By comparison, I did start watching FMA: Brotherhood as well. Hmm
Huh, for some reason I was thinking you had already watched Brotherhood. Must be getting you mixed up with someone else earlier in the thread.
- An obvious issue HAS to be stated is that it's hard to watch the first batch of episodes, mainly of course, because it's just a retread of the old series before they split apart. What's worse is I feel the '09 version is *conscious* of this and rushed certain parts assuming its audience was in the know so it can look weird to maybe even new people entering the series at this point. This was really a no-win scenario though.
- I prefer the overall tone of the old series. I feel like anime exaggerations are like the Japanese version of a US laugh track, in that they're meant to emphasize something that just isn't that funny to make it at least LOOK funnier, and they do it a lot (used sparingly I find it way better anyways). Ed is especially made fun a lot more for his height more and tends to 'flip out' over things.
Yeah the rush through of the story at the beginning is certainly one of the weaknesses of Brotherhood. As you say there really was no way to win. Although I really hate that they cut out the mining town story because that (and the train story) was in the manga, and the mining town story does impact stuff later in the story slightly (unlike the train story). However they do have a funny recap of it later so *shrug*.
As for the reaction shots, those will go down as the series goes on. Part of it is because the manga has significantly less later in the series (if I recall correctly), and part of it is that the earlier episodes tend to condense several chapters but include all the reaction shots from those chapters. So the comedy was better dispersed in the manga than in Brotherhood...actually now that I think about it they may have added/extended some in Brotherhood to save on their animation budget. Checking that scene in the manga, the chibi reaction shot was a single panel (and a thin one at that) between the slap and before the explanation of why he was slapped.
Part of me now wants to complain about the Father Cornello fight because the whole berserker thing in Brotherhood makes absolutely no sense as presented.