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Which Fullmetal Alchemist Box Set(s) to buy?

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Joined: 14 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:06 pm Reply with quote
I'm brand new to this forum, so I apologize if this is posted in the wrong category, so feel free to let me know if I've done anything wrong.

I'm very interested in buying FullMetal Alchemist and FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood on DVD, but I don't know which Box Sets to buy. Here are the options:

FMA was originally released in sets of four episodes. Here is a random example from

FMA was then released in four separate boxes: Season 1, Part 1;Season 1, Part 2; Season 2, Part 1, and Season 2, Part 2. Here's Season 1, Part 1 on Amazon:

FMA was then released in two Box Sets: Season 1 and Season 2. Here's season 1 on Amazon:

FMA was then released in the "Viridian Collection" of two Box Sets, again Seasons 1 and 2, pictured here:

I've heard different things about each release. I have the money to buy any of the releases, although the Viridian release may be a bit cheaper. I've heard that they're all very similar, but I don't know which one to buy.

FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood was also released multiple times.

FMA: Brotherhood was initially released in five separate parts. Here is Part 1 on DVD and Blu-Ray:

It was then released in two seasons, once again on DVD and Blu-Ray:

I don't know which of the two FMA: Brotherhood box sets to buy either. I also don't know if I should get them on DVD or Blu-Ray. Blu-Ray certainly seems like it would be better but I've heard from a couple of people that they upconverted FMA: Brotherhood for Blu-Ray and it looks bad because it wasn't actually made in HD.

Someone please help! Preferably someone with knowledge of the many FullMetal Alchemist Box Sets, although all opinions are welcome.

I don't know which of the many FMA and FMA: Brotherhood Box Sets to buy. They seem similar, but I'm guessing the special features are different on each, so I want to be informed before making my purchase.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:12 am Reply with quote
I can help a bit on the first two for the 2003 series. The half season sets collect the singles. They also collect the booklets that would've originally come with them. The thing is, the first 7 singles go up to episode 28. In the later two half season sets, they go up to 25, so you can't mix and match the first two with the last two.
I don't see too much reason to go with the first option, it's the singles. The second option is the same thing but saves a lot of room. I like my half season sets because there's plenty of artwork in there and I like the little booklets. On the plus side, if you break a DVD or something, the singles can be bought pretty cheaply for an exact episode count replacement.
It also looks like the episode count between the two Brotherhood sets isn't compatible either, you gotta go with one or the other. I haven't seen Brotherhood (I read the manga) so I can't help much more there.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:11 am Reply with quote
For maximum saving of money and space you should get the two viridian sets for Fullmetal Alchemist and the release of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood that is compiled into two parts.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:40 pm Reply with quote
For the first FMA, go with either the Viridian sets or the two box sets. The discs for those sets were re-authored and the video quality is much better. The discs for the singles and four part sets were produced back when Funimation's DVDs looked terrible due to their lousy DVD authoring at the time and the use of alternate angles.

FMA Brotherhood, definitely go with the Blu-rays. The show was produced at a somewhat lower resolution at 540p which was common with other Studio Bones shows at the time. It's not an SD upscale and it doesn't look bad. The complaints are just from people expecting it to look more like other studios' shows which are 720p. It has some jagged edges and it's not as detailed but that's because of the source. There is nothing wrong with the transfers on the Blu-rays either. Go with the two Collections for it. They are cheaper and the subtitles were made a little bigger than on the five parts.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:56 pm Reply with quote
Alright, I'm leaning toward buying the original two part release of FMA and the current Blu-ray two part release for FMA: Brotherhood. I really want the booklets that come with the original FMA release and I was going to buy the four part set because it also comes with the booklets, but if the difference in video quality between the 4 part and 2 part set is that noticeable then I'll probably get the 2 part set. Unfortunately the first half of the two part set isn't all that easy to find at a decent price. I can find it pretty cheap, but the quality and whether or not the books are included isn't clear. Does anyone have any suggestions for sites that might have it other than Amazon or righstuf?

Can I get any confirmation on the quality of the video in the 4 part DVD set vs. the first 2 part DVD set? The 4 part set is looking much more affordable right now due to a lack of cheap and high quality Season 1 box sets. I've had trouble finding much about the DVD authoring. Some say the 4 part set should be fine because it was re-encoded, but I don't know for sure.

[EDIT: To avoid double-posting, just use the Edit button, next time. -TK]
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