Finally finished this 64 episode beast the other day (after starting it somewhere around new years), the first half of the series doesnt really give you much incentive to keep watching and as a result I almost actually dropped it 1/3 through, but I stuck with it because it has like.. the highest rating on AniDB at the moment (9.4 with 2k+ votes)
Turns out they were right, the story picks up somewhat half way through, and then the last quarter of the series was essentially a clusterfuck of action scenes loosely strung together by a plot with more twists than your average DNA molecule.
The series reminded me alot of an old Arnold Schwarzenigger film, first 3/4 of the film is buildup, setting the story, introducing the characters, and lots of little action scenes, and then the final quarter is all out action – Difference here being the average action film is 90 minutes, equating to about 15-20 minutes of finale action, the action quarter in FMA:B Lasts around 13 episodes
This is pretty reflected in the average episode votes…
Anywho, what im basically trying to say is, The series was really fucking good. Its a memorable story with a huge cast of likable and distinct characters, the art was fancy and the ending was satisfying (unlike the end of the ‘original’ Full Metal Alchemist series). If you saw the old series, this is a fun trip back to revisit old characters, If you didnt see the old series, this will probably be a nice treat into an interesting universe of alchemy.