If you haven’t seen it or had a chance to pick it up yourself yet, the latest issue of Otaku USA magazine—February 2016, on sale now—has none other than Fullmetal Alchemist on the cover. No, this isn’t a new series; it’s not even Brotherhood! Rather, FUNimation’s remaster of the original 2003 anime adaptation of Hiromu Arakawa’s manga gave us the opportunity to see how it holds up in a world where both the original manga and the second adaptation have long since concluded.
With more than a decade of hindsight, it’s tempting to think that anime studio BONES’ first crack at the series has aged poorly. Or maybe it just looks older than its years. Neither is the case, but what even separates an early 2000s anime from those that have come since, aesthetically speaking? Daryl Surat contemplates that and more in the cover story.
Here’s an excerpt:
The first thing that jumped out to me upon revisiting it was “this does not look ‘old’ in any way.” Japanese animation of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s each had their own dominant trends in character designs and animation that you could point to and say, “That looks like it’s from that era.” But, truth be told, there isn’t as much about the 2000s in those aspects to set it apart from the present day. When I ask myself, “What visual trends defined anime of the 2000s?” my mind conjures up images of cheap digital camera pans (present since the late 1990s) and character designs by Hisashi Hirai (Gundam SEED, s-CRY-ed) where everybody has the exact same face only with different hairstyles.
The original Fullmetal Alchemist is in sharp contrast to those “2000s anime” traits, though.
We’re as pumped as everyone else to have Fullmetal Alchemist back on our cover after so long. Be sure to pick it up to read Daryl’s full FMA feature along with features and reviews covering the latest anime, manga, games, and more.