“Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain something of equal value must be lost.That is alchemy’s first law of equivalent exchange. In those days, we really believed that to be the world’s one and only truth…”
I had never even heard of this show until one of my guy friends told me about it back in 11th grade (2008-09). He told me about how great a show it was and it was really cool and I had to watch it. I just told him that I would check it out if I ever saw it. I, of course, didn’t see it for months and then one night I saw there was an episode playing on the Cartoon Network. So I stopped and watched it and by the end of it I was completely confused and didn’t understand why he would ever like it.
First of all, Fullmetal Alchemist is an anime show based off of a manga. The show does not stay true to the manga, as so often shows do not stay true to what they’re based off of. It, of course, orginated in Asia in the early 2000s and has since been dubbed into English (voice actors who speak English have redone the voices from the original Japanese, the anime has been changed so that the characters mouths form the English words, and they also translated everything written in Japanese on the screen into English).
Fullmetal Alchemist, or “FMA” as I like to call it for short, is mostly about the science of alchemy. Alchemy in this show has to deal with knowing the properties of elements and being able to break those elements down and create something else. For example, something used more than once in the show is dirt being changed from dirt into the shape of a horse. Fullmetal Alchemist follows the story of two brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric who are only a year apart in age (if I remember right. Please don’t sick a homonculi on me if I’m wrong, diehard FMA fans). At a young age, their father leaves to fight in a war that is occuring, leaving them with just their mother in a tiny town. A few years go by, and the brothers discover the science of alchemy from their father’s books that he has written about it (their father is a master of alchemy). Their mother encourages them a bit in it and doesn’t seem to mind their curiosity. Their mother later becomes ill and unfortunately passes away, leaving the two brothers to fend for themselves at around 10 years of age. They become obessesed with bringing her back through the forbidden science of human alchemy. The result is only ruin. Alphonse loses his entire body to the terrible reaction that comes from their attempt and Edward loses his right arm and left leg. However, Edward is able to connect Alphonse’s soul to a suit of armor and is therefore able to keep his brother with him. From there, the story takes a turn to the brothers trying to locate something called a Philosopher’s Stone. The Philosopher’s Stone is a fabled stone said to allow the possesor to be able to break the rules of alchemy by disregrading the rule of equivalent exchange (quoted above in red). If they were to possess this stone, they would be able to regain their bodies without having to give anything else up. Many, many other trials capture the brothers but they stay true to their goal to the end of the show.
Quick Review: I would suggest even trying to watch the first couple episodes. The first is a bit difficult to understand because the first episode picks up in the brother’s current present in which they’re involved in a situation dealing with searching for the Philosopher’s Stone. The second episode on goes back in time to show how Edward and Alphonse got to their current present. There are many good characters in this show that will capture your heart. I found myself getting attached to certain characters, of course. The struggle of the boys’ tugs at your heart as well. The show encompasses a lot of things: drama, depression, war, differences in religion and culture, the military, the struggle to survive, loyalty, family, desperation–to name a few.
There are only two seasons to it encompassing about 50ish episodes if I remember right. I personally watched the DVDs of the seasons because my guy friend was able to give them to me; however, I was able to watch the episodes online at a site called watchdub (dot) com.
I loved the show. Love the characters. Love the storyline. However, I hated the ending along with many other viewers. The ending was touching but at the same time infuriating.
Favorite Characters: For anyone who has seen the series previously, and are interested, here are my favorite characters:
This is EXTREMELY difficult for me! I love so many characters! So I try to break it down to a favorite for each group. Is that cheating? Probably.
Resembool- Edward Elric aka The Fullmetal Alchemist. What can I say? I love the short (teehee) blonde kid with the golden eyes. I find him so easily loveable. So dedicated to righting the wrongs he’s made in his life. So determined to keep true to himself and to his brother.
Winry Rockbell. How can you not like Winry? She’s a genius when it comes to automail. She cares so much about the brothers and will do anything for them. Plus, I love how she geeks out over anything mechanically related.
Other likeables for me include Ed and Al’s mother Trisha, their father Hohenheim aka Hohenheim of Light, and Alphonse, of course.
Central/Military- This is probably one of the hardest ones! Narrowed it down to three though there are others as well.
Colonel Roy Mustang aka The Flame Alchemist. Don’t ask me how I can find animated characters attractive. I’ve always been like that ever since I was a child. I don’t know why I like Colonel Mustang. I just do. He really fascinated me with how he dealt with how he acted during the Ishbal rebellion. There’s something mysterious about him which gets me too. After the famous “All women will have to wear tiny miniskirts!” episode, I was sold.
Lieutenant Colonel Maes Hughes (aka Brigadier General Maes Hughes). Once again, how can you not like this character? He’s such a loving father and husband. He’s always able to lighten the mood with his spastic craziness of his love for his daughter. “Look at Elicia! Isn’t she just the cutest?!” Despite your first impression that the guy is crazy and spastic, he’s actually quite smart and loyal. Definitely one of my favorite characters out of the entire show.
Major Alex Louis Armstrong aka The Strong Arm Alchemist. I know a lot of people find him annoying, but I can’t help liking him. He cracks me up every single time he whips his shirt off or talks about a technique that “has been passed down the Armstrong line for generations!” He’s so caring about Ed and Al too. He also cracks me up because you never see his mouth but only his mustache moves when he speaks.
Other likeables include Sheska (she’s such a spastic, crazy girl. She cracks me up with all of her noises. Also with her theory of the homonculi. “Juliet Douglas is….an alien!”), Second Lieutenant Maria Ross, Sergeant Denny Brosh, and Lietuenant Riza Hawkeye.
Homunculi- Wrath. Wrath is my absolute favorite homonculus. From the first time I saw him on the island with those huge blue eyes and long black hair that hid his face, I couldn’t help making him my favorite. Lot of viewers don’t like Wrath because he’s always crying and lots of the time doesn’t make much sense with what he wants and his motives, but I, for one, love the little guy. Even when he’s trying to take somebody’s body for his own and or is choking someone who loves him, I love the stupid kid. Don’t ask me why. I just do.
Other likeables are Lust and Greed. I find Gluttony cute as well near the end. “Where is my Lust??”
Random Charcters- Rose (from the first episode), Nina (Dr. Tucker’s daughter), Marta (one of the chimeras), and Klaus (the girl who looks like a boy at first in the episode with the man attaching souls to the dolls).
Okay, my fandom rant is over. If you have any questions, feel free to comment. I’ll probably post more about this show in the future.