Posted by psgels on 14 February 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews

So even though it seems that the new FMA-series to air this April is going to be a remake rather than a continuation (do correct me if I’m wrong; I’d hate to spread false rumours like this), I might as well watch the movie that concluded the original series. And really, I do hope that the new series is going to be better than this… thing.

God, the amount of plot-holes in this movie is nearly unbelievable. The original series may have had its share of eye-brow raising plot twists, but it was never as bad as here. Characters just happen to meet each other for the sake of the new plot, there’s hardly any time spent on explaining what the heck is going on, the creators pull random powers out of thin air, characters start acting either incredibly stupid or out of character in order to push the plot in the “right” direction, and this happens throughout the entire movie!

The new characters aren’t fleshed out at all. The old ones all have changed a bit from their characters in the TV-series, but instead of becoming more dynamic they’ve all turned into useless stereotypes. Especially Colonel Mustang has turned bad. But nearly every time a character experiences heavy emotions the drama just becomes emo and laughable.

All of it is filled with the most improbable physics ever. Ed can leap up hundreds of meters from a flying plane and just crawl up without a scratch. In a world where people have invented guns, rockets and even atom bombs, people still walk around in medieval armors (strangely enough, all of them seem to become zombies when they do so).

And then the graphics. They are serviceable for your average TV-Series, but this is a MOVIE we’re talking about. It’s a continuation of one of the biggest commercial successes in anime outside of Ghibli. You’d expect the creators to receive a huge budget for it, but I can’t remember any place where I was really impressed by the animation of this thing. Heck, the CG in this movie is downright crap at times , of the level of your average Trans-Arts CG-Horse.

This really is typical of Bad Bones. They come with premises that are destined for greatness, but along the way shoddy execution just turns them into lackluster caricatures that could have been so much better. The second season in April has a lot to make up for after this mess.

Storytelling: 4/10
Characters: 4/10
Production-Values: 7/10
Setting: 5/10

25 Responses

  1. Avatar senerikfred says:

    I recall warning you, but the score still surprised me.
    The previews I’ve seen for the new series all had lackluster animation, so I’ve had my doubts about how seriously Bones is taking it. However, translations of interviews confirm it as a remake much closer to the manga, and the staff who answered questions all seem to be big fans, so there’s at least no lack in enthusiasm there

  2. Avatar Mackreki says:

    Of course the animation for the new season looks bad . Judging it now would be akin to someone commenting on how bad a movies cg is , 6 months before release .

    They only have the prep work done for the new season . The process of animation has multiple layers , and with months to go before release , they are still early in the process.

  3. Avatar da_man says:

    i won’t go into detail saying what’s wrong with your review, but please. the animation bad? do you really know what good animation is? the animation is fluid all-around, million times better than the tv series, there are no spectacular scenes, but overall the movie looks great.
    i agree that the story is a bit lacking, but a 5/10? please, you’ve given much worce crap far better grades.
    it seems to me that you have this need to bash popular series, especially fma, just to spite the fanboys (who i don’t like myself), and to prove your superior taste, meaning you see flaws that “ordinary” people can’t and that really hurts your reviews.
    one can see that you take pride in your taste being different than the others by looking at your top ten (which has some really nice shows, some of which i adore), where there doesn’t seem to be any popular shows. one might think that you do that one purpose, just to make yourself look like someone who knows better than the rest, and has a special, unique taste, which is a load of bull, if you ask me, one of the main traits of pseudointellectuals. well, to each his own, but it’s funny how some people just can’t understand that something popular can also be good, and the keep praising shows fewer people know of just to look smarter or whatever. kind of like hipster with music.
    are you a hipster, psgels?

  4. Avatar Westlo says:

    You need to stop talking about animation, you have no idea period. If not noticing the difference between Munto OVA 1 (Eps 1-3) and OVA 2 (eps 4-6) didn’t clue people in on that than calling the FMA Movie animation level serviceable for tv should.

  5. Avatar Mackreki says:

    You can’t hate on the blogger because they said the movie animaton was sub-par . There are many circumstances that could lead them to that opinion .

    If the blogger has seen the regular anime , then it makes sense . The movies animation was far from great in comparison to the original series . Some of the movie looked very good , but a lot of the animation and cg from the movie wasn’t fluid . The characters also had a much more rough feeling to them .

    If the blogger didn’t see the original series , then i would have to agree that they shouldn’t of made the comments. The movie had a large budget , and looked as good as most other anime movies not named Steamboy , but it still didn’t look nearly as good as the original series .

  6. psgels psgels says:

    Westlo: I know that I’m not the biggest expert on animation by far, but I really don’t hope that those CG armors in this movie are considered state of the art and the best that animation can deliver these days. The point I tried to make was that things like these shouldn’t be there in such a big-budgetted movie as this one.

    da_man: I didn’t write a bad review of this movie in order to be different, in order to “bash the popular shows”, be a hipster, act as a pseudointellectual, or any of that stuff. I simply didn’t like it, and I’m not going to lie about it to please the crowd. I do agree that my taste is strange, but I don’t make this taste strange just to stand out; it just is. Of course I could pretend that my favourites are series as Haruhi, Gurren Lagann and Full Metal Alchemist are the best things since sliced bread, and hype them at every single occasion, but what’s the point of that if I personally don’t agree with these things?

  7. Avatar Kurisu says:

    psgels: If you don’t like it, don’t watch it!
    da_man: If you don’t like it, don’t read it!
    psgels: If you don’t like it, don’t read it!

    If you don’t like my comment, don’t read it!

  8. Avatar ty says:

    This is what happens when you start making up your own stuff, the movie and the last couple of episodes from the coup d’etat on was made up by the studio. Thereby producing this giant traumatizing wreck.
    The new one will be a remake totally based on the manga. No more creating or adding in your own stuff.

  9. Avatar senerikfred says:

    @ty: ‘Making up your own stuff’ isn’t really something you should go criticizing-seeing as that’s where all totally original works come from in the first place. Arakawa actually encouraged Bones to do their own thing-in an interview, she said ‘ideas should be expressed differently through different mediums,’ and she even seems to really appreciate that they took her premise somewhere else with totally different themes. Even regarding the remake/manga adaptation, she specifically said she wanted everyone to enjoy what changes were made.
    I don’t know how the new series itself will turn out, but after FMA, Bones themselves managed to make serious improvements in the TV adaptations of Angelic Layer and DtB(correct me if the anime came first, but even so, all the better use of creativity on a generic premise)-both of which sucked in the first place, but that Bones used the premises of. It’s actually kind of sad that they didn’t try to do the same with Soul Eater, because they really could’ve and SHOULD’VE added a lot more content, and put more into the setting. Whereas they’ve mostly followed the manga up until recently, and now that it’s good, it makes you wonder what even happened in 20-30 of the previous episodes.
    And BTW, changes were made in the first anime from way early on, and they totally left off from the manga halfway through, so they’re deserving of at least a little more credit than you’re giving.

  10. Avatar GGear0323 says:

    the movie itself was interesting in how it depicted a historical event ie the failed coup by the Nazi party and Hitler in 1923. it stayed pretty accurate to what happened in this respect. yeah, you can bash the movie for being all over the place in terms of character interactions and powers and whatnot, but i dont think you can hate on the animation. once they get the style down (the style was established in the anime and it carries over) you can really only look at the fluidity of the animation which is pretty good. yeah the cg armor was iffy but wasnt crude. so overall, i would go as low as 50/100, but i would be hard pressed to go above 65-68/100. it was OK but didnt have what made the anime exciting. it was missing something.

  11. Avatar GGear0323 says:

    as for the anime, yeah, they actually started deviating way early on. but what do you expect, the manga wasnt even close to done, they had to come up with something that they could end on their own. hell, even with the new anime coming up soon, the manga still isnt done, though it is pretty close.

  12. Avatar Kim says:

    Although I am not sure if I would give the movie as low of a score I was also incredibly disappointed in the movie. I was fine with the ending of the original anime series. It ended on a sad note with the brothers separated but it left you with hope. The movie ruined this all. Instead of developing the oriiginal characters further the series added in new characters: both good and bad and they all were uninteresting to me. And while some historical events were accurate, a lot of it was complete nonsense. They even changed the gender of certain historical characters (the main female villain for one). Though I have to admit I thought production wise the series looked rather nice.

    The new series is supposedly going to follow the original manga. Although I know some will disagree for me the manga is vastly superior to the first anime series. The manga just has better developed plot, world and characters so I am hoping this new anime will capture how great the manga is (even though I sort of feel this new series is unnecessary)

  13. Avatar Loki the Liar says:

    Absolutely precise description of this movie. Good work, psgels.

  14. Avatar Denizen says:

    I think your standards can always be a bit too high for TV series-related movies.

    I enjoyed Rebuild of Evangelion, and the FMA movie whilst not mindblowingly awesome, was good, and where the animation mattered it was top quality (Gluttony and Wrathe especially)

    Speaking of movies, I badly want to see the Eureka Seven remake, but it will be a year at least before that’s available.

  15. Avatar ancalyme says:

    The plot/characters were slightly less annoying back when I watched this raw (but before I could understand any japanese dialogue) and when I was hugely hyped from the TV series. But looking back, I agree with you. The animation bothered me too. To me, it was just an excuse to showcase as many characters as possible while keeping the semblance of a plot.

    I’m worried about the new TV series (which, imho, shouldn’t even exist)… it feels too much like milking the cash cow to produce anything good.

    [Yay, I could finally reply! :D Your blog has some bug that doesn’t accept comments from Opera – is this common?]

  16. psgels psgels says:

    ancalyme: strangely, this is the first time I’ve heard about commenting problems with Opera. Did the bug magically fix itself, or did you post that comment through a different web browser?

  17. Avatar ancalyme says:

    I’m posting from a different computer, from Firefox :/ I couldn’t post from this computer back when it ran with Opera either.

  18. Avatar Eonir says:

    Thank you for convincing me it’s just a waste of the producers’ money and our time.

    Man, I sure am happy we don’t need to buy every single thing we want to review…you’d lose a fortune on shit.

  19. psgels psgels says:

    Oh, wait. I now remember that I’ve had similar problems a few months ago. Unfortunately, when I posted this problem on the Blogsome support forums, the support crew didn’t have a copy of Opera to verify the problem and at the moment I really don’t have a clue on how to solve the problem. Perhaps you could install firefox on your home computer, but that’s not really ideal either.

  20. Avatar Silver says:

    The animation was alright to me. I did not pay attention to much to it. However, I hated the plot for the movie. Can’t really say anything else.

  21. I don’t agree to everything you mentioned (FMA was my number one anime before Baccano and Hetalia came to my life) but . . .well, opinions differ ^^; as simple as that.

    Some commentors have been harsh though o_O

  22. Avatar Olivia says:

    Kurisu: too bad, already have. (you do know that in order to judge something, the critic needs to err, maybe, WATCH or READ it, right?

    You’re like one of those people who will only judge good movies/music/books/etc. But if we all do that, then there’s no point in judging anything, is there?

    And if we don’t judge or criticize, how can the world improve??? (^_^)

  23. Avatar Kurisu says:

    Olivia: Citation needed.

  24. Avatar Iggy says:

    I agree that the movie wasn’t that great, it did have a lot of plot holes and didn’t have nearly as complex a plot line as the original series, so I was pretty mad about how the movie turned out.
    However, I was very happy that a movie did come out simply because I hated the ending of the series and at least the movie gave the fans a little bit more closure and a better ending…although not by much -.-

    I recently found out that there will be a new FMA series and was sooo very excited, until I found out that it’s a remake. I mean what is that?! It makes much more sense to continue with the original anime rather than starting from scratch and just following the manga.
    I have read the manga and still think that the anime did a pretty OK job of adapting the manga. After all as mentioned this series is very popular so they must have done something right lol.
    That said why not just continue with the series as it was? Although I really did enjoy the manga and think that it wouldn’t be bad as an anime it just doesn’t make sense to me to do a remake when you have such a loyal fan base with the anime that has already been created.
    Ah, well I suppose I should stop complaining cause you know I’m going to watch it anyway ;)

  25. Avatar tomer says:

    seriously gonna skip explaining to you why your’e wrong since you were dumb enough to write this review,if this is how you think,dont ever write another review again.

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