Single Status Update
Finished FMA Brotherhood. Real good show. I think there was a bit too much focus on side characters instead of Ed, Al, and Winry, who I found to be the heart of the show, but the animation was excellent and there were some truly great moments.
It also has Attack on Titan syndrome where the first opening is so good that my body physically rejects all the others
Watch the first show if you're looking for more meaningful stuff on Ed, Al, and some other characters like Scar and Hughes than what Brotherhood offered.
It also has a craaaaazy better sense of humor to it, as well, and a really good atmosphere. Story gets pretty different and weird at the point where the manga ended, though, so be warned if you don't want any other memories of how the series ended overriding one or the other.
Yeah I checked out a few clips of 2003 and I'm interested in giving it a go. Brotherhood's humor was honestly super cringey so I'd be down for better comedy for sure.
I also didn't realize the shows were so different, I assumed Brotherhood was just sort of a "remaster" but the first show looks like a whole different beast, probably worth checking out.
FMA 2003 handles the dramatic stuff better for the most part. Brotherhood/manga is more of a typical shonen action/adventure (and it's my favorite shonen so I mean that in an endearing way) whereas 2003 is more of a Gothic tragedy. I love both shows, and I think the manga has better plot, but 2003 is directed in such an expert fashion, whereas Brotherhood is a by-the-numbers inferior adaptation of the manga. Way better music courtesy of Michiru Oshima, too.
Also I mean to clarify that whatever praise I sing for Brotherhood is only the stuff shared with the manga. I love the manga, but don't like Brotherhood, and there's only one or two things the latter does better than it.
I do love gothic stuff, I watched a scene from 2003 with Ed fighting Envy in a more gothic-looking building and it got me really interested in watching the rest. I feel like the aesthetics might appeal to me more, even though Brotherhood has excellent animation.
On the whole I definitely wouldn't say Brotherhood is one of my favorite anime, I think it felt overly long with a few too many characters. I have more fondness for its stand-out moments than the show in its entirety, moments like Gluttony's stomach, Mustang blasting folks, the gut-wrenching 4th episode chimera, stuff like that. I'll go back and appreciate the big moments and sakuga shots, but I doubt I'll watch the show through again.