Gosh, I am such a big fan of Full Metal Alchemist if you don't already know that. The anime was perfect (albeit I was not to crazy about the departure from the manga and the ending.) Still, I think of the 21st century, FMA might be my favorite shounen anime, and I watch more shounen than shoujo. Everything about it was stellar, voice actors, music, animation quality, plot (yes, every episode was brimming with tension, emotions, etc.), the fight scenes were brilliantly executed. I do not have enough praise for FMA. I remember when I first heard of it, I thought the premise sounded grim and serious--and I thought the "guy in the armor" was older. But it's cute little Alphonse trapped in the armor. For those of you not familiar with the story, it's about two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, who lose their mother. They try to use alchemy to bring her back and result Edward loses a limb and Alphonse his body. Edward sacrifices his arm to seal Alphonse's soul into an empty armor lying about. It is their quest to find the philosopher's stone in order to bring back Al's body and for Ed to regain his limbs (he uses automail as artificial limbs, hence "Full Metal.") A central theme of FMA is "to gain something, you have to give up something equivalent in return."
Yes, does this sound familiar? Yes, it sounds a lot like Youko-san's motto from XXXHolic. I always relate everything back to CLAMP, but when Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles came out, I thought, wow, some principals are a lot like FMA. Especially since we learned Fei Wong Reed wants to bring back someone? But of course, CLAMP always held a fascination with alchemy (if you couldn't tell with Clow Reed.) After all, Clow Reed was based after magi Aleister Crowley who held a fascination for the occult and alchemy. And there's of course Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone with Lord Voldemort's desire to return to a physical body. Bringing back someone from the dead is a universal theme related with humans' dread for mortality. Anyhow, I've been reading up on alchemy ever since FMA came out, which in return let me to understand CLAMP better and also the way magic theory works in CCS and TRC.
I'm excited and still a bit skeptical about the FMA remake. I like the idea of a more manga-faithful version. But truthfull, the first half of the anime did an even better job than the manga in terms of plot execution, pacing, etc. Some of the most memorable scenes were in the anime and not as striking in the manga. And the music, as I stated in an earlier post, was so spectacular I can't imagine a new OST. But I'm excited to see the latter part of the manga animated and at least Paku Romi is back. I have a weird hobby of tracing the7 degress of separation in the anime seiyuu world. Miki Shinichirou (King Touya of TRC) is voicing Roy Mustang, my favorite character, so I'm not too bitter about the change in the voice cast. Anyhow, that officially connects FMA to the CLAMP franchise. Lol... Well, I recommend FMA if you haven't already seen it. The plot has everything you can ask for--political intrigue, brotherhood, military fun, tons of action, war, genocide, a dash of romance potential, comedy, alchemy, adventure, mystery...
The trailer got me excited-the ending song sounds awesome.
Sometimes, I like trailers even better than the actual show. That happens a lot for Hollywood movies, it seems. Especially some comedies--they ruin all the best punch lines in the trailer and the actual movie is a waste of two hours, unfortunately.
The trailer for Eden of the East is AWESOME, one of the best trailers I've seen of late. (I should do an entry on trailers lol.) Interesting note is that Oasis is doing the opening song (yes, the English band that did "Wonderwall," an awesome song.) And the designs were done by Chika Umino of Honey and Clover (my favorite slice-of-life anime), hence the male lead looks like Morita-senpai! Oh, and it's Production I.G. so you know the animation is going to be stellar.
Anyhow, 2009 seems like an awesome year for anime, with Kobato coming along too for a good shoujo fix. I have to say I watched a lot less anime for the past year or two than I used to, and very few shows really have caught my attention. So, I'm excited!