Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood – 01 (Reboot Fix Everything)

Hagane no Renkinjutsushi – Fullmetal Alchemist Ep. 01
鋼の錬金術師 FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST Episode 01
Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood – 01

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood - 01The “Ice Alchemist” (or “Freezing Alchemist” as FUNimation’s subtitles say) Isaac McDougal is loose and King Bradley assigns Col. Roy Mustang to take care of this rogue soldier, suggesting he enlist the aide of “Fullmetal Alchemist,” Edward Elric. After failing to bring Isaac in, Ed and his brother Al are given quarter at Lt. Col. Maes Hughes home. Isaac tries to enlist help from another former State Alchemist, Kimblee (Kimbley?).

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood - 01Failing that, Isaac sets out to bring about his plan on his own. That entails encasing Central Headquarters in ice by setting up transmutation circles in key alleys around Central. His reasons are to get back at King Bradley for the tragedy during the fight at Ishbal. Roy fails to nab Isaac but Ed and Al manage to force him to retreat despite Ed taking injuries as walls of ice begin to turn the city into a giant transmutation circle.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood - 01As Isaac flees, he finds King Bradley waiting for him in an alley. Isaac attacks but the Führer simply draws his sword and kills Isaac. When everything is over, Bradley gives the credit for this crisis resolution to Roy and to Ed. Meanwhile in the hospital, the muscular Major Armstrong comes to “comfort” the injured Ed.

Thoughts/Review:

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood - 01Because I’ve not read the manga, I’ve no idea on what the changes were to the Fullmetal Alchemist manga story in the anime adaptation. I’m told that the first half of the anime is pretty close to the manga source materials, then the anime goes off on its own (with the manga-ka’s blessing apparently) and comes up with its own end. Frankly, I enjoyed Fullmetal Alchemist and even owned it for a time (it had to go a few years ago when I needed to raise extra cash for medical bills) but for some reason, I never felt compelled to watch it again.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood - 01Despite this, when I heard of this new Fullmetal Alchemist anime coming out, I was keen to watch it.

I had no clue on what this new series would entail. I had thought that it might pick up half-way on the original anime and go from there. Boy was I mistaken. This is a complete reboot back to the beginning and frankly if they are going to follow the manga story all the way through, that’s how it should be. I only wish someone would do that for Negima!, but I digress.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood - 01Anyway, by rebooting the series, it will be important for me to divorce from my mind the things I remember from the original anime. Unfortunately, some things won’t be so easy to dismiss (a certain death springs to mind) but that’s OK. I look forward to seeing a fairly accurate adaptation of the manga story.

There are a lot of seiyuu changes for this reboot. While Al and Ed’s seiyuu are the same, many others are not including Roy Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood - 01Mustang. Ed and Al’s voices were the most memorable to me, so while others may pick up on hearing different voices for certain characters, I did not thanks to the sheer number of anime I’ve watched since I last saw Fullmetal Alchemist.

One final note on the production side — the Japanese are using an English VA to say “Fullmetal Alchemist” during the eye-catches. I wonder if that’s because FUNimation already Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood - 01has a streaming license and no doubt a full distribution license to boot though I don’t think that’s officially been announced (likely that is being saved for a convention). Also, on the Japanese side, the series is being called “Hagane no Renkinjutsushi FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST.” The term “Brotherhood” must be a creation for non-Japanese audience since the Japanese are simply using both the Japanese and English names.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood - 01I am glad that FUNimations is providing a legal means of streaming this anime series with subtitles. However, one of the problems is that for a series as popular as Fullmetal Alchemist, the strain on FUNimation’s (or whomever is ultimately hosting the episode) servers is high.

Basically one pretty much has to pause the video and let it stream on down because otherwise, you are going to have a Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood - 01very choppy playback. Right now, that’s going to likely take an hour or more to complete (make that a few hours). If FUNimation is serious about doing this kind of thing and can pull off enough ad revenue, then I’d say that investing in more servers to handle the increased load is in order.

Now onto the story. Because this is a reboot, there’s simply no need to have watched the previous Fullmetal Alchemist, nor is Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood - 01there a reason to have read the manga. It is very tough for me to say whether or not this series would have been confusing to a newbie. I do think that while the audience is thrown into the middle of things (with Al and Ed already working for the military), the story is crafted in such a way as to sweep those people along, providing introductions to some key characters. Hopefully, the writers will remain faithful to the manga but at the Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood - 01same time, not just assume people have either read the manga or watched the first anime.

I’m told that the character of Isaac and the story in this first episode are original, but that manga-ka ARAWAWA Hiromu-sensei had a role in its development (at least with character designs for Isaac). I’m guessing this original episode was done to differentiate this series from the first one, which is fine with me.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood - 01It was nice seeing Hughes, Roy, and the others having returned as well as the “chibi” jokes. I’d forgotten how much fun and humor were injected into the original story especially since I know it gets darker over time.

Beyond that, not a heck of a lot for me to say beyond that I am looking forward to seeing this series play out properly based on the manga.

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8 Responses to “Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood – 01 (Reboot Fix Everything)”

  1. mastermack0 says:

    the beginning of the manga is just like the first anime but it does get RADICALLY different. For example, some of the homoculi are different and the main bad guy isn’t Dante. Also, characters play much different roles in this.

    latest manga chapter is AMAZIGN

  2. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Ah. Well, since you’ve been reading the manga, I’d love to hear things you spot that are different as this anime progresses. ^_^

  3. quigonkenny says:

    From what I understand the first episode of the manga is designed to lessen the amount of material that has to be redone (about 15-20 episodes worth of the first anime was nearly exactly the same as the manga) while still advancing enought plot points (x person meets y person, certain event happens, etc.) so that it stands alone on its own and those who haven’t read the manga or seen the original anime aren’t lost.

    >>>“I only wish someone would do that for Negima!, but I digress.”

    Word…

  4. Charred Knight says:

    I should point Funimation has announced the liscense of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

  5. Merc says:

    So far, so good. I was little worried when I first heard about the anime-only Ice Alchemist showing up in the very first episode, but he actually seems to fit in with the manga storyline. No key points have been destroyed as of yet.

    …Yeah, I’m just a tad anxious about how good this anime will be about following the manga. As good as the first anime is, I like the manga more, so it’d be nice to see an anime that really does it justice.

    And the latest chapter really is just plain awesome.

  6. AstroNerdBoy says:

    I’ve heard that the manga is pretty good.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Luckily, the beginning stuff we saw in the 1st anime will be shorter, considering that the 1st one added a large amount of things there. Examples include the other brothers, the red water stuff, Psyren, that creepy doll guy, Elicia’s birth, hugely expanded alchemy entrance exam (manga was an individual interview where Ed only showed his circle-less powers and ‘attacked’ Bradley), Lab 5, Barry’s origin, etc. The list goes on.

    The faster it gets to the parts the 1st anime didn’t, the better for this one. Especially Barry the Chopper. Just seeing the start of the opening with young Hohenheim gives me a good feeling about this being a faithful adaption.

    Also, as a note, the part where you’ll really see a difference will be around the Rush Valley/Izumi/Greed parts.

  8. AstroNerdBoy says:

    If this anime is as good as it could be, then it shows me that audiences really don’t have problems with reboots in order to get the anime right, in which case I do have a small list of remakes that would be nice. ^_^

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