'Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood' Part 1 - Review

I recently wrote about re-watching the 2003 version of "Fullmetal Alchemist." As outlined there, this led to the discovery of the 2010 remake - this series, "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood." Go to that previous entry to read why it made sense to remake it. You should also check out that entry for a basic character and plot outline.

The series was released as 64 episodes of 23 minutes each. It appears that these episodes were released one a week for a bit more than a year. But Netflix has chosen to present this as "Part 1" through "Part 5" as they usually present seasons. This review is about "Part 1," which contains the first 13 episodes.

The series artwork is essentially identical to the previous version. This one may be marginally better. But it also uses significantly more manga emotional signalling: someone who is embarrassed will temporarily change from a normally drawn character into a bright red stick figure flapping their arms in the air in horror, sometimes with the Japanese word for "EMBARRASSED" written on screen like a neon banner.

The plot is functionally identical to the previous version: there are some relatively small practical differences, but not much. However, I watched episode 14 (the first in "Part 2"), and the plot has gone wildly different there. The end of "Part 1" appears to be the point of divergence between "Fullmetal Alchemist" and "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood."

Having so recently watched the predecessor series and with them being both so stylistically similar and so similar in plot, I don't have much to add to my critical assessment of the series: the brothers are wonderful characters, and they populate the rest of the series with more good characters. I look forward to seeing where it will go from here - now that it's going to be different.