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4.8 out of 5 stars
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Complete Collection One
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94 of 102 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-ray
That's right, this series isn't just one of the best Anime I've seen, it is the epitome of Anime in my mind, and one of the best animated television series I have ever experienced. Okay, so I'm a newbie who just finished the series and is on a bit of a high from the experience but I stand by my statements. Due to a series of random events I actually wound up buying the entire series just a few weeks ago and watching it for the first time. I bought the 5 separate Blu-ray releases that are currently available, it cost me substantially more than this set (about $200 total), but I'm still happy I did it, that's how much I love this series. So if you like this series and don't yet own it on DVD/Blu then you have to buy this repackaged Collection 1 set, in my opinion, there is nothing else to it.

This set includes the first 33 episodes of the series. A nice even breaking point that leaves the remaining 34 episodes on the eventual Collection 2.
As far as the episodes, yeah the first thirteen or so are repeated material for anyone familiar with the first series and they feel arguably compacted as such, but any arguments about the series quality disappears by episode 14 and onward where the series departs from the first anime and plays true to the original manga.

I highly recommend this series on Blu-ray over DVD, it's not the best blu-ray picture you will ever see but this is among the most unique and beautiful anime animation I've seen and I wouldn't want to risk missing any detail of it if I didn't have to. Towards the end of the series some of the battles are evocative of the best work of Miyazaki. The streamlined and simplified animation style seems to suddenly break free during some battles and they really do some artistically masterful things that would normally be reserved for feature films.

I realize I'm mostly preaching to the choir for most people who will see this review but I honestly can't recommend this series enough to newer fans of anime who may have not seen it. In fact, I recommend it not only for fans of anime but also for fans of animation in general, fans of adventure, fans of epics, fans of anime, fans of good storytelling. People talk about Harry Potter and James Camerion's Avatar or those types of things as being immersive worlds, well FMA Brotherhood is not only an immersive experience but one with a substantially more well constructed story than those aforementioned stories and a perfectly satisfying ending. Those who have seen the series knew how great it was long before I did, but I've been converted and having now viewed this show, I know it will be a while before I have such a fulfilling and rewarding viewing experience again anytime soon. They just don't tell stories with this attention to detail that often.

With the new more affordable price this set offers, fans who have been holding out will no doubt now see this $60 retail price as much better than an equivalent exchange for all they're getting. If you buy this set then I'd say according to equivalent exchange you'll still owe much more than that.

**I Love the artwork selection, I was sad Al didn't make the cover of the 5 individual series releases.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
I began in 2011 watching this series on Cartoon Network/Adult Swim with much scepticism already in hand. After all I have already seen and own the original Fullmetal Alchemist series and the movie. What was Funimation doing, milking us the fans with the same series with minor twists?

At first it seems this way. Granted the very first episode is radically different than the first episode of the first series. Still for about 8 episodes these series side by side are very much the same. THEN a divergence happened, things started to radically change. The two series were no longer mirrors of each. In time I actually had forgotten about the original series, the new rendition is that good.

Plot wise this series is a 10 out of 10, versus the original which I now rate a 5 out of 10. The Humunculi are really delved into in this series. There are better ones than in the first series. PLUS, all the original voices returned for this series, which is another 10 for me. The original voices were PERFECT and having them return was genius.

This Anime series is supposed to be strictly based off the manga series. The original series was based off the manga as well. But the manga was still being written and released, so the developers decided to go in their own direction with the Anime, much to it's detriment.

The fight scenes are epic in this release. The mysteries are drawing. The lessons are so profound and true. One theme I always liked about this series, (either one), is that when you do something truly bad the consequences are with you forever, no matter what you do. Such is the case for Ed & Al and for us here in real life.

I don't want to give any spoilers away. This was on Adult Swim early hours of Sunday in 2011, I am not sure if it is still on, if it is I would recommend you check it out if you are not sure about this. I myself plan to buy this someday when I have the $$$ and space, (I'm out of room for new movies...), and will proudly display it in my Anime collection. For this is Fullmetal Alchemist truly done right by the fans.

This particular release will encompass one half (1/2) of the series. I imagine the other half will be released in the summer some time. This is the best value and the way I bought the first Fullmetal series. Combined both halves will still be dramatically cheaper than if you bought the individual volumes. So save up and get this if you missed it. Make sure and get BLU-RAY also, it is WAY cheaper than the DVD release. It appears the makers of movies are finally pushing us straglers into buying BLU-RAY players. Another thing on my to do list...

FYI, if you are really short on cash and have a high speed connection that doesn't cap you Gigabits every month, watch this entire series on Hulu or Youtube. It was all there dubbed and subbed last time I checked. Try the animenewsnetwork.com as well, may be there too..., bare in mind streaming isn't TRULY free, and you do get tracking cookies installed and you are also bombarded with advertisments sometimes.

However you choose to watch this, if you love Anime or Fullmetal, you owe it to yourself to check this out.

Hope this helps, and as always sorry for any misspellings, I went to public school...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2012
Format: DVD
This was the longest series I've ever watched. I don't have the patience for long anime, but I found the patience for this one.

As far as the technical stuff goes- I absolutely loved the voice team. You will recognize most to all of them from Soul Eater and Ouran High School Host Club, other productions from Funimation. The art style was great- if you've seen the accompanying movie, "The Sacred Star of Milos", you must know that the art style is nothing like that. I'm watching it now and it makes my eyes hurt that they changed the visuals so, so much. The soundtrack is fabulous. I'm currently working on perfecting "Rain"- the fifth opening theme- on my saxophone. The music is beautiful throughout, including the background tracks.

Plotwise, this is the best you will find. It is an emotionally wrenching story, which offers a "cast of snowflakes"-- dozens of characters and you care about all of them. Here's a brief rundown(spoilers are avoided):

The Protagonist: Ed. After losing his mother at age five, he and his younger brother tried to bring her back to life after six years of research into the science of alchemy- but it went horribly wrong. Ed lost a leg, and his brother's body disappeared completely. Ed was able to call back his brother's soul from the other side of the "portal" where they were trying to pull their mother from, but he had to pay an arm to be able to bind said soul to an empty suit of armor for him to live in.

The Object of the Plot: Al. Al is the younger brother of Ed, whose soul is fused to a suit of armor he can walk around and speak with. The series revolves around returning his and Ed's bodies to their former state. However, the stakes are much higher for Al, as souls bound to inanimate objects tend to deteriorate after a few years, and the series begins four years after the accident. Al is the calm, caring balance to complement Ed's hotheaded demeanor. He later gains a sidekick named May, a hilarious, adorable, ten-year-old girl whom you will either love or hate, no in-between.

The Love Interest: Winry. After Ed and Al's mother died, the boys were informally adopted by an old woman named Pinako Rockbell, an old friend of their missing father's. She was also taking care of her orphaned granddaughter, Winry. Pinako, or "Granny", as the kids call her, raised all three to spectacular success. The boys became well-known in the field of alchemy, while Winry was a prodigy in the field of engineering. The world they live in is textbook steampunk, and at age eleven Winry was able to build Ed a fully-functioning set of artificial limbs to replace the ones he'd lost. She disapproved of the boys she calls her brothers joining the military to gain access to valuable alchemical research, but understands the necessity of it. She also has major anger management issues, and is known to throw wrenches at customers she finds irritating, especially accident-prone Ed, who is back for repairs at least once per month.

The Facilitator: Colonel Roy Mustang. A war hero from the civil war ten years before, the Colonel asked the Elrics to join the military three years prior to the start of the series. His ultimate goal is to be able to protect every person in Amestris, the fictional country this takes place in, and so he wants to become the Fuhrer. He is also an alchemist, and his sidekick, Riza Hawkeye, a sniper, is one of the most-loved characters of the series.

I could go on and on. But I won't. There are a LOT of important characters in the series, and then there are the supporting characters, who are also important. And each one has their own speech pattern, back story, style of dress, and motive. This is a tremendously well-thought-out series.

That's all I can say. The ending moved me to tears, although I did not cry at something you would call sad. I cried at the way it ended.

I must warn you- you must get past episode four. It is extremely disturbing, do not watch with small children, but it is worth it.
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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2012
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
There are shows we just to waste time since there is nothing better to do. There are shows you see because it is the "cool" thing to watch. There are shows you see because of all the ratings and rewards it has won. But then there are shows like these. Blending story, music, action, art, and suspense. This show is a masterpiece. Anime like these are simply not created as often as they should. This show along with Monster, Death Note, DBZ, One Piece show what the anime industry is all about. There probably not be another anime like this again so anyone who is not going to watch this show is doing himself/herself is a disservice. This set with 33 episodes has an MSRP of $70 which is a great deal and worth every penny. The price for most stores is at $50 which is a fantastic deal. But at $36.99 it is simply a steal especially on Blu-Ray. BUY IT! You won't regret it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-ray
Price? 36.99? Amazing!

My review here is based on the first half of the series on the blu-ray release from the individual releases, though it seems that the only difference was that I ended up paying about 3x the amount for the first half of the series.

Fullmetal Alchemist was a manga before anything else. Around volume 9, a noted anime publisher contacted the manga publisher and offered to make the manga into an anime series with BONES as the principal animation studio. They originally planned on 24 episodes, though the original series was so popular that the writers extended the series. So the original anime flows along with the manga for about 10-12 episodes (with minor changes). Some of the 'extra' stories from the manga (in the back) were added in as episodes as well (such as warehouse 13, Havoc and Armstrong's younger sister, etc...). Because the anime was being pre-planned very early in the manga's run, the story diverges greatly at the point where her last manga had been published. The writer didn't have much input, and she states as much in later issues of the manga, almost as an apology for the series varying so much.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is a series that was created due to overwhelming fan demand. Fans wanted to see the anime follow the manga more faithfully. Bones and Aniplex decided "Hey, why not? We can make even MORE $$$"! So Brotherhood varies from the manga early on, but lines up with the manga later on. (I have read every issue of the manga as well as seen every FMA and FMA Brotherhood episode). There are some key changes, so that Aniplex didn't overlap too many story arcs from the first series. Some of the changes (from the early few episodes) are here:

(Minor Spoilers):
First FMA vs Brotherhood
Fake Elric Brothers ~ no fake Elrics
Youswell mine story ~ no Youswell
Yoki appears only a bit ~ Yoki a major secondary character
Brig. Gen Gran big early role ~ Brig. Gen Gran only appears once
Doesn't show the 'gate' ~ Shows the gate and the 'truth' right away
Reveals who Pride and Wrath are very late ~ Reveals Pride VERY early

But those are the initial few episodes that vary. Once we see the crew from Xing (who appear in Rush Valley), Brotherhood departs significantly from the original series and follows the manga much more closely.

In my opinion, the production quality is amazing in this series. The characters and story are solid. My only beef is this: I highly recommend watching the original series first. The reason is that the original series kept a lot of the surprises secret until later on, and they resulted in some pretty amazing WOW moments. Brotherhood is more about the characters and their interactions, less about the surprise plot twists. Brotherhood does come across as a manga faithfully transferred to anime, whereas the first series feels more like an original anime based loosely on a manga.

Granted in the original series, the main culprit, the source of the homonculi is different (and better imo), there are Xing characters, no General Armstrong, different homonculi (different Pride, Wrath, Sloth), and a whole hoard of other changes.

Of note: the Japanese cast is TERRIFIC! Granted the English dub is nice, but I really enjoyed the nuances of the Japanese cast, especially Envy, Armstrong, and Mustang. The English cast does resemble the Japanese cast, so good job on voice casting! And the sound and clarity of the Blu-Ray is worth the extra few $$$. This is one of the first full length anime series that was produced with High Def TV in mind (along with Gundam 00), and it shows.

*** I highly recommend watching the first series before watching this series or reading the manga ***
*** This set contains the FIRST HALF of the series, episodes 1 - 33; episodes 34 - 64 coming next release ***
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2013
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
I am the type of anime watcher that is very selective in what I like. I don't watch most of the mainstream stuff out there and I tend to lean towards the darker, more mature anime shows. I gave the original FMA series a try, and ended up really enjoying it enough so that I had been itching to re-watch it. Then I saw the Brotherhood reboot on Amazon and took a chance. It blew me away by the end of the first disc. Apparently it follows the Elric brothers' journey a lot more closely to the manga, and fleshes out so many of the characters so much more. It goes in a much different direction than the original FMA, and it's a good thing! I'm really looking forward to watching Collection Two as soon as I can!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2012
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
I feel obligated to write a review for first class entertainment I've received from the series. Like other reviewers mentioned, this remake (following somewhat strictly from the manga) is very different from the first series, which I found it distasteful...really.

Story - 10/10:
Intense and flawless. You wouldn't find so many anime series that tell the story this well. Everything is so concise, yet fulfilled. I was driven emotionally, and I learned lots of well-thought messages throughout the series. It's great for all ages, really...except numbers of bloody scenes that might rule out younger audiences. Great character design also contributes to the story. Almost every supporting character is interesting and full of background story that have purposes and contribute to the main storyline as well.

Art - 9/10:
I appreciated the artistic drawings of this anime. There is very limited use of CG. Characters are drawn sharply with great details, while backgrounds tend to be blurry or with rough textures. This might not be for everyone's taste though.

Voice - 9/10:
This is for original Japanese voice talent only. I don't watch English dub, so I couldn't comment about it. I'm glad that they were able to get the whole cast from first series back. They did fantastic jobs contributing to the overall impact of the series.

Soundtrack - 10/10:
Ok, I'm not talking only about their OP and ED theme songs. In fact, I want to point out the actual music throughout the series that are totally amazing. These soundtracks are surprisingly performed by a full symphony orchestra...some even performed together with a chorus. With the talent of Akira Senju, the music is absolutely beautiful and well suited for scenes they were selected for. ("The Intrepid" and "To Be King" are some of the prime examples here)

Package - 6/10:
This is the only part that is bad about this product, in my opinion. Something this Epic shouldn't be packaged in one of the most "vanilla" box ever. However, the price is cheap. So some might say "You get what you paid for..." which I agree for the most part. Just that I'm utterly disappointed. Although, I think Funimation might have marketing genius, because if they make the collector edition eventually...I will buy it again.

Overall - 8/10:
It's a great buy, nonetheless. You would never regret spend this much for the hours of entertainment you would get from it. This is one of a few series which you can watch it over and over again...and appreciate it over and over...again, if not more. I seriously watched the series back to back. I couldn't make any statement for Funimation, so I don't know if there would be a collector edition later or not...although I bet there will be. If you can't wait on this loosely speculation of mine, just get it...no need for second thought.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2013
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I enjoyed FMA: Brotherhood even more than the original animated series. I felt this version is much darker, and more in depth. That said, the original series is also worth watching. I suggest watching the original series first for a real appreciation of this series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2012
Format: DVD
FMA Brotherhood is a retelling of the original FMA series. It is essentially the same premise, but with a few plot alterations. The main differences lie with the characters. Some of the old characters were different. For example: Ed and Al's Mom didn't become a homunculous. Their Dad had a completely different back story. There was also a new homunculous, who posed as the Fuhrer's son. Lust also played a minor role in this series as well.

On the heroes side Major Armstrong has a sister. General Armstrong. She's even more hard than the Major. Her subordinates also played a crucial role in the story and were all pretty cool as well. One of the main plots of the story was a couple siblings from a foreign country that were competing for the right to become emperor. The main thing that bugged me about Brotherhood was the replacement voice actor for Scar. The new guy is good, but it's strange to hear a different voice coming out of a character that I liked so much.

Even though it's different I really like Brotherhood. It is really cool. If you like the original you'll like this retelling.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2013
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
There is nothing that I don't love about this series. The animation, the story line, the characters are all outstanding. It is hard to find another series to watch after this one. I envy any watching it for the first time!
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