At this year’s Fantasia Bunko Daikanshasai festival, there was a special booth dedicated to announced a fourth season of Retsu Tateo and Shoji Gatoh’s Full Metal Panic! anime series. Unlike most new anime season announcements, this one actually came with a release date! The fourth season of Full Metal Panic! is slated to air in the fall anime season of 2017.
The anime will be produced by Studio XEBEC and will be directed by Katsuichi Nakayama who previously directed planetarian and served as the assistant director for Evangelion 3.0. Shoji Gatoh will be handling the story and script writing for the new season. Osamu Horichi, who worked as a character designer on the first two seasons, will be reprising his role for the fourth season as well.
This announcement was teased back in August, stating that there would be a “special announcement” at the event. The stage event also announced that Odoru Very Merry Christmas (Dancing Very Merry Christmas), the sixth Full Metal Panic! novel, is getting an audio drama. The onstage guests also revealed a key visual for the audio drama.
MyAnimeList.net describes the story of Full Metal Panic! as follows:
A sergeant by the name of Sousuke Sagara is assigned an important task. That of guarding high school girl Chidori Kaname. Sousuke is a military genius, gaining high rank at an early age, but because of his strange upbringing, he lacks social skill. Now, he finds himself as a fish out of water as he attempts to protect a girl from an evil organization and turn in his school work on time.
The first season of Full Metal Panic! aired in 2002 and contained 24 episodes. The second anime, Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, aired in 2003 with 12 episodes and the third season, Full Metal Panic!: The Second Raid, aired in 2005 with 13 episodes. The series is licensed for North American distribution by FUNimation. The two films inspired by the series are licensed by ADV. Kadokawa of Japan released all three seasons and the OVA on Blu-ray in 2013 to celebrate the series’ 15th anniversary. The original novel series has also inspired several manga spinoff series, as well as several light novel spinoffs (including Another) and short story collections.