Thursday, March 19, 2015

Show Review: Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood

 Image result for fma brotherhood

Summary: Brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric continue their search for the Philosopher's Stone, hoping to restore their bodies, which were lost when they attempted to use their alchemy skills to resurrect their deceased mother. Edward, who lost only limbs, joins the State Military, which gives him the freedom to continue the search as he tries to restore his brother, whose soul is tethered to earth by a suit of armor. However, Edward and Alphonse are not the only ones seeking the powerful stone. And as they search, they learn of a plot to transmute the entire country for reasons they cannot comprehend.

Thoughts: First, while the summary gives away quite a bit I assure you, there's more to it! Plus most people figure out this much early on. 
 Secondly, For those of you who haven't seen either, Brotherhood does not continue the original 2003 Full Metal Alchemist but is in fact a reboot that follows the manga much more faithfully. The 2003 version purposefully differed from the original story at the author's request since she wanted different ending for both forms of media. I've only seen the first few episodes of the old one and I can assure you it's very different, but more on that in another post.
  I love this show! I put off watching it for a long time because I tend to have an aversion to really-popular-and-long shows (especially animes*) but this was one show that had truly earned that popularity. The characters are so deep and well rounded out, the plot is...confusing at times, especially for anyone who hasn't seen an anime before, but the twists and surprises are amazing! For your sakes I won't start ranting on the characters but I want you to know that the brothers are adorable and Ed is admirable in his determination and lovable in his childishness! While Al is just plain cute despite being a big hulking piece of armor! On a side note, I suggest the sub. I admit I am biased for the most part when it comes to subs (original Japanese language with subtitles) vs Dub (English dubbed) but the voice acting over there is so much better! And I have accounts from three other people who had never watched subs before saying that they loved the sub and can't stand the obnoxious acting in the dub. I realize that people worked hard to voice over and translate this show and that there are plenty of people who have already watched the dub and even liked it, but there is no comparing the emotion packed into every single syllable of each individual character that can only be found in the sub. That's just my personal opinion and those who have gone through the trouble of watching the sub. Needless to say, I was nearly in tears by the end which was everything and so much more any action loving fan desires!
(*Anime is the term for Japanese cartoons. Find more Here.)

Content: Very little, surprisingly, for such a popular anime. There is language, there always is. If you are familiar with anime you know that most of the subs translate into D*** and B****** and never really get any worse since theses are probably not as terrible of words they are over here. There is a lot of violence and blood goes flying everywhere, sometimes for comedy, sometimes in an effort to make you feel as much as the character does (which works) but be aware, this isn't for the squeamish! A few of the girls are dressed a little skimpily but it's not played on and almost unnoticeable. There are several scenes where a boy is seen naked, completely from behind and partially from the front. Also a girl starts taking off her shirt at one point but stops when she realizes there is someone else in the room. The worst is probably from the character called Lust (go figure) where a short conversation of breasts is sparked and there is a moment of drawing attention there. Also there is a character with no known gender but most people believe him to be a boy (I do). Aside from this there are a few crude jokes made but it's all very minor. In fact, most of the list above was either minor, brief, or unnoticed by the characters. Over all, a very clean show and fine to watch with kids if slightly monitored.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Show Review: Lost

Summary: The survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 were 1,000 miles off course when they crashed on a lush, mysterious island. Each person possesses a shocking secret, but they've got nothing on the island itself, which harbors a monstrous security system, a series of underground bunkers and a group of violent survivalists hidden in the shadows.

 Thoughts: Ok, few people with TV haven't at least heard of the impact LOST made on American Television. The directors brilliantly decided to simply follow where the story lead and pretty much made it all up as they went, season by season. The acting was superb, the characters...well, they started out mysterious but after spending 120 episodes with them you become familiar enough to know who you like and who grates on your nerves by simply standing there. For anyone to feel that way about fictional characters, you know they had to be pretty well developed (even if you didn't like their developments). I won't fill this up with ramblings of who I did and didn't like since I don't want to give out preconceived ideas (I'll try to restrain from this most of the time but may just slip a little for favorites!) but I'm pretty sure everyone found someone likable in the main group which means there ought to be someone for everyone's tastes. And Hurley, it's impossible to not at least like Hurley. Sorry, I won't start. Point being, the characters are well done. The plot on the other interesting. The things that get resolved and the things that get dropped mostly counter-balance each other, after all most of the ideas, when first introduced, were only ideas with no real direction yet. Some of the results are disappointing and others feel a little slap-dash and unbelievable (it's all fictional obviously, I simply mean it doesn't fit with the story). But because you never know what to expect it keeps things interesting and fresh. 

Content: Oh boy! Well, aside from a plethora of colorful words (thank you Sawyer...and a few others, but mostly Sawyer) that range all over though Son of a ***** was usually the worst it ever got, there were plenty of skip-scenes, if you know what I mean. Small (usually) scenes of intimacy are shown usually in flashbacks between the married Korean couple, and the unmarried Sawyer (again) and Kate among a few others and there is a character who is unwed and pregnant though nothing is actually shown. Also drugs are talked about a lot and openly used on screen but never in the light of something good. In the present times (they go all over in time here!) you get even more scenes mostly still with Sawyer and Kate but not just them. And then the violence. Dead bodies galore and, because the main character is a doctor, we get plenty of bloody surgical scenes and stitching people up. We have scenes of torture that don't usually get too terrible but imply much more. It's quite a list and fluctuates with amounts per episode, but most can be skipped and this show can be watched with a younger audience if they are mature enough to not copy certain characters language and the adults present are good at skipping scenes. It can be a very enjoyable show over all if you manage to simply muscle past all that!