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Original Full Achemist animation looks better than Brotherhood?
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Posted 8/14/13 , edited 8/15/13

nikovercelletto wrote:

I have finished watching the original full metal alchemist for the third time over the course of my life and now I am finally getting around to watching Brotherhood. I know the animation is not the end all be all, but a few things, to me anyway, look better in the original and I am curious if other people think the same. For example, Rose looks flat in Brotherhood. Her colors, her body movements, her hair, she looked much more fluid and believable in the original. That is really the only thing that is striking me about the animation. Besides that, everything else is above and beyond the original. The alchemy especially looks breathtaking and incredible.

Just some characters and objects look so flat and lifeless compared to the original. Another example is the Chimera in the third episode. It looks so much worse than the original anime; not the actual design, just the animation. Does anyone notice this or am I just going crazy?


I am telling you right now, when I first saw the original I thought it was amazing, but after watching brotherhood I thought it was such a shitty adaptation. Brotherhood is infinitely better, the color pallet looks better later on, (if you don't see it try watching it in HD, if you aren't already). Pride actually fits the description , he's badass, his ability is scary and is in charge of the rest of the humunculi (don't want to spoil anything else about him) . Wrath was an annoying wimp in the original while in Brotherhood it's King Bradley which is perfect for him. The Ishvalan war makes perfect sense and isn't full of holes like the original. The story progresses faster, there's a lot more epic moments and is a lot more graphic.
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Posted 8/14/13
Brotherhood by FAR

Or else you miss the awesomeness of THIS character

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Posted 8/14/13

nikovercelletto wrote:

Just some characters and objects look so flat and lifeless compared to the original. Another example is the Chimera in the third episode. It looks so much worse than the original anime; not the actual design, just the animation. Does anyone notice this or am I just going crazy?


Well, that arc played out much more seriously in the original, and played more for some laughs in Brotherhood, so not as much effort went into the episode. It was kind of disappointing how uninspired the animation was, though.
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Posted 8/14/13 , edited 8/14/13
I like the original better (and not because I say it first), but I'd rather have Brotherhood on Blu-Ray/DVD. Not because of the age between them, because that doesn't matter to me - but the performances. I mean, there were ones I liked in one better than the other and vice versa, but overall Brotherhood. They've had all that time to gain experience in the field, you know?
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I'm just going to leave this here, written by yours truly...


Disclaimer

This thread will provide un-tagged spoilers likely in great amounts, and as this is a discussion about the entirety of both series in a side by side comparison, if you do not want them to be spoiled, avoid the thread completely.

This is a Zipzo thread. What this means is you are either prepared to use that noggin of yours and read a little bit or you may as well abandon ship immediately because big blocks of overly analytic text are my specialty and this thread will be no different than the others.

Now then. Let's get to it.

Fullmetal Alchemist is a manga that deployed in the year 2001 and running as late as 2010. In 2003 it was adapted in to an anime appropriately titled Fullmetal Alchemist. It was a 51 episode series that grew to popularity even in the US, and had a very strong english VA cast who to some degree get just as much attention as the originals do. I've seen both and I think they're fantastic all around.

Fullmetal Alchemist : Brotherhood is an anime that aired starting in 2009, 6 years after that of the first and its origin story is one of progressive wonder. Essentially, the first series, although widely appraised, did have criticisms and one of those major criticisms was its lack of faithfulness to the manga approaching the end, approx. around the time Greed becomes a prominent character in both shows. If the anime itself weren't enough, the 2003 series also interestingly ends with a cinema, Conqueror of Shamballa, which concludes the series even further in the complete opposite direction of Brotherhood.

Brotherhood has a lot of followers, and I'm afraid that I'm likely in the minority here, but let's throw following the manga out the window for a second as a reason why Brotherhood could possibly be better and allow me to pose the following topical question...how on earth is Brotherhood a better show than the original FMA anime?

I've seen very little in the way of substantial evidence that would equate to Brotherhood being a more well done series aside from "It actually followed the manga". This is understandable as a criticism from those who were huge fans of the manga, as I can reason being disappointed that not every single bit of the content you grew to love ended up on screen originally, and if you weren't a fan of those deviations...then that could only make it worse, I get that.

Brotherhood is a shallow, bare-bones show with a modicum of effort behind it meant to give itself an actual identity as a show. It's a gimme to the manga fans, a crowd pleaser (which it accomplished), but I can't seriously take the idea that it is actually better than the 2003 show seriously.

The first half of brotherhood covers essentially what would be the first 3rd or so of the original show, and it does it in a viciously and seemingly expedited manner that is not only jarring for the non-manga readers, but audaciously pretentious. It's understandable this needed to happen, but the show played out as if they knew you had already seen (or read) this stuff. It's actually almost embarrassing to watch. What's unfortunate is that they expected the manga or the original series to essentially be the pillars on which they slop-fed you that whole first half, letting the older non-related (by non-related I mean canon material that isn't Brotherhood that you'd have to have gone out of your way to see beforehand) content fill the gaps. It makes sense as a plan, but individually for Brotherhood, makes for a terrible conglomeration of episodes that is really in the top three of Brotherhoods faults as a show. Once the manga picks its own pace up around the time it moves along its own unique path (the manga one), it becomes more intriguing. Basically the problem here is they covered the material incredibly poorly in the first half of this series.

I pose to you...does a great book (manga in this case) always make for great audio/visual entertainment? Some things are better left to the pages...and unfortunately I think Brotherhoods story and some of its details fall squarely in to this syntactical basis. There are a few unique traits about the original series that make a huge difference in how you interpret both the anime and the characters...and I'll go over two big ones.

In Brotherhood, Scar is responsible for the death of Winry's parents. He killed them in a fatigued rage as it was during a hectic time of war despite them being doctors. Now...in the 2003 series they made an incredible change to this historical event. They re-wrote Mustang as the killer. In the heat of war, they were treating the enemy, and he was given no choice but to execute them as traitors.

This one single change does a few things. First...it completely absolves Scar from being the biggest hypocrite in the show. His life goal ends up being to kill off all of the state alchemists for what they did, but guess who spilled innocent blood long before the war was over? Scar. He murders in cold blood two defenseless doctors who were giving him medical attention for his wounds. This makes Scar a preposterous hypocrite, and as a result makes it increasingly difficult to sympathize with his motives if at all. On the other hand, Mustang is now the murderer of Winry's parents. How can you ask for a better ticket to drama? Edward Elric's commander killed his best friends parents! One simple detail changed & it both fixes a conceptual flaw, and creates an amazing new dynamic to the Fullmetal Alchemist canon. A brilliant change.

Next are Homunculus. In Brotherhood/the manga, these are simply horrific creations spawned of the power of the philosopher juice with the steady hands of the original homunculus. Boring. They changed this in the 2003 series...to something way more both intelligent and clever. In FMA 2003, a homunculus is born every time there is a failed human transmutation...and not only that but it takes on the form of the failed human ingredient. This was also a brilliantly thought out change as it provides the potential for so much character drama in the face of their unsightly relatives/friends as a form with a personality they can no longer recognize. This is most prominent around the time they are killing Sloth (Elric's Mom). This is another dynamic creatively woven in to the "new" story of the 2003 series.

A big issue I have with Brotherhood lovers is how they criticize the original show for its ending (as in the direction it went as a whole in the last few episodes). I think this criticism is utterly pathetic, because Brotherhoods story is equally if not multiple times absurd. Watching the anime makes it almost seem laughable. The moment the main enemy becomes "God", Hoenheim is right there to enact the plan he has been preparing from the beginning of the damn series, and from there it's a slow process to the main antagonists eventual defeat. How stupid is this? It defeats the purpose of almost the entire series's events, because Hoenheim has the master plan all along. Also, I completely skipped over the absurdity of becoming God and the swallowing of some giant door the size of the planet and...yeah all of that stuff is just weird & abstract.

While the 2003 series isn't innocent of being abstract or out there, it went for something more close to home. Something that was more closely tied in to the Elric Brothers themselves instead of some wafty and tiresome tale about a civilization that was wiped out by some...thing in a beaker and this things demise.

Story details aside...a major issue not related to brotherhood's horrid pacing is that almost every identical scene, side by side in comparison to the 2003, is inferior. I'm referring to scenes that played out in both series because as you know for the most part the two shows were incredibly similar up until the point the 2003 show deviated. My best example is the church scene in the very first episode of both series. Watch them side by side. Edward explains to rose the chemical composition of the human body in both scenes...brotherhood does an amazing job of making it look like a joke. In the 2003 series they did an excellent job of making this a powerful scene of conceptual thought provocation. The brotherhood scene makes it an anime lul moment. This is only the first in a long line of examples down the road until the two branch off from one another, and it's closely tied in to my criticism that Brotherhood did the first half very poorly.

Now a valid criticism from manga fans on the first series was that it was too dark. It was much darker than the air of the manga or brotherhood. Ed is even killed. He's impaled through the damn chest. It's gruesome stuff. Fans felt that the first series deprived FMA of its humorous light-hearted value...and this I feel is the only valid point behind Brotherhood being what it is. It's not that Brotherhood is all jokes, it definitely has serious moments, but it suffers very painfully for viewers like me from a bad case of the Brock. Things are constantly being overly explained on screen because there is so much information from the pages of the manga that are hard to show in a finite amount of episodes. The 2003 series took the concept of FMA and made it much grittier, which in my opinion is quite appropriate given their circumstance...and a lot of details of the canon. It's because of this route that 2003 sees many more emotionally charged moments than Brotherhood does, because it capitalized on what it believed its strengths were, which given the story was definitely the drama. Brotherhood haphazardly turns many of these great moments that the 2003 series did in to fleeting moments of anime lulz...and you find yourself saying so often "The first show did that part so much better!". These aren't even deviations, these are moments that happen in both series that the 2003 series did better. Opinion? Yeah I suppose, but is a scene like when Edward is at the end of his rope in a fight against the soul bound samurai supposed to comedy? It became comedy in brotherhood, and it was nothing of the sort in the 2003 series. It's not a big deal here and there, but I felt Brotherhood had an unfortunately thorough means of de-human-ifying a lot of great scenes with a lot of relate-ability that made the original show more emotionally gratifying. It made Brotherhood feel as though it lacked "heart", simply going through the motions of essentially being hand puppets for the manga instead of standing on its own as a good show. Tapping in to that human connection, that very basic need to live, or understand the motives behind a killer. This is what the original show did so well.

Lastly, is I find the ending of brotherhood to be too quaint. I don't mind a perfect ending to a simple anime but the story of FMA is anything but simple. It's incredibly complex (more so in the manga/brotherhood), and for everything to be peachy at the end, what with the guy getting the girl, Winry pops out some kids, Al has his body back, yippee...just doesn't sit right. Conqueror of Shamballa was a great movie with a great concept, and it gave us a an ending that, while it didn't leave everything in a state of peachy keen, gave us something that left you thinking "...I can handle that". A non-perfect ending for a non-perfect sequence of events, is what I think should be the recipe. Ed and Al are together, but now they must explore a new world...with even a few recognizable faces. What's even more intriguing is it allows you to wonder about the future. What will happen next? Brotherhood denies you of this potential intrigue.

All in all...I find Brotherhood to be a weak adaptation of what would be a great manga, and the original FMA series of 2003 to be a strong, creative landmark for anime that decides to branch off from its source material. It's emotional, it still retains enough of that wacky FMA humor, but it keeps it under control to harness a better potential. The potential to be thought provoking with all the concepts of life & death, the making of the philosopher stone and the choices people make. There are just so many great scenes that were done so well, making FMA one of my top shows because it has a sprinkle of almost everything it. You can laugh, you can cry, and you can cheer. That, my friends, is the recipe for great anime.

Tootles.


A notable response in that thread...


So, guess what? You're not the only one who prefers the original to Brotherhood.

A very smart critic who's thoughts I respect a lot says that Brotherhood is the weakest out of the two shows and the manga because of its terrible pacing problems.

She said that it blindly dumped the manga on screen, so it's an anime told at a manga pace.

Gen Urobuchi talks about adaptations in this...



I don't hate Brotherhood, but I've started to become annoyed with people who claim it's better because it "follows the manga". I've gotten into arguments with people who say that the original was bad just because it wasn't written by Arakawa Hiromu, to which I tell them that not only did she approve of the way that they took the show, I hear she was even at the meetings and provided input. It upsets me that everyone suddenly loses respect for the original, which I've never heard anybody say anything bad about before, until Brotherhood came out. Now all I hear is "The original sucks, Brotherhood is so much better".

About 2 years ago when I started watching anime in my free time, I had not seen either all the way through. I'd seen a few of the original as a kid and all my friends, even some family loved the show. I saw a handful of episodes and liked it, but I could never keep up with the schedule. I decided over summer I'd marathon a bunch of shows. I was gonna get caught up with Shippuden, Fairy Tail, One Piece, and the two FMAs. I watched a few episodes of the first three, watched one of FMA and got hooked instantly. I killed the whole thing in like a week. When I started Brotherhood a month or so later, I had to force myself through. It didn't grab me until like 30 + episodes in.

The main thing between them is how much respect I hold for one and not the other. The original took 6 volumes of manga, changed what they had to, and came up with something completely original all on its own. Becoming one of the most well received and popular shows out there, still being a show that most if not all anime fans have seen.

So I completely agree with you Zipzo. Brotherhood comes off as a fanservice show. Not fanservice in the sense that there are boobs bouncing around everywhere, but a cash grab. Scoring money off the manga fans, and the pre existing FMA fanbase with the promise of following the manga to a T. A lifeless adaptation with a massive budget on it because they knew people would eat it up.


To be short, Brotherhood is rushed manga slop smeared over the quickest dry canvas they could find to please raving fans. The original series has more heart, a more creative narrative, and generally received quite a bit more love overall (regardless of how you feel about the story). Brotherhood will forever be merely a shadow to the original series as a simple attempt to grow money from their ears. Everything about Brotherhood is just shoddy in comparison. It's appeal range is much similar to Sword Art Online though, so you will always see a vocal batch claiming that Brotherhood is the bees knees.

Brotherhood is okay, but it isn't even close to the original series in any form.
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Posted 8/14/13
Brotherhood in my opinion was a lot better than the original but I did enjoy them both very much. Although I actually liked the original's movie much better than Brotherhood's movie.
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Posted 8/14/13 , edited 8/14/13

zipzo wrote:
It's appeal range is much similar to Sword Art Online though, so you will always see a vocal batch claiming that Brotherhood is the bees knees.
Brotherhood is okay, but it isn't even close to the original series in any form.


The bees knees lol..
from what i recall that so called "heart" is a load of shit.
The characters in brotherhood have a lot more life and overall "point" to them.
And it helps that brotherhood is actually an adaption of the manga.

For example even the badguys get a lot more screen time.
There isn't enough left out to get butthurt over the beginning for example was rushed because it was covered in FMA, brotherhood is still far better in comparison. Most of it was filler in comparison.

zipzo wrote:
Brotherhood is nearly soulless. There's no meat to its bones.
There's a whole hell of a lot of examples of mere throw away characters Brotherhood has, and bad guys getting less screen time could be argued to be be a superior route to take in a series. It presents a better sense of a brooding plot.
I don't see how a completely different series of the same source material existing is a good excuse to half-ass half of your anime.


By that logic the original has the same flaws.
You're not even gonna try to point out the good points that are beyond obvious are you? =/

And i don't know about you but i like my villains to actually have some point to them the humanity displayed in each of the homunculus was far superior. FMA might have covered some things and some characters brother hood didn't but brotherhood provides and supplies a wider variety actually giving color to every character despite not getting as much screen time.

Some villains are cliche yes but most of them are portrayed far better then in fma, which in the end that's more then enough.
I'm not gonna get into a flame war because i can tell where this is heading, as soon as you said "i'm wrong" i knew this discussion was pointless.

Actually a few characters instantly come to mind which were a lot more important in brother hood.
Wrath, roy mustang, scar being three characters that obviously should have had a lot more to there character.
The focus on scar was a lot more enjoyable for me and the ishvalan war which is ALSO something incredibly important that was hardly covered in fma. And i absolutely loved the focus on alphonse and riza, greed, barry the chopper.. i better stop.


Yowa29 wrote:
I really enjoyed both but for some reason I just felt that the original was darker and left a bigger impression on me. Though Brotherhood was great as well.

Yeah.. about the only thing that was really darker in fma was the end. =/
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Posted 8/14/13 , edited 8/14/13

fluffykun011 wrote:


zipzo wrote:
It's appeal range is much similar to Sword Art Online though, so you will always see a vocal batch claiming that Brotherhood is the bees knees.
Brotherhood is okay, but it isn't even close to the original series in any form.


The bees knees lol..
from what i recall that so called "heart" is a load of shit.
The characters in brotherhood have a lot more life and overall "point" to them.
And it helps that brotherhood is actually an adaption of the manga.

For example even the badguys get a lot more screen time.
There isn't enough left out to get butthurt over the beginning for example was rushed because it was covered in FMA, brotherhood is still far better in comparison.


Yeah, I don't know what to say except that you're just wrong.

Characters actually have less point to them in Brotherhood. May Chang? Mcdougal? Kimbly lives way past the point of his characters worth. Mustangs team doesn't get any character growth. You don't get the full back story on the Elrics training with Izume Curtis, nor any closer look as to why she's missing organs. Important details galore are simply mentioned in passing.

Brotherhood is nearly soulless. There's no meat to its bones.

There's a whole hell of a lot of examples of mere throw away characters Brotherhood has, and bad guys getting less screen time could be argued to be be a superior route to take in a series. It presents a better sense of a brooding plot.

I don't see how a completely different series of the same source material existing is a good excuse to half-ass half of your anime.
Yowa29 
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Posted 8/14/13
I really enjoyed both but for some reason I just felt that the original was darker and left a bigger impression on me. Though Brotherhood was great as well.
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Posted 8/14/13
Not a huge fan of either one but I found the original to be terrible so many pointless filler episodes early on and I think I gave up completely around episode 29 just because the plot was so boring and couldn't force myself to watch it anymore.

I found FMA Brotherhood to have much better pacing and found the story more interesting compared to the first.
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Posted 8/14/13

Yowa29 wrote:

I really enjoyed both but for some reason I just felt that the original was darker and left a bigger impression on me. Though Brotherhood was great as well.


Brotherhood felt more like straightforward adventure/action/mystery. It was really good, but the plot was what you would expect of a shonen manga.

The original was true to the theme of equal exchange. They gave you some nice happy plot, then followed it up with something super dark and horrible, then back to something decent, then horrible again. It was a rollercoaster. It also did not have a necessarily happy ending.

The critic in me says the original anime, the fan in me though says brotherhood because it is my natural reaction to want a happy ending.
Yowa29 
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Posted 8/14/13

xxJing wrote:


Yowa29 wrote:

I really enjoyed both but for some reason I just felt that the original was darker and left a bigger impression on me. Though Brotherhood was great as well.


Brotherhood felt more like straightforward adventure/action/mystery. It was really good, but the plot was what you would expect of a shonen manga.

The original was true to the theme of equal exchange. They gave you some nice happy plot, then followed it up with something super dark and horrible, then back to something decent, then horrible again. It was a rollercoaster. It also did not have a necessarily happy ending.

The critic in me says the original anime, the fan in me though says brotherhood because it is my natural reaction to want a happy ending.


Oh I agree, when I first saw FMA, I seriously had some emotional ups and downs during it. Brotherhood on the other hand just got me pumped up a little.
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Posted 8/14/13

xxJing wrote:


Yowa29 wrote:

I really enjoyed both but for some reason I just felt that the original was darker and left a bigger impression on me. Though Brotherhood was great as well.


Brotherhood felt more like straightforward adventure/action/mystery. It was really good, but the plot was what you would expect of a shonen manga.

The original was true to the theme of equal exchange. They gave you some nice happy plot, then followed it up with something super dark and horrible, then back to something decent, then horrible again. It was a rollercoaster. It also did not have a necessarily happy ending.

The critic in me says the original anime, the fan in me though says brotherhood because it is my natural reaction to want a happy ending.


The only thing i really recall that's worth mentioning is lusts past i actually really liked this episode but the whole thing with the original wrath was a bit of a turn off.
I seen brotherhood as a rollercoaster as well there was plenty of moments that left an impact on you like with envy, greed, roy mustang, the ishvalan war and the impact it left on people. There was a lot that added to what brother hood is and just in general.. king bradley, pride, father added to that darkness and over all just what makes brotherhood infinitely superior. There was so many side stories that connected to so many characters unlike fma which really just felt ridiculously bland in comparison to me. That and it's "not" a true adaption.
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Posted 8/14/13

puellapeanut wrote:


Orga777 wrote:


puellapeanut wrote:

Argh! I've never watched either one of the FMA animes, though I've read the manga fully more than twice.

Should I start on the original (which I know changes the story) or just watch Brotherhood?


Just watch Brotherhood. The original is okay, but the ending is atrocious. Also, the Shamballa movie is one of the worst things ever in the franchise, IMO. XD


Thanks for the advice, but I think your comment kinda backfired 'cause now I want to see the original just to see how bad the ending and movie is XD

So I'll watch both, starting with the original, then moving on to familiar territory! Thanks (:


that dude is crazy its not bad by any means and the ending is pretty amazing
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Posted 8/14/13

fluffykun011 wrote:


xxJing wrote:


Yowa29 wrote:

I really enjoyed both but for some reason I just felt that the original was darker and left a bigger impression on me. Though Brotherhood was great as well.


Brotherhood felt more like straightforward adventure/action/mystery. It was really good, but the plot was what you would expect of a shonen manga.

The original was true to the theme of equal exchange. They gave you some nice happy plot, then followed it up with something super dark and horrible, then back to something decent, then horrible again. It was a rollercoaster. It also did not have a necessarily happy ending.

The critic in me says the original anime, the fan in me though says brotherhood because it is my natural reaction to want a happy ending.


The only thing i really recall that's worth mentioning is lusts past i actually really liked this episode but the whole thing with the original wrath was a bit of a turn off.
I seen brotherhood as a rollercoaster as well there was plenty of moments that left an impact on you like with envy, greed, roy mustang, the ishvalan war and the impact it left on people. There was a lot that added to what brother hood is and just in general.. king bradley, pride, father added to that darkness and over all just what makes brotherhood infinitely superior. There was so many side stories that connected to so many characters unlike fma which really just felt ridiculously bland in comparison to me. That and it's "not" a true adaption.


Yeah, this is you completely over exaggerating Brotherhood. Has it been a while since you've seen both of them side by side?

You do know that the creator of FMA helped with the plot of the 2003 series, right? It's every bit as "true" as brotherhood is.

Everything you even listed is in the first series but stronger, done more eloquently, and pulls more emotion. The first series is anything but bland, it sound like you're in need of a re-watch.

The first series missed one strong moment that brotherhood had that is mention-able, and that's the scene where Mustang gets hardcore on Lust. That's really the turning point where Brotherhood goes from being an in-excusably shoddy piece of work to being somewhat decent.

Otherwise to me it just sounds like you're fan boying.
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