Anime Review - Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood OVA Collection

An extension of the TV series, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood OVA Collection recounts four previously untold tales of the brothers Elric.

Totalling a paltry 60 minutes, don't expect a massive amount of depth from this release. What FMA fans DO get is a glimpse at the stories behind the stories and some answers to previously unexplored areas.

"Amazing secrets and startling facts are exposed for the first time in the Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood OVA Collection, a new assortment of stories set in never-before-seen corners of the FMA universe. Join Ed and Al as they chase rumors of successful human transmutation into a web of shocking family drama and lies. Sneak a glance at hidden sides of Winry and Hawkeye’s personalities. Survive the frigid north with a young Izumi Curtis as she fights to gain a deeper understanding of alchemy. Explore the legendary friendship shared by Mustang and Hughes and watch them grow from military school rivals into hardened brothers transformed by the horrors of the Ishvalan War. You thought you knew the whole story. You thought all the tales ere told. The Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood OVA Collection offers proof: You Were wrong."

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is a strange beast, it is both a remake and not. It retells the original Fullmetal Alchemist story and basically begins exactly as the original series before taking a left turn to more closely follow the source material, the manga by Hiromu Arakawa. With this information in hand you can safely assume that if you've only watched the original series, you will still be able to follow these stories. They follow well established characters and the basic story of FMA.

Each of these four tales last for around 12-18 minutes and delve just below the surface of the FMA world. We learn how Mustang and Hughes became acquainted, the story behind Izumi's frigid alchemical training, why Winry has so many piercings and a story which is as close to Ed and Al's heart as any other. Although a 1 hour Blu Ray seems to be a little insignificant, the FMA:B OVA collection gives a fantastic insight into the stories behind the stories. Although not essential viewing by any means, this release gives a feeling that the FMA universe is alive, an organic thing that exists outside of what happens in the core series. Like Star Wars and Star Trek, in releasing titles such as this, Fullmetal Alchemist is becoming much more than a series, it is becoming a fantastically immersive universe.

The entire cast from the American and Japanese voice crew are back and reprise their respective roles which are performed to a very high standard. In fact, the entire release is fantastic quality. Just as with the original series and the later Brotherhood incarnation, the animation quality is fantastic. It has always been surprising to see a TV series with such high production values and this animation is beautifully realised in a crystal clear Blu Ray release. Studio Bones (GosickStar Driver) never fail to please with their stunning animation and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood OVA Collection is no exception.

Although not essential viewing, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood OVA Collection is a fantastic addition to the collection of any FMA fan. That said, if you are completely new to the world of FMA you should get through the series first. If you haven't watched any FMA, Madman are releasing the complete collection of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood in October so you have no excuse!

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood OVA collection is available now on Blu Ray and DVD from Madman. It is also available digitally through iTunes and from Bigpond Movies.


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