Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood : Season 4

Season #: 1, 2, 4
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Image
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  1. First Review
  2. Second Review
  3. Third Review
  4. Fourth Review

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  • Summary: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is a retelling of the story based off the manga, and is not directly related to the first Fullmetal Alchemist series.

    Edward and Alphonse Elric are two brothers living in a world where the practice of alchemy flourishes. After their mother passes away, the
    Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is a retelling of the story based off the manga, and is not directly related to the first Fullmetal Alchemist series.

    Edward and Alphonse Elric are two brothers living in a world where the practice of alchemy flourishes. After their mother passes away, the brothers work together to try and bring her back using alchemy, but without success. Their failure results in Edward losing his left leg and right arm, while Alphonse loses his entire body and has his soul attached to a suit of armor. Years later, they join the military for the opportunity to locate the Philosopher's Stone; the one thing that is capable of restoring their bodies.

    Japanese Version
    This guide covers the English version. For the Japanese version, go to: Hagane no Renkinjutsushi: Fullmetal Alchemist

    Opening Themes

    eps
    (01-14) -- "again" by YUI
    (15-26) -- "Hologram" by NICO Touches the Walls
    (27-38) -- "Golden Time Lover" by Sukima Switch
    (39-??) -- "Period" by Chemistry

    Closing Themes

    eps
    (01-14) -- "Lie" by SID
    (15-26) -- "LET IT OUT" by Miho Fukuhara
    (27-38) -- "Tied Hands" by Lil'B
    (39-??) -- "Shunkan Sentimental" by SCANDAL
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  • Genre(s): Animation, Action & Adventure, Suspense
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Mar 26, 2014
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Review for Seasons 4 & 5:

    Well that was Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. What started out as an alright anime, FMAB had various ups and downs, building up to a final 25 episode run that is nothing short of fantastic. Seriously, if I were to assemble a top ten list, most of my material would come from the final two Seasons.

    Topping of the theoretical list is undoubtedly the penultimate, "The Other Side of the Gateway". This is the episode I have been looking forward to for a long time. For one thing, this was Ed's time to really shine for the first time in the series. He's had some solid fight sequences before; it's just that it seems the supporting cast has been fighting most of the major battles. Al's powerful sacrifice the previous episode had Ed epically beat down father with nothing but his fists. The rest of the episode showcases FMAB's best dramatic moment ever. It wasn't the most action-heavy episode but absolutely everything was pitch perfect, from the voice acting, music, to the writing. FMAB's writing is usually just alright, which may have been compromised to fit the dub, but this episode had me completely tuned in, constantly waiting for the next bit of dialogue. The culmination of Ed giving up his alchemy in the end was an appropriate decision for this character. Even when given the opportunity, Ed still feels that thousands of people's lives shouldn't be wasted on his own selfish needs. Ed's strong sense of justice was evident to the bitter end.

    "The Other Side of the Gateway" was the true finale of the show, while "Journey's End" was a nice and sweet epilogue to give us some closure. However, at the same time, I'm not entirely sure this episode was necessary. Hohenheim's death at the end of the previous episode at the dying seconds would have been a nice enough send off for me. Like, this episode plays out like the kinds of things you'd think about after ending a series. Although, it was nice in way since it felt like a love letter from the creators to its fans. Really, despite being perhaps unnecessary, the only problem I've had with the episode was the F├╝hrer's wife never figuring out about her husband. It was something I was hoping would pay off after the excellent "The Return of the Fuhrer". Otherwise, this episode gives us potential continuation possibilities which I'm not sure would be a good or bad thing. Notwithstanding, solid episode all around, just not as breakneck magnificent as some of the other episodes found in these two Seasons.

    Going back a bit, it was immediately evident Seasons 4 and 5 would be something huge. The first episode, "Homunculus (The Dwarf in the Flask)", answered our pressing questions in a gripping flashback. Even though the flashback is a huge part of the episode, it moves at a brisk pace, thanks to its ability to let the audience make connections as the big revelation takes place.

    And, phew, how about Al's fight against Kimblee and Pride in the Season 4 finale, "Combined Strength"? Saying the animation was sharp in that long-cut is an understatement. The power of the Philosopher's Stone allowed Al to be a total badass. This is probably the best fight scene the show has ever pulled off.

    Season 5 was brilliant but I have a bone to pick with "He Who Would Swallow God". "Eye of Heaven, Gateway of Earth" had an extreme finale where father turns titan size and kills everyone in town. But then, within ten minutes of "He Who Would Swallow God", everyone came back to life and Father was back to normal size. It's justified plot-wise, but when you have a huge cliffhanger where everyone dies, I expect that kind of thing to have ramifications. Things weren't exactly hunky dory afterwords but it feels like they realized they've went to far and shrunk the scale a bit. FMAB more than redeems itself later on but "He Who Would Swallow God" was a point where I was wondering what the hell the director was thinking.

    Otherwise, there's almost nothing I'd change about this final stretch. It's unbelievable how much the series picked up after the plodding Season 3. The last chunk of episodes was something else. Most of the characterization pays off in the end, and everything is given a great sense of closure. I've had complaints coming out the ears for this show before; the fact that the ending makes me forget a lot of that and have good feelings about the series as the whole is a phenomenal achievement. The series wasn't always perfect, but when I think of FMAB, I'll have good feelings about the series, thanks, in a large part, to the wonderful ending.
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