Actor Kelsey Gramer once referred to his hit show “Fraser” as methadone for viewers in “Cheers” withdrawl. And “The Sacred Star of Milos,” is definitely methadone for the Addicted-To-FMA crowd. If it occurred in the middle of the “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” television series, rather than AFTER the show had ended, the fandom would decry it as a “filler arc” posing as a movie.
The series “Fullmetal Alchemist” and “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” both tell the story of the young brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric, who, alone in the world, seek to use an alchemic ritual to bring back their dead mother, despite taboos against doing such things. The process turns against them, mid-ritual, and Edward loses an arm and a leg. His younger brother, Alphonse, barely escapes, as a soul mystically tied to a suit of armor. They join their military’s alchemists for access to ancient alchemy texts and are soon on a blood-soaked quest for the Philosopher’s Stone, which they believe can reverse what has happened to them.
“Sacred Star…”‘s unenviable task is to add an unknown chapter in this very tightly woven tale’s story arc. Since all of the political intrigue and character enlightenment are the firmaments of the actual series, the movie leaves Ed and Al to be supporting characters in what is really somebody else’s tale…
That someone is Julia Crichton: When Ed and Al check out the mysterious escape of a prisoner with only a few weeks left on his sentence, their investigation leads them Table City. There, the escapee makes an attempt on Julia’s life, dragging the Elrics into delicate border disputes between their country (Amestris) and neighboring Creta, as well as simmering racial tensions. The Malcolm X, if you will, of this whole powder keg is Julia, whose parents were brutally murdered by the Cretans. She is determined to use the mythical Star of Milos (minor spoiler: a Philospher’s Stone) to free her people from their valley floor ghetto and reclaim Table City from the Armetrians.
While Edward and Alphonse struggle with doing the right thing when everybody is wrong, events escalate to a point where protecting human life is the only necessary criteria.
The voice actors remain the same from the series (both English & Japanese) and the patron rock band of both series, L’Arc~en~Ciel, provide the end theme “Good Luck My Way.” The action is fluid and never lets up, but the animation feels overly simplified. In some scenes, the background characters are literally shadows and smiley faces (and NOT in a “chibi” way).
As a matter of full disclosure, I will tell you that I am a card-carrying member of the “Fullmetal…” faithful. And, as such, I do think everyone who likes “Fullmetal Alchemist” on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim should view this movie…but more as a matter of completism than anything else. It is not a “must-see” film by any stretch.
“Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – The Sacred Star of Milos” debuted in Japan on July 2, 2011. It’s North American premiere was at Otakon on July 30, 2011. On September 17, 2011, it won 3 awards at the Burbank International Film Festival: Best Feature (Animation), Best Writing (Animation/Adaptation), and Best Director (Animation) for Kazuya Murata.
This weekend, October 13-16, 2011, it will show at the New York Comic Con/New York Anime Fest. For the price of FREE, it is definitely a breezy way to pass two hours.
Other screenings include:
- The Hawaii International Film Festival – the screening is set for October 18, 2011 at 9:15 p.m.
- The Vancouver Asian Film Festival – November 3rd – 6th, 2011
- Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival – November 8th – 19th, 2011
- The San Francisco International Animation Festival – November 10th – 13th, 2011
And it is scheduled for a limited run in various U.S. theaters in December 2011 before DVD/BD release by Funimation in Spring 2012.)
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Tags: Alphonse Elric, ANIME, Edward Elric, Elric Brothers, Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist - Brotherhood, Grim_Noir, Julia Crichton, Kazuya Murata, L'Arc-en-Ciel, New York Comic Con/New York Anime Fest, NYAF, NYCC, Sacred Star of Milos