Hello, my fellow otaku/otaku-in-training! I am here, once again, to talk about another random series that I picked out. The anime literally took me years to finish, as did the manga (just because I couldn’t really find them all. Or I lost interest of the series for a bit). This post, we’ll be talking about Fullmetal Alchemist! This series has quite a cult-like following. Or rather, it did a few years ago. I’m not quite sure how popular it is now. But this is for sure one of my “go to” shows, so I’m going to talk about it.
Anyway, this series focuses on the Elric Brothers, Edward and Alphonse. They are both very talented in the art of Alchemy, which in their world is studied as a science. Through transmutation they can change ordinary objects into different ones, though there are laws against doing certain things. The biggest taboo of all is trying to bring the dead back to life. Which they try to do. And it ends up VERY badly. Edward loses his right arm and left leg, and Alphonse loses his whole body. His soul has to be connected to a suit of armor. With that near death experience, they are determined to get their bodies back to normal and to find the Philosopher’s Stone, a mystical relic that will bypass any of the natural laws of Alchemy. Throughout the series, Ed is noted for having the unique ability to use alchemy without a transmutation circle (Something you kind of need to use alchemy). He joins the military, becoming a state alchemist, to give himself a better edge of finding the Philosopher’s Stone.
Now this series is a bit special. There is one manga (of course) but there are two different animated renditions: the original 2003 series, and the Brotherhood series that came out in (I think) 2009. Brotherhood is more closely related to the manga. The 2003 series changes when, (don’t quote me on it) I believe Greed comes into the picture. The original anime deals with a different plot and antagonist(s) all together. The Brotherhood series deals with the first Homunculus (beings who look like humans but are not) who has formed himself to look like Edward and Alphonse’s father. (There is a HUGE backstory that will take too much time for me to explain in one blog). But in either series, there is a somewhat good ending. I think the Brotherhood ending is way better than the 2003 anime, though I have to admit that I prefer the original anime.
I usually recommend this series pretty highly. I don’t have anything that I can say stands out that I don’t like. The characterization was good. It had a great flow, easily staying serious, but having great comedic timing. It also has a great way of showing how the Elric brothers grow up. They learn from their mistakes, while still making new ones and learning from those. What usually always made me happy was the fact that it was set up in an alternate universe to us. Their Amestris is our Germany. Their Xing is what I think is our China. It’s mainly explored in the first movie, The Conqueror of Shambala. And I like how Alchemy is explored in the series. It didn’t die out in the world that they live in. It just became another branch of science. (Of course in their world, it actually worked, but that’s beside the point.)
Usually, when recommending this series, I do so for the English dub. It’s not that I don’t like Romi Park (who voices Ed in the Japanese dub). She usually plays all my favorite characters in anything that she’s in. It’s just that Vic Mignogna and Aaron Dismuke/Maxey Whitehead just fit Edward and Alphonse respectively WAY better to me. Not that I’m dissing the original Japanese dub! Honestly that’s one of the only times I like hearing Mr. Mignogna’s voice. Mostly everything else he’s in his characters sound super young. Getting off track!!! Voice acting aside, this is a good introductory series or a good series just in general. Lots of good times, lots of laughs. And this series will honestly make you (Well it made me) not want to end it, or read/watch it all over again. We have I believe all the manga, most of the 2003 anime + the movie, and all of Brotherhood + the movie. So you can pick and choose what exactly you shall be consuming of this amazing series. Thanks for reading, and hopefully see you next time!