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Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - The Manga Cut (* on hiatus *) — Page 2


Oh wow, that’s awesome! I’ll definitely give it a look!

I’d still (someday, hopefully) like to do a true “manga cut,” but I like the idea of using some of the 2003-original material that can still work in “Brotherhood.”


I’ve watched a good chunk of it, and I think it’s very well done, though there are a couple things here and there I would have done differently (you cut out Al’s identity crisis entirely!)

But I actually have one big and two less-big problems with your first episode.

The big problem is the manga scan inserts. They’re immensely distracting and they aren’t necessary to use in any way. That scene can easily be edited using only FMA03 and FMA:B footage (or just pick one or the other) - using manga scans takes me out of it and doesn’t make me want to continue watching for fear of that being a recurring element in your edit. Thankfully, this is (so far) the only place you use this, but that makes it even a bigger head-scratching moment that you do it at all.

The first of the two smaller problems are the opening of the first episode - it shouldn’t be the “Alchemy…” narration, it should be a very abbreviated version of the immediate aftermath of their failed transmutation. Both 2003 and the manga do this (though 2003’s is too long) and it’s easily the best “hook” for the series before it shifts to the Lior story. I would just use what Brotherhood uses as a flashback at around the 17m15s mark of Brotherhood’s first episode (the Ice Alchemist one), though I haven’t gotten to your flashback episode yet so I dunno which version you went with for the actual flashback.

The second smaller problem is Cornello at the very end - he suddenly has his “gun arm” from Brotherhood even though you used the 2003 version of his downfall. This really needs to be rectified somehow, it’s the only glaring continuity error I’ve noticed so far.

After that, episodes 2-8 are pretty close to perfect, though I think there might be a minor continuity issue with Ed’s age being stated in the train episode (since 2003 places that before the alchemy test so he’s younger than he should be), and I don’t know what I think about the little 2003 insert of Winry asking to take apart Ed’s watch since I don’t think the manga or Brotherhood ever imply that the watch has “alchemy enhancers” the way 2003 does. And again, I don’t like cutting Al’s identity crisis since that’s in the manga and both anime adaptations - whether I love the story beat or not (I don’t all that much), I don’t like cutting it, especially when it ends up making the episode only 13 minutes long.

Looking forward to checking out episodes 9-14, and overall excellent work! I really love how you dealt with Hughes and the boys’ meeting by repurposing footage from Brotherhood’s first episode, that was a very smart choice and works wonderfully (and you also did an excellent job of editing the train episode to serve as Ed and Al’s first meeting with him and as his and Mustang’s main introduction to the audience).

Thanks so much for letting me know about your project!


Oh hey, glad to see you found this! Yeah, I’ve thought about trying to offer a more manga-accurate cut, but due in part to the issues with Brotherhood, this isn’t easy to accomplish without ripping more manga panels, which as you’ve noted is definitely less than ideal.

On that subject, though, Lior did need those Manga panels to illustrate Rose hearing Cornello’s admission of guilt (by being hidden in Al’s armor) firsthand. In both animations, Cornello acts suspect but never explicitly states that his miracles are lies, which muddies the “Truth vs. Lies” decision so pivotal thematically for The Manga and Brotherhood. I technically could’ve just used Brotherhood and it probably would’ve been mostly ok, but my goal with Lior specifically was to be exceptionally faithful to the manga, if only because Lior never got a true Manga adaptation. My eventual goal is to replace the manga panels with fully illustrated scenes used rudimentary animation. Subtitles could be used accordingly and could improve the flow dramatically. In general, Lior is still the most work-in-progress of any part of FMA:B:R for multiple art inconsistencies that need to be dealt with at some point.

As for the Alchemy narration, yeah that was a difficult consideration on my end. Directly adapting what the Manga did can’t really be done in animation without an immense amount of disjointedness, so the best I could supplant while being mostly accurate tonally was the use Broho’s “Alchemy” narration. That part is a bit of a no-win scenario, so I just went with what I felt worked the best.

I don’t think the Brother’s age is ever listed in battle on the train; the only continuity error is Hawkeye’s hair in both Train and The Mining Town. It’s super minor though, and I doubt many people will notice/care.

Ooh boy, Al’s identity crisis was a very partial decision on my part, but I did have my reasons for doing it (aside from really not liking it).
First, even after (imo) fixing the way Barry was handled, Al believing him about something as crucial as his identity seems a little out of character.
Second, while it’s in the Manga it doesn’t really serve to push the story forward, making it (in Mangahood specifically) filler.
Third, 2003 did more with this idea and made Al’s character a little more likely to trust untrustworthy people, so I’d rather keep it in a spot where it does push the story forward.
I accept that this decision was a very partial one, but I do think that it was the right choice.

Anyways, all good points to mention, but most of all I’m glad you enjoyed the project!


I’m just curious, where would you put the Brotherhood OVAs in the manga cut?

  1. The Blind Alchemist

  2. Simple People

  3. The Tale of Teacher

  4. Yet Another Man’s Battlefield


I’m not sure that I will include them, to be honest; it depends on how/if they’re included in the manga, and it’s been a while since I read the manga. (It also means I’ll need to track down the OVA Blu set, but that’s not as outrageously overpriced like the others are.)

I do have a lead on a not-absurdly-expensive FMA 2003 Region A Blu-Ray set right now, and if that bears out, then I’ll actually be able to sit down and start working on this again; once I’m able to do that I’ll have a better answer for you. Fingers crossed!


I also learned the 2 parter, “The Other Brothers Elric” came from a light novel, “The Land of Sand”, but not written by it’s original author, also 2003’s episode 37, “The Flame Alchemist, The Bachelor Lieutenant, and the Mystery of Warehouse 13”, came from the same novel as well. And I’ve noticed the 2003 episode, “Fullmetal vs Flame”, is from bonus chapters, “Dog of the Military?” and “The Military Festival”. I’ll let you decide this one, along with the Brotherhood OVAs.