Props to the folks over on Anime UK News for spotting a neat deal from Amazon Canada. This set was available for one day at a price of CAN$22.99 which in UK terms was £13! What a steal for 51 episodes!
This is another show that is suffering from the Aniplex-Funimation situation. The license is estimated to expire at the end of July 2016 so it was perfect timing for me to pick this show up. Here's a look at what the standard edition has to offer.
Before there was Brotherhood, Fullmetal Alchemist got an anime adaptation from studio Bones back in 2003. This ran for 51 episodes and did not manage to cover the rest of the manga story as the source material wasn't complete back then. Rather than ending the series on a poor note, the creator Hiromu Arakawa stepped in to make a suitable anime original end to the series. As a result, many enjoyed what the 2003 version had to offer and is still one of the better anime original ends to this date.
Funimation have had the rights to the original Fullmetal Alchemist series since it aired in Japan. The series became very successful for the distributor, earning re-releases from individual singles, to 1-cour season box sets, to 2-cour season Viridian Collection sets and then finally a complete Blu-ray collection in both standard, limited and collector's edition. The distributor also originally had UK rights as well before they expired during the last few years (which then went back to Aniplex HQ where Anime Limited were able to acquire them).
I was originally going to pick up the limited edition but unfortunately it was a pointless mess. There was no chipboard treatment and all it had to offer were postcards at a much high suggested retail price. So I went with the standard edition that was going for SRP $64.98. The standard edition from Funimation contains all 51 episodes across 6 Blu-ray discs, region locked to A and with locked subtitles. The extra content includes English commentaries, Commercials & Trailers and a few more. The OVAs that were released in the Premium OVA Collection DVD are not part of this package.
Languages: Japanese, English
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 2.0 [Japanese], Dolby TrueHD 5.1 [English]
Video: 1080p SD Remaster/Upscale 4:3
Subtitles: English [Japanese language & On-screen]
Subtitles Locked: Yes
In an era of war and corruption, State Alchemist Edward Elric and his brother Alphonse desperately search for the Philosopher's Stone. The legendary artifact is their last hope to restore what they've lost - but how far will they go to get it? From the ashes of their childhood, Edward and Alphonse quickly rise to fame within the ranks of the military, realizing along the way that the power to create is only ever a breath away from the power to destroy. And whether they're up against monsters, madmen, or military officials, the bond these brothers share will be the greatest weapon they have in the fight for their lives.
The Transmutation of a Phenomenon: An Inside Look
Ura Hagane: Comedic Videos
Episode Commentary (19, 25, 51)
L’Arc~en~Ciel "Ready Steady Go" Video
Textless Openings and Closings
Fullmetal Alchemist 2003 is available in a complete set on Blu-ray and as two full-season sets on DVD. The license will eventually expire soon so get it while you can. A UK release is scheduled in the future by Anime Limited.