Type: Pseudo-Science Adventures
Synopsis: You remember that thing that Harry Potter and his friends where looking for in the first Harry Potter book (or movie for you philistines)? The Philosopher’s Stone? Well, if you replace the Potter crew with two cyborg brothers, magic with super science, Britain with Germany, the Horcruxes with Golems, and Voldemort with girl Voldemort, you get…a 51 episode anime that has very little to do with Harry Potter.
Pros: My favorite thing about Fullmetal Alchemist is that the central characters were two brothers. Edwards and Alphonse’s central goal is to help each other regain their bodies after a failed alchemy experiment. I loved that Edward, the oldest, always tried to take full responsibility for the accident, even if it sometimes meant ignoring his younger brother’s thoughts. That’s classic Big Brother. I also like the use of alchemy as a super powers. This fictional science of transforming matter made everyone’s specific powers understandable. Why does someone have fire powers? Because they create a spark and amplify it with oxygen. Simple, and somewhat scientific. The show revolves around alchemy, and much of the corruption and conflict in the show derives from it. The show explores the consequences of using knowledge in unethical ways. Humanity’s tainting of alchemy is even given physical and symbolic form through the Homunculi, beings created by alchemy and named after the 7 deadly sins.
Cons: Apparently, this anime version of Fullmetal Alchemist diverges from the original manga about halfway through the show. So, fan of the original work may dislike the show. I personally never notice any dip in quality because of this, and the show does a good job at tying up most of its elements. This show does get really dark at times, to a very surprising degree. War, murder, experimentation, genocide, its all explored here. There will be times when the show slides into the grotesque. The show ends on a semi-cliff hanger, which is suppose to set up a movie finale for the series. It’s an interesting approach, but also a bit unsatisfying.
Watch it?: In exchange for you time, you’ll get a fun series (4/5)
MVP: Alex Louis Armstrong
The Strong Arm Alchemist
Best Episode: Ep. 13 “Fullmetal VS Flame” (training day)