*Spoilers, the ending, and key plot points mentioned in random order. Do not read if you haven't finished the series!*
Never written one of these things. This is more for me just to write down some thoughts regarding FMA:B. FMA:B was good. It was damn good. It was good enough to make it to number 4 in my top 10. However, the happy go lucky ending raised a few thoughts that I'd like to jot down.
Why do we feel the need to end anime, particularly shounen anime on such high/happy notes? It felt...for lack of a better word, cheesey. It felt slapped sticked. Don't worry Mustang, we'll fix your eyes with this stone that we've tried so desperately the entire series to get people to stop using. It's cool Ed and Al, you get your bodies back for understanding the power of friendship. Blah blah cheesey.
It certainly doesn't take away the good parts of FMA:B. There were some very dark moments coupled with some interesting (though not necessarily deep) concepts. Yeah, I've seen them done before and all, but character development really brought everything together at the end. If I were asked what was the best part of FMA, I would have to say the characters by far no question.
The Nina storyline left me crippled for days emotionally, and even throughout the series I felt after that there would be nothing that would come close to rivaling her story. I was partially right. Father's plan to absorb God into himself was predictable, at least in some form throughout the series. But, to see how everything cultivated and came together on "The Promised Day" made everything connect. It felt as though everything that had happened was all leading to this moment. It was epic beyond this world, literally. And though it didn't make me cry like a little girl like Nina's arc did, it certaintly made just as big an impact on the series if not more. If the series has to be ridiculed for something, ridicule it for how good Nina's arc was and how everything after seemed far below it.
Sure there were plotholes. But the central plot and in depth character development out weigh them if I had to say. If the series hadn't ended in a "bad guys lose good guys win here take your prizes and be happy" sort of way this series would have easily been one of my few 5 star ranks. But because they took the please everybody approach I am forced to shake my head and chip it down to 4.5 simply out of anger that the mangaka gave in to the fans.
But don't be mistaken. This series has hype like a lot of popular series. So many claim that the popular anime are overrated and aren't quite as good as others and so on. But, believe me when I say that FMA, while not the greatest series I've ever seen, certainly deserves all of the popularity and most of the praise that it gets.
Some might be heading towards fanboyism to say that it's a 5 star anime and rank 1 or 2 on this site. But those types of fans only exist because a series left a particular impact on many people. Even before Brotherhood FMA left a big mark in the anime business and showed that it rivaled the legends that came before. But now after Brotherhood, I can say with confidence that FMA has set the standards quite high in the Shounen anime business. Very few that came before surpass that line, and I doubt we'll see very few that will come after to cross it as well.