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4.1 out of 5 stars
Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos
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68 of 73 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2012
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
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.
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71 of 82 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-ray
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.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
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.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2012
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
I felt like this movie deviated a lot from the Brotherhood & the original Fullmetal. The story line was okay but the graphics seemed to be very different from the last ones.. It felt like it had some Hayao Miyazaki inspiration and didn't really feel like I was watching the Fullmetal series continuation/sub plot. I would only recommend it to hardcore fans. The change in graphics definitely made it harder to get in to.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2013
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
I saw this at Otakon 2011 last year in japanese it is a awesome movie! plus the story line of the movie has the same theme as the show which is also great! it has all the points that FMA fans love makes you laugh cry and say aww.
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2013
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2012
Format: DVD
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
-Trailers
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