Fullmetal Alchemist Review

Fullmetal Alchemist is an anime adaptation of Hiromu Arakawa’s manga of the same name. It was directed by Seiji Mizushima and co-produced by the animation studio Bones, Mainichi Broadcasting System, and Aniplex. It has 51 episodes. Between October 4, 2003, and October 2, 2004, it was broadcast on Japan’s Mainichi Broadcasting System. In 2009, a second television series, titled Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, was produced. There are spoilers ahead.

Edward and Alphonse Elric, also known as Ed and Al, are a pair of teenage Alchemists who have had a tragic history. The brothers attempted to resurrect their dead mother when Edward was eleven and Alphonse was ten years old. Their attempt failed and resulted in Alphonse losing his entire body, and Edward loses his left leg. Edward willingly gave up his right arm in exchange for Alphonse’s soul in a futile effort to keep his brother on Earth. Al’s soul was bound to a suit of armor by Edward. After that, Al rushed Ed’s body to Rockbell Automail, a business owned by the Elrics’ close friends. Edward’s arm and leg were replaced with “automail,” heavy steel prosthetics that function as if they were actual human limbs, connected to the body through a painful surgery and recovery phase.

The brothers set fire to their home so they could never return to the course they had chosen, a life of wandering until they could reclaim their original bodies. Edward was persuaded to take the State Alchemy Exam by Roy Mustang. State Alchemists are often referred to as “dogs of the military” because their first duty is to the military or the Fuhrer. Ed took the State Alchemy Exam and passed it to become a State Alchemist to aid him with his study. Ed can transmute or perform Alchemy without a transmutation circle, which is why he passed the test. Ed could now gain access to research that most civilians aren’t allowed to see. He was given a pocket watch that increases Alchemy’s strength. Ed later learns that the “Fullmetal Alchemist” is his State Alchemist name.

On their search for the Philosopher’s Stone, the Eleric brothers face numerous obstacles. They make new friends and enemies along the way. They discover along the way that live human beings are an essential component in the creation of a Philosopher’s stone. Following the death of a friend of both Elric brothers by a Homunculus, the anime plot diverges significantly from the manga plot. The adjustments resulted in an intriguing, if occasionally puzzling, story that felt like it was guessing the manga’s course. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood rebooted the series a few years later, closely following the manga’s plot.