviously.
    • This becomes an important plot point in The Second Raid, and leads to Sosuke's Heroic BSOD later on.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Referenced in episode 6 as part of a whole reference to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Kurz and Sousuke are even prepared to invoke this trope at that point, but then the Arbalest AS arrives.
  • Boobs of Steel: At least regarding the relative athletic and combat skills of Mao, Kaname, and Tessa.
  • Boot Camp Episode: In Fumoffu, the protagonist organizes a boot camp on two occasions, playing the Drill Sergeant Nasty in it.
    • Sousuke confides to Kaname that he doesn't actually understand the things he's saying, he's just repeating what he learned from Mao.
  • Bond One-Liner: One line of Sousuke's becomes this in the English dub. When asked "Who are you?!" during his infiltration of the enemy base during the school trip, his answer in Japanese is simply, "The garbage man," but in the dub it becomes, "I take out the garbage."
  • Boy Meets Girl: The first novel and first episode is literally called "Fighting Boy Meets Girl".
  • Breather Episode: The Second Raid episode 6, "Edge of Heaven," the haircut episode.
    • Episodes 8 and 13 in the first season, which are rather light-hearted compared to the previous episodes where a lot of intense action takes place.
  • Bridge Bunny: When first meeting Tessa, Kaname (trying to be Genre Savvy) assumes she couldn't possibly be the captain of the De Danaan and must be one of these instead. Tessa plays along, just to mess with her.
  • Brick Joke: During the Behemoth Arc, as Sousuke and Kurz make their way to A21's ship, Mao trails them in her M9, and keeps running into highway signs. Mao remarks that at least it isn't as bad as Hong Kong, with signs everywhere. The endgame of TSR takes place in Hong Kong.
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: Mao
    • Tessa can seem like this, at least in the first few episodes of the anime. Her clumsiness is Played for Laughs in Fumoffu.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Belfangan Clouseau and Kurz Weber.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Sōsuke funny enough he got drunk, and passed out, off amazake, which is a sweeter, low-alcoholic version of traditional sake. He only drank one cup.
    • As of recently in the novels, he literally Can't Hold His Liquor, due to debilitating internal injuries courtesy of a rifle round that relieved him of a portion of his liver, among other things.
      • Livers grow back, you know.
  • Catch Phrase: Sōsuke. "Not a problem".
  • Cat Smile: Tessa displays one briefly when trying to sneak into Sousuke's bed again in episode 9 of Fumoffu. Right before Mao grabs her and handcuffs her.
  • Caucasian Asian: An early episode has one of the KGB agents referring to Gauron as a "Chinaman". He corrects the agent, saying that he's Japanese. The purpose of this exchange seems to be to tell the viewers that Gauron is in fact Asian, as he isn't drawn significantly differently from the white characters.
    • Actually, given the original market, it seems to be more to explain to viewers that Gauron isn't Chinese despite having a Cantonese handle (technically speaking, he's known as "Gaulung") and to foreshadow that he's not Khmer, despite his service as a Child Soldier under the Khmer Rouge.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Tessa lets her frustrations spill out in episode 8 of The Second Raid, not to mention her anger at being the odd girl out in the Love Triangle.
  • Chaste Hero: Sōsuke. He doesn't understand anything about romance. He thinks that "kissing" is a synonym for CPR, "flirting" means trapping girls in cages and holding them captive at gunpoint, and that a condom is for storing water.
    • He actually had no idea what the first two were and likely had to ask what the last one was for. The first two were described to him as "putting your lips together" and "girl hunting" respectively. Considering special forces have been using condoms to keep water out of the barrel of their guns for decades, they're designed to prevent fluid penetration, the fact that they can be used to store liquids isn't too far a leap of logic.
      • His squad was going over the supplies he packed to try and blend in as a high schooler, and they found a condom. Mao asked him if he knew what it was for, and he said storing water. It's a very common survival kit supply item, specifically because of how much water it can hold.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: the red haired girl Sousuke saves from a Hind-D in the first episode, she shows up in the later novels and makes the souped up replacement for the Arbalest, the ARX-8 Laevatein
  • Cherry Blossoms
  • Chick Magnet: Sōsuke. Kaname, Tessa, Ena Saeki, Gray (who has heavy implications of being at least attracted to him), and Nami (from the novels) have the hots for him. Several girls at his school also show that they find him extremely handsome. And that's not even getting into how Even the Guys Want Him...
    • Remember that drugged-out whispered girl at the very beginning of the series that Sousuke rescued? Later on in the novels, she plays a larger role (and yes, she has a name - Mira Kudan), and guess what? She also has the hots for Sousuke, and sends him a love letter telling him she had already given her heart to him since that time. She's a realist, though - she acknowledges that if she were to put the moves on him, Kaname and Tessa would kill her.
  • Child Soldier: Sōsuke. Pretty much all of the various ways in which he is "stupid" about the world is because he has literally known nothing outside of the mercenary life until he gets assigned to protect Kaname. Full Metal Panic loses something of its comedy when you realise that Sōsuke's antics are caused because of complete and total ignorance of anything that doesn't have to do with killing and surviving to keep on killing.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Kurz all the way.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Gauron. He changes sides like crazy, without much reason other than that another side will give him more opportunities for destruction and meeting Kashim.
  • Class Representative: Kaname.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Kaname vehemently denies having feelings for Sousuke, but sure hates it whenever Tessa is around him. Especially in Fumoffu.
    • Mizuki in episode 8 of the first season. It's likely she wrote/spread the rumors about Kaname, leading Sousuke to interrogate Shirai in the boy's restroom. After her breakup, she forces Sousuke to pretend to be her boyfriend for her friends, and Kaname doesn't exactly feel comfortable with it. Particularly when Mizuki has him practicing saying "I love you" to her, and later on when he kisses her in front of her friends.
  • Clown Car Base: The Tuatha De Danaan looks like a exceptionally large aircraft carrier turned into a submarine when we see it from the inside or during one of its oceanic voyages, but then an AS (25ft tall) stands on top of the thing and suddenly we find out it's the size of a frigate at most. Which means there's no way any of what it carries can fit in it at all. "Toy Box" indeed.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: You believe that Sōsuke's outburst when defeating Gauron was bad? Then here's a little example from Fumoffu (note: the stuff is censored so this is mainly speculative)...

Sōsuke: Once you survive my training, then and only then will you become a weapon! Until that time you lowly maggots are nothing but a bunch of cocksuckers! I despise and look down upon you. Let's make one thing clear: my job is to find the limp dicks among you and weed them out! I won't have a stinking pussy on our team keeping us from victory! There will be no laughing or crying. You are NOT human beings! You are KILLING MACHINES! If you couldn't kill, your lives will become worthless! You fuckers would be better off in a corner jacking off your meat! You want to lose just to stand out? Pretend it hurts to gain some sympathy?! You are pathetic loser scum! The best part of you ran down on the crack of your mother's ass and ended up as a cumstain on the mattress! Quit draggin' your feet, you fuckers! If you whimper, I will unscrew your head and shit down on your neck! That ball is your only girlfriend! You don't need a Mary Jane with boobs and a large backside! Think of it as a wet pussy and fuck her as hard as you can!

    • Of course he got it from "Mao's Pocketbook: How To Abuse A Training Recruit". And Kaname implies he doesn't even know what he's saying.
    • He also cusses Kaname out in the last novel, yelling out to her that she's a "stupid bitch"... which is what makes her snap back into reality. Yeah, he certainly gained a potty mouth by being around Mao.
    • And Gates from the English dub of The Second Raid.
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: Mizuki's 3 friends who visit in Fumoffu have Colorful Theme Naming for red, yellow, and green, and each of them wears the same color. Kaname even comments that they're colored like a street light.
  • Completely Missing the Point: Sōsuke is the king Anthropomorphic Personification of this.
    • Special mention for Kurz who upon seeing the gum that Gauron very deliberately pressed into his Arm Slave complains about litterbugs. Thrown gum does not flatten like that!
    • In an episode in Fumoffu, Kaname takes Sousuke through an Abandoned Hospital. While her intention was to scare him, he's more worried about possible traps and ambushes. When one of the girls gets scared and runs away because she saw an old lady staring at them from the hospital, Sousuke nonchalantly mentions seeing her too, freaking out Kaname. But he wasn't worried because the old lady was simply looking at them, and didn't have a gun or RPG, the first of many frustrations as she tries to scare him.
      • Considering how he grew up, it's not likely that the hospital would be much different than a bombed out building in a warzone.
  • Conspicuous CG
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Mithril has programs that troll online forums and denounce anyone who makes connections about events Mithril was involved in as a conspiracy theorist so that nobody pays any attention to the (sometimes accurate) conclusions that the posters are coming to.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: In the novels, Mardukas threatens Sōsuke with such punishments as making him Silly Walk around the base and having him teach the self-defense class using a banana. Sadly, these references are removed from the anime.
  • Cool Big Sis: Melissa Mao, who references the trope almost by name in The Second Raid.
  • Cool Old Guy: Kalinin
  • Cool Ship: The Tuatha De Danaan, of course.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Sōsuke has certainly studied in the Raiders of the Lost Ark school of Bringing a Gun to a Knifefight.
    • Among many other things.
  • Crazy Prepared: Sōsuke. In one episode, he's even shown having a biochemical suit handy.
    • The various death traps mounted around an onsen resort in the manga count as well. With, of course, a little help from Mao (or maybe she set it all up herself).
    • Especially in the Fumoffu side-arc. When Sōsuke is faced with a hand-to-hand combat with 3 karate fighters, he subdues the first one with a non-lethal projectile from a gun, the second one (after explained he can't use guns) with some sort of gas and for the third one (after being beaten by Kaname) he used a hand grenade as a decoy to bring him down.
    • Also, in the first episode of Fumoffu, Sōsuke is asked to lay off all his weapons. Clang! Clink! Clang! and next shot from the camera shows him standing next to a heap of weapons almost half his size. (Including several grenades and a Bazooka).
  • Crap Saccharine World: A strong argument can be made for this, given that the Cold War is still ongoing as of 1998 (novels)/2002 (anime), China is in the middle of a civil war between Communist North and Democratic South, Hong Kong is split in two, controlled by North and South China, at least one Soviet submarine attempted a nuclear strike on London, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan succeeded, Mikhail Gorbachev was assassinated and glasnost never happened... the list goes on and on. This is what prompts Leonard's plans of remaking the world, which Kalinin buys into.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Inverted. Mithril was founded and initially bankrolled by Mr Mercury, last of the original founders of Amalgam, to stop his out of control creation.
  • Creepy Twins: Yu Fan and Yu Lan
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: Mamiko Noto as Shinji Kazama?... Okay then...
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Sousuke at first seems like an awkward guy who's a bit too obsessed with the military, but put Kaname or any of his other friends in danger...
    • Tessa as well. She seems like comic relief with her clumsiness, but when its time to get serious, she can prove to be quite a formidable opponent as well, such as when Gauron tries to take over the Tuatha De Danann.
  • Cry Cute: Tessa looks so adorable after she trips and drops a glass in the beginning of episode 9 in Fumoffu.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Happens to Kurz when he first fights Gauron, who barely manages to escape.
    • Gauron in fact does a lot of these until he's fighting Sousuke 1 on 1.
    • Sousuke later delivers one to Amalgam at the end of Second Raid after snapping out of his Heroic BSOD.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Second Raid is marginally Darker and Edgier than the first season, and can come as quite a shock for viewers coming fresh off of Fumoffu.
    • Bloodier and Gorier: The Second Raid is also a significant margin grittier than the original Full Metal Panic. Special mention goes to a scene where a man's throat is cut open, and all the muscles and cartilage inside is clearly visible.
  • Dating Sim: Sōsuke plays one of these to help him better understand women. It doesn't work.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Al[1], of all people, in the OVA episode following The Second Raid.
    • Believe or not he's even more so in the later novels suggesting they sing or tell jokes in the heat of battle to calm themselves down...all in that cold robotic voice. Much to Sousuke's chargin of course.
    • Of course, from Second Raid, we have:

Sousuke: It seems you think you're funnier than me.
Al: Affirmative.

  • Death Seeker: Gauron, Gauron, Gauron. Extra irony in that, for the majority of the entire series, he just can't seem to.
  • Depraved Homosexual: Again, Gauron. He wants Sousuke. He really wants Sousuke. So much so that he will describe his fantasies to Sousuke.
  • Deus Ex Machina: At the end of season one, they plug Kaname into a machine that was never mentioned up until that point, have her control the ship in ways that were never mentioned to be possible prior to that episode, and pretty much have her save the day with absolutely no warning. Wonderful.
    • To be fair, it's explained better in the novels. But since it's done mostly through inner monologues, it was difficult to do in the anime.
      • Not to mention, the Deus Ex Machina was kinda the point (almost literally). Kaname herself doesn't know what she's doing at the time, and it is a valid plot point that they keep seeking an explanation for during several books, and is only truly revealed in the last 2 novels. So I'd say they get a pass with this one. Now, Gauron, on the other hand...
  • Did Not Do the Research: In the novel, it mentioned the existence of the Canadian SAS as if it did still exist in the 90s. This is not true as it disbanded after the end of World War II. JTF-2 is one of the special forces created in the 90s, which has capabilities similar to the modern British (and Australian/New Zealand) SAS.
    • This could arguably be justified, as the series is an Alternate Timeline, although it apparently deviates from The Eighties. Perhaps in-universe circumstances spurred its reformation rather than replacement.
  • Die Hard on an X: Captain Sailor treated A Dancing Very Merry Christmas as Die Hard On A Cruise Ship. The Mithril agents who had taken the Pacific Chrysalis refer to the person trying to retake the ship as "John MacClane".
  • Disposable Love Interest: Arguably, Nami.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Sousuke. Duh.
  • Damsel in Distress: Kaname
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: A hair cut, of all things. The entire scene is treated with a large degree of intimacy, and afterwards Sousuke and Kaname are basically acting as though they just got it on.
    • Well, normally this definitely would sound ridiculous... but since it's Sousuke, it actually makes sense, unfortunately. On Sousuke's part, that act was probably the equivalent of them making out, taking into account his intimacy issues and the fact that appealing to his trust issues turns him on more than anything else (including skimpy outfits or overt flirting). And on Kaname's part, this act was pretty much the most intimate that they've had. And seeing how their relationship thus far had strictly been on a No Hugging, No Kissing basis, her standards of intimacy had probably been lowered considerably. So in other words, yes. The closest thing to sex with Sousuke was giving him a haircut.
      • To go further, even with Kaname being the one to do it, he still has trust issues about it that subconsciously bother him later on. He actually has nightmares about it, where she slits his throat with the razor. So yes, to him, it was a bit too intimate and a very large sacrifice for him to allow her to do that. Guess she was moving too fast for him.
        • That's partially explained by the fact that apparently he has some sort of "soldier's sense" or something, and there was a loaded gun pointed at him the entire time his hair was being cut.
    • And then there's basically any interaction between Gauron and Sousuke.
    • Don't forget the "Feudal Japanese Spider-Man" show in Second Raid. Spider-Man gets this a lot with his webbing, but this time the webbing really didn't look like webbing at all. Especially when he shot it all over that guy's face.
  • Dojikko: Tessa
  • Enjo Kosai: Subverted hard with Kaname using this technique to borderline seduce an older man, then taser him and handcuff him to the bathtub, just to get a safe place for a moment.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Tessa, when she visits Sōsuke's class in an episode of Fumoffu. ("She's so cute!")
    • Also applies to some of the female fans of the show, expressing the same sentiment ("She's so cute!" indeed.)
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Sōsuke. Along with being a total Chick Magnet, he has Gauron as a crazed Stalker with a Crush, (in the manga) the school swim team instructor has the hots for him, (in an episode of Fumoffu) a Camp Gay trio of bullies are way too eager to see him swim naked in a lake, and Zaied's attachment towards Sōsuke could very well be in the realm of Ho Yay.
  • Evil Gloating: A lot of the villains like to do this, notably Gauron.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: Gauron has a sense of humor... except it's a really horrible one. Lampshaded and made fun of in The Abridged Series.
  • Expy: Sōsuke is generally viewed as one for Heero Yuy, both being Stoic Child Soldier Humongous Mecha pilots with Bodyguard Crushes on their show's strong-willed female lead. The major difference is the personal problem they overcome over the course of the series: for Heero it's suicidal tendencies, for Sōsuke it's social awkwardness.
    • Hilarity Ensues when the two meet in Super Robot Wars W, which results in Sōsuke taking Heero on as a Sempai in order to try and become less awkward in non-combat situations.
    • Admiral Jerry Borda, according to Word of God, is an expy of former US Navy Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jerome Boorda.
    • Majeed, the Tiger of Badakhshan, the mujahedin leader who was Sousuke's target (and later commander), is an obvious expy of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the Lion of Panjshir.
  • Extended Disarming - See Hammerspace below.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: The end of the Rising Wind in the Homeland arc.
  • Fan Service: Many examples throughout the series, mostly focusing on the female characters. One bit for the ladies that particularly stood out, however, was Sousuke walking out of the shower... not wearing his towel.
    • Also, in The Second Raid, when Kaname was giving Sōsuke a haircut, she had told him to turn to the right. He then moves to the left, prompting her to say "No, your other right." He then gets a clear view of her cleavage.
    • Mocked in Fumoffu. In the seventh episode, next-episode teaser, Chidori accuses the show of using Tessa for fanservice.
  • A Father to His Men: Andrei Kalinin. So much so that Sousuke can't kill him in the last novel, in their duel to the death - Kalinin eventually dies of crash injuries.
  • Fish Out of Water: Sōsuke
  • Flawed Prototype: as powerful as the Belial and Laevatein are, thay are also very flawed, the belial is entirely dependent on its lambda driver for offence and defence, and the only reason the Laevatein can even move is becuase AL is there
  • Foe Yay: Gauron spends an awful lot of his time thinking about Sōsuke. Not to mention the whole "I love you Kashim!" thing. Or how, in the novels, he said he would've wanted to kill him and fuck his corpse.
  • Foot Focus: Quite a few scenes in the anime and manga put focus on the female characters' bare feet. Examples include Kaname going barefoot in order to sneak through the hijacked de Danaan.
  • Forbidden Fruit: There's just something about how mysterious and unattainable Sousuke is that makes people really want him...
  • For Massive Damage: The Behemoth's lambda driver is located in its ass, and when sousuke destroys it the machine tore itself apart under its own weight
    • It was not the lambda driver in the mecha's ass, but the cooling system. Lambda driver is actually who-knows-where and looks like internals of a washing machine.
  • Gaussian Girl: Gauron, while reminiscing about the "beautiful" 12-year-old Sōsuke, is shown seeing Sōsuke in this manner. Yeah, Gauron has problems.
  • Genius Ditz: Tessa
  • Genre Savvy / Wrong Genre Savvy: Kaname, especially in the books, watches entirely too many action movies for her own good. Sometimes it's beneficial, usually it's not ("Please! I know captains are tough old bastards like Sean Connery. You're one of those people who read telegrams or something.")
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: A rare female-to-male example, at the end of TSR.
  • Get Up Go to School Save The World: An unusually militaristic example, but quite noticeable in The Second Raid. Sosuke spends half his time playing Ordinary High School Student with Kaname, and the other half participating in dangerous missions with Mithril. Particularly amusing in the 5th episode, when Kaname calls Sosuke's cellphone to complain about him missing a test and potentially being held back a year... while he's in the middle of a high-speed Car Chase involving copious ammounts of heavy weapons and Stuff Blowing Up.
  • Gratuitous English: Kaname should probably work on hers. "Don't Worry, Everything is gonna Happy. ♥"
    • "HEYYYYYY, PRETTY JAPANESE GIRLS!"
      • Of course, Kurz speaks fluent Japanese; his brief use of Gratuitous English when introducing himself to Kaname and Kyouko is a completely intentional Funny Foreigner act.
    • Mao says "SHUT UP!" instead of the traditional "urusei!"
  • Groin Attack: Sōsuke in Fumoffu repeatedly stomped on a man's groin while he was down and gave another 4 successive punches there.
  • Guilty Pleasures: The Second Raid: the OVA is about Tessa trying to get her teddy bear back before somebody else finds out about it. Clouseau tries to keep his Anime habits a secret as well, mostly Played for Laughs.
  • Gun Nut: Sosuke is a major gun nut, as well as being rather Trigger Happy and storing large amounts of guns into Hammerspace.
    • Shinji loves all things military, with his love of guns only second to Arm Slaves. When he bumps into Sosuke on Kanami's deck they get so distracted talking about weapons that they forget why they were even there in the first place.
  • Hammerspace: Where exactly does Sōsuke pull out all his weapons and equipment from?! With how much stuff he carries, his uniform or pockets should be a lot bulkier...

Sousuke: (upon dropping all his weapons) I've complied to your demand.
Akutsu: Where the hell did you keep all that?!

  • Handsome Lech: Kurz
  • Hero Stole My Bike: In Fumoffu Kaname and Sōsuke steal a bike in order to get back to school in time for their test. Hilarity Ensues when a crazy policewoman tries to pull them over, leading to a Chase Scene that results in her crashing her squad car. Which then explodes.
  • Hero with an F In Good: Sōsuke. Because he's less good and more of a military Idiot Savant who happens to be to working on the side of a heroic mercenary group. He does get better as exposure to Kaname (who, admittedly, could really benefit from some lessons in properly "training" him) and a normal life starts to get him to understand that his way of viewing the world isn't the only way to do so.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: You can consider Amalgam considering its establishment.
  • Heroic BSOD: Sōsuke spends a substantial portion of The Second Raid in the throes of one.
  • Heroic Resolve: Kaname often instills this in Sousuke, such as his first fight in the Arbalest, against the Behemoth, and later during the end of Second Raid.
  • Hey, Catch!: Sōsuke does one with a grenade in Fumoffu to beat one of the karate team members.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: If you've watched the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni anime, try to watch any scene where Kaname laughs without cringing.
  • Hey, You: Gauron tends to call certain people by overly familiar names, and when they express discomfort and anger, it only fuels him to do it more.
  • "Hey You!" Haymaker: Sōsuke uses this one on the head of the Amateur Karate club while he's distracted by flirting with Kaname. Not that he's jealous or anything, he just needed to defeat the guy so they would leave and let the club house be demolished like the Absurdly Powerful Student Council wanted.
  • Hostage Situation: Handled by Sōsuke in a typically insane way.
    • Of course the best one is in the 3rd episode of Fumoffu when Sousuke is only imagining it. Ironicly, Souske's vision in that episode is the only time in the anime when Kaname is kidnapped on screen.
  • Hot Springs Episode: In "Fumoffu," complete with the antics of Kurz Weber, where he desperately attempts to peep within the girl's bathhouses. Although his plans are foiled each time by Sōsuke.
  • Ho Yay: Gauron towards Sōsuke. Overlaps with Foe Yay.
    • It is now completely canon. Watch the TSR comedy radio show where Gauron acts as the school's "sensei." Gato is doing this on purpose. Gauron orders Sousuke to write on the chalk board "Kashim loves Gauron Sensei. Heart. ♥" as well as "Gauron Sensei's extreme attack makes Kashim's heart pound. I want to have children with him." Followed by what appears to be an attempt to rape Sousuke in front of the class. Yay for subtlety.
  • Humongous Mecha: With hair! (The hair's used for cooling)
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Sōsuke's -- mostly in Fumoffu, but it pops up briefly in The Second Raid as well.
    • Gets a lampshade in The Second Raid where, after Sōsuke pulls out a bunch of non-lethal weapons (like stun guns and tear gas), Kaname remarks "And as usual, I have no idea where you were keeping all that."
  • Identical Grandson: In Sōsuke's backstory, he's revealed to look exactly like his mother. No wonder Even the Guys Want Him...
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The titles of the Japanese light novels follow the format "[Verb, usually progressive] [Three word English phrase]."
    • And the titles of the side-story collections are puns on Japanese phrases containing the number of the collection.
      • Also, except for the first segment of episode 1 and the "Megami no Rainichi" double episode, every episode segment in Fumoffu is titled as "[Japanese phrase] [English word in katakana]".
  • Ill Girl: A good bit of Kurz Weber's pay turns out to go towards the medical bills of a girl who was critically injured by his Cold Sniper mentor, Casper.
  • Improbable Age: Sōsuke; Tessa
  • Improvised Weapon: Kaname use of second base to knock out Sōsuke comes to mind.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: Gauron is this way towards Sōsuke, calling Sōsuke the "Assassin-Saint Kashim", and tries to get Kaname killed because she changed Sōsuke.
  • Interservice Rivalry: It's alluded to in TSR and End of Day by Day - Mithril's Intelligence Division and Operations Division don't really see eye to eye on a lot of things.
    • More humorously, Mao reveals that when she ditched her wedding to join the Marines, the recruiters kept trying to talk her out of it... until they learned her old man was a USAF Colonel. "Okay, sign here."
  • Intimidation Demonstration: In the Fumoffu episode, "Summer Illusion of Steel", Sameshima the cook runs up to Sōsuke with a knife in each hand, and starts twirling them around. He then switches over to rapidly slicing them through the air while stating his reputation as "Sammy the Slasher". It pays homage to Raiders of the Lost Ark, though, as Sōsuke just shoots him.
  • In Spite of a Nail: The Chernobyl accident happened in our world regardless. In the Alternate History, it happened years earlier thanks to the accident at Yamsk-11.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Sgt Sosuke Sagara.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: This is how Gauron (with a little help from his infiltrated friends) took over the Tuatha de Danaan at the final episode arc of the first season.
  • Juggling Loaded Guns: Sousuke is playing an arcade light gun game, and doing quite well until he runs out of bullets. After a stunned second, he pulls out his personal pistol and blows the game away. When it's explained to him that you're supposed to shoot away from the screen to reload, he talks about how that would have been horribly unsafe. (Note that he's right From a Certain Point of View; shooting outside the screen would be pointing the gun at something you don't plan to shoot, violating one of the three core rules of gun safety)
  • Kick the Dog: Kurama killing Nami.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Kalinin talks to Sōsuke about how "science fiction" weapons like the Arm Slaves exist despite all logic saying they shouldn't.
  • Last-Name Basis
  • Laughing Mad: Kaname has a crazy laugh that she gives whenever she's lying about something -- such as the possibility of being attracted to that nutcase Sōsuke. Or that his latest bone-headed antic bothers her in the least. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Death Note characters could be sighted briefly in The Second Raid, and a superhero from a show Kaname watches bears more than a passing resemblance to Spider-Man[2], among several others.
  • Left Hanging: Many important plot points, such as the origin of the Whispered and Black Technology, have been left unanswered by the end of The Second Raid; however, they are answered in the source novel material.
  • Les Yay (Mao has actually groped Tessa's breasts and spends an inordinate amount of time with her, often while inebriated, naked, and in a sexually charged mood.)
    • Also, Yu Fan and Yu Lan are first shown onscreen sharing a very intimate shower scene...
  • Lethal Chef: Kalinin's late wife's special Borscht recipe requires on-the-second stirring, PH balance testing, Cocao powder, and Miso Paste. In the manga, Sousuke tries cooking rice in a rice cooker. Over a fire. Indoors.
    • Of course, Kalinin seems to be completely oblivious to the fact that his wife intentionally made terrible food as her "revenge" for his being Married to the Job.
  • Lighter and Softer: Fumoffu
    • Also the OVA episode, "A Relatively Leisurely Day in the Life of a Fleet Captain", taking place shortly after the events of The Second Raid
  • Likes Older Women
  • Live Action Adaptation: Mandalay Pictures has announced they have acquired the rights. See What the Hell, Casting Agency? below...
  • Longing Look
  • Loners Are Freaks: Sousuke specifically tries not to get too attached to anyone. Unfortunately, being a Magnetic Hero, people just keep flocking to him. Gauron later tells Sousuke the opposite of this trope - that being a loner is actually a good thing, and being surrounded by friends weakens him. Of course, he might also have other more shallow reasons for telling him that...
  • Loud Gulp: Sousuke visibly gulping can only mean one thing: Kaname is PISSED.
  • Love At First Sight: No matter how you look at it, Gauron (in his own warped, weird way) fell in love at first sight with "beautiful" Kashim.
  • Love Hotels
  • Love Letter Lunacy: Starting with the lockers being demolished again...
  • Love Triangle: Kaname, Sōsuke, Tessa. Sōsuke, Kaname, Leonard. It's hinted that there is one (albeit very warped) with Gauron, Sōsuke, and Yu Fang and Yu Lan.
  • Luminescent Blush: Sōsuke does this a few times, most notably in Fumoffu. It's really rather entertaining.
    • Kaname has one in the first episode when discussing that weirdo Sōsuke on the phone, showing that she's lying about not finding him attractive.
  • MacGuffin Girl: Kaname, to a minor extent. Not so much "seeking" her as "protecting," but the idea is the same.
  • Mafia Princess: Ren
  • Magic From Technology: The Lambda Driver allows Humongous Mecha to pull off distinctly magical feats, such as throwing around blasts of destructive energy and casually defying the laws of physics to allow a grossly oversized mech to move. Oh yeah, and it runs on the strong emotions of the pilot.
  • Magic Skirt: In Fumoffu and The Second Raid, most definitely not present in the first series, coincidentally the only Gonzo-produced one.
  • Married to the Job: Sōsuke. Completely socially inept, and very dedicated to his job.
    • This actually becomes a major plot point in The Second Raid.
  • Mascot with Attitude: Bonta-Kun. More specifically, Sosuke's own Bonta-Kun combat suit.. which has a cross-shaped scar on its chin.
  • Mass Super-Empowering Event: 24 December 1981 (or 1984 in the anime), 1150 GMT.
  • Mauve Shirt: Gail McAllen. He gets a kiss then a few episodes later he dies.
  • Mental Time Travel: The "Whispered", to some extent.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Later on in the novels, Sousuke gets the ARX-8 Laevatein to replace the destroyed ARX-7 Arbalest.
  • Misguided Missile:
  • Mission Control: Tessa often performs this role, but sometimes Mardukas or Kalinin does this as well.
  • Moment Killer: TSR, Episode 13. It's not even a kiss, but when that group of girls comes out of the classroom to find Kaname crying in Sōsuke's arms, juuust as he was about to hug her for the first time, he gives up and lets them assume whatever. Argh!
    • Not to mention earlier in the same episode where Kaname hilariously does this to herself. Of course, she blames Sousuke.
  • Mood Whiplash: The manga alternates between several chapters of hilarity involving Sōsuke's misadventures at school and longer, far more serious story arcs with more realistic battles involving giant robots and people getting blown up.
  • More Dakka: ARX-8 Laevateinn
  • Motive Decay: Amalgam had good intentions back when it was formed. By the time of the story, roughly 50 years later, every leadership position in Amalgam other than Mr Mercury's had been replaced at least twice, with people who were invariably not as principled as the founders, resulting in the organization that is Mithril's nemesis. In fact, Mr Mercury was so horrified as to what Amalgam had become that he created Mithril to stop them.
    • It's stated that, given enough time, Mithril would suffer the same fate as Amalgam, as the original members would be replaced and their objectives would change.
  • Multinational Team
  • Mundangerous: Anything that Kaname is holding becomes dangerous when used on Sōsuke.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Depending on how you look at it, this could be considered Gauron's intention when he orders the Chinese twins to kill Kaname.
  • Musical Pastiche: One of the pieces of background music is a knockoff of The A-Team theme song. It's even used as Bonta-kun's theme in the SRW games.
  • Nails on a Blackboard: Kaname uses this to calm a mass panic instantly. The mass panic is the result of class 4 being informed that they were infected with a lethal bacteria and they were all going to die. They try to escape as a result and only Kaname's badass factor allows her to invoke this trope to a successful conclusion.
  • Naughty Tentacles: Hard to interpret this any other way. Comes complete with double entendres.
  • New Transfer Student: Sōsuke, as well as Tessa for all of two episodes.
  • Newspaper-Thin Disguise: Sousuke does this a few times. After the first time, it doesn't fool Kaname at all.
  • NGO Superpower: Mithril
  • No One Could Survive That: Gauron, who pulls this around 4-5 times, with each instance getting more and more ridiculous as to how he could survive it.
  • No Social Skills: Sōsuke
  • Noble Demon: Leonard Testarossa
  • Not What It Looks Like: Played straight until it's subverted in Fumoffu, when Chidori has full knowledge on how incapable Sōsuke is on acting on anything even remotely connected to sex.
  • The Nudifier: Fumoffu had a clothes-eating bacteria.
  • Oblivious to Love: Sōsuke for the majority of the series. Why are all these girls (and guys) so angry when he hangs out with a particular girl? He can't possibly think of any reason.

Sousuke (yelling at the laptop as a "Game Over" appears): Wait a minute, if you cut off the negotiations from one side, it will become a war. Accept the negotiations! I'll listen to anything you have to say. We should compromise a little bit.
Sousuke (looks around): Where did Chidori and the others go?

  • Oddly-Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu
  • Official Couple: Well, duh. But they've finally gotten together as of the last volume
  • Ordinary High School Student: Kaname
  • Paper Fan of Doom: Kaname's, used on Sōsuke 90% of the time.
  • Panty Shot: The anime really seems to enjoy these in its first six or seven episodes.
  • Panty Thief: Episode 3 of the first season. Although Sousuke apprehends the thief, they both end up talking about military equipment for so long that Kaname catches them both and tries to beat them down with a bat.
  • Parental Abandonment: Sōsuke; Kaname
  • Perpetual Frowner: Sōsuke. He hardly ever smiles. In fact, did he ever smile?
    • Yes, actually. In Fumoffu, one is when Sōsuke is struggling with studying and Chidori lends him her notes. She tells him to bring it back the next day and he accepts it with a smile and saying he'll return it. He forgets to. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Pixellation: Used in a gag in Fumoffu! to hide the contents of a gory package.
  • Platonic Prostitution
  • Plot Armor: Leonard describes this is the case, in-universe, for Chidori, as she's the one that is supposed to be the "whisperer" in the future, while being a "whispered" in the past, and thus the reason that Alternate Timeline / Alternate History exist in the first place. Although Leonard also implies that there might be more than one "whisperer".
  • Precision F-Strike: By Tessa in the second manga series, Sigma.

Sōsuke: "Kashim!... Kashim!?! We're not friends!! YOU SHITHEAD!!

  • Prisoner Exchange: Sousuke has to make the decision of trading his hostage for either Kaname or Tessa. He picks Tessa, knowing that Kaname can protect herself just fine, and her Action Girl instincts means that she'll mess up the bad guys plans by reacting in a way they don't expect.
  • Properly Paranoid: Kaname's increasingly paranoid and extreme precautions in episode 9 of The Second Raid are entirely justified.
  • Psycho for Hire: Gauron, and Gates in the second third season.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Gates
  • Questioning Title: Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu
  • The Quiet One: Sōsuke
  • Raised by Dudes: Sousuke
  • Ramming Always Works: In the second manga series, Sigma.
  • Real Robot: Played "straight" with the Arm Slaves. The ones without Lambda Drivers anyway.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Student Council President Hayashima. Almost a bit too reasonable, insofar he's perfectly understanding of Sōsuke's usual approach to school life and considers him a model student council member.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Bonta-Kun.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Sousuke going after Kurama, in an old Savage that is falling apart, against 8 other Arm Slaves
  • Rugby Union: Sōsuke submits the school Rugby team to some extreme training. As a result:
    • Rugby Is Slaughter: Trope image, thanks to you-know-who.
    • Note that Sosuke doesn't know the first thing about rugby - he may not even understand the concept of sports!
    • Also note that he was reading a rugby guidebook for the entire episode...and still has no idea what rugby is.
    • I don't know, he mentioned playing basketball with his buddies in Afghanistan, and nobody seemed to be throwing hand grenades...
  • Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: Sōsuke, if that was not clear by now.
    • As a mecha example, we have the ARX-8 Laevatein, which sacrificed ECS and other basic sensory and anti-detection systems common to Mythril Arm Slaves for sheer strength, mobility and firepower.
  • Say My Name: "KAAAAAASHIIIIIIIM!" "GAAAAUROOOOOOOOON!" "ZAIIIIIDOOOOOO!" "KAAAAASHIIIIIIM!"
  • Scars Are Forever: Sōsuke has a permanent cross-shaped scar on his chin, though it's never explained. And Gauron -- oh boy, Gauron.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Sousuke refuses to comprehend that numerous people are in love with him. His obliviousness gets to the point of ridiculousness, where at least three characters come out directly and tell him that they love him - only for him to dismiss it or completely misunderstand it.
  • Scenery Censor: The Hot Springs Episode
  • Sergeant Rock: Cmdr. Mardukas.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Leonard's not in it for For the Evulz; the man's got a plan. He wants to go back in time and prevent Black Technology from being invented in order to ensure a more peaceful world. Kaname/Sofia also joins in because without Black Technology, the Whispereds won't have special powers in the Alternate Universe.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Sōsuke, after going through wars, becomes rather emotionless and very paranoid. He gets better with Kaname's help.
    • After the events at Merida Island, Tessa is starting to show signs of this.
  • Ship Tease: A simply classic one in Ep. 6 of The Second Raid.
  • Shirtless Scene: Sōsuke gets quite a few.
    • One scene in Fumoffu stands out as pure Estrogen Brigade Bait and Fan Service. Sōsuke has just gone 4 days without sleeping due to schoolwork and his job and driven over the edge. Before passing out, he ponders on why he has to suffer like this. For no reason at all, during the internal monologue, it shows a picture of Sousuke shirtless in a pose that would have any of his admirers absolutely screaming.
      • The reason for the odd position was most likely because Sousuke (subconsciously) associated Tessa's behaviour with torture (well, emotionally, it sort of was). The stripping and tying upside down is a common procedure of putting the tortured person in a position of vulnerability before any sort of pain is involved. Honestly, it's a classic scene in all books that depict war and/or espionage.
  • Shotacon: Gauron's been a creepy Stalker with a Crush towards Sōsuke since the latter was twelve. Yeah.
  • Shout-Out: Mardukas is a Monty Python fan, as mentioned in the Cool and Unusual Punishment entry; since they couldn't use these references in the anime, they settle for a more subtle Shout-Out when, in a parody of the Psycho shower scene, the attacker wields a banana.
    • In the English dub, whole quotes from a certain Drill Sergeant Nasty from Full Metal Jacket are used for the Rugby team's Training from Hell. Even without that, near the end of their training, the Rugby team members started talking extremely... affectionately to Rugby balls that they were cleaning.
    • In a later episode in which Shinji goes into SEED mode.
    • In the first episode, the teacher searches Kaname's schoolbag and sees a copy of So Long And Thanks For All The Fish.
    • The OAV that comes after The Second Raid features an Affectionate Parody mashup of Future Boy Conan and Detective Conan called Future Detective Boy Conan, depicting a famous scene from Future Boy Conan with the addition of glasses and a bow tie. The video box cover is also seen, and is a parody of the cover of Future Boy Conan—Jimsy from Future Boy Conan is given the face of Detective Conan's Mouri Kogoro.
    • Two major shout-outs to Neon Genesis Evangelion in Always Stand By Me (Part 2): Sophia/Chidori wearing a Rei-style plugsuit, and Al stopping an incoming nuke with an AT Field.
    • In episode 11 of Fumoffu, the enraged model club member refers to the woman who insulted him as a Perfect Grade bitch.
    • Captain Sailor of the U.S.S Pasadena is shown shaking three ball bearings. And one of his superior officers refers to him as Ahab.
    • The Pacific Chrysalis events has several shout-outs to Die Hard
    • One of the Yakuza in episode 10 mentions Osamu Tezuka's manga, Ambassador Magma, when Kaname says she summons Bonta-kun by blowing her whistle three times. The picture of Magma's spaceship and yakuza's voice were censored due to "copyright reasons."
    • In episode 6, Kaname compares Sousuke and Kurz to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and their situation to the Trope Namer for Bolivian Army Ending.
    • Reading the novels, it becomes apparent that Gatoh is a Tom Clancy fan: Kalinin's wife dies in the same manner as Marko Ramius' wife, prompting his defection; the three USN submarines that appear in FMP also made appearances in Clancy's books.
    • Bonta-kun is an obvious Shout-Out to Gonta-kun, the mascot of the classic children's educational show Dekirukana.
    • The Filler episode "Is Narashino Burning?" (episode 14 of the first anime) has a lot of Gundam references. The head of the Nerima Red Dragons is a nod to Char Aznable[3], which Chidori lampshades by asking "Is that supposed to be cosplay?". When Sosuke shows up in an AS, we're told it's moving three times faster than a normal AS, which was supposedly an attribute of Char's Ace Custom Zaku II. Finally, the Red Dragons's Red Stream Attack is a reference to the Jet Stream Attack used by the Black Tri-Stars in Mobile Suit Gundam.
      • Furthermore, the box for the Arm Slave model kit in this episode resembles a combination of the boxes for Bandai's EX Model[4] and High Grade Universal Century[5] lines. It's even said to be made by Banpresto, a division of Bandai (though one that usually makes video games like Super Robot Wars).
  • Shown Their Work: the effects of the Square-Cube Law on giant robots is shown in full effect when Sousuke destroys the lambda driver of the Behemoth.
    • Mardukas' backstory short reveals that the author did a lot of research on submarine warfare.
    • Kalinin's backstory short reveals that that the author did a lot of research into the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and gave a lot of thought towards keeping the Cold War running beyond 1991.
  • Slap Slap Kiss: Mao and Kurz, though they haven't reached the "kiss" part yet in the anime.
    • Sōsuke and Kaname, and they have gotten so agonizingly close to the kissing part in the anime to the point that it's starting to hurt. At least it finally happened in the last novel.
  • Smug Snake: Gauron, Gauron, Gauron...
    • And Leonard Testarossa to a (slightly) lesser extent.
      • Though in the end Gauron actually achieved his goals, while Leonard failed quite spectacularly. And cried.
  • Sparkling Stream of Tears
  • The Spartan Way: Sōsuke became an assassin at age eight, then became a terrorist at age eleven...
    • He also subjects the School Rugby team to this method. It gets lampshaded when Kaname asks where he got the idea for such a brutal training method, at which point he produces a training book written by Melissa Mao. Let's just say, she's something of an expert on this.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Tessa's full name seems like it ought to be "Theresa" or "Teresa," but the official spelling is "Teletha" instead.
  • Square-Cube Law: The Applied Phlebotinum Driver is the only thing keeping the massive Behemoth mech from collapsing under its own weight.
  • Squee: This is basically the captain's response when Sousuke calls her Tessa for the first time.
  • Stairs Are Faster: In a hurry to get up to Sousuke's apartment to retrieve her homework, Kaname first goes to the elevator, presses the button, and waits for a few seconds -- then screams in frustration and runs for the stairs.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Gauron to Sōsuke.
    • And Leonard to Kaname.
  • Stalking Is Love: Kaname is actually ridiculously happy when she interprets Sōsuke's following her around as him being a Stalker with a Crush. Of course, she's very much unhappier with it after she finds out he isn't following her because of that, but because it's his job.
    • Leonard also seems to believe in this trope.
  • The Stoic: Sōsuke
  • Such a Lovely Noun: Sōsuke uses this to disperse an entire gang in Fumoffu.
  • Super Prototype: The Arbalest
  • Super Robot Wars: J and W.
    • For real humor, in the authors' notes section for one novel Gotoh said that when he sent info on the ARX-8 Laevatein (Sōsuke's final Mid-Season Upgrade) to the mechanical designer, he included a list of requirements put in terms of Super Robot Wars, including: MAP weapon, Air terrain ranking of A, Movement of at least 6, Attack power 5000-plus by default, and 4 item slots.
    • Another Century's Episode: R
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Sōsuke's very specific description of how he's a completely normal person who doesn't have anything to do with the military during his outing with Mizuki and her friends.
    • Sousuke when he first starts to follow Kaname around, even when he suddenly rushes out of a moving train after Kaname tries to lose him.

Sousuke: It's just a coincidence.

      • Kaname several times when her friend Kyoko asks about her current mood, and wondering if Sousuke was responsible in some way. Often tries laughing to attempt to avoid the question.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Ms Yoko Wakana from Fumoffu.
  • Talkative Loon: Gates, who tends to scream around and playact for long, long periods of time. Gauron, as well - especially considering that one word from Sousuke can prompt him to ramble on and on nonstop.
  • Take Off Your Clothes: In the last episode of Fumoffu, after a seemingly deadly virus spread to the school, Sōsuke drags Kaname to the infirmary and asks her to take off her clothes. Kaname reacts all flustered, believing he wants to make love to her before they die. But Sōsuke learned that the "virus" only attacks synthetic fibers, including clothes, and he's just asking her to undress to save her school uniform before it'd disintegrate.
  • Tanks for Nothing: Tanks are never a match for Armslaves.
    • Actually, it's specified in the books that they are more powerful than the A Ses, unless there is a Lambda Driver involved.
  • Teach Him Anger
  • Teen Genius: Tessa, Sōsuke, and under the right circumstances, Kaname.
  • Theme Naming: Mizuki's color-coded friends, Manami Akagi (red), Madoka Tsuge (yellow), and Shouko Midorikawa (green). Kaname even compares them to a traffic light.
  • Theme Tune Cameo.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Sōsuke. Oh, Sōsuke.
  • The Thing That Goes Doink: Seen quite prominently at the Yakuza home of Mikihara in Fumoffu. Also heard several times in the Hot Springs episode.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch: Played for Laughs by Hayashimizu when Kaname is kidnapped by thugs in the second season's first episode. The completely deadpan delivery of his "translation" of the spokesthug's threat into terms Sousuke can understand, and vice versa, sets the tone for the season to follow.
  • This Is Not a Drill
  • Too Much Information: In the novels, Gauron telling Sōsuke exactly what he fantasized doing to him back in Kanka. Sōsuke is, unsurprisingly, horrified. It certainly puts a whole new meaning to Gauron's "So -- what's that face for?" remark afterwards.
  • Too Soon: The name of Sōsuke Sagara's "home" country (Afghanistan) was changed in the anime and translation to a fictional country (Helmajistan).
    • The Fumoffu season also had two episodes cut out due to sensitive content, following a Real Life kidnapping case in Japan shortly before it was set to be aired.
  • Training from Hell: Sōsuke inflicts this upon Jindai High's rugby team, with hilarious results.
  • Trigger Happy: Gauron, who has to be restrained from shooting people he shouldn't. And Sōsuke, although he mitigates it by mostly using rubber bullets while he's at school or on outings with Kaname and her friends. Sōsuke's trigger-happy tendencies are also significantly more pronounced in the Full Metal Panic: Overload manga, where he's actually more trigger-happy than Gauron. ( Yes, it's actually possible.)
    • In Overload Sousuke is literally addicted to guns and starts experiencing withdrawal symptoms after Kaname forbids him to fire a gun for a day.
  • Tsundere: Kaname. Definitely Kaname.
    • Zettai Ryouiki? Twin Tails? Who effin' needs them?
      • Kaname does don the twintail look in the Rugby episode of Fumoffu for a little while.
    • Well, it's not like Sousuke doesn't deserve it anyway.
    • It is entirely possible that being a tsundere is not a natural part of her personality. Sousuke is an extremely frustrating person, after all.
  • Twice Shy: Sousuke and Kaname's relationship. Which is also the reason why they haven't even kissed in the entire series (yes, even in the 10 novels thusfar). The most intimate they've gotten has been holding hands.
  • Twincest: Yu Fan and Yu Lan
  • Unexpected Genre Change: The second season, Fumoffu, served mostly to give the fans something to watch in between the more serious first and third seasons. As a result, it goes from gritty realism to off-the-wall slapstick comedy and back again.
    • Occurs to a lesser extent in "filler" episodes, where it has an ALMOST Fumoffu-like style to it. Such as using Arm Slaves for a school event.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: In the anime at least, Kaname and Sōsuke. Also, Mao and Kurz have a lot of this.
    • Oh, Kaname and Sōsuke have a fair amount of it in the manga, too.
  • Unstoppable Rage: The Lambda Driver turns anger into physical power. And given the fact that it's implied that once they get the kinks worked out it'll make nukes obsolete pretty much gives enough of a reason why this trope applies.
    • It's not anger, per se. It's imagination and will. It's referenced in the novels that Sousuke never really uses his unless he is pushed, usually to the point of despair, and rage is his way of dealing with that.
  • Villain Takes an Interest: Gauron toward Sousuke.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Sousuke and Kurz.
  • Welcome to My World: to quote Kaname's internal monologue in the first book

This is the real Sōsuke. You might be in charge at school, but here, you're a liability. One wrong move, and you'll be a bloodstain. Now, let's go walk through hell.

  • Wet Sari Scene
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: Sōsuke. Although he doesn't have eyes that have a particularly special color, they are huge and pretty. Gauron became infatuated with him initially because of his emotionless, cold eyes. "Anyone would say they're beautiful" indeed.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Sōsuke reciting his class responsibilities after being asked "Who are you!?" in the middle of an otherwise incredibly awesome sequence where he trashes five other Lambda Driver-equipped Arm Slaves.
    • After almost fifty episodes in which Sousuke defined himself mostly or entirely in terms of his military functions - a theme that was especially prominent in The Second Raid - it was at the very least an impressive bit of Character Development to see him embrace the nonmilitary part of his life so passionately.
    • Fumoffu. The hot springs episode culminated in the males (minus Sousuke) running a defense perimeter Sousuke set up, complete with awesome music, lots of explosions, and a minor Rousing Speech by Kurz. Subverted, though: It was awesome. And hilarious.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Kaname reacts this way to basically everything Sosuke does. A notable one is when she got kidnapped in the first episode of Fumoffu, and he showed up at the negotiations with the offending gang leader's little brother as a hostage of his own. Turns out the kid was in on it.
  • White-Haired Pretty Boy: Leonard Testarossa.
  • White-Haired Pretty Girl: Oddly, Tessa Testarossa. ("Testarossa" is Italian for "redhead")
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him: Many viewers asked this to Sousuke when he had Gauron at gunpoint before being arrested and going on to hijack the Danaan.
    • And Sousuke was inside his AS.
    • Hell, Gauron himself points this trope out. When the resident Psycho for Hire Smug Snake tells you that shooting him would make things easier, you should probably do it.
    • Sousuke finally agreed with everyone and just shot Gauron.
  • Wife Husbandry: Very, very strongly implied in TSR between Gauron and the twins Yu Fan and Yu Lan. Apparently, in the novels, he was also trying to do this with the young Sōsuke, but unfortunately for him, Sōsuke declined.
  • Wild Hair: Sousuke's long hair when he was a young guerilla.
  • Wishful Projection: Kurtz Webber sees Kaname Chidori's picture; upon seeing the real thing he assumes she must be an angel, until Kaname chews her friend out for a horrible blind date and begins loudly yelling, causing Kurtz to become very disappointed.
  • Yakuza
  • You Don't Want to Die a Virgin, Do You?: In Fumoffu, Mizuki tries this on Issei, and Chidori also mistakes Sousuke's behavior for this. She should know better at this point...
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Kaname, just look at her.
    • She's actually an interesting case in that her hair is explicitly stated as being black in the novels, even though the cover art for those novels shows her with blue hair. When the first season was produced, the animators chose to go with the blue hair, but selected a relatively dark shade. This was changed to a lighter shade of blue in the second season. The new, lighter shade may be part of the reason some fans have had difficulty accepting that black is her 'real' hair colour.
  • Young Entrepreneur: Sōsuke tries to patent and sell his Bonta-Kun combat suit entirely for the technological advantage it provides, without realizing its outward appearance was preventing sales. He actually succeeded in selling a few of them to the FBI, the Miami police and a local Yakuza gang.
    • The fact that Sousuke had enough money and contacts to do that implies that he's probably been moonlighting in the weapons business for a while.
  1. The AI for the Arbalest
  2. His name even contains "kumo", the Japanese word for spider.
  3. Note his fondness for red, swept-back blond hair, sunglasses, chasing after younger women, and (at the end of the episode) he starts to deliver Char's "mistakes of youth" speech
  4. A large blue stripe surrounded on both sides by thin white stripes
  5. Horizontal layout, illustration of the mecha on the left side