Regardless of which one you prefer, the story of two brothers trying to get their bodies back was revolutionary. However, there is still debate as to which anime adaptation is better. Here is Culture of Gaming’s Fullmetal Alchemist vs. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood:
Intense Dramatization: Fullmetal Alchemist
The first anime adaptation of the series, Fullmetal Alchemist, concentrates on intensity within the plot. Starting with the moment Edward and Alphonse try to resurrect their mother, the story emphasizes the darkness of what’s to unfold. In fact, there is more of a focus on Edward’s suffering and Alphone’s shock to his new body.
Fullmetal Alchemist does an outstanding job at building up to the moment where Edward and Alphonse draw the transmutation circle, for human transmutation. Showing their struggles and back story, all the while dealing with the pain of losing the person they loved the most. But the show takes it to a different level by explicitly showing the events that transpired that cursed night. This involved long scenes of screaming in agony, blood, and despair.
FMA also elevates the idea that the Philosopher’s Stone is created with human blood. Although in both FMA and FMB, the concept of the red elixir remains the same, FMA sees the stone as the ultimate power not everyone can possess. In other words, the stone cannot be created so casually as it was in FMAB. Making the moment where Alphonse becomes the stone itself far more impactful.
The story is more dramatic than first-time watchers expected. The show takes some odd, and very grim turns that are not any easier to process the second time around. But, FMA also delivers philosophical complexities of what is right, fair, and wrong.
Depth of Story: Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood
While both anime are based on the same core, their stories shift dramatically at some point. But it is FMAB that takes all the right turns. First, there are layers of complexity in the storyline, which allow for the correct amount of buildup to the conclusion. Similarly, nothing is left unsaid or unexplained, which brings the entire story to a full circle.
Brotherhood manages to put together all of the pieces of a puzzle to create a fantastic climax. While the story starts with the search of the Philosopher’s Stone, things quickly escalate. A lot of characters are introduced, and all have a part to play in the homunculus’ plan. This makes for a smooth transition between events centered around the Elric brothers, to the complete destruction of a nation.
Moreover, there is no story left untold as every character is given singularity. Even characters that seem insignificant allow for the protagonists to lean on. Each has character development and is allowed to come full-circle within their own story. The perfect example is Hohenheim, who manages to protect his children and the world and chooses his death at the side of his wife’s grave.
Animation: Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood
Although there is a gap in years between both shoes when it comes to their animation, FMAB puts those years to good use. The main difference between both shows is the animation sequences during the fight scenes.
FMA focuses on impactful-short sequences that force the fight to end quickly. Thus, allowing for more dramatic dialog to take place. However, FMAB has continuous and fluent sequences. This is mainly because the show follows the plot of the manga to the letter. Therefore, the fighting scenes must match what was written down in the first place.
Lastly, FMAB does not dwell on the bloody scenes. Although there is still a lot of them, and they are just as hard to watch, the animation of FMAB does not focus on them as much. Rather, the show is able to portrait the scene as very intense and move on from in at the right time. Thus keeping the viewer focused on what is important, the story, and how that particular moment affects it.
Overall, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood wins the battle. Brotherhood covers every corner exceptionally. From the plot, backstories, animation, and conclusion, delivering one of the best show ever. That is not to say that FMA was not a great show as well, because it certainly was captivating and intense. But its successor was far better at just about everything.
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