|Not Actual FMA:B Cover Art!|
But not before I give the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood OVA Collection the review treatment, and offer my two cents on the release.
As it happened, I and my wife stumbled on this combo pack by complete accident a few weeks ago, when we were browsing late one night in the local entertainment store, and we yoinked this up faster than a Naruto Cosplayer can say, "Shadow clone jutsu!"
Then as if by some miracle of the divine, it sat on the shelf next to the other FMA swag, and we neglected to watch it till Sunday... yeah, yeah... bad me, shame shame and all that.
So, now that I've sat down to view the official North American release, I've got a few words to say about it.
Remember, that I have seen this before. I watched the OVAs as they were coming out in Japan, and I loved them tons then. This review is more or less to cover the handling of the actual FUNimation release, and maybe a recap of the four OVAs.
The OVAs are like I just said, four side stories that happen in the FMA universe... each one focuses on a small story that bears little weight to the massive narrative of the franchise, but as stand alone segments, they are fantastic.
Of the four OVAs; The Blind Alchemist, Simple People, Tales of the Master, and Yet Another Man's Battlefield, my favorites are Simple People and Tales of the Master.
They are the best of the characters that I like, and really showcase some touching and endearing moments that we probably didn't give much thought to. This isn't to say that the rest of the OVAs were sub-par, in fact they are all excellent in their own right.
As for the actual release of the NA edition, I have the usual to say about combo packs... the whole yadda yadda, about how I hate DVD and BD combos and never know what to do with the damn DVD disc, or why the effing case has to be three centimeters taller than the effing BD sets of FMAB... but yeah, you get the idea.
The voice acting was really good for a series of OVAs that were months after the last bout of recordings, and aside from a few times where Vic seemed strained to hit those Edward pitches, the whole dub was superb.
My only complaint with the actual release was with the navigation noises of the menus... that clicking thing it made with the volume up on the surround sound was frightening.
Everyone knows that I am all about bonus content, and this release delivers the goods.
In the bonus section of the disc are the entire Fullmetal Four-Panel Theater segments, that are about 3 or so minutes long each, and are all parodies of the show, with deformed, whacked out versions of the characters. Each segment features different select moments from the entire series and makes it ridiculous and funny, and bizarre... my favorite, was when Hughes was calling Mustang, and he was put on hold, and the hold music was Mustang singing...
There is no doubt in my mind that the VAs had a blast recording these little segments, and I for one was delighted that they were sneaked on the release. They truly were a light-hearted and highly, highly entertaining way to wrap-up the franchise.
This OVA collection absolutely dominates and annihilates the previous OVA collection for FMA, and takes the cake, the bakery and the delivery route.
This is one OVA collection that is worth every penny, and I hope you go out and pick it up, if you haven't already.