Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory 2 almost seems inevitable considering that the anime team has been talking for years about finishing the entire story. Fortunately, there is plenty of source material available for creating Full Metal Panic! Season 5 with a full 12 episodes. There’s even a sequel series called Full Metal Panic! Another that could be used as an anime sequel if the new anime series is popular enough.
The story of the Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory anime is based on the light novel series by author Shoji Gatoh and illustrator Shiki Douji. In a 2018 interview, Gatoh discussed his inspiration for the story and how the high school setting was added at the last minute.
“I think initially I wanted to write a story about an international rescue force, like Thunderbirds, but [that] featured robots,” Gatoh explained. “And then I came up with a plot based on an actual hijacking incident that happened in Uganda, and then I added on bits and pieces and this is how it’s ended up. I didn’t initially picture it being a high school drama.”
Gatoh also explained why it took a decade for the anime to be continued.
“The novel on which it’s based was brought to its conclusion back in 2010, and until it was finished, it was really hard to make another series. And we had talked about making another series, but for one reason or another, it just got later and later and kept getting put off,” he said. “It was 2015 when we got it off the ground with Xebec. I was busy with another title from 2013-2014, which was Amagi Brilliant Park, and then it took a bit of time after that for things to come together.”
Gatoh finished the main story with Volume 12. Over the years, Gatoh teamed up with multiple artists to create related Full Metal Panic! manga series. He’s also written side stories related to the main plot.
The original official English translation of the Full Metal Panic! light novel series is difficult to find. Tokyo Pop licensed the original English release, but only translated the first five volumes. The company shut down its North American publishing branch in 2011 only to reopen for business in 2016, but they never reissued the FMP! light novels.
The books are available on Amazon, but they are easily mixed up with the manga (which are labeled as graphic novels) and some sellers try selling copies for thousands of dollars. Due to this problem, many fans are forced to use the free fan translation projects, which were completed years ago.
Thankfully, that’s all about to change. In March 2019, J-Novel Club announced that they licensed all 12 volumes of the Full Metal Panic! light novel series. The re-release will be a “completely retranslation”. What’s more, if the main series does well enough they are already promising an English translation of both the sequel and spinoff series (see below for more details).
Updated March 21, 2019: Added the announcement of an English light novel re-release.
This article provides everything that is known about Full Metal Panic! Season 5 and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.
Full Metal Panic! Light Novels Compared To The Anime
Anime fans who are new to the series might be surprised to hear that the anime adaptation actually completely skipped Volume 6 in the light novel series, which is called Dancing Very Merry Christmas. The story was adapted into a Japanese audio drama.
Gatoh was asked in June 2018 if this book would eventually be turned into an anime.
“We would all like to make it, but in terms of [the] production budget, we have limited resources in terms of people and money, and so in the end, we decided to go with the audio drama because it’s not that important a story in the overall story,” the author explained. “If it turns out to be really, really popular, then it might be a possibility.”
Unfortunately, an English language version of the audio drama was never produced. There are unofficial YouTube videos which include English and Spanish subtitles. Besides reading the unofficial fan translations of Volume 6, there is also an English summary of the story available on Reddit.
From the beginning, Gatoh has made it clear that the final continuation of the anime series was intended to go “full throttle from the get-go.” He worked with studio Xebec as the official Story Writer to cut any “explanation or expository episodes.” Admittedly, that has led to the anime being much faster-paced compared to the first three seasons, but Gatoh believes the fourth season followed “the original work pretty closely.”
The first season included some anime original content, but it adapted three light novel volumes (Fighting Boy Meets Girl, One Night Stand, and Into the Blue) into 24 episodes. Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid continued the main story but it considered was the third season since the comedic side story Full Metal Panic! Fumoffu is Season 2. The third season adapted two light novels, Ending Day by Day parts 1 and 2, into 13 episodes.
Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory has been adapting entire novels with four episodes each. Episodes 1 through 4 adapted Volume 7: Continuing On My Own. Episodes 5 through adapted Volume 8: Burning One Man Force. Episodes 9 through 12 adapted Volume 9: Come Make My Day.
Therefore, assuming that Full Metal Panic! Season 5 (Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory 2) maintains the same pacing, the light novel series will be adapted in this manner:
- Episodes 13-16 for Volume 10: Approaching Nick Of Time
- Episodes 17-20 for Volume 11: Always, Stand By Me: Part 1
- Episodes 18-24 for Volume 12: Always, Stand By Me: Part 2
If anime fans are lucky, they may even be treated to yet another sequel.
Full Metal Panic! Another Light Novels Enough New Content For Full Metal Panic! Season 6 And Beyond?
Similar to the original story, Full Metal Panic! Another is a finished light novel series that ended in 2016 with Volume 12. Unlike other sequels, the story is focused on new characters rather than Sagara Sousuke and Chidori Kaname, but their replacements fill similar roles.
Set 10 years after the events of Full Metal Panic! Season 5, the anti-terrorist private military company (PMC) Mithril has been disbanded. Arm Slaves have become a common sight in military service and civilian versions called Power Slaves are being used for industrial purposes.
Besides being set in the future, the new story also shifts from Japan to the United States. A new PMC called DOMS (Dana O’shee Military Service) provides military training for nations now newly using Arm Slaves. DOMS is invited by the Japanese government to test out the newest Arm Slave designs in a military test.
The main characters are like a reversal in roles. Blonde Russian girl Adelina Aleksandrovna Kerenskaya is the best Arms Slave pilot in DOMS. Like Sousuke, she has a history with PMCs. Male character Ichinose Tatsuya is a high school student who just happens to have blue hair like Kaname. He works in his father’s construction company, which is burdened by high financial debts, but he wishes to be a military AS pilot.
The two first meet when Adelina is transporting her Arm Slave, the Zy-99M Shadow to Japan. During a military test using simulated bullets, Adelina is pitted against three new Arm Slave models and beats them handily. Unfortunately, a rogue Arm Slave goes berserk and starts attacking both sides using live ammunition. While still inside Shadow, Adelina falls off a cliff and lands near the construction site where Ichinose works.
Adelina is badly wounded so Ichinose ends up piloting Shadow in order to chase the rogue AS down. Although Shadow does not have any live weapons, Ichinose tricks the berserk unit into wasting ammo. Using close combat skills, he evades the rogue’s combat knife and tosses the AS over a cliff to disable it. Ichinose catches the attention of Commander Melissa Mao with his heroic actions, who recruits him for DOMS and sends him to boot camp.
Adelina and Ichinose are like the reversal of Sousuke and KanameAssuming that Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory does well, it could open up the door for a Full Metal Panic! Another anime series. If an anime adaptation of FMP! Another were to maintain the same pacing, it could easily be three seasons worth of episodes.
Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory 2 Release Date
As of the last update, Studio Xebec or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed the Full Metal Panic! Season 5 release date. Nor has the production of a sequel been announced.
Once the news is officially confirmed this article will be updated with the relevant information. In the meantime, it’s possible to speculate about when, or if, the Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory 2 premiere date will occur in the future.
It would be unheard of for an anime to be resurrected many years later only to be mothballed right before the final season. Thankfully, all the numbers are pointing in the right direction. Sales predictions for spring 2018 indicate the fourth season will be in the top 10, trailing slightly behind Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online (which may be renewed for Gun Gale Online Season 2) and ahead of My Hero Academia Season 3. Therefore, with the financials looking good, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before the anime sequel is confirmed.
Since the anime’s continuation has not yet been announced, nor did the ending of Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory Episode 12 provide any hints, the best case scenario is that the final ending season will be announced at a later date.
Unfortunately, Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory 2 was not a split-cour anime, which is when a single season takes a broadcasting break for a lengthy amount of time. While split-cour anime have been unusual in the past, in 2018 alone both Food Wars! and Tokyo Ghoul Season 4 was broadcast in this manner.
Let’s just hope Xebec does not leave audiences hanging waiting for news about Full Metal Panic! Season 5. Stay tuned!