I was at the store yesterday and some guy came up to me and complimented my worn and ragged Fullmetal Alchemist purse I've been carrying around for four years. He also asked me if I'd seen the new series. New series? What? I've been out of the anime loop way too long.
Yes. A new series. Supposedly a little darker and follows the manga more closely. I had a slight hesitation towards watching it. The original series is one of my favorite animes ever. Yeah, it doesn't follow the manga and the ending was kind of weird, but I loved it. I still think it's one of the best animes out there. So it's with a slight hesitation that I watch the new one.
The character designs are pretty much the same. Ed was prettied up from the manga for the first series, he's not as prettied up here, looking more like manga Ed. The only thing I really don't like is all the characters hair has outlines that are a darker shade of the haircolor. I hate that style. I like my anime hair to have black outlines, Dammit! It reminds me of the old cartoon dollz of yesteryear who's bodies and clothes had black outlines but the hair did not.
It starts off with some dude named Isaac MacDougal creating chaos all over Central. I'm not remembering this from the manga. But lucky for the fuhrer Mustang and Ed are there to try to thwart his evil plans. Ole Ike is the Freezing Alchemist and apparently did the same dirty deeds in Ishbal with Mustang and Armstrong. Ed fights MacDougal and MacDougal pulls a Scar on him and tries to boil all the water in his arm, which the audience is supposed to be surprised to find out is automail and that Ed can transmute without a transmutation circle. I feel like shouting I know! I know! This has been done already! But then, this is a new series, so everything has to be reintroduced to us and I need to shut my mouth.
MacDougal mistakes Al for the Fullmetal Alchemist and makes the double mistake of calling Ed short, which sends him intoa hissy fit. They catch the criminal and one of the guards also mistakes Al for Fullmetal. Ed goes off by himself to fix his jacket that got torn with alchemy. I alsways wondered how when his jacket got ripped so many times he was in the scene with it in tact. One mystery solved.
As they're leading the prisoner away he steps into a puddle and uses his steam powers to knock out all the guards and get away. Mustang berrates Ed for letting him get away, telling him he should've listened to the breifing and explains who Isaac the Freezer is. Isaac got the shittiest nickname. Mustang asks in a teasing way if Ed's found any leads on how to get his body back to normal and in comes Hughes.
Yay! I love Hughes! It's so nice to see him alive. I wonder how far into it he'll die... I watched the original first season when it aired on Cartoon Network before it went to crap (Cartoon Network, not FMA, though some might say otherwise) and I kept myself far far away from any spoilers and totally didn't see his death coming. The funeral made me cry. *sniffle*
Hughes is apparently meeting Ed and Al for the first time and also mistakes Al for Fullmetal and quickly invites the boys to stay with him and his family since they don't have a place to stay in Central yet. He's quick to brandish a photograph of Gracia and Elicia. They have a lively dinner in which Al watches Ed eat and Elicia, in her three year old wisdom asks Ed why he's so much smaller than Al if Al's younger.
McDougal breaks into Central Prison and invites crazy psychopathic Kimbly to join him on his holy crusade. Apparently he's got a beef with King Bradley about the Ishbal Massacre. Kimbly laughs at him because he's crazy like that and McDougal goes on his merry way.
Back at the Hughes homestead he can't sleep and talks to Gracia about the Elrics. He's sad Ed already has to deal with being a dog of the military at the tender age of 15. Upstairs Ed and Al discuss how they want to get their bodies back. Ed has his hair down. It's cute. I always wished he had his hair down in the original series. Outside McDougals drawing circles at various locations across Central. The commercial break things are shots of various characters with a very American accented guy saying Fullmetal Alchemist in various ways. Kind of...weird...
An order to kill McDougal is given from the Fuhrer and the entire entourage of state alchemists are out to find him. It's Armstrong who does. He's still got his sparklies, but they're a salmon kind of color and bigger. I liked them in the first series better. Mustang eventually corners him on a rooftop but before he can do his fire attack at him McDougal squirts him with a bunch of water, telling him fire can never beat water. It's true. He runs away and ignites his transmutation circles, which causes a sheet of ice to flow through the city, creating huge transmutation circle with HQ right in the middle. Ed and Al go to stop him and Armstrong destroys the separate trasmutation circles. It kind of amuses me that if you fast forward through the series they'd be on the same side as this McDougal dude.
They fight and McDougal knocks Al's head off. Shock! Al's an empty suit of armor. Oh my. McDougal figures out from Al's body and Ed's missing limb that they attempted the taboo of their world, human transmutation. We get a quick flashback of Ed as a kid with his leg missing boding Al's spirit to the suit of armor. Ed's hair is different, but then I think they were younger than they were in the first series. Ed gets pissed and the two fo them rough him up, knocking him down the sheet of ice. McDougal freezes his blood and uses it as a spear to puncture Ed, rambling about how they don't understand what's really going on in the country. He walks off laughing maniacally.
The soldiers try to destroy the ice but their weapons are useless against it. Mustang soaking wet, uses his flame to destroy it. McDougal wanders down an alley and runs into King Bradley himself and the show gets all stylishly black and white, the only color the red blood running down McDougal's arm. He procures another blood spear and goes after him but Bradley, in one flick of his sword, slices through it and McDougal almost too fast for the eye to see. A little drop of red floats away from McDougals body and disappears. A drop of the philosopher's stone, perhaps? Maybe he never gave back the ring he had in Ishbal.
Kimbly's not too sad to hear of the Freezer's *snort* passing. Mustang and Armstrong destroy the sheets of ice and the transmutation circles. We get a quick shot of some old guy's face. It doens't look like Ed and Al's father or his evil twin. Bradley acts too humble about taking him down and gives Mustang and Ed most of the credit. Ed's in the hospital (a scene you'll many many times) and Armstrong comes bearing the gift of flowers. He takes off his shirt and flexes his muscles to alieve their boredom. I love Armstrong. The boys are understandably weirded out by this.
We get a creepy scene where Lust is talking to someone on the phone, being told that Isaac is dead. It's all stylized in black and red and looking really cool. She scolds Gluttony for eating whatever it is he is eating (it's probably best that we don't know) and says things are going well in Liore (which is where the first series and the manga both begin!) and how it will all begin soon. Oooooh.... So ambiguous.....
Overall I liked it. I liked it more the second time watching it because it wasn't such a shock. It seems like it has a faster pace than the first series, which was pretty fast at times to begin with. I'll watch more. I only wish their hair had black outlines.
What confuses me though is that they prelude the episode on the funimation site with a commercial for Veet. Isn't this geered more towards teenage boys?