Saturday, October 03, 2009

Oct 3

(Picture has nothing to do with subject. Just an older photo which hasn't been posted.)
No, of course I didn't forget. Things have been kind of... crazy. Well, it's true that it has been a while since I last wrote any review. I've fallen grossly behind on watching the episodes. I'd like to keep up... but situation doesn't favour that. For now, though. For now.

On a special day like today, the least I can do is to drop down some thoughts.

I hope I'm wrong, but the new TV series doesn't seem to be as popular as the old one. There are many reasons...

Pop cultures are consumer products.
Trends come and go. 5 years is too soon for a remake. When the old TV series first came out, it was fresh. There was nothing like it on the market. People feast on it, had their fill and are still not hungry yet. Now it's nothing but old stuff. 10 years is more reasonable. Ending at the same time as the manga may be a good PR trick, but they should have considered all the factors. Were they overly confident? I don't think their decision is doing this piece of work justice.

The new toys suck.
It was like this last time, and I thought it would improve this time. Not! Why is Square Annex so unfair to FMA? Look at Final Fantasy!

"Moe" has been reduced.
Well, it is closer to the original manga, but the last TV series improved it by adding lots of "moe". What is "moe"? I define it as "the degree of lovable". In other word, lovableness, if it's actually a word.
Character design lost elegance and became rustic. No more pretty guys and girls.
The amount of physical and emotional pain the main characters carry has also been reduced. The more severe the pain, the more weight and substance the characters have. Which leads to more sympathy and empathy. This lack of pain is something inherited from the manga. Alas, it was what dojins thrive on in the old series.

Quality decreased.
The system of a single drawing supervisor for the whole series has been replaced by episodic supervisors. There are noticeable drawing and animation style fluctuations. Overall, you can feel the difference in quality. The old series was waaay above average. The new one is only... average. I hope this will improve with time.
The backgrounds also look really rough. It's obviously intentional. But why? I cannot understand. It's a big mismatch with the foreground characters. It shows nothing but a lack of willingness to spend more time on painting. It's simply... not loved by the staff as much as the old series.

But the biggest failure, is the director.
He cuts way too many important episodes and scenes. You can call me bias, but in the first season, his goal was to "be different from the old series" other than "to make a good show". I'm sorry, I can't read it any other way.
Dropping a few of Ed's early battles is a really bad idea. You know, the one on the train, and with Yoki. I'm sorry, but this alone cuts Ed's charm by half. Those episodes show how he kicks ass! Without them, Ed looks like he hardly wins any battle!
Whatever the director didn't cut, lacks weight. The Lior episode, the Izumi episode. And many many more "special moments" he skipped. Like Winry's apple pie in the hotel, the "linked mind" theory with Al...

Sigh... maybe I'm just not subjective enough.

This has been written over many days and posted much later.

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