The Dark Lotus Company (Part 3)

img_0403It’s been quite a while since I posted part 1 and 2 of this little chibi style animated comic. Its probably about time I finished the episode and let you all know how it ends and if the detectives find Mr Flops. Part 2 left things on a bit of a cliff-hanger, so it’d be a bit mean not to finish it. You’ll be happy to know I’ve gotten the hang of the stop-motion a bit more, so was able to get the characters and objects to move a lot better than in the last videos.

In case you’ve missed part 1 and 2 and would like to watch them, I’ll post them both under part 3. Hope you enjoy!

Part 3:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Hope you enjoyed the episode. If people like these little chibi videos posts, I’ll try to make more episodes. Just keep in mind that they take a really long time to make, so there might be quite a gap between videos. There’ll a lot of fun to make though and sort of relaxing, so I’ll probably end up making another episode even if I don’t turn it into a video and post it.

As always Thanks for reading!

I started up a Ko-fi, unfortunately this old butt can’t work out how to put the Ko-fi button in a post. So, if you’d like to show your support for my artwork and blog by buying me a coffee. Which will provide the caffeine fuelled madness creativeness needed to produce such work, feel free to check out my Ko-fi page using this link: Ko-fi.com/thethingsiveseen

Switched

IMG_0554If you could switch bodies with anyone you on earth, would you do it? Would you still want to, if you knew you couldn’t switch back? What if you also had to risk death to make the switch, would you still give it a try?

Apologies for all the strange questions, but they are the main obstacles faced in the Netflix series Switched. As you have probably already guessed, this series is based on the good old tried and tested concept of having two characters swap bodies, then attempt to live as the other person. Usually leading to many lessons in empathy and gratitude. However, unlike your typical body swap movies or series such as Freaky Friday or It’s a Boy Girl Thing, Switched has a huge dark side to it. By this I mean it features a lot of triggering or darker subjects, like bullying, exclusion, neglect, body/beauty shaming and suicide, not forgetting that characters have to risk death to make the switch (in the literal sense).

So, why after reading the description on Netflix and knowing how dark this series was, did a sensitive little soul like myself (that cries at Disney movies), decide it was a good idea to watch this show? Well, it’s a bit of a strange story but in a nutshell, my friend was convinced I looked like the main character in the series, so I started watching it to see if this was true (or whether my friend needs glasses). Then got sucked in by its plot and had to know how it all ended. But before we go any further, let’s have a quick summary of this show. (In case you’re wondering, despite my friend still insisting I do, I don’t look like the main character. I only ever so slightly look like her. We both got pinchable cheeks).

Switched is a 6 episode long J-Drama about two high school girls that are complete opposites in personality, mindset and circumstance. During the red moon the unpopular and tormented Umine, carries out a twisted scheme to swap bodies with the most popular and prettiest girl in school, Ayumi. This plan involved jumping from the school roof and making Ayumi watch as she falls to her doom (told you it was dark). Due to the magical powers of the red moon this allows Umine to switch bodies with Ayumi. The story then focuses on Ayumi trapped in Umine’s body, as she struggles to live in Umine’s body or get anyone to believe her about the swap. In Umine’s body Ayumi faces a much harsher world, filled with beauty shaming, exclusion, bullying and a mother who would make Miss Trunchbull from Matilda look like mother of the year. Thankfully, Ayumi’s best friend Kaga quickly realises that Ayumi was swapped and is in Umine’s body. Kaga and Ayumi then work together to find a way to get Ayumi her body back.

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Thinking about my switch possibilities.

The strongest point of Switch is its unusual but interesting take on the body switching concepts. It puts a bit of spin on the regular idea of body switching, though this is a rather dark spin. Which is why this series might not be enjoyable for the easily triggered or those of a sensitive nature. If you can get over the darkness of characters risking death to steal another’s body and jumping from tall buildings, it can be an interesting concept to see in play. The added fact that when 2 people swap bodies they can’t swap back, really gets you thinking and adds suspense to the plot. Leaving you wondering how on earth Ayumi is going to get her body back. The additional pressure of Ayumi and Kaga not knowing who they can trust or who has ill intents for them, truly put you on the edge of your seat.

Another likeable aspect about this series is the relationship between Kaga and Ayumi. Kaga interactions with Ayumi in Umine’s body is incredible sweet and heart-warming. Kaga as a whole is a very likeable character, always looking out for Ayumi and joking around to keep her spirits up. Definitely a contender for the best boy list, which makes you really want to see him end up with Ayumi, even after the whole plot plays out. You may even find yourself at times shouting at the screen in frustration, when Kaga bottles it or when gets brushed off.

Switched does have its weak points which are noticeable from the very beginning of the series. Like 90’s TV, some of the Teenage roles are played by actors in their mid-twenties, which is made even cringier when you consider that the actors playing Koshiro Mizumoto and Kaga are both older than myself (and I’m not that young). The series can also be a little over the top and silly at times. There are just parts where things are extremely over dramatic. I know it’s a J-Drama and there’s meant to be some drama, but jeez does it take the biscuit sometimes. The body switching also gets a little ridiculous, when a man switches bodies with his pet budgie and magically gains the ability to tell when people have switched (which was never explained how or why).

Seeing Umine and Ayumi in Umine’s body get bullied and excluded can be a very bitter pill to swallow. It makes your heart break for them. No matter where they went people were very loudly making snide remarks about their appearance and calling them ugly. At times, you’re left wondering what the fudge is wrong with people in the world created in this J-Drama and why they’re choosing to be so unnecessarily cruel. With a foul natured mother on top of this, you can begin to see why Umine was pushed so far and why she did what she did. However, considering that Ayumi did nothing to Umine and actually offered her help on a few occasions, Umine’s actions still seem pretty twisted. Meaning your left with mixed emotions about the whole situation. On one hand you can empathise with the pain Umine’s character is feeling and wish people would treat her better. But on the other hand, you can’t really agree with her actions or look upon them in a good light. Even after understanding that her actions are a result of how she was treated (her actions aren’t very fair and she seems to have singled Ayumi out just because of how she looks, which makes Umine just as bad as her bullies). Though painful to watch at points, it’s this mix of emotions that keeps you watching the series.

Overall, Switch is a pretty good little watch. It can be dark and sad at points, but despite this it’s still heart-warming and has its happy moments. If I were to classify its plot, I’d say it was a tale of friendship, rather than a tale of vengeance or misery. For the most part the show focuses on the friendship between the characters, however it does feature topics that some may find difficult to deal with.  Being an interesting and exciting 6 episode long series, I would recommend giving this show a watch if you’re into J-Dramas and can handle the series dark side. If you’re easily triggered or of a sensitive nature I would pass on this show, as it may be too emotive to watch.

Rating: 3.5/5

Yuri on Ice

8ce9cea2-6ad6-4639-8222-1ab7b859fac2In every reviewer’s life there comes a time, where they must wonder into the unknown and watch something they wouldn’t normally view. For me this is the romance genre and sports anime. Two genres I usually stay well away from, because they’re really not my cup of tea when it comes to entertainment. So, why watch an anime that combines the two? You may ponder. Let’s just say curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to see why so many people were so taken by this show. Did this risky venture into the unknown pay off? Wait and see after a quick plot summary.

After completely bottling his last season of figure skating, Yuri Katsuki is left distraught and wondering if he should give up figure skating all together. Just as he’s about to throw in the towel, 5x world championship winner Victor Nikiforov shows up at Yuri’s family’s hot springs resort, offering to coach Yuri to greatness. Between Yuri’s lack of self-confidence, performance anxiety and an extremely angry blonde-haired kid showing up, Victor and Yuri really have their work cut out for them.

To be honest, it would be impossible to watch this show without falling in love with the character Yuri Katsuki (alternative spelling: Yuuri or Yūri). Right from the off set, you can see he’s a little bundle of nervous awkward energy, making him incredibly relatable. You can’t help but empathise with Yuri’s character. Between his internal catastrophizing freak outs, his proneness to weight gain and his general awkwardness, it’s hard not to feel for him, because let’s just face it we’ve all had our fair share of little awkward moments and freak out (maybe not to the scales of Yuri’s but you can still relate). Victor’s character is also very likeable in his own way, but personally I find Yuri that little teeny-weeny smidge more likeable (Victor is still great though).

In an anime that’s main focus is on characters competing in competitions and blossoming romances, the characters can make or break the show. In Yuri on ice, the characters more than make the show and are incredibly entertaining. Beside from Victor and Yuri, there are so many other characters to love. Even the brat character Yurio (Yuri Plisetsky), though he’s a massive jerk you still find yourself thoroughly enjoying his feistiness and loving his grumpy ways.

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Side views are my weakness, but I still try.

Christophe Giacometti is another character that stuck out to me. Possibly because the end of his internal skating monologue caused me to choked on my morning coffee (considering how mild the rest of the show is, it completely caught me of guard. Really was not expecting it to go that far). Nonetheless, there’s something very likeable about him, making Christophe another very enjoyable character.

Another notable point is how sweet this anime is. There are just moments in this anime where all you can say is “aww”. Moments like Phichit wanting to start his own skating show, Yuri giving Victor the ring, Yurio being somewhat nice to Yuri and so many more moments. Yuri on ice can also be very comical at times, most of its humour coming from ill-tempered Yurio expressing his displeasure of pretty much everything and everyone. The animation is pretty noteworthy too, the skaters move very fluently and smoothly while performing on the ice, which is rather amazing considering how difficult that must have been to achieve.

All shows have negative points and Yuri on ice is no exception, however these are only small. One point being, the show feels slightly rushed near the end. Perhaps because the anime is only 12 episodes long and the creators wanted to finish on a high note, so sped up the show’s pace a bit to reach that high. Another negative is that the show gets a tiny bit repetitive, however despite this it somehow doesn’t become boring. The skaters’ all have an internal monologue while performing. Giving a view into each skater’s personality and mindset while on the ice. These were rarely the same in each performance, keeping the show interesting and enjoyable to watch.

Overall, Yuri on ice is the best sports anime I’ve seen to date. Usually with sports or romance shows, I’d get very bored and disinterested a few episodes in and quickly drop the show. However, Yuri on ice was very different. It was very enjoyable and had me glued to the screen, loving every minute of it. So glued fact, that I binge watched the whole show in 2 days (something I rarely do, unless I really like the show). If I was to put my finger on what made this anime so enjoyable, I’d have to say its main protagonist Yuri Katsuki. He’s just a very human character which makes it incredibly difficult not to get invested in the anime. You just really want to see Yuri win and end up with Victor. If you’re into anime and haven’t seen this show yet, I would highly recommend giving it a go even if sports and romance anime can’t your thing.

Rating: 4.5/5

Erased

e22c43ce-cc31-4d41-bf46-59bd9b0018f5If you had the ability to go back in time and stop something truly horrific happening, would you? Personally, I wouldn’t think twice about it and would head back in a heartbeat, to stop a few things from coming to pass and that’s exactly what our main character (Satoru) in this anime chooses to do. But before we get into that, I’d like to announce that Erased was the winner of the little review poll, I carried out a while ago and I can certainly see why. So with that out of the way, let’s begin this review the same way as every review, and start with a quick description.

Erased, begins with a grownup Satoru struggling to get his manga published and working as a pizza delivery guy to earn money. Though Satoru is struggling as a manga artist, this isn’t what has him feeling blue. Satoru heart is weighed down by guilt and the regret that he couldn’t save his classmate (Kayo) from dying at the hands of a child serial killer, when he was 11 years-old.

This guilt is made worse by the fact that, since Satoru was a child he has had the ability to foresee when something bad is about to happen, allowing him to act and prevent the potential tragedy. Just before Kayo disappears, Satoru gets the feeling that something bad is about to happen to her. But being a child, Satoru doesn’t fully understand this feeling and ignores it. Shortly after this Kayo is reported missing and months later, her body is discovered and a young man arrested and wrongly charged with the murder. Though, Satoru feels awful for not doing something to prevent Kayo’s death, he tries his best to put this horror behind him. That is until, the real serial killer returns and murders Satoru mother, somehow framing Satoru in the process. Left with no option but to flee from police, things take a bizarre turn when Satoru’s ability has him sent back in time, to shortly before Kayo disappears, when he was turning 11 years-old. Quickly, Satoru realises the opportunity presented him and he sets out determined, to save Kayo and the murderer’s other victims, as well as trying to catch the killer in the process.

Quite the plot, isn’t it? As you’d expect there’s a lot of playing detective and trying to outsmart the murderer in this anime. Making Erased a rather interesting and captivating watch, that leaves you unable to take your eyes off the screen, for fear of missing something important that identifies the killer. On top of this, Erased is quite a cute anime that really warms the heart. Little boys running around wanting to be superheroes, trying to save their friends, is just adorable and incredibly sweet to watch.

9cabd461-6ea9-4d26-9f25-b18e9a6adf90When it comes to these sorts of shows predictability is very important. Erased I would class as not that predictable. Of course, going into this anime you kind of know that Satoru will stop the murderer, because if he didn’t then what would be the point of making the show. The ending would be horrible and the whole thing would be incredibly depressing, if he didn’t. You would imagine, not many people would want to watch a show like that, leading to the failure of the anime. Although you can predict that much, what you can’t foresee is how he’s going to stop the killer. Meaning, you know he’ll stop the killer but not know how he will do it (if that makes sense). Which in itself makes the show really exciting and suspenseful to watch.

In terms of identifying the killer, with these types of shows I love to try to identifying the culprit before the grand reveal. Using some true Sherlock Holmes skills, I was able to identify the killer at about episode 5 (it’s only 12 episodes long, so around the half way mark). The flashes you get of the killer was a real give away and completely confirmed my prediction. For the non-Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts however, the killer will come as quite the shock. Even if you do work out who the killer is, the show is still very enjoyable and strangely become a little more exciting, due to the killer’s closeness to the victims.

The animation in Erased is pretty average and what you’d expect from an anime. In saying that, there are still a few aspects of its animation that I really like. For example, though it made me jump out of my skin at first, the hypnotoad moments were rather cool. The unusual character designs, was also something you could appreciate about the animation and made characters really identifiable. For instance, the way grownup Satoru’s eyes can move like a lizard’s, to look behind him. Though a little creepy is still very cool and makes him stand out from the rest of the characters. The little extras like the blue butterflies, use of colour and the film reel concept were all very nice touches to the show’s animation and all work well to set the tone.

My only slight criticism I could give Erased is that the subtitle speed is a little too fast and can be hard to keep up with. But if you know how to use the pause and rewind buttons and don’t mind using them, this won’t be much of a problem (just a slightly annoying inconvenience).

Overall, Erased is an excellent anime with a great plot and delivery that does it justice. It’s not overly predictable and manages to have little surprises for the viewer at every turn. Especially, when it comes to the identity of the killer, making it rather exciting to watch. With its added cute factor and heart-warming moments, I can really see why this anime is a favourite of a lot of people. So, for these reasons I would highly recommend watching this anime, even if the subtitles are ridiculously fast.

Rating: 5/5

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 4)

thumbnail_c299d47c-f538-4f70-88a4-3114eb1a231eI’ve thankfully picked up the pace with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. The threat of my oldest niece spoiling it on me, was enough for me to get my heinie in gear and get a move on with this series. My oldest niece spoiling Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood would definitely be more annoying, than her reminding me that she’s taller than me. Anyway, before I start rambling, I’ll give you a quick summary of what has happened in part 4.

Ed was impaled and nearly died, while Al struggled to remain conscious. That kick-ass team of Homunculus butt whoopers I was wishing for, happened (it was so awesome). We learnt the full story of Van Hohenheim past and that Papa Humpy (Father) is just a wrinkly old leather handbag and used to live in a flask. We also discovered that Envy was nothing more than a gross, unkillable talking leech.

Everyone eventually headed to central, where my opinion of Major General Olivier Mira Armstrong deteriorated. When she brutally assaulted her brother Alex the sparkly He-Man, then kicked him out of his home and kept having stabs at his sensitive personality. The saddest thing is, Alex saves her from being squashed by Sloth.

Kimblee’s head was nearly bitten of by a lion-man (it was great) and to my great pleasure, he died when he was eaten by Pride (Glob, I hated Kimblee so much). Pride also committed cannibalism and ate Gluttony and Colonel Mustang has finally made his move to take over central. Unfortunately, an army of unkillable zombies was released in central, putting a bit of a dampener on everyone’s plans.

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Chibi Alex

Before we go any further in this review, I’m just going to put my hands up and confess that I absolutely love this anime. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood has literally blown its way into my top 5 anime series. It’s the best darn anime I’ve watched in ages and I’ve not been this excited about an anime in a very long time. Now that I’ve gotten my fangirling out of the way, on with the review.

Part 4 has had all the same great aspects as the 3 previous parts, however two things part 4 has made me aware of is, how great character development and design is in this anime. Character development wise, you really go on a journey with the characters. Van Hohenheim for example, I went from thinking he was a bit of a-hole for leaving his children, to feeling sorry for the guy, to falling in love with his character. His whole background story completely changes how you see Van Hohenheim, adding layers to his character and also makes you develop some empathy for the guy. Ed and Al’s, character development is almost as good as Van Hohenheim. They go from miserable little boys missing their Mummy, to being deeply remorseful and wanting their bodies back at all cost, to wanting to save everyone even if that means not getting back their bodies. Ed and Al really mature throughout the series. Ed even grows a little and looks less boy-like.

The character design in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is something I’ve been really enjoying. The diversity in how characters are drawn is just amazing and works really well together. For example, you have your very masculine sharply drawn characters like Van Hohenheim, the Chimeras, Scar, Alex and King Bradley. The more rounded softly drawn characters like Ed, Winry, May Chang, Pride, Colonel Mustang and Hawkeye. Then, the in-betweens like Ling Yao, Yoki, Kimblee and Hughes and also the extremely animated exaggerated characters like Sloth and Gluttony. There is just so many different drawing styles/character designs going on in this anime, which for me has been a breath of fresh air. Visually for an anime, there’s nothing worse than characters all looking the same, just with different hair styles or different eye and hair colours. It’s like they’ve been made with a cookie cutter or something.

2a626d16-7892-456b-9328-eb198776a377The only real downside to this anime is that it literally takes the characters ages to do anything. For instance, they said promise day was going to happen the next day and 4 episodes later, promise day still didn’t happen. Also, it took them 11 episodes to go to central to kick Papa Humpy’s butt and his butt still hasn’t been kicked. Like seriously I love this anime, but they’re taking the biscuit a bit with that. If I was in the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood universe, I would have given Papa Humpy a good butt whooping by now and be sitting down to a nice cup of Tea with Alex and Van Hohenheim. In saying that however, this is an annoying trope of this type of anime, so I guess I can’t be too harsh on Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

Overall, part 4 has been as excellent as the previous 3 parts. After, over 50 episodes it still has my attention firmly captured and still has me dying for more. It does have that “takes ages to do anything” trope, but considering how entertaining this anime is, you can kind of let that slide. As this is the best anime series I’ve seen in a very long time, I would highly recommend watching it if you haven’t seen it already.

Rating: 5/5

Predictions:
Now for the part I really enjoy, trying to predict how this anime will end. As these are the last predictions I will make. I’m limiting myself to 5 new predictions and a death list, to make them a little more focused. So far, I made 13½ correct predictions, so I’m confident I’ll get at least one right.

thumbnail_2b5f5f70-ea5d-4730-9b17-05af8ae3fa81My Final Predictions are:
-The zombies, I don’t think anyone is be able to control them. So, they’ll most likely escape into the city, where Briggs’s men will get into an epic fight with them. But as the zombies are unkillable, I predict that Dr Marcoh’s will turn up last minute, to use his Philosopher’s Stone destroying alchemy on them. Either that or they’ll have to trick Envy into absorbing them all.

-Papa Humpy can’t survive outside has container. But from the look of him, his container has seen better day and is starting to age/deteriorate. Therefore, I think Papa Humpy isn’t after an immortal army (he already has that), but is going use transmutation as a way to get a new container or fix/improve the one he has. To be honest, it this point in the anime that’s the only thing he could gain from transmutation. He already controls everything and has his army, so it’s the only thing that would make sense.

– Van Hohenheim and Papa Humpy are linked, so I think in order to kill Papa Humpy, Van Hohenheim is going to have to die, too (like Voldemort in Harry Potter).

– Truth (the shadow thing in the portal) will escape from the portal and Ed and Al will have to fight it, too.

– Hawkeye’s and Scar’s tattoos are going to have to come to play, at some point (otherwise why have them in the anime). Therefore, I predict that they will be the key to defeating Papa Humpy (or Truth if it escapes)

thumbnail_62c6e2ab-bec7-49ac-82be-80e6092065c4My Death list:
Colonel Mustang
Hawkeye
Scar
Izumi Curtis
Major General Olivier Mira Armstrong
The Homunculus and Papa Humpy (they have to die for the anime to come to a satisfying end)
Van Hohenheim (there’s been a lot of red flags with his character. He seems like he wants to die, so if he isn’t killed in the final battle, he’ll probably find another way to die. Like using Dr Marcoh’s Philosopher’s Stone destroying alchemy or letting Ed and Al use him to get their bodies back).

There’s still a lot of my previous predictions in play, but as this post is already rather long and I don’t want to make it any longer on you guys, so I’ll leave them out.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post and Thanks for reading.

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.