March 29, 2013

Fullmetal Alchemist

A truly memorable anime. This series focuses on the lives of Edward and Alphonse Elric. It also focuses on Alchemy, a mysterious art that works almost by way of magic. It is the art of constructing, reconstructing and deconstructing matter. In order to use Alchemy, you must follow a certain law — in order to gain something you have to sacrifice something of equal value. The art of using Alchemy is known as transmutation. However, there is a taboo among alchemist, human transmutation is forbidden — for what could equal the value of a human life. 

Knowing all this, Edward and Alphonse attempt human transmutation, and the results are horrifying. Edward almost loses his little brother, but he manages to attach his brother's soul to a large suit of armor. While he did manage to save his brother's life, he paid the terrible price of his limbs. In order to get back what they've lost, the brothers embark on a journey to find the Philosopher's Stone that is said to amplify the powers of an alchemist enormously.

There are two series in the Fullmetal Alchemist franchise. Both follow the same synopsis. However, where they differ from each other is in the dept of the story, and how closely they follow the manga.

Fullmetal Alchemist

This series aired in October 4, 2003. I don't have much to say about this series because, although I truly enjoyed this series, there isn't much for me to say but how it differs form the later series. It's full of dramatic moments, and has some intense battles, too. The story ends with a movie that follows the end of the series. Basically, Edward ends up in our world, and has to find a way to get back to his world. Also, the way alchemy works differs greatly from the manga. Alchemy in Edward's world is a result of  many experiments done in our world. The energy released goes to his world, allowing people to use Alchemy. The series ends in a satisfying (yet confusing) way.  

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

This series aired April 6, 2009. This series closely follows the manga, and is in my opinion better than the previous one. It got me into watching more anime series, too. This series is also full of sad, dramatic, and intense moments, but I dare say the story is better. In this series not only do the Elrics need to recover what they've lost, but they also need to stop an evil mastermind from taking over the world. It takes the antagonists from the previous series and makes them a bit more interesting and stronger. You explore Edward's world more deeply in this story. Also, Alchemy's energy comes from the energy produced by the Earth's tectonic plates. Edward goes through some hard moments and you never really know whether to feel sad or happy, because the series constantly changes momentum in a genius way. The final battle is truly epic. It's a great series, and I highly recommend it.

If you enjoy anime that will mess with your emotions, both series are perfect for you. I loved the characters, and it never really got boring — not in the Brotherhood series, at least. The voice acting was perfect, and in both series the art was excellent. Both are action packed, with some occasional funny moments. Seeing how Edwards grows, the sacrifices he has to make, is invigorating. The original soundtracks for both series are excellent. Just listen to this:

Edward is very intelligent he's an alchemist prodigy. He can also be short headed. He hates it when people call him short, and has a profound hate towards milk. However, once he decides to learn something, he will not sleep for days and will continue his studies relentlessly. Alphonse is the level headed one, always calling out to Edward whenever he's rude to someone. He loves animals, and will often adopt stray animals and house them in his armor. Both are willing to sacrifice each other for each other. They share a bond that can't be broken, and give each other strength. Winry is Edward and Alphonse's childhood friend. She's responsible for giving maintenance to Edward's artificial limbs. She can be too aggressive, but will always be there when the Elrics need her.

I highly recommend both series. I hope you give at least one of them a chance, I can guarantee you will enjoy your time. 

Fullmetal Alchemist: 8/10
Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood: 10/10