If you’re wanting to get into the anime and manga scene, you already like anime and manga and are looking for more, or you just want a show that covers every human emotion and does it in an unforgettable way, not to sound cliche, but Fullmetal Alchemist is for you.
It follows Edward and Alphonse Elric, brothers who have committed the ultimate taboo in alchemy: they’ve attempted to resurrect their late mother. One of alchemy’s founding laws is Equivalent Exchange: to obtain, something of equal value must be lost. And the price for resurrection is the life of one brother and the leg of the other. The “thing” they manage to bring back…. isn’t human anymore.
In the chaos, Edward sacrifices his arm to bring the soul of Alphonse back into a suit of armor. Thanks to the advances in prosthetic equipment, and the help of their mechanic-savvy friend Winry Rockbell, Edward is able to get an “automail” arm and leg. But now that they’ve paid the cost, they’re searching the country for the almighty “Philosopher’s Stone”, a sacred object that would allow them to regain their bodies.
Sound confusing? Just watch it. It sounds dark, and it can be at times, but transitions to lighthearted really well. There’s 27 manga volumes, and two anime series. One is 51 episodes and the other is 64 episodes. There’s also multiple video games, books, and two full-length movies.
Basically, you can get your FMA fix really easily 🙂
The first anime is rated TV-PG, and the second is TV-14, but both are about the same in terms of gore, some swearing, and mature themes (death, good and evil, limits of science, etc). If you’re easily offended by any of that, don’t watch it.
As far as religion…. Ed claims he’s agnostic, but through the course of the series he makes several references to God and how much more superior He is to humans. The first episode starts with a fake cult, which could be interpreted as offensive, but other than that the series mostly avoids the topic.
Main Characters: The Good Guys
Edward Elric, a state alchemist and protagonist. Do not comment on his diminutive stature or he’ll, and I quote, “Break off your feet and stick them on your head”. Nicknamed the “Fullmetal Alchemist”.
The Homunculi are a group of seven (each named after and representing one of the seven deadly sins).
Then there’s Scar, an Isbalan refugee who wants revenge on the state alchemists for wiping out his people.
Why You Should Watch/Read It
Fullmetal Alchemist is an incredible ride. You fall in love with the world of Amestris, where alchemy triumphed over physics and twelve-year olds can become military officers. You fall in love with Ed, and Al, and all the other characters. You even sympathize with the Homunculi in their search to find humanity. There’s no line between good and evil, and that concept is played with. Conspiracy and action lurk behind every corner. You can fall off your chair laughing or spend the night sobbing– from the same episode. It’s handled very, very well, and in my opinion the English dub is brilliantly done.
Plus, nearly every male in the series qualifies as a Hot Fictional Guy, especially Edward.
Interested in learning more?
Watch the First Episode Online (You can watch the entire series, licensed, free, on Funimation’s website.)
You have no excuses! Get out there and enter the world of Amestris!