The 2018 Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory anime, which is the fourth season of the anime adaptation, has many light novel volumes to draw upon for finishing the end of the story. The question is, will studio Xebec adapt the story at a decent pace and allow room for Full Metal Panic! Season 5 (or Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory 2)? Thankfully, there are hints from official sources which seem to confirm that is what Xebec is planning.
The Full Metal Panic! light novel series, which numbers 12 volumes in total, was completed in 2011 by author Shoji Gatoh and light novel illustrator Shiki Douji. Even the light novel sequel, Full Metal Panic! Another, is up to Volume 12 as of February of 2016, never mind the short story collections.
Full Metal Panic! Fumoffu is considered the second season, and Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid is the third season. The first FMP season adapted three light novel volumes (Fighting Boy Meets Girl, One Night Stand, and Into the Blue) into 24 episodes, although several episodes were anime-original content. The Second Raid adapted two light novels, Ending Day by Day parts 1 and 2, into 13 episodes.
All in all, the anime adaptation has covered five light novels while the sixth book, Dancing Very Merry Christmas, was adapted into a Japanese audio drama (cheers to the Reddit user who created a summary of the story since that light novel was never translated into English officially). FMP! Season 4 began with book 7, which means there are six light novels composed of 35 chapters left to adapt into anime.
For years, the author has talked about wanting the full light novel series adapted into a single anime season. Gatoh is listed as story editor for the anime and during Anime Expo 2017, he warned fans there won’t be any “explanation or expository episodes,” and the pacing is going to be “full throttle from the get-go” although it will still “follow the original work pretty closely.” Fans are hoping that studio Xebec will create around four episodes per book, which means that a 24-episode, split-cour anime season is required unless the pacing is horribly rushed.
Full Metal Panic! Season 5 Confirmed By FMP! Blu-Ray Box Sets?
Thankfully, the Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory Blu-Ray disc collection seems to have indirectly confirmed that Full Metal Panic! Season 5 is likely to be planned for a late 2018 or early 2019 release date. The official website lists three Blu-ray Disc and DVD releases for a total of 12 episodes in the fourth season (the audio drama based on light novel 6 is also included). The three boxes will be released on July 25, August 24, and September 26, respectively. What’s more, photos of the episodes scripts posted on Twitter gave fans hints about what to expect.
The titles for the first four episodes refer to events from the seventh Full Metal Panic! light novel, Continuing on my Own. Episodes 5 through 8 refer to the eighth light novel Burning One Man Force. The title for the ending in Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory Episode 12 has not been revealed yet, but it’s a safe bet that it’s focused on the ninth book, Come Make my Day. That leaves books 10 through 12 for creating Full Metal Panic! Season 5.
Studio Xebec has two options. It’s possible the studio will wait until the sales numbers are in for the new anime before producing the final ending, which could push the Full Metal Panic! Season 5 release date off for years. The second option is that they’re simply planning a split-cour anime season, which means the Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory 2 release date would probably be in either the fall of 2018 or the winter of 2019. Fans will just have to wait and see how it all turns out. Stay tuned.