The Full Metal Panic! Season 4 release date is coming up very soon, finally bringing the FMP anime series to a close 20 years after Shoji Gatoh published his light novel series. Gatoh sat down to discuss Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory with Anime News Network, giving FMP fans a hint about what to expect.
The third season, Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid, originally aired in 2005 and was based on the fourth and fifth books of the series. The Full Metal Panic! light novel series, which number 12 volumes in total, was completed in 2011. There are seven volumes composed of 42 chapters left to adapt into 26 anime episodes, assuming that Full Metal Panic! Season 4 intends on finishing the entire main story.
As fans might expect, the first question in the interview was to ask how many light novels Full Metal Panic! Season 4 will adapt. All Gatou was willing to say is that the anime is going to start with the sixth book and move onward, which was slightly surprising. Full Metal Panic! Volume 6, “Dancing Very Merry Christmas,” was already adapted into a 2016 radio drama called Full Metal Panic! Very Merry Christmas.
The next question was about the author’s research into military technology and protocols. Gatou says that the U.S. military and the Japanese JSDF (Japan Self-Defense Force) both provide public access to documentation, although the Americans are more open with the details. When creating futuristic technology like the Arm Slaves, Gatou was able to find a balance between fantasy and realism because Japanese audiences had largely been trained to accept the premise because of previous properties like Tetsujin 28 and Mazinger Z.