I will confess that I didn't see much of the original Full Metal Alchemist anime, and whilst I have read a fair bit of the manga, I've not yet completed it so whilst the first collection of Brotherhood definitely was good, I was wondering if the death of one of my favourite characters would hamper the show, or cause it to go into greater things.
You'll be happy to know it's the latter.
It starts off wrapping off the end of the last arc in glorious style - it's confirmed that King Bradley, the head of the military, is in fact a homunculus (Wrath) and along with a squad, goes into the Devil's Nest to 'help' Ed and Al, but in fact goes down there to capture Greed, and mercilessly kills his underlings, including one hiding in Al's armour. It's bloody, animated brilliantly and sent chills up my spine. It's wrapped up nice enough with Greed being returned and destroyed by the mysterious Father, but immediately goes into a brand new arc, one that I was looking forward getting this far in the manga - the introduction of the character Lin, the twelth prince of a country named Xing, who is searching for immortality. He's quite a character, seemingly very jovial, sneaky and trying to take the easy way out, especially with him taking advantage of the Elric brothers every chance he can get, but once his eyes open, you know you'd better start running. It also culminates with Scar returning, and now joined by a little girl named Mei, also from Xing, who is a surprisingly talented martial artist and alchemist herself.
One thing this selection has done brilliantly is somehow get both this new characters together, and use some of the secondary characters and incorporate them into the story, making you feel for every single person in the show. The character Maria Ross, a seemingly normal member of the military, is accused thanks to meddling from the shape shifting Envy, of killing Hughes. It even brings in the return of Barry The Chopper (and surprisingly comic despite his nature when he has a weird fascination with Riza Hawkeye) back into the fray, and somehow it all works with his interactions with Mustang, the Elrics being tricked and the revelation of Mustang's plan as he realizes she's innocent. The comic timing and revelations however are also supplemented with the huge sadness when the Elrics and Winry realize that Hughes is dead - that scene when Winry goes to the Hughes' not knowing and Alicia hoping it's her dad knocking on the door - it's being added to my top 10 tearjerkers'