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Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - The Manga Cut

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This one's very simple and quick to do, and I may not even do it at all.

To summarize, there are two Fullmetal Alchemist anime series - the first, which is loosely based on the manga for the first 20 episodes or so (the remaining 30 have nothing whatsoever to do with the manga), and the new one (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood in America), which is based much more strictly on the manga.

I've seen the original anime, read the manga (up to the current issue, 99 - it's supposed to be coming to an end very soon), and seen Brotherhood to its current episode (23).  Brotherhood is, in my opinion, far superior to the original anime, simply because it adapts the manga much, much more closely.

But it isn't perfect.  The first episode is an "intro" episode that has nothing to do with anything.  The second episode is a flashback episode detailing the Elric brothers' histories.  The third episode opens in Lior, which is the beginning of the first series and the manga.  There are also two events from the manga that were not adapted for Brotherhood - the thing with First Lieutenant Yoki in the mining town (which I think may be "flashback"-ed in a later episode, as Yoki becomes important later on in the manga), and the thing with the hostages on the train, both of which were adapted (quite faithfully) in the first anime series.

So the plan is simple - restructure the opening of Brotherhood to match the manga (a short "teaser" of Ed's missing leg bleeding after the failed attempt to transmute his mother, followed by the intro credits, then the Lior episode), and repurpose the two episodes from the original anime to become episodes of this series.  (The problem here is that the original is not in widescreen, while Brotherhood is, and that Brotherhood uses a different voice for Colonel Mustang and some other characters, but I don't think they're insurmountable problems.)  The flashback scenes will be moved from their spot in episode 2 and placed where they were in the manga (mostly after they meet up with Izumi around episode 10 or 11).

Now, the reason I bring any of this up is simply to gauge interest in such a project.  It would be SD widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles (burned in), and I would likely only provide the affected episodes in 480p MKV or AVI format.  This may require whoever downloads them to re-number the remaining episodes, but since I'm removing two episodes and adding two more, it may not be an issue.

So, how about it?  Anyone care?

a trolling bantha

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Wait a second, 99 volumes? Seriously? I had no idea the series was going for so long. I'd be interested!

A Goon in a Gaggle of 'em

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 (Edited)

99 issues, 23 tank?bon "volumes" - list here (grouped by volume, each "chapter" is an issue, they come out once a month). It's not done yet, either, but it's in the middle of an immensely epic climax.  It can't last much longer than 4 more issues, 8 at the most, if you ask me.

a trolling bantha

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OH. I was under the impression issues meant tankoubon, not serialized issues. My bad - imagine 99 tankoubon worth of FMA! Even Drag-on Ball is only 40.
Anyway, definitely interested!

A Goon in a Gaggle of 'em

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Okay, I just did a quick and dirty edit using Quicktime Player and the Eclipse AVI's.

Here's how the ORIGINAL, UNEDITED episode list plays out:

1 - Fullmetal Alchemist (episode will be removed entirely)
2 - The Day It Began (most, but not all, will be used, just rearranged)
3 - City of Heresy (will be used with minor additions from the first two episodes)
4 - An Alchemist's Distress (will be untouched)
5 - Rain of Sorrow (will be untouched)
6 - The Road of Hope (will be untouched)
7 - The Hidden Truth (will be untouched)
8 - Research Laboratory 5 (will be untouched)
9 - Artificial Feelings (will be untouched)
10 - Separate Ways (will be untouched)
11 - The Miracle At Rush Valley (will be untouched)
12 - One Is All, All Is One (split into two episodes with flashbacks from The Day It Began added)

Beyond that, everything will be the same.  The quick and dirty edit I did didn't include the two episodes from the original anime that I'll try to include, but here will be the episode listing with those episodes included, if I can get them to work:

1 - City of Heresy (opens with very short "legless" flashback taken from original first episode - the ONLY part of that episode that will be used - and a short version of the "complete" flashback will occur when Cornello realizes what they've done)
2 - Be Thou For The People (reedited version of FMA1 Youswell mining town episode that introduces Yoki)
3 - The Man With The Mechanical Arm (reedited version of FMA1 train-hostage episode, introduces Mustang, whose Brotherhood introduction is removed with the removal of the first episode)
4 - An Alchemist's Distress (will be untouched)
5 - Rain of Sorrow (will be untouched)
6 - The Road of Hope (will be untouched)
7 - The Hidden Truth (will be untouched)
8 - Research Laboratory 5 (will be untouched)
9 - Artificial Feelings (will be untouched)
10 - Separate Ways (will be untouched)
11 - The Miracle At Rush Valley (will be untouched)
12 - One Is All, All Is One (reedited to include Day It Began flashbacks up until Winry's "We're having stew tonight!" - then cuts to rain flashback from OIA,AIO, which plays out the same until "You might be able to if you ever reach the truth," "Truth" door slams, credits)
13 - The Day It Began (reedited - begins with the full flashback of the actual failed human transmutation, then Mustang meets them, then Ed gets his automail attached, then alchemy exam, then Ed gets his "Fullmetal" title, then it goes back to OIA,AIO where Izumi's flashback happens and she tells the story of her failed human transmutation attempt - episode ends as OIA,AIO originally did.

Beyond this, it will be exactly the same.  This would, of course, mean that every episode after this would need to add one number to it (i.e., 13 - Beasts of Dublith would become 14 - Beasts of Dublith), but I won't be releasing edited versions of any episodes beyond City of Heresy, Be Thou For The People, The Man With The Mechanical Arm, One Is All All Is One, and The Day It Began.  I'm also not sure what I'm going to do about episode title cards for BTFTP and TMWTMA.  And I don't think I'll be creating "fixed" title cards for the episodes beyond #13, so you guys'll just have to deal with there being two Episode 13's.  Just look at One is All, All is One and The Day it Began as one hour-long episode, I guess ...

a trolling bantha

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Cool idea and I'd be interested in seeing this as well.

I was actually considering doing a similar thing with the series Naruto Shippuden (except it would be a set of films that focused on Naruto's fight against Akasuki and reduced the Sasuke's importance in the story)

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Any progress on this project? I'm a fan of both the original anime and the manga (the anime having introduced me to the latter), so this should be a good experience. I haven't watched the new anime because I'm waiting for it to be dubbed, but this is something I don't think I'd want to pass up. (Though that shouldn't stop you from doing a cut when it's translated ;) )

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I'm still thinking about how best to approach it.  Just a few weeks ago, the Ishbal flashback episode was aired, and they condensed a full volume (4 chapters!) of manga into a single half-hour episode, cutting many important things.  The Scar stuff that should have gone there was put in as a flashback earlier in the series, so I may reorganize that to put it with the rest of the Ishbal episode (where it is in the manga).  I'll probably do the same if other characters get similar additional Ishbal flashbacks that weren't included in the Ishbal episode.

There's also Episode 27 to deal with, which was, for all intents and purposes, a useless clip show.  Why the fuck could they not have split Ishbal into two episodes and ditched the clip show?!  Ugh ...

I'll probably wait to start this until the actual US DVDs come out.  I'd still like to get it done, but I don't know exactly how I'll release it (since many episodes will be untouched beyond the episode title screen).

a trolling bantha

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I would recommend waiting until a US release, dubbed or otherwise. They could easily touch on everything in the manga, so you may not even need to cut from the original anime.

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No, there's no way they're going to use the Youswell story or the train-hostage thing.  (I'd only include the train-hostage thing because in the absence of the Ice Alchemist episode, we lose the introductions of Mustang, Hawkeye, and Hughes, which, in the manga and first anime, occured in the train-hostage episode.)  So I will have to use these episodes, slightly edited of course.

There's also May Chang's introduction in Youswell later in the manga that wasn't in either anime (since May wasn't in the first anime at all).  I highly doubt they'll include this at any point, which is sad.

I'm holding out hope that future episodes will include more Ishbal flashbacks, so I can fill out that episode into a two-parter (I'm definitely moving Scar's Ishbal flashback into this episode, the way it was in the manga).

a trolling bantha

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Yeah, what I meant. Just wait until the series runs its course so you'll have better material to work with and more time to know how to work it.

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Ah, gotcha.  Yeah, that's most likely what I'll be doing (waiting until the episodes are on DVD in the US).  I'm gonna try to be ambitious and do a dub version and a sub version, but in all likelihood it'll end up being sub-only (my personal preference, though it'll be harder to edit, as my last Edit II project, which was entirely in Spanish, proved to me).

a trolling bantha

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Well you can always wait for the official dub which will most assuredly happen, but will take quite awhile. A sub should be good enough for the rather niche group of people familiar with the fan-editing scene that will run into it, unless you plan on "marketing" it in the FMA fan communities. Either way, a dub would just be too much to ask.

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I'm doing this for myself more than anything else.  It will be released, but I don't give two shits if the FMA fan community accepts or rejects it.  I just prefer subs to dubs, which is why I'd prefer to do this subbed.

The other problem is the differences in voices between the first FMA and Brotherhood - in Japanese, most of the actors are the same, but I know Mustang is different for one.  When Funimation announced the English dub cast a few months ago, Alphonse's voice actor had reached puberty, so he's no longer playing Al - now it's a woman.  (They said they're giving the former Al another part later, which I would assume is Ling.)

The difference in voices in the Japanese version isn't noticeable enough to be a problem IMO, but I don't know if Al's voice in the dub will be too different to ignore ...

a trolling bantha

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I'm sure they tried getting someone that sounds a little like the original voice actor, but if not there's always voice manipulation or just good old fashioned suspension of disbelief.

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Redstar said:

good old fashioned suspension of disbelief.

Which is exactly what I'm counting on.  ;-)

a trolling bantha

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 (Edited)

This made me very curious in rewatching the anime and trying to combine the first episodes of each series together as to make a more complete journey for Brotherhood. The biggest problem I have with Brotherhood is how it doesn’t reintroduce the characters to a new audience very well and requires the viewer to watch the original in order to enjoy Brotherhood to its fullest extent. This led me into falling down the complete spiral of fandom madness as I rewatched the first 25 episodes of the Original 2003 anime and 10 episodes of Brotherhood over and over again to see how I could implement the best of the original into Brotherhood without creating too many continuity errors, a separate project of my own. After all this time, after all this extensive research, I finally found the truth hidden within the truth.

…this is the devil’s research. The secret ingredient to the perfect FMA fan edit…is humans.

It’s… it’s just impossible…

Nah, just kidding, it’s just really hard and would require an extensive amount of editing to implement all of the best parts of 2003 into Brotherhood. I eventually quitted because it would require way too much time and effort to find all the little details that needed to be removed or cleaned and then edit all that without the proper tools required to fulfill my ultimate goal. It just ended up becoming a mess trying to combine the two and I only ended up back where I started.

I decided what I really needed from 2003 to accomplish the vision I had is the character development all the way up to the introduction of Lab 5. After that, I planned to have the rest of the story from there on be told by Brotherhood with no more edits whatsoever. So here’s my notes:


Fullmetal Alchemist Fusion Project:

Edits combining both Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, incorporating both of the anime’s best qualities. All of the openings will be included throughout the episodes, evenly. This will serve as an alternate way of watching the show rather than just a compilation.

Warning, make sure Hawkeye’s hair and Scar’s backstory remain consistent

FMA Ep 1-2 (slight edits here and there to ensure continuity like how Cornelius moves the statues without being there, the ouroboros dream sequence that pretty much goes nowhere, etc.)

FMA Ep 3 (Include scene showing the door and Truth as well as the scene of dialogue between Roy and Maes in FMAB Ep 2)

FMA Ep 4-7 (Untouched)

FMA Ep 8 (Include dream sequence from FMAB Ep 5 after the opening)

FMA Ep 9 (Cut out the majority of the scenes that set up Dante, the maid)

FMA Ep 10 (Untouched)

FMA Ep 11-12 (Cut out scenes with Russel doing alchemy without a circle and the second plot with Lust as well as any mention of Marcoh)

FMA Ep 13 (When Mustang is explaining the Ishvalan war, insert much of the exposition given in FMAB Ep 5 towards the end of the episode cut out mention of Marcoh)

FMA Ep 14 (Begin with scene involving Lust, Envy, and Gluttony in FMAB Ep 5)

FMA Ep 15 (Cut out Ishval backstory)

FMAB Ep 1 (Cut introduction of Maes Hughes to maintain continuity and add city shot)

the murder of the Warioware Alchemist from the beginning of FMAB Ep 4 at the end of the episode

Put Fullmetal vs Flame arc after the events of the series leading up to the laboratory

I kind of quitted and towards the end when I realized that my plan didn’t really make much sense anymore and the continuity and pacing would just be all messed up if I were to complete the edit, even with the advanced tools I would need to complete it.

This was just the basic blueprints of an idea I wanted to fulfill. Maybe it can help you guys come up with something better or at least stir up more interest in something like this. I don’t know. I just don’t feel like wasting more time if I can’t really go anywhere with the project anymore. It’s time for me to get back to my daily responsibilities as a human being.

I just hope someday my wish would come true to perfectly combine both worlds and create a better experience for the future fans of Fullmetal Alchemist…

That or they will just remake the series again.

(AH, who am I kidding. The comment section here is probably dead by now).

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One of these days I’ll come back to this…

…when I find the 2003 series on Blu-Ray for a non-absurd price, that is.

a trolling bantha

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Not going to lie a copy of this in 720p or 1080p would be incredible. I really hope you come back to it someday

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I would love to see a perfect edit of Fullmetal Alchemist, your Manga cut has me very intrigued. I’m a huge fan of Fullmetal Alchemist, I own both the FMA and Brotherhood on Blu-Ray, the Brotherhood movie and Brotherhood OVAs, plus the complete manga collection. My brother and I always argue about the series like which is better and what not. It’ll be cool if you do a fanedit for Fullmetal Alchemist, like the Berserk: Redux. I was able to get my copies of Brotherhood on Amazon, and the FMA series on eBay.

I’m sure you’ll find one at a fair price, if I can find one, then you sure can.

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 (Edited)

I think I’ve got the manga cut you guys are looking for

FMA:B:R (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Re:edited) is a project I’ve been working on for a couple of months now. It’s not 100% manga accurate, as I elected to use some parts of 2003 that fit just as well (if not better) into the Brotherhood Storyline. I did use the Manga’s story progression though (backstory doesn’t hit until Dublith, use of the train battle and mining town in manga-accurate locations, etc.), so I think you guys’ll enjoy it!

I’m not allowed to post download links here, but links are available through my Youtube channel (under the same username) on any video in the FMA:B:R playlist

I also have some editorials and an introduction video on my youtube channel (under the same username), if you guys are interested.

P.S. since 2003 already adapted and made plot-relevant the Manga Side Stories (The military exam becoming Fullmetal vs. Flame, for instance), I chose not to include them in my edit. Otherwise, everything should be accounted for!

P.S. P.S.
Apologies that the current release is only in dubbed form; reframing the 2003 footage means I can’t use any hard-coded subtitle track, so unless somebody can procure an isolated subtitle track for 2003 all I can make is a dubbed release (fortunately FMA’s dub is one of the best out there, so I think it’s still plenty watchable).