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Full Metal Alchemist Anime Review

Updated on February 12, 2015

In this review I will be giving an in depth, detailed and honest review of the anime known as "Full Metal Alchemist" (FMA). The world of FMA takes place during the era of the European Industrial Revolution. The story follows Eric and Alphones the "Elric" brothers on their quest for the legendary philosopher stone. This anime in particular has won many awards and has been critically acclaimed as one of the best anime English Dubbed.

I personally remember watching this anime quite some time ago and yet till this day it still emanates a powerful vibe in terms of story, plot and characters. I thoroughly enjoyed watching it and have a lot of fond memories of it. There have only been 2 movie series released up till this date, both the "Conqueor of Shamballa"(2005) and "The Sacred star of Milos"(2011). This series in particular has been one of the most successful anime to hit the North American market ever since it's debut.

Plot

As this story takes place in the period of the European Industrial Revolution, alchemy is the most advanced technology that exists. The principle of alchemy is based on the philosophy of "equivalent exchange", in essence what you put in is what you shall receive equal too. No greater or less. This is the basis of every alchemical transmutation that occurs within the series of the show. For example, if one had all the parts of a clock such as frame, gears, etc. Than with an alchemy circle one could transmute those parts of the clock into a fully functional "clock". This was the ideology behind equivalent exchange. In other words any object can be created as long as the required raw materials are provided.

The events that transpire in the first episode is what really is the pillar for the main reason of searching for the the legendary philosopher stone. Eric's and Alphones' mother passed away, so they attempt to do the forbidden and taboo. Which is to bring the dead back to life, in doing so they committed an unspeakable act which had very serious repercussions. As a result in the futile attempt to bring their dead mother back to life, Edward loses 2 limbs both an arm and a leg, while Alhpones loses his entire body. In a split second effort Eric manages to use his blood and seal his younger brother's soul into a suit of armor which in doing so saves Alphones' from disappearing from reality.


What was the finished product of the forbidden transmutation? A horrendous zombie like corpse is produced from this prohibited act. After this Edward replaces his lost limbs with both mechanical arm and legs, ergo the quest for the legendary philosopher stone begins as they pursue for what they lost that unfortunate and fateful day. As the story progresses Edward joins the state military in order to help him for his own personal gain, although the military is not privy to what his true intentions are. On the Elric brothers' journey they come across many things, from serial killers, new friends and most dreadfully beings identified as "homunculs". These are artificially created creatures who are the result of the forbidden human transmutation in an attempt to either bring the dead back to life or even create life. These creatures possess supernatural powers and agility far superior to a human being.

Full Metal Alchemist Trailer

Conclusion

The shocking truth behind the philosopher stone is revealed, which is the legendary stone requires human beings to be created. After a series of plentiful events the stone is created through lives of many humans. Transmutation power is greatly amplified with the use of the stone, but to Edward's and Alphones' shock they still could not create a human life nor bring the dead back to life. Although a human's body could easily and artificially be created, the most crucial but abstract, metaphysical and intangible part, the soul cannot be created through the use of the stone. For it is the soul that makes one human anything else resulted in a freak of nature deviant, a mere imitation known as the homunculi. A great lesson is learned and the moral of the story is you cannot bring the dead back to life.

The end of this series was not a satisfactory one which is why it warranted for the entire series to be remade, "Brotherhood" was the result of this. What happens is the homunculs are defeated and Edward transfers to another dimension where science and technology of our modern day society exists. Of course Edward is not satisfied with what happened and decides to go on a journey to reunite with his brother who remained in the other dimension. That pretty much sums up the ending for this series.


My thoughts and reception of this anime series? This was indeed a stupendously and beautifully written series. Holding a lot of philosophical themes and containing a lot of dramatic irony. I would give it 8.5 out of 10 stars. This is indeed is an anime that has been set as the pedestal for western series. One of the greatest ironies during the series was between Humans vs Homunculus. Humans on one side either wanted to use the philosopher stones powers to bring the dead back to life or to attain immortality. The Homunculus desired the stone so that they could become mortal beings and age like a normal human beings. Although the Homunculus did not age and could live forever as long as they were not killed. Thus they were semi-immortal in a sense. So irony here is the human's attempted to do things that were beyond the realm of natural order and do the "supernatural", i.e bringing the dead back to life. While the Homunculi desired to be normal, age and have a natrual death like a human.


Nonetheless, this is a series worth watching! I would recommend it openly to anyone as it panders to the taste of practically all viewers and has a little bit of everything contained within the series, from action, philosophy, humor and nail biting adventure. So if you have not watched this series, go give it a try to if you have already seen this one. Watch the remade series which is actually a bit longer but worth a watch as well. Not as good as the original in my opinion but good enough to keep your eyes glued to the television or computer which ever you use. This was my review of Full Metal Alchemist and the Philosophers Stone. I hope you enjoyed it and hopefully this review elicited your interest.



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