Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is, at the moment, the top rated anime on this website. That leaves the question, should it be? In response to this, I say "Well, there could be worse shows at the top"
The story of FMA Brotherhood is one of its better aspects. We follow Edward Elric, a child prodigy and inexplicably powerful Alchemist (because Alchemy is pretty common in this fantasy world). The reason Edward wields this almost unbelievable power (he's only 15 after all) is that he attempted to bring his dead mother back to life and unlocked some secret power after he failed. This will all be explained in due time if you watch the anime. The story focuses on Edward trying to get back his lost limbs (a charge for trying to resurrect his mother) and the body of his brother Alphonse, who at the moment is a soul bound to some armour. Brotherhood is, as most people know, a manga accurate retelling of the Fullmetal Alchemist story, an anime from 2003. And while I won't mark down Brotherhood's story just because it wasn't as good as it's predecessor, it can be marked down from the terrible pacing (seriously, it almost gets Dragonball Z bad) and the disappointing second half. However, it is still very entertaining and there are a few decent twists and turns along the way.
The Animation of Brotherhood is another strong point. Animated by Studio Bones, it is always fluid and beautiful with some truly awesome action scenes later on as the plot thickens. Really, it is great animation, but it wasn't really anything special that was really amazing like the close up action scenes from Cowboy Bebop, or the 3DMG scenes from Shingeki No Kyojin, so I can't really call it perfect.
The Sound in Brotherhood is OK. There isn't really much to complain about. The music is very nice all throughout (with the exception of the last opening and a few irritating battle songs), but there was nothing really special about it. I watched this as a dub, and it was great for the most part, but there were a few performances I didn't really care for, in particular Stephanie Young as Olivier Armstrong
The Characters of Brotherhood are probably its weakest point. While the principal leads (Ed and Alphonse) are fine, both interesting and likeable, much of the rest of the cast is weak. There are two anomalies to this. One is Winry Rockbell, a childhood friend of the Elrics who is very likable and energetic. Her character is more or less the same as she was in the 2003 anime, just with added "personality" (by which I mean tits). The other anomaly is 2nd Lt. Riza Hawkeye. Her character is one of the most different from the 2003 show, with a much larger involvement in the overall story. However, the rest of the cast were not that interesting, and many of them were down-grades on the 2003 versions of themselves (I know that shouldn’t matter and they should be judged on their own merits, but I can't help it, they're just not as good as they used to be). The largest sufferers from "not as good as the original-itis" are the villains (living dolls called Homunculi) and Lt. Col. Roy Mustang, who devolves from an interesting and complex anti-hero who seemed to justify any means with it's ends, to Action Man, causing massive explosions with his fire power (literally). There were also some aggressively annoying characters, the most obvious being <s>Chinese</s> Xingese girl May Chang, and stereotypical tough girl Olivier Armstrong.
Overall, FMA Brotherhood is a decent show, who's main downfall is not being as good as the original and having mediocre at best characters. However, just about everything else about this show is good, so I would definitely recommend it. But not as much as FMA 2003.
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