Posted by psgels on 4 July 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Full Metal Alchemist - Brotherhood




Because the first season of Full Metal Alchemist went with its own story, it turned out to be one of the most famous anime of the decade, and the manga was finally about to finish, it maybe wasn’t much of a surprise that Bones ended up animating the story of the manga. And they really made sure to give it a top notch treatment here!

Especially in the past few years, the trend has grown in which series should consider themselves lucky if they can get 26 episodes, or even enough time to animate the entire story on which they’re based. Full Metal Alchemist is different, however: with 64 episodes, it received just the right length in order to tell the full story of the Full Metal Alchemist manga, and boy is it an awesome one!

The story here is completely different from the first season, but I ended up liking it a lot better with the different focus. It’s still focused on a ton of action-scenes, but the story around it is deep, well fleshed out and mature, especially for a series with many shounen elements. The world that the series is set in is well fleshed out, multi-layered and quite detailed.

Another huge focus of this series is the time it spent on characters preparing. With the epic nature of this series, a lot of time is actually spent on the lead characters, finding allies to help them. The cast of this series is huge, but everyone in this series has his or her own part to play in the large scheme of things. The length also allows the creators to really look at all of them and their motivations, backgrounds and purposes, in order to make all of them unique, with excellent results.

What you get is an epic action series with plenty of depth to come by, carefully paced and wrapped up in the end with a finale that’s full of adrenaline. However, you should note that the first fifteen episodes or so follow pretty much the same story as the first Full Metal Alchemist TV-series, and it’s clear that at that point, the creators try to get through these parts as fast as possible in order to get to the new material, compared to the very slowly paced first season.

It of course depends on how keen you’re into seeing the same things again, but there are some notable differences between the two. Brotherhood cuts some of the useless fluff of the first season away, like the moments that were just there to show contrived situations for the lead character to save the day, though it also cuts away a lot of the minor character-building scenes. Don’t worry though, because after 16 episodes, the series continues with a completely different story that in my eyes completely surpasses the original Full Metal Alchemist.

It’s a definite recommendation if you’re looking for something epic. Despite being 64 episodes, Bones keep a surprisingly good animation quality throughout the series, especially the action-scenes themselves look gorgeous for such a long series. The soundtrack also fully captures the grant atmosphere of the story, and will make sure for a show that will keep you entertained.

We here have a series that really made excellent use of its opportunity to finally show an epic story that goes beyond even 52 episodes, while always keeping on track and not losing itself somewhere in the middle. The creators had a really excellent manga to base themselves on, and even though they did not keep to the manga for 100%, the way they brought it to animation still deserves to be applauded.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Well paced and varied in the long run, exciting and engaging in the short run.
Characters: 9/10 – A ton of different characters, most of them get their chance to show off themselves and get some depth. Plenty of character-development as well.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Great animation from Bones, plus an excellent soundtrack.
Setting: 10/10 – Excellent in its depth and multiple layers, focusing both on the big picture as the individual details. Successfully brings many different stories together.

Suggestions:
Bounen no Xamdou
– Vision of Escaflowne
Nadia – The Secret of Blue Water

42 Responses

  1. Watcherzero says:

    Maybe im the odd one out then of prefering the original, now the series are identical for the first 25% or so (though second series covered events faster) but I though the anime writers did great work at guessing what direction the manga would take, and you have to admit they guessed a lot of what would happen correctly.

  2. Bruce says:

    I still have to finish this; still on episode 58.

    I thought the first series had much better drama, but not nearly as good of a plot (and that movie was just a dumb attempt to make money).

  3. Kim says:

    Fullmetal Alchemist is a very special series to me. It’s a series I followed for about 6 years and it’s probably the only long time series I have followed that has not let me down once. Brotherhood did not exactly live up to the manga for me (but with how I feel about the manga that was probably an impossible task). Still I am glad Brotherhood was created for people who don’t read manga who could discover this series as well.

    @ Watcherzero the first anime team did not guess. Arakawa told them her ending from the beginning and asked them that they make a different ending from hers. I am guessing they just kept some similar plot points. Still the themes and the way the characters developed are quite different in the two series and that is why I will always prefer the manga/Brotherhood. For me the manga was always about hope and pushing forward despite what happened in the past. It was also very much about the human spirit. That humanity might be weak but we don’t give up and we rely on others that is our strength.

  4. JBM says:

    Both the first and the second series had their good and weak points. The drama is much more emotional and heart wrenching in the first series but everything as a whole was more cohesive in the second series. And just like what psgels has pointed out, the series was very good at producing a stunning climax after a good amount of build up unlike the first series which IMO fell flat in the end after what I believed was still an amazing build up and the follow up movie just made it worse. Anyway, it was one hell of an amazing series. The comparisons will now come in threes: the first series, the second series and the manga. It all ends up with a matter of taste. I prefer the second series and in some aspects and chapters, I prefer the anime version over the manga counterpart. But all in all, the FMA franchise is amazing.

  5. Patrick says:

    As JBM pointed the first series (should not be called 1st season) was MUCH more “emotionally engaging”, and for me that’s what made FMA, at least for me. In the second series I watched 15 ep or so and found I felt nothing so I dropped it.

  6. Denizen says:

    The first series was not “emotionally engaging” in so much as it was just melodramatic, forcing soapy drama in places it didn’t even need to happen. Here’s a flashback, this is serious, omg how sad, etc.

    The second series was dramatic too, but it usually applied it in more striking and upbeat ways – for example, my absolute favourite scene in Episode 19, where Mustang kills Lust, was done in a way to make it as impressive and simply badass as possible. No depth, no heartbreaking last wishes, just an awesome climax.

    The first series probably would have tried to make it into some emotionally charged scene about “Lust’s last regrets” or something like that, when it just didn’t fit.
    FMA was always intended to be a homage of sorts to B-Movies, so it always had cheese to balance the more serious storytelling – the first series didn’t have this, so by using Arakawa’s setting it always ended up not quite working. The new series just worked much better.

    Also, wtf, dropping a series just after its started going in its own direction? That’s so dumb.

  7. Patrick says:

    Denizen It’s your opinion and I respect it (not your way of doing it) but I feel otherwise. I just felt nothing watching second series I don’t know how to explain it better.

  8. kagura says:

    @Patrick
    Have you actually read the whole review? ‘Cause psgels states pretty clearly that the first fifteen episodes cover the same material as the half of the first anime did, and that the creators probably wanted to get through those episodes as fast as possible, in order to get to the real meat of the story. So yeah, no wonder that the emotional impact of the first anime would be lost (although I agree with Denizen that it was too melodramatic for its own good). I think you should give Brotherhood a second chance before passing such a definite judgement.

    And psgels, this is really an excellent review, so all I can say is “thank you” :)

  9. Hana says:

    @ Patrick: You shouldn’t have dropped it after 15 episodes. That’s when it started to actually get good.

  10. jimao says:

    bunch of guys beating up a boss who wants to take over the world, and with no sacrifices on the good guys’ side (hell even mustang’s eyes were healed)…

    I understand everyone has different taste but this is ridiculous that no one here is standing up for FMA-2003.

  11. jimao says:

    @patrick: good decision. Brotherhood starts off as shounen, and quickly degerenates into even more shounenish cheese. I defy anyone to tell me the difference between brotherhood and yuyu hakusho, if there is any.

  12. MarieLuise says:

    The 1st series was a mess and full of plot holes but there was something incredible touching and intriguing about it. I felt so much for the characters. I remember Ed dying at the end, it was heart breaking. Even though I never really enjoyed the additional movie, there was bitterness in it which I really liked. It made me think, guess what it was all about. Maybe I just had this feeling BECAUSE the whole story Bones came up with made no sense, but it was extremly exciting to watch.

    And FMA Brotherhood? The story is much better – no doubt about that. And Bones did a better job I ever expected. But seriously: what should we learn at the end? What was it all about? I especially think about Ed fighting with father after Al went to the gate to give Ed back his arm. There was so much hatred in this scene (Ed extremly angry, the soldiers started to cry out loud: destroy him! Destroy him!), so again: what was it all about? David fighting against Goliath, killing him and dancing over his head? I know Arakawa put a lot of thouhgts in her story (Panteism etc.), but yeah.. in the end it was just about fighting, killing, winning, standing up and so on. It felt emotionally empty for me. Not to mention that I found it hard to understand and feel sympaty for characters like Mustang and Hawkeye. How many people did they kill in Ishbal? You can argue that was one of the good (and mature) points of the story (no black-white characters), but for me the whole series was full of strange morals. Not to mention that I got the impression Arakawa glorified the army the way she was portraying Olivier and her soldiers. Yeah, and Mustangs goal always was to became Führer (When I hear this word I always think about Hitler. He was the “Führer”). Why don’t decinde for a democracy and not a country leaded by the army? Well, maybe I’m just missing here something great. And maybe all of this was discussed before. In that case I appologize for my pointless post ;-)

  13. kaei says:

    @jimao: If you need someone to tell you the difference between Yuyu Hakusho and FMA, even if someone does tell you you probably won’t be able to grasp it. But whatever, I’ll give it a shot. For one thing, Yuyu Hakusho is a long running generic shounen manga with a never-ending list of enemies that degenerates quickly into a tournament style slugfest and fight of the week. FMA has a beginning, climax and end, and each fight had purpose and the author didn’t introduce new enemy after new enemy and infinite power-ups. FMA treated its female characters with respect; YYH’s females were just window dressing.

    Also, some sacrifices on the good guy’s side – Hohenheim, namely – doesn’t even get to see his grandchildren even though he finally wants to live. This is manga-only, but Havoc doesn’t get magically healed by the Philosopher’s stone – there is a picture of him undergoing physical therapy. Ed never gets his leg back. Good friends who died during the final fight stay dead. Hughes stays dead. Nina stays dead. Trisha stays dead. All the people killed in the making of Philosopher’s stones stay dead. Winry’s parents stay dead. These people have ALL sacrificed a lot, and the ending is about them picking themselves up and moving on and walking on their own two feet.

    OR did you want the ending to be a dismal hopeless slaughterfest with all the leads dead and the ones remaining crying before you consider it a good story?

  14. kaei says:

    @MarieLuise: You bring up good points on how you think the ending could have been better, eg. the democracy, decreasing the importance of the army, etc. but the only thing I can say is if you want that kind of story where those things happen, you’ll have to look elsewhere (and I agree with you that Mustang and Hawkeye et al. have committed war crimes, the army has too much importance etc.) Those things that you think should go, other people might appreciate them, and if the author changed it, it wouldn’t be Fullmetal Alchemist anymore.

    You may think you missed “something great” but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that – some stories just resonate better with some people than others =)

  15. Kim says:

    I am sorry but if the only thing that you can get out of the story is let’s kill the bad guys then you have serious comprehension issues. But I get it only things that end with angst, sacrifice, and suffering are deep. Don’t make me laugh.

    The brothers sacrificing themselves in the first series was not deep at all. It showed they learned absolutely NOTHING. What was the whole thing during the first Scar fight when Al told Ed not to waste his life. To live if you have a chance and maybe find a way to save poor girls like Nina.

    The characters in Brotherhood actually do something POSITIVE with their lives in the end. From Ed and Al traveling the world to thank all the people that helped them, to Al and Ed doing research to help people who were hurt by alchemy, to Roy working to overhaul the Ishval policy, to Scar trying to help the Ishval people not lose their culture. The manga is full of positive messages and hope about the future.

    And when Ed gave up alchemy (and didn’t sacrifice his life) he showed that he understands it is okay to not rely on this special power. He is okay with being a normal human being and relying on his friends (it was his reliance on his friends not alchemy that helped him win in the first place). This shows that Ed in Brotherhood actually developed and learned something through his experiences. This was the opposite of Father who wanted to be above everyone. Father’s arrogance is what caused him to lose.

  16. Kim says:

    Also yes Roy being healed by the Philosopher Stone might seem easy but in a sense it was the Ishvalans that were given him a second chance and he is using that chance to change the policy on Ishval.

    What do I mean the stone Marcoh gave him was made up of Ishvalans. The stone was then used by Kimbley to kill Ishvalans. The stone eventually falls into Al’s hands and he uses this to defeat Kimbley, and now Marcoh gives it to Roy (who also participated in the Ishval massacre) to change the Ishval policy. Thus the whole thing comes full circle.

    Also the Amestris world might eventually become a Democracy but that will take time.

  17. Meep says:

    Very well said, Kim~

  18. MarieLuise says:

    @kaei: thank you for your nice post :-)

    @kim: It seems it really is all about different tastes. You didn’t tell me something I didn’t know before and of course my opinion about the ending of the series didn’t change. I don’t need a sappy ending with lots of pointless drama to appreciate a story, but I do like some bitterness. I do like brothers who maybe don’t learn that much and maybe don’t get all of their goals (because I think that’s more “real” than such a overall happy ending). But at the same time I’m well aware that Arakawa always had such an happy ending in her mind, it is/was her way of storyteling. And if you like the whole story you have to like the ending too. I really think so, but I just fail on that.

    I will say it again: the end of FMA brotherhood was all about fighting, killing etc. You can use nicer words and say it was about getting your goals, fighting for your future, for the people you love, for friendship etc. I just felt the urge to kill and win at the end of the series and a toooo long battle with no real emotions in it (the scenes with Greed were ridiclous and incredible cheezy). And when Ed was calling Hohenheim “father” – I just knew he would do that, because I have seen such moments hundred million times before in movies, books etc.

    What you said about Roy and the stone: I don’t want to add something to that. It is a good example for the “strange morals” I talked about. It has to do with forgivness and getting the chance to do some good things (which was also a major theme of the series regarding the Ishbal massacre) but it made a strange aftertase in my mouth ;-)

    But don’t get me wrong. FMA is in my top 5 of favorite anime. And I was back then the first one who tried to convince psgels to blog this series.

    @psgels: I enjoyed your blogging about FMA very much. Thank you for that :-)

  19. Kim says:

    @Marie Luise,

    Although I don’t agree with everything you said my comment was not directed at you (well maybe the 2nd one about Roy but not the first one).

    This is an action/adventure series so yes there are fights. However people seem to forget there were fights in the first series too. If I recall in the final episode (or 2nd to last episode) it was Envy VS Ed. There were plenty of fights in the movie too. But there is still plenty of symbolism and message beyond the fights. And as for the fights I enjoyed the fact that EVERYONE was fighting together from the children to adults. That is something you don’t see in most stories.

    As for not getting what you want and not learning anything being more “real” no I don’t agree with that. It might be true in some cases but it certainly doesn’t have to be true. In fact that it is a very negative outlook on life.

    It’s also fine to enjoy a more bitter story. I usually prefer bitter sweet endings myself. I am just making a point that an ending does not have to be bitter to have depth.

  20. Ebod says:

    I never read/watched FMA for its DEEP SYMBOLIC MEANING, because while it had some, that really wasn’t its aim.

    FMA manga and brotherhood = awesome entertainment with good plot, amazing characters, and humor.

    FMA first anime = wangst wangst wangst plus even more. Not only was it a mood whiplash from the first half of the series following the manga, the ending, exactly as Kim said, showed that Ed and Al both learned NOTHING. Not having a happy ending =/= automatically equal AMAZING DEPTH. Each to their own, but I prefer it when my characters do a little more than just stand in the rain moping about their life. Also, Al had almost no personality left by the end of the first FMA anime.

  21. Deschain says:

    I have been following this blog since the first episode of Brotherhood (and since I never read the manga), I waited to throw in my two cents until it was over . This series was excellent plot driven series, but the first one was an excellent character driven story. I prefer character driven stories over plot ones, although I can enjoy both

    The first FMA did have an aim and it told it well. The first series was all about Alchemy and the process of how it works. Alchemy is a huge part of their world and everyone could use it with the proper training, it is an intricate part of their world. While Ed and Al believed alchemy could be used for good, positive goals, they quickly realized that the world doesn’t see it that way. The Homunculus were a clear example of the negative aspect of Alchemy. Pride, Lust, Envy, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Gluttony weren’t just characters, there were themes, sins that were present all throughout the anime. Seeing the Elric brothers confront these things and holding on to their beliefs shows resolve, not an inability to learn. To me the first series reflects our world as much as the one of Amestris and the goals of both the heroes and the villains, felt like something we all can relate to. To me they are both different animes. We already had the one that focused on the philosophy and their world. This one was sorely needed, especially for someone like me in order to get a full perspective on the FMA universe.

  22. Charred Knight says:

    @Jimao I defy you to tell me the difference between the first Fullmetal Alchemist and a funeral. Mizushima confused characters crying, talking about how depressing your life is, and characters dying useless deaths for actual drama. He completely misunderstood what the series was about. Also is comparing something to Yuu Yuu Hakusho supposed to be an insult? Once you grow up maybe we can debate some anime instead of hearing about how angst = art.

  23. Deschain says:

    This is the kind of crap I hate from people. Simplifying an anime like FMA and FMA Brotherhood is the pure sign of stupidity. FMA Brotherhood is not like Yu Yu Hakusho. Does it share the same aspects? Sure, but a lot if not all anime share certain traits that adhere to formula. That is just one side to FMA Brotherhood not the whole.

    As for the Mizushima statement. Wow, this person looked at the manga and noticed a principle, a law of equivalency and crafted a story that stimulates emotion and thought. If you didn’t catch that then that’s sad. And FMA was not angst in the way you are describing it. FMA was about seeing the world for what it truly was, a place filled with individuals who posses the knowledge and ability to help others and instead use it to further their own agendas. Having you principles and beliefs questioned and challenged is an intense experience. If you failed to see that aspect then fine that’s you, but don’t simplify it to angst alone. He wasn’t trying to follow the same kind feeling in the manga, he focused on a human story and it was good

  24. Kim says:

    @ Deschain

    When I said I felt Ed and Al didn’t learn anything in the first series I was talking specifically about the scene when they both sacrificed themselves for each other. This scene was a disappointment for me. And in general the development of Ed and Al was a disappointment for me. However I can’t say they learned absolutely nothing in the course of the series. I believe they learned the world is not perfect, bad things can be done with alchemy, and you can’t get everything you want in the end. I am not too fond of the themes in the first series but these themes were presented well.

    However Ed and Al in Brotherhood and the manga stuck to their beliefs too: To not use others in their quest to get their bodies back (this is why Ed refused to use Hohenheim’s last soul or the P.Stone but instead came up with his own way to get Al back). So you see Ed and Al not only hold on to their beliefs in the manga storyline but also succeed because of what they learned through their experiences (that they did not succeed by alchemy but through the help of others).

    Learning something and sticking to your beliefs is not mutually exclusive.

  25. Deschain says:

    @Kim
    So basically what you are saying is that the ending was bad. I can see how that can happen, but sacrificing themselves and not using others was presented in the first series as well. Ed didn’t use the prisoners to transmute them into a philosopher’s stone. When Al realized that Wrath had Ed’s limbs he was going to “rip” them off, but he refrained from that. When Al became a Philosopher’s Stone, Ed refused to use his powers out of fear it may destroy Al; which is the exact same thing with Hohenheim wanting to use his life for Al in Brotherhood. Granted I do like Brotherhood’s solution better, but in the first series, Ed realized that he can’t have it all. Saving his brother’s life and restoring his body was much more important than receiving his limbs. Once again that was demonstrated in Brotherhood when Al sacrificed himself. So in general both shows exhibited the same ideas, but they both stuck to their own themes. In the end of the first series it wasn’t about simply restoring a limb or a body, it was to restore life. A life for a life is equivalent exchange which was the whole theme of the the first series, but instead of Ed receiving death, he was given the chance to live on and find a way back to his brother again.

  26. Watcherzero says:

    I think a good metaphor is how its so easy to tell the difference between CGI and film, CGI is too perfect, theirs too few defects, dirt, cracks or imperfections and so the eye can always tell which is the better more realistic version.

    In the same way the first series had this, people died pointlessly, people didnt learn from their mistakes, charachters had to wing it when their plans didnt always work. This was much more reflective of real life than the second series where everyone was perfect, every death was a noble and meaningful sacrifice, people always learned from their mistakes and everything always went to plan.

    To me the first series was film, the second was CGI.

  27. Kim says:

    I am sorry but just because a character grows and learns something from their experience does not make it fake. That’s called character development and good writing.

    In real life people DO learn from their mistakes, they DON’T always die needless deaths, and people DO get happy endings. I don’t think the ending of the 2nd series is perfect I find it hopeful & positive. That doesn’t make it any less poignant and real than the first series with all its forced emotion and needless melodrama.

  28. Kim says:

    I should add I don’t think there is anything wrong with preferring the more dramatic/darker first series to the more hopeful/lighter 2nd series. But when you say one is film the other is CGI or one is art the other is trash. That is what I have an issue with because it is complete nonsense.

  29. psgels psgels says:

    Whoa there, there’s no need to look at this in such a black and white way. In real life, it’s not like people either learn from all their experiences or the other way around, instead they learn from some cases, while at others they don’t.

    Personally my biggest gripe against the first season wasn’t this overacting. There are plenty of other shows that have that and where it works. I wouldn’t say that it’s not understanding the manga, instead it’s just a completely different interpretation. Nothing wrong with that.

    Instead, I did not like how the first season had so many forced plot points. The first half suffered because it tried too hard to make Ed like a hero by making him run into situations in which he conveniently save the day in half-assed stories. In the second half, it was the tendency of the creators to bring back characters who had no business being there. These characters were in most cases completely shallow (the biggest example I can think of right now being Rose) and took time and focus away from the characters that really mattered.

  30. Kim says:

    Whoa there, there’s no need to look at this in such a black and white way. In real life, it’s not like people either learn from all their experiences or the other way around, instead they learn from some cases, while at others they don’t.

    To clarify I wasn’t trying to say that things always work out for people in real life either. Sometimes they don’t but at the same time sometimes they do. And neither situation is more realistic than the other. So I agree with you. :)

  31. Reltair says:

    Awesome series that are also long are so rare these days…

  32. Scytheslash says:

    I get a bad feeling the movie is going to be an intersection of the previous FMA characters and Brotherhood characters…….. maybe Dante will make an appearance again? Revisiting Ishvaal seems pointless, after it has been resolved in the show

  33. Bobby says:

    i am a little confused as to what exactly the brotherhood movie can cover. i mean, after defeating a guy who was essentially a god, what kind of decent bad guy can they create that ISN’T a total (KITTEN) by comparison (lol)

    the review and grade is pretty spot on IMHO

  34. Ive says:

    I will say it again: the end of FMA brotherhood was all about fighting, killing etc.

    Thank God. I’m tired of series where people try to stay away from fighting and killing the enemy because of their idiotic morals. I was fine with Ed saving Pride, but if he and the rest of the soldiers weren’t cheering for Father’s death, something would be terribly lacking.

    I’m not saying that peace isn’t a good thing, and that morals are always idiotic; not at all. I’m just… so tired of good guys not killing the main, evil bad guys. If a person like Father, or Kimblee (who I actually really like as a character) is in my grasp, that is it: I would take their life and never think twice about it. They are evil, and they must be stopped. That in and of itself can be a moral, too, I suppose.

    I also really like the Ishbalan Massacre and its implications on the soldiers in general. They were ‘only following orders’, but since they were still human, they had deal with their obediance. It was really… rather nice, in its own way.

    Oh, I loved all the FMA series. I liked this series more then the First Series by a long shot, though I’d consider the Manga tied with Brotherhood.

    The biggest problems with this series, and I know there are a few of them, that I can think off top hand are the start of the series (but that was inevitable, unforunately), the ‘last minute save’ (this one irritates me in all forms of media, though), and the lack of good characters dying. I don’t want it to be a total death-march, but…

  35. Ibrahim Peasnell says:

    I decided to drop this series around episode thirty when the plot became more complicated and characters reappearing in this series. One element of this series I dislike is the character designs and art director of this series compared to the previous series of FMA. I did watch the last couple of episodes just for interest sake, and I can say that the ending of FMA:Brotherhood is a bit better then the previous series of FMA, though the music was better in the first series of FMA then FMA:Brotherhood. Overall, I would say that FMA:Brotherhood is a nice addition to the FMA franshise though prefer the first series of FMA over the second due to that I prefear good music and character designs over a better plot of FMA:Brotherhood.

  36. Tan-Tan says:

    The fact that a lot of people are arguing about FMA:Brotherhood means it’s an awesome series :D A lot of you seem to argue about the battle in the end. I understand we view this as “barbarism” but do you really know the meaning of the final battle? A struggle between forces?

    @jimao: World domination was never the goal of Father. By saying that, I already know you didn’t understand the story. Father wants to learn more of the world and to be the “perfect being”. He already thinks he is above humans and simply wishes to “be more”.

    People consider Brotherhood having a happy ending. And apparently, they don’t like the fact that none of the main characters die because of the “lack of sacrifice” and probably pissed of (@jimao again) that Roy got his eyes back.

    Yes, well, we do enjoy misery more than happy endings :P We seem to be unable to accept happiness happening totally.

  37. israel8491 says:

    I think this is a very good grade. FMA Brotherhood was an amazing anime, but it was not without flaws.
    I got introduced to the manga first. I fell head over heels in love, and from there I went to the anime. I watched the first episode of the first anime before calling it quits. I hated the art. It was just bad. I read the new plot line on various sites and from there I’ve gotten a good idea of how the anime-verse works. I think it has some interesting ideas, but it can’t hold a candle to the manga-verse.
    Brotherhood I really loved. I wasn’t very pleased when it deviated from the manga, but I understood. The only thing I disliked was the first episode (what’s with that, both animes have sucky first episodes?) but after that it got great. I really liked the art, especially in comparison to the first anime’s.
    In the end, Brotherhood was a great anime and I’m so glad it got to run for as long as it did.
    To everyone who wanted more people to die, *ahem*: Nina, Alexander, Tucker, Hughes, Lust, Envy, Sloth, Gluttony, Wrath, Greed, Father, Hohenheim, Buccaneer, Fu, about ten thousand Ishvalans, who knows how many soldiers, Trisha, Barry, Slicer, everyone from the Devil’s Nest, Cornello….
    Really? You want more? I’m amazed at how many people survived.
    And after all the stuff they’ve been through, I think the characters have earned their happy ending.

  38. Mr. Derrrrp says:

    Fullmetal Alchemist is GOD. plain and simple.
    The english dub is excellent as well.
    Now go to your room!

  39. gedata says:

    I guess I’m the only one who was legitimatley amazed by what both series did

  40. ArmourBB says:

    I need to say that I love that extra jab the manga take at the 2003 anime when Riza said:
    ‘Is Ed going to sacrifice himself to bring Al back?’
    and Roy answered: ‘No, because he knows the pain of being left alone and he wouldn’t put Al through that.’

    This. So much.

    TAKE THAT fma2003

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Kaiser-Eoghan
Reminder that netflix Godzilla anime is later today.
Amagi
Damn I didn't noticed that ankle band of the little demon from the intro scene of FranXX 01, now I feel stupid.
Lenlo
Yuasa is great! Ping pong and Tatami Galaxy are still some of my favorites
SuperMario
Oh fuck, the lead singer of the Cranberries passed away. I literally just listened to their music yesterday. Damnn, sad news
SuperMario
@Kaiser; thanks for considering me but I believe Wooper is much more a Yuasa's fan than I am
SuperMario
Far out!!!
SuperWooper
Yuasa will be answering questions on Reddit's anime board on the 20th.
SuperMario
@Niello: what do you mean regarding Yuasa?
SuperMario
@Travlos: I agree that Girls Last Tour is a special little gem, but in what ways it's disturbing?
Niello
Holy cow, Masaaki Yuasa AMA!! What magic is this?
Niello
Meawhile, Japan took a different approach and we ends up with a bunch of .hack rehash and diving more and more into escapism. Until we eventually got isekai and then it just spiraled into a sea of mediocrity.
Niello
While that opened its own can of worms, at least it opens up element about making ends meet, managing irl relationships, earning extra income for a poor family, getting cheated etc.
Niello
in the characters real life just fine. Something more a long the line of Net-juu but more technologically advanced. And I would say that plenty of those have been superior to Japanese online game and isekai story shenanigans. That said, it doesn't mean that those don't have their own kind of traps they usually fall in. A bunch of those instead focus on the aspect of making money off of games.
Niello
...Getting stuck in a virtual reality game and being transport to another world that happens to be like a game are completely different though. I don't know what is it with Japan and getting stuck in game plots considering that there are loads of other game-base Asian novels that came before it that manage story lines where they manage to tell compelling stories in game while balancing what happen
KTravlos
I finally finished Girls Last Tour. What a profound, fluffy and disturbing masterpiece. Bravo.
Amagi
Yeah. I feel the world swap is pretty much pointless when real life isn't relevant anymore. It's just a stupid as hell excuse to combine fantasy wish fullfilment with self-inserts, which is why these main characters tend to be 29 by now, just like the big part of the otaku community.
Lenlo
Of those you listed, no, I dont think they get explained? I mean, SAO did, but I dont think that falls into your category.

Thats why I liked .hack//sign over alot of more modern game Isekai. Also .hack//sign did explain what happened to Tsukasa.
Amagi
Considering how bad most of these are I wouldn't wonder if they wouldn't even bother with an explanation and just end it with the characters being happy in that game world and that's it. Or magic and the whole harem gets transported into reality at the end because power of love and such.
Amagi
I have no problem with a sci-fi fantasy mix, I liked .hack//sign for example, but it annoys me that such an incredibly bizarre situation gets never explained. Or maybe it will but it never happened so far because none of these LNs was ever finished and concluded yet. I just wish to know how they explain that.
Amagi
I mean all those shows in which the character just finds himself stuck in a real world that's (coincidentally?) the same as the game he recently played. Be it Overlord, Death March, Log Horizon or the 300 other series with that premise.
Amagi
Some thing that always bothered me about game isekai for which I never got an answer so far: did any of those series ever end and/or explain how the warp has happened and why the MC is in the game? - Not talking about .hack, SAO and such where the action of getting trapped is part of the premise
Niel
@Eoghan - Btw, Kokkoku isn't a time travel. it's stasis, apparently. Looks very promising so far. Though if I am to trust the manga score, it's shit.
Niel
But is Toradora really slice of life? As far as I can see it's straight up romance.
Lenlo
And Mario, ill rag on SOL all I want! :P

Wooper, its true good shows transcend genre, as there are still some like Toradora I like, but those are exceptions that prove the rule so to speak.
Lenlo
@Niel, yeah I base my potential % on the odds something gets/stays good.
AidanAK47
I am of similar mindset about Franxx. I want it to get better but I don't really see it doing so. Unless the other characters get a majority personality boost or the MC stops being a plank.
Niel
XD
Kaiser-Eoghan
I confess....I only sat through just over half an episode of aldonoah.
Niel
Since it's Trigger, I will give the benefit of the doubt. I'm just very skeptical about this whole formula.
Niel
The way I can see this series improving is through world building. And if other aspects are going to improve too, it's going to revolve around that.
Niel
It leaves about as much impression on me as much as the first episode of Aldnoah did, and I dropped that one straight away. The character chemistry doesn't look like it will go places that's not cliche. The gimmick doesn't seem like it has much potential either.
Niel
So you're all betting it on "this is going to get better". I mean, I hope it gets better. Though right now this feels more Kiznaiver than Kill la Kill or LWA.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd nominate Mario to do the devilman review as he's the most immediate Yuasa fan to do it and Bam is too awol to write it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cute girl shows just bleed and blend in my mind now, same with the isekai shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Devilman, my show of the season, unless after the rain ends up having some emotional wallop.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So for me its looking like: Junji itou, Cardcaptor sakura, keeping up with sangatsu, wait and see on amegari . Not watching a time travel or trigger show and I remain unable to sit through Mahoutsukai .
Amagi
The story itself is generic so far but so are most Trigger series at the beginning so not sure. Maybe it will stay weak, but in general I prefer series that start with the weaker episodes and get better and better over time over the many series that use up all of their budget and trump cards in the first episode and drag on after that.
Amagi
I really love Trigger's esthetics and their characters. I am happy they're more often involved in non-trigger-only productions because I honestly think that most of the stuff I enjoyed about FranXX was heavily influenced by them.
SuperMario
@Nielo: Franxx's first ep was stellar for me. Storywise, it's lackluster (and I see the similar in tropes between this and Beatless) but production-wise it's excellent
SuperMario
I think I just keep watching it on a weekly basis. Still trippy as hell
SuperMario
Okay, I just watched second episode of Devilman Crybaby and it's still pretty good.
Nielo
By the way, what's up with Darling in the Franxx? I thought it's a very weak first episode.
Nielo
@Lenlo: Slice of life isn't my thing either, and I usually avoid series set in high school.
Nielo
@SuperMario: Takagi-san is cute, I'll admit that, but since I already read the manga it's not new to me. Sora Yori is good, but it's not particularly cute. I found Hakumei to Mikochi and Yuru Camp very boring. Haven't got the chance to watch Mitsuboshi Colors or Gakuen Babysisters but I don't think they could be more cute than Mii-kun.
SuperWooper
HOT TAKE: Genre is irrelevant. What matters is whether a show is good.
SuperMario
Don't knock off MY genre Lenlo. It's one of the reason I got into anime in the first place :)
Lenlo
Im not saying it doesn't do what it sets out to. I just don't think what it sets out to do is all that... great.
Lenlo
@Niello, Slice of Life was never my Genre in the first place :/ I typically avoid them. I have my own life to deal with and already graduated high school, why would I want to deal with a melodramatic anime highschool, is my line of thought.
SuperMario
@Niello: okay, let's see:Takagi-san (the titular character), Mitsuboshi Colors, Gakuen Babysisters (Toddlers!!), Hakumei to Milochi (tiny girls) and two more slightly more mature but equally cute: Sora Yori and Yuru Camp's casts
Nielllo
@SuperMario: I'm sure this is where our definition of "cute" parts way, but I'll ask anyway, what are those 5 shows?
SuperMario
@Niello: seems so because I can eaisily pick 5 more shows that are cuter, and better than Mummy this season ;)
Nielllo
...So I suppose I'm the only one who's kinda bored out by a lot of the slice of life shows that's trying to be cute this season and only perked up by the Mummy anime because it's actually do what it's meant to do and be legit cute.
Lenlo
I am interested in Koi, but still have concern about the relationship itself.

@Vonter, the mummy anime would be better as short vignettes together I feel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Koi amegari is surprisingly tasteful, subdued and pretty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*to where
Kaiser-Eoghan
Try as I might, my love of kyoani tv anime has largely evaporated did where I no longer want to bother at this stage, I'll just wait and see. I'll just stay quiet on the franxx anime, theres little value in me trying to get through a trigger work at this point.
SuperMario
I get the exact same feeling with Takagi-san. It's pretty good on what it does but 20 minutes of the same thing for a whole season doesn't sound that promising
Vonter
The chibi mummy anime
Vonter
It's a shame it isn't a shorter 10 or 5 minute series, I think that format would make it shine more, since it does what it's trying to do.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I liked the second episode of Kokkuko or whatever the name is even more than the first one.
Amagi
I really have a problem with all these shows that rely on one single thing, joke, shenanigan or whatever. Be it something cute, some certain kind of interactiong or whatever. It doesn't matter how good it is it will bore me with episode 2.
Lenlo
Like, yeah, the mummy was cute. But the cute became rote/bland really quick. There has to be more than "cute" to be worth watching for more than a single episode to me.
Lenlo
@Niello, I was harsh because its not aimed at me. I wanted to drop it 5 minutes in, kept up for the post, then was thankful it was over. There wasnt anything overtly bad about it. Its just there was nothing good either.
AidanAK47
To be fair it's not as if we are lacking cute in this season.
In fact it's in danger of inflation.
SuperMario
@Niello: yes, the mummy is cute, the show is cute but beside that it's pretty mediocre. That show in particular is the only show that I have the damnest time to give it a potential rating.
Niello
It's not even down because of legal reasons, since the site pull down contents that are lincensed. It's down cause it's too much for the site owner to manage. Much of it also have to do with too many bots, which comes back to how a lot of other sites are relying on batoto.
Niello
@Masky: Not enough manga titles are getting translated. Batoto is the site scanlation groups basically rely on, and where other aggregation sites pull their content from. No batoto no obscure titles, a big blow to small scantation groups and one big manga/scanlator community down.
Niello
Why are you guys so harsh on the mummy show? It's so darn cute. Give it some credit. If a comedy show can be good because it does comedy well I don't see why a show ike Mummy can't be good if it can make people go "aww".
Masky
I don't really know why that is the case, maybe marketing budget and UI friendliness when done right? :P
Masky
Eh, wouldn't say it will kill manga industry. I mean, more and more official methods of reading manga online is starting to pop up and legit channels to pay to get access to manga can surprisingly enough harm free channels to get manga.
Masky
Anyway, I do find it funny how how the isekai character dies can be so meaningless that is joke in most of them
Niello
Batoto is going down, how this affect the manga reading is going to be interesting. Hope it's not slowly dying.
Masky
(at least that one, besides forgetting to introduce what the heck is gimmick besides generickness, acknowledged how most of otaku mcs shouldn't erally want to get transferred to fantasy world since they never get to see how their favourite mangas end :P )
Masky
Anyhoo, it gets annoying since its not just isekai being cliche, sometimes is just them being kind of badly written(or at least adapted to manga). Like, I found one new isekai today, but I have no idea what its gimmick is(from what I understood, its that "cute companion" that character gets is hideously op because mc didn't spefy cute girl when he asked god manager dude for cute companion)
Masky
Slime one is one of better from the more generic ones weirdly enough :P I mean I still wouldn't call it good, but at least MC character isn't god tier, just top tier and it has sort of village building simulation feel to it. Plus at least naming things giving monsters more powers is something funny regarding jrpg mechanics
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or alternatively the car was on a boat with the character or parents in it and the boat and car were hit by a falling plane lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its always "car accident" that sends the characters to another world or in harem cases "Lost parents due to car crash", for christs sake doesn't anyone die in out of control plane or speedboat crashes anymore, at least make it a motorbike....
Nayrael
Ah sorry, should probably not have touched the colors...
Nayrael
Trust me, Isekai is better when it doesn't try to be imaginative. When it tries to be original then... Isekai with a Smartphone... Isekai where the MC turns into a Slime... and my favorite: Isekai where the MC became a Hot Spring popular with sexy girls.
Masky
Assuming "new" things can happen under the sun
Masky
Anyhoo, I do wonder what the heck will be next "popular genre trope that will become so overused cliche that everyone groans whenever show uses it even if its actually good show"
Masky
Like, seriously you could do really interesting story variant on isekai with that if done right. Suddenly becoming characters you have roleplayed would be trippy as hell espicially if one of characters went really into detail with backstory while one of them is just "Bob the fighter, he likes fighting" and has to deal with what happens when you assume life of such a person
Masky
But I wouldn't honestly be surprised because of my anger issues related to amount of unimaginative isekai :P Though I guess trpg based one would be more imaginative in comparison
Masky
I'd assume not since I assume tabletop rpgs are much more niche than jrpgs in japan
Masky
So has anyone yet done isekai where guys getting transferred were playing trpg? :P
KTravlos
quite happy with most recent Attack of Titan manga chapter.
SuperMario
Alright, one more impression post to go before we really get on to new season
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, I just fixed it. Thank you
Kaiser-Eoghan
*than just the reviewers names
Kaiser-Eoghan
A slight problem with the coding there in the newest impression, showing code gobbledeegook rather than the reviewers names above their impressions.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'm seeing it on 2nd of February.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Late screeners generally leak shortly after the uk release, so maybe early Febbruary it'll be online?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, Phantom Thread. Could be Daniel Day Lewis's final performance. Is it available online already?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Did you know that Paul Thomas Anderso8n has a new film coming out? Also I found out there is a Polish semi-knockoff of purple rose of cairo.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Awesome, just got myself an invite to a secret private torrent site =)
K-Off
@Kaiser When I was in University, I was a waiter at a Korean-owned Japanese Sushi restaurant with a kitchen staff of entirely Mexicans with poor English. The owner, while he provided the rest of his staff with small meals during our lunch or dinner shifts, never game any to the kitchen staff. The guy even ranted to a customer about how "lazy" or "ignorant" they were.
K-Off
Buses are pretty common in America, even outside the major super-cities like LA, NYC, or Chicago. It's public rail you're thinking of that we don't have much of outside the cities.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I brought up the racisim/aunt story wondering if anyone had any horror stories about where they worked?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Bokusen: Buses don't seem to be a thing in America, meanwhile over here, despite traffic, public transport is much more of a thing, couldn't imagine not getting a train or bus somewhere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi. I must say you changed my positive view of the German education system.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And yet Austria gets the far right party in power and Israel also has a far right apartheid leader.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If any good came from it, her boss got banned from facebook .
Amagi
Two years ago the alt/new right hold a rally here since they're successful elsewhere with their anti-immigrant/PoC speeches. In the end it was 35 nazis vs 29.000 counter-demonstrators. The joke: when they had to leave with police protection they shouted "We are the people". Yes 35 hated bigots are surely the people, not the 29k. I laughed.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: That aunt story is pretty shit. I am kinda happy about smartphones nowadays, you can often make photos or record speech if you are witnessing something. Also, thank God the racists in my city are very rare since antifa and leftwingers took hold of it decades ago - now 70% of people are immigrants so racists don't even tend to show up anymore.
Nielllo
Great. I don't think most of what I wrote actually appeared in the chat.
Niello
what I'm going to do in the long run.
Niello
While Liberal art colleges are really good for developing writing and reading skills, the truth is in science classes you still don't do much of that. it's also limited by general lack of equipments that you get at bigger Uni. My college don't even have engineering.
Bokusen
@Kaiser Darn it, I hate it when racists try to justify their beliefs. That guy sounds like a major jerk!
Bokusen
@Niello Ah, yeah I think I might have preferred the UK system too if they give a month to study for exams! Wow...That sounds much nicer. Oh, and yeah, I wish the US had better public transport too... After seeing Japan's public transport system, I wish the US's could be more like it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The landlords love to kickout people through unfair prices a stick their friends in instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Since we're on careers, it reminds me, one of my aunts telling me what a bastard her boss was, guy was a racist, she complained about it then he got rid of all the evidence linking him to it and made it seem as if she was the rascist and humiliated her in front of her Arab friends.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think we all end up getting this huge kick in the ass moment where we learn andget it together.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It gets better thankfully, grew up and am happy with this postal clerk job.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The landlord story is a common one, they still think themselves feudal lords.
Amagi
And yeah, all this neet time. Although not moving out isn't that uncommon here anymore, considering how the rent increases, especially in my region (European bank city). And if I look at my friends it seems like they've the same problems. Even those who have found their dream jobs are otherwise living a nerdy life, going to pubs at night and so on. I think a part of us will always stay twenty.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: This "career" was exactly the same for me. I am pretty sure I wasn't even capable of thinking about my future up until, as you said, mid-twenties. There were just so many other things that interested/bothered me, school wasn't even among my top 30s or so.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Oh how I regret not getting into novels, noe my concentration is too shit to read them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually I don't think teenagers even really know who they themselves actually are .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Youth is wasted on the young.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember wasting so many chances to properly appreciate and get into certain things when I was younger too, when I actually had the time. We have no idea how to use it at that age.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The answer is down to the kid themselves wising up early and adults needing to find a way to REALLY motivate kids.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I hated being in that position, leeching off my parents/the state.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember as a teenager thinking watching films/anime/playing videogames with my friends/brother would last forever, then getting a dose of reality that everyone just moved on .
Kaiser-Eoghan
and between short contracts you spend months as a neet.
Kaiser-Eoghan
You just end up bouncing between go nowhere evening/day courses that are more about putting asses on seats than actually getting anyone anywhere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
and then you find out you dossed off so much in school you can't get to grips with university.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't recommend anyone doing what I did in my teens and early 20s, dossing off all the time, then finding out you have to wait five years to go to college as mature student, your school results are middling and not job/college useful, end up taking forever to get to the stage where you can start building up temporary job experience because no one will hire you.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Heck, as a teenager I remember pretty much living in the moment, never even thought seriously about what I wanted to do, I don't think I even thought about that my adolescence would end, pretty much rushed through my homework and never studied, stayed up all night watching anime/reading manga and playing videogames allday.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't think I actually matured/grew up until I was in my mid twenties.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My school never did a career prep class.
Kaiser-Eoghan
in the end thats how I got to where I am now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I took a different path in life to working, doing temp and voluntary work over time to buildup experience all over the place and working out what I wanted to do that way.
K-Off
@Kaiser @Amagi Besides the characters, Emma would not work if not for the sheer passion for Victorian history that you see in every single frame. Reading Emma reminded me not to avoid historical manga entirely as I'd done before.
K-Off
Probably why Community College is one of the best things to ever happen to the United States' education system, since it catches those students who need some time to figure out what they want to study. I went through three years of it before transferring to University.
K-Off
@Amagi Possibly one of the dumbest mistakes a lot of parents make. Society at large expects teens to have meaningful thoughts about the rest of their lives, when, let's be honest, most of us spent our teenage years doing anything but. Then they're somehow surprised when their children fail class after class because of their lack of motivation.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I have seen Shion no Ou. In fact it was this site that got me to watch it years ago. I remember it being a damn good watch too.
Amagi
Due to that system most kids stay in the social class of their parents which is why you mostly have pure academic families or pure working class families. It got better the last decades though, but that separation is still there. The fact that I am a university student now is rather an exception than the rule.
Amagi
The thing is that most teens don't even have a clue about what job would interest them or be something for them. I for example come from a family in which most people don't even graduated, let alone that anybody would ever read books or so. So I knew absolutely nothing as 12yo and only ever read my first book at 15 because of a friend.
Amagi
@KTravlos: (As a German) I totally agree. The worst is that most people have to choose the route of their career as early as they become 16 or so, maybe even earlier, since we have that three part school system where you choose your school type after elementary school. One is for professionals, one is middle tier and one school (hauptschule) is for the typical working class jobs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its the exotic factor of a lost era/age, I also tend to like the costumes .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Otoyomegatari I've not read in some time, though Kaoru Mori's attention to detail is quite strong.
Amagi
The Victorian Age is also very popular among manga fans it seems. I don't even know why I love it that much, considering that I am usually a sci-fi fan, but I somehow do. Historical things are almost always interesting though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I grew up watching old English melodramas with my parents....therefore Emma was a show that jumped out at me.
Amagi
Speaking of Emma, I should finally read the new volume of Otoyomegatari. I really love that author, Emma was awesome. She writes great characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh itou, how fiendishly inventive you are.
Kaiser-Eoghan
...shigurui...moribito ....Emma they also aired in 2007 jus' sayin' ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Unfortunately I did not emotionally connect with it to the same extent I did so with march comes in like a lion.
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“How many decades have passed since our drinking contest?” “It hasn’t been that long. It was only a few hours ago, this very night!” That gap in time perceiving plays a significant role in Night is Short. For you see, it all depends on how our perception of the surroundings and time itself can affect […]

Ballroom e Youkoso Review – 65/100

In the weeks leading up to the summer 2017 season, Ballroom e Youkoso was one of the most buzzed-about new series. Produced by the Production I.G. team responsible for the smash hit Haikyuu!!, and set to air on Amazon’s brand new Anime Strike service, the series had no shortage of promotion or hype behind it. […]

Inuyashiki Review – 80/100

Do you know what the average age of an anime protagonist is? Neither do I, but I’d wager its in the upper teens. For obvious reasons, most anime focus on high school and have high school aged protagonists with similarly aged problems. Its not often that we get a good older main character, who has […]