ANIME TOP TEN (LIST #1) - #3 (TIE): Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009)

 

 

Director(s): Seiji Mizushima (2003), Yasuhiro Irie (2009)
Script: Various (for both... okay, the list is too long to list)
Music: Michuru Oshima (2003), Akira Senju (2009)
 
Alright, so I cheated here. But both Fullmetal Alchemist series hold a special place in my heart. The first one, though varying from the manga, has such a great focus and powerful emotional punch to it. The story of these brothers who would (and do) sacrifice everything for each other is so moving, it restored my faith in anime. I'm aware of some of the niggling flaws with certain plot elements, but to me the first series is all about emotions, and narrative, while good, is secondary. A fantastic Japanese cast and Michuru Oshima's soundtrack really help to color this heartfelt epic. The second series, Brotherhood remains more faithful to the manga source, and has a very well-constructed, consistent world and concepts. I may have found certain decisions from the author poor, and Edward (Romi Paku) and Alphonse (Rie Kugimiya) seem to disappear into the background for too long, but the story is still powerful, with its elements of comradery and responsibility played out very well, with solid direction throughout the presentation. The characters are colorful, the action is exciting, the concepts solidly built and themes thoughtful. Fullmetal Alchemist is the my favorite title of the last decade. I can't choose a favorite of the two shows and you can't make me. 
 

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