Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood(2009)

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Fullmetal Alchemist:Brotherhood begins as Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”, transitions into Miltons’s “Paradise Lost”, and finishes out as the family drama of Turgenev’s “Fathers and Sons and one Daughter”. And in our opinion, is the greater work!  To say that the scope of FMA:B is large is a vast understatement for any work which takes on life, the universe, and everything(The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams). Across 64 episodes we are witness to includes of an incredible number of very different characters. Characters who not only are themselves but transmute into other characters both in time and space in such dizzying array that a first time viewer is easily befuddled. And all the characters belong to differing groups, clans, nationalities, racial, each with its own obligations and agendas. If you are a Samurai movie fan, this will be familiar with the intense nature of conflicting obligations and duties. One suggestion is to print out the Wikipedia character list, and have it handy as you view this anime.

The universe of Fullmetal is premised on the ability of certain characters to be able to transmute physical objects through the principle of equivalent exchange, i.e. you don't get something for nothing. To get, you must give. But another element central to the characters motivations is something called “The Philosopher's Stone” which can transmute without giving back in return. Many of the characters search for this Stone, and that search is central to the entire anime for it bears a horrendous secret.

What the Stone is actually is startling. For not only are material things transmuted, but human feels,

especially yours are also undergoing a subtle, and then not so subtle transmutation. The artists behind this work make their own equivalencey of the Stone with the real world, and when you see it, you will


The world of FMA:B is one which will envelope you and pull you in, for its world is “Middle Earth”.

 And you will have the same feels at its end, as you did reading “Lord of the Rings”. This is a great work of world literature although many elitists will scoff at “a cartoon made for children”. Well there you have it.


Please be aware that Fullmetal is extremely violent, and dark beyond despair. Thousands of people, men, women, children die very violent visible deaths. Blood flows in buckets, and bodies are torn apart into pieces. And main characters die. Even little children are graphically killed on screen in extended detail! But even so, there is a great amount of humor. In fact Fullmetal begins almost like its going to be a funny little thing, until the characters grab hold of you, and pull you through the Gate  into their dark world. And they will not let go, no matter how you struggle. And struggle you will as you yourself are transmuted into a Philosopher's Stone. One fan said the following, and I quote:



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Also be aware that there are two series versions of this work, FMA(2003) and FMA:B(2009).

Although FMA is a good anime in its own right, it cannot compare to FMA:B which is the full story as written by Hiromu Arakawa in her Manga. FMA was produced before the full story was completed

and after about EP 10, differs greatly from the Manga  in all its details.

Please turn on the Japanese language with English subtitles options for a full impact sensation.

Highly recommended for very mature adults, and required for anyone calling themselves a fan of anime.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood(2009) is perhaps the greatest anime of all!
Vast in scope, but intimate in characters and their relationships. Dark uglyness coupled almost in the same breath with rioteous humor and fun. Love, romance, mystery, evil, death, suspense, stress, self sacrifice, heroics to the nth degree, all these and more are there. This is the type of work once in, you will not want to leave at its end. If I were to recommend one anime to watch to someone who has never seen an anime, Fullmetal Alchmist: Brotherhood would be the one. If they don't like this work, there is in all probability, no anime which they would ever like!

Folcwine P. Pywackett