Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

So, Square Enix liked the first season of Fullmetal Alchemist so much that they gave the go-ahead for another round, called Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. I’ve watched the first three episodes, and figure that’s enough to give a bit of comment.

First of all, rather than follow on from the end of the original series (or the subsequent movie), the team has decided to start again. The first episode is set after Edward becoming a State Alchemist, but before they go to Lior (where the church of Leto is). The second is a flashback to the Elrics’ youth, attempt to resurrect their mother, and Edward’s State Alchemy Exam. The third is a rehash of the original Lior incident.

It’s readily apparent that instead of being suppemental to the original FMA, Brotherhood is a complete reset. Familiar incidents are given new, and sometimes contradictory details. There’s some implications (like Lust’s reference to the homunculi’s Father) that this is going to follow the manga much more closely.

I’ve got my reservations about how this will turn out, as the manga is a long story arc, and while the original anime series was different, it was entirely self-contained and strongly plotted. There are already intimations that Brotherhood may not be anywhere near as focused.

Another reflection on FMA

A while ago, I wrote about the Fullmetal Alchemist anime series. I mentioned that I found it much more fulfilling than traditional anime fare because it touched on social issues, and presented very human characters in a variety of situations that allowed them to grow.

Lately, I’ve been reading the series over at OneManga. It moves slower than the anime, which is to be expected since the anime was a closed story arc, while the manga is open-ended, but it’s still exciting and touching to read.

I just came across one scene that is well crafted, both in terms of its position in the local narrative, as well as the art. It highlights both the limitation of the Elrics’ Alchemy, and the tragedy that they must feel every day, which drives them to find a way to break the laws of nature.

Maybe I’m just a softie, but I can’t help but be moved by such a powerful scene. I only wish I could write as well as this.

Link: Full Metal Alchemist 20 page 27 | One Manga.

Fullmetal Review

I’ve just finished watching Fullmetal Alchemist, an anime which was recommended to me in my search for a varied experience with things steampunk. While I didn’t find what I was looking for (while technology is vaguely Industrial Revolution, that’s not the thrust of science), I did come to appreciate FMA as an exploration of abuse of technology, and the importance of human connection.

In brief, FMA is the story of two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, who seek the Philosopher’s Stone, an all-powerful alchemical substance that will allow them to circumvent the Law of Equivalent Exchange and restore their bodies, irreperably damaged when they tried to alchemically resurrect their dead mother.

What follows is an odyssey as they discover that they tread in the footsteps of many others that seek the Philosophers stone, only to be killed before they achieve their objective. Continue reading