HAGANE NO RENKINJUTSUSHI
HAGANE NO RENKINJUTSUSHI
full metal alchemist
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Episode 2: The First Day - Content Discussion Thread, Universal conversation regarding the second installment of FMA: B
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Kyelinn
post Apr 12 2009, 12:06 PM
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I still hold onto my point that the reason this has been rushed is because they don't show the whole thing at the beginning of the manga. They show the full story with the brothers learning alchemy, Trisha dying, her funeral, to going off to be taught by Izumi, coming back home, performing the human transmutation, Ed's automail surgery, etc, etc, etc....during chapters 22-24 if I'm not mistaken because that's when the brothers go and see Izumi. I still think that's when they'll show the whole entire thing.


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Meu
post Apr 12 2009, 12:11 PM
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Ah, damn, I really liked the previous episode more. .__.' I know they have to make the things go fast, but... this was way too rushed. I hope they will show more detail later on.
However, the human transmutation and the Gate-scenes were awesome. I was really waiting to see Truth and hear his/her/its voice. Great. ^^
And I think Paku Romi did a very good job in these scenes; Ed's crying was heartbreaking. The whole thing was really creepy and I loved it.

The Lior episode and the rest of the beginning of the series will also possibly be very speedy, but oh well, the later parts are the parts that I'm actually waiting for. :]

// Am I the only one that thinks Hughes' nose is disturbing...?
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His Name is Unkn...
post Apr 12 2009, 12:15 PM
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QUOTE (Kyelinn @ Apr 12 2009, 03:06 PM) *
I still hold onto my point that the reason this has been rushed is because they don't show the whole thing at the beginning of the manga. They show the full story with the brothers learning alchemy, Trisha dying, her funeral, to going off to be taught by Izumi, coming back home, performing the human transmutation, Ed's automail surgery, etc, etc, etc....during chapters 22-24 if I'm not mistaken because that's when the brothers go and see Izumi. I still think that's when they'll show the whole entire thing.


I agree with you - however, as an adaptation, I don't think this was a good decision. Books and movies are two completely different animals. What works on the page doesn't usually translate to the screen - as is the case here. That's why in my previous post I stressed the superiority of FMA1 over FMA2 as an adaptation - the direction was just more mature. Sure it was more angsty, sure it had filler episodes, but when it came to a cinematic representation of the manga material, it was spot on. The inherent drama of the manga was brought to vivid life onscreen. This is the difference between telling a story and showing a picture.

FMA1 told a story.

FMA2 is giving us pretty pictures set to music. There isn't enough of a compelling narrative to keep viewers engaged. In a story of this nature, there either must be an intriguing mystery or a strong emotional attachment demanding the audience's intellectual participation, and Brotherhood has established neither in its opening episodes. Alchemy has received little more than lip service (recombining matter, there's a taboo, the truth, etc.) at this point, so it isn't the driving force, and the brothers haven't had enough screen time for the audience to be sympathetic to their plight. I mean, FMA1 took close to nine episodes to elaborate Ed's status as Fullmetal, the meaning and workings of alchemy, the mystery and importance of the philosopher's stone, and the brothers relationship. Here, we have all that condensed into two episodes.

When you try to do everything at once, you end up doing nothing at all.

Additionally, why in the world is Ed narrating this episode. There was absolutely no set-up for such a thing. At least in FMA1, it was established that Alphonse was explaining to Rose about their past - not only that, but this fact drove home the theme established in the opening episodes that she must not follow down a similar path. That was great storytelling. This is just ... like a class in cinematic cliches or something.

When making a movie, it should be show, not tell.
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Havanese
post Apr 12 2009, 12:19 PM
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That was... a weird episode. The pacing was too fast, as others have said, and it didn't feel natural like it did in the manga. It just didn't flow right at all. The only good parts I can think of about this episode (aside from the technical aspects) is the Winry and Riza scene, and the transmutation scene, which was more graphic and creepy than in the previous series. It still didn't feel right, but it wasn't bad.

I feel really sad, since I want to absolutely love this anime, but so far I don't even like it. The animation, music, voice acting, and character designs are all good, but so far the script is really lacking. I'm very disappointed in this episode. If the series doesn't shape up, then I'm going to have to just hope that another studio will decide to remake it in another few years.
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His Name is Unkn...
post Apr 12 2009, 12:36 PM
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QUOTE (Havanese @ Apr 12 2009, 03:19 PM) *
That was... a weird episode. The pacing was too fast, as others have said, and it didn't feel natural like it did in the manga. It just didn't flow right at all. The only good parts I can think of about this episode (aside from the technical aspects) is the Winry and Riza scene, and the transmutation scene, which was more graphic and creepy than in the previous series. It still didn't feel right, but it wasn't bad.


Well, when you have to start relying on crutches like voice-overs and narrators, you know it's a sign that the script has some serious problems. I understand your disappointment, Havanese, and I think that perhaps an analogy would help to explain that general feeling of 'just not right' that you're experiencing:

FMA1 is to FMA2 as Raiders of the Lost Ark is to Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

FMA1 and Raiders had vision, and every second of screen time was dedicated to realizing that vision. FMA2 (so far) and KOTCS are like collages of good ideas without the cinematic glue to bind them together. Watch any of the scenes alone and you get the feeling that they could be a part of something great; mesh them together, and you get a rushed, unemotional train wreck of a story. The director/screenwriters are obviously unsure of how to handle this material; even the opening animation illustrates this with its desire to show everything all at once. I mean, Young Hohenheim already?! The transmutation array for the Philosopher's Stone revealed in the opening shot?! Where is the tension - where is the intrigue? Where is the...the story?

I think this is the problem you are having with the direction of the new show.
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mira mirth
post Apr 12 2009, 12:36 PM
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QUOTE (His Name is Unknown @ Apr 12 2009, 07:15 PM) *
FMA1 took close to nine episodes to elaborate Ed's status as Fullmetal, the meaning and workings of alchemy, the mystery and importance of the philosopher's stone, and the brothers relationship. Here, we have all that condensed into two episodes.


I think the virtues of both approaches are really subjective. A friend of mine nearly gave up on FMA-1 because she felt it was unfolding so slowly and getting nowhere at all. I had to literally hold her down until episode... I don't know, 18 or something. FMA-2 does not suffer from that; someone might like it better. And I don't think any of us who have seen FMA-1 or read the manga can really appreciate how a newcomer to FMA would feel about the story after watching the first two episodes.

... And I know that was off-topic. On topic: chibi!Al is so cute in this episode. Cuter than chibi!Ed. Remorseful!Ed, on the other hand, is the most pitiful thing I've ever seen. Those depressed eyes looking at Mustang... I think this episode had shown very well the impact the transmutation had on the brothers.
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Radadinator
post Apr 12 2009, 12:40 PM
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Well, after watching the subbed version a few times, my thoughts of it didn't get any higher. If anything, it went lower. But I'm still holding on to the hope that the director will go over this in more depth later on. Still, it wouldn't have hurt to put SOME depth in this episode.

The Hughes and Roy scene was pretty curious, but I don't have an issue with Ed being the narrator. Why wouldn't he be the narrator? There are some things in FMA that don't need to be over-analyzed and beaten to the ground.

So far, only the visuals are really amazing. The music was great, but most of it didn't work with the particular scenes they were played with. Script and pacing are the worst right now. But this is still FMA, so hopefully it'll stop playing out as a typical Burton film and improve.

I have a feeling this will end up being the opposite of the first anime. The first one had an awesome beginning and a not-so-awesome ending, and the second one's having a bad beginning and maybe an amazing ending once it slows down and starts contemplating things more.

(Still, the episode isn't horrible. It's just average, which is below average for FMA.)
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His Name is Unkn...
post Apr 12 2009, 12:49 PM
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QUOTE (WinterChanterelle @ Apr 12 2009, 03:36 PM) *
QUOTE (His Name is Unknown @ Apr 12 2009, 07:15 PM) *
FMA1 took close to nine episodes to elaborate Ed's status as Fullmetal, the meaning and workings of alchemy, the mystery and importance of the philosopher's stone, and the brothers relationship. Here, we have all that condensed into two episodes.


I think the virtues of both approaches are really subjective. A friend of mine nearly gave up on FMA-1 because she felt it was unfolding so slowly and getting nowhere at all. I had to literally hold her down until episode... I don't know, 18 or something. FMA-2 does not suffer from that; someone might like it better. And I don't think any of us who have seen FMA-1 or read the manga can really appreciate how a newcomer to FMA would feel about the story after watching the first two episodes.


True enough - although, I do have several opinions of FMA-newcomer friends that these episodes felt rushed and confusing to back up my comments. Not confusing in their content of presentation, necessarily, but more in that 'well that's great, but why should I care?' way. Now, if someone has ADD, and can't understand fundamental principles of good storytelling, does that really reflect on the merits of the show they are watching or is it a commentary on that individual's lack of appreciation for cinematic excellence (don't know your friend, so please don't take that as a dig, I'm just posing the question ^^).

On a positive, and slightly more on-topic note, I thoroughly enjoyed the dark waltz music playing during the transmutation scene; I really could watch that sequence over and over again. When taken in the context of my overall knowledge of the story, it really was an emotional moment. As others have commented, I think one of the greatest strengths of this episode was its illustration of the physical impact of the human transmutation on Ed and Al. I'm going to remain optimistic about this series, and hope for some great things from episode 3!

EDIT: @ Radadinator: It's not over-analysis; the fact that there is no real reason for Ed to be speaking other than a complete breach of the fourth wall is readily apparent. This could have been easily resolved by a few extra lines of dialogue between Ed and Al setting up that they were discussing their motivations/recounting their past failed attempts. I think the line: "Let's hope this time will be the right one," was an attempt at that, but unless it's just poor fan-subbing, that sentence is not enough to set-up the narrative story-telling device.
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Radadinator
post Apr 12 2009, 01:25 PM
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QUOTE (His Name is Unknown @ Apr 12 2009, 12:49 PM) *
EDIT: @ Radadinator: It's not over-analysis; the fact that there is no real reason for Ed to be speaking other than a complete breach of the fourth wall is readily apparent. This could have been easily resolved by a few extra lines of dialogue between Ed and Al setting up that they were discussing their motivations/recounting their past failed attempts. I think the line: "Let's hope this time will be the right one," was an attempt at that, but unless it's just poor fan-subbing, that sentence is not enough to set-up the narrative story-telling device.


Ah, okay. I see where you're coming with that. Maybe I was only annoyed at people on other sites that are over-analyzing this to bits. It's not as if the old anime didn't have its fair share of bad episodes...but I guess it's because its flashback in Episode 3 was probably one of the best episodes in the entire series.

On the waltz thing, that was one of the couple instances where the music really matched with the scene. The music when Roy and Riza were leaving sounded too...sinister, I suppose, and the choral part during Ed and Al's spar didn't really fit. Something tells me that that's the new "Brothers" theme, though.

I'm clinging to the hope that they can't keep up such a fast pace for long, though.
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MickiePT
post Apr 12 2009, 01:54 PM
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All I can say is...eh. It was all right. Not the worst I've ever seen, but by FAR not the best.

I agree with everyone, the pacing was very off. On one hand, I liked that little intro in the beginning, but not if it means rushing Trisha's few moments of screentime. Or anyone else's for that matter.

I think the main part I don't like is the placement of this episode. I would have rather have waited until they reach the scene with Izumi like in the manga before hearing the backstory. It's not so much to be "just like the manga" but because I think then the flashbacks follow a more linear pattern instead of having to be referenced again when we see Izumi's training. Plus, I love how her training and the transmutation connected in the manga, and it's a shame we didn't get to see that at all.

I can see wanting to get the backstory over and done with, but this is IMPORTANT and it seemed like BONES didn't think so. They ruined several things from the manga that were my favorite scenes, like when Trisha was saying that if other alchemists learned that Ed and Al could do their work at their age it would make a 'mockery of their efforts' or when the Elrics were in class when fighting with their teacher. I liked those scenes much better than the fight between Ed and Pinako. Also, I'm pretty sure Trisha died later than when Ed was five. I'm not sure if Winry's parents died, but everything in the episode seemed a little off date wise.

One thing I did absolutely love was the Truth scene. BG might have been a little off, but it was pretty amazing. The Truth was spot on, and I loved his voice. I still think it should have been later in the anime though. They cut off a few moments in the transmutation (such as Truth taking Ed's arm) that would have been nice to have, but overall I liked that part. Liked the effect of not showing their eyes when they were adding the ingredients and blood. And love that Al doesn't act like an unwilling participant in this whole thing.

Mustang and Riza scenes seemed rushed, but they were ok. Second half was better than first. Really needed to show them burning down their house though. Al and Winry scene seemed a little pointless in my opinion.

I think that's it. Next episode looks promising. I might be the only one who actually like Rose's old look, but the new one seems more realistic. Lior looks beautiful.

One more thing: really hate those cut scenes and that announcer.
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mira mirth
post Apr 12 2009, 02:05 PM
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QUOTE (His Name is Unknown @ Apr 12 2009, 07:49 PM) *
Now, if someone has ADD, and can't understand fundamental principles of good storytelling, does that really reflect on the merits of the show they are watching or is it a commentary on that individual's lack of appreciation for cinematic excellence (don't know your friend, so please don't take that as a dig, I'm just posing the question ^^).


It does sound like a dig at my friend, but I'm going to let it slide, because what bothers me more here is the premise that you can either like the drawn-out version, or be wrong. I don't think you need to have ADD not to like the beginning of FMA-1 - you might just not like it because you don't see the merits of, for one, flashbacks within flashbacks that last for several episodes and unnecessary fillers.

That was me fighting, with off-topical stubbornness, for freedom of thought.

Personally, I liked FMA-1 when I watched it. (Then I read the manga. Initially, I liked them both for themselves, but now I think I might like FMA-2 more simply for sticking to the manga, whichever way they choose to do it.) I think this discussion belongs in the Season 1 vs. Season 2 thread, though, or whatever it is called.
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Forgiven
post Apr 12 2009, 02:34 PM
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Okay, not as good. But it was good. Now I have a somewhat liking for Riza's short hair now. o_0...

Also, does anybody know where I can read those funny screencaps that somebody posted last week? Does the person have any for episode two yet?
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AA battery
post Apr 12 2009, 02:40 PM
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QUOTE (Tombow @ Apr 12 2009, 09:13 AM) *
^ @edxwinryfan - Yap. (Please see the following quoted post ^^)

QUOTE (Alzea @ Apr 12 2009, 08:41 AM) *
Subs by shinsen-subs are out, if someone wants link PM me (only torrents right now) *goes search for the DDL*
Oh, well I have to go for now, link is on the shinsen-subs' main page, just google it^^



Go for eclipse (which is out) and gSS (not out yet)'s instead. Their translations are more reliable.

I didn't watch the subs for ep 2 yet (didn't feel the urgent need to), but judging from episode 1 (which I did watch from both groups), eclipse's translation has a slightly better flow than gSS's but needs more work on the editing and they don't use official spellings (they pretty much used old A-Keep spellings), while gSS's has good grammatical editing (but tends to be too long and wordy) and uses official spellings but no karaoke on the romaji part (if you like to sing along then get eclipse's)...

Bottom line is, if you don't mind waiting, don't watch Shinsen's... *hides*


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Havanese
post Apr 12 2009, 03:15 PM
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@His Name is Unknown: Yes, I think you are right and my problems are primarily with the direction. I may be mistaken, but I remember hearing somewhere that the director did not have much experience, so maybe this is one of the reason the directing of this episode was so bad. Still, though, just because one person makes mistakes does not excuse how poor (I hate to use the word "poor," since it's FMA we're talking about, but I can't think of it as anything else) this episode was. BONES is an established studio that has made a lot of money off of FMA before; they should not be making amateur mistakes like this. I could excuse the last episode and look at is a stand-alone episode where the purpose was to introduce the characters, but now we're starting to get to the actual plot and it's just inexcusable.

BONES is using all these cheap tricks, like making crows caw and making the atmosphere all red, and expecting that to evoke emotion in us instead of giving us character and plot development. Even if the sun was shining and the sky was a lovely shade of blue, we should have felt emotional at seeing Ed and Al's bodies get torn apart because we had been given time to grow to love them. Like during Hughes' death in the first anime. But we were barely given any time, so I wasn't emotional when I saw that scene. Others may have felt differently, but that's how I felt.

It's just... gah. I feel so sad about this. Even if every episode after this one is great, some of the scenes in this episode were ones that I really wanted to be done well, and they weren't. Really, what is BONES thinking? I just hope the next episode is better.
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Sannom
post Apr 12 2009, 03:33 PM
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What's up with that flood control thing??? It's two times today, never happened before!

This episode has two problems :

--- first, some content is cut from it, from the manga
--- second, and more important, it's REALLY placed at the wrong spot! Arakawa made this flashback so late for a reason, and only now do I understand why. That woman builds everything slowly, flashbacks included. Everything has to be at the right place, and this episode is definitely at the wrong place huh.gif

If I were Mr Irie and I would be given a chance to redo the whole thing, I would follow Arakawa's pattern. I would keep Isaac, because he is way better than this stupid Bald guy. And then, I would go to Lior, even if only in one episode. And then, go quickly until you reach Rush Valey and the beginning of Volume 5. And HERE, you slow down the pace, because Rush Valey is the one place where you can say "It's REALLY different in the manga", even if it is such a "HS period" (that I love). 5 laboratory? First anime expanded it, but the beginning is the same. Tucker? Same thing : first anime expanded on it, but the beginning is the same.
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