“Fullmetal Alchemist” is a 51-episode Japanese anime series that was nominated for six of eight categories during the 2007 American Anime Awards. It won awards in five of the categories. The series won “Best Long Series,” Best Actor (Vic Mignogna, who voices Edward Elric), Best Cast, Best DVD Package Design, and Best Anime Feature.
The series is a mesh of drama, fantasy, thriller, supernatural, steampunk, with a bit of science fiction. It is set in the 20th century in an alternate world. The country is called Amestris. This is a historical alternate Earth. The timeline is similar to the early 20th century in Europe. Amestris looks to be inspired by German history and culture.
FMA has the supernatural feel to it as it focuses on the world of Alchemy. The series exaggerates the art and science of alchemy. But, there are features present that are not in real-life alchemy.
The alchemy portrayed in FMA is the ability of transmuting matter into a different form of the same matter. This is called the law of equivalent exchange. It says that in order to achieve, one must sacrifice something of equal value. In order to get something you want, you must sacrifice something of equal value.
In most cases, one needs to use a transmutation circle in order to use alchemy. This is based off the real-world application of alchemy. Also, it goes in-depth on what alchemists should not do. The biggest taboo is trying to create a human. Many people have tried and many people have failed.
The main characters are the Elric brothers: Edward and Alphonse. Due to a tragic chain of events, both of them are put on an adventure. Their father who is an alchemist had vanished. He hadn’t returned.
Their mother Trisha ended up dying of a terminal illness. The two of them would train in the science of alchemy. Edward learned how to transmute matter without a transmutation circle. They tried to use alchemy and bring back their dead mother. However, the attempt failed.
Alphonse lost his body. Edward lost his left leg in the process. Afterwards, Edward would sacrifice his right arm in order to attach Alphonse’s soul to a suit of armor. Edward ends up getting fitted with prosthetic limbs known as automail.
Afterwards, they are on a mission to find something called the Philosopher’s Stone. The brothers are put on an adventure trying to find clues as they learn about other alchemists along with meeting a diversity of adversaries.
FMA does a good job of combining religion and politics together. While alchemy is a daily part of life, there are people that do use the science for their own self-gain. And there are people that are against alchemy in the classic conflict of nature vs. artifice.
Overall, FMA has a very solid storyline. Those that are interested in the supernatural and the occult will definitely appreciate the FMA series.