Anime DVD Review: Fullmetal Alchemist Premium OVA Collection

The Fullmetal Alchemist Premium OVA Collection was released by FUNimation Entertainment on August 4, 2009. The DVD runs for 35 minutes, and includes four shorts. On the DVD, you can choose to watch the shorts, choose your audio and subtitle options, or choose to see the extras. On the discs, you can watch the episodes with either the English dub or the original Japanese audio with English subtitles.

Fullmetal Alchemist Premium OVA Collection
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: DVD
Release Date: August 4, 2009

The first short is “Interactive Experience,” which was part of the “Fullmetal Alchemist Premiere Tour” at Universal Studios Japan in 2005. For this short, you are a new probationary member of the State Alchemists; you learn key concepts of the Fullmetal Alchemist universe, meet most of the characters, and “you” even get to help out on a mission. This particular feature runs for about 18 minutes. This was a decent short, although you don’t get the full experience since you’re not at the actual attraction at Universal Studios Japan.

Next is “Live Action Featurette.” This short is set in modern Japan, and Alphonse (as the suit of armor) is wandering the streets, looking for Edward. He comes to Studio Bones in the hopes of locating his brother. I personally found this particular short to be rather odd, and it’s definitely my least favorite short on the disc.

This is followed by “Chibi Wrap Party.” In this short, which is set at the wrap party after the conclusion of the Fullmetal Alchemist: Conqueror of Shamballa film, sees the characters being depicted in a chibi style. This is a very comedic short, and can really be appreciated if you have familiarity with the Fullmetal Alchemist universe. I enjoyed this short, although it wasn’t quite the best short on the disc.

The final short on the disc is “Kids.” The viewer follows three kids who look remarkably like the young Edward, Alphonse, and Winry we see in flashbacks during Fullmetal Alchemist. They are going to see their grandfather, who in my estimation, is probably more likely their great grandfather. The short ends with the impression that the grandfather is Edward Elric. I thought that this was not only an enjoyable short, but that that it was the best of the four shorts included on this release.

There are a total of three extras included on the disc. The first is labeled as “Original TV Commercial”; this is a commercial from Japan for the Conqueror of Shamballa film. It runs for 41 seconds, and has Japanese audio and English subtitles.

The second extra is labeled as “Textless Closing Song.” This is the ending credits that appears after all of the OVAs are shown, and it’s just the images and music; there is no text on the screen. Personally, I didn’t care much for these ending credits, so this isn’t a feature I would watch very much. The final extra is the trailers for properties that FUNimation Entertainment was promoting at the time this DVD was released.

While most of the OVAs included on this disc are enjoyable, this is definitely a release that’s geared much more to the die-hard fans of Fullmetal Alchemist rather than to casual fans. If you’re a Fullmetal Alchemist fan who wants to own everything on DVD, you’ll want to own this one in your collection. However, be sure to shop around for the best price. I’ve seen this run anywhere from as low to $11 to as high as $20; personally, I think the $20 price tag is a little high for what’s included on this release.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of the Fullmetal Alchemist Premium OVA Collection that my husband and I purchased.

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