Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Impressions

Well, the new FMA anime will be making it’s final curtain call soon and I thought I’d take sometime to talk about the entire journey through FMA.

Firstly, I’m going to try and keep this impressions post as spoiler-free (about the series’s ending) as possible.

Just a little fact sheet first.

  1. FMA(manga) has been running since 2001 and ends with this month’s Issue of Gangan at Chapter 108.
  2. The anime will end at the end of this month with Episode 64.
  3. FMA has had 2 anime adaptations. The first one sprouting an anime-original twist and the current one following the manga to the T.
  4. Hmm. I guess there’s not much facts left other than that the ending left my speechless in a good way, but that could be me only.

Anyway, on to the impressions.

I started with the first FMA anime about 2 years back before jumping onto the manga bandwagon to satisfy my FMA thirst. Back then I didn’t know that the 1st Anime wasn’t 100% cannon so no surprises that I got really confused with the Homonculus names and where I was, so yeah, I decided to throw all the 1st Anime knowledge away and re-read FMA from Chapter 1 onwards. It was a daunting task I tell you with each chapter being 30-50pages long as it’s a monthly manga.

There are quite a few mini-arcs, such as the Lior Arc, Sho Tucker Arc or even the Rush Valley Arc just to name a few that are small arcs that more or less link the different characters together. Edward along with Alphonse set off from his hometown at the beginning of the story to become a State Alchemist in order to find the Philosopher’s Stone in order to regain the body parts they lost due to attempting Human Transmutation.

The overall story of FMA is pretty fluid and they all transition well from one arc to another. What’s best is that some of the characters that were introduced in the individual arcs were ocassionaly revisited later in the manga, albeit being small cameo roles, but it’s better than being totally forgotten. (e.g. Rose from Lior, Hughes’s wife Glacia)

Along the way, they meet new allies such as Roy Mustang, Ling Yao, May Chang and even Olivia Armstrong I guess. But what journey would it be without having villains which in the story is mainly portrayed by Scar at one point before the villainy focus moved towards the Homunculus and their elusive leader, let’s call him Father as well.

The characters of FMA are generally strong in their own points. Take Scar for example, Scar transitioning from villain to ally was established as a common-goal thing. You don’t start seeing Scar becoming chummy with the rest of the Good Guys because that’s not him. He was established as a straightforward Ishavalan with a ‘tragic’ past and that weight stays with him throughout the manga, leading him to new abilities and new realisations. Even the Homunculus, they were strong representations of their names. Greed(later LingYao+Greed) really stuck to his Greedy Creedo throughout the series despite jumping from Bad Guy to Good Guy back and forth most of the time. Really an excellent piece of work defining the characters that well.

The pacing of the story is at a nice and steady, unlike other mangas that tend to move at a snail’s pace. The last major arc of the manga although taking place all in the span of a day, doesn’t feel lethargic because there are action scenes everywhere. The anime has been covering this arc since Episode 45 or 47 if I’m not wrong. And yes, it’s all in 1 anime day’s time span but it doesn’t feel tiring because just sooo much happens.

The animation of FMA:B itself is beautiful. Their budget must have been pretty nice, seeing as how they produced quality episodes week after week. My favourite points of animation was when they focused on Lan Fan’s automail and Winry. YES. Every Winry scene was a winning scene. (No surprises that I’m a big WinryXEd fan here.)

The seiyuu cast is awesome. Both the Elric brother are voiced by the same women who voiced them back in the first Anime. Yes. Romi Paku voices Edward and Kugimiya Rie voices Alphonse. Even Winry’s seiyuu (Megumi Takamoto) who is someone totally unknown to me sounded awesome, like the perfect Winry I had in mine.

Other notable Seiyuus include Ling Yao’s Seiyuu (Miyano Mamoru, Setsuna F. Seiei-Gundam 00), Roy Mustang’s Seiyuu (Miki Shinichiro, Lockon Stratos-Gundam 00), Kimblee’s Seiyuu (Yoshino Hiroyuki, Allelujah Haptisim-Gundam 00), Riza Hawkeye’s Seiyuu (Orikasa Fumiko, Kuchiki Rukia-Bleach) and May Chang’s Seiyuu (Goto Mai, Ryuubi Gentoku-Shin Koihime Musou).

Last thing to talk about would be the songs. Doesn’t everyone love them? The OPs and EDs used for FMA are oozing excess awesomeness.

From Yui’s again to SID’s Rain, they were all awesome OPs but my favourite OP has to be Chemistry’s Period(4th OP). It wasn’t that long ago that I actually hated SID’s Rain cause it replaced my favourite FMA OP.

For the EDs, we had range from SID’s Uso to the current Ray of Light by Shoko-tan. Mm. None of these 2 are my fave EDs though. Haha. Yes, it’s Shunkan Sentimental by SCANDAL with Let It Out by Miho Fukuhara coming a close 2nd.

To end it off, here’s my favourite mid-episode eyecatch this season.

Well, there isn’t much to talk about FMA other than do watch it before the series ends, or you’ll be badly spoiled for the ending. ( Or in my case, I read it already so… Yay!!) Right. And I’m out.

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