71 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2012
Reading some of the negative reviews here reminded me of what I thought before seeing the movie. "A side story? What about something after the end? This is going to suck!"
Then I actually saw it.
I'm not sure what movie some of the other reviewers saw, but the one I saw was pure FMA. It doesn't really add anything to the story plot-wise (how could it?), but it does a great job of expanding the anime's world. By taking us to the never before seen land of Creta, we are treated to some of the most impressive backdrops in the whole series. The new characters are also a pleasant surprise, as their plight seems to mirror that of the Isvalans, but has some interesting depth that makes it compelling. The self-contained plot fits into the Brotherhood canon if you want it to (around episode 20-21, IIRC) but has enough twists of its own to not need outside knowledge to understand. The animation is a bit different than either anime series, but is still gorgeous.
My only complaints are that the animation of some slower scenes is occasionally choppy (the cinematic format does that to anime movies, I tend to find) and that the blood/gore is definitely higher here than in any other incarnation of FMA. I actually thought it fit in with the symbolism of the movie, but not everyone will feel that way, so consider yourself warned.
Ultimately, this movie is a way to spend two more hours with Edward and Alphonse. Treat it that way and you'll have a blast.
71 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2012
Apparently equivalent exchange for this film is just admission price at a local theater or waiting until April and paying the twenty-some dollars for the Blu-ray.
I personally am going to do both. I had the chance to see this at my local theater, a treat since they usually don't get such obscure titles and I'm usually forced to resort to waiting on blu-ray releases. This time I was able to see the beautifully hand drawn animation up on the big screen in all its glory. I will say upfront I can't wait to see it again but this time on Blu-ray and I hope they include some special features (*hooray for a US cast commentary being listed).
I am a relatively new fan of the series but have been well exposed to the mythos by now. This film, unlike the film tied to the earlier series (Conqueror of Shamballa), is not an ending/finale as much as it is a filler episode that fits into the Brotherhood series. In those terms I'd call it a great filler episode though. I suggest viewing this film as another chance to spend time with the Elric brothers, though perhaps this time on an ever slightly more different journey. I feel viewing it this way, which is how I went into it, will merit the most enjoyment. In short, this film had everything I wanted, some mythic intrigue, epic battles, epic alchemy (something Conqueror of Shamballa was light on), unique environments, character moments, some dark turns and some well dispersed humor. Could it have been many other things, yes, but I personally really enjoyed what it was.
I don't think anything needs to be said about the voice acting, this dub is terrific, truly one of the best. I know some fans only watch the subs but this is well known as one of those anime that almost every fan finds the English dub to be on par or in some cases above the original one. I will say, as I have in regards to Brotherhood, I miss Aaron Dismuke as Al but puberty happens and Maxey Whitehead does an excellent job in the role once you get used to the higher pitch.
The visuals were fantastic and the action was excellently staged. The only downside is that Ed and Al seem to play side characters in this film, whereas in comparison to Conqueror of Shamballa they were definitely main characters there. While I would have liked more of them and more stakes for them in the story that didn't stop me from greatly enjoying the film as an anime fan. The story keeps one eager to see what will happen and where things will go, even though a few too many scenes without any presence felt by Ed or Al left me wondering when they would return to the screen.
To be clear, it isn't that I didn't enjoy the side characters, just that Ed and Al were always on my mind when gone too long as this is a Fullmetal Alchemist film. The side characters are interesting and well designed, there is a large back story about two warring territories and another caught between them in a canyon. Then there is a smaller back story about a brother and sister who, like Ed and Al, lost their parents. The large amount of plot is well explained without getting too expository, for the most part, several flashback sequences definitely help. The film starts out very linear, light and fun but soon gets very dark and heavy as it begins to pile on the plot twists towards the end, back-to-back-to-back at one point.
On another note, if this film didn't carry the title Fullmetal Alchemist or if Ed and Al hadn't been in the story I would have felt like I was watching an older Hayao Miyazaki film, which I obviously say as a compliment. Even the character designs reminded me very much of Nausicaa or other similar films.
So while I do wish Ed and Al were more involved both physically and emotionally, they mostly stand on the sidelines and give their opinions to these new characters who may make the same mistakes the boys once did (at least during most of the second act), it is nevertheless a good if not great film. It is especially engaging for those who love hand drawn animation as much as I do or for those who can't get enough Fullmetal Alchemist, which I unfortunately can't. Hopefully another film or feature will be made. 4 stars in an objective sense as I wish the Elric's had been more involved and thought the middle of the story could have been more well paced, 5 stars for me on an enjoyment level and for the beautiful visuals and action scenes. Next up on the silver screen I look forward to Arrietty.
**Apparently many fans haven't enjoyed the film based on other reviews now posted. I still have to give it five stars as an anime film and 4 as FMA.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2012
I saw this at Otakon, and when I went in, my expectations were set at Conqueror of Shambala height which was "this will probably be pretty bad and leave me with a disgusting taste in my mouth because it will screw up the story and butcher the characters". What I saw was definitely above that, though admittedly I was disappointed with the lack of any recognizable characters for any length of time besides Edward and Alphonse. That disappointment went away after the director himself stated that they had a challenge because they could not mess with the story in terms of reveals or "in depth" anything with major characters, and so the movie was set at a point where a deviation would be able to work without too many problems: after the events of Episode 19, Death of the Undying. It's also a bit bloodier than the 2003 series or Brotherhood, so there's the only warning I'll give on that front.
The biggest criticism I have is the art itself. I think the best comparison I can make is that appearance-wise, it resembled a random filler episode's quality. The lack of sharp edges on characters' hair makes them look more like they're all sporting some sort of dreadlock-esque style. Edward's gradient eyes were kind of distracting if just because it made him feel more like he was a different version of the character altogether. The line quality seemed rough and unrefined. The animation felt a little choppy in places. For an animated work shown on the big screen, things like that are crucial. Perhaps the transition to disc will make up for some of those shortcomings by putting it on a much smaller screen.
As for the story itself, it's an interesting take given the limitations they had to work with: something that would wrap itself up and never be seen or heard of again so that it doesn't affect the overall continuity of the story. Had it interfered, I'd have liked it far less because that would have given it the "tacked on as an afterthought to tie it in" feeling. But reading the negative reviews, I guess some people like that sort of thing? The story didn't revolve around Edward and Alphonse, but around the new place they found themselves in.
While I wasn't terribly fond of the new characters, I did like that the Elrics weren't the be all and end all of the movie. They were the foreigners coming into a new place and getting pulled into the conflicts of the area. To focus solely on them would have taken the movie and made it into another Conqueror of Shambala where you really learn nothing at all except what Ed and Al are doing at every waking moment. It's the Sacred Star of Milos, not the Adventures of Ed and Al in Some City. If I wanted the "Ed and Al Show", I'd watch the 2003 series and CoS again.
Yes, some of the more well-known characters are relegated to being cameos. If you keep in mind the events of Episode 19 and you'll understand WHY they are. There is nowhere in the movie to really explain where it falls in the timeline, though, which makes the movie feel like it's a little out of place overall, much like the video games.
I did not see this dubbed so I can't say anything about the English track. Knowing the way FUNimation is where this series is concerned, though, it's probably not bad at all.
I'm going to be buying it because I want to support FUNimation and Aniplex, not because it was OMGTHEBEST. It was not my favourite, but it wasn't bad, and so long as you don't go into it expecting Miyazaki quality, you'll be fine. It's an anime movie based off of a series, not a stand alone movie in which the entirety of the world and all of the characters have to be given in that short span, and it shows.
In the end, whether you borrow it from someone, buy it yourself, or rent it first, I recommend giving it a chance.
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2012
Ugh. It's the story of new characters (so predictable they seem recycled) and a new place that has no particular plot for Ed & Al other than as support. Their part in the story adds zip to what we know about them. Ed spends way too much time running around yelling "dammit!" and not quite doing anything he's trying to accomplish, and Al lumbers around being Al. I think we're just supposed to be grateful to see them again - and I wanted to be, but wow - what a wasted opportunity.
The story about the new characters is stock stuff; misunderstood underdogs with unswerving courage fight against all odds to rise above ridiculously unfair conditions. You're supposed to first believe they are criminals, then be slowly swayed until you're on their side. Problem is, the story and the new characters never really engaged me; so I kept looking to the FMA people to do something of interest, making it painfully obvious that their roles were uninspired and unusually one-dimensional.
Pretty unsatisfying if you're looking to jump back in to that connection with the regulars in the series. As others mentioned, Mustang, Hawkeye, Armstrong etc. all just show up as familiar landmarks and behave predictably, and you'd still have virtually the same story of you edited them all out. Even Ed and Al almost feel replaceable.
I've purchased or been gifted every other DVD set, the entire manga set, calendars, you name it for this series but I won't be buying this. Maybe it was because my expectations were too high, but this flat, flaccid piece of work was barely worth the minutes invested in watching it.
15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2012
I love Fullmetal Alchemist. This, however, I did not. The art was sketchy (nothing like the lovely art in the brotherhood anime), but I could have lived with that (sketchy art happens sometimes when they make Anime movies). What I couldn't live with were all the inconsistencies.
There may be 'spoilers' in my following reasons, I tried to keep it general so you wouldn't guess all the happenings, but I don't know if I succeeded. So read at your own risk. (Spoilers for either the movie or for the Brotherhood Anime).
For instance: Philosophers Stone: apparently swallowing it causes you to "lose your soul" and get glowing eyes and crazy hair, and yet, in Brotherhood, Kimbley is constantly swallowing his rock and there are no outward signs of change, the only difference is in his alchemy. (Plus you don't NEED to swallow the stone to use it)
Second: Gate of Truth, they kept on talking about how he wants the philosopher's stone to open the Gate of Truth. Umm... You don't need to have the stone to do that (Ed and Al, Izumi, Hoenheim, and even Roy all access the Gate of Truth without the stone, in fact, the homunculi need people who've already opened their Gate to create their country-wide stone)
Third: Automail - a character loses their leg, and two minutes later they're walking around with crutches and an automail leg. Um what? Surgery talks longer than that, not to mention the person in question would be laid up in bed for a while after surgery. Automail takes years to adjust to! Ed was unusual and he did it in a year.
So yeah, all the little inconsistencies drove me insane, along with silly little add-ins that really weren't needed for either the movie or for the Fullmetal plotline.
So in all, something I'd rent, but not buy.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2013
The animation was choppy and did not fit with the original series, Brotherhood or any of the other movie's I've seen. There were plenty of plot holes, and things left unexplained. The story had twists which was nice, but they were for the most part predictable and somewhat cliche. Overall, I did not find this to be a quality film. We got the most entertainment out of making fun of the movie.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2013
I really hate rating anything FMA so low, but this movie just looks atrocious. The budget was so low and everything is so choppy and ugly. I prefer the story of this movie over Shamballa, but at least Shamballa looked good. The only reason to buy this is to say you own everything the FMA animes had to offer.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2015
Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos is an all-around well-made, entertaining, and enjoyable movie. While to understand the world and some of the characters you do need to draw on some basic knowledge of the manga or Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, it’s best to just enjoy this as a story in itself, because it naturally has very little to do with the progression of a plot that is already complete.
The culture we are introduced to in this film is fully developed and you could easily believe it has as many levels of history and mythology as the other cultures in the FA world, if not more. There are also some new alchemy elements, as well as some different kinds of villains. The storyline was fairly creative, but just reminiscent enough of the subplots in the other series’ that it fit in pretty naturally. Actually, I felt that this was kind of a long, missing episode, a shorter version of which would have fit in nicely among the 2003 anime’s early episodes.
Is there anything particularly thought provoking in this movie? Not really. It’s basically just an enjoyable fantasy tale. But I thought it was more humorous than Brotherhood; there were lots of ordinary funny moments near the beginning that aren’t especially in keeping with the odd humor of the manga (or even with that of Brotherhood), but had me laughing like any normal comedy you might see in all kinds of movies.
There isn’t really any character development for the returning characters, but that is already accomplished in the series. Ed and Al are more like travelers who end up helping the people they meet in a certain city, much as they do in some of the stories at the beginning of the manga and the first anime series. There’s very little you can criticize about them unless it is their appearance, and even then my complaints were only with Ed and Al. They just look plain weird, like they were drawn with a crayon and then filled in with paint, which isn’t always the right color. Al’s eyes blink and move around a little too much in the beginning. Edward’s facial expressions are not always quite right, and his eyes are yellow and green, which looks odd.
Another qualm had was the way Colonel Mustang just kind of stood around during the final climax, when there was lava flying everywhere and Edward, Alphonse, and another of the characters were all fighting to contain it. Colonel Mustang is the Flame Alchemist after all, and there must have been something he could have done to help. To be honest, aside from Edward and Al, none of the other original characters actually do anything of significance besides making a token appearance. I found this forgivable, though, because other than Colonel Mustang at the end, they merely behaved just as they would under their circumstances and it seemed more realistic than if they were dragged further into the events, which might have resulted in plot inconsistencies.
The new characters are very three-dimensional and believable, and none of them were annoying. If you’re like me, you may have been worried that the main female protagonist, Julia, would be some kind of reincarnation of Rose, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that she was a complex, formidable, and original character.
I wasn’t impressed with the animation in Brotherhood, so my expectations for this film’s art were low to begin with. What with that and the fact that there weren’t any corresponding images in the manga to compare it to, I found the animation in this movie to be mostly good as far as the scenery and the new characters. In fact, the way all of the characters moved and carried themselves was probably the best in any animated movie or show I’ve ever seen.
There were some real cool freeze-frames in the midst of the action at the end of the movie, in which the art was stripped down to a more basic, less shiny form. Not sure if that was compensation or creativity, but I rather liked it.
The music is lovely and sometimes Celtic in style, and it really helps you get a feel for the new culture. I was not especially impressed with the music in Brotherhood, and hearing the beautiful and versatile themes of this score was really enjoyable.
This movie may be the least of the FA anime, but it’s really enjoyable as a movie in itself, and in my opinion it’s a solid 4/5 star anime.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
When the hit anime TV series "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" was coming to a close, BONES wanted to make sure the adventures of the Elrich brothers, despite their adventure ending in the series, would still continue in the movies.
Set during a time when both brothers were still looking for the Philosopher stone, this is where director Kazuya Murata ("Eureka Seven", "Figure 17″, "Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion") and screenwriter Yuichi Shinbo ("Doraemon" films) would base the story for "Hagane no Renkinjutsushi: Mirosu no Sei-naru Hoshi" ("Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos"). The film would also feature music from rock band L'Arc~en~Ciel and the artist Miwa.
The film was announced during the final episode of "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" and premiered in Japan in July 2011 and screened in U.S. theaters in 2012.
For those not familiar with "Fullmetal Alchemist", in Japan, "Fullmetal Alchemist" (Hagane no Renkinjutushi) is a popular long running anime and manga series created by mangaka Hiromu Arakawa. The original manga series was serialized in Square Enix's "Shonen Gangan" since 2001, while the 51-episode TV series created by BONES was shown on television in 2004 followed by a manga faithful anime adaptation with "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" airing in 2009-2010.
The popularity of "Fullmetal Alchemist" has led to many novels, OVA's, drama CD's, soundtracks and video games and a lot of these releases have been distributed in various countries and its popularity is a testament of how people have come to love the series which has won many awards in Japan including being voted for the #1 most popular anime series of all time.
One thing I love about anime films on Blu-ray is the fact that you know that unlike TV series, studios tend to have a higher budget, more staff and more time is dedicated in the look and feel for an anime film. "Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos - The Motion Picture" is a big example of how the film looks fantastic thanks to its beautifully painted art backgrounds, it's 3D use for vehicles and weaponry and more.
Presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1), one of the biggest differences that this film would have versus the TV series and previous film is the character design. The character designs have a bit of a different style when compared to the TV series and I think that was part of the reason of the difference is to show that this is not a film derived from Hiromu Arakawa's manga but is its own storyline featuring the Elric brothers. The art backgrounds are just heavily detailed and are beautiful too look at. In fact, the Blu-ray really showcases the detail of the CG work and the art.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
Another reason why I love anime films on Blu-ray is that you also tend to get a Japanese soundtrack in the same lossless soundtrack as the English dub. So, both are in Dolby TrueHD 5.1. I did notice that the English version had a bit more of a dynamic range but yet both are wonderful when it came to using the surround channels during the many action sequences during the film. Also, noticed the use of surround for ambiance as well. And for those with a subwoofer, yes, awesome use of LFE during the action sequences as well.
I watched the film in both Japanese and English dub and fans should feel great that both are done very well. In fact, as much as I enjoy watching "Fullmetal Alchemist" in Japanese, I will have to say that FUNimation Entertainment has always done a marvelous job when it came to the voice acting of this series. Vic Mignogna and Maxey Whitehead have literally nailed the voice of the Elric brothers and from the TV series to the film (as well as the other voice talents), I have always been impressed by the English dubwork, as well as the Japanese voice acting, so I had to watch the film in both soundtracks. Both are fantastic!
English subtitles were also easy to read.
"Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos - The Motion Picture" comes with the following special features:
Fullmetal Alchemist: Making of Sacred Star of Milos - (1:04:25) Featuring the making of "Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos - The Motion Picture" hosted by Romi Park (voice of Edward) and Rie Kugimiya (voice of Alphonse) and featuring interviews with the crew. In Japanese with English subtitles.
U.S. Cast Commentary - Awesome FUNimation Entertainment audio commentary featuring Mike McFarland (ADR Director), Maxey Whithead (voice of Alfonse), Vic Mignogna (voice of Edward) Colleen Clinkenbeard (voice of Riza), Christopher R. Sabat (voice of Armstrong) . English dub fans will want to listen to this audio commentary!
U.S. Trailer - (1:03) FUNimation Entertainment trailer for "Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos - The Motion Picture".
Web Promo - (19:13) Super-deformed version of the Elric Brothers being interviewed.
Theatrical Trailers - (4:07) The Japanese theatrical trailers for "Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos - The Motion Picture".
TV Spot - (:48) The Japanese TV spots.
FUNimation Entertainment trailers
"Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos - The Motion Picture" comes with both the Blu-ray and DVD version of the film and special features.
When it was announced that "Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos - The Motion Picture" was being made, I was quite happy. Mainly because it gave fans a chance to enjoy the Elric Brothers and the characters once again.
With the manga series completed and the TV series also finished, despite the characters and the series being so immensely popular, it was not a long running storyline like "Dragon Ball Z", "Bleach" or "Naruto", nor was there a film being created every summer.
And that is probably a good thing as non-canon films that are derived from anime series are usually not that good, but in the case of "Fullmetal Alchemist", the last film "Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa" was enjoyable but after watching "Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos - The Motion Picture", I had a smile on my face at the very end because in my eye, I felt that this film was excellent.
While it did focus more on the Elric brothers and we didn't see much action coming from Roy or Riza, they do make an appearance as with other popular characters such as Winry and Armstrong but the newer characters and the storyline created was so enjoyable and fascinating, and also a bit violent and kind of dark.
I loved how the film showcased both Amestris and Creta and seeing the people in Table City living in conflict and fear. This really made the viewer enjoy these newer characters such as Julia Crichton and her friends. And there are quite a bit of twist and turns, especially when transmutation starts to come into play...you know things are going to get crazy and by the end of the film, you're left satisfied with how the story ends and how things end up for these characters.
As a film, it was enjoyable but I don't know if I can see "Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos - The Motion Picture" as a final film, because just from this film alone, it does show that there are always potential to further explore adventures of the Elric Brothers. But with that being said, I'm sure fans would even love it even more if a future film featured the involvement of creator Hiromu Arakawa.
But whether or not this film will be the last for "Fullmetal Alchemist", based on the film alone, I enjoyed it more than the first and I really the storytelling and the characters, especially the beautifully painted art backgrounds. Especially the stylistic choice for the film's character design which is slightly different from the TV series.
As for the Blu-ray release, video and audio quality were great, but the making of was wonderful and for English dub fans, they will really enjoy listening to the audio commentary, especially coming from Vic Micnogna. But you do get a good amount of special features with this release.
For those wondering if they can enjoy this film without knowing a thing about "Fullmetal Alchemist", I think they can enjoy the film as things are explained for viewers. But I can only hope that if one watches the film, I hope they enjoyed it enough to watch the TV series in order for things to make more sense.
For parents, this is not for young children. There are some major sacrificing done (ie. blood sacrifice), so there is quite a bit of violence and blood, so definitely not to be watched with younger children in the room.
Overall, "Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos - The Motion Picture" is a wonderful film with a captivating storyline, cool new characters, plenty of action and more. The Blu-ray also looks and sounds great and you get a good amount of special features as well. If you want an awesome anime film on Blu-ray, "Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos - The Motion Picture" is highly recommended!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2012
So, you haven't seen any new Fullmetal Alchemist stories in a while and you see this is in the store and you go "Oh, cool!" Well, no. I advise skipping this one.
The story takes place some unknown time during the series. Homonculi never enter into the plot. The city of Milos is on the border of Amestris and Creta to the west, and is currently occupied by Amestris. A faction of Milosians want Milos to be its own country.
An early scene in the movie is a good metaphor for the awkward, misfit nature of the film. Ed and Al Elric are on a CGI train to Milos. The CGI and cell animation almost, but not quite, blend, in much the same way this movie almost, but not quite, blends with the series. The scene involves Ed and Al, the Amestrian military, a wolf-chimera, a rogue black-haired male alchemist, a young red-haired female alchemist, and a squad of bat-winged "terrorists" all interacting and you have no clue who's doing what to whom and why.
The twisty turny ending doesn't work well. "This is what's really going on." "No, not that, actually, THIS is what's really going on." "No, on second thought, THIS is what's really going on." It takes a lot of talent to make an ending like that work, and they don't quite have it.
The animation quality is variable: sometimes good, sometimes not so good. The English voice acting is reasonably well done. Ed and Al are the actors from the series. Mustang and others are as well, but they're only in here for cameos.
This movie does NOT serve as an introduction to the world of FMA for newcomers. Let me say again: do NOT start with this one.
DVD extras (2-Disc version)
-Making of Sacred Star of Milos
-U.S. Cast Commentary
-Theatrical trailers, Web Promo, TV Spot, U.S Trailer