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The Fullmetal Alchemist Thread

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Apollo the Just
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The Fullmetal Alchemist Thread

Post by Apollo the Just » Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:15 pm

.....BECAUSE WHAT YEAR IS IT? 2009 APPARENTLY

Anyway, as we all know this series is wonderful and fantastic and gorgeous and beautiful and therefore deserves its own thread. And also as we all know, by "this series" I mean the holy trinity of manga, 2003 anime, and Brotherhood reboot, for all of their strengths and weaknesses, ups and downs, goods and bads.

MY TURN FIRST.

My very first introduction to Fullmetal Alchemist was at an anime convention in like 2004. There was an Anime Music Video competition I watched, and I saw an AMV of this anime I had never seen that looked really angsty and 100% EXACTLY My Shiz, and once I realized what the anime was I decided I Needed To Watch It. (Also, the AMV had massive end of series spoilers, which just made me more excited because I knew some REAL **** was gonna go down at some point and was anxiously awaiting it.) So, and I vividly recall this, I stayed up late and shirked my homework and marathoned the whole 52-episode series in two days and became 10000% obsessed, in typical AJ fashion. Then I learned about the movie and spent like 2 days finding a source to torrent it, that was good times. I then forced my mom to watch it too, and re-watched the whole thing start to finish with her a few weeks later. (She also really liked it). I think I was about 12 at the time, because I remember thinking when Ed was 11 taking the state alchemist exam "OH EM GEE THE HUSBANDO IS ABOUT MY AGE!!ONE"

I then re-binged it a couple years later, and I know this because I remember thinking when Ed was like 14 during most of the series "OH EM GEE THE HUSBANDO IS STILL ABOUT MY AGE!!!!!ONE".

I loved the series as a whole, especially the concept behind the Homunculi, but some things about it really bothered me - specifically I hated the whole thing with 2003!Wrath, and the whole the-gate-goes-to-our-world thing. I also wanted a happier ending and hated how bittersweet the one we got was. Things which I later learned were totally made up by this anime, which made me excited to read the manga and watch Brotherhood where they weren't a thing.

I kept up with the manga and Brotherhood for a couple years, then fell off the wagon (I was kind of disappointed in the Homunculi specifically because I loved their origin in the first anime so much) and didn't get back on until after Brotherhood finished and I decided to binge it in 2011 or so. Totally fell back in love. Still a bit disappointed in the Homunculi but everything else was so perfect I didn't really care, the worldbuilding was much bigger and better and everything felt like it fell into place much more successfully. It was way more satisfying to me from start to finish and I absolutely loved it and wondered why I ever doubted it just because I watched and loved the 2003 show first.

Fast forward to now. I suddenly and inexplicably started feeling really nostalgic about this anime that was MY FAVORITE THING EVAR for a significant portion of my late middle-school life, and realizing that I actually vastly prefer bittersweet endings to happier ones now (as opposed to 2011 me) I wondered if I wouldn't enjoy the 2003 anime more if I revisited it after all this time.

SO I DID. AND. I DIED INSIDE SO MANY TIMES. FJJFDKSCL;LDSL;KFD;LSFL;DL;

A combination of factors-- the 2003 anime gets WAY darker than the manga/Brotherhood, and in an anime that is basically give-Ed-as-much-PTSD-as-possible-in-50-episodes I'm all for it. I love angst. I also really like the ending now, I like that it straight up Goes There with WWII Germany rather than just making the whole thing remain an obvious metaphor; like it's weird but it totally works thematically. Also, there is SO MUCH NOSTALGIA in experiencing an anime I love but haven't seen in over a decade, holy butts you guys. So many feelings. 2005 me is resurfacing and THIS ANIME IS SO GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOODDD

(I still don't really like 2003 Wrath tho, not until the Conqueror of Shamballa movie, which is another thing that I really love now which I didn't super love before.)

I'm honestly impressed with how well this series shows Ed maturing, because I explicitly remember relating to him as a 12-year-old when I was 12, as a 14-year-old when I was 14, and now as an adult (since by the time the movie comes around he's 18). The character development and focus is honestly incredible.

I want to re-watch Brotherhood because I know it does many things way better than 2003 does, but I'm not ready to yet because I need to give myself time to recover from the emotional roller coaster ending in pain and suffering that this anime is (and also because I know there are things I like better in 2003 and I don't want that to ruin Brotherhood). I don't want to watch Brotherhood and its relatively happy ending just to cope with 2003 because I don't want to feel like one is replacing the other, when in fact I love both of them and they are both very very important.

Anyway can we talk about this series bc??? It's Good

best ending theme:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARiSuMWYHVw

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Re: The Fullmetal Alchemist Thread

Post by Red » Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:40 am

I've watched both anime(rarely ever read manga), I prefer Brotherhood because of the characters introduced in the second half, and the ending in general.
Image

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I've rewatched Brotherhood more times than I can remember.

Also here's an AMV https://youtu.be/G-cmudiTH-w (spoiler and mature warnings)

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Re: The Fullmetal Alchemist Thread

Post by Valigarmander » Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:07 am

I watched, like, the first three episodes back in 2005 or whenever it first aired on Adult Swim. Almost everything else I know about the series is from osmosis.

My favorite characters are Metal Lad and Colonel von Swole.

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Re: The Fullmetal Alchemist Thread

Post by Spritedude » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:18 pm

Hoo boy, Fullmetal Alchemist. I've admittedly not watched more than a few episodes of either anime, BUUUUUT I own the entire manga series, have read through it several times, and it's up there among my favorite things ever, so yeah, I'm kinda familiar with it.

I'll probably watch Brotherhood sometime soon. Surprised I haven't yet, honestly. It just seems unnecessary when I'd rather just read the manga again, but I guess it'd be cool to see it all animated (even if I can't stand some of the voice casting). I'm not sure about the 2003 series, I kinda pretend it doesn't exist.

...You know what never freaking gets old? Al's chibi face.

Image

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Re: The Fullmetal Alchemist Thread

Post by Apollo the Just » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:34 pm

Y'know, a lot of people **** on the 2003 series but I honestly have a lot of respect for it for just wrapping up its own story the way it wanted to tell it rather than dragging it out with 100 episodes of filler until the manga finished so it could have the same story. It's basically.... FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST: DARKER AND EDGIER. Which, hey? I'm down for. The mangaka herself was interested in the similar and yet different ideas they had for the series, and it was for some reason a Thing for manga and anime to be vastly different in the early 00's, so eh it was a product of its time.

I really wanna re-watch Brotherhood though, I've only seen it once. It'll be interesting to compare the two with them both fresh in my mind, since last time I saw Brotherhood it had been ages since I'd watched the first anime.

........Although, both anime are severly lacking in the department of GLORIOUS MANGA OMAKES. Example:


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Re: The Fullmetal Alchemist Thread

Post by Red » Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:14 pm

It has been years since I saw the 2003 series, perhaps I should give it a rewatch, or at least the movie as I did like that one better.

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Re: The Fullmetal Alchemist Thread

Post by Apollo the Just » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:20 pm

^ I really, REALLY like the movie now. It's, surprisingly, historically accurate enough (except when it obviously intentionally isn't) to make really good points about the WWII parallels the series draws, and the ending is more satisfying than the anime series ending was.
Valigarmander wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:07 am
I watched, like, the first three episodes back in 2005 or whenever it first aired on Adult Swim. Almost everything else I know about the series is from osmosis.

My favorite characters are Metal Lad and Colonel von Swole.
Von Swole is actually a Major. The Colonel is angsty fire husbando.

Get it right.

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Re: The Fullmetal Alchemist Thread

Post by Sim Kid » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:59 pm

TINY MINI SKIRTS

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Re: The Fullmetal Alchemist Thread

Post by Dux is not you » Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:57 pm

Can't believe the first anime diverged from the manga at the exact point where the manga gets really interesting. (The first anime is absolutely amazing too).

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Re: The Fullmetal Alchemist Thread

Post by Sonic 5 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:01 am

I loved the 2003 anime and its movie. I haven't watched more than a few episodes of Brotherhood. I'm not sure I ever will, due to the number of people I've had screech at me about how "bad and trash" the 2003 series is, and how I'm basically a moron for liking it.

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Re: The Fullmetal Alchemist Thread

Post by Dux is not you » Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:46 pm

Sonic 5 wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:01 am
I loved the 2003 anime and its movie. I haven't watched more than a few episodes of Brotherhood. I'm not sure I ever will, due to the number of people I've had screech at me about how "bad and trash" the 2003 series is, and how I'm basically a moron for liking it.
You'll like Brotherhood too, possibly more than the first anime. Don't listen to those people, listen to ME.

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Re: The Fullmetal Alchemist Thread

Post by Saria Dragon of the Rain Wilds » Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:03 am

I need to (rewatch and then) finish Brotherhood. I also need to watch the original anime. And probably read the manga too, honestly. READY FOR SUFFERING.

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Re: The Fullmetal Alchemist Thread

Post by X-3 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:36 am

Just stick to the sequel, Full Metal Jacket.

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Re: The Fullmetal Alchemist Thread

Post by smol Kat » Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:57 pm

I read the manga, but it took me a real long time. My brother made my mom watch the original and she L O V E D it, I've only seen a few eps here and there. I should probably watch Brotherhood at some point x)
Apollo the Just wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:20 pm
^ I really, REALLY like the movie now. It's, surprisingly, historically accurate enough (except when it obviously intentionally isn't) to make really good points about the WWII parallels the series draws, and the ending is more satisfying than the anime series ending was.
Didn't think about it in those terms at first, but that's actually probably why my mom liked it. She's a huge WWII nerd WHO NEEDS TO FINISH HER BOOK GODDAMMIT I WANNA READ IT ;lkasdjfgdl;kgjfd;lkgj
Do you know how much you mean to me
Why must you leave~?

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Re: The Fullmetal Alchemist Thread

Post by Apollo the Just » Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:32 pm

Literally the only real problem with Brotherhood imo is it rushes over a lot of the early parts of the series because it assumes most weebs watched the '03 series (which went in-depth on everything early on before it totally went and did its own ****) and didn't want to re-hash stuff most fans already knew, instead trying to get straight to the new stuff.

Since you read the manga though that doesn't matter so much.

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Re: The Fullmetal Alchemist Thread

Post by Sonic 5 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 1:35 am

Dux is not you wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:46 pm
You'll like Brotherhood too, possibly more than the first anime. Don't listen to those people, listen to ME.
I know I probably would like it. It just seems... tainted in my mind. I associate it rather strongly with some particular people in my life. Maybe one day I can look past it.

There's also the issue, as some people mentioned, that it glosses over a lot of the material covered in the 2003 anime. I feel like I'd need to rewatch that part or read the manga (or maybe it would all come back to me naturally). I'm basically just lazy.

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Re: The Fullmetal Alchemist Thread

Post by Dux is not you » Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:06 pm

The manga is absolutely terrific. Granted, I don't read a lot of manga but that's one of the best I have read.

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Re: The Fullmetal Alchemist Thread

Post by Apollo the Just » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:12 am

So, I would like to amend all previous statements I've made that may have said positive things about Brotherhood.

Brotherhood is not good.

The manga is incredible, so I'm not talking about that.

I tried - REALLY TRIED - to rewatch Brotherhood so I could compare the two animated series with a fresh and open mind, knowing full well they both have strengths and weaknesses. I WAS EXCITED TO BECAUSE I WANTED MOAR FMA. But I couldn't get past two episodes, first of all because BH's aesthetic, art style, and OST are nowhere near as compelling to me which makes it generally bland and unappealing, but also because it just RUSHES PAST the first main plot points of the series! It assumes viewers have already seen the '03 series and clearly doesn't want to rehash things so instead just.... falls utterly short of providing a solid narrative introduction for the series on its own. The pacing is so bad because they clearly want to get straight to the new stuff but in doing so don't do any sort of justice to the beginning events. The first episode throws like 5 military characters and their already established relationships and shenanigans at you because they expect you to know them already (versus Armstrong's introduction as a stranger, which was what MADE him so unexpected and GOOD; rather than just "oh hey it's that guy we already know and think is wacky!!1one") I didn't feel ANYTHING as I watched Ed transmute his brother's soul, because the creators clearly didn't feel anything about that particular scene either, just trying to get to the cool bits about Father and the Overarching Plot that the manga features. That scene was HORRIFYING and emotionally GRUELING in the manga and in '03, due to both presentation and setup/context, but here it takes up all of like 2 minutes of screentime just thrown at you in the second episode of the series and that's it.

I'mma just read the manga. I remember loving the manga. The good things about Brotherhood are just things that are good about the manga. 03!FMA actually had an inspired vision that it was dedicated to, but Brotherhood feels like it exists solely to have a more faithful adaptation regardless of whether or not that adaptation is good and stand-alone and complete. Blehhhhhhhh.

(At least it had a cool first opening tho, I'll give it that. "Again" ROCKS.)

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Re: The Fullmetal Alchemist Thread

Post by Apollo the Just » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:14 pm

Finished bingeing the manga, have opinions, pretty much 100% copied and pasted from fb lmao

~*~*~*Things the 03 anime did better IMO:*~*~*~

- the origins of Homunculi are far more interesting to me and make (most of) them way more compelling as characters and nuanced as villains

- more specifically, 03 Lust is a top tier character

- battles last like 2 minutes max because the emphasis is on the emotional and narrative toll behind the fights, rather than having epic duels for the sake of epic duels

- related; 2003 Ed vs. Greed is the best scene in the FMA franchise despite being maybe one minute of animated action in length. it is gorgeously drawn and emotionally grueling.

- Brothers instrumental theme (cheating a bit since comparing to a manga but literally this theme DEFINES the series musically)

- pretty much breaks every single character to their very core and does not permit them to move forward without compromising their ideals and I love that ****

- straight up Goes There with the obvious WWII allegory and gets #real which I think is, while very... out there, SUPER interesting

- added content I adore: introducing Barry the Chopper as a living human (+ more Ed trauma for free); the trip back to Resembool with the flashing light on the windowsill; the conversation with the veteran; Tucker's twisted fate

- 03 Roy Mustang is the best, bishiest, and most traumatized iteration of the husbando

- way less prototypical-shounen-y climax with a waaaayyyyy less prototypical-shounen-y villain (can admittedly be a plus or a minus depending on what you're in the mood for tho)

- the scene where Ed and Al confess to Izumi about performing human transmutation was so much more intense in this version..... "we.... transmuted........ our mom!!" ...I'm getting emotional just thinking about it.......

- black and grey morality in general

- Lab 5 gets wayyyy more intense and h e c k e d up

- Sloth is a completely different character so this is hardly a fair comparison, but is still objectively better in every single way

- atmosphere. just. atmosphere. atmosphere and trauma for days

~*~*~*Things the manga did better IMO:*~*~*~

- virtually all plot points and big reveals are more satisfying and fit better in the overarching narrative

- Van Hohenheim making amends with his sons; specifically the angery one who actually remembers him leaving and is rightfully pissed about it

- emphasizing Ed's godawful tacky aesthetics at literally every presented opportunity

- more nuanced politics around the Ishval war and the world in general

- related: THE ISHVAL FLASHBACKS CHAPTERS

- gotta give aesthetic points where they're due: **eldritch abomination final form homunculi**

- Olivier and Ling and Lan Fan exist

- doesn't have that weird phantom thief filler episode that breaks essentially every law of alchemy ever

- the childbirth subplot was infinitely better with the focus on Winry's character as a doctor

- Ed and Al making up after their fight in Lab 5 is handled so much better

- Alphonse's memory in general is handled way better and as a result he gets his chance in the spotlight with his clappy powers too

- Maria Ross's story and what happens with her after the plots diverge

- although I prefer the Homunculi's origins in 03; Greed, Pride, and Envy were definitely better in the manga ((although I still absolutely love 03 Greed, and 03 Envy is still good))

- Ed digging up what he and Al transmuted was one of the most horrible and intense things I've ever read; the 03 circumstances of a similar scene are arguably MORE messed up but the manga makes the experience feel so much more taxing and awful

- showing Pinako feeling alone in the house when her granddaughter (and let's be real... grandsons) leave........ Pinako in general tbh

I could go on adding to both lists but I've already spent hours on this so. You get the idea.

I love FMA.

((03 and the manga were here, Brotherhood is a loser.))

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Re: The Fullmetal Alchemist Thread

Post by Sonic 5 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:06 am

^I wish we still had a "Like" button.

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