Part 1 of Brotherhood may have covered familiar ground, but things quickly move into fresh new pastures with Part 2. The story branches out from the off, as the story of the two Elric brothers looking to return their bodies to normal venture into the source material proper. New characters, new twists and new experiences await.
Part 2 delves deep into the world of alchemy as the existing characters meet an unusual type of power called Alkahestry and a host of new characters from the country of Xing to go with it. Prince Ling and his two bodyguards, Fu and Lan Fan, tag along with Ed, mooching him for food and the secret of immortality, while small girl May and her miniature panda pet team up with the terrifying mass murdered Scar and his lackey Yoki. There are about four factions operating at this point; Team Edward, Team Scar, Team Mustang and Team Homunculi, with some extra set of characters dropping in and out. The four separate groups have had time for development and intrigue in part 1, part 2 takes this development and throws them all together as Colonel Mustang tries to uproot the killers of his best friend Hughes. The plot moves thick and fast, the interaction, pace, cast, twists and action is of phenomenal quality.
The thick of part 2 is uncovering the real villains and exposing them. This objective seems to be beneficial to all the good guys and even some of the villains, creating a brand of unusual unity. One thing I adore about Fullmetal is how the characters who one day try to kill each other, next end up casually assisting one another. There is no black and white in the way of social relationships, the way an exhilarating blood soaked battle turns into a team up is showcasing the depth the mindset of the cast work. A battle anime which uses its head to weave together a consistent story which plunges into the unknown is rarity, a rarity in which Fullmetal prevails and shines in. It also plonks comedy into the right places to stop it being such a melodramatic affair. An over the top representation of Ed and Al using alchemy to help people in hopes of drawing out Scar is a great upbeat moment after Mustang just came face to face with one of the monstrous homunculi.
Part 2 of Brotherhood is a success then. the question is; how does it compare to the original anime series? The comedy, action, story and pace is leaps above here though the original perhaps wins out on the drama aspect, as things speed on through it can be hard to feel an impact on certain scenes; however the very end of the DVD set contains a truly spine chilling moment. The only things which let the DVD collection down is a poor cgi monster and some occasionally stretched out subtitles which disappear off the screen now and then.Both series at this point both have their own merits, but Brotherhood is likely to overtake if it can keep this quality up. Thirteen episodes of pure alchemy will leave you trying to transmute up part 3.