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Started watching Full Metal Alchemist on Netflix, as i heard it was a really good series.

It starts off slowly, but it did pick up, and now i'm really getting into it. Then, Netflix tells me that they are removing FMA on the 31st Dec?! What the fuck? So i've got nearly 50 episodes of this thing to watch in half a month....probably not going to manage that.

Oh well, I am enjoying it, although watching Ed going into fights like:

 

5yg4my.jpg.d09e3c86836658af44c1f39aee713c56.jpg

is very frustrating.

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1 minute ago, bob said:

Started watching Full Metal Alchemist on Netflix, as i heard it was a really good series.

It starts off slowly, but it did pick up, and now i'm really getting into it. Then, Netflix tells me that they are removing FMA on the 31st Dec?! What the fuck? So i've got nearly 50 episodes of this thing to watch in half a month....probably not going to manage that.

Oh well, I am enjoying it, although watching Ed going into fights like:

 

5yg4my.jpg.d09e3c86836658af44c1f39aee713c56.jpg

is very frustrating.

Which Fullmetal? Original or Brotherhood?

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4 minutes ago, bob said:

Original.

Ah right. I’ll definitely recommend watching Brotherhood as well at some point. The original is good but Brotherhood is amazing.

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3 hours ago, bob said:

Original.

Yeah, I'd definitely second what @Happenstance said and recommend Brotherhood -- for me it's comfortably in my three favourite anime series. 

I haven't watched all of the original Fullmetal Alchemist, but it does take a bit more time with setting things up...before they ran out of material and started with the filler/going their own way with the anime. I say this just in case you don't gel with FMA, because FMA:B is a faithful adaptation made after the manga was completed, so they're two shows which start in the same place, have a lot of overlap in cast, but diverge pretty noticeably at a point. If you ever do want to check out Brotherhood, I think it moved from Netflix to Funimation just a few months back. 

Still, curious to hear you get on with it! I should probably get back to the original series at some point :p

Edited by Julius

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I assumed it was just a sequel, is it not?

If it's a remake, and it's better, then maybe I shouldn't waste my time with the original?

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4 minutes ago, bob said:

I assumed it was just a sequel, is it not?

If it's a remake, and it's better, then maybe I shouldn't waste my time with the original?

Brotherhood is roughly the same up to about ep 15 if I remember right then diverges from the original and follows the manga story.

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Well that's confusing. I'm on episode 26, so I guess I'm stuck watching this branch.

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30 minutes ago, bob said:

Well that's confusing. I'm on episode 26, so I guess I'm stuck watching this branch.

It's still worth it so have fun.

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Episode 15 of Brotherhood is, like, episode 30 of the 2003 series.

Nevertheless, it's not a 1:1 thing. Several major, core aspects of each series are very different, even within those early episodes. It's like if the animation team only had access to a third of the manuscript, and then made up the rest and filled in the blanks themselves (because that's roughly what happened).

So sure, stick with the 2003 series until the end, and then eventually check out Brotherhood. That's how it happened for me.

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42 minutes ago, Jonnas said:

...I get the feeling there's going to be a Final Season Part 3.

giphy.webp?cid=6c09b952685b47b55fd947f4f

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Finished the second season of Dr Stone. I certainly recommend.

 

Seeing a fair bit of love for Goblin Slayer I thought I'd give that a crack. It seemed it was going to go the way of a traditional fantasy-esque anime, got a few "bastards" and was expecting some "shit" to come later also.... Then came the goblin rape. Which was certainly a twist. I'm interested to see how dark this thing may go.

 

Plus I've found the Funimation app is available from the eShop, so that's gone straight on the Switch and will mean quicker watching as I get lazy casting my phone to the TV

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So I finished watching Full Metal Alchemist on Netflix a full two days before they removed it, and it was pretty good. A satisfactory ending, and fairly gripping all the way through with not much fluff.

Obviously Netflix have removed it now, but I wouldn't recommend the subs they have on there. I was watching the dubbed version, but had the subtitles on at the same time, and they were atrocious - completely different from the dub most of the time, and seemingly different from what was actually going on in the plot at times.

I don't know whether to watch Brotherhood now or not, but I did see they have a Full Metal Alchemist movie on Netflix. Has anyone watched that? The trailer looked very true to the anime in terms of look (Alphonse looked exactly right).

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The live action movie was pretty terrible. Good for a laugh though.

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I mean, sort of. I think Bleach took the "lets just constantly scale everyone up" thing to an extreme, it's only one step removed from DBZ in that regard.

Basically in Bleach when a fight starts, person A will appear to be significantly stronger than person B. Person B will then reveal that they were much stronger all along and win the fight. Literally every single fight in the second half of the story followed this pattern.

That said, one thing Bleach really had going for it before it hit filler-hell, was just straight up dripping with style. So if they bring that back, and trim all the excess, it could be one gorgeous production at least.

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I mean, sort of. I think Bleach took the "lets just constantly scale everyone up" thing to an extreme, it's only one step removed from DBZ in that regard.
Basically in Bleach when a fight starts, person A will appear to be significantly stronger than person B. Person B will then reveal that they were much stronger all along and win the fight. Literally every single fight in the second half of the story followed this pattern.
That said, one thing Bleach really had going for it before it hit filler-hell, was just straight up dripping with style. So if they bring that back, and trim all the excess, it could be one gorgeous production at least.
Let's not forget that Ichigo also turned up to Soul Society at the beginning as a complete novice then near enough wrecked everyone. My memory is fuzzy but I seem to remember that happening...

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Started watching Attack on Titan S4.

Remembered all the issues I have with the show in general. All of the people look the same - I cannot work out what it going on, or who is who. Why do they all have the exact same face?

Once all the titans start fighting each other, the animation is incredible, but I think they're trying to save money or something by having all the characters wear the same thing and all look the same.

Also, at the beginning of one of the episodes, they cheaped out and didn't bother to animate some Titans attacking the group of protagonists, instead just showing a weird slideshow of the main dude looking scared, then describing what happened afterwards. I was really confused.

Also, they keep skipping backwards and forwards in time, with no mention of when they're doing it. Add in constant flashbacks all the time, and it's just so confusing.

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Ok, just watched episode 5, and cool shit started happening again, so all is forgiven.

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Started Monster on Tuesday...and I've just finished it. I had a strong feeling it'd be up my alley going in, and yet it still blew me away. Bit of a joke that this isn't available on any streaming platform in the UK or (from what I could tell) even the US right now, but luckily found a playlist on YouTube like I did with Berserk last year. If you're into mystery thrillers, especially one which drags up the great age-old question of what is good and what is bad, I couldn't recommend it enough. It's an absolute masterpiece, I'll definitely be picking up the manga to put it on my shelves at some point down the road, and I look forward to checking out more of Urasawa's works. Next is probably his other most well-known work in 20th Century Boys. 

Before getting to Monster, last weekend I finally finished watching My Hero Academia Season 5, taking me a bit over a month to do so because it's just such a weak season without any real hook in its opening half a season  I had read past the point I imagined that this season would end on in the manga, so wasn't too surprised by the first arc of the season, but I can't believe that they decided to pad it out even more and have that one arc essentially take up the entire first half of the season. Only one thing of real note happens which will have serious implications down the road in that arc, so it was a real head in hands moment.

And it's a shame, because as almost happened with me (knowing full well what was coming in the second half of the season), and as I know happened with some of my friends, the temptation to leave this by the wayside was very real, despite the second half of the season ending up being superb. This is where almost all of the meaningful character development in the season happens, and they absolutely nailed their adaptation of one of my favourite parts of the manga. 

Spoiler

Origin episodes are the best, so naturally I'm referring to Tenko Shimura: Origin and Tomura Shigaraki: Origin. Easily some of the most twisted and darker stuff in My Hero (at least from where I'd read up to, which is towards the end of the arc following My Villain Academia).

Music was great as always, no real surprise there as Yuki Hayashi rarely misses. Massive missed opportunity by the producers to not at least change the animated sequences for the OP for the final arc of the season in my opinion. A season of two very different halves for me. 

Also, not sure if anyone saw this, but I think it's worth sharing: Horikoshi shared last month that, should things go smoothly, My Hero Academia's manga will likely finish by the end of 2022. 

...which, naturally, is to say it will finish in 2023.

Still I can imagine room for another spin-off (maybe a Vigilantes anime adaptation?) or sequel series down the road, but it's pretty crazy and a huge missed opportunity for me that so much of the story has taken place in the students' first year at U.A.. From what I've seen elsewhere some aren't happy with how the manga has seemingly gone since I stopped reading it last year towards the end of the next arc in the anime, so not sure how keen I am to catch up, but the fact that it might be finished being adapted by 2024 is insane to me. 

They did also confirm that Season 6 is coming (in other news, water is wet), that it's coming in Fall 2022, and we also have the first PV. 

Re-Destro's theme is fantastic. 

Lastly, I've been keeping up-to-date with Attack on Titan: The Final Season Part 2. We're only three episodes in, but so far, so great!

Nervous about where the show will end up finishing given the general atmosphere around how the manga ended (I've avoided spoilers, but definitely heard a few impressions sharing the general sentiment of disappointment), but the music is great, animation is brilliant, and it's still gripping. Looking forward to seeing where it goes from here! 

Now to figure out what to watch next...

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On 23/01/2022 at 11:44 PM, Julius said:

Started Monster on Tuesday...and I've just finished it. I had a strong feeling it'd be up my alley going in, and yet it still blew me away

Excellent series. Rewatched a few episodes last year, and it might be better on a rewatch! The early episodes with Grimmer get even better when you know his backstory from the start.

On 23/01/2022 at 11:44 PM, Julius said:

I finally finished watching My Hero Academia Season 5, taking me a bit over a month to do so because it's just such a weak season without any real hook in its opening half a season.

[...]

And it's a shame, because as almost happened with me (knowing full well what was coming in the second half of the season), and as I know happened with some of my friends, the temptation to leave this by the wayside was very real, despite the second half of the season ending up being superb.

Funny, because I felt the opposite. The first half of the season was fine to me (the only criticism being that this kind of friendly competition arc should've happened about one or two seasons ago), but the second half was an absolute mess.

Spoiler

The Endeavor Internship Arc might be the most poorly constructed arc in the series so far. It starts with Hawks giving us the hook for who the main villains might be (but no, he's actually talking about next season. "The next season is the good one, guys!" is a terrible message to send when there's two arcs before the current season is done), then we get a lot of talking about how Deku, Bakugou, and Todoroki  can improve their skills, and they do... off-screen, apparently. The Todoroki family drama is the only good part of this arc, and even that part has to deal with "Ending", the worst villain this series has ever produced. Oh, and of course this arc finds some room to include a crazy prophetic hobo (a trope I hate), because of course it did. This would easily be the worst arc in the series if it weren't for Endeavor's family.

The MVA arc is better, but even that gets mishandled spectacularly. First there was the timeline switch they pulled on its audience which they clearly didn't think through, as they showed Twice, Toga, et al running the Meta-Liberation Army earlier than they should. When we actually flash back, and as an anime-only, I could immediately tell they were rushing through manga content in the very first episode of that arc, because it felt like I had to digest three chapters of exposition before the episode's break. And then they apparently cut some content on top of that as well (I hear the manga focused a lot more on Spinner and Re-Destro than the Anime did, which wouldn't surprise me). The whole thing felt so rushed.

Oh, and the typical recap episode at the start of every season got smooshed into the last episode of the season. Saving it for next season? Why would we do that?

The Shigaraki backstory was 5 stars though, as was Aizawa dealing with Shirakumo. It helps that they're self contained mini-arcs that can be enjoyed independently of the main storyline.

I say all of that as an Anime-only. I have to hope the 6th season gets back on track.

On 23/01/2022 at 11:44 PM, Julius said:

Lastly, I've been keeping up-to-date with Attack on Titan: The Final Season Part 2. We're only three episodes in, but so far, so great!

Nervous about where the show will end up finishing given the general atmosphere around how the manga ended (I've avoided spoilers, but definitely heard a few impressions sharing the general sentiment of disappointment),

There was a certain cliffhanger from the Manga that the Anime was kind enough to put in the middle of an episode. I swear to you, our heads were spinning for a month!

The AOT ending was contentious because of certain details. A similar thing happened with Season 3 Part 1, which was poorly received when it was running in the manga: as a result, the pace and timeline of events in the Anime was entirely different from the Manga. So I'm wondering if they'll change anything in the ending.

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Last night's episode of Attack on Titan: Season 4 Part 2 was superb. Took one of my favourite storytelling tropes, which can be so easily done wrong, and executed almost flawlessly. 

Also started Jujutsu Kaisen. 5 episodes in, fight animations are insanely good, really liking the cast and story so far. It's like the demon-hunting aspect of Demon Slayer crossed with a more serious take on the exorcism aspect of Mob Psycho which just so happens to be eye candy. 

11 hours ago, Jonnas said:

Excellent series. Rewatched a few episodes last year, and it might be better on a rewatch! The early episodes with Grimmer get even better when you know his backstory from the start.

Yeah, definitely got that feeling going through that it would hold up well to a rewatch. I've seen some people online (after I completed my watch) complaining about the pacing, and while I would agree that it's a bit slow early on and at other points, I was still forcing it down by the shovelful, I think the core premise and wanting to see what happens to these characters next is more than enough to have that effect.

Then again, I've seen people complain about the pacing of Steins;Gate and drop off before things really pick up, which I find insane. When I read things like that I think some people online just confuse bad pacing with something not grabbing you and getting you immediately invested, which is fine, but a story starting slow and picking up can also be a calculated decision ::shrug:

Anyways, I've been keeping an eye out for Volume 1 of the Perfect Edition of 20th Century Boys recently as it has been out of stock for a short time here in the UK (a lot of places only had a European language version, if lucky). Set up a bunch of notifications for when the English version came back in stock (as the only English version available when I checked on Friday was secondhand on eBay...for £99.99), and luckily got the notification yesterday that it was back in stock somewhere, so the volume I found was hardest to locate is on the way :D won't mess around waiting too long to get the rest, will probably pick them all up when I'm next paid. Very much looking forward to giving it a read!

11 hours ago, Jonnas said:

Funny, because I felt the opposite. The first half of the season was fine to me (the only criticism being that this kind of friendly competition arc should've happened about one or two seasons ago), but the second half was an absolute mess.

  MHA - 2nd Half of Season 5 (Reveal hidden contents)

The Endeavor Internship Arc might be the most poorly constructed arc in the series so far. It starts with Hawks giving us the hook for who the main villains might be (but no, he's actually talking about next season. "The next season is the good one, guys!" is a terrible message to send when there's two arcs before the current season is done), then we get a lot of talking about how Deku, Bakugou, and Todoroki  can improve their skills, and they do... off-screen, apparently. The Todoroki family drama is the only good part of this arc, and even that part has to deal with "Ending", the worst villain this series has ever produced. Oh, and of course this arc finds some room to include a crazy prophetic hobo (a trope I hate), because of course it did. This would easily be the worst arc in the series if it weren't for Endeavor's family.

The MVA arc is better, but even that gets mishandled spectacularly. First there was the timeline switch they pulled on its audience which they clearly didn't think through, as they showed Twice, Toga, et al running the Meta-Liberation Army earlier than they should. When we actually flash back, and as an anime-only, I could immediately tell they were rushing through manga content in the very first episode of that arc, because it felt like I had to digest three chapters of exposition before the episode's break. And then they apparently cut some content on top of that as well (I hear the manga focused a lot more on Spinner and Re-Destro than the Anime did, which wouldn't surprise me). The whole thing felt so rushed.

Oh, and the typical recap episode at the start of every season got smooshed into the last episode of the season. Saving it for next season? Why would we do that?

The Shigaraki backstory was 5 stars though, as was Aizawa dealing with Shirakumo. It helps that they're self contained mini-arcs that can be enjoyed independently of the main storyline.

I say all of that as an Anime-only. I have to hope the 6th season gets back on track.

It's funny, because I actually find it hard to disagree with you regarding the second half of the season being a mess, like you say the arcs themselves feel very disconnected and there isn't that flow between arcs which earlier seasons definitely had, but a lot of that could be down to them rearranging some of the arcs during the adaptation of the manga for Season 5. For example, something which is only the focus for a single episode here in the anime didn't happen in the manga until the next arc that's being adapted for the anime, and MVA was bumped up ahead of the Agency arc. I have no clue why they did that, and while I don't think the pacing of it was all that better in the manga from what I remember, it definitely wasn't quite as disjointed as I agree it was in the anime. 

The actual contents of the arcs themselves were adapted well enough from the manga I feel (*cries in Season 4*), but so much of it is setting up the scale and story of the next arc, which is why I think Horikoshi resorted to bouncing around a lot more. Which is a shame, because he now seems to be sprinting towards the end, and from everything I've heard, the quality and pacing of the manga has tanked recently. 

Something you touched on is that some of the arcs were clearly rushed when adapted from the manga (MVA), which I totally agree with, and that's where I think my issue lies with the first half of the season. Only one thing of real consequence for the overall story and our protagonist happens in the joint training arc itself, which is...

Spoiler

...Deku getting Black whip. 

So, for me, that the first half of the season was as long as it was, and padded out with anime-original content and the like just to make it last the length of a cour before moving onto the later arcs was an atrocious decision in my opinion. Part of it you can point to the source material for - the joint training arc should really have been earlier in the manga - but shuffling arcs around is entirely unnecessary.

I think the problem with My Hero to some extent is that it came out between the time of everyone questioning what would replace the Big Three™ and much more effective modern adaptations of manga where filler isn't all that necessary, like Demon Slayer and Jujutsu Kaisen, both of which are making use of movies to adapt some of their arcs and look even better, whereas My Hero has been stuck on producing non-canonical movies and for whatever reason adding filler episodes when it's already far behind the manga as things are anyways.

Honestly, I think we'll end up looking back and thinking it's probably one of the most poorly managed major manga-to-anime adaptations of the last few years, and that each season feels like it's sliding in comparison to the last - and then hearing that the manga is also now sliding in quality and pacing too - is a real shame. So much wasted potential. 

The most damning thing I can say about Season 5 is that it's the first time after catching up on the anime that I have very little desire to catch up on the manga, which I usually do with My Hero. 

11 hours ago, Jonnas said:

There was a certain cliffhanger from the Manga that the Anime was kind enough to put in the middle of an episode. I swear to you, our heads were spinning for a month!

The AOT ending was contentious because of certain details. A similar thing happened with Season 3 Part 1, which was poorly received when it was running in the manga: as a result, the pace and timeline of events in the Anime was entirely different from the Manga. So I'm wondering if they'll change anything in the ending.

Oh man, that must have been fun :laughing:

Had no idea about the changes made in Season 3 Part 1 from the manga, but from the sounds of it, I'm guessing those changes were for the better? 

And it's funny you mention that you wonder if they'll change things from the ending in the anime, because tangentially related, something I've been wondering about a fair bit lately (not strictly in regards to AoT, though it came about after hearing vague thoughts on the manga ending) is how much the storytelling process might change for writers and mangaka when they see their works getting adapted, while they themselves are still in the process of telling the story.

Prior to an adaptation all they really have to go off is their own storytelling methods, research, etc., whereas once their work is being adapted, I wonder if they might also change some of their storytelling decisions - subconsciously, but honestly maybe even consciously? - based on how it could be adapted: making fights bigger and badder, adding more points of drama, etc. They also have a library of music to tune into that wasn't there before to influence them before an adaptation started, a lot more pressure on their storytelling (in a lot of cases a much larger fanbase to deal with, not to mention the livelihoods of those actually adapting their works - especially so in the case of manga-to-anime adaptations), and also a voice and visual physicality to attach to their characters which they never had before. I could see how it might influence their storytelling to a degree, because they basically have another storyteller's voice telling (normally the same story), but through a different medium. 

Not strictly anime/manga related, but it's just been on my mind a lot :p

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