The brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric are back in this second adaptation of the manga Fullmetal Alchemist. Like the previous anime series, FMA Brotherhood follows the journey of Ed and Al as they solve the mystery to getting their bodies back by alchemy. After an unsuccessful attempt to bring back their mother from the dead, with Ed sacrificing a leg and almost losing Al in the process, they join the military. Using the military's information and connections the brothers might be able to find the fabled Philosopher's Stone to restore their bodies.
The idea of alchemy is equal exchange. In the first series it was always emphasized that something cannot be created out of nothing. There has to be a pre-existing something to create something else. In FMA Brotherhood, that principle was not clearly stated but those who have already watched the first series will find it easier to understand the idea behind alchemy.
Those who have watched the first anime will find that there are key differences between that and this series. FMA Brotherhood follows the manga more closely.
Some differences with the first series
As mentioned above, the series does not focus on the idea of alchemy itself. Instead it highlights the struggles of the Elric brothers after they paid the price of tampering with life and death using alchemy.
FMA Brotherhood has a different explanation of the origins of the homunculus and slight changes in Van Hohenheim's image and role.
There's more humor as well. FMA had more emotional scenes while FMA Brotherhood is lighter. The pace is faster and Ed has more fighting scenes. I wouldn't presume that the action scenes are better. The first series built up important events leading to final confrontations, with emphasis on the narrative and characterization. With FMA Brotherhood's pace, the action scenes happen while everything is explained at the same. It's jam-packed with fight scenes especially towards the end.
The deaths of some of the supporting cast are also different. Even the important roles of the antagonists have changed. In the first series, Lust had a bigger role, but another homunculus took that spotlight in this series. FMA Brotherhood also has a clearer ending. The resolution is final and there's almost nothing to add.
If there were any slight changes in Ed's and Al's characterization, it wasn't obvious. Except for some of the supporting cast, there were no major changes in the characters.
|Most of the cast of FMA Brotherhood|
This 64-episode series lives up to the hype and even surpasses the first series. The battle scenes are something to look forward to, notably those of King Bradley. Although not as emotionally intense as the first series, it's much closer to the manga and the pace has picked up. Lastly, Ed and Al make up an interesting duo. Ed is the more emotional of the brothers but he is smart and quick to grasp opportunities. Al is more calm and focused, which complements Ed's character. The only drawback is that because the series targets a specific audience, the supporting characters in the protagonist's side keep growing and live through battles.
Rating: 10 out of 10