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Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Review
About Fullmetal Alchemist
Due to a tragic accident in their childhood from trying to resurrect his mother Edward Elric, the Fullmetal Alchemist lost his arm and leg. His brother Alphonse unfortunately lost his entire body, leaving him as just a soul. Using his knowledge of alchemy, Edward tied his brother's soul to a suit of armor. Ever since the accident, Alphonse has been living through that suit of armor. Edward received automail or metal prosthetic limbs in order to function normally.
With all the guilt looming over him, Edward is determined to find a way to reverse what had happened on that day and get his brother's body back. Legend has it that there is a certain crystal called the Philosopher's Stone that overrides the number one rule of alchemy, equivalent exchange. In order to obtain or create something, something of equal value must be lost or destroyed.
With this in mind, Edward will do anything to get closer to finding the stone, even if that means becoming a State Alchemist or a "dog of the military." Even with all the horrific and life threatening obstacles that lie before him on his journey, Edward won't rest until he gets his brother's body back.
Edward Elric: The notorious Fullmetal Alchemist. Edward has long blond hair that he usually keeps in a braid and golden eyes. He carries around a pocket watch with the words "Don't forget Oct. 3" engraved in it in memory of the day he and his brother burned down their house and started their journey. He wears a long read cloak with a flamel on the back, representing his teacher Izumi. In order to seem taller, Edward always wears black platform boots. One of the main reasons that Edward is so likable is his large personality. He is very arrogant, intelligent, immature, selfless, and hard working character, that also has a case of small man's syndrome or a Napoleon Complex. The one thing that lights Edward's very small fuse, is whenever someone calls him short, which can be seen very often. He completely loses his cool and attacks whoever was guilty of making fun of him. Edward acts as a Robin Hood sort of figure and always stands for what is right and just. In one incident, he stopped at a small mining town which was being abused by one of the military officers and didn't leave until the townspeople were saved, then upon his return to Central, filed a report on the military officer.
Alphonse Elric: The younger brother of Edward Elric. Although they are only a year apart, Alphonse has a much more mature personality than Edward. Alphonse is very passive, level headed, and strong minded like his brother, but he does have a lot of insecurities, one being not sure if his body actually ever existed. He has the same passion as his brother does, but he is often doubting himself. Alphonse constantly desires to be able to do human activities, like eating, sleeping, and touch. He made a list of all the foods he's going to eat when he does get his body back. Alphonse retains a child like innocence throughout the series, he is also a very kind and loving person. He takes the form of a large metal suit of armor, due to a failed attempt at human transmutation making him one of the tallest characters in the series, which adds onto Edward's insecurities. Due to his appearance, he is commonly mistaken for being his brother, the Fullmetal Alchemist which does seem to irritate his brother. Both brothers balance each other out and keep each other grounded and motivated to achieve their goal.
Winry Rockbell: Childhood best friend to the Elrics, the Rockbells act as a second family to Edward and Alphonse. Winry is a mechanic that with Pinako customized and made Edward's automail. Winry has long blonde hair and blue eyes, she usually wears her hair tied in a ponytail that shows off her ear piercings. She usually dresses in a mechanics uniform with a black cropped top showing her midsection. She has also always been a few inches taller than Edward. Winry is very passionate about her work and obsesses over automail. She is a very compassionate, caring girl with a tomboy personality. She constantly worries about the Elrics and comes to Edward's aide whenever he damages his automail. Although she and Edward butt heads quiet often, she takes the role of his love interest towards the end of the series.
Roy Mustang: Known as the Flame Alchemist, is the one who discovered the Elrics and offered Edward a position as a State Alchemist. Edward and Mustang often get into arguments, but Mustang does care for and admire Edward. Mustang is a very attractive man in his early thirties or late twenties, he has dark hair and eyes, and is known to be a womanizer. Most of the military men don't like him that much, because he attracts all the women. He most of the time wears his military uniform, but on his days off has a very neat and classy style. Like Edward, he is very arrogant which causes them to butt heads quite often. At one point in the series, Edward got so irritated with him, that he challenged him to a physical fight. Mustang is a very hard working character and strives to take the role of fuhrer.
Riza Hawkeye: Hawkeye is an officer and personal bodyguard and assistant to Mustang. She has blonde hair that she usually keeps up and brown eyes. She wears her military uniform most of the time and is always armed. Hawkeye is an expert firearms shooter which gave her the name "Hawk's Eye." She is very quiet and reserved, but strict and strong with a stereotypical officer personality. She makes sure everyone under her command is very well disciplined and attentive as she is.
Alex Louis Armstrong: The Strong Arms alchemist. He is a very interesting character that carries his family name with pride. He has a strong emotional connection to the Elrics, because he is so moved by the story of their tragic past and their brotherly love, Armstrong shows how touched he is by them quiet often. He is known for being rather intense. He whole head is bald including his eyebrows except for a curl of blonde hair that he keeps in the front of his head. He has a very intimidating presence, because of his large size. He has superhuman strength which is said to run in his family. He commonly fights with his fists or wrestles. Armstrong is a very emotional person, when he gets happy he bursts out in tears of joy and when he gets sad its tears of sorrow. When he fights, he sometimes flexes his muscles which then enlarge and rip through his uniform shirt leaving him topless.
Hughes: Hughes is a good friend to the Elrics and is always very good to them, always looking out for them. He is a very caring and good family man that constantly brags about his daughter. Most of the military gets annoyed at the fact that he can't stop talking about his love for his wife and daughter. Hughes is a very optimistic, goofy, and chipper man. He is good friends with Mustang, but can embarrass him quiet often.
The Homonculi: The main antagonists in the series. Homonculi are artificial humans created by the use of alchemy, so they don't have souls. They are named after the seven deadly sins: Lust, Envy, Pride, Sloth, Wrath, Greed, and Gluttony. They each have superhuman strength and abilities. The original Homonculi were created by the Philosopher Stone, but later on in the series it is shown that Homonculi can be created by fusing a human with the stone, which takes over the human's body like a parasite. In one case, the stone did not take over the human body fully, which resulted in him having two personalities like Gollum and Smeagol.
Scar: Scar was born Ishvalan, giving him the traits of dark skin, white hair, and red eyes. He has a large X shaped scar on his face which gave him his name. He is very tall and strong and wears dark glasses to cover his distinct red eyes. He lives to cause havoc and take revenge on the military. He is one of the main antagonists and constantly tries to kill Edward. He has tattooed alchemy symbold on his right arm, which allow him to destroy anything he touches. Although he is very destructive and violent, he still sees himself as a soldier of God and a savior of Ishval.
What's the better series? FMA or FMAB?
FMA vs. FMAB
If you're new to the world of Fullmetal Alchemist, you probably realized there are two different series. Fullmetal Alchemist and Brotherhood. FMA was the earlier series and came out in 2003, Brotherhood came out in 2009.
As any other anime geek, I've watched both Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. I loved both animes, but I'd have to say that FMAB was more favorable for me. FMAB follows the manga more than FMA does, I believe that was the point in creating Brotherhood. I'd have to say if you are a manga reader, watch FMAB, because FMA will just upset you at how much it differs from the manga. FMA did follow the manga up to a point, but then in the middle of the story, the series completely diverged from the manga's story line.
Personally judging the anime without having the manga in mind, I still enjoyed FMAB more. There was more action, the animation was amazing, and for me, the story line was more captivating. Without spoiling anything, I'd say the FMAB ending definitely appealed to me more than the FMA one has, although I did tear up at the end of FMA.
The only thing I'd have to say that I wasn't to happy about is the fact that Brotherhood moved a way too quickly, and I felt like there could have been better pacing as compared to the older version. In my opinion, FMA did a better job at explaining their tragic childhood and the cause of their pain. You don't need to watch FMA to understand the story line in FMAB, because it doesn't neglect explaining any events, FMA just took a longer time to focus and emphasize their past. FMA, because of this I feel has better character development, but watching one after the other I'd nevertheless recommend watching FMAB if you had to choose one. Honestly, I watched both versions religiously, so I have no hate towards FMA at all, but in my opinion FMAB is the better series.
Let me just say...
Edward and Alphonse are definitely one of the best anime duos you'll ever meet. The bond between these brothers is indescribable and is probably one of the main reasons this anime is so great. These two will fight for each other no matter how big of an obstacle hits them. They really show you the importance of family and how easy it is for us to take things for granted.
FMAB is definitely one of my favorite animes, mainly, because of the awesome story line and how likable and interesting most of the characters are. A lot of times in anime the personalities and types of characters you come across are very repetitive and it could get rather tiresome watching the same thing over, and over, and over again. What I like about this anime is that every character is unique, well thought out, and amusing. Fullmetal Alchemist is very refreshing in that sense. There is such a diversity in the different types of characters you meet in the series. Many of the side characters even, like the other State Alchemists and the Elric Brother's other acquaintances had me saying, "Wow they're just so damn awesome." I ended up emotionally attached to them even if they were just apart of a side story line. Even with the villains or antagonists, everyone had a story of their own and a well thought out tragic past that made themselves the way they are, for instance, like Hoenheim and Scar. In comparison to the typical sadistic villains without a purpose, I could feel for the antagonists in FMAB and found myself attached to them as well.
When the series ended I felt so empty inside, because I was so attached to it. I had a hard time getting hooked onto another series, or at least something that could almost compare to FMAB's greatness. I loved it so much, that I completely nerded out and bought all the merchandise including tee shirts, plushes, the soundtrack, etc. It was that addicting.
Honestly, if you haven't already seen it, stop what you're doing and watch it right now!