Hagane no renkinjutsushi (TV Series 2009–2010) Poster

(2009–2010)

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9/10
Surpasses the original in almost every way
Uncle_father_oscar23 June 2012
This review is mainly meant for anyone who watched Fullmetal Alchemist and is either considering Brotherhood, has watched a few episodes and not liked it, or has read one of the negative reviews and was put off.

When I first heard about Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, I was skeptical. Seeing as the original Fullmetal Alchemist is the first anime I have ever completely watched and is the spark that ignited my obsessive love of anime that I have today, a redo seemed unnecessary to say the least. What could possibly be improved upon a show as fantastic as Fullmetal Alchemist?

With hesitation and doubt in my heart I started watching the series... and instantly hated it. I won't lie, my first impressions were not only that the show didn't live up to the original, but that it was also an abomination that was dancing on the grave of a greater show.

I cried, I screamed, I broke things, I didn't do any of the above because I'm exaggerating and not actually crazy, but I was still quite upset. The criticisms bubbled up inside me until I was frustratingly glaring at the TV appalled at such changes as Alphonse's voice actor, or a lack of the opening starting with the classic "in those days, we really believed..." lines from Al.

With each passing episode the insults to Fullmetal Alchemist seemed to grow, episodes that were lovingly crafted in the original series were apparently being lightly brushed on. Moments in the original that got me hooked fell flat in Brotherhood, and I was fed up and ready to write the letter of complaint to end all letters of complaint. But then, my eyes began to open.

Right around episode 13 where the plot of the two animes separates I started to think that this story might actually be good. As the episodes began to fly I realized that it wasn't good, it was great. After finishing the series I knew without a doubt in my mind that what I had witnessed was my favorite anime of all time. The story of Brotherhood is better than that of the original on so many levels that the two shows truly don't compare. After having my eyes opened I was forced to drop the rating that I gave to the original to an 8 simply because now I knew how much lost potential it had.

If you enjoyed the story of Fullmetal Alchemist, stick with Brotherhood and I guarantee you that you will not regret it. Not only is the plot and storyline vastly improved upon and more satisfying, the animation, music (in my opinion at least, some disagree), characters, and overall feel is far better.

Therefore, if you are a true fan of the original series don't give up on Brotherhood after only a few episodes like I was so tempted to do, it is a show that grows into something that will go down in history as one of the greats of animation history and you shouldn't miss out.
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8/10
Pretty much the best show made in the history of mankind
Kentvaroy17 September 2010
Ill explain why this is the best series ever made and why i feel worthy of judging that.

*Note that English isn't my native tongue* I've been addicted to series for like... forever. I could probably list at least 50 full series I've seen from all kinds.

If i told myself 10 years ago or so that the best series i would ever see was an Anime i wouldn't have believed it.

This series made me laugh out loud, cry and bring up pretty much every part of human emotion possible. The characters and story are pretty much flawless and there is little to none loose ends. There isn't a "stormy" story curve as many series suffer from - where the intro - mid part or ending is to short , to long or rushed. The pace through the entire anime is good.

The series does not suffer either from things like to slow riddles-to-answers rate (Lost *cough*) or to fast story.

All characters are developed in a brilliant way through the series.

Of all movies and shows I've seen in my lifetime - if i would have to recommend one single series to someone it would be this one without hesitation.

If i had an enemy i hated in real life more than anything - even i wouldn't be so cruel as to deny that person to see this show. I could deny them food instead and it would be merciful. Thats how good this show is.

One thing that was a major concern early on was that this show would be to childish and silly. Don't be deceived, it is very mature and some elements are even horrifying.

This is one of the only shows I've ever seen, where i haven't been able to personally come up with better ideas on how to make it.

Perfection.

See it.

I also recommend original Japanese voices with English text for best experience.
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9/10
Just might be the perfect mainstream series
cadillac207 December 2009
Fullmetal Alchemist is, in a way, unique. It is very much a mainstream series, with the appeal of a huge cast of unique characters, action that commonly involves special powers, a fairly straight forward story with some mostly obvious symbolism, and a mix of comedy, action, drama, and even some romance. These are all common staples of long running anime series that lean towards a more commercial and public appeal. And yet, for a mainstream series, it manages to continually surprise with a very mature and serious tone. There is a great deal of tragedy and some moments are even frightening and memorable. Few series achieve such a perfect balance of mainstream entertainment and gut wrenching drama and tragedy.

Such was what I discovered when I first laid my eyes on the original FMA series. And yet, for all it's greatness, it began to flounder in it's second season. As many series do, it took on its own form and story, and it was at that point that it started to lose its charm. So, Bones did the smart thing. They remade it. For most series, this would be pointless, but for FMA, it's very much welcome. Five years after the original series ended and the manga has had time to grow, this new FMA is better looking, paced better, and follows the manga, expanding the plot in a better direction.

It's hard not to like anything about this new FMA. The action is fantastic and looks great, as it always did. We aren't subjected to single shots or poorly edited sequences. All the action is displayed and wonderfully animated. Likewise, all the charm is here as well, from the more serious scenes that fans will remember to the humor which is consistent and still funny. Bones took everything good about the original series and threw out all the bad, replacing those particulars with higher quality details. In a sense, it even feels like a new anime, and by episode 13, it has gone in a completely new direction.

A better developed story and characters, superior animation, and fantastic details. These are what make the new FMA an instant new-age classic. Like FMA was the first time around, the new FMA will be one of the top anime to watch out for in the states.
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10/10
The Best Anime Ever
ppochlon0320 July 2011
Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, I think is the best anime ever made.

First of all the the voice cast were chosen to perfection every voice portrays the character as who the were meant to be.

Secondly The Storyline was so well written compared to the first series. story flows wonderfully as we witness the journey the characters take and the many twists and turns that occur.

Characterization was also excellent. once again I will mention the voices but also the way characters interact with the complex guidelines of the world they inhabit.

And lastly the animation is very fluid no cheap faraway shots where the characters are talking but not moving which is used commonly(see Neon Genesis Evangalion).

I will finish by saying that if you are going to watch one anime in the entirety of your life time Choose Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood.
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9/10
A Fantastic Reboot
garethwatkin14 April 2009
Having been an avid fan of the first Fullmetal Alchemist series, i was highly apprehensive on hearing about this reboot, but the more i found out about the series, the more excited i became. I've always been a fan of the Manga, and the new series is being based completely of the manga storyline. This had be hooked, so i waited nervously for the first episode.

The new series features better artwork that resembles Arakawa's style more closely than the last series. There is more humour, especially Ed transmuting a spear-head into his face. There is a new soundtrack, which admittedly, at times doesn't work greatly, but with some getting used too, i'm sure it will grow on me. Overall, i feel this series is a fantastic reboot, and is verging on turning Fullmetal Alchemist into the series it should always have been.
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10/10
Best of all Anime and better than the earlier version
withlovshankar8 November 2011
I have seen both versions of Fullmetal Alchemist (Brotherhood) and both are good. In the first version (Fullmetal Alchemist), the first half of the series is really good. The fight between Edward Elric & Roy Mustang and the State Alchemist test taken by Edward Elric are notable ones. In second half, the story takes lots of twists and turns and I find it's not as impressive as the first half.

The second version (Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood) is stick to manga and has the soul of the original story. It is an all rounded anime with tightly knit fantastic storyline, dark at times, humorous, action packed and entertaining. In first half, character introduction, funny moments, action sequence, ends with almost no hope situation for our heroes. In second half, the story takes it's fast pace with more action and nail biting moments.

The decisions/resolutions taken by the Elric brothers at each step of their journey are clearly justified. All characters had their importance in the series, even the cute little panda and Yogi had their importance in moving the story forward. Usually when a character is introduced in the middle of a series, it stay far too superior/inferior to rest of the characters. But I like the way Olivier Mira Armstrong and Lin Yao gang introduced in the series.

Sometimes when I think of watching something, I start with any one particular scene in this series and end up watching the whole series until the very end. I don't remember how many times I watched it.

I have seen many anime in all genre (comedy, drama, action, adventure, thriller, bloody ones, etc.) and in my opinion, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is the best in overall. So I give 10 out of 10.

When people asks me to suggest something to watch, I recommend this series without blinking. Either they say Animation is for kids or series are lengthy to watch without knowing how Japanese anime differs from Western animation. I would say one thing, watch at least couple of episodes and then you will understand why I recommend this series.

Suggestion: The first episode is more of an quick introduction of main casts. The actual story starts in episode 2. So it is OK to skip episode 1. Japanese audio is better than English audio.

Other suggested Animes: Cowboy Bebop, Death Note, Code Geass, Steins Gate, Hunter X Hunter, Attack on Titans, Samurai Champloo, Great Teacher Onizuka, Parasyte, Ghost in the shell (both movies & series, have complex plot), Shigurui (only adults, watch only if you are OK with violence & sex)
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10/10
Such a Great Amime, it is a must watch series
Thomas Milom15 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I really loved the original FMA series and was really skeptical about watching this series. I just fell that the original series was so good that a new one was unnecessary. When I read that Brotherhood was all based on the Manga, I decided to give it a try, because the FMA began as a manga after all, I felt that I should watch the "real" story.

In the beginning I felt like I was watching the same story, but things were happening at a much faster pace. Then the whole story just went to a place that I could not imagine (which was good), and after awhile, I just realized that this series was so much better than the original series. That is a huge statement for me, because I have seen a decent amount of anime, and felt that the original FMA was second only to DeathNote.

I loved how there were new characters (along with old ones that I loved)in this series and felt that because the series was not simply based on getting a philosophers stone, but really thwarting the evil plot of the villains it was a better story. Everything meshed so great and the back stories on Van Hoenhiem were excellent. The one bad thing about the story was they never said how the Dwarf in the Flask was created. I really liked this little villain and was interested in his origins a lot.

With that being said, if you are looking for superb animation and story line, with drama, action, comedy, and a little bit of everything else, then I urge you to watch this series and the original FMA series. I think that this version is better than the original and DeathNote. It's really because of the way the story ends, which I will not spoil, but I will say that it is a true ending and we don't have to wait for Bones to make a movie to really wrap things up. Watch it and fall in love with FMA all over again.
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10/10
Equivalent Exchange - Give time to watch = Pleasure out of it
spookycostume20 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
IF YOU SEE A LOW RATING, IT IS OBVIOUS THAT THE PERSON HAS NOT WATCHED THE SERIES YET. IT IS OUTRAGEOUS. Don't BOTHER READING THEM.

This is a bit of a spoiler.

Hey, my names Ron and i'll be talking a bit about FMA: brotherhood. I don't usually watch animes because I have grown out of them. Out of boredom, I decided to watch both FMA and FMA: Brotherhood and I must say, it was a pleasure.

FMA(original) had an unique storyline and ending. The story did not follow the manga towards the later part of the series. I felt the story mainly focused on finding the philosopher stone. Along the way, viewers get to see a stronger connection between Al and Ed. There was also more emphasis on Scar and the Homunculi's life and experiences. They barely touch upon Hohenheim (Ed and Al's dad) which I thought had a large role in the story. I got a bit bored of the story towards the end because it got confusing and didn't seem to flow properly. The ending was unique and good, but it did not satisfy viewers and it was kind of a cliff hanger even if you watched the movie. 8/10

FMA: Brotherhood followed the manga, and it seemed to aim more towards "mainstream" animes. FMA: Brotherhood had several reoccurring voices, like Edward, Winry, and Roy Mustang, but it also lost some old voices such as Alphonse and Scar. It took some time to get over Al, but eventually it was fine. With the award-winning cast and some new additions, they improved from the original a lot. The relationship between Ed and Al was implied, so they focused on their relationship between other characters. They also didn't focus on Edward 100% of the time (IMO, Ed was in like every scene in original). Instead, they gave Alphonse a lot of solo missions (and a bigger role), developed a new character named Greed/Lin, developed many other characters and had LESS EMPHASIS on the philosopher stone. Winry and Ed, Xing and Ling, Mai Chang and Al, Roy and Riza had they're moments, if you know what I mean. Hohenheim(Elric) had a MUCH BIGGER role in this than the original which was definitely nice to see. Given six years and a manga to follow, they cut out a lot of fillers and improved from the original. The ending was very satisfying compared to the original even though it was more cliché. 11/10

Episodes 0-30 Original was better imo. It was more detailed and darker.

Episodes 30-64 Brotherhood no doubt was better. Even though, brotherhood didn't have a great start, it definitely picked it up towards the end. A huge variety of new characters, better character development and a stronger plot to follow.

Characters - Original VS Brotherhood

Ed - Brotherhood. Winry and Ed = GG

Al - Brotherhood. More independent and interesting

Winry - Brotherhood. In a lot more episodes...too bad they didn't kiss

Scar - Brotherhood. Glad he helped. Didn't like him rebellious.

Greed/Ling - Brotherhood. He was BA

Roy - Brotherhood. Even more BA than before.

Riza - Brotherhood. More involved.

Roy's Team - Brotherhood. Sad and Happy things happen.

Hohenheim - Brotherhood. HAD IMPORTANCE IN THE STORY.

Fuhrer Bradley - Brotherhood. ACTUALLY FOUGHT

Pinako - Brotherhood.

Shou Tucker - Brotherhood. Glad hes gone.

Yoki(mustache dude) - Brotherhood. He was like Hercule in DBZ

Lust - Original. I missed her.

Envy - Original. Hated both characters

Gluttony - Original. Showed more emotion, rather than go maniacal.

Louis Armstong - Original. He was annoying, but he got owned in FMA:B

Hughes - Original.

Izumi Curtis - Original. Was a lot darker and sadder.

Marcoh - Original. I hated him. Should've gotten rid of him in FMA:B.

Rose - Original. She was brown.

Bigger roles were played better in Brotherhood.

Viewers should definitely watch both because they are great. I found brotherhood to be better because of its stronger plot, improved and vast character development, and definitive ending. FMA offered a darker, more linear sort of story and brotherhood offered colorful and satisfying story.

FMA:Brotherhood has a movie that out in Japan so far. It isn't a sequel unfortunately and it would probably be better than the originals. Make sure to vote on FMA:Brotherhood to show people how amazing it is.

Thanks for reading, Ron.
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10/10
No complaints, seriously. FANTASTIC.
Kevin Barton14 July 2012
Let's make one thing clear before I start this review, I have no experience with the previous incarnation of Fullmetal Alchemist. This series was my first foray into the world of FMA, & I must say, it is VERY excellent.

First off, the series has a huge cast of interesting & unique characters. They are each quite different from each other, and act in different ways. The way the series elegantly manages all the character's developments and story lines is a feat in itself. The series also has a fantastically crafted plot, filled with action, humor, & tragedy. Despite its mainstream appeal, it still maintains a mature tone that really grabs you.

The animation & art is top notch. You won't be getting any poorly edited sequences or grotesque looking art. The production values are great. I watched the series with the English voice track, and the dub did quite a good job. No complaints there. The soundtrack is excellent as well, particularly the opening & closing sequences that accompany each episode.

It goes on for some 64 episodes, & maintains your attention the entire time. It even manages to close everything up in a satisfying manner. A fantastic series. This show will make you laugh, cry, and even get angry a few times.

Loved it.
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10/10
Most well-done anime ever
shazzeldazzle17 April 2011
OK,seeing as this is my favorite anime, I'll try not to be subjective, but OMG, this is the best anime ever!!!

Just kidding, but still this is absolutely one of the greats. It has profound characters, an awesome and unpredictable story and has some of the best anime scenes I ever saw.

As for watching the subbed or the dubbed version, my opinion is that in almost all cases the subbed is better and in one the dubbed( Dbz). I guess the dubbed is also watchable, but it won't catch nearly the same feeling the Japanese version gives.

Now that thats discussed the only problem is the new vs old issue. I watched brotherhood first and as a result I found incomparable in quality and story to the old version. Again this may be only me, or others who watched the old version first may have different opinions (which I won't ever understand), but nonetheless you should still watch this version even if you watched the first one or not because even if you don't find it as good as the old one you will still find it a great anime, and this I can guarantee.
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10/10
Surpasses the Original in Many Ways
shoover566 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
For those that had watched The 2003 version of Full Metal Alchemist, you would have known by now that this is going to be somewhat like the old version since this is a reboot and more based of the manga (since at the time the manga wasn't complete). With all the remakes in Hollywood, this series was taken into what could be good about and what definitely good be bad about it.

This series was perfect. In fact, the best reboot of anything I have ever seen. A remake is supposed to take something and bring new content towards it while keeping the same effect it already has. This serious had a completely different plot but with many of the characters the same. This serious had focused a lot less on getting their bodies back and more rather of saving the country, which in the later part of the series when many people find out what actually happens it gets very interesting.

The original series seemed more of a drag rather then a plot that progresses through the series. It was more "Hey lets get our bodies back" and learn about the Elric brothers and how their characters develop. In this series, we actually get to look forward to the ending because as the series progresses, we assume that there's going to be a big finale that will completely decide the plot of the story. This is pretty much what made the series different from the original series.

It was very good actually, the characters had all remained themselves so nothing appeared to be "different" or what we had all loved about that character lost. I was surprised though they added many major characters to the plot and they did not turn out to be failed comic relief characters. They ended up being very funny and important to the story. I was glad to be able to follow them without worrying about what bad jokes or bad back-story they had.

Overall, this series was perfect. It took what i thought was incredible and made it completely different but have the same good taste the original series had. I definitely would watch it to those that liked the Original series that wants to see the same characters again in what actually is a whole new adventure.
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6/10
Fine on its own, but worse than the 2003 anime
iredc-031692 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Although this is an entertaining show in its own right, and better than most things you can watch on TV these days, it's not on par with the original anime. The fact that it's faithful to the manga, unlike the 2003 series, is the main reason why Brotherhood is often preferred over the other and ranked higher. However, this says nothing about its quality and merits, only about its relationship with the original source. There are many aspects in which Brotherhood fails to meet the standards of the original Fullmetal Alchemist, among others:

-Characterization: Characters are very one-dimensional, and fall either in the "good-guy" category or the "bad-guy" category. There's a lack of subtlety and realism in their portrayal. Some characters like Lust suffered the most; from being an interesting, moving character with a backstory, to being reduced to mere fanservice. Whenever there's an attempt to portray more shades of grey, the result is more apparent than real, and what we have is really a bad guy who turned good guy, rather than moral ambiguity.

-The scope of the story: The journey begins with the Elric brothers and their quest to recover their bodies. However, in the second half, the show starts derailing with the addition of far too many characters, to the point that the Elrics are left aside. This wouldn't be a problem if these secondaries were interesting, fleshed out characters (but see point above). The story stops being about a personal journey and alchemy, and turns into a generic global conspiracy plot. Entertaining, yes, but quite unoriginal.

-Narrative techniques: There's an over-abundance of deus-ex-machina and contrived coincidences in order to keep the plot moving. A group of characters need to be moved to the North to reunite with another group, then suddenly a key object is in the North (even though such object originally belonged to a character who lived miles away). Another character is cornered by one of the villains without an apparent way to escape, then he falls into a hole, and we're revealed that the villain's powers can't reach precisely this spot. Someone is in serious danger, then at the last moment one of the heroes arrives to save him, even if there isn't an obvious reason for that hero to be precisely there.

-Boldness: The 2003 series wasn't afraid of exploring darker themes and aspects of humanity. But there's a line that Brotherhood doesn't dare to cross, so the show feels sometimes as self-censored and too politically correct. The main character (against what would be realistic) is completely spared of killing anybody during the whole show, so he can stay as clean and white as he was at the beginning. The fact that all the villains he spares need to be killed by someone else in the end, makes it also very hypocritical, a kind of "let others do the dirty job for me". As the show progresses, this crowd-pleasing stance is even more evident. By the end is quite obvious that none of the good characters is going to die (unless they're old, because that's acceptable), that none is going to suffer something irreversible, and that everybody is guaranteed a happy ending without little actual sacrifice on their part (so much for equivalent exchange).

-Treatment of war: Brotherhood can come out as far too apologetic in regards with the military and their war crimes. The solution it seems to propose is for the oppressed Ishbalans to forget everything about the genocide they suffered, and try to assimilate with the white Amestrians, be pleasing and don't complain. At some point, it even draws a parallelism between the (almost accidental) murdering of two white doctors, with the massacre at Ishbal, in the context of equivalent exchange, as if both things were remotely comparable. Those responsible of the genocide never pay for their crimes, since they're in the good-guy team and their darker past is better not addressed. All are given (undeserved) happy endings and the Amestrian political system is left intact. All this makes the show seem reactionary at times, if not downright racist. In the 2003 series, is evident that most of the evil and wars come from human's very nature, and that the authoritarian state is a problem in itself. In Brotherhood, all the blame is laid on the non-human homunculus and the Big Baddie.

-Depth of themes: The original show had a mature, sobering message: the world is imperfect, you may or may not get what you want in the end. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't try, because the journey itself is more worthy than the prize at the end. Compared with this, Brotherhood's message is far more shallow and childish: keep fighting and you'll get everything in the end, and you won't even need to sacrifice anything too important.

-Pacing: Too rushed at the beginning, butchering quite a lot of the first arch, and ruining dramatic moments with out-of-place humor. Too slow later on, with fights which extend for several episodes and a Promised Day which seems never-ending, filled with repetitive sequences of soldiers shooting in which nothing really happens.

Among the good things of this show is the animation and fight sequences, which are quite spectacular. The plot twists are fun, and it's difficult not to get hooked. One could say as well that the plot is easier to understand than the one from the original series, and exposed in a more orderly manner.

However, Brotherhood loses some points when compared with the original series, because of the poor treatment of certain key aspects and themes, making it a more shallow, childish show.
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10/10
probably the greatest animated entertainment ever made
Anthony Horwood20 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Summary/Spoilers: FMAB is the story of two brothers; Alphonse and Edward Elric. The boys lose their mother to illness, and they try to use alchemy to bring her back. This goes horribly wrong because they neglected the basic rule of alchemy, the principal of equal exchange. To gain something from alchemy you must give something of equal value. The brothers' disastrous experiment costs Edward his left leg and Alphonse his entire body. Ed manages to affix Al's soul to a suit of armour, at the cost of his right arm and the two maimed boys are left alone to study alchemy in the hope of restoring themselves to normality.

A little while later a colonel in the military, another alchemist named Roy Mustang, invites the brothers to become State Alchemists, an offer only Edward accepts, giving them access to the enormous resources of the military that brothers hope will help them to recover their lost body parts. The brothers set off in search of the Philosopher's Stone as a means to restore their bodies. Throughout their journey, they meet allies and enemies and discover the true nature of the Philosopher's Stone, and an awful secret plan that they must fight to prevent.

Review: FMAB contains that wonderful thing, a totally original, self-consistent universe different from ours, but familiar enough not to be off-putting. The characters are all distinct, fully-formed and convincing; you will love most, hate a few and not care much one way or the other about others. The story is brilliant. It begins in a relatively small way with the brothers travails, and expands into something magnificent I will not go into.

It's mood is finely judged. There's some light comedy, some tragedy, a lot of action and something to think about, and all the while the character development is gripping. The relationships between the characters are complex and changing, and the brothers grow up during the series, adding more levels. There are those wonderful moments when you see one of the enemy attacking the wrong person and you think "That was a mistake", because the relationships are clearly enough defined that you know retribution is on its way. A lovely example is Roy Mustang, the Flame Alchemist, explaining to a homunculus that has just attacked his 'dearest subordinate' how he uses one hand for macro effects like burning an entire room and the other for pinpoint attacks, like evaporating the fluid in the hapless homunculus' eyeballs. It is the minute attention to detail, all detail, that makes this anime so special.

The graphics are excellent. I really like them for both technical quality and art. I have recently seen 'better', but that was because the goalposts moved, and techniques improved. FMAB still has 10/10 graphics.

I recommend watching in Japanese with subtitles. It's just better. The American voice actors did a good job, but it's just more characterful with Japanese voices. The voice acting is truly excellent; it's taken very seriously in Japan, and they do it very well.

As I said in the title, I think that this is probably the greatest animated entertainment ever made. If you only ever watch one anime make it this one. If you watch anime anyway and haven't seen FMAB, do so. It would be a complete waste of your life if you were hit by a meteorite before you saw it. When was the last time you saw a cartoon 25 hours long and couldn't stop watching, despite the fact that life would be somehow empty after it was over? Do yourself a favour, buy this. It's not a lot of money for the epic adventure you are about to experience. It may well be the best money you ever spent.
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10/10
The jack-of-all-trades anime
bmoore0712 May 2015
Cartoon Network isn't what it used to be. As a kid, I watched CN because it had shows that appealed to tons of people, shows that had meaning, and shows that deserved to be labeled classics. Those shows are gone. Teen Titans, Samurai Jack, The Batman, Chowder, Kids Next Door, and more have been dismissed for garbage cartoons like Teen Titans Go! , Adventure Time, Ninjago, and Uncle Grandpa (No comment on those new Pokémon incarnations). With the exception of Clarence and Steven Universe, Cartoon Network is a joke. CN's lone redeeming factor is Toonami, a late-night segment form Saturday evening to Sunday morning where various anime are featured, and one of them used to be Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

I never liked Brotherhood; I love it. An avid reader of the FMA manga, I stumbled upon Brotherhood on Toonami and, from there, I was hooked. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is about two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, who lose possession of their bodies as a result of breaking the most important rule in alchemy, attempting to resurrect the dead, and they journey across the country of Amestria as they attempt to reclaim their former selves. Edward Elric is this anime's protagonist, the famed "Fullmetal Alchemist" whose legendary reputation is rivaled by his alchemical skills, the wise cracking prodigy with an unpredictable personality and a strong distaste for milk, and the height-conscious adolescent with a constant inner conflict about morality, a massive amount of confidence, and an unwavering dedication to his loved ones. If I were to make a list of the greatest anime characters, Edward Elric would be in at least the top ten. Alphonse Elric is the younger of the two brothers, a gentle and likable young boy trapped in a suit of armor that serves as Edward's mediator during Ed's explosive episodes (Al is often assumed to be the older of the two due to his height). Brotherhood ventures into a variety of places throughout Amestria, from the bustling business environment in Central City to the fear-inducing tunnels underneath the city, from the wind-driven snowflakes covering the Drachma region to the primal adobes in dust-consumed Ishval, and, in all of them, this anime crafts the setting with a razor-sharp eye for detail and an amazingly artistic flair.

The majority of FMA Brotherhood doesn't focus on the Elric brothers but instead on the people surrounding them. Colonel Roy Mustang is my favorite character, an easygoing alchemist with the coolest power ever (He can unleash fire by – get this! – snapping his fingers!), and an ambitious leader that alternates between cracking jokes and being dangerously serious. There's Winry Rockbell, a childhood friend of the Elric brothers and a gifted mechanic. There's Scar, a sunglasses-wearing Ishvalan with a reputation as a malicious murderer and a mission to destroy alchemists of the military via alchemy. Brotherhood also contains a great group of villains in the Homunculi, the seven nearly-unstoppable immortal-like beings each with their own unique personality, and their Father. The two Homunculi that stood out to me were Greed (The Homunculi are named after the seven deadly sins), a rebellious man with steel-like skin, and Pride. Born from Nightmare Fuel, Pride is this anime's most important villain excluding the main antagonist Father who I will remember most for that frightening scene with Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye. Excluding the emotionless Father, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood has characters with great acting, emotion, complexity, and (above all) likability (Is this even a word?)

There are five main themes in Brotherhood; the final opening is by far the most emotional, but my favorite is the first, a fast-paced theme song that slowly intensifies at a pace with the opening's singer. Plotwise, there isn't a big difference in Brotherhood from the Fullmetal manga (although Isaac the Freezer never graced the FMA pages nor did Father Cornello evolve into a hulking beast), but the anime is still just as good, with more twists than a Twizzler stick and more energy than a kid on a sugar rush.

Perhaps the greatest thing about Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is its appeal to all genres. If you want tons of action, if you want a show with martial arts, if you want a military-themed anime, if you want some mystery to your show, if you want some sci-fi in your show, if you want a huge focus on adventure in your show, if you want some slice-of-life aspects to your anime, if you want to see buckets of blood, if you want to watch a show with fantasy elements in it, if you want to watch a dystopia-themed show, if you want to check out an anime with depth, then Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is the series for you.
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8/10
An amazing story, and a must-see for any anime viewer.
I B23 March 2012
Brotherhood is a welcome addition to the Fullmetal Alchemist franchise, fully covering the storyline of the manga by Hiromu Arakawa. It's a wholly satisfying series which manages to stay engaging throughout its 64 episode run. Even though it follows the storyline of the manga very closely there are a few changes present. But the story is so impressive that it doesn't really matter if there are a few missteps. There are only ten instrumental music pieces by Akira Senju in the entire series, however, some of them are very effective. The opening and closing themes are catchy rock and pop songs which remind one of the first anime. So, is Brotherhood better than the first series? The answer is yes. The first series was emotionally satisfying though it contained a lot of filler. The second season was, for the most part, disappointing. Even the first season unnecessarily extended the manga's chapters, however, there was clearly originality there and the direction was noticeably good. The film Conqueror Of Shamballa was bad, no question about it. In fact the film was such a disappointment for me that I didn't want to watch Fullmetal Alchemist again. But later I picked up the manga, read it, and was amazed by the story and artwork. There are good reasons why the manga became such a big success. The animation in Brotherhood is an improvement. There are underlying political messages in the story that remind one of the United States. In conclusion, Brotherhood is a must-see anime, and after seeing it I don't feel like watching the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime again. I'm not a fan of anime and manga but Hiromu Arakawa's work is one of several which have to be seen.
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10/10
My favorite anime
Austin22 June 2014
To put it simply, this anime is nearly perfect. Coming from someone who enjoyed the first anime, I was reluctant to start watching Brotherhood because I expected it to be a slightly different version of the same story. Once I got around to watching it, I quickly realized that I was totally wrong. While the first few episodes may not explain the entire back story as well as the original did, to someone who has watched Fullmetal Alchemist, there shouldn't be any confusion. Once it gets going, Brotherhood is a much better developed, logical, and interesting story than Fullmetal Alchemist. This series has it all; action, drama, goofiness, and plenty of twists. I hated the ending to the first anime and watching the movie made it even worse. I was very satisfied with the ending of FMA: Brotherhood and plan on watching it again soon. I suggest watching both anime because they are both very different, however, Brotherhood is the perfect version of Fullmetal Alchemist and I recommend it to anyone.
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8/10
Very solid, entertaining all the way through
Freak Idiot17 December 2012
Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood is a great way to waste some time. It is massive in its 64-episode length, but it hardly ever stops being interesting and its weak points are few. It's not mind-blowing, but I watched it happily all the way through and always wanted to see the next episode.

FMA's greatest strengths are its story and pacing. The focus never gets lost and plot elements and backstory are revealed at such perfect pace that one can't help but get hooked. There are a ton of characters, but with maybe one or two exceptions they all feel relevant and have a part in the story. There are some anime tropes here and there (like the comic relief Major Armstrong), but mostly the cast is solid and likable.

Occasionally there's also some surprisingly dark and even disturbing episodes, which give the series a more mature feel than one would initially expect. This improves the series vastly. The violence is quite heavy, and there's a lot of insanity and genocide hidden in the backstory. This is not a kid's show.

The animation is high quality all the way through. The art isn't very detailed, but somehow it fits the atmosphere of the series. The characters are well designed and recognizable, despite a large portion of the cast wearing mostly identical military uniforms. The simplistic art style keeps things from getting out of hand and you can always understand what is going on even in the most hectic action scenes.

However, there are some points that need to be addressed. Some anime tropes stick out rather painfully in the otherwise fairly mature series: the overly cutesy characters; the exaggerated comedy bits; the tendency to underline drama by having the characters act over-emotionally. These are all practically written in the series' genetic code, but anyone who hasn't been able to stand them in the past won't find them more tolerable here. The series could use a bit more music tracks, as you'll be noticing the same songs kicking in time and time again. Also around the 50th episode or so the series slams the brakes and slows down to a tortuous crawl for about 10 episodes. It makes what should feel like the climax of the series feel stretched and at times boring.

Recommendation: In the end FMA: Brotherhood is a great, massive series that is thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end. I wouldn't recommend it for a first-time anime viewer, but anyone who enjoys anime at least in some form will find it excellent.
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10/10
I feel like my spirit is elevated after having just finished the last episode.
bandoolero8 October 2013
I've seen this show recommended by many sources. Finally I decided to watch it.

At first I was kinda disappointed. The first few episodes didn't make a huge impression on me. But as the story progressed and I got to know more and more fantastically written characters, the backstory started to unfold and alchemy expanded, it just got better and better.

At a point I suddenly found myself addicted to the show. When one episode finished, I immediately started playing the next.

The story deals with morally heavy themes. There is some seriously dark stuff in there. But there is also light. Once you experience terrible things in this show, it is truly cathartic to see some hearthwarmingly good things unfold as well.

This show will make you feel very deep feelings. I have to admit to be crying at some points. It is a true roller-coaster.

You will get so attached to the characters that after the series is over you will seriously miss them. That is a quality of a great show.

The scope of the story is bigger than anything I have ever seen before (no joking, the stakes are bigger than in any other fantasy / sci-fi).

You will find yourself truly rooting for the good guys, worrying about them, and cheering when they seem to succeed in combat against a foe.

If you want to be amazed, addicted, emotionally lifted, press the start button on this show.
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10/10
best anime series ever
bertiestanley11 December 2013
the original series was amazing and yet this i found even better, i haven't seen a better series of anything ever i don't think.

its set in a world where some people can change their surrounds into objects of the same size or mass, with only a few rules such as humans cannot be brought back to life.

it follows two brothers and a collection of friends throughout the series with unexpected allies and friendships and characters you love.

fight scenes throughout are amazing aesthetically and with these powers just makes you wish it was real, and the overall story goes on throughout and is a real mystery at points yet not once gets boring, i have watched it through several times never once being bored, must see it
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Full Metal Alchemist 2009
Mikazuchi20 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Well, it's different from the first Full Metal Alchemist anyways.

If you like anime with some great action scenes or are an old manga Full Metal Alchemist fan, who watched the first anime series and didn't like it for the darkness, drama, different plot or characters, then this one is for you. It has artwork style and story which is closer to the original manga, increased slapstick comedy, less blood and gore, maybe *a bit* safer to children than the last anime. Edward and Alphonse are not ultra serious like the brothers in the first series, and you will meet new characters who are generally cheerful guys. There are also going to be 52 episodes this time and a little pressed for time because it's going to be deal with the entire manga, but you will see the Elrics traveling countries they didn't in the first series. You will look more Winry too ;)

If you like 2003 version beware this one is different in many ways. It's made for children(as far as the director of 2009 series tells) and the plot is different. The bond between the Elric brothers is likely less emphasized, more focused on the typical anime-esquire comedy and battles against bad guys. Characters are different too, such as Edward might look bratty(he's different from Edward in the first series, but I don't think it's Edward in manga either. Better be modified in translation..) or Alphonse might not be a sweet boy. There is no chief art director in this newer version and some of those first-class animators from the last series are away and working on other animes, so the images are a bit unstable and the character's faces may look different in scenes. If you like previous anime series for the story, artwork or character development, you might need research before viewing or buying it.
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10/10
One of the masterpieces among TV series
Jose Cruz1 January 2014
I would rate this TV series as easily one of the best ever made. Period. Character development is unsurpassed and rivaled by few. Given the size of the series, clocking at 64 episodes, it's a great achievement. The artistic quality is also way above average with very good animation and moderate level of detail.

This series is also more entertaining and easier to understand than other masterpieces of serial animation (such as Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Serial Experiments Lain and Haibane Renmei), hence I recommend this series to a wider spectrum than the specialists in Japanese animation. A must watch for everybody.
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10/10
Best anime ever
MrTarek31 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Music 10/10 Animation 9/10 Intro 10/10 Story 11/10 Characters 12/10 (Mustang FTW)

A near Perfect Show and my favourite of them all.I don't watch many anime. But This has gotten me into anime, and none have beaten it. a ten out of ten. The Story Is a perfect mix of comedy and drama. The fight scenes are superb and well animated. The Voice acting is amazing English and Japanese, And the twists in the story can really hook you. There is never a time where the story drags on except maybe the beginning which kind of expects you to have seen the first anime (which i have) so it is a little rushed. But the rest makes up for it. 10/10 Without a doubt A few problems but amazing over all.
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10/10
WOOHOOOO I loved it.
J L27 April 2013
I must say that I'm the type who really appreciates good series. I was, by all means, much better than the original. All the characters were much more involved and their development is wonderfully seen in the series. Also I liked the plot better, it had more meat to it.

I am quite disappointed of two things though:

1. WHY ON EARTH DID YOU PICK A 5 YEAR OLD GIRL FOR AL'S VOICE. UH? UH? Come on, the kid was a year younger than Ed. . . Give him a break.

2. I really missed the background music of the violin. It was presented in the original and I thought it was suitable.

Anyway I recommend everybody to watch it. 10/10
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10/10
Awesome anime, better than the so called "original".
Theo20 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
First of all, I really liked this anime and I believe it is at least 2 times better than the "original" FMA. To clear things up with some people, Brotherhood is not a sequel to the original. The first FMA that aired on 2003-2004 is not original since it is not manga based. FMA is taken straight for the manga so doubting its humor, action and animation being worse than the first FMA that aired, makes no sense since the manga started both. That is my opinion of course. Now on to the Review..

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is a must watch for all shounen fans. The series are about two brothers who attempted to do a Human Transmutation (bring someone back to life) but failed to do so. In order for the Transmutation to "succeed" , the one brother , Alphonse Elric gave his body and the second brother, Edward Elric, gave his arm, leg and some limbs. Edward sealed Al's soul into an armor before losing consciousness so he could find a way to save Al later. The brothers go on a journey to find a way to take their bodies back. Throughout the story, there is lots of action, comedy and this develops in a nice plot. I recommend watching the first FMA too, but it is not manga based so it will have a different story. That means you can watch the same action in another plot. I also recommend reading the Manga but it is not as good as the anime version in my opinion.
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9/10
Mediocre beginning, but fantastic finish
trcky125 April 2011
I really didn't like the original series because I felt the writing was completely poor until the very end to where it ended up kinda decent. But there was way too much crap writing and filler episodes in the beginning and middle to make it worth getting to the end for only a decent experience. Brotherhood steps up both the beginning and the end of the series so that the beginning is decent and tolerable, but it builds on the stories and the characters and weaves a complex plot into one hell of a story filled with intrigue, political plots, revenge, and redemption in a great action-packed bundle. -1 star for kiddie romance/comedy in an otherwise mature-themed series. But kiddie romance/comedy in Anime seems nearly unavoidable so I guess I'll learn to tune it out eventually.

Additionally, after the Netflix instant viewing versions ran out for parts 1 & 2, I started watching the subbed version. Normally, I prefer a dubbed version if the translation and acting are decent, allowing me to pay more attention to the art and action of the anime. But in FMA, I can't stand the actor voicing Edward Elric. Alphonse was a little annoying in the original series as well, although the actress for Al in Brotherhood is a bit better. Anyways, even though the translation for the subbed isn't the best, the voices are way better in Japanese, so I'd definitely recommend the subbed version for this series.
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