I watched the first anime and read the manga, but I never actually sat down to watch Brotherhood until now. Disorganized thoughts on the subject:
-The pacing felt a little weird at first. I thought maybe it was just that I’d gotten used to slower series like Steins;Gate and Attack on Titan, but later on it felt like the pacing slowed down to something more manageable, so maybe they were just trying to breeze through everything that was already in the first anime? And a little bit of the new stuff?
-Also the first three episodes all have a scene where Ed’s auto-mail gets revealed and someone does the whole “Metal limbs? Armor? I see, you did it! So that’s why you’re THE FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST!” thing. I got a little annoyed by the third time.
-It’s very odd to me that they skipped over Youswell (or however it’s spelled) since Yoki came back later and was semi-important. He just showed up. I guess if they needed space it makes some sense that that’s what they’d cut, but this series has a filler first episode and
a clip episode, so…?
-Definitely a nitpick, but I was disappointed with Slicer’s defeat. I remember in the first series that he was laughing hysterically over the irony of the situation, and I think an episode ended on that, and I felt like it carried some weight. Here he just casually “haha that’s weird” and then gets axed. Then again it’s been years since I saw the first series so maybe nostalgia blinders are on.
-Funny thing that happened: I was watching this with my dad, and when we got to the episode where Hughes dies and it started out with Winry thanking him, my dad said, “What a nice guy!” Meanwhile I just sat there thinking, “Is it this episode? It seems like it’s going to be this episode.” It was that episode.
-I forgot that Sheska just kind of…drops off the face of the Earth after they’re done with her. I wonder what happened with her?
-When they did the flashback to Ed and Al’s time on the island, wasn’t that guy in the mask supposed to be there? It might’ve just been in the first anime, but I’m pretty sure I remember him being in the manga.
-Somehow Young Pahrak (Pahrak Va) didn’t catch the symbolism in Greed’s death, and it kind of bothers me now.
-Ling is a treasure.
-As if I needed more proof that Lan Fan is Best Girl, in the English dub she shares a voice actor with Christina. Amazing.
-The first time Hohenheim shows up, when Ed’s in Risembool…he acts way different than he does in the rest of the series. That was weird.
-Why is Envy’s true form CGI? I can’t tell if it bothers me because it’s obnoxious or because I’m being obnoxious.
-Anyway, Major Armstrong is the best. Also General Armstrong is the best. Ah to heck with it, the entire Armstrong family is the best. (“Being the best has been passed down the Armstrong family for generations!
-Things get really good
-Another nitpick, after Al’s “hair” gets destroyed in the fight with Buccaneer, it stays that way for the rest of the series, but I’m pretty sure he fixed it in the manga. Weird.
-It’s a little terrible of me, but the scene where Envy threatens Yoki and everyone says they don’t care if he dies is one of my absolute favorite scenes.
-So when Envy tricks May into heading back to Central, but then we cut a few months ahead…what was she doing that whole time? I know it can’t have taken her that long just to make the trip. Did Envy tell her the only way she could get a Philosopher’s Stone was to attack on that specific day?
-Thinking about it, I’m now convinced that the main/only reason the point about Al’s soul being rejected exists is to facilitate his capture in the later part of the series. It’s handled well, though: foreshadowed early-ish, starts to become a problem at a point where it’s only mildly inconvenient before really messing things up, and Pride-controlled Al is freaking terrifying
-It’s a little weird how out of the seven Homunculi, Lust is the only one who doesn’t come back for the final arc. I mean, I do get that it would’ve been harder to justify bringing her back, it just feels weird that we’re only missing one.
-I still don’t like the whole bit with Mustang being forced to use human transmutation. It doesn’t make sense to me. Granted, it weakened Pride (somehow) and that does justify why they didn’t do that before, but it still comes out of nowhere and only serves to quickly wrap up the villains’ plan. It feels like Arakawa wrote herself into a corner, not wanting to bring in a new character this late but not being able to justify anyone around using human transmutation because they already know it won’t work. Plus, in the end Marcoh heals Mustang’s eyes so it’s like the whole thing never happened to him in the first place. (And that’s after Hohenheim saying he couldn’t fully restore Izumi’s organs. Not sure how those two points fit together.)
-Father’s plot is to become the Avatar (and our heroes have to deal with it).
-The giant Father sitting up from the Earth still looks some silly rock album cover, but ultimately I do like the way they execute the scene of him dragging Truth down to join with him.
-I’m still kicking myself for never realizing that it makes perfect sense to return Al’s soul to get Ed’s arm back. It was right there the whole time. I never realized. I love it.
-I can’t believe that Al’s real body was the friends they made along the way.
-Hmmmmmmm, Selim. That’s an exceptionally risky loose end to leave dangling at the end of the story. I really feel like I need to know what happens with this, but I guess I never will. Hmmmmm.
-But otherwise, great ending, no question FMA is overall very well-written. It deserves the distinction it’s given.
-PS the blooper reel is gold
-I just found out there are OVAs and I might need to track those down