Hagane no Renkinjutsushi

Title:Hagane no Renkinjutsushi
Full Metal Alchemist
Fullmetal Alchemist
鋼の錬金術師 (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - BONES
NEYA Michiko
OKIAYU Ryoutaro
R1 License - FUNimation
TAKATO Yasuhiro
UEDA Yuuji

Edward and Alphonse Elric are brothers who were born with an extraordinary gift for the magical science known as alchemy. Their father, also very gifted in the craft of alchemy, disappeared leaving their ordinary mother to raise them in the country. But when their mother passed away, the boys vowed to learn the arts of alchemy to the fullest. The goal -- to bring their mother back to life, one of two things Alchemist are forbidden from doing. They attempt to bring back their mother with devistating consequences. Edward loses an arm and a leg and Alphonse loses his body, his soul sealed into a suit of armor by Edward at the last moment. For all of this, the thing they created wasn't even human and didn't live long.

But the event was witnessed by a Alchemist who is part of the military, Roy Mustang. Giving Edward the chance to become a Nationally Certified Alchemist (where he would then become a "military dog"), Edward takes it. This way, he and Alphonse can have access to the best research on alchemy the military has as well as do their own research and investigation of the legendary Philosopher's Stone. But there are other forces at work, some trying to stop the brothers, some using them, and some trying to help them. Through the maze of deception, military secrets, and the true nature of alchemy, can the brothers achieve what they most desire -- their bodies returned to normal?

[51 TV episodes, based off the manga of the same title.]

[edit] Animated adaptations of the popular manga series by the same name. See ↗Fullmetal Alchemist for more info.

Original Story: Retelling which more truly follows the manga: Side stories, Parodies and Specials:
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 9 8 9 8 9 9 Dreamer [series:718#2279]
So after sitting through and really loving FMA Brotherhood, I had to pick this original version up since I heard a few people had said this was much better or had a better story. So what do I think?

Art, Animation & Character Designs
Artwork is pretty much like brotherhood. Although, I can say it did seem a bit less refined in some areas. Take for example King Bradley. he seemed a bit less polished here compared to his counterpart in Brotherhood. This is by no means saying that it wasn't good. It was still darn good!

Music was impressive as well. Again, I can't say it held my interest and liking compared to Brotherhood but it did have some good OPs and EDs. They were mostly alternative to rock pieces. Nice.

Series and Episode Story
One thing I really don't do is compare one anime to another. I believe reviews should be based purely on it's own merit with no comparisons to similar series. However, here i'ts perfectly fine to do so since afterall, this anime is has the same story but in two version... for the most part. I picked this "version" up to see how it literally compares to Brotherhood.

The first thing I'll say is, this series tends to be more linear. This isn't to say that it doesn't have any surprises or OMGs but rather, it goes from point A to point B rather smoothly.... and not rushed or hurried. With that in mind, I felt (by the end of the series), not enough was told. In this version, we focus more on a few key characters.... Scar, Lust (who gets a number of episodes dedicated to her), Wrath (not king bradley here), and of course, our brothers. There's also more back stories, which was nice but then, we don't get to explore other characters who I hoped would be explored.

Overall, this was an excellent series from beginning to end. After watching both versions fully, I can honestly say that Brotherhood was much better. The pace of the story here didn't quite go quick enough for me and too many things were left unanswered or not explored. But, Loved it nevertheless. It's a solid buy.

Last updated Wednesday, October 12 2011. Created Wednesday, October 12 2011.
Buy 8 7 7 8 9 9 Ggultra2764 [series:718#1552]
Original Review

Original Scores Art: 9 Animation: 9 Character Design: 9 Music: 8 Series Story: 10 Episode Story: 10

Well, well. This marks my 200th review on Mikomi. And with a series like Full Metal Alchemist, I have enough to say about it. This series got a great deal of hype from Funimation when they first licensed it in 2005. With so much talk about it, I thought it was just another craze series following in the footsteps of shows like Inuyasha and Naruto. But, FMA doesn't fall into the heaping load of ridiculous length and repetitive developments in plot that the two shows above get you into. It gets you on a roller coaster ride of shocking revelations and plot twists that will leave you hooked on the series from start to finish.

The world of FMA is focused on the world of alchemy. Unlike shows such as Naruto that go over the top with its fictional premise, FMA's explanations to alchemy are down-to-earth and believable to take in. There are limitations and rules that are to be followed regarding the use of alchemy as regardless of what is created with such an ability, there is a price to be paid in equal to what was created. There can be benefits and/ or consequences that come from the use of alchemy. Ed and Al learn this the hard way as they think alchemy allows them to do anything. But, not realizing their own limitations nearly cost the boys their lives in their attempted transmutation to resurrect their dead mother.

Ed and Al are the main characters of this story as they try uncovering details on the Philosopher's Stone to restore their bodies to normal. Even as recognized alchemists forced to be on their own since their mother's death, they still act like children of their age. Al still has the mentality of a 10-year old since being bonded to a suit of armor despite being the mature of the two brothers. He is naive enough to trust others like a little kid would trust a stranger easily which his enemies often take advantage of. Ed tries to be the strong-minded of the two as he makes himself a "dog of the military" so he can uncover whereabouts on the Philosopher's Stone. Even with this facade, Ed still can have his childish tantrums, especially when the topic of his size is discussed (shown in humorous detail). And when he's up against a wall, Ed often angsts about a situation he thinks can't be overcome which is believable for someone of his age and it takes someone else to knock sense into him to continue pushing forward.

As Ed and Al learn more about the Philosopher's Stone, they uncover more dark details concerning its origins and uses. Military coverups, political conspiracies, selfish desires, ethical questions, tragedies, religious prejudice and persecution. Even with all these plot elements thrown around, the series manages to devote enough time to give you answers to whatever is thrown around. By the end of the series, there's just barely anything that needs to be addressed. The series even knows when to toss in comedy to keep things from getting too dark and angsty. From Roy Mustang oogling over mini-skirts on women to Winry tossing wrenches at Ed, the series has good timing on when to place specific events and humorous moments.

FMA even manages to excel at development with its characters. There are plenty of faces to see in this series and there is enough dimension you get out of the characters. You get to know what type of person they are, how they feel, their personal beliefs, and even their history. This focus is given to just about every character Ed and Al encounter whether they are those in the military, people they encounter in their journey, friends and family, and even their enemies. The depth of the villains is so great on those like Scar and the Homunculus that you may even feel like sympathizing with their goals. I never feel as if any character got a greater amount of depth and focus than the others have at all throughout FMA.

In terms of artwork, FMA features plenty of fluid movement in battle scenes showing off its animation quite well. Character designs have bright color with a decent amount of detail. The same can be said with the scenery as you get to check out plenty of environments in FMA. From areas such as desserts, abandoned buildings, caves, countrysides, and cities, there is enough variety in environments to check out from this series.

Featuring enough depth on plot and characters with plenty of surprises, Full Metal Alchemist is an anime that well deserves the hype it has received and is definitely worth adding to your anime collection.

Updated Review (11/12/2011)

Having seen the original FMA series over three years ago, my thoughts on it have changed somewhat and while I still find it to be a great title worth checking out, I don't find it to be among the high-caliber titles that I praised it as from 2008. Still, I find it to be of a far better caliber than Brotherhood and its manga source material.

The greatest strength of the original series was that it essentially takes the earlier chapters of Hiromu Arakawa's series and expands upon them to create their own continuity, as well as providing greater character depth to the major characters of the series. While the manga goes for a more "safe" approach by having a conventional story and faster pacing, the first FMA series chose to go for a mature style of storytelling that depicts grey morality for its characters and slower pacing. This results in the series creating flawed heroes and villains with tragic upbringings which the series takes its time at exploring and allowing the viewer enough time to connect with. This style of storytelling hugely effects the Elrics and the Homunculus in this series. The Elrics are forced to confront moral dilemmas in regards to events that they directly or indirectly influenced from earlier episodes of the series while the majority of the Homunculus are given background and motivation for their actions where they aren't simply henchmen for their ringleader and are seeking some sort of purpose for themselves. The series also retains a consistent mood as it knows when to stay serious during dramatic and tense scenes while adding in comedic moments during breather episodes to lighten the mood, a major flaw of the earlier manga chapters as they had a habit of throwing in slapstick and super-deformed moments at the most inopportune times.

The series isn't without its flaws as I've come to realize over the years. Some characters closely connected to the major plot of the series are quite underdeveloped compared to how they turn out later in the manga and don't appear as regularly in the anime. This flaw seems to come from the anime catching up to the manga source material in later episodes and not having enough time to properly fit these characters into larger roles for the anime's continuity. In addition, the later episodes tend to get quite shoddy in their plot developments as a revelation concerning the source of alchemy and what happens to two major characters got quite ridiculous compared to how cohesive the plot was building up in earlier episodes. In a way, the finale to the first series seemed like a big excuse just to get fans to watch the Conquerer of Shambala movie.

In terms of visuals, I found the FMA anime to sport brighter color and more defined details than Brotherhood. While not as visually impressive as 2003 titles like Last Exile and Planetes, scenery within FMA is vast with a good amount of detail and character designs are just as good in quality. While the series usually resorts to shortcuts with animation, it does have its moments of fluid movements and solid action sequences. The soundtrack for the anime is quite elaborate featuring a wide range of instruments used for insert music such as piano, brass and stringed instruments that do very well at enhancing the show's many dramatic scenes. The OP and ED musical choices consist of differing J-Rock and alternative songs with the OPs being upbeat to get one hooked onto the show and the EDs mostly be mellow songs meant to be a breather following each episode of the series.

Overall, I found the 2003 adaptation of Fullmetal Alchemist to be the better adaptation of the series than its manga and 2009 anime counterparts due to not being afraid to take risks with its storyline. While the two latter sources go for a more conventional shounen story, the 2003 take on the series takes the manga's plot and characters and expands upon them to create better characterization and smoother story flow from the title's earlier chapters. While the title's attempt to create its own continuity does have some bumps in its later episodes, I still found it to be a more worthwhile adaptation than what the manga and Brotherhood intended with it. Those wanting a better portrayal of the manga's earlier events and better character development should give this adaptation of FMA a shot if they've already sampled the manga and/or Brotherhood.

Third review from 2016

This 2003 anime adaptation of Fullmetal Alchemist can be described as something quite a bit different from its manga adaptation and the more faithful 2009 Brotherhood anime remake that later came out. At the time this aired, Hiromu Arakawa's hit shounen manga series was still ongoing thus she gave consent to series animator Bones to go in their own direction with the story and character elements to her work. While retaining the title's plot of alchemist brothers Ed and Al Elric seeking the whereabouts of the Philosopher's Stone to restore their bodies and coming across a major conspiracy connected to it, the anime goes in a different direction with exploring its story and themes that have varying results of quality when comparing it to how later events in the manga pan out.

Before I dig into how well this anime adaptation creates its own spin on the manga, I guess I should elaborate on what it gets into for those who experienced the series through the manga or the later Brotherhood anime. To make a long explanation short, Fullmetal Alchemist mostly adapts the major events that take place from the first eight volumes of the manga while adding in some anime-only developments, an original storyline that explores the reasons surrounding the conspiracy uncovered for later episodes, anime-exclusive original characters and incorporates some characters and story elements that would not be introduced in the series proper until later chapters within the manga. Essentially, the series is a mish-mash of content coming from the manga series and Bones adding a number of unique elements to it.

In regards to how well Bones adapts this 2003 take of FMA, the results of it are mostly solid yet have some issues. But before addressing the issues, I'll elaborate on what this adaptation does right. While the manga adaptation of FMA breezes through many of its events at a breakneck pace, this anime slows things down a notch to allow more time for the audience to take them in. This is done by adding in some anime-only scenes to fill in gaps not covered in the manga to help enhance the mood and impact of a number of the title's major story points. This allows viewers to better immerse themselves into the drama and suspense that occurs through famous scenes of the series that FMA fans know very well of from earlier volumes of the manga enhanced from Bones' additions to the anime.

And this brings me to the second major element that the 2003 FMA adaptation improves with the series in that it offers a more mature bent on the events faced by its characters. While the manga opts for a more traditional idealist and “good vs evil” type of storytelling, the 2003 anime is focused on many of its relevant characters finding themselves having to make morally questionable actions in order to fulfill their goals or for the sake of self-preservation against an enemy threat. Characters like Ed and Roy find themselves faced with having to cross said moral lines to fulfill their goals either coming from their tragic pasts or confronting the enemy threat connected to the conspiracy they come across. The decisions are not easy ones to be made and would be frowned upon by others, but the series offers enough depth to the motivations of said characters to make their actions seem justified in spite of the lines they cross.

The mature storytelling also leads the series to explore a ongoing theme throughout the series in what it means to be human. Outside of the moral decisions made to define how someone could be considered human in spite of committing morally questionable acts, the series also challenges the specific definition of humanity as racism and characters like the Homunculus and chimera are considered less than human among others due either to their actions or different physical appearances. These lead many of the major characters to have their views of what it means to be human get challenged, what value the lives of human have and have their limits on tolerance and forgiveness be tested. The questions in of themselves are not easy ones to answer, but a number of the character in the series come to their own conclusions over what the value and definition of a human being means to them throughout the series.

Praises aside, the anime still runs into its fair share of bumps from adapting its own spin on FMA. These issues start to rear their head in the anime's second half as the revelations over the conspiracy and origin of the Homunculus lead to some rather glaring plot holes with its story elements and what is revealed about elements to its world within the final few episodes of the series stretching things quite a bit with the world that FMA established throughout the majority of its run. In addition, the anime ends inconclusively as its actual resolution comes from the Conqueror of Shambala movie that later came out.

The handling of characters in the series is also a bit of a double-edged sword. While the anime's mature storytelling leads to characters like the Homunculus and Ed to have more complex depth and development compared to their manga counterparts, it does come at the expense of other characters like Roy's Squadron members, Hohenheim and Winry who get more development and presence in the manga.

Visually, the FMA anime is on par with the quality you would expect out of a mid-2000s anime. The lining on scenery and character designs are thicker than the later Brotherhood adaptation with more brighter color, while showing off more detailed scenery in scenic shots. The animation is nothing groundbreaking to a good extent as the animators made use of tricks and shortcuts to simulate fluid movement. But other than the occasional still shots, the show implements its tricks well enough to create solid choreography in its fight scenes and has its moments of fluid movement such as a later fight between Ed and Greed or Scar attacking a group of would-be attackers on motorcycles.

In terms of music, FMA's insert music sticks out strongly for the series. Offering a variety of tense and light musical pieces, the insert tracks fit very strongly into the varying serious and comical moments witnessed throughout the show's run. The opening and ending pieces, on the other hand, offer a mix of J-pop and J-rock vocal themes that are hit-and-miss with how well they fit the given mood of particular points in the series.

Overall, the 2003 animated adaptation to Fullmetal Alchemist is a great quality show in its own right thanks to Bones' unique spin on the story and themes of the series. While having some hiccups in quality that rear their head in the show's second half, it is still one of the decade's remembered and more popular shows that establishes its own identity and is easily among the more better titles put together for the shounen demographic.

Last updated Saturday, February 06 2016. Created Saturday, December 06 2008.
Rent 9 10 10 8 10 8 aoneish [series:718#1615]
hm. what a badass series. granted, ed does cry(complain) alot, and that is slightly annoying, but this is a story of a 15 year old boy and all the shitty things that happen to him and his brother. so its understandable. it's also a "coming of age" story, which is why it's compared to naruto alot. if you follow FMA to the end you see that ed progresses pretty nicely by the end of the movie, as does his brother. and it's pretty nice that they manage this all in only 51 episodes and a movie instead of 200+ from naruto. and the fighting here is So Much Better. Heh.

The ST isn't anything to notice, but I did find one of the EP's very pretty.

so you get a pretty convoluted plot. all very nicely resolved. characters are very dimensional though not seemingly so. there's a mixture of politics, alchemy, desire, selfish and selflessness, war, love, mythology, redemption, vengeance, science fiction, historical...have i even covered it all? it's just chock full of goodies that's all i'm saying.

it's a very nice series worth watching at least once if not adding to your collection. and the ending sets up very nicely for the movie.

Last updated Friday, March 16 2007. Created Friday, March 16 2007.
Rent 8 8 9 9 8 7 manganime [series:718#1633]
I would have orginally may have given this a 'buy' but watchin it for a second time I'm finding it a bit boring and I feel this series is over-rated. I also found that the story development seems to drag along for the first 20 episodes or so and it isn't terribly excitin, it's only afterwards things pick up. And I also felt sometimes equilvalent exchange was thrown out of the window when it seemed some charcters where creating something out of nothing, and studying science for so long sum parts were bothersome. There are also a few discrepencies that I found within the series.

But looking past all that this is still a highly entertaining series with suspense, twists, turns which can be appreciated at least once. Action, tragedy, comedy, FullMetal Alchemist does seem to deliver it all. Recommended for all anime fans.

Last updated Tuesday, July 11 2006. Created Tuesday, July 11 2006.
Watch Stretch [series:718#628]
Personally, I experienced a distinct loss of interest in this series after a certain character gets killed around halfway through. I think I may know why: I've heard that it was at about this point that the anime goes off on a tangent from the original manga. I continued watching on Adult Swim until the end, largely because I can't pass up taping anime that's available free of charge, but it was hard to maintain attention. Alchemy--something halfway between science and magic--is an interesting concept, but barely interesting enough to justify watching no less than 51 episodes. The characters go on and on about the sacred Law of Equivalent Exchange, but in fact there's practically nothing they can't do (how is it possible to "transmute" a broken radio into a good-as-new one?). Since it's impossible to predict what they are capable of, it's hard to say whether they are really in danger or not, which kills the excitement. They are, for all intents and purposes, sorcerers, and that's a genre that's been done to death in anime already. For some reason, I never became particularly attached to Ed or Al, either. The comedy element is amusing, though. Perhaps I should point out that I prefer anime comedy over anime action, whereas Adult Swim clearly takes the opposite approach--I think the only comedy anime they've shown as of yet has been FLCL and Super Milk-chan.

Last updated Wednesday, June 21 2006. Created Wednesday, June 21 2006.
Buy 10 10 10 10 0 Violet D [series:718#1393]

Episode 25 is a real tear jerker. At least it was for me. Maes ends up getting killed from these humulkili. I'm not sure if I spelled that right. Anyway Ed and Al find out some of the secreats with lab five. Maes discovers that there is more people up top who know about this. So he heads out the door teloling his secretary to go away and don't ever return. Ed and Al are leaving again on the train and Ed sees Maes waving at him from the depot. Mustang comes to the funeral and comments how it is going to rain. Maes little girl asks why are they burrying daddy. That part really got me and I thought is very well done and written. Anime isn't always hearts and flowers but ocassionly they have one that deals with feelings of another kind. This season Full Metal is back on Adult Swim on Saturdays after Inuyasha. Now they found a small boy it the place their teacher took them. Edward thinks that the arm he has and leg were his when Al and him did the switch. Now in this episode the Humulkili showed up all of them and now I have to wait till next Saturday to find out what happens. I love this anime and along with the new episodes of Inuyasha they both keep me on the edge of my seat.

This one along with Inuyasha is my favorite. No I lied I like other ones too. Heck I just like anime period. Now back to Full Metal this Saturday Edward fights with Greed. The one who kidnapped his brother. Before Greed dies he gives Edward the secreat on how to kill the humulkili. Also where he left Al. So they say goodbye to teacher and they are off to hunt for the secreat. It surprised me about Greed I guess he wasn't so bad after all. But you get a chance to watch it do.This last Saturday they were all keeping an eye on Mustang. But they gave it up thank goodness there is another one to watch out for. Archer I think that is his name and he doesn't like Mustang. I like Mustang but I don't like Archer. They are headed out to find Scar and arrest him or what comes first. Ed and Als friend who lost her parents in the war finds out it was Mustang who may have killed them. Different twists here and there don't miss it. Full Metal hears the truth about the military. Last Saturday Full Metal teams up with Archer and Archer has Alphonse to make sure Ed will do what he says he will. Mustang asks him why and Ed says Archer has Al. Meanwhile the girls Jessica and Eds friend have discovered something bad that killed Major Hues. Now Ed has discovered the truth and there is a lot more going on than Ed realized. The last I watched it on Adult Swim on Saturday and ED is back with his father and he has his arm and leg back. But where is his brother Al. Now I'm going to have to wait till Saturday to find out. This is an anime I can't stop watching. As I said before never a dull moment with this one. A couple of Saturdays ago I saw the conclusion to theses episodes and All uses his Philosopher stone which he has become to give Ed back his life. Al gets his body back and still wants to know from teacher about alchemy so he and his brother can be together again. Ed ends back in a different era and he is also looking for ways to be with his brother. Mustang kicks the Furers butt and comes out ahead. In the end Al sticks his arm out of the train and so does Ed and they make a fist at the same time. A great ending for this particular episode I loved it.

Last updated Sunday, April 09 2006. Created Saturday, June 04 2005.

Buy 9 9 9 6 10 10 Buzze [series:718#1034]
This is one creepy story so far (up to 46 episodes)
First of all, I don't understand how this serie is being compared to Naruto, since it's totally different.
This serie takes place in an imaginary country, lead by a military dictator that likes to oppress the odd rebellion. The military has all the power, mostly thanks to the use of National Alchemists, a kind of scientific wizards. Everyone has western names (there's even a woman called Glacier?), use the western alphabet, eats with knife and fork and the scenery reminds me of the industrial revolution (around 1850 - 1918) but there are cars, WWI tanks and automail (robotic limbs). It's a bit odd to have every Japanese reference removed but then, it wouldn't fit the story very well I guess.
For the rest of the story, I refer to the other reviewers and the summary above, because I don't feel like adding too much. This is definitely a must-see and I don't want to spoil the fun, that is, if you're into some dark stories, a bit of horror here and there, but like to see some humour into it too.
I can hardly remember the first episodes though, since the story really takes you by the troath and I'm watching up to 10 episodes in 2 or 3 days. Some parts are really creepy (5th lab, the boy's father), make you feel bad (Maes Hughes, btw: Maes is a Belgian brand of beer, did you know?), some fights are really tense. Thankfully there's some humour too, and it's well dosed, so it wouldn't take the pace out of the story. (Try calling Ed a shorty or pour him a glass of milk.) There are some love stories too, but they remain in the background, where they belong in this kind of serie.
I've obtained 4 volumes of the manga as well, apparently the anime goes further here and there (especially in the 5th lab), but I'm still not sure if this is good or bad.

Last updated Friday, September 24 2004. Created Friday, September 24 2004.
Buy 10 9 8 9 9 9 Iceman_Aragorn [series:718#1517]
Alchemy is the science of gaining something by sacrificing something of equal value. Unfortunately, nothing seems to be as valuable as a human life, which is unfortunate for Ed and Al, two amateur alchemists who have lost their mother and try to revive her.
The anime is a story of their pursuit of a mystical item known as the Philosipher's Stone. With this they hope to resore the lost body parts they lost in the attempt to revive their mother, and along the way, learn more about whether human alchemy is possible.
A very interesting anime so far (I think 37 or so episodes have been released so far). This anime ahs plenty of comedy, a good non-episodal storyline, and character development with lots of background-story upgrades along the way.
Well worth watching.

Last updated Thursday, July 29 2004. Created Thursday, July 29 2004.
Buy neko-sama [series:718#1502]
I am stuck at episode 16, because the other episodes are delayed because of the licensing by funanimation. However, this is a cartoon that is quite good and worth watching. Agreeable that it is not like Naruto, but FMA has different stories to tell compared to naruto.
I like the fact that Edward and Al always look out for each other because they only have each other in the world. Plus the fact edward always pulls a fast one on Al when it comes to Poker!. Ed is the stronger and tougher of the two while Al is the human side of ED. Ed tries to be the big brother and protect his younger brother so well, sometimes you just standback to think that a young boy like him bears the weight of the world on his shouldes in order bring back his brother's body.
This is also one anime where all the characters can be individually identified. Each person has a different characteristic and personality.
Scenes that make you laugh:
- al running with the kitten inside him
- every time someone calls ed "CHIBI" or "CHICHIN".
- roy mustang and his liking for short-skirts.
- black hayate!
Scenes that make you cry:
- nina
I cannot wait for episodes 17 to come out!! hopefully soon.

Last updated Friday, July 23 2004. Created Thursday, July 22 2004.
Watch 10 8 7 3 2 2 DisFunctional [series:718#863]
up to ep 8. hmmm not really enjoying it. a lot of crying, a lot of shouting, very dramatic. the story doesnt really let you get behind the characters, so as a viewer, i'm not feeling it.
dont like those "tough guy" characters. more into cowboy bebop where the main character dont have to act so up him self all the time. Or make a face and raise his voice every time his serious. Eg take a look at the first picture.
Theres not much of a story line. FMA doesnt make you think like Naruto.
my 2cent.
update1: i'm up to ep 14 now... actually it's getting better
update2: NOPE its still crap! After seeing 23 eps, Im sticking to my first thoughts... its too dramatic. CRAP

Last updated Sunday, August 29 2004. Created Tuesday, June 29 2004.
Buy 10 10 10 7 10 10 Aerith Hotaru Lockhart [series:718#1269]
Full Metal Alchemist is one of the most delicously morbid series. The series has a great blend of a morbid storyline with a good serving of humor, and unlike many other anime series, the humor is put in places it make sense.
The story revolves around two young boys who tried to do the forbidden art of Human Alchemy to ressurect the mother. Ed, an extremely accomplished Alchemist loses one of his arms and legs. Al, his younger brother, loses his entire body, and now resides in an suit of armor in which Ed bound him to. Now they are off in their journey to discover how to do Human Alchemy to reverse the damage they have done.
Anyone who is morbid will like this series. If you like series such as Evangelion, Serial Experiment Lain, Witch Hunter Robin, or any other dark series, you will find that this one is most enjoyable.

Last updated Sunday, March 14 2004. Created Sunday, March 14 2004.
Buy 9 9 9 9 10 10 AstroNerdBoy [series:718#436]

In-smegging-credible! It is a tribute to good writing when elements of horror, humor, drama, action, darkness, light, and just a hint of romance can be blended together to form a story of any kind. Fullmetal Alchemist is such a title which combines all of these elements, gives us a gripping story, AND gives us characters with real growth.

The initial 2-part story really helps set the stage to this magical world that Ed and Al live in. We are then flashed back for several episodes to see how it is that Ed and Al arrived at the place we saw them in episode 1 and 2. The series makes clever use of the flashback. At times when the story reached a certain point, a lengthy flashback might occur. Yet the flashback isnt intrusive to the story, but builds the foundation and structure for the next phase of the story. Flashbacks might be brief, or they might last a few episodes, depending on the situation.

The supporting cast is incredibly large, yet all serve an important role in the story as a whole. I might have liked to have seen a tad more romantic elements between Wendy (which fansubbers called Winry, but Im not sure why) and Ed, but thats OK. Of the good guys, the bookworm girl is the least developed and of the bad guys, we never did learn about Gluttonys past. Still, these are minor complaints as the supporting cast gets really good development.

The use of humor is good too. Early in the series, the humor comes more frequently. As the series gets darker and darker, the humor moments are fewer. Still, the writers know when to give the audience a chance to catch its breath. In the middle of the darkness (as the story allows), the writers would throw in a lighter episode before plunging into the darkness of the story ahead. These humor episodes were all well timed and were needed to keep the series from being to dark and depressing. Excellent job!

As expected, we are given answers to everything by the time the story ends. However, these answers dont feel like they were just pulled out of the air at the last moment; rather they feel well thought out, as if the end was known before the writing started. This is another great strength of FMA. It is easy to write stories that grab the audience and make them want to know the answers, but it is hard to give answers that arent just cop outs. Fortunately, that didnt happen here. The final episode works great to end the TV series, but it also works great to set up the sequel movie thats coming out.

Bottom line: this is one incredible ride and when I next update my top-10 anime list, it will be there. Thankfully, FUNimation is doing the series so well get some great subtitles that keep in the Japanese honorifics.

Last updated Tuesday, October 12 2004. Created Monday, March 01 2004.

Buy 10 10 10 8 10 10 YAMAZAKI-KUN [series:718#1217]

Last updated Friday, February 13 2004. Created Friday, February 13 2004.
Buy 9 9 9 8 9 9 Jan-Chan [series:718#967]
Funimation has gained the license this series, and it appears that it may also be licensed to air on the cartoon channel... but in October of 2004 .. hummm..
This series has a PS-2 game spin off with footage that can be reviewed at

Last updated Friday, May 21 2004. Created Monday, January 12 2004.

Other Sites
Fullmetal Alchemist Official English Site http://www.fullmetalalchemist.com
FUNimation's official FMA site.
Asskicking Alchemy and Automail http://home.earthlink.net/~edge7z/
A nifty fansite.
Fullmetal Alchemist Official Japanese Site http://www.sonymusic.co.jp/Animation/hagaren/
Sony's official FMA site (in Japanese).

Community Anime Reviews

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