Full Metal Panic

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PTSD in Full Metal Panic: Is Sousuke Sagara an Accurate Portrayal?

Since a new series of Full Metal Panic got announced, I thought it is timely to look at this topic as Sousuke is a popular character and has been subjected to a lot of opinion about whether he is realistic or not. The writer could look at the light novels and anime for how to back up their argument, as well as literature and criteria for PTSD. I would be willing to collaborate with someone on this title (I am busy) I am studying Psychology and have read all of the light novels and seen the anime.

  • If anyone would like to collaborate with me on this please PM me. Thanks for support so far! – Jordan 8 years ago
  • It would see to me like an obvious no. While I'm certainly no authority, from what I understand PTSD involves nightmares, flashbacks of the traumatic event, and anxiety. Also depression, insomnia, fear, anger, jumpiness, difficulty trusting others... but Sosuke is calm, methodically rational, and trusts his allies with his life (though I haven't read the light novels, so I may be wrong). The only symptom he exhibits regularly is Hyper-vigilance, which is really just a normal part of his character. Most of the time when he pulls his gun too eagerly, it's not because he's paranoid, but because he doesn't understand normal social protocol, and misinterprets people and situations. You can see this when he changes environments. At a high school he's out of place, and his nature would appear to be overly aggressive or paranoid. But on the battle field, his natural environment, his actions are right on point. From what I understand, a PTSD victim would not make a good soldier because they may cave to stress, and cannot accurately assess risks. But Sosuke is the perfect soldier. His quirkiness at a high school isn't a symptom of PTSD, but a symptom of just not knowing any better. – LangsEnd 8 years ago
  • Yes Langsend, I think you may be correct, although Hypervigilence also comes under high anxiety, jumpiness and difficulty trusting others. Being overly rational could be a defense mechanism (intellectualizing), and since the story doesn't happen from Sousuke's point of view, he may very well have nightmares and flashbacks but we do not see them happen. PTSD affects everyone differently and to my knowledge a lot of soldiers have PTSD but don't seek treatment because they risk loosing their job (I don't think this risk is as bad now but it may depend). Anyway, I think to some extent it becomes a grey area which is why it would be interesting to explore it. Thanks for your feedback! – Jordan 8 years ago