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Shelf Life - Band of Brothers [2009-08-03]


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pachy_boy



Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 790

PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 6:49 am Reply with quote
I can understand Bamboo's feelings on Fullmetal Alchemist. The original delivered more emotional punch, while this series (albeit based on the original story) has plenty of silliness that drowns out the attempted seriousness. Even so, since I never read the manga, watching the new storyline and wondering where it's going is making it a very interesting and exciting watch.
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JohnnySake



Joined: 22 May 2008
Posts: 554
Location: Auburn Hills, MI

PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:38 am Reply with quote
It's nice to read Bamboo's take on Kannagi. I'm working my way through it on dvd too and I really appreciate being able to watch it on tv, as opposed to previous methods. This series seems like it operates at two levels too. While Nagi and Zange appear as young women, they are actually spoiler[ rather long-lived goddesses]. In the same way the show Kannagi is a fun series to me, although there are sprinklings of seriousness throughout it as well. It always seemed like this series was popular enough to have a second season, I guess I wonder why it didn't. (Maybe because they are waiting for enough material from the original mangaka?)

And it sounds like I need to check out Nana, after a positive review like that. It's nice we don't have to wait for the dvd's, with either Hulu or iTunes making it available for us.
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Big Hed



Joined: 04 May 2006
Posts: 1607
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:26 am Reply with quote
Yep, that pretty much sums up my view on Brotherhood. It looks great and I was really excited/ready to love FMA all over again, but I had to bail after four episodes because of the higher antics quotient. I was actually considering giving it another look, but if it's still in that groove after fifteen episodes, I guess I have no need to. Such is life Confused
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doctordoom85



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 1700

PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:49 am Reply with quote
Honestly, I don't think Brotherhood has done a good job of adapting the manga, instead choosing to rush events and remove several scenes (which, while "non-essential", do add character depth and/or make the characters' actions more sensible). All because they were so afraid fans would tune out because they saw this in the first anime (if people really didn't want to see something twice, why is Dragonball Kai still on the air? Confused ). So far, it's been rather lackluster, I can only hopes BONES takes a chill pill already and slows down (if they start messing up around the time of Vol. 14 and beyond, I will not be pleased). Good grief, we only got ONE scene with the Elrics' mom before she died! How am I supposed to feel sad from that?!

Also, the music is serviceable, but compared to the amazing soundtrack the first one had, it's definitely disappointing.

I rank them: 1st anime >> manga >>>>>>>>>>>> Brotherhood.

Kannagi looks interesting, but I'll wait for the boxset along with Hayate. Bandai's recent singles with no artbox doesn't make me want to buy them in a hurry unless it's one I really want like Gundam 00. Passing on NANA (I am eager for Honey & Clover though, and of course psyched that Monster is confirmed for December). I was considering getting Death Note: Relight just for spoiler[L's funeral scene], but I might wait until it's on sale for real cheap.

And yeah, I can barely make anything from those shelves.
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sunflower



Joined: 04 Sep 2005
Posts: 651

PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:29 am Reply with quote
I personally think with FMA it's a question of which one you watch first. The new series has plenty of punch to it, and captures all I love about the manga. I'd never watched the original series before this, so after watching some of the new episodes I took a look. It looked amateur in comparison to me, and I thought it screwed the stories up by adding things that weren't there. But a lot of people came to love FMA through it, so that's the version they'll always love most. It's all what you're familiar with, IMO.
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LordPrometheus



Joined: 02 Sep 2007
Posts: 422
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:32 am Reply with quote
I agree with Bamboo and the other posters here about Brotherhood for the most part. The original FMA is my favorite anime of all time, and a large reason for that is the dark, heavy emotional themes. You really sympathize with the characters, and that is sadly lacking so far in Brotherhood. If I had no knowledge of FMA before watching Brotherhood, I'd think that it was a decent show, but that's about it. Most of the emotional punch is lost in the accelerated plotline, and that makes me sad. There is so much potential here for greatness.

I hope BONES can slow down the pace once they get into the manga exclusive content, at least.

*Edit* Granted, I'm only on episode 12 of Brotherhood, so my perspective is subject to change.
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doctordoom85



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 1700

PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:41 am Reply with quote
sunflower wrote:
But a lot of people came to love FMA through it, so that's the version they'll always love most. It's all what you're familiar with, IMO.


That's not why I prefer (slightly) the first anime over the manga. I like grey morality, FMA's anime has more of that than the manga. Hughes is my favorite character, and he's more present in the anime. The characters of spoiler[Nina Tucker and Maes Hughes were built up more before they were killed off]. The Homunculi were (with a few exceptions) more interesting and developed in the anime. Also, I generally prefer seeing things animated, and with BONES' great animation along with an incredible soundtrack, it gave an experience that the manga is incapable of doing.

I'm not saying I think the anime did everything better than the manga (Father's plans are certainly more intelligent and dangerous for our protagonists than spoiler[Dante's] were), but overall, I think the first anime is better.
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Scamp



Joined: 30 Mar 2008
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:36 am Reply with quote
I had the same thoughts on FMA Brotherhood but since around episode 12/13 it's slowed right down since it's hit the new material and improved hugely. It doesn't quite compare to the original at this stage but I say give it time, it's really upping the quality recently.

Bleh at no Kannagi dub though Sad
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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 3427
Location: Back stateside

PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:46 am Reply with quote
doctordoom85 wrote:
I rank them: 1st anime >> manga >>>>>>>>>>>> Brotherhood.


manga >>>1st anime > >Brotherhood for me. And here's why, some of which has already been mentioned:

1) The music is simply nowhere as good. Ohshima Michiru's soundtracks for the first series and movie are some of the best ever written, and when I read the manga, I sometimes have them playing through my head. The music for Brotherhood is passable, but feels like a pale imitation of the one for the first.
2) I always thought that the switching around of the birth section to be Elicia in the first series was a great move. As it plays out in the manga, she created completely new characters who don't appear later (or at least haven't yet, after 18 volumes). By giving it to Hughes' family, who are major characters, you get more time with them. Very smart decision.
3) For something that claims to be faithful to the manga, it sure as heck took some huge liberties early on. I'm not just talking about the first episode, but the scenes in Lior are radically different from the manga. The first anime was actually much more faithful to the original there. For shame, Brotherhood! Mad
4) Holy crap yes is this flipping through the manga fast! I estimate it's going through the series at about 2.3 chapters an episode. Heck, at this rate it's going to catch up to the manga within eight chapters from where the manga is now, and while the manga may be approaching a conclusion, it's not that close to being done. My only hope is they wanted to get through what they've already done as fast as possible, and will slow down now that they've gotten to the new parts. But the last three episodes have been paced about the same, so...
5) And the "humor" is over-exaggerated, even from the viewpoint of the manga. Like another faithful-to-the-manga adaption that I won't mention here for fear of ticking off the fans but that I no longer want to watch because of this, it takes brief shots of SD and humor, and then turns them into long riffs that are downright annoying. In the manga, these moments are just asides you can flip by, but Brotherhood feels obliged to include every last one of them and give them long treatments. Yes, we wanted something more faithful to the manga, but we meant the plot, not the gags.

But...
1) I will admit that now that it's on to new stuff, with the characters from Xing (not a spoiler, if you haven't seen/read it, that makes no sense anyway), I'm getting a little more into it. Especially since they cast Miyano Mamoru as Ling, which was just inspired casting.
2) The first half of the first anime may have handled the manga content better, but it also added a LOT of filler. When I watched it the second time through, they felt like massive road blocks in the series, because now I knew they more or less added nothing to the plot. I'm talking about Majihal, Psyren, the Tringham brothers. I found myself skipping quite a few episodes to get back to the Good Stuff.
3) And the manga trumps all of them, because other than the issue of the birth episode, it handles everything better than both series, and while the anime-ending was quite good, the movie was a complete disappointment to me, and the manga-ending is gearing up to be a LOT better.

I'm still giving Brotherhood a chance, now that it's on to what I think most fans really wanted to see, which is new material that the first series didn't cover, which Bamboo, by stopping at episode 15, has only just reached. But it really could have used a more skilled hand in adapting what it's done so far. It's been rather a let-down. I seriously doubt I'll buy it; I'd rather just read the manga. Sad


Last edited by vashfanatic on Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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DFBTG



Joined: 02 Sep 2007
Posts: 385
Location: Hell

PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:01 am Reply with quote
I agree wholeheartedly with the Brotherhood opinion. It's not that I don't like the series, but it has way too much 'comedy' and SD, not to mention NONE of the scenes/events that were emotional jerkers in the original (Nina, Hughes, Ed's spoiler[do you hate me?] question) had any affect on me this time around. And with such a fast pace there isn't really any buildup. It's more presented as if it's just 'oh, here it is...moving on'.
For what it's worth I'm rather enjoying Kannagi. Sure, it's not a masterpiece, but I find it quite enjoyable. The cooking contest and maybe one or two other things so far were the only things that made me roll my eyes.
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MetatronM



Joined: 26 Mar 2004
Posts: 281

PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:20 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Okay, that's a little harsh. But it is does lack some of that raw suspense that made the first series so great. For starters, Brotherhood is a lot more comical. It has a really high ratio of “Look, Ed is short!” jokes, and the characters switch to SD much more readily.

I seriously don't understand how people have somehow COMPLETELY forgotten what the first 13 episodes of the first FMA series were like.

"More comical?" The first FMA anime had TWO ENTIRE GAG EPISODES by the time it reached episode 13 and had accomplished less plot-wise in the process, not to mention a much much much heavier concentration of "Ed is short" jokes compared to Brotherhood.

The Nina storyline lasted about a whole 10 minutes longer in the first anime, Lior was overly bloated, you had the absolutely miserable Majhal episode (complete with Ed killing a human being, totally breaking his pacifist logic for the entire rest of the series), and the mediocre and unnecessary Tringham episodes. The VAST majority of things that made the first anime slower in this part of the series were these drawn out and heavy-handed episodes. Combine that with removing the Bald and Yoki episodes in Brotherhood (mainly because the first series had already done them in a manner that was close enough to the original manga to make them needlessly redundant) and you chop those first 13 episodes down to less than 5 without "rushing" much of anything.



This whole mass delusion really boggles my mind, honestly.
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MetatronM



Joined: 26 Mar 2004
Posts: 281

PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:41 am Reply with quote
doctordoom85 wrote:
Good grief, we only got ONE scene with the Elrics' mom before she died! How am I supposed to feel sad from that?!

They knew how the backstory was played last time around, so they deliberately went with a completely different approach. This has actually been true for most of the really affecting moments from the first time around. And for the really emotional things that WEREN'T portrayed in the first anime, Brotherhood's portrayal of them is a lot more raw and dramatic than it was for things that were. The difference is very noticable. The show is aware of its audience and is deliberately trying to give you something different than what you've seen before. The boys' backstory was played less for melodrama and more for the aftermath and the struggle the boys went through. Things with Nina focused more on the atmosphere and spoiler[Tucker's derangement rather than relying on the death of a little girl to carry all the emotional weight, mainly since it couldn't possibly do it again with an audience that already saw it happen before]. Things with Hughes put more focus on Roy Mustang, a move to properly set up events to come. In response to these deliberate changes in presentation that are designed to give you something genuinely new to see while simultaneously going over ground that you've generally covered before, you complain about how annoying it is that they're giving you the same thing as before except it's not even the same so it's not as good.

Also, if you've continued watching, you've seen they've done a lot more fleshing out of the backstory postmortem, all of which has been nice and sad and heartbreaking. For everybody's complaining about the series "rushing" through things, you guys sure get awfully annoyed when the show takes its time with things that actually deserve to be extended over a period of time.


Oh, and somebody mentioned that Ed's spoiler["do you hate me?"] line/moment was better in this first series. Really? The episode with the contrived Rick and Leo sobstory plot and the dude with the LIGHTNING JETPACK? Where Ed just blurts it out randomly in the middle of a battle? Really? Do you guys actually remember that series at all?
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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 3427
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:36 pm Reply with quote
MetatronM:

I think when it comes to "Ed is short" jokes, the two series are a wash, at least early on.

I agree - the first half of the first anime is laden down with filler. I like the second half, where it goes completely off manga and can be viewed as something altogether different and separate, a lot more.

And part of the reason Brotherhood "lacks suspense" is... because you've seen the first series and know what's going to happen, obviously! The first 14 episodes cover material that the first anime already covered; it's starting in episode 15 that Brotherhood gets to what should be completely new to anyone who's not familiar with the manga. Hopefully the suspense will ratchet up for you at that point. Smile
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SnaphappyFMA



Joined: 14 Jan 2009
Posts: 216
Location: California

PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:36 pm Reply with quote
Completely agree with Bamboo's take on Brotherhood.

I'm a big fan of the original FMA anime, and the first episodes of Brotherhood definitely have a rushed and less serious feeling to them by comparison. The gravitas and deeper character development are missing (so far); and also, as others have mentioned, the darker and more dramatic tone of the original anime has also been replaced with a lighter tone which (to me) feels inappropriate for this story and these characters.

However, like Bamboo, I'm willing to keep watching Brotherhood to see if it improves.

At this point though, I must say, I'm feeling a little used as an FMA fan. If you really think of it, the storyline for the first FMA series is not really finished since spoiler[ at the end of the movie, Ed and Al get stuck in our world. I would think they would want to return to Amestris at some point... ? ] So what we have are: 1) an unfinished original anime series storyline; 2) an unfinished manga storyline; and 3) a new anime series, Brotherhood, which is based on the manga, which is still not finished(!).

Makes you wonder if - just maybe - fillers along the line of Naruto and Bleach might have been a better way to go... (I know, I dislike fillers as much as the next fan, but... just thinking out loud here.)
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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:40 pm Reply with quote
SnaphappyFMA wrote:
So what we have are: 1) an unfinished original anime series storyline; 2) an unfinished manga storyline; and 3) a new anime series, Brotherhood, which is based on the manga, which is still not finished(!).

Makes you wonder if - just maybe - fillers along the line of Naruto and Bleach might have been a better way to go... (I know, I dislike fillers as much as the next fan, but... just thinking out loud here.)


Except that the manga will actually end, and this second series, following the manga, will end too. Whereas the disappointing movie is apparently all we'll get from the first take. Sad

And the first series had quite a bit of filler already...unfortunately.

Anyway, Brotherhood suffers from the double-burden of being compared to both the manga and the first anime for its first 14 episodes. And I'm still loving the manga more than both of the anime series. Not everything need an anime adaptation.
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