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 Post subject: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
PostPosted: April 8th, 2009, 11:47 pm 
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Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is effectively a restart of the FMA series. The first series had not only a number of filler episodes in the first season and the entire second season as well as the movie completely departed with the manga after they caught up with the material. Thus, FMA Brotherhood was born.

The basic premise is the same. Edward and Al lost their mother to sickness when they were young. Not fully realizing the possible consequences of their actions, they decided to use alchemy, for which they had a particular aptitude, to try and bring her back to life. This, however, strayed into the realm of forbidden alchemy, and when their attempt failed, Ed lost and arm and a leg, while his brother lost his entire body. Affixing his brother's soul to a suit of armor, Ed was able to save his brother's life but has no idea how they might get his body back. Thus their quest begins, to become better alchemists and find some way of fixing the mistakes of their past.

Almost none of which is in the first episode of Brotherhood. Starting off much the same way the first series did, except with a completely different story, the initial episode is actually at a much later point in time, when Ed and Al are already state alchemists fighting against those deemed evil by the state. A former state alchemist with the power of ice is trying to destroy the state alchemists for the atrocities they perpetrated in Ishbal, and Ed and Al are just a few of the familiar faces that show up during the episode to kick some ass. There's a bit about what happened to them that made Ed lose tow limbs and Al his body, but it's only briefly. It looks like episode two will start off at the beginning with the boys as children before their mother dies and then continue with that events that follow.

The actual episode was of comparable quality to the others. The character designs and such are all still the same, whereas the animation is still as strong as ever for the series. The new opening isn't bad, but the eding has sort of the same gimmicky feel that I got from the Valkyria Chronicles ending. I'd say my only real problem with the episode is just how much they mention Ed being short (for which he is very self conscious about) and his going off the deep end whenever someone implies as such. This was sort of a running joke in the first series, but they must have mentioned it about 5 times in this single episode. They should only be doing it about once every 5 episodes if you ask me. A strong enough start, but now they are going into familiar territory for the next ~20 episodes so I don't know if I'm going to fully keep up with it or just scan the episodes while looking for anything new until they finally get to the actual new material.

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 Post subject: Re: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
PostPosted: April 23rd, 2009, 5:34 am 
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Episodes two and three follow pretty much where the first series went after its initial episode.

Episode two takes us back to when Ed and Al were kids and how they lose their mother and subsequently try to bring her back to life. And their subsequent meeting with Mustang and his initial exam with the state alchemists. Whereas the third episode jumps back to the future with Ed and Al taking on a fake priest promising the people of Lior salvation and using a "philosopher's stone" to avoid equivalent exchange.

While both episodes are good, they stand in stark contrast to the originals which took a much more measured pace to tell the tales. In Brotherhood they both not only feel rushed, they are rushed (at least when compared to the other series, I can't speak for the manga). Compacting episodes worth of material from the original series into one episode a piece. Much of the feeling developed during those episodes by the characters continued interactions are mostly lost here as they skirt on by anything of substance in a flash. There's an understandable nature to it here, given it is a retread of previously animated work, however, that doesn't exactly help or endear people to the new one when they seem to just be booking it to get to new material.

Still solid, but doesn't feel like it has as much heart as the first, and the short jokes are still coming (though not as often thankfully).

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 Post subject: Re: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
PostPosted: May 10th, 2009, 11:53 pm 
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Definitely my favorite anime of the season so far and one of the few anime series that I can keep up with these days. So far, it's still pretty similar to the original series (since we haven't really gotten very far yet into the storyline). But those not familiar with the manga will soon see significant departures from the original anime such as what happens to Dr. Marcoh, the introduction of Eastern Alchemy, and of course a significantly different protroyal of Scar. The question on my mind now about the series is how they plan to end it. It seems obvious this will be a 50 episode series, but given that the manga has no clear end in sight, they'll probably have to come up with some sort of original conclusion. That's the only factor that may potentially ruin the series for me. We'll have to see though.

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 Post subject: Re: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
PostPosted: May 12th, 2009, 6:05 pm 
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Hey Spaz, great to see ya around! (Good luck on that last test!)

I hope they don't decide to just make their own conclusion to it again, they would run into the same problem they had before. I think if they see they won't have enough material they will just start delaying the production of episodes or seasons till they hit a point of sufficient material at which point they will get going again. That's the only logical way to do it without this being another charade of a series with it now following the manga.

Now, that being said, I've gotten through episodes 4-6 now. Unfortunately I am now growing tired of re-watching the same episodes I have seen before, and what feels like inferior episodes at that. It just doesn't feel like it has as much of a heart with how quickly it has been moving through the material, and even if they do it just as well as before it being a second watch doesn't endear the material to me anymore. Episode 4 was the Nina episode, but it didn't have the impact that the first series had. Episode five was fine, focusing on all the state alchemists chasing after Scar. Can't say I really had any problems with it. Episode 6 was just way too slow and meandering for a secondary watch of the material involving Ed and Al getting fixed and the other "fake" philosopher's stone. I'll really be glad when they finally get to some new material.

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 Post subject: Re: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
PostPosted: May 17th, 2009, 11:13 pm 
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Acmurphy wrote:
I hope they don't decide to just make their own conclusion to it again, they would run into the same problem they had before. I think if they see they won't have enough material they will just start delaying the production of episodes or seasons till they hit a point of sufficient material at which point they will get going again. That's the only logical way to do it without this being another charade of a series with it now following the manga.

Well I think the major difference between the two anime won't just be the story (which will unfold very differently), but also the tone. The second anime series, if it indeed follows the manga closely, will not be as dark or as "dramatic" than the first series.

Acmurphy wrote:
Now, that being said, I've gotten through episodes 4-6 now. Unfortunately I am now growing tired of re-watching the same episodes I have seen before, and what feels like inferior episodes at that. It just doesn't feel like it has as much of a heart with how quickly it has been moving through the material, and even if they do it just as well as before it being a second watch doesn't endear the material to me anymore. Episode 4 was the Nina episode, but it didn't have the impact that the first series had. Episode five was fine, focusing on all the state alchemists chasing after Scar. Can't say I really had any problems with it. Episode 6 was just way too slow and meandering for a secondary watch of the material involving Ed and Al getting fixed and the other "fake" philosopher's stone. I'll really be glad when they finally get to some new material.


Well I think it's just a matter of the fact that the manga has much more of a "shounen" work than the anime series, which tended to have a greater emotional impact. As we all know, emotional resonance isn't really the strong point of shounen manga, and FMA is no exception. The original FMA anime had greater emphasis on drama, whereas the manga is more about action and adventure, typical themes in shounen manga. Though I do agree that BONES is rushing through the early parts of the story. This of course only helps to confirm that they probably don't plan to stretch out the series like what has happened with Bleach or Naruto.

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 Post subject: Re: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
PostPosted: May 20th, 2009, 10:19 pm 
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spazmaster666 wrote:
Well I think the major difference between the two anime won't just be the story (which will unfold very differently), but also the tone. The second anime series, if it indeed follows the manga closely, will not be as dark or as "dramatic" than the first series.

Ya. I was looking forward to the new stories, but I don't particularly want them to forgo to emotional side of things and just make it into "their crazy adventures in search of the philosophers stone, with short jokes!" If you're picking up what I'm putting down.

spazmaster666 wrote:
Well I think it's just a matter of the fact that the manga has much more of a "shounen" work than the anime series, which tended to have a greater emotional impact. As we all know, emotional resonance isn't really the strong point of shounen manga, and FMA is no exception. The original FMA anime had greater emphasis on drama, whereas the manga is more about action and adventure, typical themes in shounen manga. Though I do agree that BONES is rushing through the early parts of the story. This of course only helps to confirm that they probably don't plan to stretch out the series like what has happened with Bleach or Naruto.

That's sort of my fear now. Focusing on the manga and the shounen themes may have killed the emotional connection to the series. I'll only be able to tell once the series hits new material and I get to judge that. Right now I think my main problem is that I am tired of watching what I have already seen, done in a rushed way. If I wanted to watch the material again, I'd rather go to the old series and watch those.

You have any idea, with the rate they are going at now, when we might hit the new material?

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 Post subject: Re: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
PostPosted: May 21st, 2009, 5:50 am 
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Acmurphy wrote:
Ya. I was looking forward to the new stories, but I don't particularly want them to forgo to emotional side of things and just make it into "their crazy adventures in search of the philosophers stone, with short jokes!" If you're picking up what I'm putting down.

Well I actually felt the first TV series was actually trying to be too serious especially nearing the second half. And while there are certainly serious, grim moments in the manga, it's also better balanced with bits of comic relief and mischief.

Acmurphy wrote:
That's sort of my fear now. Focusing on the manga and the shounen themes may have killed the emotional connection to the series. I'll only be able to tell once the series hits new material and I get to judge that.

Well I enjoyed both the anime and the manga, but in different ways. The anime was great because of its tragic and melancholy moments, and the manga is great because it has a lot of fun, energetic scenes. Also the manga storyline makes more sense, which is obvious since it's the story the creator originally intended, rather than the one they had to make up for the anime to come to a conclusion.

Acmurphy wrote:
You have any idea, with the rate they are going at now, when we might hit the new material?

Right after the events of the 5th lab, things start to diverge greatly both plot and character wise. It's kind of sad that Hughes won't be around for much longer given the pacing (probably a couple of episodes or so longer). I do feel that the faster pacing has made his character development suffer greatly.

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 Post subject: Re: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
PostPosted: May 23rd, 2009, 1:38 pm 
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Oh if anyone's intrested that hasn't seen the first 4 episodes, Funimation has the first 4 episodes subbed on Youtube.


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 Post subject: Re: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
PostPosted: May 24th, 2009, 1:15 pm 
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Finally caught up with the series yesterday. I am really happy that they are doing something with the series. I feel the same as AcMurphy, that is...the series is good but I have seen it before. I am looking forward to the fork in the road coming up soon. I feel like I am re-watching the original series but with deleted scenes.

I agree that the series pacing feels rushed but if they did slow down to better explain the characters, it would take awhile to get to the new material. I also like most of the viewers, watched the first FMA so I already know the characters. :lol2: I admit, I will gladly miss all the character development if I can see more of the manga story animated.


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 Post subject: Re: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
PostPosted: May 31st, 2009, 10:47 pm 
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Sigh, looks like episode 10 is the last one we're going to be seeing Hughes. :( I'm happy at least that he did get a decent amount of screen time during this week's episode. Also I'm starting to be glad that I've forgot a lot of what happens earlier on in the manga since this means I can at least watch the rest of this series without knowing exactly what's going to happen next.

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