The Tohan book distributor's e-hon website lists the next full-length volume of Shoji Gatoh's Full Metal Panic! high school action comedy light novel series with a July 17 release date in Japan. However, it also lists the volume's full title as Full Metal Panic! 11: Zutto, Stand By Me (Jō) (Full Metal Panic! 11: Always, Stand by Me Part I).
Gatoh had written in a January blog entry that he was writing the final full-length novel volume with an eye towards a tentative spring release. He has since written an May 14 entry to apologize for not getting the book ready for spring, but added that a release date has been set. He no longer states that the next book is the final volume.
The story of Full Metal Panic! centers around a brusque young sergeant named Sousuke Sagara who must protect an assertive high school girl named Kaname Chidori by masquerading (somewhat unsuccessfully) as a high school student himself. Shikidouji illustrated the original novels that Tokyopop published.
The Hollywood Reporter newspaper revealed Mandalay Pictures' acquisition of the live-action film rights to the story last year. Although the newspaper listed Zac Efron's possible involvement, the actor downplayed the project's chances. ADV Manga released both the first manga adaptation from Retsu Tateo and Full Metal Panic: Overload! manga spinoff from Tomohiro Nagai in North America. ADV Films and Funimation have split the North American DVD releases of the three television anime series between the two of them.
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