Critic’s Log - October 3, 2015. Supplemental Review of FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST: BROTHERHOOD
I remembered that the original Fullmetal Alchemist had some OVA’s. One of them was some comedic in-joke on the people that worked on the series as if the characters were actors. Another was a little sequence that feels like the epilogue to the original Fullmetal Alchemist anime. Then there was a Live-action OVA, an Interactive OVA, and then a Recap OVA. To be honest, these OVA’s don’t really add much to the original Fullmetal Alchemist and I found most of them pointless. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood was fortunate to have OVA’s that actually add to the experience. I am talking about The OVA Collection of FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST: BROTHERHOOD.
I usually give a brief synopsis to my review, however… This is a review of additional material to an anime I just reviewed so… No need for a synopsis here. I also made my statements on Studio BONES and the animation quality of the series so there is no need for me to repeat myself because these OVA’s look just like how they looked in the TV series. That being said, I will just go over the 4 OVA’s that were given to Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
The first OVA “The Blind Alchemist” is essentially filler but not necessarily a bad case of filler. If you want to include it ias Canon, It should be viewed after Episode 3. I won’t into much detail but how this little story plays out could have been explored for just a little bit longer. It is not an entirely pointless OVA to Brotherhood but it really depends on how you perceive it.
The second OVA “Simple People” gives some insight on Winry early on that was never brought up in the TV Series. In terms of chronology, it would be easier to view this right after watching The Blind Alchemist and then Episode 4. Other than that. I like this OVA for adding something to Winry’s character.
The Third OVA “The Tale of Teacher” gives some insight on Izumi Curtis which actually does get mentioned halfway in the series. It explores what Izumi went through during her alchemy training and it Even though it is taking place much before the series, it would be fitting to view this OVA after Episode 12 (which is the episode that introduces Izumi) as a way to co-relate the alchemy training from Master to Students. Besides, I would not want to view this OVA while in the middle of the show when The Elric Brothers are at Fort Briggs when this tale is mentioned.
The fourth and Final OVA is “Yet Another Man’s Battlefield” is set during the time that Roy Mustang joins the Military. This also leads up to The Ishval Civil War and considering that there are a few moments with Roy Mustang and Maes Hughes. I would view this OVA after Episode 9 because Episode 10 starts off with Mustang reminiscing about The Ishval Civil War. I consider it to be a pretty good OVA considering we get more character insight of Hughes (even though his time was short).
As for voice acting, The Japanese Cast is fine but I strongly preferred the Dub like the TV series.
Even though I don’t have any intention of revisiting the OVA’s of the original Fullmetal Alchemist anime, these OVA’s are actually pretty good for being bonus material. Even though I have given my perception of where I would place these Bonus Episodes as if they were canon, I will say that these OVA’s are not really required viewing in order to fully enjoy Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. They are nice additions and all I can say is…viewing these OVA’s are optional. That being said, I must say that I really enjoyed these OVA’s. I remembered watching some Specials or OVA’s that really don’t add to the experience, they are just… there. Some series like Darker Than BLACK, Naruto, and Black Butler have these OVA’s where they are essentially based on the series but has no continuity whatsoever. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood’s OVA’s are adapted by Manga chapter’s of the same name which they were not in the Manga Volumes for whatever reason. These Manga Chapters are not available in the U.S. Regardless, the reason I consider viewing these episodes optional is because even though these episodes were made during the show’s run and after the series, these episodes are not missing parts of the story. They are essentially additional material if the fans want a little more out of the series. I like these additional episodes because they give a little bit more detail about a few characters. If you ask me, these OVA’s are best viewed while re-watching the series and if you want my advice on my viewing order of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood with these OVA’s, here you go.
Step 1: Start with the first three episodes.
Step 2: After watching Episode 3. watch “The Blind Alchemist” and “Simple People”
Step 3: After “Simple People”, watch Episodes 4-9.
Step 4: After Episode 9, watch “Yet Another Man’s Battlefield”
Step 5: After watching “Yet Another Man’s Battlefield”, then watch Episodes 10-12.
Step 6: After watching Episode 12, watch “The Tale of Teacher”.
Step 7: After watching “The Tale of Teacher”, enjoy the rest of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
By the way, I am not counting The Sacred Star of Milos because it adds nothing to the series. There is barely any continuity when it comes to that movie.
The Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood OVA’s are available by Funimation
Overall, The Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood OVA’s are welcome additions to one of the best Modern animes out there. The animation is consistent with the TV Series. The music is also consistent. A few characters were given some light shed to them, and the stories contained in these bonus episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood are just as good as the show itself, even if that first OVA feels like a filler. Keep in mind that I am viewing these OVA’s as additional material to the series since it proved that it has continuity connections. That being said…
I give the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood OVA’s a 10 out of 10!