The Fullmetal Alchemist Premium OVA Collection runs for thirty-five minutes, and includes four shorts: "Interactive Experience," "Live Action Featurette," "Chibi Wrap Party," and "Kids." On the DVD, you can choose to watch the shorts, choose your audio and subtitle options, or choose to see the extras. For audio, there is English 5.1 Surround Sound and Japanese Stereo. Subtitles are available in English.
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.
Next is "Live Action Featurette," a short set in modern Japan. 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.
This is followed by "Chibi Wrap Party," which depicts the characters in a chibi style. It's set at the wrap party after the conclusion of the Fullmetal Alchemist: Conqueror of Shamballa film. This is a very comedic short, and can really be appreciated if you have familiarity with the Fullmetal Alchemist universe. I enjoyed this short.
The final short on the disc is "Kids," which focuses on 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 (probably more likely their great grandfather). The short ends with the impression that the grandfather is Edward Elric. This was an enjoyable short.
There are 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. The final extra are the trailers that are included on the disc for The Slayers, Kenichi, Heroic Age, Jinki Extend, Dragon Ball, Fullmetal Alchemist, xxxHoLic, and Origin.
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 this DVD release that I checked out through the King County Library System.
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