Friday, 4 March 2016

Unboxing [US]: Fullmetal Alchemist: Conqueror of Shamballa - 2015 Re-Release (Blu-ray)

The other remaining Fullmetal Alchemist title that I needed is finally in my hands. This, alongside the Brotherhood series and its OVA collection, are expiring on March 31st 2016 in North America - effectively meaning it will go out of print. So here's a look at the new 2015 re-release of the film Conqueror of Shamballa.

Just to point out that the plot synopsis may contain spoilers to the original 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist series.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Conqueror of Shamballa is a film continuation to the original 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist adaptation. Like the latter half of the 2003 adaptation, Conqueror of Shamballa is also non-canon to the manga source material and concludes the story presented in the ending of the series. It still follows Ed and Al but with a whole different twist in its setting and characters. Many liked this film while some others don't, I have yet to judge it since I haven't seen the original series yet (I will do, just not now).

This is the second version of the film's Blu-ray release. The first version came out in November 2009 and at some point during the early 2015 season it ended up going out of print alongside its DVD release. This re-release has the same on-disc content so don't worry if you feel you missed out on anything from its previous version. The audio options include the English dub as well as the original Japanese language with English subtitles. The regions are A & B this time around, as Funimation do have UK rights to this film (they did have the UK rights to the original 2003 series but they expired). The subtitles are locked however.

Blu-ray Specs:
Languages: Japanese, English
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 [Japanese], Dolby TrueHD 5.1 [English]
Video: 1080p HD Native 16:9
Region: A B
Subtitles: English [Japanese language & On-screen]
Subtitles Locked: Yes
Discs: 1

Plot Synopsis (via Funimation - *MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS TO 2003 FMA*):
It is 1923 in Munich. Two years have passed since Edward Elric's sacrifice ripped him out of his world and into ours, separating him from his younger brother, Alphonse. In that time, Ed's continued research into rocketry has allied him with Alphonse Heiderich, a fellow researcher who oddly resembles Ed's brother. Progress has been slow, however, and Ed has become discouraged. But when he saves a quiet Gypsy girl with the power to read minds, Ed is quickly pulled into a plot by the Thule Society and the burgeoning Nazi Party that could drag both worlds into a terrible war.

Back in his own world, Al has been unlocking new secrets of alchemy and gaining incredible powers, all in the hopes of finding Ed. Battling the occult, ideological extremists, and monstrous Homunculi lurking in the shadows, can the brothers find a way to reunite without causing chaos and bloodshed? What will happen when the world of alchemy and the world of modern science collide?

Extra Content:
"The Making of Fullmetal Alchemist - The Movie" 40-minute Documentary with Director Seiji Mizushima and Staff
Japanese Theatrical and TV Trailers
Production Art Image Gallery
Talk Session with Seiji Mizushima, Romi Park, Rie Kugimiya and Toru Okawa
Japanese Actor Commentary
Japanese Staff Commentary
US Actor Commentary

If you can find one, the film is available on Blu-ray from Funimation for North America. The license in the UK may expire as it was sub-licensed from Funimation.

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Member of the Anime UK News forum, and also once part of the Sheffield Hallam Visual Arts society throughout 2013-2017. Been collecting anime since 2012 and supported the anime distributors ever since. Also been hanging around on the Blu-ray forum and Fandom Post forums.

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