Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Part 5)

thumbnail_c299d47c-f538-4f70-88a4-3114eb1a231eBefore I start this review, I’d like to say Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is one of the best anime I’ve watched in a long time and has won a well-deserved spot in my top 3 anime series. It’s so great in fact that I was rather heartbroken after finishing the entire anime and left wondering what to do with myself. Now that I can’t unwind to some alchemy and homunculi getting their butts whipped. But sure, it’s not all bad. This gives me the perfect opportunity to find another great anime to get my teeth sunk into. So, without moping over anime heartbreak any further, I bring to you the last in this series of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood reviews.

Providing a spoiler free description of part 5, is kind of hard to do. So, all I will say is a lot of arse kicking and deaths occurred in part 5 and a few awesome Armstrong moments. As for the ending, you’ll be happy to hear it was very satisfying, unlike a lot of anime that are ruined by very poor no-questions-answered and everything-in-the-air endings. Though, the ending is a little sad (Glob Envy nearly broke me) it still leaves you with a nice warm fuzzy feeling inside.

7557043a-3782-4dc6-b0bc-3b0efe467880The best thing about part 5 and the whole anime in fact, is how the plot unravels, twists and turns right in front of the viewer’s eyes. It’s extremely hard to be bored while watching Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. It completely captures your attention, while having you on the edge of your seat, screaming for more and dying to find out how everything will end. For me at least the plot wasn’t that predictable. Although I could predict somethings (final correct prediction count-24 out of 46 predictions), there was a lot that took me totally by surprise and when making prediction it was very hard to pinpoint exactly what was going to happen. Making this anime a truly exciting watch.

Second to the plot, the characters are Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood next greatest aspect. Despite it incredibly large cast, most characters are very well put together. Some have very unique personalities and/or design, that makes them stand out from the others. Some also have little quirks that make them very entertaining and others are just so relatable, that you couldn’t help but get emotionally invested in their story. At times, your heart will break for certain characters, at other times you’ll find yourself cheering them on and on the other side of this, you’ll also find yourself wishing for a horrific death to be brought upon particular characters (*cough *cough Kimblee).

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Glob, I hope this isn’t too dark to have in this review.

Even the villains, you can kind of feel sorry for and relate to, at points in the show. Though, they are still monsters, they have very understandable motives for their actions. Some just wanted to please their father and are like lost little children and others just wanted to fill a void in their heart and feel whole. Things most people can at least sympathise with. The point I’m trying to make here is, that on top of its great storyline Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood characters make the anime a real emotional roller-coaster to watch.

In addition to an exciting plot and excellent characters Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood has a lot of little tiny things that bring the anime to whole other level of enjoyment. These include its very cute chemistry references, clueless and hothead Ed moments, a great soundtrack, dramatic Armstrong moments and fun little animations that provides comic relief. The voice acting is also something that rises this anime to other level. However as good voice acting is something that is expected from an anime as popular as this one, I won’t lengthen this post any further by going into great detail. All I will say is, that it really sucks you in and can cause you to be captured in the moment, quite often in the anime.

thumbnail_9f4c51f9-efd8-4735-b47a-af1847c01e07Like all well balanced reviews, we’ve come to the negatives of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. To be honest, I really had to put on the surgical gloves, get out the nit-comb and start some thorough nit-picking, to come up with some negatives for Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. One these being, that in the English dub version Al is very obviously voiced by a woman. Considering he spends most his time as a suit of armour in the anime, this could become annoying or confusing for some viewers. Personally, I had no problem with this and thought his voice was very sweet and made him very loveable. However, some viewers might not feel the same, it really depends on personal taste.

While we’re in the business of nit-picking, I suppose you could class Colonel Roy Mustang as a negative. He’s a bit of an annoying, arrogant character. Although you can admire his daringness and awesome fire alchemy, for the most part his character is a bit too full of himself and a tad self-centred. He didn’t seem to give much thought to what would happen to his men, if he got caught snooping and seemed shocked when they were punished for his actions. In true blunt Irish fashion, one could say his head was a little too far up his own backside, making him a rather dislikeable fellow.

thumbnail_db98f359-0b8e-42d3-9b70-aedd05239dd1But wait we’re not finished yet, there is still more nits we can pick in this anime. A little juicy one being, we don’t see enough of that cute little panda Shao May. Shao May just suddenly fades into the background and we don’t see anymore of their adorable panda Kung Fu (hmm… wonder if Shao May is related to Po the Dragon Warrior) or hilarious, yet mildly evil panda logic. Considering how intense this anime gets at times, some Shao May cuteness could have been put to good use and eased the heaviness.

Speaking of heaviness, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood can be really sad, at times and hit you right in the heart. Especially, part 1 of this anime and when it comes to characters background stories or their deaths. It can be incredibly heart wrenching to watch and may be enough to make the more sensitive of us cry. However, this anime uses comedy very well to keep the show becoming extremely depressing and never really leaves you feeling gloomy for long.

thumbnail_62c6e2ab-bec7-49ac-82be-80e6092065c4A few other things you could argue as negatives, is the length of the anime and gross giant Envy’s animation. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is 64 episodes long, so is a huge commitment to watch from start to finish. I finished this anime wanting more, so in my opinion its worth it. As for Envy’s animation, it is kind of poor when he mutates into giant gross monster Envy and his movements look very unnatural. However, considering how long ago this show was made (2009-2010) you can somewhat forgive this. Also, you never really find out what that thing made from performing Human Transmutation actually is (or maybe we do and I’ve forgotten, because the show is that long. Let me know in the comments, if you know what that creature was. Not knowing is kind of bugging me).

2a626d16-7892-456b-9328-eb198776a377Overall, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is an absolutely unbelievably great anime. It has all the features that make an anime incredible and then some. It’s the kind of show that will remind you why you love anime in the first place and why you got into it. Great storytelling mixed with amazing characters, really cool action scenes, shock and tragedy, topped with a sprinkle of comedy to prevent things getting too much, makes for one hell of a show. Unless you really nit-pick (like I did. Apologies for that, I really went to town on this anime), there isn’t much you can fault the anime for. So, for those reasons if you haven’t seen Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood yet, I would highly recommend placing it on top of your to watch list. Although, it is on the long side it’s completely worth it and you’ll most likely love every minute of it.

Rating: 5+/5 (It’s just that good)

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Yeah, I wasn’t going to end this review series without Chibi Armstrong.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Part 3)

thumbnail_c299d47c-f538-4f70-88a4-3114eb1a231eIt’s been a long time coming, but finally I can bring you my review for part 3 of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. So, what took me so long? Without going too far into personal things, a lot of family stuff happened and I had to deal with/sort out a few things, leaving very little time for anime (or any other type of entertainment). Everything’s a little less hectic now, so I was able to finally finish part 3 and bring you this review.

So, what happened in part 3? Well, there was not as much butt whooping, but we did learn a hell of a lot about alchemy, the Homunculus, Papa Humpy (Father), Ed’s and Al’s father (Van Hohenheim) and the country’s history. Also, King Bradley has taken everyone hostage and is holding Colonel Mustang in a figurative headlock. Ling Yao has turned into an evil creep (I predicted that one). Ed and Al have joined the Night’s watch and gone to the Wall. Sorry I mean they’ve travel north to the icy Fort Briggs, ran by the most awesome anime woman ever, Major General Olivier Mira Armstrong.

Papa Humpy gave birth to a beautiful baby Gluttony through his boobs (it was a very confusing, disturbing experience) and we finally met Sloth. Who is like a giant annoying meerkat, that thinks everything is a pain. Also, Selim Bradley has shown his true creepy nature (predicted that one, too). Bebop and Rocksteady from teenage mutant ninja turtle showed up, for a fight with Scar and I’ve just realised, Ed and Al remind me of Asterix and Obelix from Asterix (or The Adventures of Asterix).

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The exact face I made, when Papa Humpy gave birth to baby Gluttony

As you can see an awful lot happens in part 3. But to be honest, this has been the least enjoyable part of the anime, so far. Don’t get me wrong, I still very much like this anime. It’s just that it’s starting to feel like they’re dragging things out a little too much. Causing me to slightly lose interest in some of the subplots. However, after 39 episodes that’s to be expected, I just hope part 4 manages to recapture my attention again.

On a more positive note, they’ve really laid off the depressing juice in part 3. Aside for Van Hohenheim background story, which had me fighting back the tears (it was very close but I remained dry-eyed). Part 3 was more upbeat and felt more geared towards providing answers and capturing the viewers’ attention, with weird creepy things and a twisted corrupted military.

The animation and characters are still as entertaining as ever. The animation has somehow managed to become even funnier (which isn’t an easy thing to do, so hats off to the animators). The characters have also become that bit more enjoyable and relatable. Particularly, the Ice Queen- Major General Olivier Mira Armstrong, who is now my favourite anime female. She’s so ruthless and tough, but also has a sense of fair play about her and hidden caring side. Her character has really won over my heart (not in a romantic way, more in a “I like the cut of your jib” way).

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Evil Ed Dancing

Opening wise, compared to Hologram, part 3’s opening (Golden Time Lover) is a real improvement. It no longer sounds like elevator music but was upgraded to caller on hold music. It’s still not great but it’s a move in the right direction. Thankfully, part 3’s ending more than makes up for this.

Overall, even though part 3 wasn’t as good as the 2 previous parts, it was still very enjoyable. Being very information heavy, it’s not the kind of thing you could easily binge watch. However, in saying that I still really love this anime and will definitely watch it to the end. The only down side is, when I finish Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, I’ll have to find another great anime to review, which might prove hard.

Rating: 4.9/5

Predictions:
Things are about to get scary because so far, I’ve made 10 correct predictions. Have your tinfoil hats at the ready and prepare for dark times ahead, as I make even more predictions about the final 2 parts of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood:

-Firstly, there has been a little too much attention drawn to Al’s body in part 3. Ending with Al’s body calling out to him as he struggles through a blizzard. Making me think that somethings going to happen to his body. For that reason, I predict that Papa Humpy or King Bradley will find some way to use Al’s body for evil. For example, put a Homunculus, evil spirit or something along those lines, inside it.

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This post ended up a lot longer then expected. So, lets recap on this cute drawing.

-From the way Papa Humpy was talking, Papa Humpy and Van Hohenheim should be around the same age. However, Papa Humpy looks considerably older, so I predict that creating Homunculus costs Papa Humpy some of his life/immortality and makes him grow older.

-I foresee Papa Humpy and Van Hohenheim being some type of god like creature.

-Also, Ed and Al will turn out to be their father’s (Van Hohenheim) own type of Homunculus or they’ll be same the species as him. (The gold eyes make me think that)

– Van Hohenheim is going kick Papa Humpy’s butt and either him or Ed will be the one to kill/destroy him, in the end.

-Scar and Winry will become best buds.

-Scar’s definitely not making it to the end of this anime alive, so I suspect he’ll die saving someone else. Possibly Winry, Ed or May Chang.

-For dramatic effect, it’s better if Dr Marcoh’s group in the tunnels get caught. So, I predict that’s happening.

-Also, those two Chimeras will betray Dr Marcoh’s group. They’re acting way too cheesy for that not to happen.

thumbnail_9f4c51f9-efd8-4735-b47a-af1847c01e07-Al’s armour is starting to reject him, so I think his soul will end up trapped somewhere, causing Ed to have a major freak out.

– The Ice Queen- Major General Olivier Mira Armstrong, will be hauled away to central. I really can’t see King Bradley letting her stay at the fort, in a position of power, without having some level of control over her.

-The Crimson Alchemist (Kimblee) will die next (Just because I don’t like that character. He gets on my wick).

– My complete shot in the dark prediction, is that the Transmutation circle isn’t used to make a Philosopher’s Stone but is used to make another of the same species as Papa Humpy and Van Hohenheim.

-The White Walkers will bring down the wall with their ice dragon (oops wrong show).

-And of course, Ed and Al will get their bodies back, but that’s been completely obvious from the start.

Also, the predictions I still stand by from in part 1 and 2 are:
– Colonel Mustang isn’t going to making it to the end of this anime alive and will be the one who kills King Bradley, in the end.

– The creature made when performing human transmutation, is actually that shadow thing/God called Truth.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Part 2)

thumbnail_c299d47c-f538-4f70-88a4-3114eb1a231eFinally, I’ve finished watching Part 2 of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. I know, what the fudge? How can it take you that long to watch 13 episodes? Well, I was savouring it (Only joking, I’m watching a lot of other series and it takes a while to get around to them all).

So, what has happened since part one? Nothing much really, just a lot of plot building and butt whooping’s. Ed and Al are still looking for the Philosopher’s Stone and getting their butts kicked. Colonel Mustang, isn’t as smart as he thinks and got screwed over big time. A few people from Xing have showed up, to join the battle for the Philosopher’s Stone. We’ve learnt a lot more about King Bradley and the Homunculus and got a glimpse of their Papa. Envy is also ironically very ugly and Gluttony has given us all nightmares about being engulfed by a giant ass eyeball, with big pointy, pointy teeth. (That’s all I can say without spoiling it)

Now for the important part, after 26 episodes is this anime still entertaining. Strangely, it has managed to become even more so. It has really lightened up on the heavy depressing storyline and has gotten very interesting. There still are a few sad moments in part 2, but there’s also a lot more scheming and plotting and a couple more uncertainties thrown into the mix. As well as, more humour and funny animation, preventing the tragic and death-filled story getting too much.

In part 2, we do get a few answers to things and a few characters backstories. However, this leads to more mysteries and more questions. So, overall Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is starting to get very exciting and suspenseful.

thumbnail_db98f359-0b8e-42d3-9b70-aedd05239dd1At this stage, I can still only find a few nit-picky things wrong with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. One being the change of opening. Again (Yui), was a great opening to have a little sing song and a boogie to (I know, I’m super cringey sometimes), but with the new opening (Hologram), I’m just not feeling it. It feels a little like elevator music. But sure, it’ll probably be changed again in part 3, so we’ll not get too caught up on that.

As good as part 1 and 2 was, I do have a few little concerns about part 3. These being, that the short jokes might start to get annoying and that some of its references might go a little too far (when it comes to history, I know almost nothing. Yet even I am starting to question some of its references).

Overall, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood part 2 was very exciting. It manages to satisfy your thirst for answer in part 1, while still remaining suspenseful and thicken its plot. To be honest after watching part 2, I like this anime even more and haven’t felt bored once watching it. I’m truly starting to understand the hype around this anime.

Rate so far: 5/5

Predictions:
Surprisingly, I got two predictions right and one half right, last time.
We all might want to start getting the tinfoil hats ready and start looking for a nice cave to hide in, if I get more right. I hardly ever get plot predictions right, so there’ll have to be something seriously wrong with the universe, for that to happen.
Anyway, ignoring that worrying thought, here my new predictions:

Human Transmutation Predictions
-The city where central is, will turn out to be a giant Transmutation circle and everyone who live there will be human sacrifices.

– The creature made when preforming human transmutation, is actually that shadow thing/God called Truth, in Homunculus form. Truth is obviously a reflection of the person traveling through the portal, therefore the Homunculus produced will also reflect them. (Pretty sure at this point, that human transmutation doesn’t make anything human).

-As Ed has just open the portal and travelled through, this also means he’ll have made his own Homunculus (it’ll be a grumpy little Homunculus).

thumbnail_2b5f5f70-ea5d-4730-9b17-05af8ae3fa81Father of The Homunculus (Papa Humpy) Predictions
-Ed’s and Al’s father, is also father of the Homunculus or is somehow related to him. From the glimpses we get of Papa Humpy, he looks ridiculously similar to Ed’s and Al’s father.

-Papa Humpy is also not human, but is some type of unholy demon, super Homunculus or other being.

-Papa Humpy will take Al captive and use him a bargaining tool, to get Ed to do his bidding

Character Predictions 
-Ling Yao’s backstory is a little too close, to the backstory of the evil guy from frozen. Therefore, I predict he will eventually turn evil. Ling seems to want the Philosopher’s Stone as much, as evil the guy in frozen wanted to be king. So, I really think he’d be willing to turn evil to get it.

-Scar, Ed, Al and the people from Xing, will all come together to make the ultimate Homunculus fighting force.

-Selim Bradley is giving me the pure creeps (getting a real Damien Omen vibe from that kid), so I predict he’ll follow in his adoptive father’s footsteps and become a sociopathic psychopath, too.

– Colonel Mustang, will be the one who kills King Bradley in the end.

– And the next characters to die will be, Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye, Ling Yao’s or Scar. Also, I definitely think Colonel Mustang isn’t making it to the end of this anime alive.

Also, I still stand be the following predictions made in part 1:
-Ed is not human, but is some other type of being that’s not yet been introduced to the plot. (Possibly the same as Papa Humpy)

– Scar will turn out, to not be as bad as he’s currently looking. Or will have some type of weird epiphany and want to help Ed and Alphonse.

– Ed’s and Alphonse’s Father, I foresee as being a Tywin Lannister type character or his absence was to protect his sons, in some way.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Part One)

thumbnail_c299d47c-f538-4f70-88a4-3114eb1a231eI’ve decided to try something a little different with anime series reviews. Instead of choosing a few that seem good, I’m going to review series that I haven’t seen before, but don’t stop hearing about. As you’ve probably already figured out, I’m starting this off with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Mainly because there’s quite a few anime Youtuber, that don’t shut up about this series and that’s as good of place as any to start in my eyes. This series is rather long, so I’m going to follow Netflix lead and review it in parts. The first part being episodes 1-13 and now that’s out of the way, on with the review.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood begins with the two Elric brothers (Edward and Alphonse) teaching themselves alchemy, after their nowhere-to-be-found father abandons them and their mother. Sadly, life wasn’t content with only giving them a forever-absent father and decided their mother had to die too. Now motherless, the boys are left all alone in the world (I guess father dearest is too busy, to check in on his own children and just left them fending for themselves).

Luckily, a kind old lady takes the boys in and treats them like they were her own grandchildren. However, this doesn’t fix the huge gaping bleeding hole in the boys’ hearts, left by the death of their mother. Hearts torn to bits, the boys try to use their gift of alchemy, to bring their dead mother back. As this is taboo, it goes horribly wrong and leads to Edward losing an arm and leg and Alphonse losing his whole body and later having his soul bonded to a suit of armour by his brother. Now the Elric brothers face a new challenge and must search for the Philosopher’s Stone, in order to restore their bodies.

I’m not going to lie to you, the first 5 episodes of this anime are brutally sad. Not only did the horror I described above happen, but a little girl was also Frankensteined with her dog, by her father (fathers sure are twisted in the alchemy world). Then they were both murdered, shortly after. These first few episodes are depressing as fudge and are nearly enough to make you want to stop watching. However, this series pretty much sucks you in from the get go, with its likeable characters and great story telling. So, as depressing as it is, you really want to keep watching to see what happens to the Elric brothers and get answers to its growing mysteries. The good news is, after episode 5 it lightens up a bit and isn’t as gloomy and even has the odd funny moments.

thumbnail_9f4c51f9-efd8-4735-b47a-af1847c01e07I could bang on all day, about how great Fullmetal Alchemist is and how it makes you, create a place in your heart for poor little Ed and not so little Alphonse, but I’m trying to keep reviews short. So, I’ll mention one more enjoyable aspect before concluding, which is its fun animation style. For the most its style is what you’d expect from this type of anime, but what makes its so entertaining is how it changes in comical moments. It turns into this funny, extremely 2D style, where Alphonse basically looks like a giant grey ghost and Ed has a huge circular bald head. This just makes everything seem so much funnier and really gives this anime the lift it needs, to prevent it becoming too heavy.

There’s not really anything I could find wrong with this series so far, but its early days and I mightn’t be saying that come part 3 or 4. Therefore overall, I would say, part 1 was great and I can really see why people like this anime so much (sort of regretting not watching it sooner, now). The first few episodes are really heavy and a bit depressing, but when you make to through those, it turns out to be an exciting and interesting watch.

Rating so far: 5/5

My Predictions:
Here’s the fun part for people that have already seen Fullmetal Alchemist. The part where I try to predict what’s going to happen and you get to laugh at how wrong I am. I’m treating this anime with Game of Thrones level of suspicion, so my predictions might be a little on the wild side. Anyway, here they are:

-Ed is not human, but is some other type of being that’s not yet been introduced to the plot.

– King Bradley, I think wants to create an even greater army super soldiers or gain eternal life. I predict he’ll do so, by either stealing the Philosopher’s Stone from Ed (if Ed ever obtains one) or by using Ed to as a catalyst or an ingredient to make one.

-Colonel Roy Mustang, I think wants to destroy King Bradley because of some bad blood between the two and not just for power. But, I predict he’ll die doing so. (They’ve been trying a little too hard to make his character likeable, for them not to eventually kill him off)

-I guess, Scar will turn out, to not be as bad as he’s currently looking. Or will have some type of weird epiphany and want to help Ed and Alphonse.

-The group with the Ouroboros tattoos, I predict are in cahoots with King Bradley. But, will most likely double-cross him, once they get what they want. I’m also leaning towards Ed being the same species as them or at least part (He’s got an Ouroboros symbol on his coat, for Glob sake).

-Greed’s gang, I think will become Ed’s and Alphonse’s ally, in order to get the Philosopher’s Stone and gain eternal life.

– Ed’s and Alphonse’s Father, I foresee as being a Tywin Lannister type character or his absence was to protect his sons, in some way.

-On my next to die list, is Izumi Curtis or the 2nd Lieutenant Jean Havoc (they purposely drew attention to him, when introducing Roy’s little crew and now I’m suspicious to why. I’m guessing, either death is coming for him or he’ll turn out to be kick ass. Maybe both. He also looks like Baldroy from Black Butler). Either way, I really hope they don’t kill off Armstrong. I love that sparkly He-man.

-And my huge shot in the dark, is that Ed himself is the Philosopher’s Stone or something crazy like self-belief is.