Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman
When FUNimation Entertainment released Fullmetal Alchemist The Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa, it was released on both DVD and on Blu-ray disc. This review focuses on the Blu-ray pressing of the film.
This film takes place two years after the end of the original Fullmetal Alchemist anime series. Many of the characters from the series are seen in the film; those who have died are seen in the parallel world that Ed is now living in under different names. For example, the character of Fritz Lang strongly resembles King Bradley from the original series. Hughes is also seen in the parallel world, where he serves as an officer of the law.
The packaging for the Blu-ray is rather "bare bones." There is no actual insert with information for the film included inside; instead, there is an insert playing up other titles that FUNimation had released on Blu-ray.
As for the video quality, I have to admit that I didn't see a lot of difference when I compared it to the DVD copy of this film I had viewed previously. However, this doesn’t mean that it's a bad picture quality on the Blu-ray; all it means is that I personally didn't see any significant differences.
According to the box, the main feature is 1080p High Definition 16X9, while the extras are 480i Standard Definition. For audio, the box says the main feature has Dolby TrueHD in English 5.1 and Japanese 5.1, while the extras are Dolby Digital: English 2.0. However, I do have to question the audio listing for the extras, since one of the extras on the Blu-ray is a talk session with the director and some of the Japanese voice actors, which is in Japanese.
All of the bonus features from the DVD release are included here, as well as an additional feature that was not on the DVD pressing; this means there are six special features in all. The first is the 40-minute long documentary, "The Making of Fullmetal Alchemist The Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa." The "Original Trailers" include one US trailer for the film, seven Japanese TV trailers, and the Japanese theatrical trailer; the Japanese trailers included English subtitles. "Production Art" is a slideshow that runs for one minute and 14 seconds, and it includes character designs and backdrops. "Image Gallery" is another slideshow, which runs for one minute and 35 seconds and includes still frames from the film. There are also trailers for other FUNimation releases included as an extra.
The Blu-ray exclusive extra is a "talk session" with Seiji Mizushima (the director), Romi Park (the Japanese voice actress for Ed), Rie Kugimiya (the Japanese voice actress for Al), and Toru Ohkawa (the Japanese voice actor for Mustang). This feature is in Japanese with English subtitles. Over the course of 54 minutes, they talk together as a group, with the discussion being led by Romi Park. Intercut with this are talk sessions with two of the participants together. The full group discussions focus on the film itself, while the smaller group interviews focus more on the various individuals' lives and interests. Personally, I thought this was a nice little feature.
If you enjoy Fullmetal Alchemist The Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa and own a Blu-ray player, I would suggest purchasing the Blu-ray simply to have all of the bonus features that FUNimation released for the film.
I wrote this review after watching a copy of this Blu-ray that I purchased for my husband as a gift.