HAGANE NO RENKINJUTSUSHI
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FMA-1 Vs. FMA:Brotherhood Discussion: Comaparing FMA-1 anime series vs FMA:Brotherhood, How each/both series measures up in your opinion? (Spoiler Warning!
FMA-1 Vs. FMA:Brotherhood Discussion: Comaparing FMA-1 anime series vs FMA:Brotherhood
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Edamame
post Apr 25 2009, 12:43 AM
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His Name Unknown, you make some incredibly valid points regarding both the first anime series and the original manga by Arakawa-sensei. Like you, I adore how the the first series was very deeply intertwined in the metaphysic and philosophical. I always thought that the first series of the anime did a superb job of handling extremely heavy-handed themes of the nature of love and brotherhood, personal sacrifice, the eternal battle between good and evil, and what it means to be a human-being. I will always view the first series as more of a character study as well, and many of the personal goals and stories of the individual characters really help to drive the plot forward. I have to admit that I was thoroughly pleased how the directors of the last series developed the characters of the homunculi, especially Lust who questioned her own humanity is stark comparison to Envy and Gluttony who were driven by raw emotion. I also found the first series to be a great deal darker in tone, and while there were slivers of hope that shone through, you knew that that just like real life, not all the characters would end up with what they worked so hard to obtain.
I do love the differences between the manga of Arakawa sensei and the first anime series. Arakawa still manages to add incredible depth and multiple layers of meaning to her work while maintaining humour and the emotion of "hope". I am beginning to notice that the lattest chapters of the manga are getting rather heavy handed and darker in tone, so it shall be incredibly fasnicating to see where the author takes them. There are also scenes in the manga that I believe are so incredibly wrought with emotion and show us the inner nature of characters, including their personal goals, their thoughts and dreams, etc. In my personal opinion, the manga focuses a great deal on personal growth, be this finding inner strength, overcoming past incidents, etc. The manga also touches a great deal on the theme of movement, which can be interpreted in numerous ways. I view a great deal of the characters in the manga to be a personal journey forward to ultimately obtain a goal. The characters must overcome countless obstacles and setbacks, yet it is those who remain positive and hopeful in the face of such much pain and adversity that will come the closest to achieving their wish.

I could go on and on for hours, but I am going to quite while I am ahead. I really would love to see the directors expand upon the relationship between Hohenheim and Trisha as well as Hohenheims past. There are so many scenes from the manga that I am dying to see come to life, and am curious to see how the directors of this new series are going to go about it. I am looking forward to the Nina arc, and really hope that the next episode captures the incredible emotion of the manga.


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FailToImpress
post Apr 25 2009, 02:35 AM
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So far I'm really loving the second series even though I've seen most of the same parts animated in the first series. I'll probably end up liking the second more than the first, based on the story of the manga (if they follow it completely) and the artwork.

Nevertheless I'll still always have a huge soft spot for the first anime series because that was what made me love FMA in the first place. I know a lot of people weren't happy with the ending and some didn't like it but I just took it for what it was and enjoyed it! =) Something I really don't like, actually, is when some fans bad-mouth you for saying you like the anime better than the manga. It's just a matter of opinion, who cares. :s I've always preferred anime over manga so far as enjoying them goes, because I find it hard to get any emotion from some pictures and a bit of text...to be honest I'd rather just read a book of text in many cases. I prefer animation, especially for fight scenes and putting across emotion.
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Sannom
post Apr 25 2009, 02:35 AM
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@ His name is Unknown : you might start considering a change of "name" if Arakawa is going to do what she said she will do wink.gif Man, was that sentence ugly!

QUOTE ("His name is Unlnown")
I honestly feel that FMA1 did some things better with the earlier chapters than Arakawa herself (for instance, Barry the Chopper's early appearance, heightening the emotional ties between the Hughes family and the Elrics, Mustang's manipulative nature, Ed and Al's relationship with their mother)


Yeah, those were great (except Barry, since it was yet another way to butcher Winry's character), but in the end I think it's just something they needed to do, because of the direction they wanted to go with the anime. For example, they couldn't make Winry the one closer to the Hughes like Arakawa did because Winry isn't important in their version. And they couldn't go over Trisha's death quickly, again like Arakawa did, because the relationship with their mother was going to be very important later on.

The first anime certainly didn't make a gift to the staff of the anime with their depiction of Maes. His popularity can't come from the manga, because he has never been so present and important. Nah, it comes only from the anime, and the people who were given the new series really must have had a lot of trouble with that character!
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Hagane no Baka
post Apr 25 2009, 03:11 AM
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I have to admit that the 1st series was the thing that got into loving FMA as well but I won't say that it is better than the manga. Not even in the beginning. I do admit I like dark, angsty driven stories and that's one of the things FMA 1 did best but I'll always prefer Arakawa's manga style, coz she can make things appear heavy emotional. yet still maintain that strong sense of optimisim. Although I really enjoyed the 1st series (more than the 2nd right now, though I'm getting used to it slowly..), I still prefer the manga style Ed & Al coz they're much more solid, strong characters. I'm mean their actually personalities. Sure I totally believe the path to their goal is hard, hell if I were in their shoes, I'd prolly give up long ago ^^; but then again there were times in the 1st anime, where I actually wanted to say to them: ˝Suck it up and move on.˝ In the manga I don't need that. And as far as FMA: B is concerned, I have a feeling it's kind of progressing into that way and if it manages to perform at least a bit of the manga atmosphere, than I'll be really happy.


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Trizo
post Apr 25 2009, 06:18 AM
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For me, the first anime did so well on it's own, I mean, the manga was bearly close to completion at that time, so it's a fair effort really. I mean, fair enough it did miss alot of key things that made alot of fans love the manga (as detailed in everyone's else's comments -which are lovely by the way! I just thought you'd all grow tired of hearing about them by now)- but it didn't bomb out, did it?

My main problem with the second anime is that it seems to have this lingering mentality of "yeah you know what happens." Which isn't particulary helpful to the newer viewers - I mean, sure small changes like giving a character a gun give it the "wow" factor... But I just keep thinking there could be more.

I can't help but wonder, what if the first anime was produced when the manga was completed 100%? (Not that it even is now...) Would it result in a better series?


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Kyelinn
post Apr 25 2009, 07:39 AM
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QUOTE (Trizo @ Apr 25 2009, 08:18 AM) *
I can't help but wonder, what if the first anime was produced when the manga was completed 100%? (Not that it even is now...) Would it result in a better series?


Hmmm, honestly I really don't see how it could result in a better series. I mean you guys are scraping at the bottom of the can here for the goods. We're ONLY three episodes in. Episodes that have already been done previously. Truthfully I think Arakawa will most likely have the manga finished before this new anime catches up to where we currently are in the manga plot. We're still in the early stages and I strongly feel that Bones is just trying to make sure he doesn't make the exact same episodes over again. They last thing they'd want is repetitiveness. That's why I think these earlier episodes are being as "rushed" as some people think that they are. I just honestly feel it's entirely too early to start judging season 2 when we're only 3 episodes in, there's 51 eps of FMA1 and 94 manga chapters. It's kinda not fair to start jumping the gun so early and saying this 2nd season sucks.


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His Name is Unkn...
post Apr 25 2009, 09:10 AM
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QUOTE (Kyelinn @ Apr 25 2009, 10:39 AM) *
QUOTE (Trizo @ Apr 25 2009, 08:18 AM) *
I can't help but wonder, what if the first anime was produced when the manga was completed 100%? (Not that it even is now...) Would it result in a better series?


Hmmm, honestly I really don't see how it could result in a better series. I mean you guys are scraping at the bottom of the can here for the goods. We're ONLY three episodes in. Episodes that have already been done previously. Truthfully I think Arakawa will most likely have the manga finished before this new anime catches up to where we currently are in the manga plot. We're still in the early stages and I strongly feel that Bones is just trying to make sure he doesn't make the exact same episodes over again. They last thing they'd want is repetitiveness. That's why I think these earlier episodes are being as "rushed" as some people think that they are. I just honestly feel it's entirely too early to start judging season 2 when we're only 3 episodes in, there's 51 eps of FMA1 and 94 manga chapters. It's kinda not fair to start jumping the gun so early and saying this 2nd season sucks.


@ Kyelinn/Trizo:

I don't think "sucks" is the right way to view the complaints about the first three episodes. If anything, it would be more along the lines of the "genre shock" that I mentioned in my previous post (philosophical drama vs shonen). It's not that the initial episodes are terrible - in fact, portions of them are extremely enjoyable and the art/animation throughout is well done; rather, it's that they are almost forcibly distinguishing themselves from the first anime.

It's almost as if the animators are saying: "See - this is manga based! Look at all the goofy manga humor! Look at all these manga panels we've drawn into the animation! This second season is nothing like the first!" This kind of attitude and self-referential style, tends to put a damper on artistic creativity. I believe it is this tendency to which Trizo is referring when espousing concern over whether the second season could have been better if the first had never been created (thus eliminating that "you know what happens" mentality).

In fact, I think there was a thread on one of the old anime boards to the effect of "Did Bones ruin FMA" by making the first anime the way they did. At the time of the first season's airing, I would have said no; however, after seeing the effect that the existence of a prior series seems to be having on the new show (I say seems, because as Kyelinn said, three episodes is too early to jump the gun on the overall quality of Brotherhood), I might be inclined to reconsider.

What I'm getting at here is the fact that we may be short-changed a bit on the thematic/philosophical depth of FMA2 simply due to the fact that 'it's already been done before." This irks me, because (and this is all purely hypothetical at the moment) if Brotherhood fails to capture the depth of the first show, I know I'll blame the shortcomings, in part, on the existence of the first series. And I really enjoy the first series - so this leaves me in a bit of a conundrum.

@ Sannom:

Yes, Yes - I may indeed have to consider a name change. biggrin.gif Although, I have my doubts that "His Name is Bob" would have the same effect as a screen name as my previous choice laugh.gif

Also, on an on-topic note, I strongly agree with your appraisal of the Maes situation. I remember falling in love with Hughes in the anime, only to be surprised by his relative lack of screen-time (page time?) in the manga. In fact, one of the chief barriers to my involvement in the manga was getting over preconceptions of how the story should be told as influenced by the direction of the first series. It took me several read-throughs e to accept Hughes as a secondary character and Winry as the one receiving greater development as a result of his death. As you pointed out, the animators of Brotherhood are really walking a thin tightrope over a chasm of fan backlash with how they treat Hughes; we've already seen the early introduction of Hughes and his family, something that was lacking in the manga, so my guess is a more FMA1 central Hughes who also influences and affects those around him.

As a personal note, I think it would be neat if Brotherhood made a more direct tie between Hughes' self-proclaimed duty to nurture and protect children and the theme of life's flow as ennumerated in the Izumi Curtis flashback arc. I've always tied Izumi's monologue in the first show about equivalent exchange, and the flow of people's souls through the lives of those they loved as a reference to Hughes and his sacrifice. It doesn't take much thought to realize that in both FMA1 and Arakawa's manga that Hughes' sacrifices deeply affect the characters around him and drive the plot forward.

@ Edamame:

I think an appropriate distinction illustrating the difference in tone between the first and second series would be "past" versus "progress." As you pointed out, the themes of movement and personal growth are essential to Arakawa's narrative; not so, I would argue, of the first anime. Although the Elric's journey was a key focus in the first season, the theme behind their struggles was always to take back what they had lost in order to move forward; in other words, an inability to overcome nostalgia before pressing forward. This sentiment was finally reversed in the final discussion between Ed and Mustang, where they both realized that they must put their dreams of 'movement' aside to do something more important. For Ed, it was destroying the Philosopher's Stone and stopping the vicious cycle of war, and for Mustang it was avenging the death of his dear friend and taking action against the corrupt military.

In contrast, the new series/manga are better characterized by this quote from Mustang from episode two: "If the possibility is there, you should move forward, in order to get your bodies back. Even if the way ahead is through a river of mud." Here is the strong message of hope, personal growth, and movement that you referred to in your analysis. It pervades the manga, and I am confident will be dealt with in-depth by the new anime. There is no sign of nostalgia getting the best of the Elrics in this new show - in fact, as the opening song by Yui proclaims in it's final refrain: "I even welcome that pain" as a means to become stronger. Suffering in the FMA manga (and by extension, FMA2) is not just a "painful experience that teaches one a lesson" (as claimed in the final episodes of FMA1), but rather an ultimately beneficial life experience which makes one stronger and more empathetic.
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Vagrant
post Apr 26 2009, 08:23 PM
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I can't really get into this big argument, but I just wanted to say that even though they're understandably rushing through the story so far in Brotherhood, the writing doesn't seem as sharp at times. :\

Plus, I think the original anime improved on the manga in the early storylines. (by mixing in jokes from the omake and whatnot)

Still got plenty of hope for when it really starts going down the manga route. LOT of stuff I'd love to see animated. (Lust and Roy springs to mind)

That's my two cents.


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Anakishi
post Apr 29 2009, 09:47 PM
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Warning: long and probably pointless post. Just skip it if you wish, everyone's already said what I put in here.

Since this topic came to life, I've been reluctant to post anything here: first, because it's such a deep discussion, and my knowledge of english doesn't let me write with as much clarity as I wish; second, because it's too complicated to compare two themes that are so different, and have both their merits.

If you ask me, I'll answer anytime that "the manga owns the 1st anime in all aspects", and that FMA:B will be better simply because it follows the manga faithfully. But I feel kinda guilty by doing that, since I wouldn't even know what FMA is without seeing the 1st series. In fact, it was just my disappointment with the end that made me, months later, try out the "alternative" manga storyline. To say the first anime was a failure would simply be treason. I really loved how much parallels it had with real life and how it made me reflect upon certain themes. But I'm still in the manga side. Why?

I won't repeat what most people have already said, about FMA1 being focused on "past" and "angst" as a way to give a life lesson and make us understand that, sometimes, we have to give up on dreams, and the manga giving us a more positive and hopeful message (we're all tired of reading the same stuff over and over again). While in FMA1 characters are always stuck in the past, strugling with their feelings (which is very human-like), in the manga the main theme is overcoming our own limits, psychological growth and, mainly, the concept of "perseverance". One of them gives us a dose of reality, while the other wants to give an optimistic feeling about the future. And, now, I can finally see why the manga attracted me more.

It's kind of obvious: I'm a negative person, who uses fiction to run away from reality, instead of facing it, and to find a place where "justice" isn't just a word. And I found such place on the concept of "equivalent exchange", which was the inspiration behind the whole FMA plot. However, this concept is not the same on FMA1 and manga.
In FMA1, the conclusion is that equivalent exchange, aka justice, does not exist in real life as something flawless. In the manga, Arakawa wants to encourage us to fight for what we want, despite the "river of mud" that may be ahead, and don't give up until we find "justice". That is, precisely, the message I seek for: hope and perseverance WILL be rewarded. This way, I can take from this story the strenght to move forward myself.

Conclusion, at last: while I'll always reverence all the doubts and reflections incited by FMA1, I consider the optimism and the developing of the manga story something much more inspiring for those who are hopeless and cling too much to the past (like myself). I really hope this idea of moving forward, even if it means "turning against the currents of the world", and chase your dreams to wherever they take you will be completely explored in FMA2. Hold strong faith in the director, and, judging by what we've seen so far (even if it's just 4 episodes), there's almost no doubt about that. FMA manga have become my inspiration of life. All I can do is pray that this FMA2 will make such an intense and multi-faced story justice.

wow, that was my longest post so far. Sorry for being so romantic, I just needed to get this out. (also, I should be working, not posting my confusing inner thoughts for the whole world... now I feel embarassed)


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penguintruth
post Apr 29 2009, 10:18 PM
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The question isn't whether I like the first season (really, "series" is more accurate) more than the second. That's a ridiculous question, since this series only has four episodes thus far. I think it assumes that the second series will be exactly like the manga. Assuredly it will be more like the manga, but I think the real question becomes whether or not I prefer the original manga to the first Bones series. This itself is a very difficult question.

My impression is that, though they share largely the same characters and many of the same themes, for better or worse, they are different beasts.

The manga, Arakawa's original vision, has always been more of a fleshed-out world full of various settings and backgrounds, details carefully chosen to give a depth to the experiences and growth of her characters in a way which makes the manga more environmentally believable. If I had to put it in another way, I'd say it's a world where the reader can "live" in, and breathe in the air its characters breathe. That's what makes it so brilliantly crafted.

The first series, on the other hand, I feel has its strengths in the themes present: brotherly love, redemption of one's mistakes, the definition of a human (and the soul), and the imperfections in what we hold in such high regard, whether it be concepts like Equivalent Exchange, or people, like our parents or heroes. While some call it rendering it "melodramatic" or "emo" (a term I despise), I prefer to think of its approach to these as being very human and natural, allowing its characters to absorb and carry the weight of these events. It's also very experimental, though not all experiments in the anime worked out so well, and even some of the best new material had a nugget of absurdity.

I can't, for any reason, find myself preferring one or the other, because I find there's so much working, and a few things that strike against, the worlds both exhibit. Certainly the conventional wisdom is to give the most credit to Arakawa's manga, since it is, after all "true" Fullmetal Alchemist. I just can't, though, because everytime I watch the original series, even with its parallel world and robo-Archer, I just can't help but to feel moved by the poignancy of it all, as hokey and as melodramatic as it might become at times.

Perhaps I will come to a better decision once the manga has actually ended. Until then, as far as this new series is concerned, I'm enjoying it pretty thoroughly, but so far it hasn't quite captured the magic I felt watching the first one.


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Andie
post Apr 30 2009, 08:05 AM
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QUOTE (penguintruth @ Apr 30 2009, 01:18 AM) *
The manga, Arakawa's original vision, has always been more of a fleshed-out world full of various settings and backgrounds, details carefully chosen to give a depth to the experiences and growth of her characters in a way which makes the manga more environmentally believable. If I had to put it in another way, I'd say it's a world where the reader can "live" in, and breathe in the air its characters breathe. That's what makes it so brilliantly crafted.


THIS. This is the reason why I, personally, like the manga better. The way Arakawa develop the country of Amestris and its inhabitants makes me feel as much as it was one of the characters, a very believable character. I want Amestris to be saved from the Homonculi and its own corrupted government as much as I want Ed and Al to find their bodies back. The anime didn't make me care about Amestris as much as the manga did.

But that doesn't mean the anime bad, FAR from it. The anime is quite the little gem, and though I didn't like the last 10 or so episodes, it's still one of my favourite. The anime had a way to make you attached to its characters. That's why I cried like a baby at what happened to Nina and Hughes and even Martel. I don't understand why some people spit on the anime. I mean, there are anime out there which are crappy, I mean really crappy, compared to their manga counterpart (Rurouni Kenshin and Houshin Engi comes to my mind...)


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bonzai
post May 1 2009, 10:49 AM
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thougt the second series only has four episodes thus far, I really liked it~!!
the storyline is better than the first series...
the early episode its not much different for both of the series,
so making the second one faster than the first is not really that bad...

But, the character 'Roy Mustang' in the second series, is it just me or he is much more softer with ed than the first series??
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edo little kid
post May 1 2009, 10:53 AM
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Hmmm...yeah you right
I felt that too !?
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Forlong
post Jun 3 2009, 02:41 PM
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QUOTE (AA battery @ Jun 3 2009, 05:02 AM) *
I can understand taking out the Train story,

I don't. That was the most awesome filler ever. And it was on a train! That automatically makes anything awesome.


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kkg22104
post Jun 3 2009, 02:44 PM
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QUOTE (Forlong @ Jun 3 2009, 05:41 PM) *
QUOTE (AA battery @ Jun 3 2009, 05:02 AM) *
I can understand taking out the Train story,

I don't. That was the most awesome filler ever. And it was on a train! That automatically makes anything awesome.


I'm pretty sure the point of the train chapter in the manga was to introduce Mustang, and the first episode in FMA:B already did that pretty well. Besides, the first anime season already covered it, so the whole episode would've basically been repeated needlessly.


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