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REVIEW: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Blu-Ray Box Set 2


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Cardcaptor Takato



Joined: 27 Jan 2018
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 11:32 am Reply with quote
While it could be a mess in it's execution, I appreciated the original series for examining and deconstructing it's whole equalivent exchange premise whereas I feel like Brotherhood takes it for granted and never looks at it too closely. I also did kind of like how the original series had a more somber conclusion where it felt like everyone had to make a sacrifice of some kind but Brotherhood feels almost too neatly put together, especially with making sure everyone got romantically paired up in the end. I still would count Brotherhood as one of the best anime reboots and just getting to see manga characters like Ling and Olivia Armstrong animated makes it all worth it to me.
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nobahn
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 12:26 pm Reply with quote
James Beckett wrote:
The collection might still be a little pricey for the average fan,
With Aniplex that is always an understatement.....
James Beckett also wrote:
One of the biggest and most infamous changes the original FMA made was linking the Elric's universe to our own, revealing that the energy that fuels the process of Alchemy came from the terrible explosions of violence that accompanied the outbreak of wars on our Earth.
With the original series I always gave it a pass in terms of faithfulness to the manga because BONES obviously wanted to conclude their adaptation and move onto other projects. In my own entry for that series, I also explain why I absolutely adored the insert song Bratja (Brothers).
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Eddy564



Joined: 14 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 12:30 pm Reply with quote
It’s certainly one of my favorite anime of all time. And, it’s in the elite class of shonen series that many aren’t touching.

As far as the straight and narrow “con” you mention of the last stretch of Brotherhood, I’d easily challenge that by saying it’s better for a series to end smoothly and simply rather than in a thematic mess of twists. That’s why I was glad the ending to the second series chose to follow the manga’s grounded finale. But I definitely don’t fault Shamballa or the original series for trying it’s hand at playing on some of the darker elements and expounding on them.
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 12:57 pm Reply with quote
Cardcaptor Takato wrote:
While it could be a mess in it's execution, I appreciated the original series for examining and deconstructing it's whole equalivent exchange premise whereas I feel like Brotherhood takes it for granted and never looks at it too closely. I also did kind of like how the original series had a more somber conclusion where it felt like everyone had to make a sacrifice of some kind but Brotherhood feels almost too neatly put together, especially with making sure everyone got romantically paired up in the end. I still would count Brotherhood as one of the best anime reboots and just getting to see manga characters like Ling and Olivia Armstrong animated makes it all worth it to me.

Yeah, I think what sticks out at me the most when looking at the two FMA adaptations is that Brotherhood feels far more like a standard shounen in its direction and tone. It was executed very well, but at the same time its climax played things fairly straight. Father was a mostly by-the-book Big Bad, and his defeat went pretty much as I expected. (A perfect example is the big climactic moment when spoiler[he essentially starts Third Impact: everyone drops dead, but then Things Happen and the whole thing is reversed within five minutes. ]) There's nothing at all wrong with any of this, but I definitely preferred the 2003 version's more ambitious, emotionally-complex approach, even if it was sometimes a bit messy in execution. (For the record I generally play the "that never happened" game with Shamballa: even if it wasn't conclusive, the series' ending felt far more satisfying.). It took me a while to warm up to Brotherhood, but I did eventually wind up enjoying it for its own merits. I'm just glad I purchased it before Aniplex pulled their usual ridiculous extortion job.
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Lemonchest



Joined: 18 Mar 2015
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 1:24 pm Reply with quote
I really didn't like almost everything after the last Envy fight. I remember Scar giving his speech to Mustang about not becoming a monster like him or whatever & I was just thinking "did you see what he did to Lust? Mustang's crossed that bridge." It was downhill from there. Also that nipple headed foetus is lodged in my memory & I can't get it out.

Despite that, I'd still recommend Brotherhood over FMA to someone who hasn't seen either - paticularly if they're newer fans & not familiar with the general weirdness of late 90s - mid 2000s anime, even if I think FMA is the more interesting show. Wouldn't recommend the Brotherhood film to anyone, but that's not in the box.
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Commander Cluck



Joined: 02 May 2019
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 1:58 pm Reply with quote
Eddy564 wrote:
As far as the straight and narrow “con” you mention of the last stretch of Brotherhood, I’d easily challenge that by saying it’s better for a series to end smoothly and simply rather than in a thematic mess of twists. That’s why I was glad the ending to the second series chose to follow the manga’s grounded finale. But I definitely don’t fault Shamballa or the original series for trying it’s hand at playing on some of the darker elements and expounding on them.


The first series was all over the place. Their handling of Shou Tucker was horrendous to the point he became like Team Rocket and kept coming back over and over again, and Ed and Al were stupid enough to keep trusting him every single time.
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zrdb



Joined: 16 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 2:07 pm Reply with quote
I never did like Full Metal Alchemist and after reading this review I like it even less-Full Metal Panic is another thing. I love that show.
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Greed1914
It's Over 9000!It's Over 9000!


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 3:41 pm Reply with quote
nobahn wrote:
James Beckett wrote:
The collection might still be a little pricey for the average fan,
With Aniplex that is [b]always an understatement...[/b]..
James Beckett also wrote:
One of the biggest and most infamous changes the original FMA made was linking the Elric's universe to our own, revealing that the energy that fuels the process of Alchemy came from the terrible explosions of violence that accompanied the outbreak of wars on our Earth.
With the original series I always gave it a pass in terms of faithfulness to the manga because BONES obviously wanted to conclude their adaptation and move onto other projects. In my own entry for that series, I also explain why I absolutely adored the insert song Bratja (Brothers).



There is definitely a reason why I double-dipped and bought the blu-ray when I did. I was on the fence since I had the DVD release, but knowing that it would likely be years before Aniplex released it again, and with an Aniplex price to match, it suddenly seemed like a bargain to get it while still in stock.



Brotherhood is definitely on the top of my go back and rewatch list. I'm so far behind on things I haven't watch once yet that I never seem to find the time for something quite so long though.
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Stampeed Valkyrie



Joined: 10 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 3:41 pm Reply with quote
I picked up the first FMA series on the cheap.. and it was enjoyable.
I am now mostly through watching brotherhood via Netflix. I'm not disliking it, but I can't say I'm sold on it either. I'm fairly certain this not a title I would pick up, maybe if I could find Funi's version on the cheap but no way on the Aniplex price point.

Overall while enjoyable, once I am done with this series, I don't see much rewatch value.
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LightningCount



Joined: 04 Mar 2018
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 5:32 pm Reply with quote
FMA is one of those franchises that I enjoyed, with stellar moments, and is undeniably one of the standout series of its era. (In some ways, I feel that Attack on Titan is its modern offspring.) But for some reason, FMA never became one of my lasting "favorites."

I think part of it is that FMA 2003 and Brotherhood feel like two halves of the perfect version of this story, which the reviewer seemed to hint at. It's been years since I've last seen these, but here's how I recall it: FMA 2003 felt more emotionally complex and philosophically interesting, with a more eye-popping and ambitious conclusion, while Brotherhood has better military-political intrigue, action, and animation.

Also, I don't know if it was this way in the manga, or if it was a decision by BONES, but FMA 2003 took its time with its opening chapters, whereas Brotherhood felt like it was doing a fast-forwarded CliffsNotes version of FMA 2003's early portions to get back to the new alternate material of the original manga. I thought that made the early parts of Brotherhood feel less consequential overall--like it was relying on a person having seen the 2003 version. On the flip side, FMA 2003 seemed to meander too much at times.

At the end of the day, though, it's an interesting series, and I am pretty surprised that it's gotten into the licensing situation it is in, rather than becoming a perennial, easily accessible video release like you see from things like DBZ.
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 6:38 pm Reply with quote
LightningCount wrote:

Also, I don't know if it was this way in the manga, or if it was a decision by BONES, but FMA 2003 took its time with its opening chapters, whereas Brotherhood felt like it was doing a fast-forwarded CliffsNotes version of FMA 2003's early portions to get back to the new alternate material of the original manga. I thought that made the early parts of Brotherhood feel less consequential overall--like it was relying on a person having seen the 2003 version. On the flip side, FMA 2003 seemed to meander too much at times.

That's a good observation. It felt like BONES assumed that most people watching Brotherhood would have seen the previous adaptation (or read the manga, obviously), because it rushed through a bunch of secondary character development. Hell, it flat-out skipped the train incident early on, and Yoki's backstory in Youswell was only given a brief comedic flashback. Little changes like having Elicia be the baby the Elrics helped deliver, instead of a random stranger later, helped a lot too. I know that without having seen the 2003 series, I wouldn't have found what happened to spoiler[Nina or Hughes] nearly as devastating due to how much longer we had to know them in it. I heard a few people say that Brotherhood's early pacing was a close match to the manga, and if that's the case, then I think the earlier adaptation was a big improvement over the source material for that part.
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Cardcaptor Takato



Joined: 27 Jan 2018
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 9:39 pm Reply with quote
Top Gun wrote:
I heard a few people say that Brotherhood's early pacing was a close match to the manga, and if that's the case, then I think the earlier adaptation was a big improvement over the source material for that part.
It is to some extent but even compared to the manga, the Brotherhood anime still rushes through a lot of plot details in the first half. The first two chapters about Rose were rushed through in one episode. Perhaps the biggest instance of rushing through the source material was they took a whole manga volume that was devoted to Ed and Al's past and rushed through it all in two episodes. This is what I've been especially impressed with by the Fruits Basket reboot that so far they don't seem to be rushing through the already adapted material and giving it the time it needs for it's emotional character moments to breathe.
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ARC-1300



Joined: 06 Feb 2012
Posts: 298
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2019 7:56 am Reply with quote
this will always be the definitive watching experience for FMA as far as I'm concerned.it still holds up greatly, much as I like their first outing on the material, which is good in its own ways as well.

I wish I could afford to double dip on this series, but alas....sigh
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Blackiris_
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2019 10:56 am Reply with quote
I always found it funny how this show is called "Brotherhood" (in the West, at least) but explores the brotherhood theme much less than the original series. I love both of them and definitely think that Brotherhood is superior because all threads come together so well, but in some regards the original show was better.

Especially in the beginning it took more time to introduce the characters and handled the creepy parts better and also didn’t go overboard with the comedy skits so much (never liked the superdeformed moments of Brotherhood so much). And it had a wonderful soundtrack by Michiru Oshima, though Brotherhood also has a very good musical score. As said before, I love them both and think both of them are more than worth their time. While Brotherhood is definitely the better adaption and better overall experience, I still think that even today the original series still has a lot going for it.
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louis6578



Joined: 31 Jul 2013
Posts: 1575
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2019 5:08 pm Reply with quote
nobahn wrote:
James Beckett wrote:
The collection might still be a little pricey for the average fan,
With Aniplex that is always an understatement.....
James Beckett also wrote:
One of the biggest and most infamous changes the original FMA made was linking the Elric's universe to our own, revealing that the energy that fuels the process of Alchemy came from the terrible explosions of violence that accompanied the outbreak of wars on our Earth.
With the original series I always gave it a pass in terms of faithfulness to the manga because BONES obviously wanted to conclude their adaptation and move onto other projects. In my own entry for that series, I also explain why I absolutely adored the insert song Bratja (Brothers).


While I prefer Brotherhood for the most part, I do believe that nothing in Brotherhood's soundtrack comes close to Bratja. That song is still one of the best in anime history.
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