Every now and then an anime episode delivers exactly what you wanted to see and you finish the episode perfectly happy with what you just watched. That was my feeling this week with Invisible Victory.
While visually there are still some issues with this anime, I’m not going to worry about those in this review. They exist, they always have in this series, but as was the case over a decade ago, the characters carry this well and elevate the show from something that should be fairly ordinary to something that is truly great fun to watch. For 18 minutes we are caught up in the conflict on the island, and it isn’t resolved when we finally cut back to Sousuke and Chidori and the crisis in the city. Mao has ditched and is on the run, Kurz is ignoring instructions to withdraw and is using the last of his ammo to bring down yet more helicopters before they can land, and Tessa is hastening an evacuation knowing that it is only delaying the inevitable as the submarine isn’t ready to go.
Unlike so many other shows with mechas, Full Metal Panic is one that has always given a very human element to the fights. While I do think killing of Speck after last week was probably pushing it a little, almost every part of this conflict worked. The ongoing need to plan, to think, to act desperately, and the deaths that occur all fit well within the context.
And then we jump back to where we finished last week. While I feel putting the classmates in danger, again, is also a fairly cheap emotional ploy, I loved the exchange between Chidori and Sousuke as they both admit that the other scares them. This could have dragged on for episodes with Chidori being scared of Sousuke but not saying anything and Sousuke getting rattled and insecure, but instead they both just came out and said it. The end result was an emotionally charged ending that hit home and made me love this anime and the characters even more.
How was episode 3 for you?
Thanks for reading.
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