As someone who was introduced and became addicted to anime in the mid 2000’s, I consider many of the shows from that era to better than they likely were. As a result, whenever a series from that time period has a sequel, OVA, or movie, I feel almost obligated to watch it. Consider it a kind of ripple effect or nice escape to simpler days. One such series I watched as a result of this ripple effect was Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, which I guess was good enough. This in turn les me to the Brotherhood era movie – The Sacred Star of Milos.
On its own merits, the movie is well done in regards to its animation quality, its execution, and respect for the fans of the Brotherhood Series. Of particular note, were the action scenes, especially those involving the use of magma. The movie even attempted, in typical FMA fashion, to make you think about social inequity, especially as it relates to the power struggle between powerful states and the minorities within them. With all that considered, the movie deserves high marks. Alas, that is not the end of the story.
Unfortunately, I can’t judge this movie on its own merits. Fairly or not, The Sacred Star of Milos must be viewed as a part of the larger FMA universe, and in this context it doesn’t hold up. On the more apparent side of things, the abandoned city gimmick used at the end of this movie is far too similar to the end of the original series. Hell, they entrance to these underground cities in both instances were found in churches. I don’t know if this was done as more of an homage to the original series, but it certainly came off as lazy, creatively speaking. However, the thing that really irks me is the complete disregard to the Brotherhood timeline. For those of you who have seen Brotherhood, one of the big reveals in the series is that under the nation of Amestris was an underground transmutation circle. After viewing this movie, you have to wonder how it didn’t occur to someone in the Brotherhood series that a nationwide transmutation circle wasn’t a possibility. More to the point, how could all of the characters in the television series have been so surprised by the revelation of the nationwide transmutation circle if they had seen it all before.
I know this seems like nitpicking, and it is. In the end this movie was made to make money and it was far from phoned in. I suppose this speaks to a larger issue in anime movies based on television series, in which the movie is and isn’t part of the series’ chronology. I suppose its just something we have to live with.