Posted by psgels on 17 February 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews, Full Metal Alchemist - Brotherhood

Out of the entire FMA franchise, the worst part for me was the movie to the first season. It just mad eno sense, was badly animated, especially for movie standards, mad a mockery of the characters and the plot, and overall wasn’t the least bit enjoyable. Thankfully, The Sacred Star of Milos is nothing like that, and is actually a pretty good movie.

Let me first debunk some overall fears that arose with the announcement of this movie: do you remember how in the promo art, Winri looked really inaccurate to her designs in the other series? Well, that is because that wasn’t Winry at all. She’s a character original to this movie, and pretty much the main character. I know a few people who were turned off by the art style of it (yeah), but let me tell you that that is no reason to skip this movie. One thing that you do need to take into account that this IS made by different people as the anime staff, so the animation IS different from the style of the TV-series. The character designs in this movie are a bit more rough and simple. This movie also doesn’t really bother to keep its faces consistent. As a tradeoff however, ti did get a lot of very good inbetween animation. It’s been said before, but this movie has some very good action, and especially the choreography of the different action scenes is very good and creative.

So, what about the story? As it turns out, this takes place around the second half of the Brotherhood TV-series. It’s an original story that doesn’t have anything to do with the main storyline of the series, but it does flesh out the world the world it’s set in. As for the plot: it has some good and bad parts. The good parts was that it packed a good amount of twists that were well built up throughout its airtime. It created a new city in the FMA universe, and actually successfully populated it and created an epic storyline around it. Although… near the end it does get a little too epic.

What I mean by that is the following: you can really see that the creators put some good thought into some of the twists that are pulled. Near the end of the movie however, they just run out of time and momentum to keep that up, resulting in a rushed ending and a final villain with very flimsy motives who continues to spout random moral crap at the main characters. The themes and morals also are a part where this movie leaves things to be desired. Like the TV-series, it’s full of morals, and it doesn’t just copy them, but also adds in its own themes. At the end of the movie though, it didn’t really do anything with them, and most of the final quarter was just completely inconsistent with the morals it tried to build up, and not in a way that makes things come together.

So yeah, it’s a very nice movie, which unfortunately suffers of the common flaw of trying to do too much and trying to be too epic. Still, I’d recommend it. It’s a solid movie with likable characters, and I’d say that out of the Primetime Timeslot movies to come out in the recent years, it is so far the most solid and enjoyable.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Solid storyline for a movie that is just about a random story, albeit a bit too short to give everything the time it needs to build up.
Characters: 8/10 – A solid cast, both the old and new characters. The main villain is flimsy, though.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Great action choreography.
Setting: 8/10 – Doesn’t build much on the themes of the TV-series, but does flesh out the world it plays in.

Suggestions:
Cowboy Bebop – Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
Heartcatch Precure Movie
Metropolis

9 Responses

  1. Cytl says:

    People thought the girl was Winry?

  2. gandalf8 says:

    I have some mixed feelings after watching this movie. It was good to see Ed and Al back in action again, yet I was disappointed with a few aspects of the movie. One, I was hoping that the movie would expand on the FMA universe after the end of the events in the Brotherhood series, but instead it is placed somewhere in the early to the middle of the Brotherhood series timeline. So Ed and Al were not yet acquainted with the people of Xing, namely Lan Fan, Ling Yao and May Chang who are some of my favourite characters. I guess that as Hiromu Arakawa wasn’t connected with the movie, the producers could only create a canon storyline with new characters and villains that we will only see in this movie. This was one of the reasons I usually hated the Naruto movies.

    Second, was the way they treated the supporting cast, namely Winry, Roy Mustang and Riza Hawkeye. They’re role are almost negligible towards the development of the events in the movie. I think that they’re inclusion was mostly to give us viewers the sense of nostalgia at seeing some of the old faces, but they didn’t want to take the spotlight off the new characters in this movie so they only had to take bit parts in the development pf the story. I’m fine with that, but why oh why did they drag Roy and co to Tablecity just so they could be almost useless there? Especially Roy, who was present at that final confrontation against the villain, and what did he do while all that lava was flowing towards the village? He just stood there so that Julia, the main in this movie, could stop the lava.

  3. rever5e says:

    “Like the TV-series, it’s full of morals, and it doesn’t just copy them, but also adds in its own themes. At the end of the movie though, it didn’t really do anything with them, and most of the final quarter was just completely inconsistent with the morals it tried to build up, and not in a way that makes things come together. ”

    this the one of the reason i didn’t like the fma series, trying to force it’s own morality toward the you, yes most show had it own moral but to force your moral toward the viewer, stuff that you think is RIGHT, is pretty weak storytelling in by book. yes I understand fma just a kid show but..

    yes the villain did spout some moral crap, however nothing happen. it pretty much food of thought. that I can accept

  4. Denizen says:

    In general it wasn’t a fantastic movie, but as you said it was pretty freaking good for a TV series spin off. As far as Bones movies go, it was also one of their best – the characters were pretty good and the production was excellent, with a great use of skilled animators where it mattered. The story whilst not original and riveting was tight and involving enough, even with the twists. And whilst the moralistic stuff does fall flat, it didn’t ever fall into the pitfall of complete irrelevancy, though it does jar somewhat with the chronology of the main series as you’d expect.

    It did feel like i’d seen this movie countless times before in other shonen iterations, but if so then this had some of the best execution. I would actually recommend this to people who watched the series, and that’s not often the case.

  5. lolcat says:

    I wish Roy would kick some ass and they didn’t even show his fight with chimeras

  6. Ange says:

    I saw one of the premieres that Funimation showed about a month or so back, and I have to say, I thought it was mediocre.

    While the animation during fight scenes (especially the final one, which was incredibly stylised and gorgeous to look at) were pretty well animated, the rest of the movie looked flat and dull. It wasn’t just the simpler designs, it was the fact that characters seemed to lack any kind of highlights of shadows for three-quarters of the film, giving them a very flat look.

    As others have mentioned, the inclusion of additional canon characters seemed like a cheap grab at fanservice; none of them had any real relevance to the plot, and leaving them out probably would have made the film a little more streamlined. In one extreme case, a character literally walks through the door to deliver two or three lines, them promptly walks back out and disappears for the rest of the movie. (I guess pointless cameos are an art that’s been passed down the Armstrong family for generations.)

    The story itself was well-done, with some genuinely inventive twists and an interesting setting. (It’s kind of a shame, though, that the big twist behind the mysteries of the city turns out to be recycled from a previous location, but…) The new characters were interesting, and the music was pretty nice, too. On top of that, it was great seeing Ed and Al in action again.

    Overall, though, I just really didn’t enjoy the movie as much as you did, but it’s always interesting to see your take on a series.

    • whereisraymustang says:

      Haha i am watching the movie right now, and i just had to find another fan say the magic word: recycled.

      yes, if only mustang…>:)

  7. itsroymustang says:

    :)

  8. Anna says:

    I was quite excited to see this movie, but after watching it, I am sorely disappointed and I feel like I would give this a lower rating than you did. The entire movie just seemed too contrived to me, maybe because its length meant that the story within the movie needed to be condensed. Right from the get-go, I thought that everything moved a bit too quickly and conveniently for my tastes.

    I also thought the whole business about “taking back the Holy land of Milos with the Philosopher’s stone, which will give us the power of the miasma/magma or whatever” totally ludicrous. First of all, they didn’t seem to have any plan for what they would do if they obtained the stone. Even at the end of the story, everything happened by chance and nothing they did was really thought through. Were they just going to barge into enemy base, protecting the one person who actually had the Philosopher’s stone, who would then proceed to blast away all the State Alchemists and thereby take back Milos? And also, what about the residents of the city that they reconquered? I’m sure some of them would protest against being taken over – how would these particular residents have been dealt with? This was never answered in the movie either.
    Secondly, I did not understand the ‘power of the miasma’ bit at all. All I could think was: WTF?

    The moral preaching of the movie also got on my nerves, which is probably because the characters’ morals didn’t have enough buildup and support unlike the FMA series. The characters just very bluntly told the audience their morals rather than show where these morals came from, which did not make them very convincing. Even at the end there was a scene where Al and the girl discussed how she had ‘learned’ that ‘obtaining power did not automatically lead to the fulfillment of her wishes’. This was not very convincing for me because while one of her good friends died, she managed to take back her nation’s independence, and save her brother with the Philosopher’s stone.

    Okay, so I’ve been complaining up until now. As for the good part of the series…I do commend the thoughtfulness behind the plot though, I liked that 3D array idea with the blood pouring into the pipes, and the underground city. The concept was very well thought out, and stuck true to its FMA roots, considering the author was not involved. I could easily see this occurring in the manga. I did have a problem with its execution, but I already ranted on long enough about that.

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  • Bam
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 05:54 AM)
    The episode was alright and felt dense as I watched it, but in hindsight only really moved the plot forward incrementally. Lancer not untying Tohsaka as soon as he killed Kirei and then not killing Shinji when he clearly had the chance left a bad taste in my mouth. That and Shirou’s heavy plot armor at this point is becoming reminiscent of another famous anime dual-wielder. Not a compliment.
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 05:46 AM)
    UBW 20 felt like another rendition of Eva 26 (Take care of yourself), complete with character analysis, battle with one’s Jungian Shadow, and loosely Buddhist ideas of self-actualization. It even featured the repetitive monologue shots that fade to black (with “I saw Hell” instead of Rei’s “Sky. Red, red sky”). It never went as far as Eva with “which way is up?” type of Soliloquy, but that’s probably a good thing.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:48 AM)
    Ashura was an excellent example of how to through anime illicit and emotional response in an honest, non-melodramatic way.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @Bam: I’d be more than happy to take a look at some of those shorts anytime.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:44 AM)
    @Emma: there’s a lot of European animators that got active in the last 10 years or so that are really reinvigorating their animation scene, and every now and then I get introduced to some fabulous shorts.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Emma: no I don’t really mind gory ‘for the fuck of it’ violence, I even like it in some grindhouse type of works, but I just don’t think it’s always effective as a shock factor. Live-action is the most sympathetic for obvious reasons, but there are animated works that do elicit a deep response. Probably because of circumstances but also the details of the in-between animation, which can induce certain feelings of disgust.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:39 AM)
    *here and there
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:35 AM)
    @Bam: I really wish there was more arthouse anime now to give some kind of a balance to everything thats out these days.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:33 AM)
    Now I like my exploitation every so often, but yes Bam I really do wish that adult and mature storytelling could be better associated with truly, more pure mature themes.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:25 AM)
    I get choked up over Bergmans cries and whisper and Autumn sonata, I look back on a work by Key and Jun Maeda and wonder, think of how silly it looks to me now.

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