Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Kaiser's Assassin: A Twilight Histories Map

I've got another classic map for you.  It's another Twilight Histories map based on the episode The Kaiser's Assassin.  So without furthur ado, let's get on with it.

Germany won World War I, or the Imperial War as it is known in this world. The war lasted from 1914-1915 just as many had hoped it would in our world. After the war Germany allowed the conquered nations to keep their own autonomous governments. In practice, however, these were mostly puppet governments with the real power residing with the Kaiser. Berlin and London are the financial and cultural hearts of the world. The many scientists, artists, musicians and architects who would have died in World War I have transformed German cities. Berlin has numerous Neo-Gothic and Romantic skyscrapers that are taller than those in New York.

All of Russia west of the Urals came under German occupation, but everything east remained nominally independent. The Czar still rules the puppet government of German occupied Russia. Free Russia, or the Republic of Siberia as some call it, briefly dabbled in communism, but a few failed crops later and the revolutionary government was replaced by a democracy.

The German Empire's runaway success took everyone by surprise, but especially the United States. Many Americans had hoped their nation would establish colonies to compete with the other Imperial powers. Germany's post-war success motivated the desire the spread a little bit of America throughout the world. Eventually, war was declared on Mexico, albeit on some very suspect reasons. The United States also invaded several nations in the Caribbean and Central America, but in those cases claimed they did so out of a desire to protect those nations from Britain and Germany.

The Austria-Hungary has successfully become more federated and is now known as the United States of Austria and Hungry. Austria-Hungry bought Italy's former colonies from Germany following the war. The colonies were supposed to be a stepping stone towards a greater overseas empire, but managing colonies turned out to be more difficult than Austria-Hungry had originally considered.

The Ottomans have also reformed themselves and have spent the last couple decades reversing their sick man status. The empire has embraced its multicultural nature thanks to the calls for reform and is far more diverse than in our world. As a result the empire protects the rights of all minorities within its borders.

China has once again become an empire under the Zhang Dynasty following a coup against the republican government by opportunistic politicians. The resorted Chinese Empire has also spent the last few decades reversing its decline and has quickly become something of a regional power.

Japan is also a rising power. Following the war Germany sold them Indochina and several islands of Indonesia. They have further expanded their empire by invading Thailand. Japan has recently been inching closer to war with the United States over disputed claims to Borneo and the Philippines. Foreign policy experts concur America could reasonably form an alliance with China, while Japan might be able to convince Germany or Britain to come to their aid. Either a cold war is forming or else this may become another flash point for a future war.

Although Britain stayed out of the Imperial War, several French resistance/terrorist groups were funded by members of the British government hoping to regain the economic benefits of an independent France. Ironically, when the Kaiser was killed at the Imperial Musical Gala it was by members of his own government eager for a war with Britain. The two nations went to war, but fortunately it didn't last any longer than the Imperial War had. There were still loses and those killed in the Anglo-Germanic War included JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis and Ernest Hemingway.

Culturally, the world is somewhat more conservative than our world. Without the horrors of the First World War the Romantic era never really ended in Europe. Jazz is very popular in America, but has only recently found an audience across the Atlantic. Jews are still viewed rather unfavorably and face discrimination, but nowhere near what they would have under the Nazis.

Speaking of which, Hitler is currently working at a coat hanger factory after having flunked out of art school. Meanwhile, Joseph Jugashvili is a priest of the Georgian Orthodox Church.

Roma Islamica: A Twilight Histories Map

At long last a classic map has made it's way to the blog.  This was the first map I ever map that was inspired by The Twilight Histories.  This one was based on the episode Roma Islamica.  I got a lot of help from the episode's companion book.  And the rest, as they say, is alternate history.  Well, let's get on with it, shall we?

The Byzantine Empire fell in the 8th century rather than the 15th century. Without a powerful Christian buffer state to oppose it, Islam quickly spread throughout Eastern Europe. Constantinople became both the capital of the Umayyads and a major pilgrimage site that rivaled even Mecca and Medina.

The Abbasids, feeling the Umayyads had grown too decadent and forgetful of the teachings of Islam (and angered over how much money Mecca and Medina were losing to Constantinople) would go on to overthrow the Umayyads as they did in our world.

The Frankish emperor Charlemagne converted to Islam, both due to having several Muslim tutors in his youth and seeing that Islam would most likely become the next major religion. Charlemagne went on to declare Jihad against the Umayyads and anyone he perceived to be an enemy of Islam. After helping establish Abbasid power in the Middle East he went on to conquer the Italian Peninsula.

The Abbasids, realizing they'd inadvertently created a monster, had Charlemagne poisoned. The noble families of Rome, lacking a clear leader, established something similar to the senate of their ancestors. This led to the establishment of an Islamic Roman Empire stretching from the Pillars of Hercules to the River Ganges. Several Romans unwilling to convert to Islam, including the Pope, and several Umayyads, fled to Ireland. The Umayyads converted to Christianity and became the new ruling class of the island nation.

The Mongol Empire managed to last considerably longer than in our world due to the greater emphasis on central government. Although Tengrism is still the dominate religion, Buddhism is winning more coverts by the day. Missionaries from Ireland have ensured that Christians are also a small but growing presence in the empire.

The Mongols were able to successfully conquer Japan. Several Japanese fled prior to the invasion in hopes of establish a new Japanese homeland free of Mongol rule. They arrived in Mexico and quickly conquered several native peoples and establish a new empire combining Japanese and native culture and traditions.

Northern Europe (the parts not under Roman rule) is still pagan. The no alcohol aspect of Islam is somewhat hard to sell. This has prompted many Imans within the empire to reinterpret the rule that "no Muslim shall drink alcohol" to be "no Muslim shall drink alcohol to excess" to encourage the conversion of those territories. This has created considerable controversy within the empire.

Russia was established by Viking princes as in our world, and has served as a (somewhat redundant) buffer state between the Romans and Mongols after many years of passing back and forth between the two empires.

Britain has been balkanized (the in-universe term is "anglicized") between Rome, Ireland, Scotland and the Danish. The Midlands is more of less neutral territory and is the site of much cultural blending. Scotland is a mixture of Christians and pagans due to the work of Irish missionaries.

Several nations have experienced Industrial Revolutions including Rome, the Mongols, Mali and India. Srivijaya and Ireland are currently in the process of industrializing. Mali has remained strong and continues to expand. Though Rome initially wanted to conquer Mali they are now more than happy to have a fellow Islamic empire as an ally.

Srivijaya has become a major power in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean. Their empire has expanded and their trading fleets are found in ports in all corners of the world. The fact that they are primarily Hindu and Buddhist has caused some issues when trading with Rome and has lead to their alliance with Hindu India. They are also the primary trading partner (besides Japan-in-exile) with the Inca Empire.

Several powers are beginning to colonize the New World. The Vikings are expanding there colonies along the northeast coast of what would be North America. The Irish established a colony just in case Rome ever conquers them and to spread Christianity to the natives. They originally intended to settle around Massachusetts, but after discovering the Vikings were already there moved to Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay. Rome has also established a colony at the mouth of the Mississippi with its capital at New Alexandria (roughly where New Orleans in OTL). 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Flag of the Russian Philippines

Okay, I've got another classic flag of mine that is home on my blog at long last.  It first appeared on Alternate History Weekly Update, so without further ado, here is it:

This is the flag of the Petrines, also known as the Russian Philippines. It comes from a world where Russia built up their navy early on. This meant Russia could devote more effort and focus on their colonies in the Americas. Besides further colonizing Alaska, they also colonized what would have been British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California, though not without objections from the Spanish.

Eventually, after a chance discovery of gold, the Russians and Spanish went to war over California. It was ultimately decided that Russia would pull out of California, but in exchange would take some other Spanish land; with the Spanish offering the Philippines. As a result the Russian Philippines was born.

The Russians encouraged people from many different nations to help settle their new colony both to provide labor and to prevent the former Spanish colonists (such as they were) from taking over. This would, over the years, lead to a blending of native cultures, colonial settlers and slaves from Russia's African outposts have the archipelago a unique culture like nothing before it. However, they never forgot that it was Mother Russia to whom they all, even if indirectly, were linked.

Flag of British Korea

This is an old flag of mine that I collaborated with an internet friend to make.  It previously appear over on Alternate History Weekly Update, and now it's here on my personal blog.  So without further ado, here it is:

This is the flag of British Korea. It's from a world where it was Britain, rather than America, which convinced Japan to come out of isolation. The British had intended to add Japan to their empire, but it soon became clear this wouldn't be feasible. The British, however, had been poking around Korea, which presented a much easier target, and thus British Korea was born. Side effects of this included a Spanish-Japanese war in which Japan took the Philippines, Guam and the Marianas Islands; as well as Japanese participation in the Scramble for Africa.

British Korea was occupied by the Japanese during World War II, but the British regained it after the war. The Soviets demanded control of Northern Korea, but the British wished it to stay unified. As a compromise, British Korea remained unified while Japan was split into a Communist North and a Democratic South. Korea officially gained independence from the British in the 1970s.

Also, since I know someone will say it, British Korea is Best Korea.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Flash Fiction: Paleontology Lecture

I'm still working one the first installment of the new Nile High, but while we wait I have a special treat for you.  I have an original flash fiction story of mine entitled Paleontology Lecture.  This actually isn't the first time this story appeared.  This was my entry in Escape Pod's flash fiction contest from about a year ago.  Overall, reception was reasonably positive, but not enough to advance me beyond Round 1.  Nevertheless, I'm glad I got to participate and see some of my favorite Escape Artists members critiquing something I wrote.  

I've shopped this story around, but I think it's best home will be right here on my blog.  There's no much more to add, I'll let the story speak for it's self.  Be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments.  And now, I'm very proud to present, "Paleontology Lecture":

Hello, and thank you all for taking time out of your busy schedules to come to this paleontology conference.  Now, I'm perfectly aware that is quite the lovely day, and I apologize in advance for keeping you all cooped up in here.  I'd like to draw your attention to the fossil that is next to me.  This is just one example of a series discoveries very much like it.  It dates back to sixty-five million years ago, and is one of the oldest such specimens that has yet been discovered.

The first thing you’ll notice is of course skeletal structure.  Though a bit odd to our eyes it was quite common among creatures of the era.  The small size of the head has often been assumed to be an indication of low intelligence.  However, recent studies have concluded that these creatures may in fact have established some sort of society.  Ah, I see some of you rolling your eye-stalks already.  Do understand that I don't mean to suggest anything on the scale of our own civilization.  Rather, they could have at least built the rudimentary aspects of a civilization before they became extinct.

It is certainly humbling to think that these ancient organisms may have been starting civilization while our ancestors were still swimming in the oceans.  Now then, let's examine some of the other physical features.  You will notice the large eye sockets and reduced brow ridge.  Based on surviving members of this animal's class we have determined that mostly likely they were primarily nocturnal.  Their teeth are rather flat, which seems to indicate a primarily vegetation based diet. You will also notice the pronounced backbone; again, quite common among chordates.

There are several competing theories as to why these creatures were ultimately driven to extinction.  The presence of shocked quartz within the strata these fossils are found in does seem to suggest that an asteroid impact played some role.  The only other known source of shocked quartz is a nuclear explosion, and I think we can most certainly rule that out as an explanation.  Granted, the higher that average presence of radioactive particles within the strata does raise some question.  However, we really shouldn't throw our skepticism out of the window in favor of such conspiratorial ramblings.

As many of you are aware, these creatures are thus far the only known example of their genus that we have discovered.  This would suggest that they simply died out due to not being adapted to a changing environment.  Whatever the reason I am fully confident that we will find the answer in time.  If you'd like to see the answer faster may I suggest donating to my university?

Okay, bit of shameless self-promotion there.  I will now turn things over to the Q&A section.  Please raise your tentacles in the air if you would like to participate.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Anime Review: Hetalia

So today I'm going to be reviewing the anime Hetalia. The series began its life as a popular webcomic by Hidekaz Himaruya, but it didn't take long for it to receive an anime adaptation. The series is a lighthearted and humorous retelling of various world history events with the nations of the world anthropomorphized as humans. Originally the focus of the series was on the Axis Powers and their on-going struggle against the Allies. Hetalia has since moved beyond World War II and has focused on other historical events and nations.

Some of you probably think that this sounds kind of similar to Polandball. I suppose that's more or less true, but there's a couple of things you ought to keep in mind. First of all, Hetalia did come first, but it's hardly the first series to feature anthropomorphic nations. Second, and far more importantly, do not under any circumstance compare the two to each other. While there are fans of both Hetalia and Polandball, for the most part the fandoms tend not to play well together. All I'm saying is tread carefully when discussing Hetalia and Polandball in the same forum thread.

Now then, let's talk about the series itself. There really isn't any overarching plotline to speak of. Certain historical periods do tend to get more episodes than others, but overall the series is just as episodic as the webcomic that inspired it. Each episode clocks in at about five minutes if you count the intro and credits. So if you're short on time, or have a short attention span, then Hetalia should suit you quite well.

The characterization of the various nations are, in large part, based upon Japanese stereotypes of those nations. As a result we have Italy, rather than France, as the one who's cowardly and quick to surrender. It's all meant in good natured fun and isn't meant to be offensive or taken too seriously. Even Japan gets in on the fun, being portrayed as a shut-in who takes way too many pictures while on vacation. In fact most viewers tend to find the depiction of their home nations absolutely hilarious.

Hetalia may be a comedy series, but it does know how to be serious when the occasion calls for it. The most notable example of this episode that involves the American Revolution. Rather than a glorious struggle for independence it is portrayed as a tragic parting of ways between America and England. It packs even more of an impact when we see how England was like a big brother to America during America's younger days. Admittedly, the American Revolution episode was hyped to hell and back, which killed a bit of its impact. That being said, it still is easily one of the most powerful episodes of the whole series.

In general, though, Hetalia keeps things on the lighter side and tends to stay away from topics that are too serious or controversial. Himaruya has stated that this is why Mexico has yet to have an on-screen appearance. Curiously though, Cuba, who arguably would be more controversial, has appeared on a couple of occasions. Germany does feature prominently in the World War II segments, but he's never depicted as subscribing to Nazism and he isn't exactly fond of his boss Hitler.

The historical and cultural references are very well researched. Don't worry about missing out on any of the jokes or references. The anime has several text pop-ups that explain things in great detail, and the webcomic has little notes that also provide explanations. In fact, Hetalia's one of the best researched anime with regards to European History and history in general. If you're not careful you might just learn something new.

The gender balance of characters is skewed towards the male side. Himaruya admits that this is largely because he had trouble drawing female characters when he first started the webcomic. You might think this would hurt Hetalia's popularity with the female demographic, but you'd be quite wrong. As a matter of fact women make up the majority of Hetalia fans, and there's also a strong LGBT fan base.

Hetalia has proven to be the inspiration for a few other series over the years. The most prominent being the webcomic Scandinavia and the World. It's pretty similar to Hetalia, but the cast is more gender balanced and the stereotypes are ones Scandinavians hold. You can find Scandinavia and the World on Deviantart and it is worth checking out.

In other inspirations we have the webcomic Planetary Moe. It's basically Hetalia but with celestial bodies rather than nations. In fact, some of the character designs are similar to Hetalia designs. I've only recently found out about this one so I can't say much. I can say, from what little I've seen, it looks like a pretty good webcomic. It can also be found on Deviantart.

I thought that the English dub was quite excellent as well. I can't imagine anyone other than Todd Haberkorn as Italy or Eric Vale as America and Canada. Though Vic Mignogna, who was eventually cast as Greece, gave some very admirable auditions for Italy and America. J. Michael Tatum gave such a good performance as France that I almost didn't realize that it was him.

Seasons one and two of Hetalia are known as Hetalia: Axis Powers. Seasons three and four are called Hetalia: World Series. Season five is known as Hetalia: The Beautiful World, while season six has yet to be released stateside. There's also been a movie released called Hetalia: Paint it White. Several of the webcomics have been collected in manga format and are available for purchase.

Well there you have it. Hetalia: it's funny, it's educational and it's a whole lot of fun. It's a series that I enjoy quite a bit and I'm sure you will to. Well that does it for now. I've got a very special edition of The Audio File for next time, so that's something to look forward to. I will see you guys next time.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Anime Review: Full Metal Panic!

When it comes to alternate history in anime there are a few names which immediately make it to the top of the list. Code Geass is probably the one that most people will think of, but the anime we're looking at today is defiantly a close second. What is this anime you ask? Today we are going to be looking at Full Metal Panic!

Full Metal Panic! takes place in a world where Mikhail Gorbachev was assassinated before he could implement his any of his political reforms. As a result, the Soviet Union never collapsed and the Cold War continues to rage on into the 21st century. The other major change to history is that combat mecha known as Arm Slaves are now commonly used by militaries throughout the world. Tensions remain high between East and West, but the international anti-terrorism organization Mithril is doing its best to keep the world peaceful and oppose the forces of tyranny.

The series follows the adventures of Sgt. Sōsuke Sagara. He may only be sixteen years old, but he's one of the best soldiers Mithril has on hand. Sōsuke has been on many dangerous missions in the past, but he's about to be deployed on his most challenging mission ever: High School! Technology such as the Arm Slaves is only possible because of a group of people, known as The Whispered, who have psychic powers that given them access to Black Technology. Mithril has identified a sixteen-year-old Japanese girl named Kaname Chidori who they believe to be a Whispered.

There are plenty of unsavory organization who would want access to the Black Technology, so Mithril has assigned Sōsuke to guard Kaname. There's plenty of laughs as Sōsuke tries, and fails, to fit into the life of an average high school student. There's also plenty of action and suspense as Kaname gets drawn into Sōsuke's life with Mithril. It's funny, charming, action-packed and at times even touching. Now let's go in more detail about all of that.

Like I said before, next to Code GeassFull Metal Panic! is probably one of the best alternate history anime out there. History diverged closer the present day, so the worldbuilding is a bit less exotic compared to Code Geass. That having been said, there are plenty of alternate historical details. For example, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was a success. China experienced a civil war during the 1990s and is divided into a democratic south and a communist north, with the Yangtze River servring as the border between the two. Hong Kong has been split between the two Chinas, a la Berlin. The Gulf War still happened, but a small scale nuclear missile was used against the American-led forces.

Okay, so now for the moment you've all been waiting for. Which series is better: Code Geass or Full Metal Panic? Speaking for myself, I found Full Metal Panic! to be the better of the two. The plot and character development of Full Metal Panic! are much more streamlined and consistent than Code Geass. It also does a much better job of balancing the comedy/slice of life aspects with the action/drama aspects; so neither side ever overwhelmed the other nor felt out of place. Don't get me wrong, Code Geass has a lot going for it, but the choppiness and disjointedness of its plot and pacing kept it from achieving its full potential in my eyes.

Now then, let's talk about Full Metal Panic's plot and character development. A lot of the comedy of the series comes from the fact that Sōsuke has pretty much no clue about civilian life, and all of the misunderstandings and misadventures that result from that. Well, that and all of the times Kaname losses her temper and slaps Sōsuke around. At the same time there's plenty of serious moments as well. A big part of Sōsuke's backstory is that he was an orphan child solider in Afghanistan until his was eight or eleven and was adopted by a Mithril general. Kaname herself is a bit of an outsider herself since she was raised in America for most of her childhood. There's also a throwaway line that indicates that she also lost her parents, which would explain why she appears to be living on her own. Sōsuke and Kaname start off as a bit of an odd couple, but they grow closer over the course of the series, and their relationship feels genuine.

In other characters we have Melissa Mao and Kurz Weber. Melissa is Sōsuke's commanding officer and Kurz is an ace sniper. They have a sort of surrogate older sibling relationship with Sōsuke. They constantly trying convince Sōsuke to loosen up and have fun, but they're also there to provide moral support and guidance when Sōsuke needs it.

Rounding out the main cast is Captain Teletha Testarossa, but everyone calls her Tessa. She's a cute, clumsy sixteen-year-old girl who also happens to be the captain of Mithril's flagship submarine the Tuatha De Danaan. All of this is possible because she's one of the Whispered and in fact helped design the Danaan. I'll admit, I really wasn't sure about Tessa when she was first introduced. As time went on, however, she grew on me and proved to be a solid character.

Besides being alternate history Full Metal Panic! is also a example of the Real Robot genre even more so than Code Geass. The Arms Slaves are large, but not excessively so. Mithril and American Arm Slaves tend to be sleek and aerodynamic, while Soviet Arm Slaves tend to be bulkier and turtle-like. On the whole it's all fairly realistic and grounded, with the exception of Sōsuke's Arm Slave which is known as the Arbalest. It comes equip with a device known as the Lambda Driver that can convert emotions into energy shields and blasts. The Arbalest also has a limited AI operating system. The reason only Sōsuke has an Arbalest was that its creator died before it could be replicated, and apparently didn't leave any notes or blueprints. It's also acknowledged in-universe that Arm Slaves are only possible thanks to the Black Technology of the Whispered.

That all having been said, I'm not sure about the structure of Mithril. We get to see that their military forces are more than capable of going toe-to-toe with the American and Soviet militaries; yet they appear to answer to nobody's authority but their own. America and NATO are close allies with Mithril, but it seems a bit odd that America wouldn't be concerned about an organization that could potentially match them militarily and can't be held accountable to any authority. Perhaps, Mithril has some connection to the United Nations? If so, the anime never provides any evidence of this.

Now let's talk about how Full Metal Panic! came to be. The most common basis for an anime is for it to be an adaption of a manga series. There are some series that are entirely original, such as Code Geass, but those tend to be somewhat rare. The second most common source for anime adaptions is light novels. Light novels are a bit tricky to describe since they don't really have a counterpart in the West. I can best describe them as a spiritual successor of sorts to the pulp novels and magazines. They're primary targeted at a young adult audience, though not exclusively. They get their name from their short length, use of simplified kanji compared to more literary novels and include illustrations interspersed throughout the text.

The Full Metal Panic! light novels are written by Shouji Gatou. There are twelve novels in total along with several short story collections. Only the first ten or so novels have received an English translation, though that sort of works out since the anime gets its plot from those five. The plot is mostly the same between the light novels and the anime, but there are a few differences. The biggest being that in the light novels Sōsuke is from Afghanistan, but in the anime he's from the fictional nation of Helmajistan. This is due to the events of the War on Terror causing the production team to think it might be in bad taste to have an Afghan main character. I've said Afghanistan up until this point because Helmajistan is Afghanistan in all but name.

The anime is divided into three seasons. The first season is forty-seven episodes long and is simply entitled Full Metal Panic! The second season is twelve episodes long and is entitled Full Metal PanicFumoffu. The third season is thirteen episodes long and is entitled Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid. In 2015 it was announced that a fourth season of Full Metal Panic! is in production and should be coming out in the near future.

The first season does a perfect job of balancing comedy and drama, but as for Fumoffu? It...has issues. Fumoffu discards most of the action with Mithril to focus on the wacky antics at Sōsuke and Kaname's school. In and of itself this isn't a bad premise, but the problem lies with the execution. By the end of season one Sōsuke and Kaname go through some major character development. Sōsuke learns to loosen up and fit in better, Kamane realizes she's been unnecessarily mean to Sōsuke and they both grow closer together. Come Fumoffu, however, they both become almost caricatures of their pre-character development selves. Sōsuke was so oblivious I found it astounding that he could figure out how to put on his pants. Kaname was such in hot-head in Fumoffu that she came across a borderline sociopath at times.

The first six episodes are divided into two eleven minutes halves, and the quality suffers as a result. Look, I love a good screwball slice-of-life anime as much as the next guy, but in the context of Full Metal Panic! it just feels out of place. Also, little tip for all you aspiring writers, personalities are not punchlines. Having said that, about halfway through the quality of the episodes noticeably improves. They run a single plot for the whole episode and there's actually some legitimately funny and touching moments. Fumoffu certainly isn't the worst anime I've ever seen, but it is incredibly awkward at times.

Thankfully, Second Raid is a welcomed return to form. This is because it is a direct sequel to the first season, whereas Fumoffu was primarily a filler season. If you can't handle the wackiness of Fumoffu you can skip ahead to Second Raid without really missing anything. Second Raid picks up the plot a few months after the events of season one and follows Sōsuke as he finds himself increasingly torn between his duty to Mithril and his life with Kaname. I won't give away the ending, but I though it neatly wrapped things up while leaving open the possibility of future installments.

Now let's talk about the voice acting. I gave me spiel about why I only focus on the English dubs in my Code Geass review, but I'll summarize the main points. I'm a very audio oriented person, so if I can't understand the audio it significantly diminishes my enjoyment of a show. Anyway, let's get back on track. I thought that Chris Patton did an excellent job voicing Sōsuke. He was excessively formal with being completely stoic. Likewise, Luci Christian gave a pitch perfect sweet and spicy performance as Kaname. Really, the the whole cast gave great performances.

There have a couple manga adaptions of Full Metal Panic! though their plots are slightly different. Full Metal Panic! also managed to capture Hollywood's attention. In 2009 there were talks about a live action movie that would have starred Zac Efron as Sōsuke. Yes, the guy from Disney's High School Musical trilogy. That might actually have worked out considering that Zac Efron is a huge fan of Full Metal Panic! and of anime and manga in general. On the other hand, live-action adaptations of anime tend to not go that well. Perhaps it's for the best that the live-action movie never got off the ground.

Well there you have it. Full Metal Panic! is funny, action-packed, charming and even touching. It's got high school antics and military science fiction adventure. It's got a little something for everyone all wrapped up in an alternate history setting. It's one of my favorite anime and I'm sure you'll love it as well. And with that I'm off to find more great anime to review and share with you guys. See you next time.