THE ORIGINAL FULL METAL ALCHEMIST has gone on to become one of the most widely known anime series out there. The fi rst series concluded on a different note to the original manga after a whole 52 episodes, and now Brotherhood sets itself up as a re-imagining of the much-loved series, and a much closer adaptation of the original manga.
For those of us unfamiliar with Full Metal Alchemist, the story follows the brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric, two teenagers who roam a somewhat steampunk and magical world. They do this both as state alchemists (think offi cial magicians and you won't be far off) tracking down dangerous criminals with magic abilities, and as brothers trying to reclaim their original bodies (Edward lost his arm in a botched attempt at resurrecting his mother, while his brother Alphonse lost his entire body, with his mind and soul bound into a suit of armour).
Fans of the original series will wonder what has changed. One change that is readily apparent is in the improved art direction, though the soundtrack isn't particularly great. The general mood of the series has lightened as well, and while that is good for showing a wide range of character emotions, it can feel jarring when the tone abruptly shifts from silly and lighthearted to dark and foreboding. Several voice actors have changed as well, but your take may vary as to whether it is a positive change or not.
Brotherhood also seems to assume that viewers are familiar with the series. It opens up by jumping straight into the action without really explaining much about the world, and the origin story of the Elric brothers isn't expanded on to the same degree. Fans of the original will feel the most at home here.
Overall, Brotherhood is a great reboot. Whether you are an old fan or interested in getting into the series, it is well worth a look.