I found myself in the mood for anime again recently, so I picked something out of my anime DVD pile and started watching. I started with Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, about a week ago. I finished that up yesterday, and started into Full Metal Panic!: The Second Raid. I’d watched the original Full Metal Panic series quite some time ago, and liked it enough to buy Fumoffu and TSR, but then never got around to watching them. I’m not sure when I bought Fumoffu, but I know I bought the first TSR DVD in 2008, since I left the receipt in the DVD case.
After watching a bit of Fumoffu, I took a look at the Wikipedia page for it, and realized that it was produced by Kyoto Animation, the studio where that arson attack happened last month. From the Wikipedia page, it appears that Fumoffu might have actually been the very first series they produced.
I wasn’t really familiar with Kyoto Animation, prior to reading about the arson. It looks like they’d been around since the 80s, but only started acting as the “main producer” on stuff in 2003. Reading up on them, it sounds like they’re a pretty cool company, which only makes the arson thing all the more heartbreaking.
Both Fumoffu and TSR were directed by Yasuhiro Takemoto, who died in that attack. The first DVD of the TSR series has a couple of special features on it, showing a few of the creators of the series, including Takemoto, doing some background research for it, going to a demonstration of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, and on a trip to Hong Kong. Those were fun to watch, but now that I know what happened to Takemoto, I’m feeling pretty melancholy about it.
I started out watching this stuff purely as goofy escapism, but now it all seems a lot heavier. I’m still going to finish watching TSR, and I’m sure it’ll still make me laugh, but lately it doesn’t seem like I can enjoy anything as pure escapism anymore. The real world always intrudes somehow.
As an aside, Fumoffu and TSR are both available to watch for free on YouTube, as is the first series. These appear to be legitimately posted by Funimation. I’m not sure why they’re available for free. Maybe they put older stuff on YouTube to get people interested enough to pay for newer stuff? Regardless, it’s cool that you can watch this stuff for free if you want to.