I just came back from watching Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos in the theater and it was enjoyable experience to be able to watch this movie with a crowd. I arrived at the theater 25 minutes late, but I easily caught up to what I was going on since the movie slowed down about 3-4 times to lay down the exposition and backstory they came up with just for this movie. Script-wise, the movie was mostly what you would expect from a yearly shonen movie from franchises like Naruto, One Piece or Bleach. There’s a new character introduced, they focus a lot on that character, but not enough on the characters you’ve actually grown to care about (in this case, Roy Mustang, who’s underrepresented in the film). But, while they lay down the plot a bit thick, the story they bring here does at least tie into the themes that you see in the other FMA works– racial conflicts between nations (Daryl Surat said it was the best anime analogy for the Israel/Palestine conflict ever and that’s appropriate to say) and military intervention with a shady ulterior motive. It doesn’t necessarily build upon any storyline in the movie, but nobody really expected it to. I would highly recommend watching this movie with a group of people. Hopefully they are as receptive and into the movie as the crowd I was with, as they really responded positively to the movie and that made the experience better.
You know what also made this movie better? There’s about 100% less jokes about Ed’s height. So assuming they didn’t have 10 of them in the first 25 minutes, this movie is pretty solid in that regard too.
The biggest draw going into the movie for me was the animation work that was being done. You could instantly tell they went in a different direction from the rest of the series just by looking at the poster. The aforementioned crowd enthusiasm in the theater I went to was a bit surprising to me, as all I saw online was vitriolic hatred towards the style they decided to use for this movie. I imagine there will still be a significant portion of the fanbase who will not like this movie simply because of the animation. However, I have to tip my hat to the people at BONES, Aniplex, and whomever else on the production committe that was bold enough to go forward with a movie that totally overhauled the visuals from what was established in the previous anime productions of FMA.