Fullmetal Alchemist

Oh hey so I did a liveblog comparing the two Fullmetal Alchemist animes. You can read it over on Archive of Our Own because they will apparently let you post anything there.

For those not in the know, it’s common for anime adaptations of manga to be commissioned during the manga’s early run. Because manga is released much more slowly than anime episodes, these early animes often have to come up with their own plots and endings once they overtake what’s currently published.

Fullmetal Alchemist is rather infamous for taking major divergences from the source material, not just in content but in tone. It’s basically straight-up the showrunners’ AU fanfic. The manga proved popular enough to get a faithful adaptation commissioned when it was finished, and now there’s a lot of squabbling over which one is better. Usually, this consists of manga fans screaming that the original anime is objectively terrible and no one should ever watch it and original anime fans are dumb idiots with no taste. I rather strongly disagree, so I made this liveblog to see how the original anime holds up and examine the differences between the two.

I knew from the start that comparing them would be rather futile, as they’re so completely different it’s like comparing apples and oranges. That said, my god the new anime is terrible. I ended up bailing on it about a third of the way through because it was so terrible, but I don’t really care, because it’s terrible and I’m not wasting more hours of my life just to confirm that it’s terrible.

Pokeauthors: The Masqued Avenger

St Elmo’s Fire,

A new review has been posted to your story.

Story: Blood is Thicker than Water
Chapter: 1. Chapter 1

From: TheMasquedAvenger ( https://www.fanfiction.net/u/11189057/ )
Reply URL: https://www.fanfiction.net/pm2/post.php?rwid=265357138
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On the one hand, I appreciate the attempt to try and flesh out Hau’s character to something more than just happy-go-lucky just for the sake of being jolly that the game gives him. In this way, there is at least purpose behind his actions, and hearing his thoughts and fears is nice.

But, this story is really…dull. It’s like, are you even writing for fun anymore? It’s a lot of “event A happens, then event B, and so on.” Aside from giving the character motivation, you leave the rest of the actors in this tale desperately lacking in any sense of characterization. You tried so hard to make Hau not a cardboard cutout, that that’s exactly what you’ve done to everyone else in this. They’re just there to fill out the scenery.

Like others have said in the reviews, this is incredibly dialogue heavy. Though, I’m not going to tell you that you should add more descriptions of scenery or battles or crap like that. Sometimes that gets way too into the purple prose territory, which so many young authors fail to grasp that it can get ridiculous. But, I might also suggest that maybe try to put more feeling into the characters’ body language. Show us how Hau, Lillie, or anyone else feels because God knows these other characters need fleshing out in this story. Most of the language we convey is not in what we say, but how we say it. That’s where I think you can remedy the dialogue issues.

But, one thing I’m not going to do is complain about the OOC thing. I do think it’s important that writers, fanfic writers specifically, find other ways to read into the canon and find new meaning or reinterpret it in their own way. I think you did do that well, and anyone who’s calling you out for making Hau too OOC is just blowing smoke because duh, that was the whole point of this story.

So, all in all, this story is kind of “meh” for me. It’s got some good concepts behind it, but the execution is just dead and lifeless. I think some efforts in characterization and expression would make this story not look like it’s held together with chewing gum and paper clips.

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What’s interesting is that this is pretty much the opposite of what other critics have told me, so let’s see if this definitely completely impartial and not at all vengeful stranger whose only other review is on Farla can elaborate.


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