Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory
Episode 6

by Theron Martin,

How would you rate episode 6 of
Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory ?

The series needs to get Kaname back in play quickly because I see a real danger developing here: Nami is threatening to supplant her as Best Girl.

That may seem strange to say when Kaname is the co-star and Sousuke's love interest, but while she's had the occasional feature episode and her personality is a force to be reckoned with, the series has always been the Sousuke Show first and foremost. Much of Kaname's character revolves around the way she reacts to Sousuke. That's always bothered me about the franchise, but this is the first time this imbalance has come so much to the forefront. Nami is clearly falling for Sousuke too, but she has a likable personality that's much more independent from his character. Of course, because of the way FMP! tends to do things, I'm seriously afraid that she's going to wind up dead before long.

This eventuality is made more plausible by the direction the story takes in this episode. The first half or so chronicles how Nami's team starts achieving success thanks to her piloting skills, though Lemon's observations that Sousuke is being too efficient seem more like a warning. That materializes in the second half of the episode, when Lemon and Sousuke are taken in by the corrupt police chief, who (unsurprisingly) points out that Sousuke is disrupting the money-making machine behind the games. This gives Sousuke the opportunity he's been seeking since coming here: a way into the illegal “live ammo” games that form Namsac's underground entertainment. Sousuke surprises and impresses by proving more street-savvy in dealing with the police chief than expected. The series doesn't beat around the bush in explaining why Sousuke knows or cares about these games either; in a follow-up reveal to Nami, he brings up Amalgam's connection to the whole enterprise. The epilogue revealing a certain Amalgam hardcase's connection to the police chief only further assures that things are going to get satisfyingly messy in upcoming episodes, not to mention the revelation that Amalgam is getting at least some of its pilots from these shady games.

Sousuke's conversation with Nami also provides us with another important morsel: a time frame. It wasn't clear before how much time has passed since Amalgam wrecked Mithril, but now we know that three months have elapsed. The way Sousuke worded things suggests that he hasn't been in contact with the Tuatha de Danaan since then, and perhaps he still doesn't know if Tessa and company got away. Sousuke's observation about the chip prices also doesn't seem like an idle detail, although how that plays into the big picture remains less clear. Overall, the series is back to having a firm plot direction with the promise of more lively mecha battles on the horizon.

Rating: B+

Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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