Sharpe’s Series: The Napoleonic War Down A Rifle Barrel

Now, most people would think that I would be too young to know what this series is about.  But, I’m not.  Well, I kind of am, but I’m cultured.  My dad mentioned it to me because “That guy who played Boromir in LOTR is the main character.  You might like it.”  I finally asked my brother if he saw them at the library to pick them up for me.  He returned with two episodes.  Episode 3 and Episode 4.  There are sixteen total.  I started watching them out of order, but was hooked with Episode 3.  Before they were this show, they were books, and I got the first book for my birthday, and read it in twenty-four hours.  My siblings just started getting me the books, and I know have eleven books, and five of the episodes.  I will explain what each episode is eventually, but right now, I think I’ll just talk about the main characters of the show.

Sean Bean is Richard Sharpe.  Richard Sharpe is the son of a prostitute, who grew up in an orphanage and volunteered for the army in order to fill his sergeant’s quota.  He was cruelly treated by that same sergeant, Sgt. Hakeswill, and his commanding officer, Cpt. Morris.  Sharpe was able to escape from them and he saved Sir Arthur Wellesley’s life.  The Commander of the British Forces on the Continent (Spain), then made Sharpe a lieutenant.  Since Sharpe is not an officer, he is looked down upon by the other officers because he is not ‘a gentleman’.  Sharpe doesn’t take crap from other people; if they are below him, he plays rough until they bend; if they are above him, he hides his disrespect beneath a layer of subtle sarcasm.  Sean Bean played the rule-breaking, rough-around-the-edges British Rifleman to a tee.  And he was certainly a heart throb.

Darragh O’Malley is Patrick Harper.  Patrick Harper is an Irishman, who joined the King’s Army so that he might not go hungry.  When he first meets Sharpe, the two start off as enemies: Sharpe disliking Harper for disrespecting him, and Harper disliking Sharpe because he’s not a proper officer.  After beating each other up, Harper starts to point stuff out and Sharpe listens to him.  Harper soon realizes that Sharpe is asset because he is an officer, but also used to be a common soldier.  Sharpe repeatedly tells his men, “That I know every dirty trick.  Why?  Because I was one of you.”  Harper soon becomes Sharpe’s most loyal friend and comrade-in-arms.  His position is very important because he finds himself frequently watching Sharpe’s back in fights.

The Sharpe Series became a treat for me at night when dinner and the kitchen were done, right before I went to bed.  I enjoyed the history, and the characters (the heroes) were all lovable and quirky in their own way.  I still have to collect the rest of the episodes and I am still missing a few books.  Well… my sibs know what to get me for birthdays and Christmas!

And on that note, it’s been real!


Ani-view: Ouran Highschool Host Club

This particular anime, all is fun, laughs, and goofs portrayed by the characters.  The first time I saw this, I was at a friend’s house and he insisted that we start watching it.  At first, I thought it very strange: a girl basically pretending to be a boy, joins a group of surprisingly heterosexual (Kyouya Otori is doubtful) boys, and every day, pays court to the highschool girls.  It made me laugh and I had to complete it.

Enter Haruhi Fujioka, a commoner, who has a scholarship to attend the privileged Ouran Academy.  At first, the viewer believes that they are seeing a depressing, fashion challenged boy.  Haruhi stumbles into a music room, and gets introduced to the Host Club, a group of the school’s handsomest and eligible youths.  There, she accidentally destroys a priceless vase, which, according to Kyouya Otori, puts her in their debt for quite a bit of yen.  At first, all she does is run errands for them, until Tamaki Suou sees her eyes and orders a makeover.  They transform the little shrimp into an adorable boy-girl.  And now, she has to play a host in order to pay off her debt.

Now we have the ringleader, Tamaki Suou.  Tamaki is the inspiration of the group, the one who comes up with the crazy ideas and pushes each member of the group to be whoever they are.  Tamaki is considered the illegitimate son of a Japanese millionaire, but his rough past doesn’t seem to bring him down at all.  Tamaki is quick to protect Haruhi, and his affection for her becomes more and more apparent as the season moves on.  Tamaki is the heart and soul of the Host Club, which is obvious in the last two to three episodes when he ends it, and how everyone reacts.

The Mother Hen of the band is Kyouya Otori.  Kyouya is always quick to put anybody who challenges him in their place.  Despite Tamaki calling him (and the twins) homosexual supporting cast, Kyouya holds his own spotlight.  Even though is never officially confirmed or spoken out loud, Kyouya has a specific loyalty to Tamaki, and it stems from a possible love… but it was never said aloud.  Kyouya is a shrewd business man, and he is the one who really markets the Host Club.  He’s always considering new ways for them to make money, in order to pay for Tamaki’s more expensive endeavors.  He is ‘Mommy’ while Tamaki is ‘Daddy’.

Hikaru and Kaoru Hitachiin, the borderline incestuous, identical twins.  Hikaru and Kaoru are the resident troublemakers, always quick to have a laugh at the expense of their fearless leader.  However, they use this sarcasm and sardonic quips as a cover to conceal their real feelings for every member of the Host Club.  However, with the arrival of Haruhi, a sort of separation begins between the two of them.  Not in a bad way, but Kaoru realizes that Hikaru kind of likes Haruhi (despite Tamaki’s unofficial claim almost from the beginning), so he begins to place his brother in situations where he is with Haruhi.  It is a gentle parting that actually doesn’t really affect their sibling love, but is one we see later on in the season.

Mitsukuni Haninozuka and Takashi Morinozuka, the cousins.  The first time we meet Honey and Mori, we all mistake Honey for a child, until it is revealed that he is in fact a third year student.  Mori is also a third year, but he is much more believable with his towering height, and grim bearing.  Honey, on the other hand, is a pipsqueak, who still carts a fat, pink bunny around.  However, they care very much for each other.  Honey tries to make Mori smile, and Mori looks after Honey.  Honey always likes to charm people with his almost toddler charm, while Mori is the strong and silent type.  Honey treats Haruhi like a big sister/brother, sweetly calling her ‘Haru-chan’ whenever he addresses her.  Mori just stares, picks her up, or just says, ‘hi’.  However, they are (like the other members) important contributors to the club, and they clearly care for Haruhi.

The anime as a whole was meant to be light-hearted, fun, and in all honesty, a general mockery of public school.  If boys have an entire afternoon to be a host club to girls, who also have an entire afternoon to be waited upon, then somebody is doing something wrong in the chain of command!  Now, drink your commoner’s coffee and long live the poor!

And on that note, it’s been real!


Master & Commander: The Far Side of the Theater

As I mentioned at the beginning of this week, Master & Commander had potential for being an epic period masterpiece.  There are five books in the entire series, and approximately four stories per book.  O’Brian’s books are the perfect material for a show.  One season could be two stories and so one.  That would have run for at least 10-11 seasons.  Decent length for a show, at least for one that has actual material to work off of.  But enough of how I could plan the perfect show, I’m talking about how the movie got panned.

Again, I believe some of the reasons it didn’t do well was because many people don’t have a proper understanding of History.  Facts to remember are that the Napoleonic War came about because of the French Revolution.  It was the cause, and Bonaparte was the affect.  The movie itself featured an all-male cast, and that might have been another problem.  Although moves like Expendables that also featured mostly male casts did fairly well, historical pieces are different.  It is usually nice to have at least one female character for us to fantasize getting together with the hero.  Aubrey’s love is hinted to at the beginning of the movie, but we don’t actually see her at all; and Dr. Maturin doesn’t have anybody but his sciences.  In the books, he had a dalliance with a rival, female spy for Bonaparte.  Dangerous and it would have been small screen gold!  Anyway, they did not have a female character at all.  Of course, we also have to take into consideration that they are on the far side of the world, literally!  They were a war ship, so they would never have been transporting civilians.  That, and no noble women would have been around, so for accuracy’s sake, they didn’t put a woman in; but that might have cost them some good publicity.

Another factor: the men might not have been good enough?  Now, for me personally, I liked the men they picked.  Russell Crowe was accurately cast in the lead.  Aubrey was described as a slightly heavy-set but capable man.  Maybe he wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea?  As for the secondary lead, Dr. Steven Maturin, Paul Bettany played the acerbic but thoughtful doctor to a tee.  He challenges Aubrey whenever he thinks he’s caring too much about his duty and not enough about his men.  Captain Aubrey is a man with a moral code, and that means following the orders he was given.  Maturin has to play conscience every once in a while.

If you have seen the movie and/or read the books, you would know that they left the movie open for more.  Unfortunately, nobody understands or appreciates History, so the movie did not do well, and no continuations were made.  However, I would fully condone a remake, as a series of course.  I would have Charlie Hunnam as Capt. ‘Lucky’ Jack Aubrey, and JJ Feild as Dr. Steven Maturin.  Their adventures would grace the small screen like a well played battle maneuver!

And on that note, it’s been real!

Vikings: Nordic Fact & Fiction

Whoever at the History Channel headquarters decided to make a show about the Vikings, was a genius.  The Vikings was a success and has been a fixture on their channel for several seasons (going on six now).  It has several characters we have all come to love and follow and many fronts on which to fight.  The series is based loosely on the actual viking, Ragnar Lothbrok, who was the first viking to begin raiding in Great Britain and Frankia.

The series quickly grew a cult following for its array of interesting characters, violence, adult content, and historical intrigue.  I believe that people are more captivated by the desires and ambitions of ancient kings than they are with modern politicians.  Kings maybe seem more human, and possibly unselfish in their reasoning’s.  Example: King Ecbert wants to be king of all Britannia in an attempt to end the constant power struggles taking place across the island.  Unselfish… right?  Ambitious?  Definitely!  Ragnar raids in the name of exploration.  Their world had been so small until he sailed west.  Rollo just wants to be thanked, to be appreciated for what he has given to the viking community.  None has been forth coming, so he made a strategic decision, married a Frankish princess, and became Lord of Paris.  He goes from nobody to somebody in a hurry!

Floki, a complicated (and insane) character, who has always lived to serve Ragnar, but he has his doubts throughout the series.  He picked on Athelstan because of his Christian beliefs and when they raided Britannia, he revealed his hatred for all things pertaining to Catholicism.  He murders Athelstan, claiming he’s protecting Ragnar.  I’m not going to lie, I started to dislike Floki a little more after that.  And then he began to harass Rollo for almost every decision he made.  Annoying!  Anyway…  The character of Floki has gone from being a ‘good’ guy to being a very morally ambiguous person.  He kills all Catholics with sickening glee and revels in their blood.  Not what you would consider normal or right.

Lagertha has gone through a transformation of her own.  She went from being Ragnar’s housewife (with a warrior’s background), to a warrior chief in her own rite, and finally, the Queen of Kattegat.  However, she can’t seem to find happiness with another man outside of Ragnar.  She left him of her own free will because he asked her to share her power and his affection with Princess Aslaug.  Lagertha is a proud woman and refused, so she left.  Lagertha has always stood up for herself and has gotten herself so far.  But now, she faces a war, a war for her position in Kattegat.  We shall see this season if she keeps her life and her throne.

Once more, a series has proven that through time, production money, and view-able characters, people can enjoy a period piece, and not even know they’re learning some history.

And on that note, it’s been real!

Tarzan: King of the Cinema?

Alright!  Who remembers the Edgar Rice Burroughs’ books called Tarzan?  Okay, let me rephrase that…  Who remembers the Disney animated Tarzan movie?  Got your attention now, didn’t I?  Now, I’m not going to lie to you; when my dad made me read these books, I wasn’t overly interested.  The first book was pretty decent.  It tells the story of a British aristocrat and his wife getting set adrift in a boat after the sailors on their vessel mutiny.  They land on a jungle island not far off the coast of Africa.  From there, Lord Greystoke builds them a safe haven in the trees.  Afterward, his wife gives birth to a son, but dies shortly after.  He follows her, and their baby is discovered by an anthrapoid (Burroughs made it up) ape, adopted, and given the name Tarzan.  From there, he has to carve a place for himself in the family group of apes.  He faces his challenges and grows up to be a powerful man-ape.

Enter Jane Porter, an American girl and daughter of a Professor Archimedes Q. Porter.  Tarzan saves her from a rouge ape and obviously takes an interest.  However, there is another man who also likes Jane.  Say hello to John Clayton, the ‘heir’ to Tarzan’s fortune.  They were cousins or something like that.  Well, Jane Porter and her father and Clayton eventually leave the island, and Tarzan misses her.  He rescues a Frenchman from cannibals and learns to speak English.  When they are rescued, the first thing he does is journey to America to see Jane.  The book ends without him getting her, but Burroughs wrote several more and they did get married and had a son.  However, Jane Porter needs to be saved so many times, it’s nauseating.

In the original movie they did, Tarzan has been living in England as John Clayton, Lord Greystoke.  Jane and he still do not have children, and are upset over a miscarriage.  However, a cunning Belgian, Leon Rom, tricks them into coming to Africa and kidnaps Jane in an attempt to lure Tarzan into Mbonga’s clutches.  The movie was entertaining and the banter between Tarzan and George Washington Williams (Sam L. Jackson) tickled my funny bones.  However, it did not do well at the box office.  My theory behind that is that many of the people who went to see it had never read a single Tarzan book.  I read two (hey, at least I did that!).  Although, who doesn’t appreciate a strong, tall, and handsome, and shirtless man swinging in to save them?  Not like you see that every day anymore.  And for the guys, there’s Margot Robbie.

And on that note, it’s been real!

The Tudors: The First of Its Kind

Most people know about The Tudors when it comes to historical shows.  It was basically the first ever big retelling of an historical era.  And, it was very successful for the duration of its running time.  But, what made it so successful?  What was its secret?

It’s secret was having a decent dose of adult content (sexual), violence, politics, characters that kept us guessing, drama, and a dash of history.  I also think that even though the show was mainly about Henry VIII and all the changes he wrought in his kingdom (and the rest of Europe), most people watched it to see what happened to each wife.  Yes, we all know that he divorced Katherine of Aragon, beheaded Anne Boleyn, lost Jane Seymour, divorced Anne of Cleves, beheaded Katherine Howard, and died before Katherine Parr.  The actresses who were selected to play each wife were all beautiful in their own way, and acted them superbly.

As for the politics, they perfectly discussed each problem and revolutionary change that took place in England.  The dissolution of Catholicism and the beginning of the Anglican Church.  We watched the Act of Succession tear England apart, and in a way, destroy the family that helped set it on that path in the first place: the Boleyns.  We all saw how the Pilgrimage of Grace was brutally and cruelly crushed.  As a student of History, I was impressed by everything they did.   What was the secret?  They presented a complex time in history in a digestible and enjoyable manner for all to admire.  Series and shows are more capable of doing that than a movie.  That’s why I’m contemplating adjusting my Scarlet Pimpernel screenplay into a series instead of the movie format it is currently.  We shall see.

And on that note, it’s been real!

Period Pieces: A Dying Breed… or Are They?

People with more refined cinema viewing have watched at least a few black & white movies and/or period pieces.  I was very glad that when I was growing up, my dad made me watch historical movies for certain periods in history.  Way back in the day, I watched Alexander the Great, with Richard Burton as Alexander.  We then watched Quo Vadis, with Peter Ustinov as Nero, and Deborah Kerr.  I learned to appreciate these older movies, and while I do like the modern movie, I know the older movies (and historical pieces) should not be cast aside.  Sadly, they are.  Why is that?

Well, first of all, public schools do not teach history.  They teach a watered down bunch of crock they call ‘social studies’.  Every time somebody says social studies, I want to vomit… but I digress.  That is one of the reasons that period movies don’t do good at the box office, and they are sadly underappreciated.  However, period series get a cult following.  Vikings has many followers (including myself) that look forward to its return every year (even though they did kill the lead character [spoiler alert!]).  Downton Abbey drew audiences in from all over the world and was a huge success.  Turn also has become quite popular with American audiences and presents a pivotal time in our history in such a way that most viewers can understand and value it.

So, why do period series do better than period movies?  A puzzle indeed!  My theory is because a series presents an extended time frame, during which, the audience develops affinities with certain characters, good guys and bad guys.  Anybody remember Master & Commander with Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany?  That was unsuccessful at the box office, but it had so much potential.  I feel that they need to remake it, but instead of doing a movie remake, turn it into a show.  Patrick O’Brian had so much material for writers to work with.  If you read the books, the characters go through roller coaster adventures.  Capt. ‘Lucky’ Jack Aubrey goes through financial troubles, and it is revealed that Dr. Steven Maturin is actually a spy for British Intelligence.  You see for a snippet in the movie how good a swordsman he is.  If they had made more, we could really have seen the good doctor show his stuff!

Another reason why this lack of historical appreciation bothers me is because I love The Scarlet Pimpernel.  Back in 1982, Anthony Andrews played Sir Percival Blakeney and he did a superb job.  In 1999, the BBC did a mini series for The Scarlet Pimpernel and they had Richard E. Grant play the dashing British aristocrat.  It has been 10+ years since the Pimpernel has been seen on screen.  Plus, British actor, Tom Hiddleston, has said that he would love to play Sir Percy.  If you’re wondering where/when he said it, it was during an interview with Zachary Levi on Nerd HQ for Comic Con a couple of years ago.  He had three choices: Captain BloodScaramouche, and The Scarlet Pimpernel.  I was so happy when he said The Scarlet Pimpernel.  I believe the copyright for it is up as well, so if somebody wanted to say… maybe… want… to make the screenplay I wrote for it into something, I would be all for that.  Although, I will probably expand on it and make it either a mini series (like the 1999 BBC version), or turn it into a full blown season.  Don’t know, but will figure it out.

I will probably do more posts about the sad loss of period pieces and how they are under appreciated.  It just breaks my heart that most people my age don’t get that type of entertainment.  I think they need to be educated.  Time to get your history on!

And on that note, it’s been real!

Ani-View: Homunculi – Superior Bodies & Complexes

I’ve already done a review of FMAB, but I decided to also focus on the villains of that piece.  Of course I’m talking about the homunculi and their creator, Father.  Everyone knows the history of the homunculi differs from the original series to Brotherhood.  Their story in the original was interesting: they are the souls of people that died and were almost resurrected by the ones they love.  Lust was initially Ishvalan, and Scar’s brother tried to bring her back to life, but unfortunately, Lust was the outcome.  Envy was the miscarriage from Van Hohenheim’s first marriage.  His name certainly suits the way he feels towards Edward and Alphonse.  But, we’re not discussing them.  We’re doing Brotherhood.

  1. Father – originally called ‘the dwarf in the flask’, Father is the head of the homunculi.  Created from the blood of Slave 23, later Van Hohenheim, Father desires to attain the perfect form, knowledge, and immortality.  He is an emotionless being after he separates all his feelings from his soul.  Father’s desire is to turn the country into a transmutation circle, so that he can use human souls as a sacrifice to obtain this.  He wants to become like God, which for a previous dwarf in the flask, is a tall order.  Also, very heretical of him.
  2. Pride – the arrogant, the first homunculus.  Pride was given the original form of Father back when he was in the flask.  Trapped in the body of a child called Selim Bradley, Pride is the right hand homunculus to Father.  Pride fancies himself above not only all humans, but even his fellow homunculi.  Living up to his name, Pride can’t stand to be defeated by measly mortals.  He controls an army of souls within his own Philosopher’s Stone; and it’s ironic that it took only two souls to defeat him: Solf J. Kimblee, and Edward Elric.
  3. Wrath – the furious, the King of Amestris.  Wrath was born from normal parents, but was chosen to be part of the program to choose the puppet king.  He went through rigorous training and was then turned into a homunculus.  He is the only homunculus (besides Greed) who shows some semblance of free will.  He chose his own wife and technically died on his own terms and with a smile on his face.  Wrath was a homunculus I disliked, but I didn’t hate him.  In the end, he was a homunculus we all could respect.
  4. Envy – the jealous, the shapeshifter.  Envy is a character most people hate with a passion because of what he did to most of the characters.  He killed Major Maes Hughes, started the war in Ishval, and personally (basically) tortures Dr. Tim Marcoh.  Envy is the most open with his distaste towards humans, constantly belittling them and saying they’re easily manipulated.  However, it is revealed that the reason he is so cruel is because (true to his name) he is jealous of them.  He is jealous of their strength and the bonds they form.  Humans aren’t so weak after all!
  5. Lust – the lascivious, the seducer.  Lust tends to pick on men because of her abilities.  Lust makes her comments about humanity in general, but she does like sniping about men.  She targets Jean Havoc for information about Mustang, and then her final fight takes place against Col. Roy Mustang.  It is fascinating, her final battle against the Flame Alchemist.  Lust follows orders from Father without hesitation, but she has no goals or ambitions of her own.  In that regard, she’s a little ambiguous.  However, that does not stop her from being a dangerous and beguiling enemy.
  6. Greed – the avaricious, the Ultimate Shield.  Greed is the most diverse because he was basically two characters in one.  Or was it three?  You have the first Greed, he simply defected from Father because he wanted to promote his own agenda.  Greed can not be trusted because his first priority is always his own interests.  The first Greed only wanted to have power, money, sex, status, women, and glory.  That is still a limitless achievement.  But, he gets captured by Wrath and re-assimilated by Father.  Greed Part Deux took control of Ling Yao’s body.  This Greed is a little more complex.  At first, he follows Father, but when memories start resurfacing, he turns like his predecessor.  Of course, we have to remember that Greed is also Ling Yao, and the Prince of Xing whispers in the homunculus’ ear.  In the end, Greed does find out what he was really greedy for.  Acceptance and friendship.
  7. Gluttony – the voracious, the failed portal.  Gluttony is an odd one.  He was usually paired with Lust and they were an odd couple: a tall, sensuous creature; with a squat and ravenous ball.  Gluttony cared for her in a way; which is why he was so angry when Mustang killed her.  Gluttony does not really have much else going for him.  But, there’s only one other homunculus who is more one dimensional than Gluttony.
  8. Sloth, the indolent, the one dimensional.  Life is such a pain.  That’s his line, not mine.  And that about says it all.

And those are all the homunculi for FMAB.  Some are more colorful than others, but they all had some purpose to play throughout the series.  They were all pieces of their Father’s plan and cogs in his machine.

And on that note, it’s been real!

Ani-View: Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

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!

Ani-view: Fullmetal Alchemist, Original Series

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!