Unnecessary observations about Netflix’s FMA

These are the comments and observations that didn’t make it into my review, either because they weren’t appropriate for the ‘professional tone’ I was going for, or because there was no category to really put them.

  • In the beginning, audiences will be yelling “where is Al!?!” right when Al actually shows up to assist against Father Cornello.
  • Now currently re-watching the 2003 anime, and having already finished Brotherhood, I still had to google who “General Hakura” was, and was surprised that he was the go-to general character for the film. For a short while on my first viewing, I’d thought he was supposed to be Fuhrer King Bradley.
  • Alexander is a maremma.
  • Pacing problems are increasingly evident, as half-way through the film, we’re still talking about Al’s armour.
  • Nina and Alexander are as devastating in live action as they are in the anime.
  • Mustang’s new nickname should be “Colonel Tough Love”, given how he treats Ed.
  • Why is Hughes a Captain? Who cares – he’s still the best part of this film, regardless of any adaptional changes.
  • Some scenes mirror the anime series exactly:
    • Dinner at the Hughes’ (minus Gracia going into labour)
    • Discussion about Al and pies on a train (Al, however, is not present)
    • Mannequin soldiers meeting “papa” – and then eating him alive.
    • Mustang’s injury and monologue to Lust
  • Al is not once referred to as “Alphonse” throughout the entire movie.
  • There’s some confusion regarding where this is actually set. It seems to take place in the Eastern Command Centre, but themes (ie. Laboratory 5) are taken from Central. It’s possible the entire story was adjusted for the East.
  • There are no other homunculi in this film – we see only Gluttony, Lust and Envy. King Bradley is, however, mentioned (as Fuhrer) in passing.
  • None of the other major FMA characters make an appearance – Hawkeye is the only one from Mustang’s squad that has a role in the film, Scar is nowhere to be seen (not even mentioned), Izumi and her husband are also absent, all those from Xing are non-existent, the Ishvalans are mentioned and shown in passing, and aside from the Elrics, Cornello, Mustang, Marcoh and Tucker, there are no other alchemists whatsoever. Armstrong fans will be sorely disappointed.
  • He’s featured in promotional material, but Black Hayate does not at any point show up in the film. Not even as a passing figure in the background.

Star performers:

the-squad-fmaRyuta Sato for his performance as Maes Hughes. Easily the best part of this entire film, and the film loses its edge when Hughes is killed.

Yasuko Matsuyuki as Lust – I imagine playing a character whom has long sticks for fingers as the best of times was an interesting challenge to pull off, and she does it well.

Golden Raspberries should go to:

Shinji Uchiyama as Gluttony. Suffice to say, bringing this character to live-action film is apparently incredibly difficult. There were times where he made the film downright hysterical during scenes where tension was a key factor.

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