ADV Films // 2002 // 75 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Chief Counsel Rob Lineberger (Retired) // April 22nd, 2004
"No, it's about you and me. Whispered...I think you may have already noticed, but I am one of them."
Holy Metal Panic, Batman! Mission 06 delivers a nonstop barrage of humor, tension, and action that pulls everything together. This may be the best Full Metal Panic! DVD out of the bunch. The three episodes are distinct yet cohesive, and give substantive insight into the characters.
* "Engaging Six and Seven"
Otakus who crave fan service will be on Cloud Nine: Mao, Tessa, and Chidori spend most of this episode bathing naked in Tessa's hot tub. That might be all I need to say to recommend this episode, but it is actually a good setup for flashbacks to Kurz and Sousuke's time as trainees. The past is rooted in action and humor, while the present evokes a mood of conspiratorial female bonding. Seeing Sousuke and Kurz through Mao's eyes is both humorous and interesting. The action sequences told in flashback form a nice mini-mission with our heroes outgunned. "Engaging Six and Seven" stands out from the pack.
* "Venom's Flame"
Finally, Kaname becomes the focus again. When Tessa had her heart to heart with Kaname about Whispered, little lightbulbs went off in my brain: "Oh, so that's why..." While Kaname is learning her importance, Sousuke is getting schooled in a mission to confront Gauron. We get an unpleasant jolt when the pressure finally gets to Sousuke. Full Metal Panic! turns darker here, giving a peek into the upcoming tension. As a cohesive story, "Venom's Flame" is uneven, but our deeper knowledge of the characters makes up for it.
* "Deep Trap"
I am of two minds about this episode. Part of me appreciates the added realism created through death and betrayal, and I like the darker edge that creeps into the story. On the other hand, the premise is too flimsy to believe. (WARNING: Big spoilers!) Mithril captures Gauron and brings him onto the Tuatha de Danaan. Even the most elementary strategist could figure out that it is a bad idea to bring such a capable and ruthless enemy (particularly one who can use Black Technology) into the heart of your most prized ship. Why not fly him to another base? Regardless, the episode unfolds in dramatic fashion. This "beginning of the conclusion" episode is not entirely satisfactory because too many aspects are predictable (maybe because I've seen Under Siege). However, several snippets of the action will leave a lasting impression.
There you have it, the penultimate mission. The audio-visuals and extras maintain the standard, looking and sounding great while providing lackluster extras. The two voice casts are matched nicely in tone and timbre. I listened to each episode in both languages and I don't have a strong preference for either: both sub and dub fans should be pleased. There is one cringe moment when Mao is insulting a soldier in "Engaging Six and Seven": she calls him a poopy head. I was all set to fire off a nasty comment about the stupid translation when I saw that the Japanese track has the same thing.
Separately the episodes have flaws. Together, they flow nicely and create an urgent need to see the ending. Kaname's unlocking and Gauron's fate are at hand; I can feel it!
Review content copyright © 2004 Rob Lineberger; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: ADV Films
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Japanese)
Running Time: 75 Minutes
Release Year: 2002
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Reversible Cover
* Fold-Out Poster with Background Information
* Clean Opening and Closing Animations
* Production Sketches
* Japanese Piracy Warnings
* ADV Previews
* Official Site