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Watch & Learn: Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood #11

Historical fiction, this is not.

Ed’s awfully forgiving, isn’t he? I suppose him letting Paninya off (who, surprisingly, has nothing to do with grilled sandwiches) so easily is really more an example of a short attention span than it is evidence of him growing more mature. Then again, maybe he’s just mellow off of all the good vibes from the new baby. That was a memorable cutaway too, wasn’t it? Feel that lady’s stomach for kicking and BOOM! An in-utero shot!

You know, I always hate to harp on suspensions of disbelief for a fantasy show, but Paninya having a cybernetic leg that shoots rockets out of its knee is pushing it. Actually, this might be an appropriate time to comment on the believability of the alternate history in this show. Going into this, I remember a number of people commenting on how thorough its historical research was and, with eleven episodes of evidence, I’m going to have to call baloney on that.  Kneecap-mounted rocket launchers aside, the combination of contemporary fashion and anachronistic post-feminism in this series leads me to conclude that this universe is only bound to history in terms of trains and architecture.  Which is fine. I have no problem with FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST playing fast and loose for the fantasy, but don’t try to tell me that this is any kind of example of "alternate history."

I just realized that the DVD set I have only goes up to episode 13 and I’m debating what to do after I get to that one. I’d hate to switch to watching this online and in different style. Also,  I’m a completist, sure, but isn’t this series 60 episodes long or something? The other options are COWBOY BEBOP, TRIGUN, ABENOBASHI or BERSERK.   Which one would you Anime Vice lunatics want me to watch? I’m leaning to COWBOY BEBOP.

Anyway, watch this episode “Miracle at Rush Valley”  below and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here

  

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here.

mediarighton Aug. 14, 2010 at 6:57 p.m.
Personally, and this is an opinion...BREAK. Cowboy Bebop...then come back. 
 
Better yet, pick up the first FMA series, watch it, and then come back to this. By watching Brotherhood, you're kinda ruining the story of the first one completely, but in many ways, this show assumes you've seen it already. Plus, the ways the first show does stuff is different and (also IMO) in many ways better than this one. Of course, Brotherhood covers MUCH more story, so you'll definitely want to come back to finish the saga...but the first one really endears you to the characters.
zaldaron Aug. 14, 2010 at 7:01 p.m.
NO NO NO NO NO.  Mediaright is a fool.  This show is MUCH better. Lust and those characters are not at all scary and the way they kill them in the first one is just stupid.  This one picks up and gets serious much earlier which is good.  Finish this one online, as much as I would want you to see bezerk...just to comment on the crazy opening song and, well not going to spoil it, but there are other things in that show I would like to see you react to.  You need to finish this show.  This is BY FAR the best edition of FMA. 
 
But...who ever told you this was an alternate history..um yeah they are a fool...for one thing in no alternate history would alchemy work um..at all....and I agree the post femminism stuff is odd.
 
Oh and Cowboy bebop is waaaay overrated.  The story gets lazy in the latter half and here they are actually trying to say things about the world, cowboy beebop is just about being cool (which it is I own the music) but the story is pretty pointless.
sickVisionz moderator on Aug. 14, 2010 at 7:09 p.m.
Lust isn't scary in this series either, she's just a shell of a character compared to how much they developed her and integrated into the plot of the original. 
 
And Tommy, you should have known this wouldn't be historical fiction when people clap their hands together and make magic happen... and when it takes place in a made up universe.
Qwertykeyboardon Aug. 14, 2010 at 7:32 p.m.
Having  just finished watching this show online, I can say that the plot does get a whole lot better and I do not feel like I need to watch the 50+ episode original in the slightest. 
But ya, if I had to chose another show it would have to be cowboy bebop
mediarighton Aug. 14, 2010 at 7:54 p.m.
@zaldar: Like I said...mine was just an opinion...and Gurren Lagann is just a show about being awesome, but that doesn't diminish it's value in the face of FMA, and neither does Cowboy Bebop.
lizcaton Aug. 14, 2010 at 8:22 p.m.
Ooh, watch Cowboy Bebop. I watched the entire series for the first time a few weeks ago, and it's really good stuff.  
 
Also, since when has anyone claimed that FMA was an "alternate history?!" I love the FMA manga, but I've never made it through more than 1 ep of Brotherhood. So I guess good job, Tom, you've got me beat. I say go ahead and switch series. 
SamJaz is online on Aug. 14, 2010 at 10:58 p.m.
Who said that FMA was an alternate history? Are you talking about how they study Conquerer of Ishbala in history classes? Because that's completely unrelated to Brotherhood.
Just endure to the end of the DVD set you've got, and watch the series online. Episode 14 is when it gets good, and by 19, you'll be hooked.  Of course, by that point, you may be a bit overwhelmed by Gurren Lagann.
 
I'm actually watching Beck at the moment, and it's pretty good.
FoxxFireArt moderator on Aug. 15, 2010 at 2:20 a.m.
Now, I haven't watched a single episode of this new series, but I wouldn't go so far as to call this alternate history. I think a better example of the series would be to refer to it as more alternate universe where things are just to the left and two steps back of reality, as we know it. A world where alchemy was more developed than basic science.
Some of the greatest scientific advancements at times are spurred by war. So, it stands to reason that aculture that was able to breed human weapons, such as alchemists, might lean more toward that discipline.
 
I understand the completist mentality. It's part of what has driven me to work so diligently on the One Piece series(anime only). Which seems insane given it's 460+ episode length. but I have some amount of information on every page.
I've also worked on Strike Witches and the Negima!? series.  I finished the information on those two.
 
Trigun was a fun series. I'm personally a bit tired of Cowboy Bebop, despite that it's quite a good series. I just became over saturated after [aduult swim]'s repeated playing of the series. They played it to death. You can have too much of a good thing.
 
I've only vaguely heard of Berserker, and I know next to nothing about Abenobashi.
 
A series I'm greatly enjoying is Okamisan, that is being streamed by FUNimation, but they are only four episodes into the series, and I have no idea how long it's intended to be. I've been writing reviews for the episodes, on Anime Vice.
agila61on Aug. 15, 2010 at 7 a.m.
Cowboy Bebop, he writes, listening to Tank on his playlist.
Gaseroon Aug. 15, 2010 at 9:18 a.m.
C'mon Tom. I know you're not the most learned person in anime, but thinking of this as an alternate history rather than "borrowing the setting" is too much. If most series tried to be true to history then not only would Paninya NOT have been shooting rockets from her automail, she probably would have been a servant of some sort (considering her dark skin and hair to represent an "ethnic" character, and that she's female). I hate to have to mention that sort of thing, but it's our history. 
 
And I recommend finishing FMA:Brotherhood online with either Funimation streaming or Hulu, but if you want to switch to another series, please go with Trigun. As much as I like Cowboy Bebop overall, there just isn't much to that show to really talk about. Bebop is interesting to watch as serialized episodes. Trigun, however, has an overarching plot that can bring up some philosophical debate and garner more discussion than just, "that was cool."
Catolfon Aug. 15, 2010 at 9:20 a.m.
Just take a break and get some Cowboy Bebop in, it's good got nice action and the music is laid back kind of awesome. ^^
 
I watched the first FMA to completion and this one... isn't as serious as that one was (yet, i've only seen to episode 20+ something.) but the first FMA grabbed me, this one, not so much...
sotyfan16on Aug. 15, 2010 at 9:24 a.m.

I'd be interested in hearing about Abenobashi as I just started the series myself. It's been a while since I've seen the original FMA but wasn't there a town where a guy with an automail arm cheated are arm wrestling around this ep? I could just be confused. 

Tom, if you are complaining about "alternate history" and "alternate universe" right now then you should watch the end of the original FMA. Also, I say keep going because I like the series.

ninjadude853on Aug. 15, 2010 at 1:23 p.m.
okay, first off, the kneecap rocket launcher, while pretty ridiculous, is somewhat redeemed by the fact that she just gets the one shot
 
and second off, who the hell says this is alternate history? where does that come from? i have NEVER gotten the idea that FMA is an alternate history, at all! in ANY of it's iterations
Count_Zeroon Aug. 15, 2010 at 1:36 p.m.
I agree with finishing this, if only because I'm the kind of guy who likes to finish my Where I Watches when I start them. 
 
That said, I've also found it's easier to maintain discipline for said topics when I'm watching them off of DVDs than streaming... so, if the rest of the series isn't out on DVD yet, I'd consider taking a short break for something else, then coming back. 
 
Under the circumstances, I'd recommend not going with Berserk, just because Berserk requires a light-and-fluffy-comedy chaser, due to the general tone of the series. Go with Cowboy Bebop - then come back and finish FMA. 
 
Note: Disregard all that if you can get the rest of FMA: Brotherhood on DVD. If you can get the rest of FMA: Brotherhood then finish it, watch Berserk, then follow that up with Trigun.
Fanboyon Aug. 15, 2010 at 2:15 p.m.
You need to finish Brotherhood. Yet you also need to watch Cowboy Bebop. My advice: finish Brotherhood, then start Bebop.
mediarighton Aug. 15, 2010 at 7:52 p.m.
@SamJaz: Once it gets going, Beck is absolutely fantastic. It doesn't grab you, and the animation isn't amazing, but it's story and sprit creep up on you as you keep watching. When I finished watching it, I was like...wow! It completely changed my summer.
WarlordPayneon Aug. 15, 2010 at 9:44 p.m.
I say go for Cowboy Bebop if you're not going to finish Fullmetal Alchemist.  Abenobashi is absolutely nuts and since you're already watching Gurren Lagann you don't really need another show like that.  Trigun has the whole serious mixed with ridiculous comedy thing like FMA does, although Trigun does a MUCH better job of it, so you may not want to watch that one just yet.  

Dig Deeper into Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is the second anime series based on Hiromu Arakawa's original manga. Edward Elric with his brother Alphonse failed to resurrect their mother. Now, they travel across the country with their alchemy to restore their bodies as they hunt for the mythical Philosophers Stone and correct their mistake.

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