Air dates: April 5th, 2009 to July 4th, 2010
Finally!! I have finally finished this amazing Shounen series! I know it has taken me a while because of school and I am super glad I have watched the whole series…but I feel like I had to let a piece of me go during the last few episodes. FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is one of those anime gems I have found and treasured it for the whole time when watching it. I laughed with the characters, I cried during some of the battle scenes — especially in episode 10 and the last few episodes — I would get angry with the main antagonists during their huge “villain spotlight,” and much more. While this series has tons of its perks, there was a problem, or two, the anime had that would somewhat aggravate me, especially during the ending episodes.
For those of you who haven’t seen or even heard of this anime, the viewers follow brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric, who decide to bring her back using a type of alchemy called Human Transmutation after she dies from illness; however, this alchemy happens to be taboo and it is impossible to use it correctly. During this process, Al’s body is completely gone and Ed loses his left leg. To bring Al back to the real world, Ed sacrifices his right arm for his brother’s soul and houses it in a huge suit of armor. After this incident, Ed receives prosthetic auto-mails for his arm and leg. In addition, he becomes a state Alchemist and is named the “FullMetal Alchemist.” Together, the Elric brothers begin their quest to find the Philosopher’s Stone to bring their mother and Al’s body back to reality.
In a lot of Action/Adventure anime, the characters — mainly the supporting ones — tend to have generic characteristics of a typical Shounen protagonist. For FMAB, almost every single one of the characters has a decent amount of development to where the audience can enjoy the story even more as they root for their favorite characters. And for a Shounen anime, this is a rare piece of treasure to find.
Edward Elric, of course! (He’s probably my favorite Shounen protagonist of all time! <3)
Speaking of the story, FMAB has one of the most interesting plots I have seen in a television series. Creator Hiromu Arakawa does her job well in putting in a balancing amount of comedy, action, romance, and suspense to create a masterpiece all viewers will remember. One problem I had with this was how the battles will repeatedly reflect on the characters’ inner thoughts and goals to get their points across.
The audience gets the whole point; they don’t need to hear the whole speech a hundred times before the series ends!
Since we are talking about comedy here, I will add that I enjoyed the funny bits used here and there. Most of the time, I strongly dislike anime that use a bunch of chibis, but FMAB uses the right amount of comical scenes to make the audience, even me, laugh our heads off.
(Fun fact: Edward Elric really hates milk! X’D)
Throughout the anime, there are tons of symbols to create a deeper meaning to the story, especially religious ones. Readers, I can’t tell you enough how many symbolic frames I found in the sixty four episode series! I had to keep count of them just so I can remember them for the next time they randomly pop up.
Here is an example the audience might notice just at a quick glance:
Ed’s Trademark on his Cloak symbolically represents the Flemel’s Cross. According to this website, this “…refers to creating a philosophers stone by “crucifying a serpent.” It’s a metaphor for purifying something that is venomous, or dangerous, and becoming stronger with it.”
With the animation created by Bones studio, FMAB has some of the most amazing artwork and transitions I have witnessed in a Shounen series. From the character designs to the battle sequences, each frame has flawless and smooth art to a point where the viewers are left staring at the screen in awe.
On the other hand…there was one character that had CGI movements, causing the scenes to look awkward and very out of place. I was in shock to view the frames with this character (not going to name him for the readers who haven’t seen this anime) for the first time. Here is the character:
Now, onto the music, composed by Michiru Ōshima! In my opinion, I enjoyed it, but I do not have this on my top ten soundtracks list. My reason for this is because the tracks used for a lot of the battle sequences sound pretty much the same, compared to the original FullMetal Alchemist anime. Although I have only seen about half of the original series, the anime had more unique tracks and memorable pieces of music. I would have been more pleased if the composer from the original series put in some of the same tracks into the reboot because some of those pieces, including Brothers, which is sung in Russian. It’s such a beautiful song and it makes me tear up every time I listen to it.
Just because I do not enjoy this soundtrack as much as the original series, it does not mean I didn’t enjoy the openings. All of them are pretty much outstanding and have lyrics that mash up just about perfectly with the anime.
Again by YUI
Hologram by NICO
Period by Chemistry
For a Shounen series, FMAB has one of the greatest dubs I have heard in an anime. Ever. Every single one of the voice actors poured their heart and soul into their characters, making them believable in certain situations. All of the emotions were voices correctly, the different tones matched the situations shown in the anime, and the fluidity of the articulation just surprised me so much to a point where I placed this in my top ten favorite English Dubs! (Post for Top Ten Dubs will be posted soon.) The viewers will get to hear amazing voice talents from Vic Mignogna (Edward Elric), Maxey Whitehead (Alphonse Elric), Christopher Sabat (Armstrong), Lauren Bailey (Mei Chang), Caitlin Glass (Winry Rockbell), Travis Willingham (Roy Mustang), and much more.
Overall, FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood has brought a whole new view on Shounen anime for me and showed me why I watch these kinds of anime in the first place: for the action and story, which brings me to giving this anime a five out of five stars. This series will always be one of my favorites and I totally recommend it to anyone, and I mean anyone over the age of thirteen who’s looking for something new and different to watch. I promise, you will not be disappointed when you watch this animated gem, as it will stay in your hearts possibly for the rest of your lives.
Warnings: Violence, Profanity, Religious Content Some May Not Agree With, THE FEELS!!!!
Whoo!! My summer vacation has now started and now I am able to post more often and relax a bit more! I was going to post this the previous weekend, but I got caught up with more testing and schoolwork! >.<
I hope you all enjoyed this review I have been working on! If you have seen this anime and/or the original, tell me what you think!
Oh, I almost forgot! If you like Danganronpa, one of my best friends and I have been posting a story called Challenges with Luck. It’s a Danganronpa x Attack on Titan crossover story with some romance in it. I hope you guys get the chance to check it out!
Have a wonderful day, readers! I am looking forward to posting more posts and reviews for this summer!
GG 🙂 ❤