In the midst of wrapping up Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Studio Bones decided to follow up with another feature length film. Unlike the first film, The Conqueror of Shamballa, which was a direct continuation of the first series, Bones decided to do an original story, since Brotherhood followed the manga and ended finitely. What was born of this was The Sacred Star of Milos, a stand alone film that takes place outside of continuity of the Fullmetal universe. A strange alchemist has escaped from the city of Central and the Elric brothers tail him to Table City, in the land of Creta. This leads to the Elrics being caught in the midst of a feud between the army in Table City and the lowly citizens of Milos, that sit in a valley between Table City and Armestris. With Milos, Studio Bones tell quite an adventure with plenty of action, awesome animation and themes that run through the original series.
Director Kazuya Murata was able to pick most of his staff to work on Milos, due to his impressive work on Code Geass and Eureka Seven. The end result is a wonderful looking film and one of the best things that Bones has done since Sword of the Stranger. If there was any problem I had with the film, it would be with Yuichi Shinbo’s plotting. The story of the film has some really strong moments, but it gets bogged down with some pretty predictable tropes of the shonen action genre and goes on for far too long, with the film being close to two hours in length. This is over shadowed by the sense of adventure and wonder that happens throughout the film, as well as its magnetic cast. The addition of Julia and Ashley Crichton, that embody the themes of war and its effects on a people and a nation, are very engaging characters, as well as the people of Milos, that have the same issues as Ishvalans, with their people having to endure suffering by the military might of Armestris.
The DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack from Funimation is really well done and has some solid extras. The video on the Blu-Ray contains a 1080p transfer, with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. Rich in detail and color, the transfer for the film is unbelievable and deserves to be seen on the biggest screen one can see it on. All of the action sequences are to die for, with them being extremely fluid and chock full of visceral energy. The audio is presented in both the English and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mixes that retain all of the voice actors from earlier entrees. Both are full of rich detail and impressive uses of the surround channels that make either one a joy to listen to. There’s also an hour long behind-the-scenes documentary, as well as an English commentary by the U.S. production staff and voice actor cast that round out the solid extras on the disc.
Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos is a fantastic entry into the Fullmetal series and another accomplishment by Studio Bones. It presents some great things, that both fans and non-fans can enjoy, without having to sit through an entire season of anime to consume to immerse themselves in the wonderful world of Fullmetal Alchemist. Highly Recommended!