Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood part 5
By Chris Zimmerman
August 15, 2011 - 14:33
Starring: Maxey Whitehead, Vic Mignona, Caitlin Glass, Travis Willingham
Directed by: Caitlin Glass, Mike McFarland
Produced by: Bones
Running Time: 300 minutes
Release Date: August 02, 2011
Distributors: Funimation Entertainment
After five volumes, over fifty episodes, and two series, Fullmetal Alchemist concludes yet again, with just as many heart-rending moments the first go around. Though more action centric than the first, its arguable that this is the better finale of the two, giving the brothers Elric a fitting conclusion to their arc that ultimately brings everything full circle.
The ultimate confrontation between the chosen Alchemists and the homunculi has reached its apex and already lives have been lost. Ed, Al, Scar, Mustang, Izumi, and May battle it out with Father and his group of homunculi for the fate of central and the entire world. The set opens with the much anticipated showdown between Mustang and Envy, the one responsible for Hughes’ death, and as one would expect of the flame alchemist, the fight is explosive and sparked with hatred.
Meanwhile, above ground in central, the Armstrong siblings struggle against the monstrous Sloth, and while they manage to subdue the beast, the arrival of King Bradley sends a cold sweat down everyone’s spines. Greed steps in to take him on but even he isn’t enough to best his homunculus brethren. Of course this is all just the appetizer for the eventual main course that see’s Ed and his crew finally confronting Father who has achieved ultimate omnipotence after having suppressed “God” into a new body.
The conclusion of Brotherhood follows suit with that of the first series, approaching the final episodes from an emotional level that tugs on its audiences heartstrings with one poignant moment after another. When watching these episodes, the word “epic” comes to mind, when examining the effort that went into developing the characters and their world.
The animation quality is what you would expect from Studio Bones. The fluid animation, vibrant colors, and computer graphics are all up to par with past releases and uniformly excellent throughout.
Funimation offers up an audio commentary for the final episode of the series, as well as a collection of humorous outtakes. There are also the usual assortment of trailers and clean opening and closing animations.
I think it goes without saying that Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is a must own series for any fan of anime or animation in general. While this can be said for any iteration of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is special, showcasing gorgeous animation that is accentuated by a talented cast and expertly helmed production. The series is a marvel from start to finish with nary a dull spot to be found. Despite my reservations about the pacing early on, the series turned a corner and separated itself from its predecessor to establish an identity of its own.
It’s rare to find a series that can deliver a strong narrative, engaging characters, and heartfelt moments consistently every episode, and it’s even rarer that a franchise can pull it off twice. Then again, that is the level of quality expected from Fullmetal Alchemist; a modern classic in every sense of the word.
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