I have been wanting to review Full Metal Alchemist (FMA) for quite a while as it is the series that truly got me into anime!
FMA is a 51 episode series developed by studio Bones, Its currently very popular and definitely left its mark on the main stream western audiences. Fma follows the story of Edward and Alphonse Elric, in their journey to obtain a powerful stone that has the ability to fix their bodies. You see in a failed attempt to bring back their mother to life with alchemy Alphonse lost his body and Edward lost a leg and arm. Using a scientific technique known as alchemy Edward is able to bind Alphonse’s soul to a suit of armor while Edward uses false limbs called Automail. So after this very traumatic experience Edward and Alphonse are off on an alchemy filled journey to get a hold of the Philosophers stone which is rumored to give the wielder great power in their alchemy.
The Plot line in Fma takes very significant twists and turns throughout the story and the brothers are often finding more challenges they must face. The animation itself is fantastic, the colors are very strong and the images very smooth. Voice acting in both the Japanese and English version is absolutely amazing, in fact the English version is probably one of the best dub’s I have ever listened to.
The great thing about Full Metal Alchemist is that even though there is plenty of twists and turns you never feel that the story is moving to fast, you never have to stop and think over what has just happened. The only real problem I had with Fma is that the story was completely different to the manga, the original manga developed in a much cleaner way. I was not the only person that thought the anime deserved to stay true to the manga and so studio bones being as fantastic as they are released “Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood”! Brotherhood is a complete makeover of Fma but this time stays closer to the original roots of the manga.
Full Metal Alchemist is a fantastic series’ that is absolutely worth the watch! Even though its a hefty 51 Episodes at the end of it all it feels like you’ve gone on a long life changing adventure.
Fma has been licensed and released on DVD by funimation along with the feature length movie “Full Metal Alchemist: Conquerer of Shambala” so be sure to check them out.
Shakugan No Shana (Often shortened to shana) Is a series that I watched early last year and when I found out that some of my friends had gotten into the series, it was a good enough reason to review the series.
Shakugan No Shana is a story about a boy named Yuji Sakai and his eye opening experience to the real world. It starts when Yuji finds out he is dead (Woah! Didn’t see that coming….seriously, I didnt) and that in rather a short time he will vanish and all memories of him will disappear as well. Following this he becomes an acquaintance to the Flame haired red hot eyed hunter, and she is a flame haze. Flame Haze is a name given to those that protects the balance of the world or something along those lines and basically throughout the series more different magical terms and beings are introduced to you. Yuji then gives the name shana to the flame haze and over time they begin to become friends and go through numerous battles.
Shana combines the slice of life genre with your action/adventure genre so well that the action fans don’t even realize they’re watching those parts of confession and romance. Although we have seen this method done before (Mai Hime etc.) it still feels original in its own way and you don’t really get sick of it.
Although shana was a good series I cannot say it was great, at times it left me wondering where the plot line had gone and if we were going to find it. I also noticed that it was rather anti-climatic, the finale really only goes for a few episodes and I felt like I could have watched only the last 5 episodes and still understood most of the plot.
Now I have only seen the first season and because of that obviously this review is only on the first season. Following the first series there is a movie, ova, “Shakugan no shana second” and currently airing in japan is “Shakugan no shana S” .
So for those looking for a fairly decent series with solid character development and good animation Shakugan no Shana is probably for you, But if your a hardcore Otaku and you don’t enjoy anime that is unnecessarily complicated then maybe you can give Shana a miss.
Oh by the way, Did I mention that there are some siblings that are constantly making out!?!
There aren’t that many words you can use to really descripe FLCL (Furi Kuri, Fooly Cooly). It is definitely one of the more original series’ out there.
Honestly when I first watched FLCL I really wandered what the hell I had gotten myself into. It was just so different to anything I had seen before, The animation alone sets itself apart from others. Ohk now for those unaware FLCL Is a six part OVA (Original Video Animation) and it follows the story of s 12 year old boy by the name of Naoto. And the plotline goes something like this, There is a town with a giant Steam Iron in the middle of it and Naoto’s older brother’s Girlfriend starts flirting with him and then a girl on a scooter hits Naoto on his head with a guitar. The hit to the head causes Naoto to get a lump on his head that starts growing and then robots start coming out of it.
Now I understand you must be rather confused at this point of time, and you should be confused but in a good way. Even though the plot line sounds rather strange there, and dont get me wrong it is very strange, but that was just a vague overview and the series does make more sense. I might add that FLCL’s art and music is exceptional and that is really what it is remembered for, FLCL introduced a new art form that changed the way a lot of people see anime now. As I said FLCL was also very well known for its soundtrack as it featured the closing theme for the series “Ride on a shooting star” by The Pillows.
Therefore the series although strange, is a definite must for all true otaku’s and all those looking for a rather interesting yet fun series. Now I reviewed this series not only because its worth reviewing but also for the fact that Funimation recently made a statement that FLCL will be re-bundled on Blu-Ray! Thats right, looks like blu-ray is quickly becoming the future of entertainment for us anime folk and the rest of the modern world :P.