Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Review


I finished watching this series about a week or so ago and I was sad to see it go.  I wish I’d gotten around to writing a review of it sooner.  I was inspired to stop being lazy when I saw that Jamaipanese had done his own, very good review already.  He felt much the same way I did about the anime.  It’s incredibly good and will definitely remain in my collection for years to come.  Unlike some other animes I’ve watched, this series actually has replay value.


Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is based on the manga called Fullmetal Alchemist.  The story is gripping, gritty, and not sugar coated.  Great characters die, some characters falter, and others never realize their dreams when the series ends.  That’s not to say the ending isn’t happy, in its way, but it left me wishing for more.  That’s not a bad thing really.  It means the story was good and I didn’t want it to end.  Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is about losing things that are dear to you and the lengths a person will go to, to see those things returned.  It’s also about the prices we pay when we do things we shouldn’t and how hard it can be to redeem one’s self.  Well, those are the themes.  The story itself is about saving the world from an evil conspiracy headed by a near immortal being called a homunculus.  The two main characters in the story find themselves tangled up in a web of military and political intrigue that will will shock them with its full implications.  In short, it kicks ass.


They stayed real close to the manga in this one.  Image via Nipponmedia.net.

From the review on Jamaipanese, I found out that this anime picks up where the original Fullmetal Alchemist anime diverges from the manga’s storyline.  I had assumed it was simply a retelling of the story that stayed true to the manga, which is what convinced me to watch it.  I’d heard a lot of poor reviews of the first anime series, mostly about how it didn’t follow the manga’s storyline correctly, so I was thrilled to realize I could experience an FMA anime that wouldn’t murder it’s creator’s intent.  Knowing that there are parts I missed from before the point where FMA Brotherhood picks up, I’ll have to get a copy of the original anime.

What I liked best about FMA Brotherhood is that the story was balanced.  Some animes focus too heavily on humor, or all out action, or tons of gore and they don’t put any effort into plot and character development.  While it’s nice to just watch people blow shit up on occasion or to enjoy slapstick humor, I like it better when an anime incorporates a story that makes me actually like the characters and actually care about them.  FMA Brotherhood handled that quite well.  The best example of character development in the story is Scar’s transition from a single-minded thug bent on revenge to being a conscientious and valued member of the group.

Wrath, Gluttony, Lust, Pride, Envy, Greed (front), Sloth (big guy in the back)
Wrath, Gluttony, Lust, Pride, Envy, Greed (front), Sloth (big guy in the back)

FMA’s ‘bad guys’.

Even the enemies start to grow on you after a while.  It’s almost a shame when you see them die.

The action is good, the characters are great, the story is fantastic… and you even get to see Winry nekkid in a bath tub, sort of, so if you’re wondering if you should check this out, by all means pick up a copy.  It’s well worth the time it takes to watch.

Winry soaking in the tub
Winry soaking in the tub