New Full Metal Alchemist Review

This is about the new show: Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood

FMA:B is a really disappointing show. Many scenes in the original series felt dark/serious, the characters on screen truly at stake, etc. but this one is a joke. Each character feels like a paper cutout. Nobody has a real personality. They look like they exist only for their few lines, just as a “tsukommi”. Roy’s voice being different really messes with me too. The original Roy sounds more mature and fitting for a person in charge.

There is no substance at all to the characters and their actions at least for ep 1-20.

Nothing the characters do ever feels “real” enough to care about. I can’t relate to their problems and fights because it doesn’t even seem like they even take it seriously.

  • Introduce problem
  • Kill problem
  • Ending scene

This process sounds pretty normal, but they rush it so much that people seem to teleport everywhere.  Talking about a problem and then getting there 1 minute later has a surprisingly bad impact on the world.

  • introduce new area
  • there are repressed people in this town
  • bad guy identified
  • bad guy dead
  • conflict resolves, happy villagers.
  • the characters and obstacles come and go so fast they don’t feel like they matter.

Again, everything feels inconsequential because things happen so fast. Intermediate scenes that plant your foot on the ground in the world don’t exist. One frame to another you teleport around. Time and any sense of urgency stops as the characters find time to make bad jokes. To take an extreme example, think about Family Guy. Everything happens in thought bubbles. It’s funny, but each individual story doesn’t matter.

The pacing throws you off, and so does the animation. Everything is round (“cuter”) and simpler.  The focus is on using hyper deformed animation comedy as many times as possible. They use hyper deformation (which is cute/funny for 10 year olds but not good for a story) way too much.

This is like star wars clone wars animated series that I saw a glimipse of: kids only. I think it’s dumbed down to appeal to a broader young Shonen audience. It’s not remotely scary or risky. It’s rated G. Japanese parents will have no issues buying their children FMA stuffed animals.

I think it must easier to make money on franchise games and toys if you appeal to 0-12 year olds.

Leave your comments!

6 thoughts on “New Full Metal Alchemist Review

  1. I completely agree after watching 1 episode.

    Boil away everything that made FMA a masterpiece, and you’re left with FMA:B.

    No wonder there is a B in the title… that’s exactly what this feels like – the “B” version of FMA.

    Might be fun for 10 yr olds…

  2. I’m glad I’m not alone here. Things were at stake in the first one, not so in this one. It’s really too bad! Even the jokes in old one like the warehouse 11 (or smth) type scenes were good.

    I think comparing the two really shows the importance of good direction / story telling.

    I bet the two could look veery similar on paper.

  3. I totaly agree. The first FMA drew you in with the force of its music, with the use of winds, strings and voice, it developed emotion and brought it out to the forefront. Hearing Bratja singing with the use of harps and strings and flutes teleports you back, Hughs funeral with the horns and drums was heartbreaking. Greeds theme….I could go on and on , but if you hear any of the original music and you can actually visualize the show taking place. this “new” version is totaly void of quality and empty, with a very cartoony feel of it, the old FMA used light and angles that made you use your imagination and felt you saw more then it actually did and the backgrounds/building/scenery/sky were brilliant, while the music put you into the show with its dark and moody feel. I keep hearing the animation in this new incarnation is better, I totaly have to disagree, yes there is more movement but it has the feel of a Hanna Barbara scooby doo feel to the animation stiff and recycled. The first fma one used stills but with the uses of the music and background you saw more then it showed. Disappointing and sad brotherhood fails in every catagory except, as you said to get 10 year olds to watch.

    1. From what you’re saying, it really sounds like its lacking in every department. I didn’t even think specifically about animation quality itself and the music, but now that you mention it its clear those are just more points that bring the series down.

      It’s not a minor flaw in any one area, or nitpicking of any kind.

      I was straight up scared of some of the scenes in the original. Even the warehouse 11 episode (which was a joke) was.. substantive. I cried when somebody died, etc. Not happening here.

      Did both the animation company, directors, and writers change?

      Oh well! Hope the industry sticks around and makes more gems like the original.

  4. Yes they changed the director I know for sure.
    I just enjoyed the angles they used in the first one, for instance
    when Nina dies they showed eds feet and his tears started to fall in unison with the rain, all they showed was his feet but you could imagine his face, great

    …. or when winry cries they show her hands as the tears fall and hit them in the hotel room when isumi and Al walk into the room.

    or when ed was a kid and after they find out when her parents died how ed runs up the hill to his mom after al asks ed how would it feel to them if they lost their mom, how the camera looked like it was shaking beautiful and gave the impression of urgency on his part.

    lab 5 fight scene when it showed ( I think )#67 it showed his foot right before he attacked giving the ominous impression.

    or even dante and ed at the end when they are in the ball room talking how the camera spins and spins from ed to dante was priceless.

    for me I had never seen this in an anime before incredible. mixed with the music and how they would blur camera and focus it again was incredible. in comparison the fma 2 first episode how they showed the ice alchemist running down a alley way reminded me of scooby doo where they show the same scenery over and over again as they run

    I was horrified and to find out they actually had a bigger budget on this one. All I can say is wow I find myself not being able to watch this one, I got through a couple episodes but it is so lacking it was painful to watch. I find it incredible that all the reviews except this one are saying it is ten times better then the previous one. Yes I understand it follows the Manga but seriously if you can’t have quality what is the point.

  5. Yuji look up on you tube fma ost 2 Kantou and let me know if you can picture what scene that is from on FMA 1.

    also FMA yukoku

    And FMA Fortify

    again the music in FMA totaly blows away FMA 2 and the music is stand alone you can close your eyes and watch the show. If you do like it I suggest buying the OST there are 3 of them with a total of 90 tracks, just for the fact that the composer and musicians deserve to be paid for such a great score.

    again thanks for letting me vent and enjoy.

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