English: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Synonyms: Hagane no Renkinjutsushi (2009), Fullmetal Alchemist (2009), FMA
Apr 5, 2009 to Jul 4, 2010
24 min. per ep.
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
9.251 (scored by 376,412 users)
indicates a weighted score. Please note that 'Not yet aired' titles are excluded.
based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
SynopsisIn this world there exist alchemists, people who study and perform the art of alchemical transmutation—to manipulate objects and transform one object into another. They are bounded by the basic law of alchemy: in order to gain something you have to sacrifice something of the same value.
The main character is the famous alchemist Edward Elric—also known as the Fullmetal Alchemist—who almost lost his little brother, Alphonse, in an alchemical accident. Edward managed to attach his brother's soul to a large suit of armor. While he did manage to save his brother's life, he paid the terrible price of his limbs.
To get back what they've lost, the brothers embark on a journey to find the Philosopher's Stone that is said to amplify the powers of an alchemist enormously; however, on the way, they start uncovering a conspiracy that could endanger the entire nation, and they realize the misfortunes brought upon by the Philosopher's Stone.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is a re-telling of the story from the manga's point of view.
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Characters & Voice Actors
Opening Theme#1: "again" by YUI (eps 1-14)
#2: "Hologram (ホログラム)" by NICO Touches the Walls (eps 15-26)
#3: "Golden Time Lover (ゴールデンタイムラバー)" by Sukima Switch (eps 27-38)
#4: "Period" by Chemistry (eps 39-50)
#5: "Rain (レイン)" by SID (eps 51-62)
Ending Theme#1: "Uso (嘘)" by SID (eps 1-14)
#2: "LET IT OUT" by Miho Fukuhara (eps 15-26)
#3: "Tsunaida Te (つないだ手)" by Lil'B (eps 27-38)
#4: "Shunkan Sentimental (瞬間センチメンタル)" by SCANDAL (eps 39-50)
#5: "RAY OF LIGHT" by Nakagawa Shouko (eps 51-62)
#6: "Rain (レイン)" by SID (ep 63)
#7: "Hologram (ホログラム)" by NICO Touches the Walls (ep 64)
First of all, I have seen the original FMA and although it was very popular and original, the pacing and conclusion did not sit too well with me. Brotherhood is meant to be a remake of the original, this time sticking to the manga all the way through, but there were people who thought it would spoil the franchise. That myth should be dispelled, as there's only one word to describe this series - EPIC.
I admit that as I've seen the original and read the manga, the pacing of Brotherhood seems to start off being VERY fast (I finally got used to the pacing after watching the first fifteen eps or so). Events that took up half a volume of the manga and had spread though a few episodes of the original anime were now shown in just a single episode. However, after trying to look at it from the perspective of someone who's new to FMA (not comparing it to the manga nor the original), I believe that the pacing works and it manages to tell an intriguing story effectively with little confusion. The plot is full of clever ideas and unpredictable twists that link various parts of the story together. By the final episode, all loose ends are neatly tied up and what's left is a hugely satisfying epilogue.
The animation in FMA Brotherhood is crisp and very well done (although it does sometimes dip a bit in quality). Compared to the original FMA it's a bit simpler but that's just because the original set a very high standard to follow. The facial emotions of the characters are also perfectly presented. The action scenes are brilliant and VERY well animated, with a variety of alchemy techniques and other talents being displayed nearly every episode. The various battles are consistently exciting to watch, but somehow get even better towards the end of the series.
The voice acting is of an excellent and consistent quality, and I think that pretty much all the characters have voice actors which suit their personalities. The majority of the openings/endings are a pleasure to watch due to fantastic animated sequences and theme songs. The background music which play during the episodes usually fit very well with the situation, although some tracks seem to be overused a little at first. This becomes less of a problem as the series progresses, with plenty of new music being introduced to support the story as it reaches the finale.
Moving on to the characters (best thing about this series), the original FMA focussed mainly on Ed and Al and on their struggles to regain their bodies, whereas Brotherhood also explores other characters to great detail at the same time. The majority of the spotlight is still on the two brothers, but it highlights their interactions with new characters which were not present in the original anime. New characters include a group of people from Xing (a neighbouring country), another person from the Armstrong family (who I think has become one of the coolest members of the supporting cast), and a new main antagonist. For me, the Xingese characters in particular (Ling Yao and Mei Chang among others) provide a new dimension to the FMA world, by showing us a different culture to the militaristic one we're familiar with. I think the new antagonist is an improvement on the original FMA, as this person has a much stronger and clever link to the Elric brothers' father. Returning characters from the original FMA, such as Mustang and Scar, are much more awesome and developed due to the fact that Brotherhood is 100% faithful to the manga. Plus, Winry Rockbell now has a much more active role in the story. I can say for sure that this anime has one of the best main/supporting casts I've ever seen, and you'd probably find it difficult to label any of the recurring characters (whether they are good or evil) as being either boring or unnecessary in terms of the storyline.
One of the many good things about this series is that there has been absolutely no filler at all (yes, I'm thinking of Naruto, Inuyasha, etc), which prevents the story from losing momentum. All the episodes are concise and every scene is important as part of the huge plot. The dialogue fully explains everything and is straight to the point. As multiple characters are explored there are lots of side stories, but these are all perfectly intertwined with the main story of the Elric brothers and more often than not directly influence their journey too. Like most anime series, there are things from the manga which have been left out, but these are usually just restricted to comedy moments. There has been one episode which shows a lot of flashbacks of events so far, but that's forgiven as it shows the most epic moments of the series, and also provided us with some history on the father of the Elric brothers.
FMA Brotherhood will be sorely missed now that it's finished. It is excellent in every aspect and has very little, if anything, that can be called a flaw (maybe rushed character development at first due to the fast pacing, but this quickly subsides). Each episode feels like it's too short, a testimony to how much it draws you in to the story and characters. There are moments which leave you smiling, laughing, sad and simply amazed. Try this anime, it's recommended for absolutely everyone, to newcomers and to those familiar with Fullmetal Alchemist. read more
Adaptations have long been a thorn in the side of anime viewers, but not because they are inherently bad. No, the main problem has been that many studios have regarded the original work almost as an afterthought, and there are a number of shows that could have been wonderful if the writers had simply stuck to the original story.
One of the issues at hand seems to be ownership as producers, writers and directors all seem to want the work to be reflective of their style and perception, and in order to stamp their mark on a show they will makes numerous unnecessary changes or additions. Admittedly there are times when the adaptation supersedes the original work, but more often than not the result is at best a decent anime, and at worst utter twaddle.
And then there's the other side of the coin, where the anime adaptation sticks to the storyline set out in the original work. Normally one would expect these to be superior works, but in a strange irony this is not always the case. The problem with these types of adaptations is that the original work may not have been very good, or even have a suitable narrative, to begin with, and turning them into anime only seems to exacerbate their inherent flaws.
Fortunately, the Full Metal Alchemist franchise manages to steer clear almost all of these pitfalls. The problem is, there are no other anime that have so evenly split the viewing public's opinion between the two versions of the series. Unlike the 2003 adaptation, Brotherhood is a faithful representation of Arakawa Hiromu's hit manga, and while many fans of the franchise laud it as the best thing since sliced bread, there are a number who consider the original anime version to be the superior tale.
But we'll get to that in a bit.
Many people will already be familiar with the particulars of the story, and in a very real sense the common perception is well formed. Unfortunately, one of the problems with liking something too much is that one becomes blinded to its flaws, and while Brotherhood has very few noticeable ones where the narrative is concerned, this also serves to make them stand out.
The story is told in a very straight forward, no nonsense manner that is kind of refreshing given the penchant for filler episodes. The issue though, is that the content of the tale is much lighter in tone, much more typically "shounen" in its essence, than that of the first adaptation. One of the reasons for this is because the undercurrent of obsession amongst the main characters peters out towards the end of the story - a stark contrast to the ending in the first adaptation. Instead, these obsessive behaviours are effectively "de-humanised" by pushing them on to the non human characters.
There is a very clear sense that the plot is geared towards a more typical shounen standpoint and mentality, and while the whole still works very well as a story, one does have to wonder if the writers for the first adaptation didn't steal a march on Arakawa. It's possible that she had to change her idea of how the tale should develop because the first anime version took a much darker path than most other shounen franchises.
That said, the ending allows for a degree of catharsis that was missing from the first adaptation, and although there are some broad similarities between the two versions at times, in truth they are as different as chalk and cheese. As an added bonus this series is far less dependent on random comedic moments, and the difference this makes to the flow of the plot is palpable when the two versions are directly compared.
One big advantage that Brotherhood has is that the seven year gap has allowed for improvements in various aspects of production, and it shows in a number of areas. The animation is more fluid than before, although admittedly the difference isn't really obvious at first and only really appears during large scale action set pieces. The character designs will be very familiar to any fan, but are subtly sharper and more defined than in the previous series.
Interestingly enough, one of the biggest plus points for Brotherhood is actually its wealth of interesting characters.
As one would expect, a number of the characters from the first adaptation appear in Brotherhood, but there are also several who are notable for their absence as they do no appear in the manga. Instead, a horde of new characters appear throughout the course of the series, many of whom have their own goals, ideals and personalities. Indeed the biggest difference between the two versions is the sheer number of people who all seem to have some impact on the story.
For much of the series Edward and Alphonse Elric behave in a manner that many who have watched the first adaptation will find familiar, and one of the nice things about this is that familiarity is used to very subtly develop the pair into very different characters. The change in their personas happens very gradually, but by the end of Brotherhood one can see just how much growth the pair has undergone.
Strangely enough, the most interesting additions to the series are actually Yao Ling and Olivier Mira Armstrong (Alex Louis Armstrong's older sister - but without all the muscle flexing), two of the supporting roles. Yao Ling presents a strange dichotomy for the series to tackle, and while he doesn't develop as much as he possibly could have, this is offset by the moral and ethical dilemmas inherent in his situation towards the end of the series. On the other Olivier Armstrong possesses some of the strongest characterisation in the whole story, and while she is without doubt a major player at certain points of the show, what makes her interesting is the fact that the viewer is never quite sure of her goals.
There are a number of very strong characterisations in the series, but one of the things that is a little strange is the difference between the two versions where the homunculi are concerned. Unlike the first adaptation the homunculi in Brotherhood have very different origins, even though they still deal with similar obsessions. This raises an interesting perspective on the series as a whole, and is one of the reasons why Brotherhood is far more of a shounen tale than the original adaptation. The plot takes on a subtly lighter tone, even though it may not seem that way, once their origins are understood, and the main reason for this is the "de-humanisation" I mentioned earlier. The viewer is aware that these characters, though human-like in form, are not linked to humans in any way, and this awareness acts as a buffer so the viewer is less likely to question the actions and behaviour of the homunculi. In essence one is subjected to the ethos that monsters are evil and do bad things, which raises some interesting issues where Kimblee, Greed and the military's generals are concerned.
The quality of the acting is possibly the main reason why Brotherhood is able to pull off its feat of developing not only the familiar characters, but also the new additions. Paku Romi and Kugimiya Rie reprise their roles as Edward and Alphonse Elric, but with the exception of a few roles, the remaining cast are very different from the first outing. Now normally one might consider this a recipe for disaster, but it's a testament to the quality of not only the actor's abilities, but also the scriptwriters, that this series easily stands shoulder to shoulder with the original.
The music is very well composed and produced, and the series has a surprisingly large number of opening and ending themes, especially for 64 episode series. That said, fans of Brotherhood may find themselves in a bit of a quandary, especially if they prefer the OPs and EDs from the first series. As for the sound effects, they are handled in a decidedly competent manner that makes one wonder why other shounen anime seem to have trouble in this department. Granted there are occasions when there's a bit of a cacophony, but in general the effects are clear, bold, and well choreographed.
Now unlike most viewers, I actually consider Brotherhood to be equal to the first series, and I don't really fall on one side or another. Like a number of fans my preference is for the much darker tone of the first series, however the cathartic ending of Brotherhood, as well as the improvements in production and animation, go some way to balancing the scales. Some people prefer the somewhat darker nature to Ed's character from the first adaptation, but in all honesty the rationale behind the two versions is very different, and while they're broadly the same character, that perception is only really valid until the last few episodes of either show. The same principle applies to Alphonse, Roy Mustang, in fact to most of the characters.
That said, Brotherhood is just as entertaining and involving as its predecessor, and it's a testament to Arakawa's skill as a mangaka that she has been able to produce a tale that, at the very least, rivals the original anime adaptation.Yes, Brotherhood is more typically shounen than the other version, but the nice thing about this is that fans are given two very good versions of the same story, and that is something rare in anime.
Now if only all remakes, revisions or reboots could be this good. read more
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood gets an immense amount of praise in the MAL community, is the #1 ranked show and is constantly referred to as a masterpiece and the greatest show ever created. I've seen many fans preach about how "it lives up to the hype" and "can never receive too much praise". Now this is just the opinion of one guy. I'm certainly not the law of the land or anything. However, I personally feel as though calling FMA:B a masterpiece and the champion of all shows is a bit of a stretch. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy it or that it isn't a very solid addition to the ranks of notable shows; I really would like to preface this review by saying that I believe that FMA:B is a very good show and I wouldn't be nearly as harsh on it if it weren't for the God status the show has attained in America. I would happily remand "greatest show ever made" to "greatest long-running shonen ever made if you haven't seen the 2011 Hunter X Hunter"
I'm not a huge fan of the MAL categorical rating system, as I've mentioned in some of my previous reviews. I oftentimes outright ignore it. However, looking at the categories right now, I feel as though this is one instance where I can use it to talk about everything I want to so I'm going to use it.
The FMA:B plot and world-building are some of its strongest aspects. The world that it creates is an immersive, full-feeling thing with many animate pieces that move even when you aren't looking at them. It's an extremely creative world as well, adopting its own set of universal laws including alchemy through equivalent exchange, mind-body duality and its own interpretation of a higher power, and it sticks by these laws. Never once does the story contradict its own rules, instead using them in creative ways to build off of each other. The plot is also one of the most engaging parts of the show, unveiling itself at just the right pace to keep you interested whilst still keeping a few major cards to play at the very end. The pieces fall into place in a way that is satisfying because it simultaneously mind-blowing and obvious, and that's one of the marks of strong storytelling.
While the FMA:B story is certainly one of the best I've seen, I find that I have to withhold my 10 score here on the grounds that its incredible direction and creativity are marred by some detrimental weaknesses. First of all, the exposition is handled extremely poorly. The first and third episodes feel like they're from some shitty cartoon network show, the show blatantly ignores the show-don't-tell rule in the entirety of its first chunk (with characters spelling out exactly what is happening and why it's happening) and its tendency to repeat important plot points over and over again quite frankly feels insulting to me as the audience as though the show is assuming I'm not able to pay attention or figure things out for myself and need to have the fact that Ed and Al committed the sin of human transmutation and lost their bodies told to me at least twenty-five times in the first two hours of show. Secondly, there's a period of time which I would probably refer to as the third fourth of the show (episodes 40-53ish) in which the show drags incredibly, adopting a typical battle-shonen approach of having characters engage in multiple-episode long one-on-one or two-on-one battles, giving them plenty of time to pose and stand off and monologue at each other. This isn't how fighting or war works, and these contrived battles really take away a lot of the climactic atmosphere. Finally, the show's ending is not nearly as satisfying as I wish it had been. The final few episodes are for the most part brilliant, but once the show plays all its cards and it's resolution time, it wraps itself up with cliches and in-your-face themes.
The art is absolutely astounding 80% of the time and absolutely horrid 20% of the time. Thus the 8 score. The action is all stunning, the openings gorgeous, the backgrounds consistent and unique, building a sense of a real lived-in world. The character designs are sometimes a little bland, but for the most part they are memorable and the homunculi look brilliant so I don't have any real complaints there.
What I have a problem with is the obnoxious number of times that the show goes "anime" - reducing its characters to shittily-drawn caricatures and its animation to blocky, looped motion. Usually this is used during the shows attempts at humor, which I'll talk about later, but most of the time it was just extremely cringe-inducing and distracting, ruining the sense of continuity and immersion in this world. The show obviously wants you to take it seriously (it sure loves its drama) and when Al is portrayed as a big grey mound with a squiggle for a mouth it makes this difficult. There's a difference between having your character goof around and having the show itself goof around. It almost feels like a laugh-track, telling the audience "this is the funny part!"
For the most part, however, the art is gorgeous. When it counts, it shines, and that's really what matters.
Undeniably the strongest aspect of the show. I have no complaints whatsoever. The soundtrack is never distracting but always effective, the voice-actors (especially for Bradley and Al) absolutely nailed it and the openings and endings... dear lord. It's been said before, but the openings and endings to FMA:B are some of the very best ever made, both in sound and visuals. They tell small stories of their own. They set the tone for the episode and for their section of the show as a whole. I especially loved 'Golden Time Lover' and 'Chemistry', but I have to give special mention to SID's 'Rain'. As far as I'm concerned, that opening could have been the end of the show. It single-handedly established a sense of finality, a long-endured struggle of these characters and their causes. Everyone is portrayed as exhausted, weak and full of both despair and determination: protagonist and antagonist alike, fighting under the rain. Not for glory, not for honor, but just for the one thing they care most for. Personally, it made me extremely hyped for the final stretch of the show. It wasn't quite what we got, but at least we got some of it.
I believe that there is an intense connection between a show's opening and the audience's willingness to appreciate it. It is very likely that the intensity of many fanbases is in part due to the ability that openings such as these have to maintain feelings in regards to the show, oftentimes perhaps even distorting or altering memories of the show itself into what the opening would have you believe the show was like rather than what it was actually like. Obvious examples that jump to mind are Sword Art Online's "Courage" and Guilty Crown's "My Dearest". Remember how those shows were absolutely nothing like that? No?? IT'S TOO LATE FOR YOU
But I digress.
I would definitely call out the show's characters on being the weakest link and the most undeserving of the praise that the show receives. For starters, the writing is often clunky and awkward, but that's not the main issue. It's because most of them are not really characters: they're plot devices with one or two distinguishing traits tacked on. They're entirely predictable, not because they feel like real people but because they do the same things over and over again. Al talks about what he'll do when he gets his body back. Ed talks about how they'll find a way and how they will atone for their mistakes and etc. It's not that it's melodrama: it's the fact that it's the SAME melodrama over and over again. It wasn't until sometime past episode 30 that Ed stopped sounding perpetually like a broken record and started to feel as though he were actually developing, but even then he was really just defined by his arc and not by any amount of complexity.
And that's the pitfall that so many of these characters fall into. If your character's only real traits beyond their development for the sake of the show are "hates being called short" and "hates milk" they're really more of a tool with some googly eyes stuck on to them. Other characters are even worse: Armstrong is manly. His sister is more manly. Mustang wants to be Fuhrer and avenge Hughes (he's even got this great relationship with Hawkeye that could have been seriously compelling if they ever had any real conversations about anything besides "we must overthrow the government" and "Hughes!" over and over again). Winry likes Ed and automail. Ling wants to be emperor. Now, FMA:B is a complex, busy show. I could understand if it didn't have the time to make these characters anything more than chess pieces for its grand and elaborate plot, giving them a few distinguishing traits because that's really all it can manage without dragging itself out immensely. But it DOES have the time: it has all the time it spends having Ed yell about being called short. It has all the time it spends having Armstrong pull of his shirt and yell about being manly. It has all the time it spends having Ed and Al talk about getting their goddamn bodies back over and fucking over again as though I would somehow manage to forget it. Ling passing out from lack of food. May fawning comically over Ed. Mustang is antisocial LOL. The same gags, over and over again, barely even rehashed in any original way. Not only do they become painful to watch, they devour all of the development that this shallow cast of characters could have had to make me actually invested in them. They're far too static, with most of them having a single change or revelation over the course of the show's 64 episodes in order to indicate that they have grown as a person. But a good character has so much more than that: what kind of music do these people listen to? Why? Who are their role models? Why? What books do they like? What are their favorite places to eat? What do they appreciate in the people they're close to?? What are their personal histories...
Oh wait, sorry! I didn't mean to ask that last one! Please, I take it back! NOOOOOOO...
Yeah so I forgot to mention something. Screw all that stuff about making these characters possess complex personalities, FMA:B has a better way to define them.
Everyone who's remotely relevant has a traumatic backstory. It's a harsh world, sure. I get that. Here's the issue: people are introduced and then defined through their trauma. Now this isn't Angel Beats bad, where horrible things happen to perfectly innocent people for no reason. Most of the tragedy is partially a result of the decisions of the characters involved, and their resulting struggle is a combination of having to cope with the consequences and with themselves and their mistakes. However, this cannot be used as a SUBSTITUTE for character development. A supplement, sure, but I still remember in episode four when Ed and Al meet a state alchemist who literally introduces himself with something along the lines of "my wife left me because we were too poor" before he even tells them his goddamn NAME. Here, come on in! Take a seat! Would you like some sorrow pie or tragic backstory cake? We have plenty! Ed and Al's dad left, then their mom died, then they f*cking ripped their bodies apart. Winry's parents were murdered in cold blood. Mustang had to kill lots of people. Armstrong had to kill lots of people. Everyone had to kill lots of people. Scar watched everyone he loved get killed, and then had to kill lots of people. These are always the first things we find out about people, and then for the rest of the show they are defined almost exclusively by them. If anyone is overly happy and wholesome, it means something horrid is going to happen to them. It's basic emotional manipulation. Look at this adorable little girl and her dog! Dead. Look at this smiling, picturesque family! Husband dead. Dead. Everyone innocuously happy has to die or lose someone close to them. The more broken and internally conflicted you are, the safer you are. There's no need to pile more grief on Scar, so he's relatively safe.
Yes, the characters suffer from repeatable and preventable problems. They exist mainly to function as morals-in-a-bottle with gags tacked on to them. They're difficult to relate to, because all we know about them is whatever themes they embody and one or two dumb jokes. Ikuhara writes characters more personable than this, and his stories don't make sense on PURPOSE. I did give the characters a 6 though, and there are reasons for that.
First off, despite their lack of humanization the characters complete their tasks of being walking themes with relative effectiveness. This isn't anywhere near Log Horizon S1 bad. These characters are here for a reason, they represent something, and they represent those things well. Sure, they could have easily been better, but they fulfill their purpose and for that alone they are not failures. I will also give special mention to Scar, who, while still actively defined by his trauma was executed far more impressively than the other characters. This is probably in part because the show actually viewed him as morally ambiguous as opposed to just making the character FEEL morally ambiguous when there was really no doubt that the show wanted you to think this was a 'good guy' (*cough* Mustang)
Second off, there are some exceptions to the rule. Most of my complaints thusfar have been leveled at the shows protagonists. They are the ones that suffer from dismal repetition and blatant violation of show-don't-tell. Where the show does excel is with its antagonists. There are seven homunculi in the show, incarnations of the seven deadly sins, and they so utterly clobber their "good-guy" counterparts in terms of being engaging, personable subtle characters that it isn't even funny. Their intensive backstories are never shoved in your face, their apparent contradictions are given plenty of time to be uncovered by the viewer, and the deliciously ironic conclusions to their arcs are done tactfully. Many times I found myself actively routing for them because they were just so much more interesting and well-executed. I would happily watch an "Adventures of the Homunculus" spinoff cataloging the several hundred years most of them lived before the start of the series.
I was constantly gripped by the plot. I actively looked forward to the openings and endings. The art was oftentimes orgasmic. The homunculi made me want to start looking for ingredients to make a philosopher's stone with. However, I was constantly frustrated by the show's apparent lack of respect for its viewers and by its absolutely abysmal humor. I've already said it, but I don't know if I've driven home just how infuriating it is to have exposition repeated to you over and f*cking over again and how cringe-inducing it is when somebody violates the show-don't-tell rule at extremely tense and crucial moments. It actively snapped me out of the experience whenever Ed and Al had a conversation about getting their bodies back after the 5th time it happened, and when God literally spelled out for Ed that he had discovered the meaning of life I facepalmed hard. That's not how you do themes, man. That just comes off as preachy. That's something the show suffered constantly from: it felt incredibly preachy. It's character's speeches about the answers they had found to their struggles felt much more pointed at the audience than at anyone in the show they were talking to, and that bothered the ever-loving crap out of me. And have I mentioned the humor? For every joke the show has that lands, it tries about five others that fall on their face. As I've already mentioned, they're repetitive and used as a substitute for meaningful character interactions and development. It seems as thought the show is trying to use them as a counterbalance for its immense amount of melodrama, but instead they end up just ripping apart the tone and stagnating the story. Despite these gripes, I did overall enjoy the experience and felt that the positives did inevitably outweigh the negatives so I will happily give it a 7 for enjoyment.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is not a masterpiece. It's a very respectable, unique, inspired and creative show and it's definitely a classic. I would happily recommend this to most people. However, don't go in with irrational expectations. It's enjoyable, it's engaging, it will definitely give you plenty to think about, but in my personal opinion it gets a little too much praise and a little too much hype. I probably would have enjoyed it more myself if I hadn't heard nothing but angelic worship for it before going into it. I formally apologize to any huge fans of the show that I may have offended: it's not by any means a bad show! I don't give out 7s all that lightly, believe me. This is merely an argument against FMA:B being the be-all-end-all of anime. Thanks for reading if you made it through that wall of text, and have a nice day!
FMA Brotherhood is an anime that needs no introduction. This is the highest rated anime on all of MAL. This is the anime that the current generation of anime fans holds above all others as the greatest single anime EVER made! In the following paragraphs, I will be reviewing this legendary series and discussing whether or not it truly deserves this title.
SPOILERS for both Brotherhood and 2003 FMA!!!!
The plot takes place in the country of Armestris, which is basically like an alternate WW2 Germany. It is constantly at war for reasons that are less than just and is ruled by a rather nefarious government. What makes this world special is that alchemy is the primary science instead of the much less fun and flashy science of our own reality. Alchemy allows practitioners to transmute material into other useful material, and basically do all kinds of awesome stuff! Our heroes are the Elric brothers, who wish to find the legendary Philosopher's Stone and gain back their original bodies that they lost in a forbidden alchemy ritual gone horribly wrong. In order to search for the stone, they join the military. Unfortunately this means they have to serve under a rather evil government and face strong moral dilemmas. The Elric brothers don't wish to take part in the government's genocidal campaigns, but they need the military in order to accomplish their own personal goals. Of course, things are a bit more complicated by the fact that many in the military are actually good people and are either unaware of just how bad the government is, or feel remorse for their crimes and wish to change the government. This is refreshing for a shonen series in which "good and evil" is too often clear cut. We have all seen Hollywood movies where the German Army is filled with nothing but pure evil monsters with zero humanity. As a side note, eventually Hollywood got MUCH better with treating the Germans this way... thanks to us ethnic Germans making up 40% of the US population, but Hollywood STILL treats the Russians and certain other groups this way!
Eventually, the Elric brothers uncover the frightening truth that the real leader behind the government is an ancient evil being called "Father" who uses his homunculus minions to due his bidding and wishes for ultimate knowledge and power! The Elric brothers also make many allies on their adventures including Scar, the Xingese, and Hohenheim, who all contribute in the fight against Father. The plot ultimately concludes with a very happy ending, which pleased fans far more than the bittersweet ending of the 2003 anime. It should also be noted that unlike the plot of the 2003 anime, FMA Brotherhood mostly stays faithful the Hiromu Arakawa's original manga.
Differences between 2003 FMA and Brotherhood:
Although there are many differences in the plot which I will get to, the most immediately obvious difference is in the tone of the series' narrative. The 2003 FMA has a VERY dark and somber tone throughout the series, which makes it really stand out as the oddball of the shonen world. FMA Brotherhood has tragic moments, but they are balanced out with zany comedy, more happy endings, and less emotional suffering in general. The tone in Brotherhood actually feels like you are watching a shonen anime like Naruto or One Piece. You know going in that there will be sad parts, but all will turn out well in the end. FMA 2003 feels closer to watching Berserk than it does to watching Naruto or One Piece! Whether a viewer prefers lighthearted shonen or brooding seinen is a matter of taste, but let us take a look at the subject matter being dealt with in this series. In both the 2003 FMA and Brotherhood, this is a series about German soldiers serving a genocidal regime and ultimately having to rebel against the government and try atone for their crimes. Does that sound like something that should be a fun, zany comedy? "It is almost certain that we will fail. But how will future history judge the German people if not even a handful of men had the courage to put an end to that criminal?" - Henning Von Tresckow. I can ASSURE you he didn't tell a stupid joke 20 seconds afterwards so that his listeners wouldn't feel sad about the deaths of 17 million civilians murdered by the Nazis as "untermenschen". Was the movie Das Boot a fun comedy? NO! Have you ever wondered why that is? The reason is that making a movie or series about German soldiers reflecting on mass genocide into a delightful romp is fucking stupid as hell! To think that people on MAL accuse Elfen Lied of having bad tone whiplash. FMA Brotherhood thematically achieves a mood whiplash other anime can only dream of.
Now we get to characters and plot differences. Firstly, lets talk about everyone's favorite FMA character, Roy Mustang. In FMA 2003, Roy is the one who murdered Winry's parents instead of Scar. Roy is also MUCH more affected by his guilt for having murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in the name of an evil government. In 2003 FMA, Roy actually tries to kill himself in a state of deep depression, but Hughes stops him and instead inspires him to live, so that one day he can overthrow and lead the government. Roy actually manages to kill Fuhrer Bradley and do what he had dreamed of for so long. However, he is too overwhelmed by the emotional stress to simply stay in the military and take a role of leadership like he does in Brotherhood. Roy retires to a simple life with Hawkeye instead and only uses his alchemy again in the movie Conquerors of Shamballa to save the people of Central. Roy is a MUCH more empathetic and truly human character in the original 2003 series. He is actually, truly effected by guilt and stress the way a real person that isn't a total sociopath would be. He doesn't just feel kind of bad for about 5 minutes, then move on. "I killed those people under orders, I don't have to REALLY feel too bad about it." If the point is to make Roy a true military hero that reveals the full horrors of war and shows how even good men will commit evil deeds under orders, then the 2003 anime accomplishes this a LOT better than Brotherhood did!
Now let's look at the Arab anti-hero Scar. In both series, Scar is a survivor of the Ishvalan genocide who is consumed with the desire for vengeance against the State Alchemists that slaughtered his people. In both series, Scar has an elder brother who violated Scar's Ishvalan religion and practiced alchemy, ultimately saving his life and giving him his special arm. However, in the 2003 anime we learn that Scar's brother violated a FAR more sacred law and tried to resurrect his dead lover with alchemy. This was of course a miserable failure that drove his brother mad with grief and furthered Scar's hatred of alchemy. This works better in terms of narrative, because it gives Scar even more reason to hate alchemy as violently as he does and view it as "false". It also better explains why Scar sympathized with Edward Elric, because he could tell he had lost his limbs in a human transmutation and was reminded of his own brother. In terms of objective "writing 101" and constructing a narrative, this extra back story from the 2003 anime was brilliant and felt far more complete than Brotherhood. Scar's end is also WAY better in the original 2003 anime. In Brotherhood, Scar fights his ultimate battle against Wrath, who was only the 3rd strongest homunculi, not the real mastermind behind the Ishvalan genocide, and had no real connection to Scar since they had never met. In the 2003 series, Scar fights his ultimate battle against the pure evil State Alchemist Zolf Kimblee, who murdered his brother and gave him his namesake scar. Which of these makes sense in terms of basic storytelling? Having a character's big fight be against a personal opponent where the struggle actually MEANS something, or have the fight be against a barely connected random character? It is sad that Scar has to die in the 2003 series, but his death is a heroic one and ultimately a much better written conclusion to his story. In Brotherhood, Scar somehow survives in order for a happier ending and we get a quick cameo of him working to rebuild Ishval. Scar is a flawed anti-hero consumed with a desire for revenge. In the original series, his tragic and heroic death makes the audience care a LOT more about him than Brotherhood does. Would it have been good storytelling in Lord of the Rings if Boromir for some reason survived, then we get a quick 2 sentences about how he is living happily in Gondor after the war? No. That would be really stupid and Tolkien being a good writer, realized that and gave Boromir a heroic death of penance that better closed his story.
There are WAY too many examples, so we will make our final one a comparison between Dante and Father. How can I even compare them? You are probably thinking right now. "Dante is just a forgettable Filler Villain and Father is one of the greatest villains in anime history!" The truth is that Father...isn't actually a very good villain. Remember that this is a story about an alternate WW2 Germany and a group of soldiers fighting against an evil government following a massive genocide. Adolf Hitler was not a nice man, but he WAS a human being. Dante is powerful, but ultimately just an ordinary human sociopath who wishes to sacrifice countless people she views as inferior to guarantee her own Godhood and immortality. I think that sounds a LOT closer to Hitler than a fucking ink blot genie from Ancient Persia looking for ultimate knowledge. If you are going to tell a story with OBVIOUS real world parallels, then STAY CONSISTENT! Government atrocities and genocides happen due to ordinary human leaders with extremely selfish desires, NOT evil genies! The Holocaust, Cambodian Genocide, Rwandan Genocide, and Armenian Genocide were not caused by Mr. Popo!!!
FMA Brotherhood is a very well animated series and admittedly does look better in most places than the 2003 original. Is the animation enough to give it the title of greatest of all time? No.
The soundtrack for FMA Brotherhood is once again quite solid, but isn't even as good as the 2003 FMA OST, let alone worthy of the greatest of all time title! Just compare the main theme from the Brotherhood OST to the main theme Bratja from 2003 FMA. The main theme for Brotherhood is a fairly bland orchestral piece with some ominous chanting that sounds like a throw away extra from the Hellsing Ultimate soundtrack. The main theme from the 2003 FMA is a heartbreaking, beautiful song about an elder brother asking forgiveness from his younger brother. Bratja is WAY better than anything in Brotherhood without question! Compare the first opening theme of Brotherhood to the 1st opening of the 2003 series. The 2003 series has Ready Steady Go, one of the greatest openings in the history of anime. Brotherhood has an extremely forgettable opening that wouldn't rank in the top 500 anime openings.
FMA Brotherhood is a good anime overall, but it is ONLY a good anime. It isn't anywhere NEAR the greatest anime ever made! It is actually vastly inferior to the original 2003 FMA and even that wasn't the single greatest anime of all time, although a MUCH better candidate than Brotherhood. Of course the title of G.O.A.T. is a highly subjective and debatable matter, but there isn't a single category where Brotherhood REALLY outshines its competitors. Some people say Legend of the Galactic Heroes is the greatest of all time. I'm not going to say that LOTGH is an absolutely flawless work, because it isn't. However, it actually stays consistent in its tone with the heavy ideas and themes it presents. Brotherhood does not. Brotherhood is WAY closer to Elfen Lied than LOTGH in terms of keeping a consistent tone to respect very dark and serious subject matters. LOTGH has an absolutely EPIC scope with hundreds of well written characters, maybe the most intricate politics in all of anime, and gets viewers to really think about real world problems and issues in terms of government, better than any other anime ever made. In other words, LOTGH actually DOES have areas where it clearly outshines its peers and therefore has a far more legitimate claim to the throne. Cowboy Bebop has almost without question the greatest original OST in anime history, is more accessible to non-anime fans than any other anime, and is an absolute blast from beginning to end. Once again, it has areas where it is clearly the best, so a more legitimate claim. Name just ONE thing that Brotherhood is the best at? Most tearjerking? nope. Best written? not even close. Most philosophical and complex? Hell no. Best art? nope. Best soundtrack? nope. It is solid around the board, but it isn't actually truly great at anything! I would therefore argue that Brotherhood is NOT the greatest of all time, is INSANELY overrated, and you are honestly much better off watching the 2003 FMA. I'm sorry if this review hurt any feelings. My job as a critic is to say what needs to be said.
Both series have an innovative and entertaining argument. The characters are so real; they are not the typical kick ass character. For that reason, the strategies are the most important at the moment of fight.
Both are remakes of two of the greatest shounen anime out there. What makes these two shows stand out from the majority of the shounen genre is that they have well developed characters along with a consistent plot. Also, there are absolutely no fillers in either of them.
These two is an example how the shounen anime should be..
Borrowing a quote from one of review I saw in MAL, the shounen animes should be like these, intelligent but exciting ...
Both FMA: Brotherhood and Hunter x Hunter (2011) are series that have great story plots involving many characters. The characters themselves are well developed as each episode progresses. Additionally, there are themes of vengeance, friendship, honor, and pride that are explored many times throughout both series.
The main male protagonist from both series has a cheery attitude but is always willing to help others in need by putting themselves in danger to protect in what they believe in.
There is also a fictional dangerous group in both series who serves as primary antagonists. Among those antagonists are characters who have diverse personalities.
These two series are considered shounens but are presented in a different way that is appealing and holds strong sense of value through its plot development. There is also great humor, catchy scenes/dialogues, and emotional moments that are memorable.  read more
Both are shounen with darker, more mature themes. In both stories, the main characters are on a journey to find something and meet many different (interesting) kinds of people along the way.
Both are about friendships and brotherhood (duh), are actually are very, very good shonens (some of the best anime overall), and don't have many typical/cliche moments.
Oh and one more things: Characters actually die!
Both are remakes that don't have fillers or meaningless fighting and rely more on strategy and wits.
Great story with no cliche stuff. Both similar as they talk about friendship/brotherhood.
Equivalent exchange is an important aspect of the story.
I found the suspense, character development, and driving story that are very similar to each other kept me glued to both the whole time. You definitely need to watch them both to understand.
Being both not-just-regular shounen, they're pretty much similar in the way they use the element of suspense, which is marvelous in both of them. Also alike is the use of comedy. They also resemble each other in the way they treat of matters such as values and life itself, and each of their corresponding main characters have a particular personal goal. Oh, and they've both had a previous animation work before they had even ended (Fullmetal Alchemist) or gone far ahead of the script (Hunter x Hunter).
Personally, this are my two favorite shounen.
The best anime shounens !You've got to watch both
They're both the most mature and clever shonens out there. It's not all about fighting,and that's why Fma and HxH are completely different from the regular shonens. The character development is amazing. Hunter x Hunter 2011 character's design seems childish,but the plot is dark,serious and full of suspense,just like Fma. They're both remake with no fillers. One more thing: characters actually DIE! without resurrection bulls*it.
both are remakes. More strategys, a really good history
Both anime incorporate strategies and tactics into their fight scenes. Characters are similar as they travel and take their journey in order to reach their goals while becoming stronger along the way. Lively, bright, optimistic characters with supernatural powers. Two very brilliant animes that will not disappoint.
Both series are top grade battle shonen that are plot driven, have no fillers and have a great cast of characters to boot! If you are a fan of good storytelling and fights that focus more on brains and less of brawns, then you definitely can't go wrong with HxH 2011 or FMAB.
The characters in both of these anime are trying to become stronger and have a goal they are trying to reach.
Hunter x Hunter and FMAB are both very smart series and set themselves apart from most of the Shounen genre. They both share similar principles such as the infamous equivalent exchange and to gain you must give. The fights in both of these series also aren't just about who's the strongest or has the most will power and the one who's smarter and uses the best tactics will usually win.
Two of the greatest shounen anime; both of them are really addictive. Both consist of a unique superpower: alchemy in FMA and nen in HxH. The difference is that HxH's antagonists are more likable than FMA's.
They are not the typical shonen where you win through the power of friendship and struggles not good draw strength for a final attack and always beat the bad guys. These two are more realistic shonen.
The anime has both protagonist that are badasses. Both shows are really good that makes you smile. And protagonists are really strong at a really young age ( both are fast learners ).
If you have something, keep it, or someone more tactful will get it from you.
Remakes that will change your point of view from typical relationships (I mean the brother relationship and friendship.) They will open your eyes at the things you have to know at every situation and one more thing, BOTH THEM HAVE PERSISTENT MAIN CHARACTERS that will never give up.
Both have similar qualities, like both are Coming of Age type stories, but both take place in a world that is alive with other characters. Both involve the protagonist having to get a certification allowing them to pursue their MacGuffin, and during/after their acquisition of the certification, they uncover a plot or scheme. It's fairly good.
-Both are of the shounen/adventure genre
-Both are well thought out shounen anime
-Both have rather short battles, and rely more on tactics.
-Both have pretty much no fillers
-Both are remakes
One of the best shounen/action anime with great plot and reasons behind wvery battle. Great animation and the battles are strategic instead of pure fighting. Also there's almost no fillers
- Both of them are masterpiece
- They've got great, original story
- Both of them contain great fighting scenes
As these two are both shounen series, they are both exciting and makes the audience engage with its amount of elements hidden. These two series provide character depth and their storytelling are both well-made and helps move the story along.
Both series are heavy on both character development and the relationships between said characters.
Both anime tackle similar themes- typically intelligent and dark ones. Both anime as well focus more on battle tactics, rather than just full-out attacking. Both main characters have lost something they want to get back: Edward Elric wants to get his and his brother's bodies back, while Gon wants to find his father, and this makes both protagonists to carry on trying to find what they wish to find. Both anime are remakes, and many characters actually die.
The story of receiving something lost is present in both of these series. The characters have similar characterisation (Gon and Ed having rather stubborn attitudes at the start). Both anime break-down the Shounen genre and head towards Seinen. This is done by producing dark atmosphere, mature plots, fantastic art/animation and briliant OST. Consistency is a key point, as all of the above are improved as the story progresses.
Both are near masterpieces.
These are two of the best anime ever made. Both are very epic Shounen anime with lovable characters and captivating powers. Both anime are remakes and leave little room for fillers.
Both are the best shounen anime in my opinion. They possess things that most shounen can never do.
Hunter x Hunter (2011) and Fullmetal Alchemist:Brotherhood may not have many similarities when you first look at the two, but to me I have to say they are incredible and if you've seen one, you must see the other.
Hunter x Hunter (2011) is the story of Gon Freecss trying to find his father, while Fullmetal Alchemist:Brotherhood is the story of Edward Elric trying to find a mythical stone. Both have simple and slightly selfish ordeals for their own benefits, but as the stories progress and the characters grow up the plot advances and both Gon and Edward become the center of an alliance that are fighting against a world threatening entity. (I can not say too much due to spoilers). Gon and Edward are the main characters, as well as their partner, Gon's being Killua and Edward's being his brother Alphonse. This is a partner that never leave's their side. The stories have several other similarities, all that are the subject of spoilers and so will not be mentioned.
The overall enjoyment from these two series was extremely equal, the climax of the series was extremely fun to watch and in both series every character is written beautifully and is given the perfect amount of time to become likable and evolve.
To anyone who has seen Hunter x Hunter (2011), you should definitely consider Fullmetal Alchemist:Brotherhood. To anyone who as seen Fullmetal Alchemist:Brotherhood, I highly recommend Hunter x Hunter (2011).
If you give both the series a shot as I am fully shore you will enjoy which ever you chose to watch respectively.
Both are shounen packed full of suspense, action and emotion. While HxH is longer it had more of a open ending than FMAB, which had a more definitive ending to its story. These animes will make you laugh and cry, and at the end of it all you'll be simply awestruck.
Both anime have great art and music, features two MCs and depict a massive crisis in their own way. One you start watching, you just can't stop!!
Both series are well writen (not like this recommendation), well animated, great songs and great caracters. Probably one of the best shows you can find if you like action with well thought fights and great arcs.
Both series have a great evolving long story about winning with not just only power but also with strategy. the anime's both have monsters in them and are some good high rated' anime's.
These two anime are both remakes of an older anime in the series. They stay truer to the Manga and have little to no filler episodes, which for Shonen is a huge feat. They are the undeniable kings of Shonen and prove that even long battle shonen can have amazing stories, characters, development etc. Produced within recent years; both are masterpieces. Must watch for anime fans.
Okat this isn't exactly the same as Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood but really close when it comes to a good story telling. The characters Gon and Killua reminds me of Ed and Al, Gon and Killua also go through many hardships together and they make many sacrifices along the way. Abit longer than Fullmetal but worth it.
Both are not your typical shounen fighting superpowers. Both main characters have some sort of major influence from their father. Both have similar characters, themes, and can overall be an emotional experience.
If you have watched one of this two masterpieces I'll tell you why you have to watch the other:
*Charachters that you won't forget
*Very beautiful animation
In short, both animes have everything that a good anime should have(action, drama, comedy,...)
I consider these two anime masterpieces. Both have great characters, development ( both that of character and story), interesting fights , great music themes, ops and eds. I thought that Fmab and hxh would be the typical shounen, blabla, bright adventure etc: I was fucking wrong, both can be dark at times. The protagonists aren't overpowered. One thing you wouldn't like in hxh though: Unfinished :S
I've seen anime with more similarities between each other, but these two definitely share common traits.
First of all, they can both make you extremely furious regarding all the death happening around, even though most dying characters are supporting characters.
With that said, I would say Hunter x Hunter was better in many ways, especially by concealing its true nature.
The main characters also have this, well, to say, a "childish" goal of either finding or restoring something regarding their own family member. Along with that, both of their fathers are "big shots", and their sons are young, unique talents who inherited those traits from their fathers.
Also, the makers both know how to make the last battle long, showing everything happening with every individual involved. You get pretty tense and even exhausted. Not only that, but in both cases the characters have to plan things out so carefully that you get scared of what'll happen.
Both are worth a watch!
Well i dont know any anime fan who hasnt watch any one the 2 both are incredibly good but hunter x hunter will probably never be completed since the mangaka stop writing but the anime in this case is still awesome and fullmetal alchemist brotherhood is a must watch u never get boring watching it at least i didnt. Enjoy
Revenge, Suffering, Agony and Redemption...
Shingeki no Kyojin has a feeling of FMA Brotherhood in which a kid who lived a peaceful life gets thrown into a dark grim life full of tragedy and agony due to losing someone important to them. However, both main characters refused to move on and dedicated their lives for revenge and redemption.
If you enjoy a full packed action dramatic plot you'll love both of these series.
There's a reason they have both become such a hit. Because they were brilliantly epic! If you intend to make your tv show life worthwhile, watch this show next. Strong plot, strong character, strong music. All in one made a show the best.
The loss of mothers plays a significant roll in shaping the characteristics of the protagonists of these two shows. The main characters are enrolled in some kind of military because of personal reasons and are fighting against supernatural enemies. The setting is an alternative steampunk-ish world with the similar use of tools and weapons. Both are considered shounen anime but tend to look like a seinen because they feature above-average violent situations and epic fights but also deep conversations and some philosophy about the human mentality. The animation is not really that similar but the coloring is, using earthy and dusty color almost always.
FMA brotherhood is my favorite tv anime, but shingeki kyojin has the potential to top that which i thought was impossible. Both protagonists have an incredibly tragic beginning which opens up into an amazing story that is based off of this tragic event.
warning fma brotherhood leans more on the shounen side, while shingeki no kyojin has a lot of gore and a a good amount of "what the fuck moments".
- Kids used to live in a peacefull city
- The main characters are siblings + childhood friend
- The 'trigger' is the death of the mother (and wow, they look similiar and they even have the same Voice Actor)
- Even though the father is alive, he seems to be absent in the beginning. Both dads have a similar appearance and they seem to be involved in the 'mystery' (titans/alchemy)
- There's a focus on military
- Almost the same amount of blood/violence/gore
- There are also some strong female characters, without fanservice
- Both live in a westernized world
Well, there's certainly a similar vibe in terms of family loss based on the two main characters of the series. In fact, Eren & Mikasa from SnK/Edward & Alphonse from FMA: Brotherhood lost family members after tragedies. These left emotional scars in themselves and made a strong impact throughout their lives. However, they are able to stay alive and take back what's theirs through determination and instinct.
There is a focus of military in both series although for very different reasons. The main characters gets involved directly with the military for their own reasons as well. Throughout the series, their skills increase as they fight for what they believe in.
Both series contain plenty of chances for drama, action, and emotional moments. There are occasional comedic moments as well (more so in FMA: Brotherhood). Both series also contains tragic scenes that has left painful memories into the characters of their worlds.
-Both stories have a very similar pace and flavor and rate of character development is about the same in both cases.
Now plot-wise these two share little similarities other than the fact that each anime's main protagonist is a younger male who loses his mother in the beginning of the story. The reason for my recommendation is the incredible quality these two (mature) anime share. Both have incredible stories, with numerous plot twists. Both are very action-heavy and don't hold back any punches with gore and mature themes. If you enjoy one of these, then I'm certain you will enjoy the other.
*Also similar to the 2003, but Brotherhood was better*
There's a thing that makes the main character different from the rest, a special power of some sort. Their parents play a key role in the plot, and both the daddies are mysterious fellows. The stories themselves are amazing, and also pretty dark and gory. To top it off, the soundtracks for both are phenomenal.
The main characters are both thrust into the epic battles after losing their mothers. The enemies on both series tend of get their body parts blown off a lot, but they just regenerate themselves. The orchestrated soundtracks are really good and fitting for the situations they're used in, and battles tend to span multiple episodes.
Both feature Teen's boy with terrible home-live, fighting to protect humanity, alone with their sibling and Blonde sidekick.
Have very engaging stories, with actual character development and plot-twist a plenty.
Both are very famous in the Anime Community, so you really should watch both
- Eren and Ed both lose their mother and this changes their lives for ever.
- Both mothers happen to be voiced by Yoshino Takamori. Coincidence? I think not.
- Similar amount of gore
- Stories that never fail to leave you guessing
- Easily breaking all 'typical' shounen story cliches
- Lots of thought provoking underlying messages
- NO blatant fanservice and weak female 'damsel in distress' characters
- LOTS of badassery
- High quality animation, AMAZING OSTs and faithful-to-the-manga adaptions
- Historical settings
The two anime have similar underlying themes but are different in terms of actual plot so it's easy to compare them without feeling like one is ripped off from the other. If you like one you should definitely watch the other.
Both set in the past but with some form of futuristic technology. Both protagonists start off as young children and the story is about them maturing and becoming strong. Both have dark themes and good action sequences.
While both series are basically not comparable to anything else ever created i think they have similarities in the realism of characters in there reactions to situations.
Both series involve main characters who face through extremely difficult situations from loss, revenge, sadness, pain, and suffering. Edward Elric and Eren Jaeger have a strong drive that motivates them to achieve their goals as Edward wants to recover his body back from committing a taboo while Eren wants to not only adventure outside the walls, but also wants to kill all Titans. They also want to protect their friends no matter what the cost is.
There are many plot twists and many moments within both series where you don't know what the outcome will be. They have a lot of suspense and have very intriguing stories. However, the story in Attack on Titan is darker than FMA.
Both series have a vast array of characters who all serve a purpose to the main story. You really come to love some of these characters as you see them develop or change and some have unique personalities. However, you never know which characters will survive until the end.
Both series involve the protagonists facing enemies who seem almost invincible and must use their skills and wit to outmatch them. They also have plenty of beautifully animated action scenes and powerful soundtracks with orchestras that draw you into the story even more.
Both protagonists from Shingeki no Kyojin and FMA:B (Eren and Edward repectively) have lost their mothers and both their fathers are missing. Both protagonists are arguably of European descent and live in a westernized world.
They are both determined to make things right in a cruel world but they quickly realize the dream they are chasing concerns not only themselves and the people the hold dear but the rest of the world too. All the while, they try to figure out the enigma that is the world they live in and reconcile themselves with the cruelty of such a world and a sense of helplessness that it engenders. Both protagonists aim to reach their goal but in order to do so they must join the military, not knowing where it will take them.
Both main characters have a goal to pursue. Both animes are full of light-hearted, dark and serious moments and both have plot twists which will leave you speechless.
Let me start off with how both anime are complete masterpieces. You will notice some anime have good stories but aren't well told. These, however, are on godly levels.
The most enjoyable anime are the intense ones, and fullmetal alchemist delivers. I wasn't kidding when I said that it is on a godly level. Not like in dbz where goku surpassed god in the first series, but to the point where the main villian in the show must sacrifice the entire world to gain the literal earth-shattering power to kill the god people admire so much. And only then will he unlock the true secrets of the universe. And then a traumatized soldier boy must stop him in order to gain his brothers long lost body from the never-ending door of knowedge.
If you liked attack on titan, chances are you'll enjoy this.
- The main character's mother death is the key that makes the main characters start an adventure.
- Both are about military and corruption.
- There are unexpected villains
Similar 19th-early 20th century setting. Both worlds have some form of special ability (alchemy in FMA and Innocence in DGM) used by the main characters. Both main protagonists are 15-year-olds who have a strange arm. Both also have a group of villains with secret motives.
They both have characters on a quest, and are both action/adventure. They both have monsters, and have a lengthy, interesting plot.
Both main characters have a master. They also joined an organization that hunt demons or homunculi.
Both take place in the same time period (end of 19th century/beginning of 20th century), have main characters that have lost their arm and have it replaced with a weapon who have had tragical situations in their childhoods. Allen (DGM) and Edward (FMA) are called "short". There are organizations in both anime (Excorcist for DGM, state alchemist for FMA). Both have a special enemy group (Noah for DGM, homonculi for FMA).
Both action-packed shows have dark plots with a fair amount of comic relief and easily appeal to a wide audience. The main characters (Edward Elric and Allen Walker) have several similarities as well, a few being: their unusual arms are both gained through traumatic experiences and provide them with means to fight, they are both part of special organizations, and they are both orphaned with painfully troublesome childhoods, as well as other minor aspects of their personalities. Both shows have a wide variety of characters, each with their own unique sides and backgrounds.
Both animes are similar in how each episode is often different and is one of the main characters' "cases". They keep you watching and are easy to watch even though they're both really long. Both animes have a group of people (Exorcists in D.Gray-man, Alchemists in Brotherhood) fighting some strong common enemy of the world and protecting humans from their harm. I highly recommend both of them and am sure that if you liked one, you'll like the other also.
Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood - D.Gray-man Similarities
Edward - Allen Similarities
About the same age
Over-reacts when called short
Both have an Altered Arm
Both cry when they can't save someone
Black Order/ Military
Regular Soldiers/ Finders
Philosopher's Stone/ Heart Innocence
These are some of the many things that make these anime similar
My Opinion I strongly Recommend
Characters are basically mirrored in both anime tons of action where nothing ever goes boring, Always traveling from place to place helping others.
Both the series center around a conspiracy group trying to gain control and change the world,with a protagonist that's part of the military working with his friends to defeat them. They're both amazing story's that keep you glued to the screen.
A short kid who hates being called beansprout, has a weird arm (which he utilizes as weaponry), eats a lot, and is around 15.
Their enemies, the superhuman-type guys which it has been possible to kill (albeit not easily), and they have a leader (except Father isn't quite as fruity as The Earl is.) Also, they hate humans because they have inferiority/superiority complexes.
A funny Chinese (or Xingese) guy who is kind of a jerk but not always, and might also be a bit logically questionable.
The beansprout tries to bring a loved one back to life, only to be mentally scarred for life, and also have their physical appearance and sometimes personality altered.
And of course, they join an institute that they can use to fight the bad guys, only to find it's not too fantastic and that there is some questionable human experimentation that has been going on.
There is the mandatory funny scenes, where stupidity is prevalent in most parties.
DGM is only a bit longer (by like 30 episodes or something)
There's a 'team' of sorts, guys that are kinda like Havoc and Brosch, who don't get too much fan credit but are still cool anyways
The really fruity guy (2 in DGM actually)
The semi abusive past child mentors, which is played for laughs
That old guy who has a horrible past he hates himself for and therefore does something about it
Some mind effing, but not to the extent of School Days.
Also, lots of gore!
Little to no fanservice
Set in AU industrial revolution Europe with trains and everything
Animation is very nice, though not of the very highest caliber (It's not Aquarion Evol, that is.)
The girl who gets mad at the beansprout for being an angst machine who won't let his friends help him fight (or even express his feelings), yet is still very likable. Also, she hits people when they make her mad, which is also really funny.
I could go on forever...but I won't.
Both the main characters in these shows did something in their past of which caused something to change to them/in their life, and regret it. Setting out on an adventure to fight against an enemy whose plot is to do something sinister to the world for their own goals.
Great story line. Main characters have tragic pasts and they overcome their obstacles with gusto. Even the side-characters are well-developed. Major plot twists here and there. Once you start watching, you will get hooked and can't stop until you finish the whole damn thing.
Both D.Gray-man and FMA: Brotherhood last a little longer than the average anime show, without getting too long-spun. They're both pretty dark (but with some comic elements) and set in the late 19th/early 20th century. The plots resolve around a young boy with special powers and a strong determination. The two organizations from these shows (the exorcists and the alchemists) are somewhat similar as well.
Smilar plot and characters (Ed really reacalls Allen). They both have an arm as a weapon and fight with some kind of monsters. In their adventures they are helping people.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and D. Gray-man share great artwork. The plot lines are similar as well, since they focus on an enemy and venture off to destroy said enemy. Lots of action and anime comedy (perversion jokes).
both animes are telling the story of young heroes with special superpower fights against demons
character development in both animes is quit the same
Allen Walker in D. Gray Man is in a very similar setting: orphan child who finds a family in a military environment.
The values are similar in these two series: friendship, loyalty, honor, fighting.
The adventures are more episodic in Allen's case. But the characters are very different: Ed is a very straightforward person: his mystery is elaborated in details right in the first episode, his motives are clear and unchanging, and he is kind of selfish. He is very impulsive and very loving.
Allen is on the other hand distant from other people, but he is lovable, too. He is different in one very important quality: self-sacrifice. He is not that famous or popular like Ed, but he gains more friends than him.
The main characters both gain powers and sacraficed parts of themselves to gain something. Both have a lot of daddy issues.
Superpowers, ancient evil conspiracies, awesome fight scenes, and a fast-paced story with tons of jokes thrown in.
Suspense, great power, great characters, militar strategies and war. Code Geass has less of a plot and undeveloped secondary characters comparing to FMA Brotherhood but its story manages to keep you on your seat nevertheless.
Code Geass and FMA: Brotherhood both combine great action sequences with superb plotlines that explore subjects such as immortality, government oppression, and genocide.
Both series are based around a group fighting against an much bigger portion of society. Both involve high amounts of military action, political affairs, violence against citizens, and unnatural powers. Some of characters traits can be retaliated when comparing these shows and both have something to do with the destruction of a once powerful country.
Both have the main character go on a very perilous journey which will effect the world.
Both end up having to get help from other people along the way.
Both deal with aspects of loyalty, friendship, hardship, trust, etc
Both have great story lines, that have great character development.
Both have great fight scenes.
Code Geass revolves more around mechas. I was not a huge mecha fan however I loved Code Geass.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (FMAB) revolves more around magic. I did not have any preconceived notions of what to expect from FMAB and I loved the anime.
If you are on the fence watch the first 5-10 episodes. If you liked one of these anime I can almost guarantee that you will be hooked. I love both of these anime and if you like one, you will almost with out a doubt like the other.
While these series are very different they are also very alike. There is a certain percentage of people that like one and not the other but the vast majority of people will like both a lot. The main difference is that Code Geass has some plot holes while Fullmetal Alchemist is basically flawless in that regard. However these are both shounens which offer a little more than just fighting. Code Geass is both dumber and smarter while Fullmetal Alchemist is way more serious as well as slower. That doesn't change the fact that these are both excellent series and I recommend watching both of them if you like shounens or if you like the world at war concept from either Fullmetal (the whole ishbalan plot) or Code Geass (Britannia ruling the world).
Both have conspiracy by the governers and supernatural aspect. They are about same length as a series. They both are non-filer and doesn't contain unnecessary scenes in order to keep story fluesnt. Action scenes are similarly attractive as FMA:B combat's are based on alchemy and Code Gaeass combat's are mecha echol but not your typical lame fight scenes
Both are animes that deserve the adjective epic, in every sense.
To be more specific, both feature a really great plot, great characters and amazing action scenes. In CG mechas and strategy are the stars in action scenes, while in FMA:B that rol belongs to alchemy (and a bit of strategy too). Both animes have a really great ending and you will be rating them with a 9 or 10 before the end.
Both anime's are about a country and it's politics and main character being really involved with it, also both main characters have a special 'power'.
Even though it doesn't have the technology and mechs, Alchemy is a pretty good replacement, and some hardcore alchemy would be a replacement to Geass. However, the main thing about Code Geass is the complex plot, involving politics and human relations, with interesting twists. And you can find all these things on Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. A very intelligent anime.
Honestly, if you're a fan of brotherhood, you're going to enjoy Code Geass. Heck, you're going to love Code Geass whether you liked Brotherhood or not (unless you're some anime fan poser, but I have no idea where that'll get you in life - probably the same place the real anime fans end up - nowhere)
I'm really bad at this so..... PASTA!!!!!!!!
Anyway, check out Code Geass if you want to see the world in a different light and yes, Lelouch is the smartest character in all of anime.
This is a must watch for any fan.
Surely both series do share a big part together which is the alchemy.
Alchemy and all its related things: immortal beings, legends, immortality elisir/philosophical stone and so on.
Both stories evolve around the same epoch (first years of 1900) and share amazing main characters.
Even if, the style to tell the stories is very different, they both still share a very good music theme as well.
If you enjoyed one I'm sure you'll like the other too! I can definitely affirm that both of them are masterpieces.
Both deal with immortality, an all-cure elixir, and alchemy. Both are great anime with unique and wonderful characters, great animation, very well done fights, and violence & blood scenes. The first thing that comes to my mind when I watch Baccano! is FMA brotherhood. ;)
Both involve people using alchemy in order to perpetuate their existence, as well as having some crazy stuff thrown in.
Baccano is more similar to FMAB then any other anime, whenever I watch it I think of FMAB, D. Gray man might have one or two aspects but baccano has dozens of aspects that are similar to FMAB, if you like FMAB you will like baccano, it is stupid that people say you will like Blue Exorcist if you liked FMAB just cause both the main characters have brothers. That doesn't mean it is similar! just one little thing that won't affect your liking of a series! Baccano is a must watch if you if you like FMAB.
I found them similar because both of them have things about alchemy, but Baccano is a bit more mature and has some gore in it.
If you liked the whole mystery and conspiracy feeling in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, than you will like Baccano!
Also, both anime have beautiful fight scenes with lots of blood, and extremely badass characters which add a massive amount of excitement to the show.
Not to mention both have alchemists, immortals, homunculi, and are based around the same time era of the 1930s.
So if you liked one of these anime, I highly recommend trying the other.
Τhey are both about alchemy ,they both have a huge amount of great characters and great production values too .
For a first eye they dont look alike but if you think it a bit they have many things in common
Large cast of likable characters plus alchemy. Plus both have hilarious comic relief seamlessly woven in-between the serious scenes.
There's something very similar about the plot, animation, and characters. FMA is worth checking out even if you don't like Bacanno. Both are pretty epic.
Both animes share a big part which is alchemy: immortality, legends, elixirs etc. Both of them have amazing characters(main and supporting), a stunning plot/story and of course, spectacular animation/soundtracks. Each and every episode is a huge mystery and it's impossible for you to stop watching. Finally, these two series are some of the masterpieces Japan has to offer.
If you're looking for a series about brotherhood, then both series would have to be the best recommendation as both tell a tale of the bonds 2 brothers have and the trials they go through. Whilst both series may be of different plots, what they both share is the highly-packed action and spectacular graphics.
Even though it's a bit too early to tell, the relationship between Rin and his brother Yukio seems to be a major theme of "Ao no Exorcist," as is the importance of Ed and Al's bond in "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood."
Ahhh... Brothers, the most intimidating relationship that is a little mysterious but appreciatively amusing and mature. Both series sets off a dejavù experience of brothers battling their way to survive after the death of someone precious to them. In FMAB, Ed becomes a state alchemist right away but in AnE, Rin takes on multiple steps to achieve his goal. Both shows have something going on their respective institutions. Plus, the characters are quite the same. Ed and Rin, being the older brothers are quite a handful when it comes to sticky situations. They easily get mad and erupt their emotions quickly. Al and Yukio, on the other hand are the younger brother who seemingly show their angst and could still act calm and cool. There is also a blonde chick named Winry in FMA and Shiemi in AnE who becomes the love interest of both main characters. Alchemy and Exorcism are both present in the ancient times so there's that close relationship between each other. Although, fma sticks to the manga's storyline, AnE may seem to go off into another direction. Luckily, both shows are promising because of their appeal, comedy, action, drama, and a hint of romance. Shonen spirit is presented in these shows after all.
Both shows are about two brothers and their relationship as they struggle to accomplish their goal.
Although their storylines are quite different, Ao No Exorcist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood have similar themes of brotherhood and semi-scientific special abilities. I found that the governmental structure and the moral intricacies were explored in similar ways, encouraging the viewer to question their understanding of these elements.
-Story about two brothers
-Their mother is dead
-Their father isn't human
-Both are really enjoyable and worth watching
Brotherhood is a very strong theme in both FMA: B and Blue Exorcist. There's also a fair bit of action and comedy to keep you laughing the rest of the time. There's no doubt that if you like one, you will enjoy the other.
Both have dark undertones, stories of brotherhood, a decent-sized cast (though Brotherhood has much more time to expand its number of characters) and a MC with some serious daddy issues.
If you liked Blue Exorcist's short and sweet fight scenes, mysterious villains and complicated family relationships, you are sure to like both FMA and FMA: Brotherhood as long as you are willing to commit to a longer series. Trust me, it's worth it.
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