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Fullmetal Bringing Back the Brothers

Updated on July 20, 2014

If you haven't already heard of the classic anime, Fullmetal Alchemist, you will be in for quite a treat. The original series, written by Hiromu Arakawa, covers the heroics of two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, in an alternate universe, which is not controlled by typical science, but by alchemy. The story creates its own version of alchemy as a strange sort of magic that allows certain humans to control materials and change them at will, and in some cases, also change other humans.

The two brothers, nearly destroy themselves in an attempt to save their mother's life through alchemy, causing Alphonse to lose his entire body, and Edward to lose one arm and one leg. Alphonse is kept alive by being transmuted into a suit of armor by Edward, which he needs to live.

After the original series ended, Arakawa continued the story in its first ever movie, called Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conquerer of Shamballa. It begins right where the series had ended, with Alphonse returning to his human form on their homeworld, and Edward getting his arm and leg back, but being stuck on the Earth you and I are currently residing, in the year 1923.

The story of Fullmetal is a complicated one, and if you don't know much about the series, jumping right to the movie can be a sizable leap. There are a great many things to understand, like the sacrifices that are required any time alchemy is used, or the homunculi, and also the Philosopher's Stone. There are a great may rules that the alchemy of Fullmetal relies upon, and a plethora of characters. But the truth is, it isn't completely necessary to understand the details to appreciate the story line.

Arakawa, the writer of Fullmetal, grew up on a farm, and understood that to obtain anything in life, sacrifices were needed to be made. She had knowledge of the social problems in our society, and she integrated them cleverly into the story. The dominant race of the world are the Amestris, and through a civil war, they nearly annihilated the Ishbalan race. This is one of the great commentaries of the series of Fullmetal.

In the first Fullmetal movie, The Conquerer of Shamballa, Arakawa compares two distinct worlds, one created solely through science, the other with a combination of science and alchemy, and she examines which of the two have failed in more ways. The one world, has a dominant culture lead by Adolf Hitler, who, if he can find the ultimate weapon can take control of his world, and possibly another. Now, I can crack open any History book, and it'll tell me this would be the worst possible situation. However, Arakawa supposes, what if there were an even worse possibility coming from the other world?

I'm not going to spoil it for you. Suffice it to say, it might be much worse.

The Conquerer of Shamballa, is a beautiful anime, and it's obviously one of the best. However, there are a number of down sides. If you've never seen the series, it could be hard to jump in here. It's complicated, the story is rapid, and there isn't much back-story given for the characters, even though they each have a great deal of baggage.

One thing The Conquerer of Shamballa does offer is, what if things could have been worse? If you can cut through some of the confusion, there's an underlying message of, "You can't appreciate the sunshine, without a little rain." And the Fullmetal universe offers plenty of rain.

Background Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons Photo by siu2007

Fullmetal Alchemist: Season 1 (Viridian Collection)
Fullmetal Alchemist: Season 1 (Viridian Collection)

Fullmetal Alchemist is one of the best anime series of all time, and season one kicks it all off.

 
Fullmetal Alchemist: Season 2 (Viridian Collection)
Fullmetal Alchemist: Season 2 (Viridian Collection)

Fullmetal Alchemist is one of the best anime series of all time, and season two continues the saga.

 
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Complete Collection One [Blu-ray]
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Complete Collection One [Blu-ray]

Brotherhood continues the saga of the Elric brothers, and there adventures against the homunculi.

 

What do you think? Is Fullmetal for you?

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    • boneworld profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackson Thom 

      4 years ago from West of Left South Lucky

      @CalobrenaOmai: I had trouble getting into the series at first, too. I needed it to grow on me. But once I kind of started getting into the characters I was really into it. Thanks for your take on the manga. I've never read it. That does suck when they change things too much. Thanks for reading.

    • profile image

      CalobrenaOmai 

      4 years ago

      I think I read at least one book, the first volume of FMA. It was the only volume available at the time at the library I went to. It was really good. I watched bits and pieces of FMA (the first remake) and didn't care for some of the eps especially the ones that came from the manga; didn't match up exactly or not at all. I saw i think the first two eps of FMA Brotherhood and that was courtesy of a Control [as] contest where the winner got to control the lineup of shows for the night; just about all the shows were first eps of some memorable series. Haven't seen any of the movies but hear they're pretty good. Lovely lens thanks for sharing.

    • boneworld profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackson Thom 

      4 years ago from West of Left South Lucky

      @anonymous: The series was great, and this movie just adds on to the whole thing. I'm watching Brotherhood right now, and I've kind of liking that as well, but it's not quite the same.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      4 years ago

      I really like the series.

    • boneworld profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackson Thom 

      4 years ago from West of Left South Lucky

      @WriterJanis2: Thank you! I'm glad it's coming through. Thanks for reading!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 

      4 years ago

      You make this sound like a very interesting series.

    • boneworld profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackson Thom 

      4 years ago from West of Left South Lucky

      @sierradawn lm: Thank you! I'm glad it's getting across to more people. I'm just trying to sway some people over to the anime side, maybe change some minds about the depth of story telling and characters in these kinds of movies. Thanks for reading!

    • sierradawn lm profile image

      sierradawn lm 

      4 years ago

      Your review is so well done! I am not into anime but your reviews are very exciting.

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