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Oct 16, 2015 6:45 AM

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Till now , i have found almost every person liking it , The plot , the story line and the development of characters and all.
Overall, it's must watch and the rest is up to you
 
Oct 17, 2015 10:01 AM

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To be the highest rated, it doesn't mean everyone thinks it's the best. It just means a lot of people think it's exceptionally good and this is true.
 
Nov 17, 2015 4:28 PM
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Klassical said:
ziggy_Z said:
Keep deluding yourself with that ;3


thats not deluding
actually this is a very logical reason for the so many 10's for this anime
it is targeted to the teenagers audience, you can figure this out from many things
1- shounen
2- main character (childish)
3- story
4-battles
5- so called science "alchemy"
6-comedy ( i think it has the worst humor of all time )

anyway im not here to convince anyone to change their opinion
this anime has a huge fan base.
for me , i dont agree with the majority on this one, and i dont have to agree to look that" i have a good taste in anime "

the problem is : you watch this anime based on the hype , you think that it must be the greatest ever or at least one of the greatest animes , unfortunately as i tried to love this anime it was overrated and i was disappointed.

still a good and entertaining anime .


Oh my god deliver this man a truck of cookies.

That's exactly what I was thinking when I watched FMA : B, that I probably would have loved to watch it when I was a teen (can't really verify tho). You're right, it's exactly targeted at a teen audience, and because most people on MAL are teen or young adults with mindsets of teens, it pleases them very much. And I can understand why. But being 23 years old it somehow bothered me, as I don't really care anymore about the eternal problematic of the young adult/teen seeking desperately to find its place in the world of the adults (And finally finding it in dropping his only status ! No, I didn't like the ending either.), among others typical teenager problematics.


Tarextherex said:
Hell no, how can it be the best ever when it's not even better than the first version


That aside I think it's ranked number one simply because it's "hard to hate". That seems to be the general concensus about MAL ratings in general, most higher series aren't really the best ones, but those who don't have something that is easy to hate. For exemple, people like FMAB because it doesn't stray from the manga. It's an action/adventure series, that's what you would initially expect from pretty much every medium really, the story is straight-forward, there's no mindscrews or anything you might not understand, the story ends happily without an ambiguous ending. Those reasons might be positives for most of you but I wouldn't agree that quickly because anime can be good in different ways, imo fma simply was superior in every possible way to fmab despite it not following the source material(that is one of the «flaws» people complain about any anime really»)


When a series is a masterpiece, it should be so good in it's execution that it makes you acknowledge any detail someone would treat as a «flaw». Also, MAL in general is pretty close-minded anyway, so such rankings shouldn't be taken too seriously.


This is the other gem of truth I find in this discussion. Setting aside the FMA/FMA:B debate in which I can't say anything because I didn't see the fma version.

Indeed, I would like to give a really bad mark to FMA : B, in order to see it a bit lower in the ranking, where I think it belongs (how can it come before Steins; Gate ? For me it can't be). But if I decided to grade it, I would do it honestly and still give it a very good mark (I think 8 at least) because it is a nice adventure, an enjoyable anime which do not suffers from any major flaws.



So in a nutshell, a lot of teens or teen-minded adults give it 10 because it's targeted at them and well-made, and the others who are more mature and who have more perspective still give it a good mark because it is well-made and complete.
Modified by Netien, Nov 17, 2015 4:37 PM
 
Nov 17, 2015 4:40 PM

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Gingamin67 said:
Calling fullmetal alchemist brotherhood the best anime of all time is an understatement, calling it the best tv show of all time is an understatement (but true,) heck even calling it the best thing ever made is an understatement. It is God speaking to us through media! Hahaha, but yeah it is the best tv series of all time (including anime.)
QFT
 
Jan 2, 2016 9:37 PM
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As mentioned, FMAB's target demographic is quite young, even by shonen standards, especially when compared to FMA2003 or the manga. FMAB is the simplest of the three to consume, especially with protracted viewing as it constantly uses "tell" instead of "show." Every situation and character is, at all times, explained in excrutiating detail. While this makes the show coherent to essentially everyone, it also has the side-effect of having zero respect for the viewer's intelligence whatsoever and some will find that it gets exhausting fast.

There is virtually no objective analysis of FMAB. You see a lot of hyperbole thrown around and meaningless subjective comparisons to other works but this ultimately has no intrinsic value when it comes to actually assessing the worth of an artistic work. Subjectively, one could likely say with accuracy that FMAB seems to be the most "popular" anime. Objectively, that has no real value and it is no indication as to the show's true quality.
 
Jan 2, 2016 9:41 PM
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AV_Archivist said:
As mentioned, FMAB's target demographic is quite young, even by shonen standards, especially when compared to FMA2003 or the manga. FMAB is the simplest of the three to consume, especially with protracted viewing as it constantly uses "tell" instead of "show." Every situation and character is, at all times, explained in excrutiating detail. While this makes the show coherent to essentially everyone, it also has the side-effect of having zero respect for the viewer's intelligence whatsoever and some will find that it gets exhausting fast.

There is virtually no objective analysis of FMAB. You see a lot of hyperbole thrown around and meaningless subjective comparisons to other works but this ultimately has no intrinsic value when it comes to actually assessing the worth of an artistic work. Subjectively, one could likely say with accuracy that FMAB seems to be the most "popular" anime. Objectively, that has no real value and it is no indication as to the show's true quality.


I disagree, I think there are a lot of things in FMAB that "show" instead of "tell".
GoatJesus did an analysis on FMAB that shows deeper insight of the series.
 
Jan 2, 2016 9:50 PM
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RemixX said:
I disagree, I think there are a lot of things in FMAB that "show" instead of "tell".
GoatJesus did an analysis on FMAB that shows deeper insight of the series.


There are times that it "shows," yes but it almost always "tells" at the same time. It's a veritable blitzkrieg of dialog and exposition. Off the top of my head I can't think of another show that is so quick to the expositional trigger. This is obviously much worst in the rushed early episodes but it never goes away. It's acceptable for the target demographic but it's a stark contrast to your average work.
Modified by AV_Archivist, Jan 2, 2016 9:57 PM
 
Jan 2, 2016 10:10 PM

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I don't think Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is the best anime because a couple of episodes in the beginning were recaps which were rushed to catch up where the original left off. That was only problem I have with Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood which is quite a minor on my behalf. On contrast, it is a good anime since it develops positively with the characters, plot, animation, and etc.
 
Jan 19, 2016 1:16 PM
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I think your opinion on what anime is the best is going to depend on which flaws you don't mind overlooking. No anime is flawless, and so whatever is good about it has to outweigh the bad for it to be your favorite, or the best, in your opinion. And, of course, everyone's opinion is going to be different. And some things can be considered flaws by one person, and not by another.

For Fullmetal Alchemsit: Brotherhood, I can't consider it the best anime ever because the flaws that I see are very annoying (and because I don't think what's good in the show outweighs what I think is bad enough for me to completely overlook the bad). I think that instead of grasping what happened in the manga and making an anime version, they merely made moving, color versions of the manga panels. So I don't enjoy the way it was made in that way. And while I like some of the music, a lot of it is very annoying and boring to me. On top of that, a lot of the show (not just the beginning) was very rushed, and some of the character development was missing.

If I hadn't read the manga first, I might not have even noticed any of these things, I don't know. But since I can read the manga any time, and I feel like that's a much more well-done version of the same story, FMAB doesn't seem like the best anime of all time at all.

I do consider FMA (2003) to be the best anime of all time, despite its many flaws. The good really outweighs the bad for me in that anime, but I can see why someone might disagree because some of the flaws are probably REALLY annoying to some people. I may change my mind as to whether it's my personal favorite, but I do think it's the best.
Modified by deactivated1709242, Jan 19, 2016 1:33 PM
 
Jan 20, 2016 2:53 PM
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DragonFeather said:
I think your opinion on what anime is the best is going to depend on which flaws you don't mind overlooking. No anime is flawless, and so whatever is good about it has to outweigh the bad for it to be your favorite, or the best, in your opinion. And, of course, everyone's opinion is going to be different. And some things can be considered flaws by one person, and not by another.


This is a very good point. All art is flawed by nature. "Flawless" art, like when Hollywood tries to produce some films with stifling industrial grade quality control levels, is often very dry to me. I try to analyze the difference between objective flaws and subjective ones, however, from a production/writing/direction and overall storytelling perspective. It's important as even though some things can be chocked up to personal taste, there are still objectively terrible ways of telling a story. A viewer can't be wrong about how they perceive it, but the developers can be way off from their mark in how they deliver it vs their intent. You're spot on regarding FMAB simply cloned the manga coldly into a medium.

FMAB's flaws are heavily in the objective category. This is even evidenced by hardcore fans and you often see people say things along the lines of "best show ever!... except for <X> which was horrible... and <Y>... and <Z>... and this, this, and this episode stretch where it was terrible... and the first 25% of the series..." This sends the message that one is appreciating it on a purely subjective level. Conversely, the criticisms I see of FMA2003 are often of the subjective variety, criticizing the tone, style, darkness or deviated plot... things that are more personal taste. I find a lot of the flaws people perceive in the writing/plot/character don't hold up to scrutiny either and are easily explained, just not meticulously spelled out for the audience.
 
Jan 20, 2016 3:10 PM

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The answer is sort of.

If you're like me and just say FMA to mean FMA 2003 and FMA:B, then yes.

if not it isn't, FMA 2003 is.
erased sucks lol what an original opinion
 
Jan 21, 2016 3:31 PM

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I just finished FMA Brotherhood. Sweet god that anime was so good. I can't remeber when last time I saw such a great series. I can't stop thinking about it, I need to search for another masterpiece anime like this one.
 
Jan 21, 2016 3:37 PM

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It was good, but it wasn't the best anime ever, i sincerly doubt that one anime could ever be 'the best' ever, because each one is slightly unique and has things that we love and hate. For me the closest to best will be akame ga kill due to the unpredictability of what was going to happen in the beginning, simply a fantastic anime.
 
Jan 21, 2016 6:36 PM
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AV_Archivist said:


FMAB's flaws are heavily in the objective category. This is even evidenced by hardcore fans and you often see people say things along the lines of "best show ever!... except for <X> which was horrible... and <Y>... and <Z>... and this, this, and this episode stretch where it was terrible... and the first 25% of the series..." This sends the message that one is appreciating it on a purely subjective level. Conversely, the criticisms I see of FMA2003 are often of the subjective variety, criticizing the tone, style, darkness or deviated plot... things that are more personal taste. I find a lot of the flaws people perceive in the writing/plot/character don't hold up to scrutiny either and are easily explained, just not meticulously spelled out for the audience.


Because of how much I love the manga, I can understand why someone would really love FMAB's story, even though the anime itself does have a lot of flaws. I've had similar experiences. I've loved anime for personal reasons, but when I actually looked at them objectively, they weren't all that good. In fact, sometimes after a long time I won't like them as much. I agree about FMA 03. When I first watched it, I didn't really care for a lot of it because it was so different from the manga, which I had just finished, but gradually it grew on me. The problem is that the two stories are so different and it's hard to watch one and love it and move directly to the other and love it immediately too. They are such different takes. You have to be in the right mood.

And about FMAB "coldly cloning" the manga- it really becomes clear in some random scenes near the end, right in the middle of some of the episodes, in which they randomly start playing one of the opening or closing songs while a bunch of people are fighting. They want you to get into the emotion, but they don't really know how because they aren't into it themselves. It really doesn't fit to play the songs in those places. Most of the words don't really go with what's going on in those particular scenes, and they randomly cut off because the episodes aren't finished yet when they play them. It's really a shame. I think when they make movies or anime, they have to really love what they're adapting to make it good.
Modified by deactivated1709242, Jan 21, 2016 6:48 PM
 
Jan 23, 2016 10:28 AM
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Glad to see people are taking FMA 2003 more seriously these days. I always thought its slander was undeserved. I personally enjoyed the original more, but both 2003 and brotherhood have very different qualities where I can never objectively say which one is better.
 
Jan 24, 2016 1:57 AM

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not for me,it decent though
 
Jan 24, 2016 8:20 AM

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portant said:
DramaEnthusiast said:

I couldn't really word the title better, but lets discuss. You do say it differs from person to person, but it is rated higher than any other anime on this site, which means almost 99% of the people here would think it's the best anime ever made, while a very small minority might think otherwise. So in that case, would it still not be enough to justify it as the best anime to the world?

Your math is 100% correct.
portant said:
DramaEnthusiast said:

I couldn't really word the title better, but lets discuss. You do say it differs from person to person, but it is rated higher than any other anime on this site, which means almost 99% of the people here would think it's the best anime ever made, while a very small minority might think otherwise. So in that case, would it still not be enough to justify it as the best anime to the world?

Your math is 100% correct.


Thats not true because it got 51% of the votes a 10 that means that the 50% of the people that watched it thinks its the best anyways i have enjoyed a lot of other anime more than FMAB
 
Jan 25, 2016 2:32 PM
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In my book HELL YEAH IT IS! But it all depends on what you've seen. So far I haven't seen anything that surpasses FMAB so far.
 
Jan 25, 2016 2:36 PM

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Fuck no ..................................................
Wohooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
 
Jan 25, 2016 2:57 PM

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Greed deaths was better In the first version too.
 
Jan 25, 2016 8:14 PM
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Rewrite will always be one reason why FMA is better than FMAB :)
 
Jan 25, 2016 8:18 PM

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This is the same website with Asuna in the top 50 characters list simply because she can cook so I don't think MAL has the best taste.
 
Jan 25, 2016 8:27 PM

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I think it's fantastic, but not the best ever.

However, I can see why it would be listed number one. It is definetly an anime almost anyone can enjoy and it has a well put together plot, so I have no complaints.
Banner credit to @turnip
 
Jan 25, 2016 8:31 PM

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I can't think of an anime that deserves it's spot more. Incredible characters and plot, it appears to newer fans as well as hardcore ones, it's the anime that got me into anime and was my favorite show at the time.
 
Jan 26, 2016 11:26 PM
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[quote=DragonFeather message=44355283]
AV_Archivist said:

And about FMAB "coldly cloning" the manga- it really becomes clear in some random scenes near the end, right in the middle of some of the episodes, in which they randomly start playing one of the opening or closing songs while a bunch of people are fighting. They want you to get into the emotion, but they don't really know how because they aren't into it themselves. It really doesn't fit to play the songs in those places. Most of the words don't really go with what's going on in those particular scenes, and they randomly cut off because the episodes aren't finished yet when they play them. It's really a shame. I think when they make movies or anime, they have to really love what they're adapting to make it good.


Yep, that's the saddest thing. As you pointed out it's not strictly because they coldly adhered to the source material, it's a lack of passion about the project. When large parts of canon episodes -feel- like filler episodes, you know something's wrong. A solid example of an adaptation that manages to be 100% true to the source material, is as close to a carbon copy as possible, and still manages to be a masterpiece is The Dark Knight Returns: Parts 1 & 2. They're close to damn near perfect, objectively.
 
Jan 27, 2016 12:49 AM

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No, its not. its good but not the best.
 
Jan 27, 2016 12:52 AM

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Depends on the definition of "best". I still consider Death Note the "best" anime of all time, since it's the most popular one.
 
Jan 27, 2016 1:39 AM

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KonaKoffee4 said:
I think it's fantastic, but not the best ever.

However, I can see why it would be listed number one. It is definetly an anime almost anyone can enjoy and it has a well put together plot, so I have no complaints.


^ This. You really have to nitpick to find any real issues with the series, in all honesty. It may not be something I consider the best, but it represents some of the best that anime has to offer. Just an all-around great anime.
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Jan 27, 2016 7:43 AM
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AV_Archivist said:

Yep, that's the saddest thing. As you pointed out it's not strictly because they coldly adhered to the source material, it's a lack of passion about the project. When large parts of canon episodes -feel- like filler episodes, you know something's wrong. A solid example of an adaptation that manages to be 100% true to the source material, is as close to a carbon copy as possible, and still manages to be a masterpiece is The Dark Knight Returns: Parts 1 & 2. They're close to damn near perfect, objectively.


Right, I get bored during Brotherhood! Even during some of the same events that had me riveted in the manga. I agree that an adaptation can be just like the source material and still be good, but FMAB failed in so many ways because they didn't really seem to love it themselves. Ah, well. It is nice that some people who wouldn't have read the manga got to really enjoy the story of the manga because of Brotherhood. FMA, while something of a masterpiece, is a different story in a lot of ways. I do prefer the first half of it to the first 13 episodes of Brotherhood as an adaptation, of course, and I think it had a lot of the same themes as the manga, but it ended up very differently. However, I think both stories had that theme of pridefully trying to get their bodies back by some new power, and ultimately having to humble themselves to achieve their goal (and realizing they're not all-powerful). FMA expresses this by talking about the imperfection of the world (in one of the last scenes, Edward was wondering if there wasn't something he could have done to get everything back the way it was, and his dad said that nothing is perfect). And FMAB, of course, had Edward giving up his power of alchemy literally and purposefully. They are both wonderful endings, in my opinion (and I'm not excluding Shamballa from that, either, although I know it's not very popular).
 
Jan 27, 2016 9:31 AM
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it is the best cartoon i ve seen so far...
so yes.
 
Jan 28, 2016 8:01 AM
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[quote=Shiza-sennin message=44441871]
KonaKoffee4 said:
^ This. You really have to nitpick to find any real issues with the series, in all honesty.


Errr.. compared to some other anime, perhaps (you kinda hinted at that though). Relative to art, animation, and storytelling in general it's a real mess.
Modified by AV_Archivist, Jan 28, 2016 9:05 AM
 
Jan 28, 2016 8:21 AM

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Since everyone have their own preference, this thread will be just full of yes, no, this is the best, no that is the best.
 
Jan 29, 2016 9:51 AM

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Netien said:
Klassical said:


thats not deluding
actually this is a very logical reason for the so many 10's for this anime
it is targeted to the teenagers audience, you can figure this out from many things
1- shounen
2- main character (childish)
3- story
4-battles
5- so called science "alchemy"
6-comedy ( i think it has the worst humor of all time )

anyway im not here to convince anyone to change their opinion
this anime has a huge fan base.
for me , i dont agree with the majority on this one, and i dont have to agree to look that" i have a good taste in anime "

the problem is : you watch this anime based on the hype , you think that it must be the greatest ever or at least one of the greatest animes , unfortunately as i tried to love this anime it was overrated and i was disappointed.

still a good and entertaining anime .


Oh my god deliver this man a truck of cookies.

That's exactly what I was thinking when I watched FMA : B, that I probably would have loved to watch it when I was a teen (can't really verify tho). You're right, it's exactly targeted at a teen audience, and because most people on MAL are teen or young adults with mindsets of teens, it pleases them very much. And I can understand why. But being 23 years old it somehow bothered me, as I don't really care anymore about the eternal problematic of the young adult/teen seeking desperately to find its place in the world of the adults (And finally finding it in dropping his only status ! No, I didn't like the ending either.), among others typical teenager problematics.



OMG, thanks God I'm not the only one.
And yes, :
I think it has the worst humor of all time [2]
Seriously it was pathetic.
Dub = fake crap. Always.
 
Jan 29, 2016 10:02 AM

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Of course not. The very moment I finished FMA:B, I was confused by all the hype that surrounded it. It has its moments, but it most certainly is not the best anime ever. The anime comes off as rather generic, if anything.
 
Jan 29, 2016 10:41 AM

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[quote=AV_Archivist message=44461423]
Shiza-sennin said:
KonaKoffee4 said:
^ This. You really have to nitpick to find any real issues with the series, in all honesty.


Errr.. compared to some other anime, perhaps (you kinda hinted at that though). Relative to art, animation, and storytelling in general it's a real mess.


I have read your previous posts now, so I can fully take what you are saying into account.
As someone who watched FMA:B without being aware of its hype or its praise, I didn't go in thinking that it was automatically going to be the greatest anime ever (neither do I now, but that is besides the point). I actually was quite thrilled with the infamous "rushed" first episodes, and from then on, the story only seemed to improve. I never was really bothered by the exposition, and generally speaking, I hear far too many complaints about exposition in anime. That almost seems like the complaint everyone falls back on when they are bored by the anime in question.

The key themes conveyed by the show really resonated with me, and in all honesty, it blew any Shounen I had previously seen out of the water. Even now, I haven't seen a better one. (Though admittedly I haven't watched too many titles, so you can take that with a grain of salt.)

Also, I have not seen the original FMA, so I cannot comment on the comparisons between the two. However, I think it is shallow to define FMA:B as generic simply because it seems to be the simplest of all the works related to FMA. Complexity =/= Good

Having said all that, I don't consider FMA:B as the best anime of all time, but I can most definitely see why it can be.

EDIT: I see, you were referring to other mediums as well. Welp.. That was for naught.
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Jan 30, 2016 3:35 PM

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Fabshady said:
FMAB is one of the best but IMO Gintama>FMAB
You could have made any other first post, and you decided to post this?
---
I think that FMAB is the best anime to get someone into anime.

 
Jan 31, 2016 1:16 PM
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Shiza-sennin said:
I never was really bothered by the exposition, and generally speaking, I hear far too many complaints about exposition in anime. That almost seems like the complaint everyone falls back on when they are bored by the anime in question.


I think all your points are accurate and well thought out and they're a fair assessment. It's valuable to have the opinion of people who haven't seen a ton of shounens or anime and I'm sure you're 100% right, from your perspective. That being said, my issue isn't so much with exposition itself it's more towards its writing, direction, and application. There are often times where the exposition is completely surpurfluous, with characters expressing things that are evident to any reasonable viewer. It unnecessarily condescends to the audience or requires suspension of disbelief in what would be considered reasonable human behaviour (eg. pretty much every interaction anyone has with 66). FMAB doesn't so much bore me as it does frustrate me because of that sort of thing happening constantly. Things that probably wouldn't stand out so much if someone was watching the episodes as they aired on TV but that stick out like a sore thumb if you binge watch the series in a few days.

The key themes conveyed by the show really resonated with me, and in all honesty, it blew any Shounen I had previously seen out of the water. Even now, I haven't seen a better one. (Though admittedly I haven't watched too many titles, so you can take that with a grain of salt.)


The themes are definitely Shounen solid but I can't help but think "holy crap, it's Dragon Ball Z again" based on everything from the themes, to the motivations, to the character design/appearance/development and personality.

Also, I have not seen the original FMA, so I cannot comment on the comparisons between the two. However, I think it is shallow to define FMA:B as generic simply because it seems to be the simplest of all the works related to FMA. Complexity =/= Good


To be fair, FMAB is significantly more complex than most shows and it is leagues more complex than its predecessor. Off the top of my head I can't think of many potentially more complex series, anime or not. I don't feel it's at all generic in its complexity. It's just that complexity doesn't intrinsically equate to depth or evocation, which is ultimately more important. It can create the facade that there is more going on or that things are on a grander scale but it makes it much more challenging to achieve these qualities, no matter the medium.
 
Jan 31, 2016 1:31 PM

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well not the best but it is clearly one of the best
as far as fighting shonen goes it is way better than the others in the genre
 
Jan 31, 2016 1:35 PM

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The best anime? No, not really. I don't think such a thing could possibly exist.

I believe FMA:B is the #1 rated show because it just does everything right. Regardless of whether you enjoy the anime or not, it has so many positive points to it than you couldn't possible rate it lowly. The characters are developed, the story is paced well despite having a larger than average amount of episodes, there's plenty of action scenes but they still throw in episodes which tug at your heartstrings.

It does everything to a high standard; there might be anime out there that are better in one specific aspect (the comedy isn't always that great, for example) but few shows are as excellent in all aspects across the board like FMA:B is.

Basically, so long as people are rating the show fairly (IE not going "hurr durr I didn't enjoy this therefore it's shit, 1/10 trashtaste derpderp" ) you couldn't really rate this too low. It's a solid anime that appeals to a wide range of people, no matter the usual taste they might have.
It's an entirely different kind of flying, altogether!
It's an entirely different kind of flying.
 
Jan 31, 2016 4:30 PM

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AV_Archivist said:
I think all your points are accurate and well thought out and they're a fair assessment. It's valuable to have the opinion of people who haven't seen a ton of shounens or anime and I'm sure you're 100% right, from your perspective. That being said, my issue isn't so much with exposition itself it's more towards its writing, direction, and application. There are often times where the exposition is completely surpurfluous, with characters expressing things that are evident to any reasonable viewer. It unnecessarily condescends to the audience or requires suspension of disbelief in what would be considered reasonable human behaviour (eg. pretty much every interaction anyone has with 66). FMAB doesn't so much bore me as it does frustrate me because of that sort of thing happening constantly. Things that probably wouldn't stand out so much if someone was watching the episodes as they aired on TV but that stick out like a sore thumb if you binge watch the series in a few days.


Ah, I see what you are saying here. I myself also binged it, but I can understand your frustrations with it (especially with episode 66). In hindsight, much of the exposition was unneeded, making it the classic case of "tell rather than show." Any reasonable viewer would be able to understand what messages were being conveyed and what significance certain events had without the exposition. It never really frustrated me, but sometimes the exposition just made me anxious waiting for some more events to actually happen.

The themes are definitely Shounen solid but I can't help but think "holy crap, it's Dragon Ball Z again" based on everything from the themes, to the motivations, to the character design/appearance/development and personality.

Agreed. I suppose it had more impact on me than say, Dragon Ball Z or any other major Shounen, because of its execution overall. Even if they were simple in nature when you pull back the layers, it engaged me much more than I can say for many other titles.

To be fair, FMAB is significantly more complex than most shows and it is leagues more complex than its predecessor. Off the top of my head I can't think of many potentially more complex series, anime or not. I don't feel it's at all generic in its complexity. It's just that complexity doesn't intrinsically equate to depth or evocation, which is ultimately more important. It can create the facade that there is more going on or that things are on a grander scale but it makes it much more challenging to achieve these qualities, no matter the medium.


May I ask then how you think FMA:B compares to other anime in the department of depth and evocation?
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Feb 1, 2016 9:08 AM
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AV_Archivist said:
but I can understand your frustrations with it (especially with episode 66).


There are only 64 episodes, Sacred Star of Milos, and a few shorts. By 66 I mean Number 66, Barry the Chopper. More specifically how he's a massive, metal, disembodied, unrepentant, murdering psychopath who spends the bulk of his screen time talking about how much he wants to skin people alive. The show writes this off as though it's funny and the characters do things that are completely idiotic around him, like letting him stand directly behind them while they're distracted in a secluded room or trusting him for no goddamn reason whatsoever. They also introduce the character with a cutesy murder-cartoon complete with slapstick cuts of meat flashing all over the screen because "hey kids! aren't serial killers fun?!" then they try to give the character fabricated pathos when he's dying with a "woe is me" monologue. Exact same thing with Envy. They default to it every time they want to create drama, no matter how much suspension of disbelief it takes. Another example of tone-deaf direction is how every time Izumi coughs blood they toss on a goofy sound effect and tone-deaf slapstick facial expressions because "hey kids! isn't internal bleeding hilarious?!" Same thing every time Winry throws a wrench at Ed: slapstick blood geyser explodes from chibi head

Agreed. I suppose it had more impact on me than say, Dragon Ball Z or any other major Shounen, because of its execution overall.


Yes I think that's accurate and it's likely a big part of why it's so popular. Not having any filler and following a clear plot definitely makes it easier to become a fan of than filler-ridden pre-Kai DBZ and the pacing, although all over the place, isn't artificially slow or drawn out in places where it doesn't make sense, like the middle of fights.


May I ask then how you think FMA:B compares to other anime in the department of depth and evocation?


FMAB has its moments. How much someone gets out of those moments depends on how much someone's willing to forgive. I can cherry-pick scenes out of context that make it look like the most amazing thing ever but in watching the show I'm consistently furious with the godawful screenplay leading up to the scenes they actually wanted to make. Analyzing the series objectively as a whole, it hurts a lot. If it's someone's first battle shounen, they'll probably get more out of it as everything will be fresher. Depth wise it's on par with most other battle shounen. Very straightforward action that clearly spells itself out for the audience. It sacrifices some depth and development in favour of a wider cast of characters, however. I might have enjoyed it more if I'd watched it when I was a kid but as an adult it doesn't stand out to me as especially unique. As I mentoned, to me it feels like a carbon-copy of different stages of Dragon Ball Z.
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Feb 1, 2016 8:11 PM
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The manga has some of the strangest humor. It is so jarring that when I first started reading, I didn't enjoy it. However, it really grew on me because I felt like it kept the series down to earth in a lot of ways, making you laugh at yourself for morbidly dwelling on the seriousness of the events. My problem with Brotherhood's version of that humor is how jarringly it fills up the screen. In the manga, usually the humorous pictures are smaller and brief and it flows nicely. The timing is off in FMAB.

But I'm looking at your points here, it's definitely not funny for someone to throw a wrench at someone else and make their head bleed and everything, but the next moment Edward isn't bloody at all, which means it's an exaggeration for an attempt at humor. I was also surprised by it, and thought it was kind of dumb, as though it was only there to prove that girls were tough or something. But I really think it is meant to be only a joke and an exaggeration, as people's souls do not come out of their mouths and you can't be bloody one minute and uninjured the next. Obviously it's basically impossible to hit someone with a wrench and NOT hurt them, but it really is a joke, in my opinion.

You may know this already, but Hiromu Arakawa said she inserted humorous moments right in the middle of serious ones because the goal of the manga was entertainment. She said she read sentimental manga when she was unhappy, but that it wasn't enjoyable.

The humor of the manga (and Brotherhood, though I don't enjoy that version as much) is very wacky, but I really think it's a reminder to lighten up.

FMA 03, on the other hand, handles humor VERY well, taking out a lot of it and inserting it where it fit. The comedic timing is great. I think FMA 03's humor is much more accessible. At the same time, SOMETIMES the series borders on becoming TOO serious, though I wouldn't say melodramatic..
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Feb 1, 2016 8:16 PM
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In my opinion this anime is very good, but not enough to be the best of all time.
 
Feb 2, 2016 12:12 PM
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DragonFeather said:
FMA 03, on the other hand, handles humor VERY well, taking out a lot of it and inserting it where it fit. The comedic timing is great. I think FMA 03's humor is much more accessible. At the same time, SOMETIMES the series borders on becoming TOO serious, though I wouldn't say melodramatic..


Was gonna say exactly that. They use all the same gags in FMA 03 but they're handled better for the flow and they drop them before the humour is stretched thin. The very first time Izumi coughs blood in FMA 03 they do the same goofy slapstick face with comedy sound effect but it isn't completely out of place with the scene and it's actually genuinely surprising and funny because your reaction matches that of the Elrics. The humour in FMAB worked better in the manga; takes a micro-second to process and it doesn't have as dramatic a tone shift as there is with the show. FMAB feels like they just carbon copied the jokes and crammed them in dutifully.

You may know this already, but Hiromu Arakawa said she inserted humorous moments right in the middle of serious ones because the goal of the manga was entertainment. She said she read sentimental manga when she was unhappy, but that it wasn't enjoyable.


I wasn't aware of this. While I understand her sentiment and agree it's perhaps more suitable in the manga, I still don't fully agree with the implementation and it's often way too inappropriate in FMAB. It's just that what's actually going on in the plot is, at times, Schindler's List dark. As a result, the comedic timing in FMAB combined with the slapstick nature of the humour is a tad cringe-worthy. Yes the goal is entertainment... but the story still has genocide, mass murder, racism, war crimes, amputation, ultraviolence, and a variety of other atrocities. FMA 03 proves you can make the humour work in measured doses and even Schindler's List employs humour appropriately at times, FMAB just fails to do so in an appropriate way.

It's nice to hear someone not accusing 03 of being grimdark. It is more serious tonally but not in an artificial way. It's never grim or sad just for the sake of it, it's just much more a drama than an action adventure. I love and appreciate FMA 03 but I'll be the first to admit it isn't a "fun" or happy viewing experience. Conversely, I am bothered by the way FMAB glosses over or trivializes certain things. Death is often treated casually unless it's a main character, they make Ed and Winry's relationship manipulative and somewhat abusive, and then there's the point I mentioned earlier about trying to make an unrepentant serial killer seem like a lulzy cuddly dope. You're right about why they added blood to the comedic violence, it just still bothers me. Eg. Devil's Nest: Serious -> serious -> super serious -> slapstick blood cough ad nauseum -> MEGA serious. I feel it detracts from both the humour -and- the gravity of encompassing events.

One major criticism I have of FMAB is the lack of animation in some scenes. Examples: lengthy, completely still images of Mustang with his hands covering his mouth so they don't need to animate anything while he talks; completely still images of offices with us looking down through a CGI fan to create the illusion the scene is animated/dynamic while characters chat; extreme zoom-out during long conversations with absolutely no movement or animation whatsoever for extended periods. There was one scene where I remember getting out of my seat saying "ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?" when I realized close to a minute had gone by without there being any change to the visuals during a long period of exposition. As a viewer, I should not ever be aware that there's an abnormal lack of movement in the video medium. FMA 03 had similar scenes with Mustang covering his mouth but there was still other movement on screen and camera/angle changes.
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Feb 2, 2016 2:29 PM
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You’re completely right about the still images; I wondered if anyone else noticed. It bothered me right from the start. It makes for very boring viewing. People talk about the high quality of FMAB’s animation, and it’s true that the movement is smooth and they show the fighting scenes clearly. But there is a lot of panning over still images, as if they were lazy making it. I also don’t enjoy the artwork. I think that manga art and anime art are different things. The lighting, artwork, and character designs of FMA 03 were much better. Some of it actually looks really beautiful, and appropriate shading is added to the characters’ faces. In manga, everything is black and white, of course, and in FMA there isn’t much shading in some places. But that doesn’t work too well in an anime; it just ends up looking cartoony.

I feel like a lot of recent stories work too hard to bring home the reality of DARKNESS and DEATH to the point of gratuitousness, which is why I appreciate the humor of the manga: it kind of points out the humor in things. You’re right that it deals with very serious issues like genocide, and I think that the story does have a lot of value in more than just an entertaining way. But it manages to be entertaining even when telling such a serious story, which I think is important. I didn’t notice slapstick during the actual scenes dealing with the Ishbal rebellion or similar events, but I may be forgetting.

“Lulzy cuddly dope” – rofl. I think the manga did a good job of showing some of his development, and how his interactions with May, the Elrics, and several other characters influenced him. (I think this is VERY rushed in Brotherhood.) But even so, in either version, he is a serial killer and they make him out to be not so bad after all. FMA 03’s version wasn’t all that different except that it didn’t have him make a complete 180, and he was still acting in revenge and selfishly. (I’m not going to lie… his death in FMA 03, especially with that music, is somewhat moving.)

What do you mean by Edward and Winry’s relationship being manipulative?

And as for abusive, aside from what I already said about the blood just being an exaggeration, yes, Winry smacks him, but he calls her an idiot all the time. I feel like they both dish out insults and can handle it when the other does the same, and besides that they are only kids. I doubt the verbal abuse or hitting continue after they get older, but that's just my opinion. They both seem to mature. They aren't actually in a relationship throughout the series. Apparently Winry didn't even notice she liked Edward until about halfway through the series, and I think it took Edward just as long or longer.

I get so tired of people talking about how dark FMA 03 is. I think they’re reading that into it. It has a lot of heavy stuff, sure, but it also has a lot of happy moments, and some humor, and there are so many themes in it that I don’t think it can be completely narrowed down to one thing. I’ve heard people who think it’s all about obsession, or the fact that endings aren’t always happy – but with everything in that story, how could it be simply one of those morbid things? If there has to be ONE overarching theme to it, my guess is that it’s in the final words. Otherwise, it could be any number of things, and I think it’s multiple ones. I think anything can be watched in such a way that it can seem dark, but that FMA 03 is not hopeless by any means.
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Feb 2, 2016 4:23 PM
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DragonFeather said:

What do you mean by Edward and Winry’s relationship being manipulative?


The two most specific examples I can think would be how Ed buys her earrings to make her plient to his will and when Winry lets Ed believe he's the reason his automail arm breaks in Lab 5. I realise the missing screw is also in FMA 03 and that Winry's behaviour is almost identical, it's just that in 03 it's an isolated incident. The earring part, on the other hand, was very clearly presented with Ed fully aware that's he's a slippery bastard. Ultimately no one thing stands out as completely reprehensible in regards to their FMAB relationship, it's just the trends in their interations that strike me as overall negative. You're right though, it does improve.

[quuote=]I get so tired of people talking about how dark FMA 03 is. I think they’re reading that into it. It has a lot of heavy stuff, sure, but it also has a lot of happy moments, and some humor, and there are so many themes in it that I don’t think it can be completely narrowed down to one thing. I’ve heard people who think it’s all about obsession, or the fact that endings aren’t always happy – but with everything in that story, how could it be simply one of those morbid things? If there has to be ONE overarching theme to it, my guess is that it’s in the final words. Otherwise, it could be any number of things, and I think it’s multiple ones. I think anything can be watched in such a way that it can seem dark, but that FMA 03 is not hopeless by any means.[/quote]

Agreed. Like... Requiem for a Dream is dark... FMA 03 is bittersweet at worst. It still has a happy ending, just not the happiest of endings. My favourite thing about FMA 03 is, as you mentioned, how many aspects there are to it and how deeply you can analyze it. One of my favourite themes in it is that of "coming of age," and most specifically how the last half of the show plus Conqueror of Shamballa gradually becomes more and more meta, pitting shounen tropes against a very literal facing of reality and maturity, with Ed always doing everything he can to protect Al, representative of childhood innocence, from the horrors of it all.

My other favourite aspect, which I only began to appreciate recently on a rewatch, is how strong the symbolism of the ouroboros is in FMA 03. It comes into play insidiously throughout the plot in terms of cyclicality. One recognizable facet would be how the homunculi crave humanity but they're already essentially human. The other being how the series ends almost exactly as it begins, with the two brothers together, setting out into the world in search of an unspeakable power, only this time to destroy it. Pretty much all of the characters come full circle throughout the series.
 
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I don't remember Edward buying Winry any earrings (he holds on to her earrings for her when they are in the north), but he does buy her all kinds of things because she asks and he has a ton of money (he pays her travel expenses in both versions and gets a bunch of automail tools "for her grandmother" in FMA 03 - it's obvious they are for her, lol). But other than those things, I don't remember him buying her things, and the reason he bought those is because he has a ton of money because of his new job - and he usually complains about it. I'm not saying it's right, and in FMA 03 it looks like she's taking advantage of the fact that he was upset because she almost died at the hands of Barry the Chopper. But she is only 12 in that scene, so it's almost excusable.

That Winry hides the fact that it was her fault? That I was a little upset about, but again, I really think it is only a joke, an attempt at humor. Most people would want to shove it under the rug, even if their conscience won't let them, and I think it was a joke. But I do get that, it isn't a good thing to do.

Exactly, there is so much in FMA 03 to notice. I see new things every time I watch it. You have a good point about the homunculi.
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Feb 2, 2016 5:59 PM

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Certainly one of my favorite :)
 
Feb 2, 2016 10:27 PM
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DragonFeather said:
I don't remember Edward buying Winry any earrings


You're not wrong. I just double checked and it's from one of the specials called "Simple People" that was released between episodes 37 and 38. I mis-remembered it as being part of the core series, I'm sorry.
 
Feb 3, 2016 1:54 AM

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AV_Archivist said:


There are only 64 episodes, Sacred Star of Milos, and a few shorts. By 66 I mean Number 66, Barry the Chopper. More specifically how he's a massive, metal, disembodied, unrepentant, murdering psychopath who spends the bulk of his screen time talking about how much he wants to skin people alive. The show writes this off as though it's funny and the characters do things that are completely idiotic around him, like letting him stand directly behind them while they're distracted in a secluded room or trusting him for no goddamn reason whatsoever. They also introduce the character with a cutesy murder-cartoon complete with slapstick cuts of meat flashing all over the screen because "hey kids! aren't serial killers fun?!" then they try to give the character fabricated pathos when he's dying with a "woe is me" monologue. Exact same thing with Envy. They default to it every time they want to create drama, no matter how much suspension of disbelief it takes. Another example of tone-deaf direction is how every time Izumi coughs blood they toss on a goofy sound effect and tone-deaf slapstick facial expressions because "hey kids! isn't internal bleeding hilarious?!" Same thing every time Winry throws a wrench at Ed: slapstick blood geyser explodes from chibi head


Ah, my apologies. This was a misunderstanding on my part. I just put 66, thinking it was the last episode of the series you were referring to. I found some of the dialogue there a tad bit over-expository myself, as some of it was reiterating what we had already learned while watching the series. That being said, I totally agree with you on Barry the Chopper, as he was honestly one of my least favorite characters throughout the series.

As you and DragonFeather have made clear, the humor in general was very poor, and it can get bothersome. especially when some of the more serious aspects of FMA:B are being brought to light. I didn't completely hate it myself, but it certainly isn't very good or memorable.

FMAB has its moments. How much someone gets out of those moments depends on how much someone's willing to forgive. I can cherry-pick scenes out of context that make it look like the most amazing thing ever but in watching the show I'm consistently furious with the godawful screenplay leading up to the scenes they actually wanted to make. Analyzing the series objectively as a whole, it hurts a lot. If it's someone's first battle shounen, they'll probably get more out of it as everything will be fresher. Depth wise it's on par with most other battle shounen. Very straightforward action that clearly spells itself out for the audience. It sacrifices some depth and development in favour of a wider cast of characters, however. I might have enjoyed it more if I'd watched it when I was a kid but as an adult it doesn't stand out to me as especially unique. As I mentoned, to me it feels like a carbon-copy of different stages of Dragon Ball Z.


Even with its general simplicity, I think it is unfair to compare it to Dragon Ball Z in all honesty or to put it "on par" with other battle Shounen because the experience was much more than that for me, from an evocation standpoint. How pivotal a role sacrifice played in the show, for example, was very well-crafted into the story of FMA:B, and its recurring usage is what made it so powerful. I would say, even if it does lack depth, it certainly makes up for it with its evocation. While common in battle Shounen, the themes of FMA:B just overall were more realistically portrayed and were more emotionally heavy than in many other anime I have seen to date.
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