- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
- Subtitles: English
- Region: A
- Rating: TV-14
- Discs: 2
- Studio: Funimation
- Blu-ray Release Date: December 28, 2010
- List Price: $54.98
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood — Part 3 continues the Fullmetal story, picking up from the end of Part 2 and covers episodes 26 through 39 of the series. For those unfamiliar with the series, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood revisits the popular anime series, not with a new story or a reworking, but by retracing the original manga by Hiromu Arakawa more closely than the original anime adaptation. Although most viewers familiar with the original Fullmetal Alchemist anime series will find many similarities in the two series, the differences become more apparent further into the story.
Fullmetal Alchemist takes place in world where alchemy has been elevated into a high science. Alchemists are of the highest regard in society and rank as high as the highest military leaders. They are highly sought after for the powers they posses.
The story follows the brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric whose disregard for Alchemy’s one forbidden act — transmutation of the dead — leaves Ed with half of his limbs torn from his body and Al’s soul attached to a lifeless suit of armor. Together the two brothers set out to restore themselves, but they need to find a mystical relic known as the Philosopher’s Stone in order to do it.
But, they are not the only ones on the hunt for the powerful relic. The corrupt State Military is after the stone and so are odd beings known as Homonuculi that the brothers are constantly at battle with. They must also face the challenge of powerful alchemists from far and wide all on the hunt to possess the Philosopher’s Stone.
After darkening the tone of the series in Part 2 as the brothers and their childhood friend Winry faced deaths of close friends, the uncovering of painful secrets from their pasts, the challenge of an old nemesis, Scar, an onslaught of Homonuculi, and an increasing plot from within their own military to undo their progress and control the Philosopher’s Stone, the series continues its melancholy turn in Part 3, another twist on the road that is the addictive world of Fullmetal Alchemist.
The military is now fully corrupted and run by the Fuhrer, a chimera using the military to search for the fabled Philosopher’s Stone. Edward and Alphonse are being held back by the corrupt government as are their allies and they must be careful of their every move fearing for the safety of the one person they care for the most, Winry.
The plot thickens, the restless search continues, and the character development deepens in this, the best installment of Fullmetal Alchemist to hit on Blu-ray yet.
The AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 encoding of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood — Part 3 shows some visible signs of aliasing in jaggies around the edges of the line art and some very slight motion judder, but overall the image looks a bit stronger than the previous editions on Blu-ray, with sharper line art and a little less video noise.
Purists will want to stick to the Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Stereo lossless mix while watching Brotherhood. It has wide stereo panning and decent dynamics, although it does sound a bit dry in comparison to the much more ambient English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 dub. The English 5.1 mix is a moderately aggressive with some use of the surrounds for discrete sound effects and relatively deep lows, but high frequencies are a bit harsh.
The two audio commentaries are the only truly worthwhile supplements in this release. Everything else is tacked on, like textless theme songs and more Funimation trailers.
The supplements provided with this release are:
- Episode 28 Commentary
- Episode 36 Commentary
- Textless Opening Song — “Golden Time Lover”
- Textless Closing Song — “Tsunaida Te”
- One Piece
- Gun X Sword
- Sands of Destruction
- Tower of Druaga
- Birdy the Mighty: Decode
- Kaleido Star
The Definitive Word
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood continues its strong presence on Blu-ray with this riveting installment of the hit anime series that fans will eat up.
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