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!