Full Metal Alchemist
Director: Seiji Mizushima
Original creator: Hiromu Arakawa
Art director: Kazuyuki Hashimoto
This is the story of two brothers, two brothers who set out to do the unimaginable. The main protagonist(s) to this series are two brothers by the name of “Edward Elric” and “Alphonse Elric”, both of them are powerful alchemist (in this series alchemy and alchemist are powerful people who can transmute anything uses the materials around them). When they were both children their mother died, and unable to bare the suffering the two of them plan to do the unthinkable and bring their mother back using alchemy. Human transmutations are outlawed because of the danger involved, not just for the subject but also the alchemist; however, Ed and Al decide to anyway, and things to horribly wrong. Not only were they unable to succesfully bring back their mother (very grewsome what happend) but in the process of the transmutation Ed lost his right arm and his left leg, and his brother his entire body. Edward quickly transmuted his brother’s soul into to that of a metal suit of armor. (He’s just that damn talented!)
Now the brothers have a new purpose for living, they have given up on the hope of bringing back their mother, and instead have decided to focus on fixing the wrongs that they did by bringing back Ed’s arm and leg and given Al his body back.
On their own, as powerful as they may be, Ed and Al are still just common alchemist; for them to have any hope of fixing what they did they need to enrole in the military and become a State Alchemist. At this time in their world (*hint*hint*) the majority of people are ruled by a military dictatorship, with Fuhrer Bradly as its leader. However, becoming a State Alchemist is no easy matter, it requires regoreous trainging and an extremly hard test and only person will be admitted each time. Despite Ed’s short temper–especially about his height–and his young age, he was still able to pass the test with flyer colors. Al however was unable to take the test, fearing that the military might find out and about him being a transmutation and the reprocussions that would come with that information leaking out.
Now our young alchemist journey has finally started. And they face a lot in their path, much of it comes the desire to find information and eventually using the “Philosopher’s Stone”, a stone which has the power to, for the alchemist that harnesses it’s power, to use alchemy without having to give something of equal value in exchange: the Law of Equivilant Exchange.
Now eventhough the military has all the information the Elric brothers will need, they still have to perform their duties as members of the military. And the person who is honored to be the person incharged of being responsible for Ed is no other than Cononel Roy Mustang, commonly known as the “Flame Alchemist”, because of his special niché for the fire that he can create using the Transmutating circles on his arm.
That’s something I should point out about this isn’t it. Well you use State Alchemist who are extremly talented and powerful tend to develope their own style of alchemy. For example Ed, although sometimes mistaken by many for Alphonse, is known as the Full Metal Alchemist because of his ability to transmutate on his metal arm. I would give more examples but they all seem to have sliped my mind.
Mustang might seem like a jerk who only thinks about the day when he is encharge of everything, it’s pretty much what is on his mind 97% of the time, but he sees the potential in Ed that few others see. He pushes Ed to his limits and doesn’t accept shitty work, but at the same time he lets Ed explore and get more information on the “Philosopher’s Stone”.
On the Elric Brothers journey to discover the “Philosopher’s Stone” they meey up with others with the same interest, some good (not much) some bad (most of them). It seems no matter where the Elric’s Brothers go alchemists are drawn to the legend of this stone. And there are those out there to stop them, primilarily a Ishbalan (a “race” of people who believe alchemy to a forbidden practive reserved for the gods and not to be trifilled by man) name simply “Scar”. Scar’s only mission is to stop the military from what seems to be attempt to alimintate all Ishbalans. Unlike many defenseless Ishbalans Scar as what many might believe to be a transmutation circle on his right arm, this grants Scar powers like no other human and he uses it to “right the wrongs” of the military. All of the military is after him and equally fear him for what he can do. Scar is out to kill all State Alchemists but sits his eye on Edward especially. While Ed tries to get more information on the stone Scar is almost always there to stop him, believing that anyone in the military who have the stone will use it for wicked purposes like that of the attack on Isbala, which left so many innocent dead.
When Edward and Alphonse aren’t fighting Scar they are usually dealing with the Homunculi, which are creaturs that look human, but aren’t and posses powers unimaginable. They two seem to insearch of the stone but for exactly what purpose no one else but the Homunculi know.
The Elric Brothers however don’t take sides in the much larger struggle that seems to be going on between the military, Scar, and the Homunculi; they simply want to find the stone and fix what they did years ago. Hower as they discover more and more information about the stone they become more and more disturbed at what’s really going on. Soon the Elric Brothers find themselves fighting everyone around and getting right at the heart of it. And in the process changing their world forever as they journey to unlock the power of the stone.
Characters [To Be Posted Soon]
I watched this anime on [Adult Swim] and the saying is true “once in a while [Adult Swim] will have something decent to watch,” this is one of those cases. I think what made this anime so great was the story development. At the beginning I was kinda hesistant about it, it looked kinda silly to be honest, but that quickly changed over time. The story became so gripping. There were several moment throughout the series that I cried, one of them still bring a tear to my eye when Fuhrer Bradely killed that girl inside Al. It’s a series that once you are hooked on it you are hooked for a while, because you just want to see what happens. Also the fact that there are so many twist and turns and surprises. Some of the things are like “WHAT!?!?” but the magic about it is not it makes sense, every plot twist every surprise makes sense if you think about it after a while. And the surprises catch you off guard, like unless you are the type of person that looks up episode summaries on websites you will not see the ending to this series coming.
I think one thing that got me into this series was the amount of deaths of some pretty frequent characters. It’s something American audiances might not be use to (especially since the characters once they die won’t come back with a wish from a dragon about 10 times–once they are dead they are dead), I know I at least wasn’t. And it was so many people, like the little girl, the daughter of the sciencetist–like “OMG NOOOO!!!”.
I think much of the success of this anime goes to how it was put together, they was a blend of a lot of genre themes. There was humor, so you could laugh; there was drama, trust me you will cry if you have a soul; there was action, so much so that you wish your parents (I live in a dorm it’s a joke) had Tivo; and there is a interesting story, so you will be entertained. Now while FMA (Full Metal Alchemist) could have focused more on one genre to create a more concrete fan base you now have fans of the series that like the series for so many different things.
The series is long, when compared to the list of series [Adult Swim] has been showing recently, but it manages to keep you interesting until the last episode, and even then you want to get the move to see what will happen.
FMA is a series you have dedicate yourself to, you can’t watch it every now and again or else you just won’t get it or want to watch it. It’s a series that grows on you and you will change your opinions of certain characters, from “I hate him” to “I love him” (I’m talking about Mustang by the way) so much.
So do yourself a favor and get the DVDs.