Anime Quick Information
|Average Rating: 6.00|
Reevothemusefan scored this with 7/10. Disagree?
Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood was my very first introduction to the franchise and as ignoring the original 2003 anime series is something I’m guilty of, trying to find the old Revelation film releases has not been an easy task and the same goes for this film that was also released by Revelation Films. This year, however, MangaUK are thankfully re-releasing the Conqueror of Shamballa movie in the UK, so is the film worth watching even without the knowledge of the original series?
Conqueror of Shamballa was made back in 2005 by studio BONES and was directed by Seiji Mizushima who also worked on the original Fullmetal Alchemist and directed Dai-Guard.
Oddly enough, the film is set in 1920s Munich. Edward Elric is working with Alfons Heiderich (who looks similar to his brother Alphonse) as rocket scientists and both are fully human. While travelling to a carnival, they accidently crash their car and are picked up by a group of gypsies who are performing at the same carnival. When they arrive, Edward decides to take a rest on the truck, and while resting, he sees that one of the gypsies is being attacked by a group of men. This is when we discover that Edward still has prosthetic limbs but not the metal ones we’re used to seeing. Nonetheless, he successfully scares the men away and we then find out that the gypsy he has saved is a female fortune-teller named Noah, who has the ability to read minds. When she reads Edward's, she sees his memories of Amestris and some familiar characters. Edward understands this and we soon find out that he's living in an unfamiliar parallel world. It’s then that strange events start happen in Munich.
So knowing nothing about the original Fullmetal Alchemist made this movie a bit confusing for me, mainly because most of the character relationships in it are different to Brotherhood. Still, the movie focuses more on the parallel world in Munich, which is an interesting subject since most of the ideas are fascinating.
For example: the parallel world is much like our real history in that Germany lost the First World War, the Treaty of Versailles was signed (which hurt the country) and the National Socialist Party (soon to be known as the Nazis) were on the rise, causing fear and racism on the streets of Munich, so this theme of war is similar to the other parallel world and makes for some interesting conversations. Also. because it’s a parallel world, some of the characters like Hughes and Bradley make appearances but are different people.
As for the plot, I will again admit that I got confused as to where it was going. It tries to set up for a big reveal of the villains' plan but it doesn’t help that the main antagonist is forgetful, only having limited screen time for the majority of the film until the ending, and it didn’t really help as well that the film forgot to tie up a few plot threads.
When it came to the presentation, it feels like Conqueror of Shamballa hasn’t really aged that much; while the CGI is a bit dated (the suits of armour scenes), the animation for the most part is what you would expect from studio BONES. There are some great action scenes along with some massively detailed backgrounds, and it also feels more steampunk compared to other Fullmetal Alchemist projects. The voicework from the US cast is strong, Mike Macfarland as the ADR Director does a good job along with the large number of voice actors who voiced the movie. The Japanese voice acting is also strong as well.
One of the big surprises of this movie is the amount of Extras you get with it; you even get two discs. The first disc has behind the scenes footage of the movie and reminiscing about the original anime series, original trailers for the movie – both Japanese and US, Production Art and an Image Gallery.
The second disc contains a Talk discussion with the Japanese director and voice actors, which goes into details about their characters and recording sessions as well as other topics; all of this is subbed. Not only that but there are THREE commentaries you can listen to, they are:
- Japanese Director and Staff (subbed)
- Japanese Director and Voice Actors (subbed)
- US Director and Voice Actors
So you’re getting a variety of commentaries that you will most likely come back to, with at least eight hours worth of extras, which is amazing and a rarity.
Again, it feels like it’s best to watch the original Fullmetal Alchemist series to prepare yourself for this movie, although if you skip it, you’re still getting a well animated movie with some smartly executed ideas (although not all of them are great.)
Screenshots (click to pop out)
|Score:||7 out of 10|
|Date Published:||Wed, 10 Oct 2012|
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