When I heard that Fullmetal Alchemist was going to be an anime, I was excited that a completely new and original show was going to be aired. In reality, if you watched the previous Fullmetal Alchemist you will be quite surprised with Brotherhood. Keeping with the manga's plot unlike its predecessor, Brotherhood is virtually indistinguishable from Fullmetal Alchemist for the first arc, however, radically departs in subsequent arcs. New characters are introduced that were never in the first anime. Later plot developments that occur in the Fullmetal Alchemist series take place much earlier and with more weight in Brotherhood. Brotherhood is also much darker and grittier than the original series. These darker elements are contrasted with the more comedic reaction shots that I feel make this series worth watching even if you have seen the original anime.
If you are completely new to Fullmetal Alchemist, I recommend you watch this series without watching the original anime. By taking the magical elements and making them sound scientific, transmutations require materials and knowledge of chemistry and physics. The setting for the series is a country called Amestris which is set in a world roughly in the 1910s. Amestris is a military dictatorship ruled by Führer King Bradley. State Alchemists are special soldiers in the military that are employed as nearly one person armies. These State Alchemists are allowed to do independent research apart from their military duties. After trying to resurrect his mother, the main character Edward Elric gains his State Alchemist certification in order to conduct his research to regain his arm, leg and his brother Alphonse's body which was lost in the ritual from the resurrection ritual. Failing, Edward lost his leg and arm, and Alphonse lost his entire body. Alphonse's body is now bound to a giant suit of armor. In order to regain what they lost, the Philosopher's Stone, which ignores the crucial law of equivalent exchange, is the item the two boys are trying to obtain. As they go about gaining information on the stone, secrets are uncovered about the stone, the state, and the nature of alchemy itself.
Now, what are the flaws of the anime? If you do not like crazy reactions and silliness mixed with drama and suspense, you may not like this show. There are tons of jokes about how short Edward is, and Alphonse is repeatedly confused for the Fullmetal Alchemist. Though adding levity, these scenes get pretty ridiculous, and you tend to get side tracked from the plot because of the reaction shots at times. The characters are fleshed out well with plenty of motivation and development. I look forward to watching and completing this series.
Posted by Sirius
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