7 December 2009 | cadillac20
Just might be the perfect mainstream series
Fullmetal Alchemist is, in a way, unique. It is very much a mainstream series, with the appeal of a huge cast of unique characters, action that commonly involves special powers, a fairly straight forward story with some mostly obvious symbolism, and a mix of comedy, action, drama, and even some romance. These are all common staples of long running anime series that lean towards a more commercial and public appeal. And yet, for a mainstream series, it manages to continually surprise with a very mature and serious tone. There is a great deal of tragedy and some moments are even frightening and memorable. Few series achieve such a perfect balance of mainstream entertainment and gut wrenching drama and tragedy.
Such was what I discovered when I first laid my eyes on the original FMA series. And yet, for all it's greatness, it began to flounder in it's second season. As many series do, it took on its own form and story, and it was at that point that it started to lose its charm. So, Bones did the smart thing. They remade it. For most series, this would be pointless, but for FMA, it's very much welcome. Five years after the original series ended and the manga has had time to grow, this new FMA is better looking, paced better, and follows the manga, expanding the plot in a better direction.
It's hard not to like anything about this new FMA. The action is fantastic and looks great, as it always did. We aren't subjected to single shots or poorly edited sequences. All the action is displayed and wonderfully animated. Likewise, all the charm is here as well, from the more serious scenes that fans will remember to the humor which is consistent and still funny. Bones took everything good about the original series and threw out all the bad, replacing those particulars with higher quality details. In a sense, it even feels like a new anime, and by episode 13, it has gone in a completely new direction.
A better developed story and characters, superior animation, and fantastic details. These are what make the new FMA an instant new-age classic. Like FMA was the first time around, the new FMA will be one of the top anime to watch out for in the states.