Fullmetal Alchemist (but why “Brotherhood”?)

I’ve been wondering about that for a while, because the Japanese name for both series is simple “Hagane no Renkinjutsushi”, not even a “2” or “2nd series” attached. Was “Brotherhood” attached simply because the West is anal?

When a new Hagaren series was announced back in 2008, I originally thought it would be some kind of weird continuation of the first anime series/movie. But as news of the production wound its way through the grapevine, I was but one of many who were please to hear that they were completely redoing it. Changes in the cast were met with some skepticism, especially when I found myself hearing Lockon Stratos, but these little issues were slowly worked out. And to complete the package, Arakawa-sensei collaborated brilliantly with the anime producers to deliver a near simultaneous manga-anime ending.

I’ll be honest, I quite enjoyed the first anime series, perhaps because I’ve long been a fan of the strange endings characteristic of BONES. But in hindsight, knowing now what Arakawa-sensei planned out for her characters right from the start, I completely understand why a lot of people really disliked that first series. Whilst the action was good (for the time), and some of the original material was quite creative (e.g. linking the homunculi to failed human transmutations), it didn’t really make sense, both in terms of the universe that Arakawa-sensei created and in terms of the characters.

So, what about this “true” ending then? There is a fair amount of discontent in the fandom, mostly centered around Mustang getting his sight back (via the philosopher’s stone that Marcoh was holding on to), lack of Royai, and the general happy feeling of the ending. Perhaps the most sensible response to these people is to ignore them: they’ll grow of of this “Yay! for depressing endings!” soon enough.

I don’t want to rehash everything I wrote on the ending in another blog post, but Arakawa-sensei really worked everything out perfectly. From Ed choosing to exchange his own Gate of Truth to bring Al back, to Mustang getting his sight back through Marcoh’s Philosopher’s stone. This was one area where the anime could have been a bit more explicit about the thoughts and values that went into that decision, as Roy would definitely be able to accomplish far more good working to change the country, as per his ideals, than to have him looking for some way to be useful as a blind person. I’m sure that the souls used to restore his sight would have been satisfied.

In summary: the characters were consistent from start to end, and the choices they made were consistent with Arakawa-sensei’s vision; the production values were generally excellent; and even the new seiyuu grew into their roles as time went on, all in time to deliver a powerful finale. What more could you ask for?

Now, if only Studio Deen would decide to redo Fruits Basket properly…

About karice
MAG fan, translator, and localization project manager. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: