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Thread: Fullmetal Alchemist vs. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood - SPOILERS!

  1. #1

    Default Fullmetal Alchemist vs. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood - SPOILERS!

    Well my vlog isn't going to happen any time soon. The audio is coming out all weird fo some reason. I saw others use the same damn camera and their voices didn't sound like that at all. I guess I need a proper mic. That will be easy enough to Get next month but for the time being, I'll settle on a textual response.

    Firstly, a little backstory. (I always like to hear how someone gets into a series.) Even though I was like many others and grew up on [adult swim], I never watched teh original FMA. Not really sure why but I just never did. However about a couple weeks ago my girlfriend asked me to watch one of the FMA's. Of course I've been hearing rave thing sabout the original anime back in the day and theN Brotherhood after it came out. I decided to try Brotherhood first because it was the newer series and everyone was going on and on about hwo much better it was.

    It was indeed a good show. It was not the orgasmic, life-changing experience some made it out to be but it was still very good. I thought it started pretty slow but once teh main story and conspiracy loomed on teh horizon, everything really got awesome.

    I guess my biggest problem with Brotherhood is teh simple fact I did not like or care about Ed and Al. Ed seemed like a total drama queen and Al just didn't interest me. I liked Brotherhood in spite of teh brothers more than anything.

    This is where Brotherhood and the original anime differ so massively. One has an awesome plot while the other has endearing characters.

    If I had to sort characters into three categories - that of characters better in Brotherhood, characters better in the '03 anime, and characters who I liked about the same - only Bradley, Hohenheim and Kimblee would be in Category 1. Unsurprisingly, those three ended up being pretty much m favorite characters in Brotherhood. Granted I wasn't sold on Kimblee until he returned to help defeat Pride. That was one of the greatest moments I've ever seen in an anime.

    But back to plot vs. Characters. How Father started Amestris, his grand plan to help himself ascend, how Scar's brother's research in the end helped to defeat his master plan, everything really came together in Brotherhood. It sure as hell beats the overall plot of the 2003 anime which left far too many things unexplained. I for one would like to know how Bradley came to be Fuhrer in the first place in this version. Dante being at the root of it all didn't explain much, unlike with Father.

    While we're on the topic of them though, I found both Father and Dante to be pretty average villains. Hohenheim's little remark to him about how boring he was now that he had extracted his "Sins" is very much true. When he was the Dwarf in the Flask, Father was pretty neat. But after that, in his "old man" guise, he didn't really do much. I am not one who takes to a villain just based on how powerful they are and being powerful was Father's sole defining trait as a characters by this point. His relationship to the Elrics was tragically under-utilize too. Speaking of which, the whole "I need them alive" thing really removes whatever threat he had. In spite of all his power, you knew he wouldn't be out to kill Ed and Al so how was he supposed to be menacing?

    Now Dante wasn't great either. A very petty woman with no real redeeming qualities or even interesting moments. I have no problem with Complete Monsters as long as they're interesting or have awesome moments. Dante has neither of those things and so she just ends up looking very bland. The best thing about her was her theme music, which was amazing.

    No, it is certainly not the Big Bads who made me like either series. it was the supporting cast and more specifically, the supporting villain cast. This is really where the 2003 anime shines because the origin of the Homunculi there is not only more fascinating, it has a lot more potential. A villain who is just a Bad Guy to the Good Guys isn't really doing much for either the story or those characters. They are just obstacles to be stopped and nothing else. But when you establish a personal relationship between them, you have the chance for awesome character growth. The Anime Homunculi had that in spades while the Brotherhood Homunculi were generally just a group of baddies to be defeated and nothing else.

    I say generally because both Wrath and Envy had a somewhat personal relationship with Mustang. Envy being Hughes' killer and Wrath being the Fuhrer who abused his power to misdirect and abuse the trusting population, were both natural arch nemeses of Roy.

    But other than them? Sloth, Gluttony and Lust were all barely worth anything at all. I liked the first two but they were still totally forgettable and Brotherhood Lust was just worthless.

    Contrast with Anime Homunculi - Sloth was the Brothers' mother, Wrath was Izumi's child, Envy was the "third Elric" and Lust was the love of Scar and his brother. Lust all on her own really stands out because the anime took a totally nothing character and really did wonders with her. I know some find Anime Wrath irritating but I think it did a lot for Izumi's character. She kinda just hovered about in Brotherhood, necessary for the Evil Plan but not really doing anything of significance. With Wrath being her child in this version, it gave her a much better reason to stick around and made her a lot more interesting and awesome in my book.

    Greed is an interesting case. "Greed I" is around for longer this time around but Greed as a whole isn't as important due to there being no Ling. For what it's worth I felt Anime Greed had a much cooler fight with Ed and letting Ed kill him was a nice moment. I was tired of Ed's preachy NO Kill attitude in Brotherhood because it made absolutely no sense. You don't join an expansionist military and think "nope, not gonna kill anybody." Ed is no Vash.

    Anyway, Greed this time around was more of an Anti-Villain to start off with because he did care about his chimeras. Hell, they weren't even his chimeras in this; he just rescued them because he was not such a bad guy.

    Now my favorite Homunculi in both versions is Envy. I think both Envy's served their roles well but he was definitely undrused in the 2003 anime. Being the first Homunculus and so closely related to the Elrics, he had no business being out of the spotlight for several episodes at a time. Brotherhood Envy meanwhile was always important and even had a very touching death. Good storytelling can make even teh cruelest bastards somewhat sympathetic and Brotherhood did a good job with that.

    Getting away from the bad guys for a second, the anime did a much better job with all side characters as far as I'm concerned. The single greatest example of this for me was Marta/Martel, the snake-girl chimera who srved Greed and was killed by Bradley in both versions. In Brotherhood, her comrades gave their lives to save her...only for her to die two seconds later. In the 2003 anime, she survived for a bit which gave their sacrifice meaning. During that time she interacted with Al and got a nice backstory. I was even looking at he and Al as possible romance candidates when that bastard Bradley killed her. The anime, havingg actaully built her up, made her death worth something this time around.

    Other side-characters who were better used include Ross, Sheska, Shou Tucker and many more. Tucker in particular was intriguing because the hatred for him doesn't make any sense to me. There are many, many worse people in this series than him. He did love his daughter after all and seeing his desperate attempts to revive her made sense. I just don't understand how the mangaka can watn him to burn in Hell when poor Nina was upset just seeing him hurt by Al. How can she be happy when her father is suffering eternal torment? Doesn't sound like Heaven to me.

    But I guess that's not really here or there.

    Getting back to the main characters, Roy being the killer of Winry's parents was a very interesting idea. Scar killing he parents didn't really amount to much but Winry learning that a man she knew and even respected had done such a horrible deed provided for a bit of nice drama. There really should have been a more clearcut resolution to it but I guess that wouldn't be realistic. Sometimes you just have to live with unhappy things was probably the point of the whole subplot.

    Speaking of Scar, having his brother trying to resurrect his dead love was a good example of how Brotherhood and this anime are so different. In Brotherhood his brother of course had just conveniently stumbled upon a way to stop the main villain. But in the '03 anime, his quest to save his beloved made it more personal and that is where this anime shines. Scar's personal vendetta with Kimblee was also very good and you can't help but feel sorry for Scar when he's placed next to such a monster of a man. Even if he ended up killing a few thousand soldies to create the Stone, his death and beign next to such a monster like Kimblee made me feel sorry for him all the same.

    Now I will take a moment out of my wanking the original anime to say something I hated about it. Hohenheim of Light. By the end of Brotherhood I loved Van Hohenheim. His confrontation with Father in which he recites his efforts to learn the names and desires of every soul trapped in him, before forcing those souls into Father, was badass. He was the real hero ya know as he stopped Father from becoming a God. His dying by Trisha's grave was a tearful moment for me.

    Hohenheim of Light meanwhile doesn't really do much of anything. In fact, what he does do is pretty repulsive. he was with Dante for centuries which means he might have stolen as many bodies as her (she said she took about ten bodies) while also killing untold numbers of people to make Philosopher Stones. And when he does finally confront her, he doesn't even really do much. it certainly wasn't as awesome as Van Hohenheim's showdown wtih Father. I really wish we had gotten at least oen exchange between Anime Envy and Hohnheim of Light. It might have made me not hate him so much.

    I'm not sure what else I can say... I thought the 2003 anime was a lot funnier as it gave Roy Mustang a more jovial personality. Havoc and the others were great comedy fodder too and Episode 37 - Flame Alchemist - is nonstop hilarity. Meanwhile the comedy in Brotherhood was just mystifying. Why is an unrepentant serial killer the funniest guy on the show?

    I think most people agree the original anime's soundtrack was far superior. I also thought it had much better openings and endings.'

    I think that's all I really have to say. I'm tired and just want to go to bed right now. I might have more to stay later in response to any replies tot his. I hope I didn't offend anybody with my comments.

  2. #2
    Gobbledygook! Recognized Member Christmas's Avatar
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    I think both got their own merits with brotherhood following the source material through. I myself preferred the 2003 version though.

  3. #3


    I also preferred the 2003 version.

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    Last edited by justis; 05-30-2022 at 02:20 PM.

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