Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory is a 2018 television anime series based on the light novel of the same name written by Shoji Gatoh and the fourth season to the popular television anime series Full Metal Panic!. It was adapted by studio Xebec and directed by Katsuichi Nakayama. Kadokawa Pictures published the series and was first broadcast in Japan on April 2018 as part of the Spring season.
“Amalgam has made its move to gather up the whispered – specifically Kaname Chidori! And Leonard Testarossa is ready to do anything to get her. Determined to keep Chidori safe, Sousuke stays close by her side, which proves to be more dangerous than ever before.
But when her friend’s lives are put in danger, Chidori makes a choice that could bring a tragic end to this battle. Up against new weaponry and deadly foes, can Sousuke and the soldiers of Mithril stop Amalgam and protect the ones they love.”Plot Synopsis via Anime Limited, January 2021
It’s been a long while since Full Metal Panic! managed to get another anime season. Years ago the first season was animated by GONZO and the second and third seasons (with one of them technically a spin-off) were both animated by Kyoto Animation. Each of these seasons were pretty good and the reception overall has been pretty positive. It’s quite a surprise though that the franchise never continued producing any more anime at the time.
Fast forward to a few years ago, Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory was announced with IV referring to its fourth season for those who don’t know. This is an interesting one as not only does it bring back the cast for both the Japanese and English side, but we once again have a different studio taking on the mantle with Xebec, who are known for Fafner and their remake of Space Battleship Yamato.
Now despite saying that, Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory is technically not a direct continuation of Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid. The reason is because there is a story arc that takes place in-between the two and was not animated in anime form so those who are anime-only are basically left with missing gaps of information.
Funimation acquired the United States & Canada rights for the series and brought back the English dub cast for their simuldub, while Anime Limited was able to acquire the United Kingdom & Ireland rights like with the first three seasons. Funimation released the series first in a limited edition only set that had some pretty good content, though it sold out pretty quickly and a standard regular release did not occur until many months later. Anime Limited on the other hand, took their time and while details were pretty quiet, they fully unveiled everything during their online showcase in November 2020, which I may as well explain in the next section because it’s worth a read.
Collector’s Edition Contents:
Anime Limited loves providing collector’s edition releases for their catalogue and for Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory we have quite possibly the most definitive English release yet.
This release is presented with a rigid box containing an Amaray case to house the Blu-ray discs. The box also comes with a 180-page booklet containing a ton of character artwork, mecha designs and more. For comparison, Funimation’s set had 80 pages for their book.
The Blu-ray discs are practically the same as Funimation’s release but also comes with Japanese Audio Dramas. Now this is where the fun begins. Funimation’s release does include audio dramas, more specifically the “What If” scenarios that were part of the Japanese Blu-ray volumes, but they were presented as a raw CD with a booklet to accompany it as an English translation. This method is not the ideal experience for fans of the franchise and to make things more insulting, the Amaray artwork representing that audio drama on their limited edition release wasn’t even relevant to either Invisible Victory or the “What If” scenarios – it was for a different audio drama called “Very Merry Christmas”, which was the story arc I mentioned earlier that was set in-between The Second Raid and Invisible Victory.
Now the reason I had to provide that added context is because Anime Limited spent additional time to provide a different approach with regards to the audio dramas. Instead of a raw CD, we have an actual Blu-ray disc with subtitles and still images to accompany the audio. This is what Funimation should have done, but to make things even more interesting – Anime Limited was also able to license the “Very Merry Christmas” audio drama for their collector’s edition release, so fans of the Full Metal Panic! franchise can now finally have a legal way to not only listen to the audio, but can go straight into Invisible Victory without missing any of the context that was left out. It’s quite lengthy as well as you have at least 3+ hours of additional content for the set.
Back to the collector’s package itself, the artwork is free of any information or BBFC content and the info sheet covers the information and specification like previous Anime Limited releases. The collector’s edition Blu-ray has 1000 units printed for an SRP of £69.99 (higher than the regular range due to the audio dramas inclusion). This is also a Blu-ray only release and is expected to receive a standard edition over time. The standard edition is expected to only focus on the main series so the audio dramas are likely going to be exclusive to this package.
I pre-ordered the series during the Anime Limited 12 Days of Christmas 2020 event where it was on early bird for £34.99, but thanks to the Screen Anime membership it was 10% less at £31.50. The show is technically not yet available until January so this is a good opportunity for you lot to have a look at what this package offers!
- Rigid Box with Amaray packaging and clean artwork
- Info sheet for specification and BBFC description
- Additional Blu-ray disc with Japanese Audio Dramas “Very Merry Christmas” and “What If” with English subtitles and still images to guide the viewers.
- 180-page Hardcover booklet
Distributor: Anime Limited
Released: 11th January 2021
Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory contains episodes 1 to 12 plus two recaps of the series across two Blu-ray discs with an additional two Blu-ray disc; one focused on the on-disc extra features and another for the audio dramas. The encode and authoring were done by Funimation, however Anime Limited tackled the Blu-ray disc with the audio dramas. Speaking of the discs the episode count is split evenly, so episodes 1-6 are on the first disc and 7-13 on the second disc.
The audio options available for the series include Japanese with English subtitles and the Funimation English dub, while the audio dramas are presented in Japanese audio with English subtitles.
The white subtitles are locked during Blu-ray playback, and the regions are locked to B for Blu-ray.
|Languages||Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory|
|Audio||Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory|
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Japanese Linear PCM 2.0
|Video||1080p High Definition Native format|
16:9 aspect ratio
|Discs||Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory|
3 (2 BD-50s, 1 BD-25)
Blu-ray On-Disc Extra Features:
- Episode 1 English Dub Commentary
- Episode 4.5 Intermission
- Episode 12 English Dub Commentary
- Episode 8.5 Intermission 2
- Episode 4 English Dub Video Commentary
- Location Scouting 1
- Location Scouting 2
- Location Scouting 3
- Making of Music
- “Even…if” Music Video
- Promo Video
- Textless Opening Song “Even…if” Ver. 1-3
- Textless Closing Song “yes”
- Funimation Trailers
- “What If” Audio Drama
- “Very Merry Christmas” Audio Drama
Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory is available to order through multiple retailers across the United Kingdom. You can order the collector’s edition Blu-ray set over on Amazon UK.
(Disclaimer: Amazon links are also included when available. They are affiliated so if you decide to order them, I’ll earn a small percentage if they ship which will help me with any hauls or small bills.)