I said I would do Brotherhood, and I meant it.
Of course everyone knows that after you watch the original Fullmetal Alchemist, you have to watch Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. I actually didn’t know about it and watched the original series, and The Conqueror of Shamballa and I thought that was it. Then, one of my tweeb buddies told me about Brotherhood and said that it was so much better than the first one. So, I snagged the DVD’s at a convention and started watching. It was a little hard at first, only because they basically repeated a couple of episodes from the original. That bored me a bit, but then they started getting original and my interest was re-piqued.
One of the things I think that made Brotherhood better than the original were the host of new characters. Well, not really ‘new’. Brotherhood actually follows the manga, while the original diverted from it. But, they were kind of new to me. I loved Prince Ling Yao, and his alter ego, Greed Two. May Chang, and her beloved panda, Shao May were adorable! Come on! We all loved her (especially her initial infatuation with Ed, that seg-wayed into a romance with Al). Scar was done better this time too. J. Michael Tatum made him stronger and just an all around better person. Okay, yes, he did still kill a bunch of people, but the important fact is that in this series, he fights for the good guys (and lives) and gets to kill King Bradley (aka, Wrath). After that, we have the Northern Wall of Briggs, General Olivier Mira Amstrong. She is an unstoppable force, who certainly cows her much bigger and powerful brother, Major Alex Luis Armstrong. After Armstrong, we love her lieutenants: Major Miles and Captain Buccaneer. Their loyalty to her and to their men is admirable; plus Buccaneer slapping Ed around because he had a pretty mechanic was hysterical!
The chimera that wind up joining forces with Ed and Al are also nice additions. Al’s chimera are loyal to him because of that talk he gave them. Ed’s are loyal to him because he saved their lives, possibly above his own. Although, Ed’s certainly give him more trouble than Al’s, but that’s probably because he rubs a few people the wrong way.
Another factor I liked was having Father as the villain and that he was basically a carbon copy of Van Hohenhiem, Ed and Al’s father. The villain from the original lacked the subtle ferocity of Father (really, she was so bland, I’ve forgotten her name). Van Hohenhiem had also been expanded and that did his character favors. He was powerful, cared for his family (didn’t always know how to show it), and in the end, he got to be with his wife. Also, we can all agree that the ending of Al getting his body back (Ed sacrificing his alchemy in order to get him back), and Ed and Winry’s admission of love was the best way to end everything. It had been a long and hard journey, and not everybody came through. Their casualties included: Maes Hughes (we all knew that one was coming), Capt. Buccaneer, Greed Two, and Old Man Fu. But, we all know sacrifices must be made in war. All in all, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood was a much better anime compared to its predecessor. More fun, more characters we fully connected with, and more high pitched Edward Elric lines.
“Who are you calling a pipsqueak-midget?!”
And on that note, it’s been real!