Posted by : Terentius
Posted on : 2009-10-19
FMA has consistently been touted by the entire anime-viewing spectrum as one of the truly great shows that appeal to any and all fans. After a near mammoth 51 episodes I can now come to a verdict. Review based on the Revelations UK DVD release (FUNimation).
Consistently excellent throughout. The biggest fear with any production in excess of a 26 episode season is consistency. I can dispel that concern immediately. Real effort went into developing something unusual in both character and environmental design. Seeing objects that are near identical with subtle differences bought about a rustic realism that made the world of Amestris all the more involving. Very sharp and clear cut edges combined with the varied colour palette made FMA a visual standout.
There was one element of this series which caught me by surprise; namely the absence of fillers. I have unfortunately come to expect fillers in nearly every anime I see (with the likes of Bleach, One Piece and Naruto being notable examples) but with FMA there wasn't a single episode that came to mind. Every episode contributed to the overall plot and drove the story to its conclusion. There were instances that I had become frustrated at a decelerating plot device but that was expected for an anime of this length. One aspect of this series which I deeply appreciated was the sheer depth and inter-linking of all the various plots. For a story this involving and complex much could have easily been misplaced and FMA could have ended up a mess. Yet the direction of the story never wavered and nearly all the show's mysteries were explained towards the conclusion. I never once felt that I was being treated like a vegetable in the way that FMA explored the back-story. One way to maintain a healthy fan-base is never treating your viewers like a comatosed rock. The story made you come to your own conclusions/solutions until the very end when all was revealed. Two criticisms I had for the story though was its initial slow pace and enigmatic ending. It only ever picked up and became 'addictive' around episode 7 where further complexities were included in the form of further plot developments. The enigmatic ending was only resolved when I watched the movie sequel FMA: Conqueror of Shamballa.
The character depth and development here was truly excellent. It would have been criminal if throughout a 51 episode run, a show of this standing never explored the history of any of its main characters. FMA took it one further step by involving virtually all of the cast members. They were all explored with impressive recap/background stories and it reached the point where the distinction between supposed 'good' and 'bad' characters was so blurred that it almost became indistinct. One area which I was thoroughly impressed with was the ever-changing beliefs of the entire cast. It was so often the case with anime characters that they remained stoic and unremitting in their steadfast beliefs. So I found it highly refreshing to see characters change and challenge their beliefs on-screen. It is a testimony to the production crew that I always felt a degree of empathy that I never developed a 'favourite' character. I never once felt that a particular character had become stale or unloved.
The various OPs and EDs were varied and energetic. The use of the score was good, but the dramatic action scenes sometimes felt almost repetitive with the use of the same music. The voice acting of the Japanese cast was very good. I was impressed with the English dub too but the excellent performance by the Japanese actors outshines it only just.
Much like the main protagonists' vocations, FMA is a complex show that has successfully combined elements of comedy, action, magic, adventure and fantasy into what has been considered one of the greatest anime shows ever created. A riveting story with highly complex and evolving personalities this truly is one of those rare shows that will appeal to all anime fans. I was so close to awarding a perfect 5 stars but I was put off by the initial slow start and enigmatic finish. When anime fans talk about shows that are recommended viewing, FMA ranks up there with the GTOs and Cowboy Bebops of this world. Highly recommended.
Posted by : Kirangelo
Posted on : 2009-08-23
Story: 10/10 The story of FMA is mainly between the relationship between Edward and Alphonse that the anime never stops focusing and emphasizing on. Brotherhood is a central theme in this anime, talking about how a brother's bond and love is like no other. The story is surprisingly original and engrossing because of alchemy. I was guessing the entire time what was going to happen, and whenever it seemed as if Edward and Alphonse would finally reach their goal, they drop back down. The story was full of surprises for me, with twists and turns throughout the entire anime. This anime starts out a little bit confusing, but then explains itself quickly later on with flashbacks. Towards the ending I thought everything became a little bit muddled, with the war in Ishbol(I hope I spelt that right.) and such.
Characters: 9/10 All the characters in FMA were highly likeable and I found myself rooting for Edward and Alphonse all the way there. Edward and Alphonse progressed immensely throughout the anime and became a lot wiser in the end. The character development is fantastic and makes the characters very complex. The best thing about the anime was the diversity between characters and sheer number of them. The military members stood out to me especially, adding comical relief. Major Armstrong and Hughes definitely made this anime an enjoyable ride. As a returning pun in the anime, people often like to pick on Edward's size. The homunculi, or "villains" were very intrigueing and mysterious. Named after the seven deadly sins, I did not know much about them as they remained very clouded and obscure up until around the middle of the anime. One problem I faced was the numerous characters; there were so many, I found it hard to keep track of the side characters that kept recurring. Overall, the characters and the character development was fantastic.
Graphics/Animation: 10/10 The graphics and animation are superb. The animation is completely fluid and every scene is a delight to watch. The coloring and shading is top notch and the costumes are impressive as well. The action sequences really impressed me, as it included fast paced fist fighting along with alchemy.
Music: 9/10 The opening themes were all very catchy and embodied the energy of the anime. One little problem I had though was that the opening changed too many times. The ending themes were all pretty catchy as well, no complaints there. Everything fit the anime perfectly.
Enjoyability: 8/10 FMA started out really strong and enjoyable for me, as I got to discover Ed and Al's past and was introduced to the other characters. There was also a good deal of comedy and I found myself laughing more than I thought I would. The fast paced and impressively animated action sequences kept me on the edge of my seat, engrossed by the vulnerability of all the characters. Towards the middle when the plot line became more complex, I was a little bit lost. The whole war in Ishbol subplot seemed really superfluous and tedious to me, especially towards the ending. Even though, the rest was a delight to watch. I especially enjoyed the scenes between the homunculi and Edward and Alphonse.
FMA is definitely an anime that will appeal to most, if not all, fans of any anime genre.
Posted by : joem20
Posted on : 2009-07-24
After watching it 3 times, I finally decided to write my review on this one. At first I’m not sure that they deserve a perfect score of ten so I watched it again and again. And as my conclusion, this is one of the most special anime for me of all time. The plot was so original and the animation was really good. Though I can’t understand it the first time I saw it, after few reruns of the episodes, all I can say is this is truly amazing.
Awesome! Stories about alchemist are really good. All the characters have important roles to act. At the end, you will feel that they are just victims by their own desires. Also, the writer had a good job in explaining about the parallel world of their world, which is our world. And it’s scary to think that there is a possibility that our own world is just half of the whole reality. It convinced me that maybe in the other world I am a also state alchemist, stronger than Edward. Haha!
The animation was so consistent that when you watch them move, they are alive. Even it is consisting of over 50 episodes, there is no single episode that they failed in animation. The effects of their powers are really well defined, the animation was a masterpiece.
All of the characters are very lovable, especially Ed when he always overreacts to people who says he is small. Even the villains like the homunculus and Scar have their own story. The character design is really unique and very good.
All the BGMs are really good. They are corporate in each scene which is great. Also, all the opening and ending songs are really good. Just think about it, they have L’arc~en~ciel and Asian Kungfu Generation song in their lineup, Great Great Great!
One of the best anime of all time. It deserves all the awards they receive and also deserve a good feedback from the people who watch. Although there are issues in the inconsistencies of the storyline from the original manga, alone it is very very good! This project deserves to have a ten for its seriousness, originality and amazing animation. This can really make an impact not only in our generation but the future generations to come as well.
Posted by : AJtheFourth
Posted on : 2008-11-10
Fullmetal Alchemist is a rare kind of anime that can appeal to many different demographics and entertain them all.
Animation: It's apparent that a lot of time was spent developing both the characters and backgrounds, which I definitely appreciated. Simple things like changing the lighting depending on the scene really add to the emotional connection that is made with the viewer. 9/10
Story: The plotline, though not entirely original, makes good on its promise to provide an entertaining and enjoyable ride. It's a story that could have become preachy at times in the wrong hands, and fortunately it is executed beautifully in this series. I also have to give props for deciding to end the storyline completely differently from the manga, rather than waiting for the manga to continue and boring us with mindless fillers, simply to make a little extra cash. Is the ending as good as continuing to read the manga? No, but the story is concise and enthralls the viewer from beginning to end. An excellent decision. 8/10
Characters: In addition to the well-planned execution of the plot, the characters are what really add flesh and blood to this story. Edward and Alphonse are both easily sympathized with, and the supporting cast is nothing short of amazing, especially Colonel Mustang and crew. 10/10
Music: The opening themes are energetic and catchy, while the background music adds a great deal to the overall mood at that moment. I especially liked the eerie feeling evoked by the music chosen at certain parts nearing the end of the series. 9/10
Overall: Fullmetal Alchemist can be enjoyed alone or with a group, on a weekly basis or in a marathon. This is a very good show.
Posted by : Den8383
Posted on : 2008-10-13
The journey of 2 brothers in search of answers and the choices to make in a world where morals meet principles. Their story is a touching one, and in their arduous task of restoring what was supposedly right, they gain valuable experiences of a lifetime.
The characters are vivid in personalities and are elegantly elaborated throughout the story, especially Alphonse and Edward Elric.
The music scores were excellent and truly displayed every scene that progressed. Certainly a A grade for me.
Both environmental textures and character designs are top notch, a lot of effort put into the graphics department.
An excellent anime that ought to be watched no matter which genre you're interested it. It simply has all the flavors of a really epic anime. Remember to watch the movie 'Fullmetal Alchemist: The Movie - Conqueror of Shamballa' for a greater experience of the anime ending.
Posted by : blade40
Posted on : 2008-08-18
Story-10: The backdrop of the link between the Elric brothers is truly inspiring in the sense that they share a completely realistic relationship filled with up and downs, as many siblings go through.
Animation-10: The technology that we are currently using in animation can greatly improve the animation as well as the character shapes that are used in the show. The backgrounds are lush and can be compared to a real life perspective truly easily.
Sound-10: Since this show contains such a large amount of action as well as scripted speech, the sound needs to envelop the viewer. I believe this show grasps that idea and uses it to a great advantage.
Characters: Edward is an instantly lovable character, due to his triumph over disability and his use of it to a great advantage.
Overall: It is an enjoyable show, worth the dvd purchase as well as the constant tv viewings, and definitely sure to satisfy your anime needs.
Posted by : Gen3s1s
Posted on : 2008-05-05
Full Metal Alchemist is incredible; amazing story, beautiful music and brilliant characters all in a world were alchemy exists.
The story is about the 2 Elric brothers trying to regain there lost bodies, but don't expect it to be this simple continue to watch as it goes deeper, darker and expect twists that will shock you. The story is the strongest point of the anime.
The characters are all great, they all have different personalities some funny, some weird. Some are just so cool with there unique powers, although some are lame but hilarious, the greatest of all the characters has to be Hugh's...you'll see why.
The music like I said is beautiful, completely goes with this anime. It can really help make the scenes more emotional the music can just play in your head for hours and it's not something you'll wanna beat out of your head.
Animation isn't great but not bad either but hey with an anime this great, I'd watch it in black and white. Hell, I would even watch it if they were stick men.
All in all, a wonderful anime one that can be compared to many others. I wish it was longer. Action could be better, but it's still incredible. The ending to me was surprisingly sad and happy, but moreover amazing.
Posted by : primula
Posted on : 2008-04-20
Story - 10
FMA has one of the most detailed stories I've seen. Two brothers set on a journey to become military state alchemists in an attempt to find the philosopher's stone in a desperate attempt to resurrect their mother. Battles with unknown creatures with mysterious powers and much more await them.
Animation - 10
Flawless and clear animation and just the right amount of chibi to make it perfect.
Sound - 10
Perfect music and sound effects throughout the series, the alchemical transmutations sound amazing, even the opening and closing themes are very nice.
Characters - 10
Edward with two auto mail limbs, who transmuted his brother's soul to armor to save him, sacrificing his own arm and leg in the process, is perhaps one of the best characters I've seen in any anime. By the end of the anime you will love the character development and how far he has gone on his epic journey. His brother Al and many, many more characters are so well made; This series has very amazing characters.
Overall - 10
This series will not disappoint you, I very highly recommend it.
Posted by : haosama
Posted on : 2008-04-11
Fullmetal Alchemist starts off pretty bad, and becomes horribly painful to watch. The first season in itself is essentially pure garbage: cookie cutter fillers with stereotypical plots that try to be "meaningful" but are just plain shallow and stale, which the anime tries to hide with overused, repetitive jokes about Eric’s height.
The second and third seasons finally present some plot direction and character development, but those positives are ultimately weighed down by an utterly slow storyline, lack of action, and WAY too much talking. It is here were FMA’s weakness lies; the series gets boring because it tries to stall and overstretch story developments to the point it becomes repetitive and tedious to watch.
Luckily, season four’s quality jumps exponentially; plot developments are actually entertaining, intriguing, and well-paced. Although certain details don’t make sense at times and the ending is unresolved, that doesn’t detract from the excitement of a well built-up climatic finale. While watching Full Metal Alchemist isn’t an equivalent exchange worth your time, it certainly won’t leave you empty handed.
Posted by : Alkemy
Posted on : 2008-03-24
When I first read the manga back in 2001 via Monthly Shonen GanGan, I was instantly hooked and ready for an anime adaptation within the first few chapters. I took no heed in my friends' warning that anime series rarely turn out as good as their manga counterparts. As soon as the series was animated I watched every episode loyally and definitely do not regret doing so, even with the completely different plots.
The animation, for one, is simply beautiful. And the music is a good match; I was instantly amazed by the emotion each note played out for me.
The character development differs slightly from the manga, but the brilliant personality and background attached to each character awed me from the start. The emotion these characters express matches perfectly with feeling any everyday person can feel, and the situations--minus the alchemy, of course--are as good as real. The characters in this series have something everyone can relate to.
The plot, while completely different from the manga, is wonderful, and really ties you down.
I definitely recommend this series!
Posted by : dannyalberto
Posted on : 2008-03-16
Storyline: The overall storyline is great! It starts with two brothers trying to bring their mother back to life, and next, it involves something even more. Lots of plot twists, and some nice elements to the storyline. In the end, it seems there might be a continuation of some sort however, it could be just a good way to just end the series. Who knows.
Characters: The character development here is good! You get tied with the emotions and the past of some of the main characters and even a villain i find some goodness towards. the English voice overs are good in my opinion
Music: Love the music! Alot of different BGMs for both the good and the bad times as well as many opening and closing themes are a great touch!
Art: Nice usage of colors here. Very colorful and theres parts of the anime where they used darker colors to match more with the overall atmosphere.
Overall: One of my favorite animes. This show has more then the typical 26 episode series that Japanese animes normally go for which means its really good! Check it out.
Posted by : kelly_lim_92
Posted on : 2007-10-06
I started watching this show after reading the manga and a few episode on television. This anime is about Edward Elric, who lost his arm and leg, and Alphonse Elric, who lost his body, after attempting human transmutation. And thus, they set out to recover their original body.
The opening and ending are great, especially Melissa the 1st opening song. As for the background music, it really suit the moment. However, I never really like the music use at Dante' house. It seems to annoy me a bit. The voice for most characters really suits them and they don't sound too similar.
Smooth animation and nice colours. Well done on fighting scenes too.
Character develop through the story and many have their unique characters. Hughes bragging about his daughter and Armstong showing off his muscles are really cute and funny, though it might get repetitive, I never get bored of it. And it is always fun to watch Edward trying to hit the person who teases him about his height while Alphonse trying to stop him there. Still, I wish that they had gone more into Edward and Winry relationship, which they didn't show very clearly. You can see Edward and Alphonse slowly maturing throughout the series.
Some may like how the story ends, while some don't. Personally I love it, there may be still many questions which viewers may want to know. That's what the movie is for, continuing this series. So it is best to check out the movie after finishing the series.
Funny moment are really enjoyable, but when it get serious, it's really touching. In this anime, I can cry for their pain and suffering. The story is really touching and it almost make me cry before I even get to the 10th episode. This anime is filled with humors, drama and emotions. As you progress on, you might find yourself worrying about the 2 Elrics.
Overall, I highly recommend this anime and it is one of my top 3 anime. Whatever you may think of this series, this is only my personal view, so you have to watch it yourself.
Posted by : ninetales
Posted on : 2007-08-19
I'm a big fan of Fullmetal Alchemist, so it's a-must for me to write a review.
The storyline is amazingly unique from others which makes this an interesting anime to watch, the story is about the search of the Elric brothers for the philosopher's stone to get their body back because of their failed atempt to bring their mother back... the fact that all the characters play an important role and no characters are left behind as the story goes makes this one of the best anime.
As I said before, all the characters plays an important role, each have their own importance on the story even the least important character... and the small child with a big suit of armor makes a prety good duo.. considering that the older brother is the smaller one.. the anatgonist / villains of the story play important roles as much as the heros of the story...
There are a lot of different opening and background music including most of the famous music on the anime world... they fit perfectly and at the right time in the anime
This is a must to watch anime, it's interesting and exiting.
Posted by : rurounikenshinguy
Posted on : 2007-07-25
This anime has to be one of my top 5 favourites. The animation was amazing although I am used to Gundam Wing Style animation. It reminds me of Samurai X with it one of a kind storyline and its in depth characters, I have to admit that I was literally in awe.
The storyline keeps you interested and on edge, it also keeps you wondering.
As for the music, It was awesome as well especially the opening songs.
All in all this anime is a definite must watch or should watch again!
Posted by : Oops_Autumn
Posted on : 2007-07-20
Equivalent Exchange... almost every episode started with that word in it. Fullmetal Alchemist really did grasp your attention with those few lines and that intro.
Fullmetal Alchemist deserves a place on my top ten. The story was unique and you could tell that the writers really had thought things through before televising it. You could easily understand the plot as there was no real mystery behind what the Elric brothers were trying to achieve. The idea that goes beyond robots and other supernatural forces also grasped my attention. The "enemies" were all believable and not created out a pure imagination.
The characters are thoroughly developed, well at least the ones you really need to bother with. Although, something I really wished that could have been more developed was the relationship between Winry and Ed. Besides that I felt that the story was excellent in using each character for their appropriate roles.
Music was outstanding. Again, the intro and ending went straight to the Ipod and I still enjoy it.
Overall this anime is amongst favorites of many people. I had "judged a book by its cover" when I first saw this anime. I thought it was going to be a main stream flop but boy was I wrong. This adventure really was great and I really enjoyed it as it engaged the mind. No time is wasted watching this anime and I highly recommend it.
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