After only three weeks since its premiere in Japan, Funimation and Aniplex made an international premiere of Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos a reality Saturday night for Otakon attendees. It was a very special treat especially for the fans. This was clearly evident as the audience roared each time a returning character first appeared on screen or at the conclusion of fight scenes. To paraphrase the second season, the siblinghood of the audience was palpable.
Having had the fortune to interview the director hours before the premiere, I was extra excited. Murata-san had stressed in the interview that the magic to his success lies in entertaining the audience and he did not disappoint. The pace never felt off and changed tempo in accordance with the plot. Of particular note are the action segments. Under Murata-san’s direction, the intensity has one’s heartbeat approaching the speed of light due to its realism. I recall the part during the train fight where a man was caught in a net so fast that it took me a moment to recognize what happened which certainly places the audience into said man’s shoes.
The plot, while engaging, felt trite in its theme even though Murata-san mentioned that it takes place sometime after episode twenty of the second season. This could be a side effect of high expectations due to the originality that made the anime so popular in the first place. It rehashes the principal of never attempting the taboo from the series. The premise also shares similarities with the Gundam universe which I shall not spoil. I also felt the introduction and development of new characters were spent at the expense of neglecting returning ones. Is it still a FMA film if Colonel Mustang… no worries, no spoilers! Comic relief delivers each time and there’s enough romance in the air for those seeking it. In short, the film delivers on entertainment.
A limited theatrical release for the US is scheduled for 2012.