Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Part 5
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(Aug 02, 2011)
The heavens tremble and the planet quakes as the souls of heroes and villains teeter on the edge of darkness and light. The final chapter of the sweeping epic – Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – is here.
The Flame Alchemist’s rebel army pushes the forces of Central to the brink of collapse – until the enemy’s fallen leader returns to take control. As mortals and monsters wage war, young Edward and Alphonse Elric must face a cruel being with the unholy power of a god. After endless adventures and countless struggles, the boys find the fate of the world in their weary hands. When the Gateway closes and the circle is complete – who will be left alive to celebrate the astonishing sacrifices made in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Part 5?
Director Yasuhiro Irie and his artists pull out all the stops as Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood comes to its appropriately dramatic and moving conclusion. The Elric Brothers and their allies--Von Hohenheim, Roy Mustang, Scar, Izumi, the Armstrongs, May Chang, and Ling Yao/Greed--strive to thwart the machinations of the "father" of the Homunculi and his remaining minions: Pride, Wrath, Sloth, Envy, and the zombies of the Mannequin Army. During the solar eclipse on the Promised Day, Father plans to usurp the power of God. Can even the most skilled alchemists stop him? The climactic battles are as wrenching as they are spectacular: some of the fight scenes feature flashy CG effects that rival Hideaki Anno's newer Evangelion movies. But the emotional impact overshadows the visuals, as each of the main characters rises to the challenges they face. Edward and Alphonse discover just how much they're willing to sacrifice for each other. Mustang avenges Colonel Hughes's death and destroys Envy, but Ed and Lieutenant Hawkeye make him realize that his quest for vengeance threatens to destroy him. The initial Fullmetal Alchemist series, which was completed before manga artist Hiromu Arakawa had envisioned her story's outcome, ended with the setup for the feature The Conqueror of Shambala. Brotherhood, which closely follows the plot of the manga, reaches a much more satisfying and definitive conclusion. Saying good-bye to two of the most beloved characters in anime history may be the price viewers pay for an appropriate ending to their story--and an example of equivalent exchange. Although the adventures of Edward and Alphonse Elric seem to have ended, a new feature, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos, opened in Japan in July 2011. (Rated TV 14: violence, grotesque imagery, brief nudity, tobacco use) --Charles Solomon
(53. Flame of Vengeance, 54. Beyond the Inferno, 55. The Adults' Way of Life, 56. The Return of the Fuhrer, 57. Eternal Leave, 58. Sacrifices, 59. Lost Light, 60. Eye of Heaven, Gateway of Earth, 61. He Who Would Swallow God, 62. A Fierce Counterattack, 63. The Other Side of the Gateway, 64. Journey's End)
Textless opening song - rain
Textelss closing songs – Ray of Light and Hologram
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If you are reading these reviews, then we should assume you've watched the first 4 parts, and certain things won't be spoilers. The fights going on between the main characters and the homunculi have reached an all time high. Several of them are dead, and few remain fighting. Father's plan is progressing fast, and the Promised Day has arrived. Part 4 is packed with action, and Part 5 lacks in none of that. It's a rollercoaster ride from the first episode to the finale. The ending is (as many have noted) much more satisfying, and if I may say so myself, I thought brought in a close even better than the final chapter of the manga. It's the same ending, but like all manga -> anime, the delivery is a little different.
The packaging is beautiful, and so is the cover art. If you open the box, be warned... there's a spoiler on the back of the second disc (the picture). If you don't want to look, close your eyes ;).
The ONLY disappointment I have is not with the show, but that Funimation did not release the little OVAs that the Japanese releases had. "The Blind Alchemist," and I believe there are 3 others. They should have been little bonuses or Easter eggs on the releases. Hopefully Funimation plans to release a pack of them around then the other movie comes out (which by the way, is a "filler" story and NOT a continuation of this one, so no one is confused. Arakawa has finished her story).
This last set was a thrill ride from beginning to end. The last 12 episodes gripped my attention so effectively that I finished this in one night. During this last set, the story's climax starts, there are at least 4 different battles going on at the same time, and still has that staggering effect on your heartstrings.
The fight scenes are among the best I've seen in anime for quite some time. They are very fluid, and eye-popping at some points. You'll even find yourself looking for small details when they're fighting because of which hero and villian is fighting. Also, the story telling in this anime, if you've gotten this far, you'll know already that it grips your attention. It's got something for every audience: drama, a subtle love story, action, martial arts, stunning visuals, comedy, and lovable characters that you'll love and hate depending on whom your talking about. Your empathy will kick in for the characters at the end and I'm sure that, for some of you, you will need a box of tissues handy for those tender moments.
If you've followed the series up to boxset 4, buy box 5 immediately. Arakawa Hiromu, BONES, and Funimation do not disappoint. Also the extras on the 2nd DVD are so worth it. There are outtakes. I know what you're thinking: "Anime outtakes? How does that happen?" The voice actors are being silly and just add in lines that are situational or they just plain forgot their lines and just addlibbed. My sides hurt after watching this. (Warning for parents though: it's got some pretty strong language in it, just so you're aware.)
Have fun with this last part of the series, and keep on the lookout for the final part of the Fullmetal Saga: Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: The Sacred Star of Milos.
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