I’m taking a different approach this time around. I think the line I have between ‘great’ and ‘epic’ is getting blurred so I’ve been experiencing some difficulty. This segment covers moments in anime but when I think about Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood I feel the big ones add up to being really great or awesome. However, when I think of the series as a whole, I find it epic.
Personally, the biggest draw of FMA is the use of alchemy. The precursor of modern day chemistry just fascinates me to no end. The use of it here also happens on various scales so viewers can see anything from changing an automail arm to a blade to eradicating a civilization. Also, come on, gun fights are cool but when you are hurling fire or ice and causing giant explosions you get the ‘awe’ factor. I find it doesn’t get any better when the battles are close-range and hand-to-hand. Let’s not forget how the science was used here to create chimaeras through human experimentation (be it willingly or not). The action is great throughout the show but FMA does not get an approval of epicness from it.
The second tally in making Fullmetal Alchemist epic is the characters. As the series goes on the cast grows and the old ones get better as the new ones are great and interesting to start. You have Ed and Al, the ever-suffering protagonists who want to right their mistakes but have to save the country in the process. Then you have Father along with his homunculi created by purging himself of the 7 deadly sins (Greed, Lust, Gluttony, Wrath, Pride, Envy, and Sloth) who are out creating dilemmas for the heroes and preparing to release utter devastation upon the world. There are far too many members of the Military to list but my favorites are Mustang, Alex Louis Armstrong,Hughes, and Olivier Milla Armstrong (Ed and Al withstanding). I got lots of enjoyment out of Scar as well even though he causes a lot of trouble and Izumi Curtis provided plenty of action and humor as well.
The last, and most important, mark that makes FMA epic is the story. The original was fun and interesting but when Brotherhood came along and followed the source material, I can’t help but enjoy it even more. So much deception and plotting makes it difficult for the heroes to piece the puzzle together but the beauty of this anime is everything is explained very well so the viewer doesn’t end up confused at the end. And nothing is more satisfying than a real conclusive ending. Going back to the use of alchemy, much of the story is based around the possibilities of its use for the good and bad of mankind. And despite how Fullmetal Alchemist is said not to be an alternate historical telling of genocidal Germany, I find thinking so to add to the allure.
Now, I know the musical score is separate from the story itself but help but it makes the show that much better. Really good intros and closings and nice touches within the show itself. I haven’t read the manga but I’m sure many can agree it’s a bit of a better ride with the anime. I think it goes without saying the creator, Hiromu Arakawa, made something really special here and BONES did a fine job animating.
To close this out I’ll say I am also one of those who really enjoys the chibi humor used in the show. I found it suiting and it gave a nice break with all the serious stuff.
Since this article covers an entire series, here is a trailer for Part 1 of 5.
But what do you Vicers think? Is Brotherhood just great or do you find it epic as well? Maybe some of you find it mediocre. Let’s hear it in the comments below!