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Better story, but everything else is much worse
on 9 February 2014
This review is about the whole anime, and not just the 36-64 episodes.
Like mentioned elsewhere, the first 13 episodes are very boring. Why is that? Because all the emotion has been removed. There is no cinematographic talent. Every event is shown as a matter of fact, one after another, blandly. Even the most emotional moments, like the mother's resurrection gone wrong, Rosé's dead boyfriend or the tragic end of Nina and Alexander in the chimera.... They barely raise an eyebrow here!!! The events are just coldly depicted one after another.
The emotional attachment to the characters, their depth, the dramatic darkness of the story have been wiped-out by a mechanical storytelling, suitable for children but boring like hell.
I don't understand how anybody can find the visuals better by the way. They are more detailed, sure. But totally bland, generic and expression-less. Even the facial expressions, while very similar to the original, are very weak for some reason. Zero graphic talent. What matters is what the drawing expresses, not how much detail was crammed into it.
After the dreadful first part, the story becomes interesting, and the anime takes off finally. This happens where the story diverges from the original anime (and becomes identical to the manga). It becomes addictive, you really want to know what happens next. Even the drawing starts to become alive somewhat, and some emotion finally starts to give some soul to the characters. I must say that I was hooked. At this stage, I was starting to agree that it was a better serie - less dramatic, but with an awesome storyline.
And then, around the last quarter of the serie, the mediocrity comes back. The great thing about FMA is the fact that it's not just another anime. Unfortunately, in its long final phase, the serie is catching up with the worst manga/anime stereotypes:
1- Everybody is roughly divided into little groups, and have a fight of their own.
2-The hero thinks he won fight. YAY! But, OH MY GOD HE'S NOT DEAD! The enemy comes back to life with a new power that he was hiding up to this stage for no reason. He becomes more dangerous after almost dying.
3-The injured, tired, half-dead heroes face a much bigger threat, get suddenly stronger thanks to things they didn't figure out before, or or by getting some miraculous help at the very last moment, when all seems desperate.
4-Repeat the cycle for every hero or villain, for hours and hours of random events-based fighting....
Total crap, desperately generic and boring. That is, if you are no longer a teenager and already got bored to death by watching tons on this junk. I really didn't expect that for FMA, and it is hugely disappointing.
Ok if you can watch DBZ, Bleach, Naruto fights for hours without getting bored, you probably won't mind, matter of taste. The fights are better and less redundant in FMA, I admit. And there is only one round of these stupid, endless, fights with artificially maintained suspense. But WHY???? Why did they have to stick to the rules and generate all these episodes of generic anime fighting? The first serie was great because it was avoiding all this Shonen/Seinen junk!
There are some interesting moments, but I spent a number of episodes with the finger on fast-forward, waiting for the story to come back on track.
The end, after the ultra-uber-mega-fanatastico-hyper-coolio fights, is not too bad. Although.... The conclusion on Edward and Winry's side definitely sets the new FMA as a classical lame and children-friendly anime.
I put three stars, because the story is awesome. But seriously, FMA turning into a generic anime, what a disappointment!!! The original serie was a bit of a mess (especially the final movie) but it was more mature, and was made by talented artists who were able to put soul and emotion in the characters. This new one is more interesting story-wise, but bland and generic in the execution and the storytelling.
I still don't understand why so many manga/anime have so much greatness in them, and then get spoiled by stupid rules that every mangaka feels obliged to follow.