Friday, October 25, 2013

REVIEW: Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

So I've been wanting to watch this anime for a really long time. Ever since high school to be precise. All my friends and relatives-well one cousin-have been raving about how amazing it is and that I SHOULD DEFINITELY WATCH IT SDFHSDLKJHFSALKDJFHASLKDJHFSLKH. And so I did. I just finished it a while ago. And this anime cannot be described with just a single emotion.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood revolves around the lives of two brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric and their experiences with alchemy. Thats if you want the sugar coated overly simplified version of it, because it doesn't just stop there. FMA is a complex web of events and themes that make it seem blashpemous (yes blasphemous) yet overwhelmingly amazing at the same time.

The story begins when the brothers break the alchemists taboo of human transmutation in an attempt to bring their mother back from the dead. In the process, Edward loses his leg, and Alphonse loses his entire body. Through the same method, Edward manages to save Alphonse by affixing his soul onto a suit of armor. Then Edward is brought into the ranks of the State Alchemists, where he meets Roy Mustang, Major Armstrong, and the president of the nation King Bradley. Then things get a little twisted as the Philosopher's stone is introduced and the secret behind its creation. Not to mention the great civil war in Ishbal, that caused unrest within a character named Scar, AND the introduction of the Homonculi, who are named after the seven deadly sins of man: Pride, Envy, Lust, Gluttony, Sloth, Greed and Wrath, headed by a mysterious Father. THEN the conspiracy theories come rolling in. The brothers soon discover that the whole country is being used as a sacrifice to gain immortality, and that King Bradley and his son are both Homonculi. With the help of all their friends, and some former enemies, they defeat the homonculi and Father and save the whole of Amestris, gaining back their bodies as a bonus.

That's not even the complete story, but I feel like I gave too much away. ANYWAY.

The reason why I called it blasphemous earlier was that the story involved the idea of "playing God". The idea of using science to revive the dead and to achieve immortality, and the fact that Father, in one scene, actually "absorbed" God using the lives of people, would pretty much offend the ordinary overly religious person. Nevertheless, it makes a very creative plot. To be honest, I didn't really understand majority of the science bits, but strangely it still made sense. In some way, FMA was able to mash together science and faith, which made the show slightly terrifying-the idea that humans can be God. But it taught a very valuable lesson in the end: No one can be God. I mean, the God in the show eventually beat the crap out of Father so that proves my point. Plus it shows how lusting for immense power can lead one to his ultimate doom. Truth gives a despair appropriate to the person so that he wont get overly confident about himself. Thats what I learned. I also liked how humor was injected every once in a while to balance the heaviness of each episode. And it wasn't cheesy humor. I actually found myself laughing really hard in one scene after previously watching another scene that made me feel empty inside.

The construction of the characters was very well done. There was so much character development in everyone. No one was stagnant or boring. Not even the super minor characters. I even found myself feeling for the enemy. The backstories of the main characters were also well done, although I hoped they could've added more to Roy and Riza's backstory. That wouldve been pretty interesting. The design of some characters also added to the fear factor of the show. Like ENVY. He had the scariest form, in my opinion. I dont even know how to describe it. A big green lizard with a lot of heads under his neck. Yeah thats not even enough. Pride was pretty freaky too, but I'd like to think he's more bad ass than scary.

Some characters I'd like to bring to light: Well Edward and Alphonse, for starters. Their brotherly love was something to admire, after everything they had been through. What's amazing about their characters is that you can really see them mature as the story goes on, and you can even literally see them grow older. Winry was also a really good character. I loved her backstory, and the way she handled it afterwards. Talk about being a strong independent woman. Roy mustang was also really good. For a bad ass guy, he showed his soft side way too much, which I didn't mind at all. Plus his chemistry with Riza Hawkeye is A+. As for the Homonculi, I did have my favorites. For some strange reason, I found Envy hot, even if his big green lizard form scared the crap out of me when I first saw it. But the revelation of his true nature got me the most, and I found myself appreciating Envy as a "person".Greed was a really good one too. When he turned around, he became likeable until the end, even when his true nature was revealed. Pride was, as I said, bad-freaking-ass. A little kid with awesome shadow powers. And he didn't even have to lift a finger.

The entire thing was well drawn. The animation was very fluid, especially in the transformation parts. Sometimes, the animation almost looked three-dimensional, which slightly bothered me because I don't really like 3D animation in something made in 2D. But nevertheless, everything looked cool and I loved it.

Despite the series having the same music throughout, the dramatic music was placed at the appropriate times so I really felt the intensity of the scene. Well, lets just say there were so many intense scenes paired up with dramatic music that I found myself both terrified and intrigued. Well done.

All in all, it was great. I now understand why its one of the top animes I should see before I die. It was a masterpiece and I cannot wait to watch it again. GO WATCH IT IF YOU HAVENT!!!!

Rate: 10/10 or how about 10000000000000/100000000000000. 5 billion stars
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