1. notleia says:

    Fullmetal Alchemist is probably the best way to get started in anime, or to start others in anime. The western setting makes it more accessible to the noobs, but yeah, there’s a Japanese understanding of the world underneath it all.
    I’m a subtitle snob, too, but Funimation generally does an excellent job for dubbing. There’s a reason they’re one of the very few games in town for dubbed imports.
    I’ll also plug “Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit” (or Seirei no Moribito) as another good anime with a good dub. It’s not Funimation, it’s been traded around since Geneon went splat, but according to the internet, it’s on Hulu now. (GENEON WHYYYYY? Why did you have to fold so I can’t find The Story of Saiunkoku? Except you had a Barbie voice actor play the main character so I don’t know if I can trust the dub.)

    • Audie says:

      I mostly favor subs, but there are a couple of exceptions. FMA is one of them, the other is Trigun, and I do notice that both have a very Western-like setting to them, though it doesn’t hurt that the dub work is also very good.

  2. I had so many friends who raved about FMA:B that a few months ago I decided to watch it. I got through about a dozen episodes and had to bail, because it was just too viscerally gruesome and violent for me (and I don’t consider myself particularly wimpy in that regard, either). I adored Al — what a shock to hear his voice for the first time! — and sympathized with Ed’s quest, and I could see there was a fantastically well-plotted and clever story behind it all, but in the end I was too haunted by the stuff I’d already seen to want to put more of it in my head.

    So yeah. Brilliant, but very much one of these Your Mileage May Vary things.

    (Also, as you mentioned, SHOU TUCKER. WHAT EVEN. And I haven’t got over the scene with a certain character and a phone booth, either.)

    • Audie says:

      Yeah, this show can give some serious gut punches. And it’s a little strange that the show has one better examples in anime of a father, as well as the worst.

  3. Kessie says:

    I’ll watch this series someday. I tried to watch the original series. I got as far as the episode with the little girl and the dog, and I was done. That part is in Brotherhood, too, which is the main thing keeping me from watching it. As a mother, it’s beyond horrifying for me.

    • notleia says:

      Brotherhood keeps the pace pretty tight so they can fit the whole story in 60-some episodes, so Nina shows up in Ep 4, IIRC.

    • Audie says:

      I can understand that. I don’t think the show in any way tries to either make light of or approve what happens in that scene. Still, that doesn’t make it any less an unsettling thing for anyone to do.

  4. Becky Smith says:

    Great review. I’ve only made it halfway through the series so far but all the themes you talked about a very evident within the first few episodes. I love how you brought out the theme of redemption and compared it to what true redemption means for the sinner. Thank you!

  5. KACI HILL says:

    I’ll admit this is the anime that made me like anime, and it was the third anime I’d tried. The first two were…well, Inuyasha is like the show that won’t commit and DeathNote….gets weird after the halfway point. (I got to Avatar later, and that’s western.) I watched FMA, then Brotherhood, back to back. I’ve watched a stack since, and so far still probably my favorite.

What do you think?