Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood — OVA Collection Blu-ray Review
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
- Audio Codec: Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit), English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
- Subtitles: English
- Region: A (Region-Locked)
- Rating: TV-14
- Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
- Run Time: 60 Mins. (OVAs)
- Studio: Funimation Entertainment
- Blu-ray Release Date: May 15, 2012
- List Price: $24.98
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
This collection of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood OVAs from Funimation Entertainment runs for a mere 60-minutes over the course of its four original films. A brief glimpse into the mythology of Fullmetal, the series of films deals mostly with the protagonists we have come to know when they were younger. We see Ed and Al investigating the story of an alchemist who successfully performed human transmutation, explore the unknown influence that Winry and Lieutenant Hawkeye had in each other, follow an 18-year-old Izumi “Teacher” Curtis as she braves the frigid forests of the North to become a master if alchemy’s apprentice, and then see the burgeoning friendship of Mustang and Hughes from military academy rivals to lifelong brothers. While these OVAs are a mere taste of the full Fullmetal Alchemist experience and will be a bit puzzling to those unfamiliar with the franchise, they will be a fun experience for longtime fans.
This Fullmetal OVA collection looks okay in its 1.78:1 framed AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement from Funimation Entertainment in that colors are vivid, contrast is strong, detail around the line art is well defined and there isn’t much noise or compression errors. However, there are many instances of motion artifacts that appear as jaggies around the line art. These artifacts don’t present strongly in still scenes, but they can be noticed on larger screens when there are pans across the image and so forth. Still, a close examination of the screen capture directly above, for example, will show jaggies around the top of the armored suit and the same with the screen capture below, in the Audio Quality section.
- OVA 1 – The Blind Alchemist
- OVA 2 – Simple People
- OVA 3 – The Tale of Teacher
- OVA 3 – Yet Another Man’s Battlefield
The audio is of typically solid nature for Fullmetal Alchemist in both the available lossless tracks. The Original Japanese soundtrack in Dolby TrueHD 2.0 stereo (48kHz/24-bit) has full, clean dialogue with aggressive stereo panning and a good amount of dynamic range with airy high frequencies. The English dub, a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) mix opens things up a bit, with lots of atmospherics and ambience in the surrounds. Dialogue is equally clear, but perhaps sounds a tinge less upfront than in the Japanese mix.
Included with the OVAs is 40-minutes worth of the Fullmetal Four-Panel Comic Theater skits. These offer a glimpse at the more humorous side of Fullmetal Alchemist, with heavy reliance on chibi, which is a technique in anime, I must admit, that is a pet peeve of mine. Even so, these are rather amusing to watch.
- Fullmetal Four-Panel Comic Theater
- DVD – Standard DVD release of the OVA collection is included in this combo pack.
The Definitive Word
Not necessarily a last minute purchase for the average person, this set will probably appeal mostly to fans of the Fullmetal Alchemist series and may have been best as an add on to any of the numerous Fullmetal releases from Funimation, rather than being offered up as a stand-alone release. Nevertheless, fans will want to pick this up.
Additional Screen Captures