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  1. #1
    Nikkolas is offline Member
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    Fullmetal Alchemist vs. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood - SPOILERS!

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    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
    TheVileOne's Avatar
    TheVileOne is offline Peace Loving Shinobi
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    I think both shows really have their pros and cons. Though I think as a series I prefer Brotherhood because there's just more there and it's what the original author intended the story to be. I liked the ending of FMA but yeah I didn't find a lot of the major confrontations to be underwhelming. Brotherhood delivered with the action a lot more.

    OK one thing I hated about FMA was how Hughes' death was handled. In fact Ed and Al don't find out about it until late into the show which I also hated! We never got that moment where they go to see Gracia and Hughes' daughter. Brotherhood delivered with that and I liked that better. I thought it was pretty cheap how they handled Hughes' death and Ed's and Al's reaction to it. They basically find out and then brush it aside. I wanted to get the devastation and the aftermath. In the original series there was never any time to do it because they waffled on it for so long.
    "This is true. This is real. This . . . Is . . . STRAIGHT EDGE."


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  3. #3
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    zoombie is offline Forum Elder
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheVileOne View Post
    I think both shows really have their pros and cons. Though I think as a series I prefer Brotherhood because there's just more there and it's what the original author intended the story to be. I liked the ending of FMA but yeah I didn't find a lot of the major confrontations to be underwhelming. Brotherhood delivered with the action a lot more.

    OK one thing I hated about FMA was how Hughes' death was handled. In fact Ed and Al don't find out about it until late into the show which I also hated! We never got that moment where they go to see Gracia and Hughes' daughter. Brotherhood delivered with that and I liked that better. I thought it was pretty cheap how they handled Hughes' death and Ed's and Al's reaction to it. They basically find out and then brush it aside. I wanted to get the devastation and the aftermath. In the original series there was never any time to do it because they waffled on it for so long.
    Yeah and in the original anime they were closer to the Hughes family. Edward may or may not have delievered their daughter for goodness sakes. Though Brotherhood does try to build that bond with the first episode which not canon the manga. In the manga, they don't meet Gracia and Elicia till just before they leave for Izumi's place. And they wave goodbye and they never speak to one another. They don't formally meet them till after Hughes death. In the manga, they never got to see the Hughes family as a whole happy family.

  4. #4
    TheVileOne's Avatar
    TheVileOne is offline Peace Loving Shinobi
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    They were a lot closer in the original series that is correct. That moment where like Ed sees that image of Hughes waving goodbye was beautiful and to not get that devastation from Ed and Al and to have some sort of fulfilling moment where they talk it out with Gracia just really upsets me. Instead it all just comes out in one scene and never really gets brought up again or mentioned later. In the manga Ed gets really upset about it and Roy is basically like "Shut up kid you bother me." But they do go to Elysia because they feel responsible. Being able to see that come out in Brotherhood meant a lot more to me even though the original anime series fleshed out the relationship a lot more.
    "This is true. This is real. This . . . Is . . . STRAIGHT EDGE."


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  5. #5
    A.Magik is offline Senior Member
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    I tend to think of Anime1 as being carte blanche. A lot of the manga/BRO is Anime/Manga cliche 101. The creators of the Anime1 had a lot of freedom in not following certain conventions and possessing the guts to give different darker conclusions. Idealistic Heroes are forced to make immoral choices (Revenge wins a lot). Things generally don't work out with a shiny bow. The second part had a lot of solid no-reset-button shocks (unlike the 2nd half of the manga/BRO). As a result, a lot of the resolutions in the manga/BRO came off unconvincing to me.

    I agree about the acceptance of Ed as killer. Several detractors go into denial about 'Ed would never kill. Never!' but it appears more like the manga/Bro rather coddled him from killing by either neutralizing his foes or leaving the job to people who can kill with no problem. Anime1Ed LACKED Ishvalans, chimeras or ninjas to do the job. He, like Roy, was pretty much on his own and had no choice.

    A lot of characters were better in Anime1. Maes Hughes without a doubt. Having Tucker survive gives the brothers a ghost that won't stay dead. Ross is memorably rescue-cavalry girl (instead of damsel-in-distress). Winry fares well in both, but the Anime1 does give her some actions independent of the Brothers (building a getaway vehicle in ep. 36, searching for the truth about Sloth in 38, trying to stop Roy & company with a contraption).

    Anime1Envy was portrayed as Big Bad No. 2 (sharing the seat with Bradley), whereas Manga/BROEnvy was in a lower rank. Anime1Envy was a
    capable fighter (unlike MangaEnvy, who couldn't hold his own against RanFan), and would make some psychological warfare in his disguises (just compare the two Envys' 'Hughes' disguises and you'll see who was crueler). Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of Anime1Envy (more disturbing than BROEnvy's forms IMO) is that he is sorta Edward's dark twin. Envy is what Edward would have become if he allowed his bitterness over Hohenheim's abandonment to consume him (Ed had his family to save him; Envy had Dante to corrupt him). In fact, the possibility of Edward sliding to Envy's level is very apparent in Anime1, as Ed treads to the dark abyss more closely than BROEd. But in the end, Edward proves his difference from Envy (by sparing his brother's life). Ed goes out like a christ-like figure, while Envy goes out as a serpent (the devil). The two sides of the same coin.

    As for Sloth, well, the sin is a complex issue in terms of meaning. 'Sloth' is usually attributed to laziness, but can also mean 'apathy to one's responsibilities'. BROSloth's claim to his name is his whinings about being tired. Otherwise, the remaining 95% of him is working 24/7 or fighting in super-speed. Anime1Sloth's claim is that she is apathetic to Trisha's motherly responsibilities, abandoning her boys (though Edward started it by rejecting her) and trying to kill them!

    One should give Dante her kudos. Her plan succeeded in getting a regional transmutation circle done to create a PS (with a lot of permanent sacrifices). Yes, it makes sense that the Homunculus serve some alien being than a human. Still, Dante has her points too. It serves the Anime1's narrative point that it's all humankind's fault. The creation of the PS was done by two humans, the Homunculus were created by humans, this whole mess is based on one human's obsession to stay alive, etc. Anime1 makes the Homunculus appear to be the symptom of the disease (mankind). This serves to give its conclusion a darker meaning: humankind can still screw itself without the Homunculus.

    Also, Dante is unique in being (along with Sloth and Deckart) FMA's minority of villainesses. Manga/BRO's only evil girl is Lust, and she's gone before the midway-point!

    I would feel Bradley came off better in Manga/Bro (except that he really doesn't know how to handle hostages...).

    I disagree about Anime1Hohenheim. I was pretty much won over by his confrontation with Sloth. Those visions of his wife and his children were just beautiful.
    This doesn't mean he gets off the hook. Hohenheim pretty much started this whole mess with full knowledge of the unethical costs (unlike the manga/BRO's innocent pawn of the flask). Again, humanity is pretty much the source of all evil, with the Homunculus just the symptoms of the disease.
    He did abandon his son Envy and eventually his new family. I don't blame him for how he gets defeated (after all, you might as well blame Hughes for the same thing), though he did nothing to get back. Still, he is an interesting person.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheVileOne View Post
    They were a lot closer in the original series that is correct. That moment where like Ed sees that image of Hughes waving goodbye was beautiful and to not get that devastation from Ed and Al and to have some sort of fulfilling moment where they talk it out with Gracia just really upsets me. Instead it all just comes out in one scene and never really gets brought up again or mentioned later. In the manga Ed gets really upset about it and Roy is basically like "Shut up kid you bother me." But they do go to Elysia because they feel responsible. Being able to see that come out in Brotherhood meant a lot more to me even though the original anime series fleshed out the relationship a lot more.
    I think Anime1Ed and Al's situation over Hughes' death made sense. They did freak out about it, and really hated Roy for doing squat about his best friend. But then they realized that Roy's noncommital to avenging Hughes was based on their promise to be the great man: translation, DO NOT TAKE REVENGE! Yes, Ed was pissed about that promise, but then he remembers what revenge did to Scar. Indeed, next episode, when Schieszka asks if Ed's vendetta is for Hughes, Ed replies that Scar taught him that revenge is not the right way.

    If anything, I think Hughes' death resolved all doubt about Ed's decision to kill the Homunculus. Not for revenge, but as a NO-choice resolution to protect Alphonse and everyone else from Dante's genocidal schemes. I do believe that, behind the scenes, Ed might have brought the subject up to Lust during their alliance, with Lust telling the truth (Ed would have had to learn about Dante's body-decomposition somehow).

    As for their lack of meeting the Hughes family, you must remember that the Anime1 had no return visit to Central until the final battle, and their present situation as outlaws rendered any chance of meeting the family a dangerous waste of time.

    But Hughes is not forgotten. In his final talk with Roy, Ed deduces that Roy's vendetta against Bradley is for the vengeance of Hughes (because Bradley ordered Hughes' death). He does little to protest about it, because right now he is on his way to kill, and thus has little right to judge Roy for dropping his honorable promise for the sake of revenge. This is their bond: they have to stop the Homunculus by killing their own ideals.
    Last edited by A.Magik; 09-03-2012 at 08:57 AM.

  6. #6
    VladDraculi is offline Member
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    I never really enjoyed the first anime series that much. I liked it, but I found it lacking in the area that really grabbed me. Brotherhood, on the other hand, I could not stop watching. I finished each volume in two days. In fact, I watched the final volume all in one sitting because I could not wait to see how the thing ended. The characters grow up in Brotherhood, whereas in the first series, they are the same start to finish. Plus, Bradley being Wrath makes far more sense given his warring nature over being Pride.

  7. #7
    A.Magik is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by VladDraculi View Post
    The characters grow up in Brotherhood, whereas in the first series, they are the same start to finish.
    I would disagree: Anime1 characters like the Brothers Elric, Roy, Lust, Wrath, and Rose did not stay the same from start to finish.

  8. #8
    VladDraculi is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by A.Magik View Post
    I would disagree: Anime1 characters like the Brothers Elric, Roy, Lust, Wrath, and Rose did not stay the same from start to finish.
    I mean physically, not mentally. Ed never grew during the first anime. Plus, the boy with the name Wrath should not have even existed and Lust overstayed her welcome. Oh, and Sloth never made sense in the first anime. Sloth is supposed to be laziness, how was their mother representing that?

  9. #9
    A.Magik is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by VladDraculi View Post
    I mean physically, not mentally. Ed never grew during the first anime.
    If that is what you really meant, I don't really see how that is such a valuable improvement. Besides, you have to remember that the series part of Anime1 has a lesser time-span (I could measure that the heroes' first visit to the underground city in both versions happened at the same time, only one was a mid-way point while the other was a final battle). And Ed does indeed grow at CoS.

    Plus, the boy with the name Wrath should not have even existed and Lust overstayed her welcome.
    That is your opinion. Wrath gave Izumi a plot of her own, introduced the concept of 'how Homunculus are created' as well as the idea of 'how human are they?' Anime1Lust also had those qualities as well. A lot can be said about Anime1Lust that has nothing to do with 'OWNED by Roy,' which shall always be the priority definition for Manga/BroLust. Besides, Lust's prolonged existence allowed the Anime1 to keep all seven of their sins after the turning point (Episode 25). Removing Lust early in the manga/Bro negated that one, while pretty much removing all female villainy in that version.
    Oh, and Sloth never made sense in the first anime. Sloth is supposed to be laziness, how was their mother representing that?
    Sloth also means apathy to one's responsibilities. Trisha was a devoted mother to Ed and Al. As Sloth, she either ignores them or tries to kill them. That's apathetic BIG TIME.
    Besides, your accusation could fall on Manga/BroSloth too. His vocal whining about being tired is the only evidence; otherwise he's either building a tunnel or fighting (in un-sloth-like super-speed)!
    Last edited by A.Magik; 09-05-2012 at 06:23 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by A.Magik View Post
    That is your opinion. Wrath gave Izumi a plot of her own, introduced the concept of 'how Homunculus are created' as well as the idea of 'how human are they?' Anime1Lust also had those qualities as well. A lot can be said about Anime1Lust that has nothing to do with 'OWNED by Roy,' which shall always be the priority definition for Manga/BroLust.
    That's one reason why I felt that the Anime1 versions of Lust and Envy worked better than the ones that appear in the Manga and Brotherhood: whereas the manga/Brotherhood versions were nothing more than henchmen of Father, Lust and Envy felt more developed in the original anime. With Lust, she becomes a character evolves from someone assisting the show's main bad guy to someone who eventually questions these actions. As for Envy, without going into spoilers, there's a good reason why he has that name that doesn't involve the "jealous that humans can forgive and move on" stuff that appears in the manga/Brotherhood.
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