Another review by someone who watched the movie at OTAKON.Kayarath’s Adventures in Makin’ You JealousPosted on Aug 11 2011 on 98.1Thefan.com
This article can be summed up in five words: New Full Metal Alchemist MovieOtakon 2011: Fullmetal Alchemist – The Sacred Star of Milos ReviewPosted by Daniel Briscoe ⋅ August 16, 2011 on AnimeTalkRadio
I assume that got your attention? May I also assume you would like to learn more? Very well. I saw the premiere of Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos and I will tell you about it.The premiere took place at Otakon, the largest convention in the east coast.
If I’m wrong and you know another east coast convention with over thirty-two thousand attendees, let me know and I’ll correct myself. The movie has been released in Japan just weeks prior to this screening. It should still be in Japanese theaters by the time you are reading this. This means that the movie has never been seen in the U.S. before so a lot people wanted to see it.
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Number of downloads: 12That's a giant mass of people who wanted to see the movie.After the giant mass of people were seated, a few Funimation employees came out and did the required social promotion plus warning to shut off recording devices.
We were told that the translators worked frantically to sub (or add subtitles to) the movie in time for Otakon. It even “came down to the wire.” Then Kazuya Murata came out to thanks us for coming as well as provide exposition for the movie. Then it started.Frankly, I feel the best description of the movie as a whole is solidified human waste making contact with a series of rotating blades designed to circulate air.
It was as if they were trying to cram in as many ideas that they could without breaking the movie. There were Werewolfs, natural disasters, people ripping off each other faces, bat men with machine guns, and ship launching. You have no idea what’s going on but it’s all AWESOME!Not to say the movie doesn’t have quieter moments
Being Fullmetal Alchemist, there are mysteries to solves and questions to ponder. Honestly, it’ll take a few viewings if you want to really get it all. The first time you see it, you’ll miss some of the finer details but get the most important points. One important plot point is how awful the Milosans have it. If you don’t feel sorry for them at some point during the movie, YOU HAVE NO SOUL!There’s also a few new characters like Julia; the movie’s female lead.
She has a few philosophical disagreements with the Elric brothers but is also jealous of their strong brotherly bond because she has a strained relationship with her own brother. There was also this scene where Winry was riding Ed; because he used a glider to transport her to a part shop in order to repair his arm. What, were you thinking of something else?The movie was designed to be a stand alone project.
It takes place in a whole new area of the world called Milos and the events are mainly local in scope. A general knowledge of the Fullmetal franchise would be very helpful in enjoying the film because it uses concepts from the series, which a movie from a series should do. I only watched the first Full Metal Alchemist series and I still totally get the movie even though it takes places during the Brotherhood series.I’ll avoid spoiling the plot but I will say that I am horrified to announce that the movie has launched the Al/Julia ship.
For those not versed in the lingo, that means the movie has implied that those two characters may have a romantic relationship. Prepare yourselves for the fan fic, deviantART galleries, and forum topics devoted to discussing it. Even Kazua Murata (see next paragraph ^^)
fears for it.Oh yeah, Kazuya Murata, the movie’s director was there too.
You may recognize other series he worked in like Code Geass or Eureka Seven. He attended the premiere and answered questions for a panel afterwords. During all the questions, he revealed that he felt little pressure in making this movie even though it was for such a popular franchise. Hiromu Arakawa, Fullmetal Alchemist’s mangaka didn’t interfere either because she leaves the animation to the animators. Murata felt motivated to make the best movie he could. He’s also pretty sure that another movie will be made. That’s good because he had a lot of ideas that couldn’t get into the first one due to budget and time concerns. He concluded by saying that seeing the audience reaction’s moved him to create more and thanked us for watching it.Just to make sure that I say it; this movie is great and you should totally be jealous of me for watching it before you can.
The crowd loved the movie and cheered regularly. There was plenty of things in the movie worth cheering about. There is one glaring flaw that weakens an otherwise perfect cinema experience: Roy Mustang’s role in the movie was way too small! Even the Japanese audiences complained about it! Well there’s always the sequel.
Otakon 2011 was host to a few American premiers this year, and one of them was the highly anticipated Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos film. FUNimation rolled out the red carpet as best they could, and did their best to try and squeeze every single person who wanted to see this movie into the theatre as they could – they were unable to, BUT, because FUNimation is all class – they organized a second showing of the film on Sunday to make sure that every single person who wanted to see Sacred Star was present. Several members of FUNimation were present, including Social Media Manager Justin Rojas, who is incredibly open to talking with fans and made a real push for the premier to catch on across the net (using trusted friends Facebook, Twitter, and now Google +). The director of the film, Murata Kasuya, was also present for the screening, and was very pleased with the fan response to the film (The Q&A that followed afterward, however, was very hit or miss in my opinion – only about half the questions asked directly pertained to the director and his role in the film).
Overall, the experience was enjoyable and exciting – getting to be one of the first to see a new premier, especially when its the first time an animated property is being shown on North American shores, is incredibly exciting.
So, enough about the premier itself – what was the movie about? How was it? Well, let’s get into that…
Milos takes place during the run of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, around Episode 20 of the television show, and around Chapter 11 of the original manga. Ed and Al have a bit of downtime in Central, when they witness an alchemist who is using a rather strange form of alchemy, escaping the city. Mustang sends Ed and Al to the land of Creta (which has previously not been introduced in the world – it lies off to the west of the map of Amesteris) to investigate this new form of alchemy and see if it can help them further their goals of getting their bodies back. Once they arrive in Creta, however, things take a turn for the strange, and Ed and Al find themselves embroiled in a conflict that many who are savvy on history may see as similar to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict in the Middle East.
From here, Ed and Al meet new characters, and get pulled further and further into a plot that seems to only generate more questions than answers. Through this journey they meet new characters such as Julia (who serves as a psudo-love interest for Alphonse) and with her, Ed and Al seek to find the answers to the conflict and hopefully resolve it before time runs out.
That is a pretty spoiler-free rundown of the movie – if you haven’t seen much of Brotherhood, then you’re still going to be alright watching this movie, as only a basic understanding and familiarity with the characters and the world is needed to grasp what is going on.
Unfortunately, the movie itself seems to suffer somewhat from the success of the series itself. There are so many points where characters are jammed into the film, its hard to tell why any of them are there at all – aside from the new characters and places introduced in the film, Armstrong makes a singular appearance (to loud fan applause) to give Mustang a message before leaving, and Winry shows up in Central to “tag along” with Mustang and Riza Hawkeye as they set out after the Elric Brothers. A show as popular as Fullmetal Alchemist is bound to have demands placed upon it from all sides, and its actually a wonder the director was able to do as well as he did considering how many characters he had to fit into the span of the film.
The plot itself is not fantastic, but not terrible either – a happy mediocre overall, though fans of the show will recognize some unique uses of some rather common tropes of the series (Hint: Pay attention to the architecture). The action sequences are plentiful, and are both beautifully animated and executed, but the action leaves the plot somewhat lacking in depth – which is unfortunate, considering the second half of Brotherhood has some fantastic writing to it.
Overall, if you’re a fan of the show, you’ll want to pick up Milos at your nearest availability - you will enjoy the story, seeing familiar faces, and the excitement of a new location with new mysteries to uncover. It should go without saying that if you don’t like FMA then you shouldn’t bother purchasing this film.
The Elric Brothers seem as though they never left as they take the step onto the big screen, and the dynamic that the two bring to the film (and the series) is great to watch and one of the largest drawing points for the franchise. The word Brotherhood wasn’t just a marketing decision – its represents one of the strongest themes and character relationships in the series, and the movie is no different – Ed and Al alone are worth the viewing, and the supporting cast just make the experience that much more enjoyable.