Blu-ray Review: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – Part 5

fullmetal_alchemist_part_5_review_screenshot (2)The heavens tremble and the planet quakes as the souls of heroes and villains teeter on the edge of darkness and light. The final chapter is here, but what did we think of it? Find out in our Blu-ray Review of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – Part 5.

Synopsis:

The Flame Alchemist’s rebel army pushes the forces of Central to the brink of collapse – until the enemy’s fallen leader returns to take control. As mortals and monsters wage war, young Edward and Alphonse Elric must face a cruel being with the unholy power of a god. After endless adventures and countless struggles, the boys find the fate of the world in their weary hands. When the Gateway closes and the circle is complete, who will be left alive to celebrate the astonishing sacrifices made?

Our View:

The fifth and final instalment into the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood saga begins with the continuing onslaught from the Brigg’s Soldiers against central command, while on the inside of Central Command both Armstrong’s fight for survival against the seemingly unstoppable Sloth. At the same time Mustang’s team broadcasts an interview with king Bradley’s wife over the radio in hopes of generating support from the civilians by suggesting that a coup d’état has spread within the higher-ups of central command. Meanwhile deep under Central City Edward, Scar and Mustang battle their way through the seemingly un-killable mannequin soldiers in hopes of reaching Farther before he can progress forward with his plan, but they soon realise it’s going to be more difficult than expected when a few familiar faces turn-up to stop them, namely Envy and King Bradley.

fullmetal_alchemist_part_5_review_screenshot (8)

As soon as the first episode begins, the pace is set – as each episode swiftly moves on from one fight to the next, whether it be the Armstrong’s against Sloth, Brigg’s soldiers against Central soldiers, Mustang against Envy, Greed against King Bradley or Scar against King Bradley there is always a fight taking place, with ultimately the final fight taking place between Edward and Farther. Due to the amount of fights taking place, some of which take place at the same time, there is little in the way of story development but some secrets are revealed, such as the real objective of the Promised day, however since the series has built up to this moment there is no need for explanations, just action.

Even when the battle(s) have ended the story of the Elric brothers still continues as the remaining two episodes not only showcase the aftermath of the battle and its consequences, but it even goes several years into the future, with it showing viewers how the main fullmetal cast are living out their lives.

Extras:

Just like previous instalments of the series, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – Part 5 features a small amount of extra content, with the only ‘real’ bonus being the included Outtakes from the English cast. All of the extra content is located on the second disc.

fma_part_5_extras

Included as part of the extra features are Text Less Opening (Rain) & Closing (Ray of Light) videos as well as a Text Less Ending (Hologram) which is featured on the final episode. In addition to the textless songs there is the English Cast commentary for Episode 64 with Mike McFarland (ADR Director), Maxey Whitehad (Alphonse Elric) and Vic Mignogna (Edward Elric) as they discuss their roles within the series. The final extra feature is the outtakes, which is introduced by ADR Director Mike McFarland and features seven minutes of highly entertaining profanities or messed up lines.

Tech Specs:

Media: BD 50 x1, BD 25 x 1 (2 Disc Set)
Running Time: 3:15:54 (Disc 1), 1:37:28 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 / 48 Khz (English), Dolby TrueHD 2.0 / 48Khz (Japanese)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Aspect Ratio
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

The fifth (and final) instalment into Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood series provides the last eleven episodes over two blu-ray discs, with it showcasing the final battles that take place in Central City. Despite the amount of fights taking place the story still moves forward at a speedy pace, with the story being progressed through the each fight.  It’s a smart way of keeping the story moving as well as keeping viewers entertained, but with this quality of story and action it’s hard to be bored.

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It’s not just the quality and pace of the story that is satisfying – it’s also the quality of the English Dub, as throughout this release the performance of all the main characters achieve new heights with their vocal performance, as the emotion spoken through their lines gets portrayed perfectly on screen with the character. This is especially noticeable during key fights, such as the Mustang vs. Envy fight which see’s Mustang change from a calm, collective person to a man filled with anger and rage. The English Audio is presented in English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround Sound thus offering a cinematic style to the series, this is especially noticeable during fight scenes whereby you can hear the alchemic sounds and explosions coming from the rear speakers. If you do not have a surround sound setup then you will not notice this and it will appear as normal through your TV speakers. For those interested there is also a Japanese Audio track, which is presented in 2.0 Stereo, along with English subtitles that cannot be removed.

In regards to the Blu-ray Disc and its extras the series is visually stunning and presented in full 1080p High Definition with no picture grain or distortion occurring throughout any of the included episodes.  As with previous volumes the menu and pop-up menu’s are extremely easy to navigate with no issues of being unable to read by blurriness or small text. All of the extra features are located on the second disc and while there is only a handful of extra content (as per the norm) there is the addition of Outtakes. These outtakes feature a selection of mistakes made while dubbing the series into English, if you enjoyed the English Dub then you will find these outtakes extremely amusing to watch.

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Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood –Part 5 provides one of the most satisfying conclusions to an anime series and due to this Blu-ray release it has now been made even better.

Score: review-stars-5

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – Part 5 will be available on Blu-ray from the 24th June 2013.

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About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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