The only thing worse the a prequel is a remake. And while I hope Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is the exception, it ain’t looking good.
Episode 1 reminds me of one of those compilation movies that splices together episodes (think Turn A Gundam). We’re hit over the head with things we already know: Armstrong loves his muscles, Ed is sensitive about his height, Hughes loves his family, Ed & Al tried Human transmutation destroying their bodies in the process. The problem with this is that there are just too many things introduced to do any of them justice. For instance when Ed & Al have dinner with Hughes, Al no longer pretends to eat. It was such a small thing and yet removing it really cheapened the moment for me.
Worse, we’re not really getting a new take here. Yes there’s a new character introduced, Isaac the Ice Alchemist, but he’s such a weak plot device. Ed completely ignores Isaac’s rants about corruption in the army, which isn’t surprising since he’s indiscriminately killing people. Isaac is quickly dispatched by the Fuhrer, revealing a fake Philosopher’s Stone as the source of his power. This is followed by a phone call to Lust so if you didn’t already know the Fuhrer is in league with the homunculi, you do now.
Seems like they’re speeding to the finish. Let’s hope they slow down enough to tell a story instead of recapping one.