We all have watched the original Fullmetal Alchemist series before we watched Brotherhood. Why? Because everybody told us in order to appreciate the new series, we had to watch the old one. I actually didn’t know about FMAB until after I had completed the original series, along with The Conqueror of Shamballa. So, I am only discussing the original series today, I will do FMAB another time.
For the original series, I was curious about the idea of a young boy with automail limbs, and his brother trapped in a suit of armor. How could something like that happen; and how could they fix it? An enigma indeed! The first episode shows Edward and Alphonse Elric, two orphaned brothers, going to a remote town in the east, where a priest is rumored to have a Philosopher’s Stone (the ever elusive Philosopher’s Stone). They observe the priest, and figure out that he is still using alchemy to do his miracles, even though he’s claiming other wise. They then set out to prove that the priest is a fraud. They also meet a girl, Rose (who, like every other girl in the series, falls in love with Ed). This girl believes that if she simply has faith and follows Father Cornello, that her dead fiance will be brought back to life. Quite frequently throughout the original series, the idea of faith and religious fanatics puts Edward Elric in the right when he basically says they’re the reason he’s an atheist.
Rose (got on my nerves, not going to lie) challenges Ed and says he will find happiness if he believes. Ed brushes her aside and goes on to prove his point by exposing Father Cornello as a charlatan. From there, Ed gives her advice that we can all agree on, “You have two legs. Get up and use them. Keep walking.” After that first episode, we then get to meet all the other characters of the FMA universe, whom we fall in love with. We meet Winry Rockbell, and Pinako Rockbell; the erstwhile adoptive family of Ed and Al. Then, we meet the military folks: Col. Roy Mustang, Maj. Maes Hughes, Lt. Riza Hawkeye, Jean Havoc, Warrant Officer Falman, Sgt. Heysman Breda, Kain Fuery, and Maj. Alex Luis Armstrong (with his habitual stripping and other displays of partial nudity).
The first series deviates from the manga, and Brotherhood definitely has a better ending. Another fact that kind of annoyed me about the original was the Ed did not really mature. As a character, he experienced the expanding arc throughout the series, but as a physical person, he did not grow up. They changed that in Brotherhood and I liked seeing Ed grow from being a kid into a man. It was very rewarding for him in the end. Also, I didn’t like the idea of a little kid being Wrath. Then where does that put Fuhrer Bradley? Not in a good place, in my opinion. You definitely feared him more in Brotherhood, even before you knew he was actually the homunculis, Wrath. And then Selim Bradley… yeah, he annoyed us a lot in Brotherhood, but we that only meant we enjoyed it when he got his *ss handed to him all the more. And the cliff hanging ending for the entire series that they did not wrap up until The Conqueror of Shamballa left me aching and hoping that they wouldn’t f*ck it up. They didn’t really, only because Edward and Alphonse wind up back together in the end, but that leaves poor Winry probably spending the rest of her life an engineering spinster (because we know her and Ed were meant for each other). Kind of leaves something to be desired. It was enjoyable when I did not know about FMAB, but since I have the entirety of FMAB (several times), I can’t really watch it again. I mean, really, who does?
And on that note, it’s been real!