Opinion Prone

My opinions, let me tell them to you.

Posts Tagged ‘ Fullmetal Alchemist ’

Finally saw the first episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood tonight. As I’ve mentioned, I wasn’t that eager to see it, but then my RSS feeds started getting cluttered with other bloggers posting about it and I spent the week feeling a little impatient. It’s always annoying having to avoid reading things ’cause you’re not up-to-date, but I guess that’s something I’ll just have to deal with since I’m going to be adamant about supporting FUNimation’s stream on this one. I’m actually pretty disappointed that so many people seem to have downloaded fansubs anyway since I think a vast majority of anibloggers reside in countries that are getting a simulcast in one form or another. (Sorry, Europe!)

That said, I was surprised to find that I had ton of issues getting the video to work right for the stream. I’d previously seen all of Ouran Host Club and some of Mushishi on FUNi’s video site and never had any issues, so I’m not sure what was up — the video wouldn’t load at all in Firefox, so after several attempts, I took it into Chrome. There, it loaded… but very slowly. Like, absurdly slowly. It kept stopping to buffer, so I decided to just let it sit to load the whole thing before playing. It took like two hours to load the whole episode. Unbelievable. I’m sure there was a lot more traffic on the site than usual today, but still… I sure hope it isn’t like this every week. :|

The video quality was great once it did load though. The subtitling is consistent with the other subs FUNi offers, and that’s pretty damn good, I’d say. I would have liked to see a translation to the opening and ending themes, but that’s not a huge deal. It did bug me a little that they used “sneaked” instead of “snuck” twice in the episode; even though the former is actually more correct than the latter, “snuck” has become so much more common these days. Oh, well. All words are created equal, but some are more equal than others!

Anyway, on to the actual content of the episode…

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I probably shouldn’t be as surprised as I am considering how much amazing progress this digital streaming and simulcast thing has seen in the last few months alone, but I am seriously applauding FUNimation for this move. Four days lag time between the Japanese broadcast and an official English sub (presumably) isn’t quite simultaneous, but it’s good enough for me. That’s about how long I generally waited to watch my weekly Soul Eater anyway, so it’s great to see FUNi stepping up like this and beating the fansubbers to the chase since they do already have the series licensed.

I’m really curious to see how many fansub groups this official stream deters. Since the stream is only available for those in the US and France, there will likely still be foreign language sub efforts. It’s probably presumptuous of me, but I feel at least a little confident in guessing that a significant portion of fansubbers and leechers reside in the US. I don’t usually keep up with these things, so I’m not sure if any major fansub groups have already announced FMA:Brotherhood as a project, but if there have been, I wonder if any will drop it out right following this announcement.

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Yes, yes, it seems we have a confirmed airdate now. Or, well, not a date. A month. April 2009. Fullmetal Alchemist. I find it curious that it’s just “Fullmetal Alchemist” though. There is no “2” tacked on. No subtitle. The ten second clip on the official website doesn’t seem to reveal anything new or big (the video’s also on YouTube since the website’s getting lagged to death by otaku). The character designs are the same as before. Al is still in his armor body. Roy still has both his eyes. If I didn’t know better, I’d say we were just seeing a trailer for the original series. What’s going on here? Am I going to get my wish after all? Is the ending of the first series and that movie going to be retconned? Are we picking up from halfway through the series and finishing it from there?

Or is this not a sequel at all? Are we starting over completely?

Some people seem to be speculating that this series will start from the beginning, but this time, it’ll strictly follow the manga. I haven’t seen anything official regarding this yet, so I’ll believe it when I see it, but I don’t think it’s an unlikely possibility. I still haven’t read the manga myself, but I might have to soon if this is the case. I think it’ll be incredibly weird to go through the anime again with this alternate storyline though — especially if character designs, voices, etc, etc, remain unchanged. Has something like this ever happened before? Has a series that veered off from its source material gotten redone so that it’s now true to the original?

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I was pretty annoyed a month ago when that alleged Bones document was leaked. I haven’t seen Darker than Black, but I definitely knew that I didn’t want a Fullmetal Alchemist sequel. The ever on-going status of the manga is irrelevant because the anime veered away from it a long time ago. FMA is done. It had a shitty-as-hell ending, but it was an ending, and I was done mourning the fact that such a wonderful series should have such a crappy conclusion (one that was further supplemented with crap via the movie). So I breathed a sigh of relief when Bones came in to trump the rampant rumors… only come back now and say, “lol, jk, it’s true after all!” Seriously, what the hell? Why would you do this to us? Why??

I have yet to see an originally unplanned sequel that is not complete trash. Storylines that are tacked on later just because the original was popular just don’t work. Look at Gundam SEED Destiny. Look at Dragonball GT. It has been four years since FMA finished airing, three years since Conquerer of Shambala. It can’t be more obvious they’re just milking this.

(The rest of this entry contains spoilers for the FMA anime.)

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