Back in October, you might remember that the return of Full Metal Panic! was confirmed for this year. Backed up by new seasons for High School DxD and Yuki Yuna is a Hero, our favourite mecha comedy announced it would be back this fall and revealed its staff, then its subtitle Invisible Victory.
But here’s the rub. Recently, the anime’s official website has removed its “this fall” listing. This scheduling was listed at least as early as February 19th, but was taken down sometime between then and April 4th. Judging from this backtrack, it seems the series has hit a snag in its production schedule. All we can do is wait for a change of plans to be formally announced.
At least, with the subtitle and visual revealed in January, we can form an image of what season four will be about. Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory is based on the novel’s 6th volume, released in March 2003. It’s also been confirmed that the full original voice cast will return to their familiar roles, except for Nozomu Sasaki who voiced Yang Jun-Kyu. Just for the first chapter, the soldier of Mithril’s Special Response Team will instead be voiced by Takayuki Okada, who voiced Kotoro Onodera in Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu.
Katsuichi Nakayama, assistant director for Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo, is directing at studio XEBEC, while the original Full Metal Panic! novelist Shoji Gatoh is on series composition and scriptwriting. Osamu Horiuchi is the character designer and chief animation director, back from Full Metal Panic! and Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid, with Aya Yamamoto, animation director on My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Too!, as sub-character designer.
And the mech division of the staff is led by Takeshi Yoshioka, who acted as chief animation director for Classroom Crisis, as small arms designer and animation director. Kanetake Ebikawa and Toshiaki Ihara both return on mechanical design. Takayuki Yanase, mechanical designer on Ghost in the Shell ARISE, is the set designer, and Masanori Nishii of Star Blazers 2199 is the mechanical director.