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Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Part 2

DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Modern Masterpiece! Sept. 15 2010
By Mike J.
Format:DVD
Despite FMAB Part 1 is a great collection, I admit Part 1 is a bit rush as it quickly and narrowly summarizes most of the important events occured on the original series with just only 13 episodes. However, the story and the excitement really start taking off with Part 2 where there are very few familiar storylines you could compare or find on the original series. Therefore, if you expect FMAB is like among many other big-remake series such as DBZ Kai or Rebuild of Evangelion movies, you will be wrong. FMAB is a totally different adaptation from the original series. It's actually not a remake as its concept and plotline are more connected with the original managa, which ultimately may please the managa fans a bit more. However, that doesn't mean the people who favor the original TV series can't enjoy it as well since FMAB tells in a different perspective, which includes more intensed battles, fast-paced and much more complicated plot, and many more interesting new characters joined the story etc. Either you are a big fan of the original series or the manga series or both, this new version of FMAB will absolutely not disappoint you.

Things that I enjoy Part 2 the most is how intelligent the story is written. You will never know what comes next as the plot is constantly developing and changing; many characters' behaviours at times act totally different from the ones on the original series. For instance, you may think that character is good guy, but wait until you'll see he/she might do something that's totally out of his/her characters. Even so, the creator still manages not to alienate their original personality and is able to make all characters (good and evil) likable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just FYI.. May 18 2013
Format:DVD
As stated in the title, this is simply for your information and is directed towards those who post ridiculously long tirades on manga / anime / video games. Not that these pages long rants aren't chock full of self serving, grandiose garbage and virtual soapboxes to express a plethora of closedminded opinions and judgments, but they are HORRIBLY edited.
Do you want people to process your mindless prattling, digest the pointed drivel and understand the ubiquitous truths that lie within the mess of your forward or backward thinking nonsense?
Then learn how to write and in the language you're expressing those opinions in. ESPECIALLY if you're doing it from said soapbox: an elitist tool seems far less demeaning when he or she does so with a hint of intelligence.
Honestly, does every movie need to be Schindler's List, every game Journey and every anime Evangelion for people to be able to enjoy them?
I liked this and quite a bit.
Thanks for taking the time reading the preceding rant.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  58 reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" part two is another fantastic volume featuring more action, more humor & emotional scenes. Aug. 31 2010
By Dennis A. Amith (kndy) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray
In Japan, "Fullmetal Alchemist" (Hagane no Renkinjutushi) has been a popular long running anime and manga series created by mangaka Hiromu Arakawa. The original manga series was serialized in Square Enix's "Shonen Gangan" since 2001, while the 51-episode TV series created by BONES was shown on television in 2004 and was followed by a film to conclude the series.

The popularity of "Fullmetal Alchemist" has led to many novels, OVA's, drama CD's, soundtracks and video games and a lot of these releases have been distributed in various countries and its popularity is a testament of how people have come to love the series which has won many awards in Japan including being voted for the #1 most popular anime series of all time.

Despite it's popularity, the series could have gone on longer but because the anime series was created when the manga was only several years old, the anime series only lasted 51-episodes and there were differences between what the director featured on the anime series and what Arakawa had in the manga.

So, in 2009, a new series titled "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" (Hagane no Renkinjutsushi: Furumetaru Arukemisuto) was created by BONES and this time around, the series would follow the manga much more closely. Currently there are over 60 episodes that have aired in Japan and the series is still ongoing. Also, unlike the previous anime series, this series would be created in HD (540p). The first 13 episodes of "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" would feature its first 13-episodes covering the first 26-episodes from the original anime series but from that point on, the series becomes a whole new storyline which features more characters and for the most part, something new and different for the viewers, especially fans of the original series.

To make sure that there is a difference between this series aside from the storyline differences compared to the original, the staff is different this time around as well as the character designs. The director for "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" would be Yasuhiro Irie (who worked on RahXephon", "Cowboy Bebop", "Macross Plus", "Gunparade March"), series composition by Hiroshi Ohnogi ("Eureka Seven", "Area 88, "Aquarion", "RahXephon", "RIN", "Skullman"), music by Akira Senju ("Red Garden", "Mobile Suit Victory Gundam", "Silent Service"), character designs by Hiroki Kanno ("Angelic Layer", "Eureka Seven", "Ninja Scroll", "RahXephon") and art design by Takeshi Satou ("Mobile Suit Gundam 00', "Ghost Slayers Ayashi", "Please Twins!").

"Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" is a series about two young alchemist brothers named Edward and his younger brother Alphonse Eric (aka "Al"). Their father left them and several months after their father left, an epidemic hit their village and killed their mother. Grieving and alone without their mother, the two quickly tried to hone their alchemist skills and hope to bring their mother back alive by using a human transmutation (this is illegal and considered taboo by alchemist).

While performing the transmutation, a dark shadow comes and literally breaks apart the body of Alphonse and as for Edward, he is shown "the truth" but in return for doing the transmutation, there is a toll and in this case, he loses his legs and feet and his right arm. And the transmutation to bring their mother fails as Edward was only able to revive a disembodied figure. In a short time allowed before the dark shadow leaves, Edward was able to bond Al's soul to a suit of armor but there are some consequences. And these consequences and guilt have plunged Edward to the lowest he had ever been.

Meanwhile, a military figure named Roy Mustang has come and is shocked to see that Edward was able to survive a human transmutation and also anchoring his brother's soul and thus gives Edward a chance to join the military to fight with them but at the same time, gaining access that may give Edward a chance to bring his brother back to life and also his own body as well.

With this opportunity, this gives Edward a chance to repair what he did wrong and help his brother. But as they investigate on how they can get their bodies back and investigating what is known as a "Philosopher's Stone", an unknown group is out there, observing his every move and willing to kill in order to get to Edward.

In part two of "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood", the story begins to focus on the military encounter with the Homunculi, the investigation of Hughes death and Winry coming face-to-face with the murderer who killed her parents.

VIDEO:

"Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Part Two" is presented in 1080p HD 16×9 via a HD native source. It's important to note that although the conversion was made to 1080p, I've read that the actual Japanese original masters were created in 540p. With that being said, this is a TV series and one can't expect OVA or film quality but I manage to compare the DVD and Blu-ray version and the Blu-ray looks much more colorful, much more detailed and looked much better and more colorful than its DVD counterpart.

I did notice edge enhancement and I'm sure the conversion of a 540p source to 1080p possibly led to the jaggies that can be seen at times. Granted, I'm a bit picky when it comes to video quality but the fact that this is created by BONES (a busy anime production company) and the fact that this is not an OVA or film, for a TV series, "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" looks very good. Granted, it's not uber-vibrant but there is a good amount of shading, detail, blacks are deep and overall, I felt the Blu-ray looked much better than its DVD counterpart.

AUDIO:

"Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Part Two" is presented in English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and in Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0. Overall, the 5.1 lossless soundtrack sounds very good and there is a good amount of surround usage and its much more immersive than its Japanese lossless counterpart. There is quite a bit of action in this second volume, plenty of battles are featured and many episodes that utilize the surround channels.

The Japanese lossless soundtrack is still good, especially if you have a receiver in which you can change the setting to stereo on all channels. I do prefer the Japanese lossless soundtrack in terms of acting especially during the more emotional moments in this second volume (which there are many). But I've watched the series in both Japanese and English and for the most part, both are well done and similar to "Dragon Ball Z" and "One Piece", the English dub has caught my attention and this time around, I was watching many of the episodes in English. But both voice acting are well done.

Subtitles are in English.

NOTE: You can not use your audio button to switch from Japanese to English and vice versa while watching the series. You will need to press your guide button to switch to another audio. Also, you can not optionally remove English subtitles unless you choose the English lossless soundtrack. So, for those who want to watch the series in Japanese with no English subtitles may be disappointed by this.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

"Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Part Two" comes with the following special features:

* EPISODE 14 Commentary - Audio commentary by Mike McFarland (ADR Director/Line Director and voice of Havoc) and voice talents Chris Patton (Greed) and Vic Mignona (Edward Elric) talking about reprising their role for "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood).
* EPISODE 23 Commentary - Audio commentary by ADR director and voice talent Mike McFarland (Havoc) and English Dub voice talents Todd Haberkorn (Ling Yao), Monica Rial (May Chang), Trina Nishimura (Lan Fan).
* Textless Opening and Closing Songs - The textless opening and ending theme songs.
* Trailers - FUNimation Entertainment trailers.

JUDGMENT CALL:

Like the first part of "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood", there is a good amount of episodes that will make you laugh and even make you want to shed some tears as not only does the series feature a good amount of action, fun and upbeat moments but also heartbreaking episodes. Especially those dealing with Ed and Al's realization of what happened to their good friend Hughes and when we see Winry confront the man who killed her parents. Heartbreaking scenes but definitely added to the enjoyment of this series.

Aside from the more emotional scenes, the battle between the military and the homunculi is starting to ramp up and we get to see a number of awesome battles between the military and the Homunculi and also an introduction to Lin Yao, Lan Fan, May Chang and also a confrontation with the murderer Scar.

If anything, while the first series was more or less trying to jam pack a lot of story (that people saw in the first series) in its first 13 episodes, this time around the storyline becomes much more focused on what took place on the manga series. More character development was needed on the military characters and the writers have done a wonderful job in including more scenes with Roy Mustang, Jean Havoc, Riza Hawkeye and also on the newer characters Ling Yao, Lan Fan and May Chang. As well as showcasing the homunculi and what they are capable of.

I really enjoyed part two of "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" and how well-paced, how action-packed and how much deeper the episodes were. This latest volume was quite addicting and I definitely enjoy how the series has continued to grow and improve with each episode.

As for the Blu-ray release, as explained with my review for the first volume, some people may have issues that this series is not true 1080p but created in 540p and then upscaled to 1080p. As many Japanese companies are going through cost-cutting situations due to their economy, we are going to see some anime released in 4:3 instead of widescreen and we are going to see Japanese companies not taking advantage of true 1080p and focusing on creating anime series in 540p. It's the nature of the industry right now and if we want to support anime, we'll need to support them even during these tough times.

But with that being said, I was able to compare the DVD and the Blu-ray release of "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" and the artistic backgrounds and its details are much better looking on Blu, the colors are more cleaner, sharper and more colorful on Blu and for the most part, for a TV series, I'm quite content with the PQ. I felt the black levels were good and again, for a TV Series released in 2009, the picture quality is good not great (it's not 1080p) and there is a hint of edge enhancement but it's still pretty good.

Overall, "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" may not please the diehards who have loved the original anime TV series but the fact is, we are getting a series that is now closer to the manga series and also more episodes than the original release. Not to say one should forget the original series but in a way, the "Fullmetal Alchemist" brand has moved on to bigger and better and the FMA: Brotherhood series is much more consistent to what the creator, Hiromu Arakawa intended.

"Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" has the making of a great anime series and part two is fantastic!

It will make you laugh, cry and you'll notice how things continue to get better and better with this series and you are left with wanting more! If you are looking for an anime TV series on Blu-ray that has a great balance of cool characters, an addictive storyline and for the most part, looks good and sounds wonderful in HD. Definitely put this series high on top of your anime on Blu-ray list!
25 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superior anime that is simply a Masterpiece..without a doubt one of the greatest animated television productions ever made. June 18 2010
By TRUTH - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I highly assure anyone if you haven't checked out Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood then you are greatly missing out on this animated masterpiece!Fullmetal Alchemist is an franchise that has taken America by storm three times now firstly with the original 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist animated series..secondly with the cult followed manga of the same and now the final time with the remarkable animated Brotherhood!Brotherhood is currently airing on Adult Swim and is gaining great attention with impressive ratings all around and the animated series is on the last three episodes that will be airing in Japan for the rest of June and officially ending its run on July 4th with 64 episodes in total.This animated rare gem truly hits an incredible peak with part two..this is when the animated series strays away from the original 2003 anime to pave its own path by following the manga's brilliant plot.What your in store for with this 13 episode set is my personal favorite episodes of the series..beautiful emotions are unleashed,Jaw dropping battle sequences animated with some of the best animation ever put on film..I kid you not..you will be left in awe with every gut turning,beautifully paced moment..and with the ending episode on this set it will only leave you wanting more..don't worry this animated series only gets better as it progresses into its deeply intelligent and engrossing plot.Studio Bones has proved once again with Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood that without a doubt they are one of the greatest animation studios in the world.Hiromu Arakawa has created one of the most unique and groundbreaking stories ever written in the graphic novel world(I like to think so)..Fullmetal Alchemist is indeed one of the my favorite stories ever..so what are you waiting for..buy this set today and experience the beautiful world of Fullmetal Alchemist!

P.s.The Japanese Dub is by far one of the best dubs I've ever heard in all my years of watching anime and the English Dub is remarkable as well!Vic Mignogna truly deserves an voice acting equivalent of a oscar for his riveting performance as Edward Elric!
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting better along the way Aug. 24 2010
By BryanF87 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This set of episodes is where Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood really starts to take off and establish itself as a different series from the first anime. I would consider this the "narrative hook" of the FMA:Brotherhood series. I will admit that I was a bit turned off by the first 13 episodes of FMA:Brotherhood, I felt like the series had a very "rushed" feel to it. I understand that they were trying to speed over the ground that had already been covered by it's predeccesor, but I wished they would have slowed down with it a bit. I felt that it detracted from the emotional impact that the original series had. But once I finally got to episode 15, and the series slowed down the pacing a bit, I realized that once again, the Bones animation studio was delivering yet another masterpiece. If you were a fan of the original FMA, and were dissapointed by the first set of episodes like me, I encourage you to at least give Part 2 a view, your opinion will most likely change. I have watched the entire series of FMA brotherhood in Japanese (with english subtitles) and I can tell you that I really thought this was the stronger of the 2 series once it takes off. In the original FMA, I felt a bit dissapointed by how they ended the series, and I honestly felt that the last 10 or so episodes didn't really add up to the rest of the series, though I did enjoy the last 2 or 3 episodes. Where'as with FMA Brotherhood I feel that it's the opposite, it has a week opening with the first 13 episodes, minus a few moments, but overall the series is better as a whole from the original. There is a whole lot more action throughout FMA: Brotherhood, and the ending, which I won't give away, is a great deal more climatic than the original FMA series ending, in my opinion. By the time you finish this disc set, I can say that you will more than likely be "sold" on what FMA: Brotherhood has to offer. And it only gets better from here.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Homunculi Unleashed Oct. 14 2010
By Zack Davisson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Part Two of "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" is what the fans have been waiting for. This is finally the point where the original "Fullmetal Alchemist" parted company with the manga and went off on its own story, but here with "Brotherhood" there is the chance to do it right.

"Brotherhood" was a pretty bold experiment. The first Fullmetal Alchemist anime out-paced the manga, and had to invent new storylines and resolutions separate from Hiromu Arakawa's intentions. This in not unheard of in Japan. The same thing happened to Negima! which leads to a drastically different storyline in the manga and the anime. But with "Brotherhood" they decided to go back and re-make the series from the beginning, produced by studio Bones with new directors, character designs and overall look while keeping the story in-line with what was going on in the manga.

Part 1 of "Brotherhood" was good, but a little too rushed. They were basically covering ground that had already been covered in the first anime, and it isn't until Part Two that the story gets to break free and develop according to plan. It shows in the quality and attention to character development in Part Two.

Part Two contains episodes 14-26, covering volumes 8 through 13 of the manga. There is too much going on here to give a full synopsis, but there are plenty of surprises in story for the Elrics as they encounter foreigners from a distant country who use alkahestry, an alternate form of the more familiar alchemy used by the brothers, and more secrets of the Philosopher's Stone are revealed. The highlights of Part 2 are in episode 19, when the power of the homunculi Lust is finally unleashed for an action-packed showdown with Roy Mustang, and the heartbreaking episode 20, where Edward discovers some harsh truths about his transmuting the souls of the dead.

I don't know if you have to choose, but I am enjoying "Brotherhood" more than the original "Fullmetal Alchemist" anime. The stories are deeper and more complex, and the animation style is more luscious and colorful.

If you haven't given "Brotherhood" a shot, here is where it really shows itself to be more than a re-do of "Fullmetal Alchemist." Give it a try!
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It only gets better July 4 2010
By Magiteknight - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I'm assuming that if you are buying the second dvd set of FMA:Brotherhood, then you already know and like what this show has to offer.
Well it only gets better. More characters, plot intrigue, rich story, and character developments. Not to mention beautiful animation.
(Again be aware this is a remake of FMA. It is not like the original TV series. It follows the manga plot.)

You seriously can't go wrong with this show.
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