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SPOILERS: A thought about the end of Fullmetal Alchemist:Brotherhood..
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Posted 8/22/13

zipzo wrote:


iblessall wrote:

Overall, I would agree. Yes, Brotherhood has the better ending. The ending of the original series (including the movie) was pretty unsatisfying and actually seemed a tragic to me. But maybe that's just because I was expecting a more conventional ending.

Now, as for what gets us to the ending, well...that's a whole different story. The original series had a much more terrifying and interesting origin for the homunculi; however, Dante, imo, was not a very interesting villain with a not very interesting backstory. But the death of Pride in the original via Mustang...that was epic.


I really think this is an often misunderstood concept of the original series. Dante maybe the "final boss" in the show but she actually by no means the main villain of the show. In my opinion what makes the original more thought provoking is that the real enemy in the first one is that of equivalent exchange. Everything that happens to the brothers, all of the tragedy throughout the entire series, can pretty much be attributed to that of the effects of EE.

"Better" ending is pretty dang subjective, I would actually think most people would prefer imperfect endings, not similar to FMA:B.

Ah, so we debate yet again, zipzo. You can't call a law the enemy. That's just foolishness. If you really wanted to argue that all the tragedy that happens to the Elrics is a result of EE, you have to go a step further and say that it is their own fault for breaking the taboo. They what they were doing was wrong, but they did it anyways. Unless you want to blame the universe for being the way it is, you can't say that equivalent exchange is the villain. Humans exist in the universe. That's just how it is. Calling equivalent exchange the villain for the tragedy that befalls the Elrics would be the same as calling gravity the villain if someone fell off a cliff and died.



However, I like the dwarf in the bottle as the villain much better. The implications of his origin and subsequent lust for power are fascinating. And the use of the homunculi as actual manifestations of human vice is really not too bad of a creation story for them. Furthermore, I totally disagree with calling the plot anything like "nonsense."


Well yeah, the thing about FMA:B is that they actually have a main overall villain for everything. The original series is more a conglomeration of events that befalls the brothers as a result of their search for the Philosopher Stone. The original series didn't create nor have the need for a main "I will take over the world" villain (which is just so typical). To be honest, the ending to Brotherhood is indefensibly dumb. He turns in to God, just to have that power immediately redacted from him by a plan Hoenheim had in the works since the very beginning, then he slowly gets just gets beaten up until he dissolves over the course of an episode. It renders most if not all of the series events pointless for the brothers.

Disagree with the bolded section. The brothers (like Mahiro in Blast of Tempest) aren't fighting to save the world. The fact that they do so is incidental to their original goal, which is to regain their bodies. And they succeed in that task, following the law of equivalent exchange. Also, considering the origin of the dwarf, it is fitting that he be defeated by Hoenheim. Translation: only human virtue can overcome human vice.
Posted 8/22/13

zipzo wrote:

Depends what you want out of your anime but IMO...

FMA:B = More action, nonsense plot, awful dialogue (in the dub it's even worse because of low-par voice acting), and a stupidly happy ending to top all of it off. Some cool characters not existent in the first series like Ling and shadow Pride, however some characters are done worse like Scar. First 1/3 of the series is rushed to all hell and back. Humor is often misplaced or needless.

FMA = Less focus on action, more focus on the themes of equivalent exchange & human life/morality. More intricate and delicately woven plot that suffers a bit from being extraneous but the ideas implemented are original none-the-less. A way more "intelligent" execution with an interesting ending. A lot less humor. Lacks a good Wrath. More interesting backstories for both scar, mustang, and the homunculus.

In general, FMA:B is the "fun" and casual one. The original is for the more...seinen (if you will) types. The original accomplishes a much more serious tone.

They both have their pros and cons but IMO the original series hits your heart way more effectively and way more often than FMA:B. Many of the identical scenes side by side are roughly embarrassing to compare between the two (in favor of the 2003 series). And there are just too many worthless nothing-fluff characters in FMA:B for my liking (typical of a manga though).


Totally see where you are coming from, but for me I just FELT more with Brotherhood. When Roy goes batshit crazy killer on Envy drew me in more than anything in the original series did. Brotherhood also made me feel bad for the homunculus. When Roy has his foot on Envy in her true form and she is begging him, full of tears, to spare her, screaming how she doesn't want to die and Roy giving no fucks, I was like "Damn, I know he has killed people and is a HUGE asshole, but shit....." Or how all Greed wanted was friends (I will admit that was a little cheesy), but to cover that up, he acts like the bad guy and desires world domnation and the like. I found the desires and true reasoning's behind their emotions and actions much more interesting. Also the name they were given much more accurately described their true selves. In the original, beisdes Lust and Gluttony and Greed, I never understood what Envy was jealous of (was it the fact the Hohenheim abandoned her?), or what made Sloth the way she is. All he homunculus in Brotherhood made sense in correlation to their respective names. And when everyone was cheering for Ed while he was beating the shit out of Father, I got so pumped up, I felt like I could go set a school record for the 5K. That's what I look for in an anime, things that make me feel something. I never got that from the original.
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Posted 8/22/13 , edited 8/22/13
I could really get in to it but I often find that FMA vs FMA : B debates are often losing battles for me purely by virtue of usually being in the minority on this forum. I feel like several threads have popped up in the last month or so on the subject, and I've said plenty of my part in those...so to say I'm exhausted of the topic would be somewhat of an understatement...

I feel the original series is superior to Brotherhood in almost every single way. Direction, emotion, presentation, story. You guys are free to disagree entirely...that's totally fine.

In the same vein I don't walk in to a room full of people and scream "FAIRY TALE/NARUTO/ONE PIECE IS STUPID". While I believe it to be true...the odds of me having more people in that room on my side than against me is overwhelmingly not in my favor.

FMA : B is popular...can't deny it that, I just find it to be soulless in comparison to the first.


iblessall wrote:

Ah, so we debate yet again, zipzo. You can't call a law the enemy. That's just foolishness. If you really wanted to argue that all the tragedy that happens to the Elrics is a result of EE, you have to go a step further and say that it is their own fault for breaking the taboo. They what they were doing was wrong, but they did it anyways. Unless you want to blame the universe for being the way it is, you can't say that equivalent exchange is the villain. Humans exist in the universe. That's just how it is. Calling equivalent exchange the villain for the tragedy that befalls the Elrics would be the same as calling gravity the villain if someone fell off a cliff and died.


No, you're missing the point entirely. The law is not an enemy, literally. It is the defining force behind the tragedy that the brothers experience. Them breaking the rules is just the tip of the iceberg. The tipping point.

Think of a movie based on survival. For example that movie with James Franco where he gets stuck in between that rock. There's no literal enemy. The "enemy" is simply nature, or the natural laws that govern the physics that got him to his position. You don't need an actual physically represented enemy to make an impactful work.

In the brothers case, their journey begins once they commit the taboo. As viewers, we are witnessing all the tragedy and hardships that they will endure on account of their screw up, and we also see how they become stronger because of that mistake, through learning new things and seeing the world. This is similar to Franco in that movie, how the whole experience is seeing how he changes as a result of his experience, what he learns about the value of life and so on.

None of this requires a main villain to work.
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Posted 8/22/13

zipzo wrote:
No, you're missing the point entirely. The law is not an enemy, literally. It is the defining force behind the tragedy that the brothers experience. Them breaking the rules is just the tip of the iceberg. The tipping point.

Think of a movie based on survival. For example that movie with James Franco where he gets stuck in between that rock. There's no literal enemy. The "enemy" is simply nature, or the natural laws that govern the physics that got him to his position. You don't need an actual physically represented enemy to make an impactful work.

In the brothers case, their journey begins once they commit the taboo. As viewers, we are witnessing all the tragedy and hardships that they will endure on account of their screw up, and we also see how they become stronger because of that mistake, through learning new things and seeing the world. This is similar to Franco in that movie, how the whole experience is seeing how he changes as a result of his experience, what he learns about the value of life and so on.

None of this requires a main villain to work.


Well, you did state that "the real enemy is that of equivalent exchange." (Your exact words). So that's what I was responding to.

However, you say that we don't need a main villain to see them grow and learn from their mistake of breaking the taboo. I totally agree with you; but it appears to me that in Brotherhood they not only grow, but also come to peaceful terms with the law of equivalent exchange (Ed giving up his alchemy). You could say that their learning is more complete and more meaningful in that way in Brotherhood than in the original series.

I would argue that this defining force you are referencing is also present in Brotherhood. It seems to me that Father is symbolic as a physical manifestation of human vice (represented by the fact that the homunculi are born from him and can be re-assimilated into him). In that sense, the force that they entire world (not just the Elrics) is struggling against is vice of the human person. To me, that is a much more compelling and relevant struggle to me and everyone who watches Brotherhood (as opposed to a struggle against a law that isn't as tenaciously and explicitly evident in our world).

So, I guess my argument is that Brotherhood is superior as a sort of allegory. I think it is, while on the surface possibly simpler than the original, much more symbolic and relevant.
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Posted 8/22/13

iblessall wrote:

Well, you did state that "the real enemy is that of equivalent exchange." (Your exact words). So that's what I was responding to.

However, you say that we don't need a main villain to see them grow and learn from their mistake of breaking the taboo. I totally agree with you; but it appears to me that in Brotherhood they not only grow, but also come to peaceful terms with the law of equivalent exchange (Ed giving up his alchemy). You could say that their learning is more complete and more meaningful in that way in Brotherhood than in the original series.

I would argue that this defining force you are referencing is also present in Brotherhood. It seems to me that Father is symbolic as a physical manifestation of human vice (represented by the fact that the homunculi are born from him and can be re-assimilated into him). In that sense, the force that they entire world (not just the Elrics) is struggling against is vice of the human person. To me, that is a much more compelling and relevant struggle to me and everyone who watches Brotherhood (as opposed to a struggle against a law that isn't as tenaciously and explicitly evident in our world).

So, I guess my argument is that Brotherhood is superior as a sort of allegory. I think it is, while on the surface possibly simpler than the original, much more symbolic and relevant.


Yes...I did say that. I just explained to you how it was figurative, not literal. It is the "enemy" in a sense that it is what the brothers are constantly tasked with facing throughout the series, like a villain. That doesn't mean it's an actual villain, but it outright replaces the need for one.

I thought I just explained that quite well.

Brotherhood isn't allegorical in the slightest, don't kid yourself. The father is no different than any other cheaply written power-hungry bad guy. Is there even a motive behind him wanting to take over basically everything? Nope...it's simply just because he's "evil". There's not a thing interesting about him. At least Dante was somewhat interesting in that regard, having some kind of reason for her doing what she is beyond same old same old.

This is what shounen likes to do, make it about the entire earth/universe, there's no way you can deny the scale of importance in the protagonists mission if the whole world hangs in the balance right?! At some point you even forget to care about what's going on with either brother, or even both occasionally throughout Brotherhood. So much focus away from the Elrics soils the experience further, in my opinion.

Brotherhood was undeniably a fan gimme. People cried out for animation that followed the manga to a "T" and they got it, but it's half hearted work overall in comparison to 2003.
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Posted 8/22/13

Tsk, I like debating with you, but I dislike how it feels like you are patronizing me. Maybe you are not, but that's just the feeling I get and it's via the internet and text so I can't tell otherwise. And so, to avoid getting angry, I'm bowing out now.
Posted 8/23/13

EspeoangeTieler wrote:

if you think he should have done that then you missed the entire point of the series


"LET ME PREFACE THIS BY SAYING THAT, FOR ME, THE ENDING COULD NOT BE MORE PERFECT. I DO NOT WANT IT TO CHANGE AT ALL."

Some people just don't read
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Posted 8/23/13

nikovercelletto wrote:


EspeoangeTieler wrote:

if you think he should have done that then you missed the entire point of the series


"LET ME PREFACE THIS BY SAYING THAT, FOR ME, THE ENDING COULD NOT BE MORE PERFECT. I DO NOT WANT IT TO CHANGE AT ALL."

Some people just don't read


yet you still said he shouldn't have lost his alchemy? so.....
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Posted 8/23/13 , edited 8/23/13

zipzo wrote:


chrisjahn wrote:

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is easily one of the best animes I ever watched. It is probably the only anime that I actually watched to completion at least 5 times within the course of a month (a bit obsessive, I know, but the show was just that awesome).

I feel the reason that Ed didn't choose to sacrifice Hohenheim was because he didn't want to live with killing another human being to fulfill his own goals, even if that person was his own 'deadbeat' father who he absolutely despised. We don't really know if Ed knew that he would soon die or not, as since alchemy is such a sophisticated concept and we don't really know the full extent of Ed's knowledge of it. I think it would have been an even darker ending if Ed had sacrificed Hohenheim, and instead by sacrificing his alchemy, he is able to live a more normal life.

Hohenheim dying at the end, although tragic, was also a nice way to top off the anime. Hohenheim had lived for a very long time, and he knew that he would eventually have to suffer through the deaths of all of his loved ones. He died while he was with the one person he cared about the most, and he is now eternally with her, so he was content with his fate.

In my honest opinion, Brotherhood is immensely better than the original series in every way imaginable.


Honestly...in the past I would just argue this to the verge of pointlessness in that Brotherhood is inferior in almost every way due to being a hallow shell of an anime, a simple and cheap attempt to scrape peoples wallets by slapping the manga on to your television...

But I think I've emerged on to a different plane of understanding for it recently. They are just two different kinds of anime that cater to two different types of viewers. Even though they use the same source material, the same characters, and the same general story (for the most part), they have largely different agendas and effectively different motives in their presentation.

There's really no sense in comparing the two, apples and oranges really. FMA is in its own league, while FMA:B does fine with what it sets out to do.

It's no mystery happenstance that narutards tend to fall in line with FMA:B more so than the original though, doesn't really do FMA:B much justice.


Angerudusto wrote:

One of the things about Shamballah that was pretty dumb was the idea of "nukes are bad, because they kill people". You know what also kills people? Tomatoes. Everyone up until at least the year 1900 that ate a tomato has died. So what will Ed do next? Talk down the Vegetable Merchant? After seeing "Sacred Star of Milos", I would be surprised if he didn't in the near future.


Aside from the fact that your analogy makes no sense at all, Sacred star of milos is part of the brotherhood canon, FYI.


I was being sarcastic. You know what nukes also do? Keep Japan from becoming a Russian territory.
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Posted 8/23/13

nikovercelletto wrote:

Well first, let me say this. HOLY SHIT, I LOVE THIS ANIME!!!!!! Now that I have vented that, I have just finished the ending of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and while it was one of THE GREATEST ANIME I HAVE EVER WATCHED, there was one thing about the ending that struck a cord that I'm sure other people noticed, but I want to mention.

LET ME PREFACE THIS BY SAYING THAT, FOR ME, THE ENDING COULD NOT BE MORE PERFECT. I DO NOT WANT IT TO CHANGE AT ALL.

Now then, in an analytical view of the ending only, Ed didn't need to lose his alchemy. His father offered his life to bring back Al, but Ed refused and gave up his alchemy instead to bring him back. But Hohenhiem died anyway which means Ed could have used his father's life to bring back Al and still keep his alchemy.

Now I know that Ed had no way of knowing that his father would die, but I still thought it was a sad and slightly dark twist to the ending.

Everything else about the show was damn near perfect. I am feeling the void more and more as the day goes on.

Thoughts?




wenry and ed also fell in love <3 in which i think he should of passed up on alchemy and lived his life with her and let alphonse do the exploring

also any sane person would never risk a family member especially with what they was doing to just allow one to die
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Posted 8/23/13 , edited 8/23/13

Only people with bad taste would prefer the fake FMA (the first one)
to the real FMA (Brotherhood)
People who like Guilt Crown for example.


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Posted 8/23/13 , edited 8/23/13
The way I see it, Edward returning to normalcy was a great move. I feel that's something that most endings should strive for. The main character returning to a normal life is just a wonderful move. Not that I want to quote other series or actual movies where this happens and end up spoiling stuff, but returning to normalcy is the greatest character development available.
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Posted 10/9/13
OP nuked.

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