Magical Girls Replaced by Magical Boys!!

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The genre of Magical Girls has been a very popular on in anime. From the classic Sailor Moon, to Tokyo Mew Mew, anime fans have alike have always been fascinated by Magical Girl anime shows. Now, this concept has taken a unique turn- Magical Girls are now Magical Boys!

Cute High Earth Defense Club Love. Just take a second to read that title and see if it makes you laugh. The Japanese name is Binan Koko Chikyu Boei-bu Love! It is a long title for an anime, which makes me think it mocks itself. I was curious as to why they had to have the word “cute” in there. Maybe it was to draw attention to the title, and make people so curious, that they’d check out a few episodes. Well, it sure got my attention.

Battle Lovers

This is a new anime, released in Japan on Jan. 6, 2015 and ran on the air until Mar. 24, 2015 with 12 episodes, features five young men, Yumoto Hakone (Kazutomi Yamamoto), En Yufuin (Yuichiro Umehara), Atsushi Kinugawa (Kotaro Nishiyama), Io Naruko (Yusuke Shirai), and Ryuu Zaou (Toshiki Masuda). They all attend Binan High School, where they are part of a school club called The Earth Defense Club.

BathhouseThe anime starts off with Atsushi and En enjoying a bath at Yumoto’s family bathhouse. Out of the blue, a pink creature in the form of an Earth Wombat (Mugihito) appears before the guys, and begs them to help him save the planet. Atsushi and En don’t know what’s going on, grasping the concept of a Wombat speaking perfect Japanese, and talking about saving the Earth through the power of Love.

WombatAt the school the following day, Wombat appears in front of all of the club members, this time being held by a teacher who he controlled in order to move around freely. With his powers, he gives the guys magical bracelets that clasp to their wrists. When they shout the phrase, “Love-Making”, the five guys turn into the Battle Lovers. Yumot, who is obviously the leader of the Magical Boys, transforms into The Sparkling Prince, Scarlet. En transforms into The Flashing Prince, Cerulean. Atsushi is The Piercing Prince, Epinard. Io is transformed into The Roaring Prince, Sulphur. Ryuu transforms into The Thrilling Prince, Vesta.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2sk-XfiyOc Click this link to see the Battle Lovers Transformation!

Now, let’s talk about the transformation sequence for the Battle Lovers. In my Defense Clubopinion, I think this show was greatly inspired by Sailor Moon. The outfits are flashy, the boys are nakes and surrounded by glittering hearts, and the poses are on par with Sailor Moon and other Magical Girl series. The first episode is hilarious, because before they all transform, they are forced by the bracelets to pose and declare how strong the power of Love is. I found myself laughing at the fact that they were doing it against their will.

Love StickWhen they defeat a monster, Yumoto, AKA Scarlet, uses an attack with a weapon called the Love Stick, and calls out “Love Shower”. When that happens, the monster is turned back into a human, and their understanding of love is returned, and increases tenfold. After the battle ends, Scarlet declares, “Love is Over”, which of course doesn’t make sense. Even his friends say that the line makes no sense, but eventually rolls with it.

Conquest ClubOf course, this being a Magical Boys anime, there have to be main antagonists that call forth the monsters. The villains of  Cut High Earth Defense Club Love are The Conquest Club. In Binan High, they are the members of the Student Council, Kinshiro Kusatsu (Hiroshi Kamiya), the council president (center), Ibushi Arima (Jun Fukuyama), the vice-president (right), and Akoya Gero (Takuma Terashima) (left). They are led by a green creature in the form of a hedgehog (insert Sonic the Hedgehog reference here LOL), named Lord Zundar (Hiroki Yatsumoto). Their goal is to Zundartake over the Earth and cleanse it of everything uncivilized and ugly. Kinshiro transforms into Chevalier Aurite, Ibushi is Chevalier Argent, and Akoya is Chevalier Perlite. Using a quill from Zundar, they can fill it with dark energy and shoot it at an ususpecting person, bringing out the darkness in their hearts and transforming them into a monster. Every episode, they manipulate a person, and get them to threaten the school and fight the Battle Lovers. Every episode, the Battle Lovers thwart them.

Now, there are two final things in this anime that need to be addressed. One of them is the identities of the Battle Lovers. In Sailor Moon, Tokyo Mew Mew and Magical DoReMi, no one seems to ever recognize them, despite the fact that they aren’t wearing masks. Cut High Earth Defense Club Love is clever with explaining why non of the boys’ classmates can recognize them. Wombat explains that he uses advanced technology to censor the Battle Lovers’ faces and voices from the general public. I found this funny just because of the way they explained this, and the fact that this is an extremely creative and smart approach as to why no one knows who they are. The Conquest Club have the same technology protecting their identities as well. The Conquest Club and the Battle Lovers cannot even identify one another because of this technology. Of course, later on they figure it out.

The final issue, is the one that took me up to at least episode four to realize: There are LITERALLY no females in this anime. Okay, the characters attend an all boy’s school. But, whenever the characters are outside pf the school, there are still no sign of any girls. Anywhere! Ryuu talks about being popular with girls, and at one point is seen talking to a possible girlfriend over the phone. However, he gets picked on a few times for lying about his status with girls. There is no yaoi in this anime, nor does it fall into the category. Personally, I thought it made the show unique about having it focus on guys. Plus, the anime is geared towards females (and maybe gay men who like anime), so it does make sense to not have females in the show.

All in all, this anime is…interesting. That’s all I can say about it. All of the characters, main and supporting characters, have individual personalities that allow viewers to pick favorites, and it just keeps you laughing to the point where you want to watch the next episode to see what happens.

Believe me when I say, this anime has tons of surprises that no one will see coming.

Owari no Seraph: From Manga to Anime

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Owari no Seraph (Seraph of the End), is a shonen manga series that takes place in the year 2012, when a human-made virus infects and kills humans over the age of 13. The human race is brought to the edge of extinction. At the same time, vampires rise and take control of what’s left of the surface. They lure in the surviving children below the Earth, seeing them as livestock, harvesting their blood.

The manga is written by Takaya Kagami and illustrated by Yamato Yamamoto. The storyboard for the series was done by Daisuke Furuya. So far, there are 20 chapters posted on various online manga sites, which calculates to about 6 volumes that have been physically released. The manga got its debut in the 2012 Shonen Jump issue.

owari no seraphThe series has done well with anime/manga fans everywhere, that in August 2014, it was announced that there will be an anime adaptation coming soon. The directors of the anime are Daisuke Tokudo, also the director of anime series such as Attack on Titan and Guilty Crown, and his deputy Masashi Koizuka, who has also worked on Attack on Titan.

The series focuses on young Yuichiro Hyakuya, who lives underground with other kids that have become his only family. His closest friend/brother is Mikaela Hyakuya (nickname: Mika). Tired of being a tool for the vampires, Yuichiro gathers his family and attempts to escape to the surface. But they are caught by Felid Bathroy, a vampire elite. Felid attacks the children, including Mika, slaughtering every one of them. Yuichiro is the only one who manages to escape to the surface, swearing vengeance upon the vampires.

He is given his chance at revenge when he is recruited to the Japanese Imperial Demon Army. He goes through years of training until he is ready to wield a demon weapon and go out to fight the vampires with his team. He is assigned to the Moon Demon Squad, along with his superior, Shinoa Hiragi, and his teammates, Shihou Kimizuki, Yoichi Saotome, and Mitsuba Sanguu. Throughout the manga, his comrades and family refer to him as “Yuu”.

Yuichiro_as_a_childAs the protagonist, Yuu is a hard worker and very brave. As stated previously, his only goal is to destroy all of the vampires, as revenge for what they did to his family. Before he was taken by the vampires, Yuu’s parents claimed he was a Demon spawn and tried to kill him. When his mother went insane and killed herself, Yuu was sent off to the Hyakuya Orphanage. This is where he met Mika and the other orphans. He was distant from them at first, but Miak assured him that they were all the same because they both were born into abusive families.

While fighting for the Imperial Demon Army, Shinoa and Glen explain to Yuu that he has to unleash the full power of his demon weapon. Their weapons contain demons within them, and the soldiers must tame them in order to control them in battle. If they don’t, the demon will feast on their soul and possess them. Eventually, Yuu manages to tame his demon weapon and sees the power he can unleash with its help. Having this power, Yuu becomes more confident that he can reach his goal and kill the vampires, in order to reclaim Earth for the humans, as well as avenge his family.

Later in the manga, it is revealed that Mika wasn’t killed during the slaughter. Instead, he is taken to the Head Vampire, Kururu, and is turned into a vampire against his will.

Vampire Mika

As a vampire, Mika refuses to drink human blood. Instead, he requests the blood of Kururu whenever he feels his hunger rising. Because of this, his transformation is incomplete and still ages. He doesn’t smile like he used to as a child, and is set on protecting Yuichiro when the vampires declare war on the humans. Yuichiro is the only one he cares about. Besides Yuu, Mika has admitted to hating humans and vampires. He distances himself from the other vampires, ignoring whatever they say to him. But if any vampire mentions anything about hurting Yuu, Mika retaliates with threats to kill anyone who harms Yuu. Despite growing a hatred for humans, Mika doesn’t see them as livestock like other vampires do. When it comes to combat, Mika rushes in without thinking. He wears an expressionless face as he fights, showing no remorse for harming humans when he goes against them.

The manga creators have released a Japanese voice cast for some of the main characters:

Miyu Irino- Yuichiro Hyakuya500px-Yūichirō_Hyakuya

Kensho Ono- Mikaela Hyakuyamika

Yuchi Nakamura- Glen IchinoseGlen_Looking_at_a_piece_of_paper

The three voices listed have been in well-known anime shows, movies and video games. Miyu Irino has been the Japanese voices of Astral from Yu-Gi-Oh! ZeXal, Haku from the famous movie Spirited Away, and is the Japanese voice of Sora from the Kingdom Hearts video games.

Kensho has done voices for Hakuryu Ren from Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, Brinda Jr. from Ghost in the Shell: Arise, and he was even the Japanese voice of Andy in Toy Story 3!

Finally, Yuchi Nakamura has been the voice of Gray Fullbuster from the Fairy Tail series, Greed in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and Rex Raptor from Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters.

It has been announced that the anime is set to air in April 2015. It is also known that VIZ Media will be publishing the English translation of the anime, and that a trailer has been released recently on YouTube. To keep up with the news about Owari no Seraph, follow the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OwariNoSeraph

High Action Anime with Over-the-top Fanservice

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From the creators of Gurren Lagann comes a new series with lots of eye-bulging action and intense action called Kill la Kill.

I’ve seen pictures and cosplays of this anime, but never really watched it until recently. When I did, there were no words to describe what I was watching because it was awesome, while at the same time a little too fanservice-y. For those who have already seen this anime, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend it, but there are some things you should prepare for.

Ryuko Matoi (Ami Koshimizu; Japanese), travels to Honnoji Academy where she believes she will find the murderer of her father. On her person, she carries half of a giant scissor blade, knowing that if she finds the owner of the other half of the scissor blade, she will find her father’s killer. Her main suspect is the student-body president Satsuki Kiryuin (Ryoka Yuzuki; Japanese).

Honnoji Academy is not your average school. Every club has uniforms designed with intelligent Life Fibers, allowing the students to transform the uniforms into combat outfits for battle. The uniforms are developed by the president of the sewing club, Shiro Iori (Yuji Ueda; Japanese), who in my opinion is one of the coolest characters in the show. Plus I sort of have a little crush on him. Sadly he doesn’t get much screen time.

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Besides Ryuko fighting against Satsuki and Honnoji Academy, there is a group known as Nudist Beach. Founded also by Ryuko’s father, the goal of the organization was to stop the Kiryuin conglomerate from subjugating the world to Life Fibers. The leader of Nudist Beach is Aikuro Mikisugi (Shinichiro Miki; Japanese). He infiltrated the academy, posing as a teacher during the day. Okay, this guy is a serious whack-job and personally, freaks me out. When he’s not posing as a teacher, he strips himself of

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I’m not going to go into full detail of this anime because I’ll give away some of the show’s secrets. So instead, let’s go on to the fanservice. If you’ve seen Gurren Lagann, you know about Yoko’s revealing outfit. But Ryuko’s battle outfit is not only super revealing, it’s also  alive.

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Meet Senketsu (Toshihiko Seki; Japanese). Created by Ryuko’s father, Senketsu was made for only Ryuko to use to fight and absorb Life Fibers. In order for Senketsu to turn into Ryuko’s battle outfit, he must absorb the blood of the wearer. Ryuko uses a special glove that sticks her with tiny needles that send the blood to Senketsu.

Getting into the fanservice thing, I believe that Kill la Kill sort of mocks the idea of heroes transforming into smaller/fewer clothing in order to save the world. I say this because of the way the show delivers the action, and the transformation sequence. It’s not just Ryuko and Senketsu. Satsuki’s outfit is actually worse.

kill142Satsuki’s outfit is worse because there is no back to it. Her butt is completely exposed. I know for most guys, that’s not a problem. I’m just saying that her outfit and Ryuko’s and other character’s outfits are all, to me, just a joke.

Despite the outfits, I’d say Kill la Kill is a really great anime with smooth lines, smooth movements, great development in the story and the characters, and amazing facial expressions and angles. In fact, there has already been a release of an English Dub cast. Here is the link to see who will be voicing who. http://www.behindthevoiceactors.com/tv-shows/Kill-la-Kill/voice-cast/. Also search YouTube for the English trailer.

Look for the DVD release July 15, 2014.

Why Does Amy Confuse Others for her Beloved Sonic? The Truth Behind Amy’s Mis-identification.

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Amy has claimed to love Sonic and has given everything she has to him as proof. Yet she always mistakes others for him. She has done it twice as you can see from these photos.

Many Sonic fans say this is Amy’s worst trait; mistaking Shadow or Silver for Sonic, even though none of them look like each other. The only similarity is that they’re all hedgehogs.

ImageWell it turns out Amy has an alibi for mistaking others for Sonic. Doing further research on this, it turns out that hedgehogs are actually partially colorblind! Yep, you heard me right; hedgehogs in real life are colorblind! Experts say that because hedgehogs are nocturnal, there would be no benefit in them seeing colors. They can however see yellows and some shades of blue.

There are also reports saying that hedgehogs like bright colors. They are colorblind, at the same time they are not. It’s hard to say. But this explains why Amy confuses Shadow for Sonic and shows that the creators do their homework on hedgehogs. They added a touch of reality into fast-running hedgehogs.

Give Amy some credit for her mistakes. It is basic genetics of her race. The next time you watch or play Sonic, and you see Amy cling on to everyone but Sonic, it is not her fault. She can’t see a lot of colors. Give the girl some slack!

If you want to look more into this, there is a book called Hedgehogs, by Nigel Reeve.

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This Girl Found a Strange Anime Special

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I have watched many strange and bizarre animes in my time, but the anime This boy Caught a Merman has to be the strangest yaoi specials I’ve ever come across. I shall explain in a minute.

The main character Shima Kawauchi (Leraldo Anzuldua; English) (Yuki Kaji; Japanese), was the perfect student and son. His parents were getting divorced when he was a boy and the two both wanted to claim Shima because he was their ideal son. In the end, Shima’s grandfather said he would take Shima because he was disgusted with how his parents were treating him like a trophy.

Some time passes and Shima’s grandfather had dies, leaving Shima to live in his house alone. One night, Shima is standing on a dock by the ocean, holding a picture of his grandfather. He accidentally dropped the picture into the ocean and ran after it, forgetting the fact that he cannot swim. Miraculously, he is rescued by a merman. Despite being surprised at this wonder, Shima takes the merman home with him and names him Isaki (David Matranga; English) (Hikaru Midorikawa; Japanese). Isaki spends his time in a small swimming pool Shima’s father gave to him when he was a child.

The anime plays out the obvious yaoi story line: both guys bond with each other, they begin experiencing unusual feelings while around one another and at the end accept the feelings and let their emotions out.

What makes it strange is the animation. To start, it uses texture in the character’s hair, clothes and eyes. The bright colors make you not want to look away from it, at the same time it is slapping you in the face, to where you can’t keep your eye on one thing. You’re drawn to everything around the main characters. Another thing about this anime is it plays out like an anime, while at the same times, uses small boxes and quotation bubbles like in a manga/comic. The movement of the characters is more stop motion. Think South Park, but with more flow despite it looking like small cutouts. You can tell it is drawn, but the whole thing looks like stop motion.

Voice actor Greg Ayers also pays a part in the English version. Not a big one. He plays Shima’s best friend Kusatsu, voiced in Japan by Junta Terashima.

Weird way of how I found this anime. I was surfing Amazon for anime box sets, and I found This Boy Caught a Merman as one of the choices. Thinking it was a full series, I searched it on Google and found the English version and watched it. Truthfully it was the art and color that drew me to it. When I watched it, I kept thinking it was very cliched, but still enjoyable. At the end of it, I found it rather cute.

I would say just check it out and decide for yourself whether it is good, bad or in between. Like I said, to me it is a bit strange, and I don’t think I’ll be buying the DVD for it. But I do enjoy it as something to watch when I can’t think of anything else to watch.

The Birth of a New Yu-Gi-Oh! Are they Jumping the Shark?

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You read the title correctly; a new Yu-Gi-Oh! is in production as we speak! The title is called Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V (five). The title emphasizes that this is the fifth Yu-Gi-Oh! series. The main character is Yuya Sakaki. The only description of his personality is he escapes the harshness of reality by smiling until one duel forces him to make a determination to confront the difficulties of life. There will also be a new type of summon called Pendulum Summon. Again, this is still new so there is not a lot of detail yet. It is set to air in April 2014.

There is a short trailer on YouTube from Japan, but it just shows the main character with some of his cards. It’s sort of a build up to the show itself.

Many of the Yu-Gi-Oh! fans who grew up watching the original series are not very psyched about this new series. When I saw this, I put up on my FaceBook to let my friends know about it. Majority of the comments were deep concerns about it since Yu-Gi-Oh! ZeXal didn’t pull the older fans in. There were also comments that said, “They jumped the shark with Yu-Gi_Oh! 5D’s,” which is the series where duels could take place while riding on motorcycles. The enthusiasm for this new series…is barely there. Mostly because of how 4Kids sort of messed up ZeXal and also how annoying Yuma, the ZeXal main character is at most times.

Defending ZeXal, I admit I cannot stand the 4Kids dubbing and that the “X” in ZeXal is meant to be silent if anyone has ever watched the Japanese version (which is better in my opinion). However, going back and giving the 4Kids version a chance, I can say that ZeXal has its moments and is not all that bad when putting it together as a whole.

Me personally, I am going to give ARC-V a chance. My opinion and faith in this new series is based on the design of the character Yuya. He has elements that the other protagonists had: gravity-defying hair, determined personality, possibly a main catch phrase and a pendant.  Oh and different-colored hair. I’m the type of person who will give an anime a try if it sold to me in the right ways. One way of course is looking at the main character and giving me the basics of the plot. To me, Yuya is one of the best looking Yu-Gi-Oh! protagonists. He is up there with Yami Yugi.

So, is Yu-Gi-Oh! jumping the shark with ARC-V? Ummm….it is really in the eye of the beholder. I mean yeah, it may have a similar plot to the other series. But all of the Yu-Gi-Oh! series have qualities that make them stand out and unique. In some ways, they might be jumping the shark a bit, mainly because I’m not sure what else they can do with the plot. Also, the series is going further and further into the future, showing how much dueling has evolved. Will they keep the duel gazers shown in ZeXal or have a new method of dueling?

Another problem is the plot is going to be predictable to the people who have followed all of the previous Yu-Gi-Oh! shows. The character might meet their rival and as time goes on, the rival accepts the main character’s friendship and work together in a tag duel. There might also be an otherworldly entity that helps the main character, and so on and son. While I am a bit curious of what the creators will do with the plot, I think they are just sort of…stepping over the shark rather than jumping over it. I trust the creators to give us a good story line, so I’m not going to judge it and give it my hate or negative judgement on little information. So I’m looking forward to it.

Whether it is going to be an epic series or an epic failure, I can’t wait till ARC-V comes to America! If more information comes out once it airs, I’ll write a follow-up.

Fullmetal Alchemist Transmutates Action and Emotion

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Two brothers attempt to bring back their mother. But they learn quickly that the cost to bring back the dead is high.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is an all-out thrill ride with colorful characters that make you feel every emotion they feel. The show itself has gone through many changes. The first anime version was titled Fullmetal Alchemist and ran in Canada and the United Sates from 2004 to 2006 on Cartoon Network for the program Toonami. However, as the series went on, the began to stray away from the plot of the manga, written by Hiromu Arakawa, and made up its own story line. Around the time the series first aired, the manga was still in progress. It was unfinished and the anime needed to continue.

However in 2009, the new version that followed the manga was released on Toonami and was renamed Fullmetal Alchemist:Brotherhood. This version was directed by Yasuhiro Irie, while the other version was directed by Seiji Mizushima. 

The series focuses on the Elric Brothers. Edward Elric (Vic Mignogna; English) (Romi Park; Japanese) and his younger brother Alphonse “Al” Elric (Maxey Whitehouse; English) (Rie Kugimiya; Japanese), who when they were young, lost their mother to sickness. In a desperation to bring her back to life, the brothers use the alchemy techniques they picked up from their father’s books to perform a Human Transmutation, which is considered a taboo among alchemists. But as the transmutation went on, the brothers found out the price of reviving the dead. Al’s body was ripped apart while Ed lost his left leg. The transmutation failed, as in the center of the circle stood a hideous creature that replaced their mother. To get his brother’s soul back, Ed uses alchemy to bond Al’s soul to a suit of armor, costing him his right arm.

Amestrian Military Officer Colonel Roy Mustang (Travis Willingham; English) (Shinichiro Miki; Japanese) hears about the Elric brothers and goes to see what they had done. He proposes Edward becomes a State Alchemist for the military. In exchange, Ed required as much research material as he could use in order to learn more about an item called the Philosopher’s Stone that could restore their bodies. Before leaving for the military, Ed goes to his childhood friend Winry Rockbell (Caitlin Glass; English) (Megumi Takamoto; Japanese), who is an automail engineer and performs mechanical surgery on Ed, giving him an automail arm and leg.

While the Elric brothers are in the military, they learn all kinds of secrets that put them and their friends in all kinds of danger. Each episode keeps you guessing of what is going to  happen and who is pulling the strings.

milkEdward himself is a very funny character. When he is in the hospital recovering from a fight, his meal is brought to him, including a bottle of milk. Ed shows his deep hatred for milk and refuses to drink it every time someone brings it to him. His friends then argue with him, saying the reason he is short is because he never drank his milk as a child. Now that’s the hilarious part. Edward hates being called “short.” Anytime someone calls him short, friends, enemies, random people, he becomes enraged and is ready to kill them on the spot. The hilarious factors of this show balances the intensity of the main plot, letting the audience breathe for a while before getting them back into the main plot.

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Many people I’ve talked to about this show say that one of their most cherished and favorite character of FMA Brotherhood is Maes Hughes (Sonny Strait; English) (Keiji Fujiwara; Japanese). He is an Investigation Officer for the military and close friend of Mustang. In my opinion, looking at this show over three times, I think that Hughes is an anime character that can fit into the real world. His character is beyond 3D. While he does take his work seriously, most of the time he is on screen he is forever talking about his wife and 3-year-old daughter. He is a dedicated father who always makes time for his family, which is a character type many men have when they begin a family. There is not much I can say about him without giving anything away. If you want to experience a loving character that you wish was real, and see what he gets into and how far it takes him, watch the show.

Another great thing about this show is that all of the voice actors really get into their characters. You don’t see people in a booth, talking in a microphone; you see a character showing intense emotion, making you feel exactly what they feel. Ed is in battle, fighting for his friends or comrades, you see the determination in his face and hear it in his voice. A character goes back into the past, explaining their life and hardships, the emotion is so real that you feel yourself giving the character sympathy. Every dialogue spoken in the show is done with as much emotion as an actor would give in a live-action movie or TV show.

Fun characters, twists and intensity, amazing acting; Fullmetal Alchemist is definitely not for the faint of heart. Experience action and drama in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.