The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos

Title: Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos aka Hagane no Renkinjutsushi: Mirosu no Sei-naru Hoshi
Genre: Action/Drama
Company: BONES
Format: Movie; 110 minutes.
Dates: 2 Jul 2011

Synopsis: The nation of Milos has been annexed by Amestris and its people are forced into a desolate valley as a buffer zone between the two great countries Amestris and Creta. In order to win their independence, the citizens of Milos have fought long and hard in search of incredible alchemic powers told in their legends. Things seem hopeless until an Amestris state alchemist, Edward Elric and his brother Alphonse Elric arrives on the border in search of a fugitive alchemist.

The Highlights
Pacing: Quick, concise and compact.
Story: Well structured with some interesting twists throughout.
Cameos: Literally everyone from the old cast except Ed and Al didn’t need to be here.
Animation: While the animation flows well, the movie simply doesn’t look all that good.

Congratulations Fullmetal Alchemist! You’ve just joined the ranks of Naruto, One Piece and Dragonball Z with your very own shounen action filler movie. Now if you make Bones a lot of money, we can all expect to see the Elric brothers explore the other reaches of their world searching for new forms of alchemy, helping the oppressed locals and making new friends year after year after year.

All backhand remarks aside, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos is a competent though unimpressive summer action flick aimed at fans of the series. As this is a filler movie, the events that occur in the film have no real impact on the franchise characters, and the setting is generic enough that it could have taken place in either the anime original or the manga/Brotherhood universe. Normally the distinct character designs could be used as a tell as to which version of the show is being used, but The Sacred Star of Milos uses its own unique designs and approaches the visuals in a completely different way than either of the two television shows.

The first thing that becomes apparent in the film is that the visuals simply aren’t movie quality. The animation flows nicely but characters are often off model and any humans in the midground or background are drawn with noticeably low amounts of detail. Considering that Bones produces some of the best looking television shows in existence, they either used a B-team I didn’t know about or they made a stylistic choice probably as a result of a limited, OVA level budget.

The story is a relentless roller-coaster full of twists and turns that never fails to grab the audience’s attention. The plot constantly ploughs forward, and with the exception of cameo appearances of some old faces, no scene is wasted. Since the story mirrors many of the events already in both of the television shows, there is nothing particularly compelling or interesting the narrative has to say but what it does say is worth reiteration.

Much like the core theme of Naruto is tragic childhoods creating tragic characters in need of saving and Dragonball Z‘s core theme is (probably) killing people, Fullmetal Alchemist‘s core theme is finding the strength to stand on one’s own two legs in the face of a hostile and unfair world. In this case, the hostilities come from Amestris, the Nazi Germany of the Fullmetal Alchemist world. Their annexation of the nation of Milos and the systematic destruction of its people is starting to lead me to believe that the Ishvalan massacre is less of an aberration and more business as usual. It’s a rather bleak topic for a shounen action movie but its part of what gives the franchise its sharp edge.

If you’re a fan of Fullmetal Alchemist and want to spend two more hours with the Elric brothers, The Sacred Star of Milos is a run through of some of the franchise’s key themes and ideas presented like a summer action movie. It isn’t the most impressive movie adaptation around, but its relentless pacing will insure you won’t be bored for even a second.

The Rating: 6

Reviewed by: Shadowmage

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