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Full Metal Alchemist

Updated on March 16, 2013

Full Metal Alchemist

Fullmetal Alchemist is an ongoing Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa. It was adapted into an animated television series of 51 episodes by Bones from October 4, 2003 to October 2, 2004, later followed by a film sequel that concluded the story of the anime.

The story follows the brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric, who wish to restore their bodies which they lost at an attempt to bring their mother back to life with alchemy. This story sets place in a fictatious world where alchemy is one of the most advanced scientific techniques known to man, just like the Industrial Revolution that took place in Europe.

We just wanted our mother back..

The failed human transmutation..

30 litres of water, 20 kilograms of caborhydrates, 4 litres of ammonia, 800 grams of adenosine, 250 grams of salt, 100 grams of nitrous, 7.5 grams of flouridate, 5 grams of metal, 3 grams of silicon.. These are the elements that make up an adult human body.

Human transmutation has long been considered a taboo. No one has ever managed to perform this successfully. However, due to the loss of their mother at such a young age, Edward(10 years) and Alphonse(9 years) Elric tried to bring their mother back to life by transmuting the soul to a new body. This led to disastrous consequences, with Alphonse losing his body and Edward losing his left leg. Using the last of his strength, Edward brought back his brother's soul by transmuting it to a nearby armour, in the process losing his right arm.

Alchemy follows the principle of equivalent trade. You must present something of equal value in order to obtain something. Through this experience, they learnt that there is nothing in this world that is equivalent to human life. After a painful construction of automail by the Rockbells to replace Edward's missing limbs, the brothers set out on a journey to restore their missing bodies.

Edward Elric

Edward is Alphonse's elder brother of one year. He bears strong hatred against his father, who did not stay by his mother's side. At the mention of his father, he would flare up. After the failed attempt to revive his mother, Edward became a State Alchemist (military) at the age of 12 so that he could access files and documents about the Philosopher's Stone, a legendary stone that was said to be able to greatly increase the powers of an alchemist. By using the Philosopher's Stone, it would be likely that he could restore his brother's body. He is termed as the "Full Metal Alchemist" by the Fuhrer.

For his age, Edward was considered a shorty, and is usually mistaken as the younger brother. This would send him into fits, exaggerating what others said. For example, if someone were to mention he looks small, he would retort with "Who did you say was small like a grain of rice and doesn't show up in your eyes?!"

Edward is also very protective of his brother Alphonse, and would never go anywhere without him. He is always there to help Alphonse, just like how Alphonse is always there to help him. Such is the character of Edward, which I find simply enchanting and comical. In tough situations, he is always able to resolve it calmly, making the right decisions.

Who are you calling short??

Who are you calling short??
Who are you calling short??

Alphonse Elric

Alphonse is Edward's younger brother. Unlike Edward's rash nature, Alphonse is calm and not as easily agitated. As such, he is always the one to hold back his brother and stop him from more trouble. Being in a huge armour, he is always mistaken to be the Full Metal Alchemist and the older brother. Even so, Alphonse is a bubbly character who is very well loved. Despite looking just like an armour, Alphonse has many cute moments, especially when he is feeling embarrased. ^^

Alphonse also tried to become a State Alchemist but was stopped by Roy Mustang, as the absence of a physical body would immediately give away their secret (committed taboo of human transmutation). Even so, he follows Edward on his journey to search for the Philosopher's stone.

Unlike Edward, Alphonse holds no grudges against their father and is always happy to talk about him, much to Edward's disdain.

Alphonse restraining his brother, as usual ^^

Alphonse restraining his brother, as usual ^^
Alphonse restraining his brother, as usual ^^

Winry Rockbell

Winry is the childhood friend of Edward and Alphonse, who lives with her grandmother (Pinako Rockbell) in Risembool, their hometown. Her parents are doctors who were killed in the Ishbal war. This was later revealed that Roy Mustang was the one ordered to kill her parents under the Military order.

Following in her grandmother's footsteps, Winry is a gifted automail mechanic, who designs and maintains Edward's automail. Even though they are childhood friends, Edward and Alphonse does not tell her much, which always cause Winry to worry about them. Even so, she is a bright and cheerful friend who is always there to help them. She also lights up whenever she sees another mechanic or new tools.

Roy Mustang

Roy Mustang is well known as the Flame Alchemist. He has gloves that are made from ignition cloth, which allows him to create sparks just by snapping his fingers. Using alchemy, he then changes the oxygen density in the air with the help of transmutation circles on his gloves, which leads to a controlled explosion.

Roy Mustang was the one who initiated that Edward should become a State Alchemist, after seeing how he managed to survive after performing a human transmutation. Initially, he holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the military, and was promoted to Brigadier General by the end of the series. His ultimate goal is to become the Fuhrer. When asked the reason, he once joking replied that he wants to make all the girls in the military wear short skirts!

Despite his arrogance, Roy Mustang is a comical character in the anime series, constantly poking fun at Edward and his subordinates. Throughout the series, Roy Mustang is constantly helping Edward in his quests, and towards the end trying to find out the culprit who killed his best friend, Maes Hughes.

All girls will be required to wear tiny mini skirts!!

All girls will be required to wear tiny mini skirts!!
All girls will be required to wear tiny mini skirts!!

Scar

Scar is thus name because of the x-shaped scar on his face. His real name was never revealed. One of the few surviving Ishbalan, Scar bears a right arm tattooed with a rare transmutation circle, which was given by his brother. Scar insist and believes that he is an instrutment of god, and seeks to kill State Alchemist using his arm, believing that alchemy is and abomination against the natural world.

Despite desperately trying to hunt down and kill Edward, he is soft against Alphonse, understanding the torment that younger brothers go through. Even so, he is never hesitant to kill Edward. In the end, he died trying to save Alphonse and even made him the Philosopher's Stone.

Homunculi

Said to be created by Hoeinhiem, the father of Edward and Alphonse Elric, the Homunculi get their form when someone performs human transmuation to revive a dead body. After the failure of human transmutation, it would create a homunculus that looks almost exactly like the deceased target. These homunculi are led by Dante. The only way to kill them is by finding a remnant of their original body and having it near them, which weakens them.

In the anime, each homunculus is named after one of the seven deadly sins. This includes Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Pride, Envy, Sloth and Wrath. These artificial human beings seek to fulfill their leader's(Dante) goals of creating a Philosopher's Stone.

Lust

Lust was created when Scar's brother attempted to revive his girlfriend through transmutation. Even as an artificial human being, she bears memories form her past and is after the Philosopher's Stone to convert herself into a real human being. She also bears the ability to extend her fingers into a spear to use as her weapon and is always seen with Gluttony.

Gluttony

Gluttony, as his name suggests, is constantly hungry. He has the ability to bite through anything, even metal. He is very attached to Lust, and is always with her, if not looking for her. When Lust died, Gluttony was unable to do anything and kept trying to look for her. In the end, he was "restarted" by Dante, and lost his memories of Lust.

Lust, can I eat him?

Lust, can I eat him?
Lust, can I eat him?

Envy

Envy has the ability to transform himself into any person he wants to, and will look exactly like that person. Because of this, he managed to trick the Military several times and is usually sucessful with his assasinations. Maes Hughes was the only one who noticed a problem when Envy tried to make himself look like Riza Hawkeye.

Wrath

Wrath is a Homunculus created with Edward's missing limbs and his teacher's (Izumi Curtis) dead child. Wrath is unhappy with who he is and seeks to kill Edward to obtain the rest of his body, believing that it was the key to change himself into a real human being. He also mistook Sloth as his real mother, and is still very much a child at heart. Edward and Izumi both felt that they held the responsibility to kill Wrath, as they were the ones who "created" him.

Sloth

Slot is the Homunculus created when Edward and Alphonse failed at reviving their mother. As such, she looks exactly like their mother, confusing Alphonse which became a hindrance when Edward tried to kill her. She bears water properties, which allows her to move around undetected, and unkillable as she can easily just turn back into water. In order to weaken her, Edward went back to her grave and removed a part from her original body. In the end, Edward managed to kill her by rearranging her water molecules into those of ethanol, where she slowly evaporated.

My thoughts on the anime..

Overall, I enjoyed watching this series but was a little disappointed about the ending, which was sudden and confusing. But it's okay to put that aside, since this is only an adaption of the real story, and Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood (new series) promised to go along with the manga storyline.

I enjoyed very much the interaction bewteen the characters, especially the funny moments with the Elric brothers. It was also interesting to see how the Homunculi, who are artificial human beings, have feelings just like a normal human, and having the ambition to become true humans, even if it meant giving up their immortality.

Well, seriousness aside, I believe many people enjoyed this series even though it almost-totally did not follow the real storyline. There are still lots of fans out that who loves Full Metal Alchemist! Just check out these great cosplays! ;)

Just like the real deal!

Just like the real deal!
Just like the real deal!

Almost as handsome! ^-^

Almost as handsome! ^-^
Almost as handsome! ^-^

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood follows the storyline of the manga which is different from the series 1 of FMA. (^_^)

    • Milkcananime profile image
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      Max Wong 8 years ago from Singapore

      You're most welcome ;)

      Its actually okay if you missed the first release cause it is developed outside of the manga storyline. But I must say I miss Mustang's voice from the first release.. It suited him better =P

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      I'm watching Brotherhood right now and I'm enjoying every moment of it. I didn't watch the original release, so I've always wondered of Brotherhood is a sequel or remake of FMA. That was answered by reading your post. Thanks. ^^

      Gotta love Winry, she's so cute...automail fanatic.