Fullmetal Alchemist Manga vs First TV Series - ROUND FIVE
Volume 5 continues into volume 6 so seemlessly, especially as far as comparisons with the first anime, that I'll have to review the last chapter of this volume in the next round of comparisons.
Chapter 17: The Boomtown of the Broken Down/Chapter 18: The Value of Sincerity/Chapter 19: I'll Do It For You Guys!
Event(s): Ed, Al, and Winry visit Rush Valley on their way to Dublith and meet Paninya, a girl with automail limbs who steals Ed's pocketwatch. Winry ends up opening up the pocketwatch. Then she delivers a baby and decides to train in town.
Episode 26: Her Reason/Episode 17: House of the Waiting Family/Episode 6: The Alchemy Exam
Event(s): Ed, Al, and Winry visit Rush Valley on their way to Dublith and meet Paninya, a girl with automail limbs who steals Ed's pocketwatch.
Judgement: This bit in the manga is broken up in the first series and used in a lot of different episodes. For instance, the delivery of a baby is done by Ed and AL, and they deliver Elicia Hughes. The pocketwatch opening occurs in the brothers' visit to Risembool. The portion about Paninya and Dominic occurs in a single one-off episode of the series. I prefer that. Spending so much time in Rush Valley bored me, regardless of Winry's development. I'm glad the anime version condensed this.
MANGA < ANIME
Chapter 20: The Terror of Teacher
Event(s): Ed and Al visit their teacher, Izumi Curtis, in Dublith, who admonishes them harshly when she realizes what they've done.
Episode 27: Teacher
Event(s): Ed and Al are captured by their teacher, Izumi Curtis, and taken to Dublith, where she admonishes them harshly when she realizes what they've done.
Judgement: I felt like this part went a little more smoothly in the anime.
MANGA < ANIME
The Rush Valley bit in the manga was noticably longer than what was adapted for the first series. Quite frankly, Rush Valley bored the shit out of me in the anime to begin with, and it was worse in the manga. I don't care about Paninya, I don't care about Dominic, and frankly, Winry's development as an auto-mail engineer? It means very little to me. She can get better off-camera/panel. This is where Arakawa's skills at developing every character in the cast actually works against her, because it really detracts from the story. If I had to read even a few pages more about people comparing auto-mail styles, I was going to tear the pages out of my volume.
It makes me wonder what sort of world FMA takes place in if they talk of Rush Valley as the "Mecca of auto-mail". So, wait, there's a Mecca in the FMA world? I've been told by somebody on the interwebs that Amestris in the manga actually is in our world, albiet an alternate version of it, and is probably in Europe. I guess there's no reason for a gate to our world, then! Or maybe it actually JUSTIFIES what the anime did, since Fritz Lang describes in the movie that the parallel worlds likely share similar places and events. Also, there was clearly a Christian church that Dante led Rose under.
Either version of FMA is probably not meant for such close analysis.
Let's compare some characters!
Judgement: Same irritating side character.
MANGA = ANIME
Judgement: She's pretty badass in both versions. In the first anime, she does get to do a little more, but if I can't hold it against anime Roy for Roy doing more in the manga, I can't hold it against manga Izumi for the anime Izumi getting more opportunity. At the core, they're the same character.
MANGA = ANIME
In the next round, we flashback to the Elric brothers' past!