I was a huge fan of the first FMA series. the drama was exciting, I liked the intensity of emotion for Ed and Al and their storyline, I liked the sympathetic portrayal of the homunculi, and so on. I couldn't get enough of it.
Then I started watching Brotherhood and reading the manga, and both of them just blew the doors off of the first series. In fact, I have since readjusted my score of the first series because of this.
Story - the story is absolutely humongous, spanning not just throughout Amestris but around the world. The motive behind the homunculi and their controlling presence, Father, is quite mysterious and complex, and I like the fact that the reasoning is not so laid out. I'm writing this as of episode 29, and you can already start to see the scope of their scheme and the ends to which they will go to fulfill it. And it does this without taking away the very essence of what drives Ed and Al- the desire to get their own bodies back. 10 out of 10.
Art- Outstanding. I really don't like the new character designs quite as much as the first series, but they more than suffice. What really makes the art for this series stand out is the animation for the fight sequences, which look fast, fluid, intense, and extraordinarily exciting. Also, big plus for the animation behind Envy's true form- looks like something out of a Lovecraftian nightmare. 9 out of 10
Sound- Very strong. I find it hard to imagine another Japanese voice actor taking the place of Romy Park as Edward Elric, and she's as good as ever here, and the others are highly admirable as well. The music is not terribly special- I'd say it's good, and serves its function well, but is not great. 8 out of 10.
Character- this is where the series really soars. While in the first series we primarily got character development for only a handful of characters, here we're getting character development from every direction- not only from the core group, but also Hawkeye, Havoc, King Bradley, Armstrong, Winry, and others, many of whom were not given their due attention in the first series. But here we really get the depth of the connection between Hawkeye and Mustang, more of a background on Bradley, even Havoc is more than just comic relief. Because of the breadth of the characters they take their time to develop, 10 out of 10.
Enjoyment- simply put, every episode from about 19 onward had me just about jump out of my seat with emotion, whether it be shock, or glee, or whatever. It thrills you, moves you, makes you laugh, basically it pulls out all the stops in order to keep you engaged and entertained. There are moments that were removed from the manga that I wish they had preserved (especially from episode 30 the Ishbal flashback), so that's definitely a knock on the anime, but for the most part I'm getting a kick out of this series.
Overall- Like I said earlier, I loved the first series, it was one of my favorite anime. I also was in the middle of rewatching the first series until about the point where the manga and Brotherhood started to pave its own way apart from the first series. That was three months ago and I have not watched the first series since.
This was headed for a 10 out of 10, but their rendition of the Ishbal flashback in episode 30 left me wanting. Still, a very, very good 9 out of 10.