The acclaimed and wonderful sequel non sequitur of Full Metal Panic. FMP, to abbreviate, is an original mix of comedic romance and military action. This sequel is a complete departure from the military action of FMP. It is a comedy show, with romantic elements and character development. Not a single Arm Slave appears throughout the entire show(except for Bonta-kun, though that doesn't entirely count) and very few references are even made to the situations or plot points of the original show. Fumoffu is built around the lead characters' interaction with each other, the wacky situations they get into and the development of their characters. It is followed by the third series Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid and has significance to that plot, but the minimal background sort that just establishes that Fumoffu really did happen in that universe.
The male lead, Sagara Sousuke, is a Sergeant in a mercenary organization called Mithril. This organization and Sousuke's mission in the first series is the protection of a group of young people around his age who are endowed with an anomolous stock of black technology in their minds. Sousuke and the rest of his unit is assigned to protect a specific Whispered named Kaname Chidori. The other major fact about Sousuke that is important to keep in mind is his upbringing, since before he was 6 or 7 Sousuke has been a guerrilla fighter in middle asian countries fighting Soviets, who still exist in this story. As a result he is not in any way well adjusted to peaceful Japanese society.
The female lead is the girl who Sousuke is meant protect, Kaname Chidori. Kaname is an upstanding and intelligent girl who is embedded heavily into an action/romance/comedy, as a result she also has the temper of Tendo Akane. Chidori is often the one who saves Sousuke from being unable to function properly in a peaceful environment. She's quite quick with right hook when it comes to him acting as if he's in Afghanistan.
Fumoffu is episodic and a number of episodes contain two or three short stories while others stories carry through an entire episode. Each is a situation which the characters get into in one way or another, where Sousuke will attempt to deal with things using high explosives or rubber bullet guns. Everything is chronological, but there are not story arcs. Fumoffu is the day to day life that Chidori and Sousuke share in their high school. It is important to the action oriented side of the overarcing story in the plot of The Second Raid, but I won't let any cats out of the bag.
Fumoffu also involves a group of extra characters that are used in the show to flesh out the high school life of Sousuke and Chidori and who do not show up in The Second Raid. It also contains more freedom than the action oriented show to do things like have a swimsuit episode without going out of the way of the plot like other action comedies will do.(See Nadesico)
Fumoffu is hilarious and a great show, it doesn't have as good animation as the original series but it explores a feeling of innocence that FMP wasn't quite capable of reaching. The energy and fast dialogue of the characters is reminiscent of Kodocha, though less likely to cause seizures. After watching a wonderful series like FMP, it's a much lighter and happier refrain, but at the same time works well with the social structure of the earlier show. The characters of FMP are capable of fitting into the framework of both the romance comedy of Fumoffu and the action show that is The Second Raid. Watch for the humor, stay for the humor, enjoy the plot, watch Sousuke begin to bud in his humanity.
Reference site: ANN Entry on Fumoffu
The DVDs were released in 2005 and the show originally aired in Japan in 2003 on FujiTV.
Director: Yasuhiro Takemoto
Production Company: Kyoto Animation