Fullmetal Alchemist (Hagane no Renkinjutsushi) is a Japanese anime television series adapted from the manga of the same name written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa.
The series follows the adventures of the Elric brothers who are searching for an artifact called The Philosopher’s Stone so that they can recover the bodies they lost in a failed attempt to reanimate their dead mother.
The Fullmetal Alchemist series was created when the manga was only halfway finished whereas Fullmetal Alchemist brotherhood was made based on the completed manga.
1. Quick Review
The protagonists of the series are the Elric brothers. Edward Elric is a young and brilliant alchemist.
When he was twelve years old, Edward and his younger brother Alphonse tried to bring their dead mother to life through the forbidden act of human transmutation.
In the process, Edward loses his brother as well as two of his limbs.
Using his vast knowledge of alchemy, Edward binds his brother Alphonse’s soul to a large suit of armor.
A year later, Edward advances to the Fullmetal alchemist of the state. The Elric brothers then embark on a journey in search of the Philosopher’s Stone.
The legendary mythical stone is said to be capable of magnifying an alchemist’s abilities to a greater level allowing them to surpass the fundamental law of alchemy.
However, this law states that to gain something, an alchemist must sacrifice something of equal value.
Edward hopes to find the fabled stone and restore his and Alphonse’s bodies to normal.
However, the Elric brothers soon discover that there is more to the legendary stone than is spoken about in the fables, as they find themselves amidst a battle of darkness far more dangerous than they could have ever imagined.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood blesses us with an action-packed series that has absolutely no filler at all, which prevents the story from losing momentum.
All the episodes are straight to the point and every scene is important as part of the huge plot.
Along the way, we are introduced to multiple characters, but their subplots are perfectly interwoven with the main story of the Elric brothers and have their own influence on their journey too.
2. Info Card
Fullmetal Alchemist: BrotherhoodAir Date: April 5th, 2009 – July 4th, 2010Status: CompletedStudio: BonesNo. of Seasons: 2No. of Episodes: 64
3. Is It Worth Watching?
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is definitely worth the watch. It differs from the 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist series in terms of omitted content, probably because it was already narrated in the first series.
The series deserves to be praised with respect to the plot and world-building.
The journey of the Elric brothers is one of the most captivating parts of the show, which introduces its own unpredictable plot twists to keep you interested whilst still having some major tricks up their sleeve to keep you hooked to the show.
In the fantasy world of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, alchemy is bound by the universal “Law of Equivalent Exchange”.
The young Elric brothers learned about this law the hard way when they attempted human transmutation which was a forbidden act of alchemy.
“To gain something, you must lose something of equal value.”
The two brothers were attempting to resurrect their mother from the dead and as a result, almost lost their lives.
The story progresses with the Elrich brothers going on an adventure to find the rumored Philosopher’s Stone and restore their bodies to what they once were.
The series showcases a story that is unique, inspired and is an overall, creative show. This anime would definitely be termed a classic.
The art is absolutely gorgeous except for the few moments that the characters seem to look like two-dimensional sketches on paper.
The anime is enjoyable, engaging and it will definitely give you plenty of reasons to watch it through till the end.
i) Main Characters
Edward Elric, also known as Ed is the main character of the series.
He is introduced as a stubborn and determined guy, frequently letting his pettiness get the better of him.
Edward is also described as being rather quick-tempered, resorting more often to violence than a peaceful negotiation to settle disagreements.
Besides having a reputation for being sarcastic, he also shows his true nature to the ones that are close to him which is one of marked selflessness, unflinching loyalty, and great compassion.
Alphonse Elric, also known as Al, is the secondary main character of the series.
He is the younger brother of the Fullmetal Alchemist Edward Elric. Alphonse’s calm and passive behavior is contrasting to his older brother’s more harsh personality.
Al is described as a kindhearted, notably compassionate and patient character. Having had his mental growth stunted at the age of ten due to the loss of his physical body, Alphonse retains a childlike purity in the face even when he encounters horrid situations throughout the series.
ii) Supporting Characters
Winry Rockbell is a main supporting character of the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood series.
She is Edward Elric and Alphonse Elric’s close childhood friend. Her character is portrayed to be very emotional, strong-willed, and emphatic. She puts all her heart and effort into the things she does.
Roy Mustang is a State Alchemist and Edward Elric’s superior officer.
Colonel Mustang is a remarkably capable commander who plans to become the next Führer of Amestris.
On the surface, Roy seems to be a shallow, self-absorbed, and incurable womanizer but at the core, he is a remarkably devoted commander whose primary focus and personal duty is to his friends and subordinates.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is set in a fictional country called Amestris (Amesutorisu). In this made-up world, alchemy exists and is widely practiced.
The government of Amestris has alchemists working for them known as State Alchemists (Kokka Renkinjutsushi) and they are automatically given the rank of Major in the military.
IV. Theme Songs
The opening theme songs for the show are :
- “Again” by Yui (episodes 1-14)
- “Hologram” by Nico Touches the Walls (episodes 15-26)
- “Golden Time Lover” by Sukima Switch (episodes 27-38)
- “Period” by Chemistry (episodes 39-50)
- “Rain” by Sid (episodes 51-60 & 62)
The opening theme songs for the series are masterpieces in itself. They tell miniature stories of their own. The music sets the tone for the episode and for the mood of the genre as a whole.
SID’s ‘Rain’ deserves a special mention for being the star of all opening themes with its beautiful depiction of the struggle faced by the characters and their own ambitions.
Everyone is portrayed in a way that shows human nature and its complexities.
The closing theme songs for the series are :
- “Uso (Lie)” by Sid (episodes 1-14)
- “Let it Out” by Miho Fukuhara (episodes 15-26)
- “Tsunai Da Te” (Tied Hands)” by Lil’B (episodes 27-38)
- “Shunkan Sentimental” (Sentimental Moment)” by Scandal (episodes 39-50)
- “Ray of Light” by Shoko Nakagawa (episodes 51-62)
- “Rain” by Sid (episode 63)
- “Hologram” By Nico Touches the Wall (episode 64)
The ending theme songs are emotional and the lyrics seem like they have been molded to narrate the story of the Elric brothers in the form of a song.
5. Final Thoughts
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood has more resemblance to the manga than the former 2003 series. Bones studio has done a terrific job of bringing the literature to life with gorgeous animation and impeccable soundtracks.
The perfect combination of charismatic characters, great plot consistency, and unpredictable plot twists makes this show worthy of being on your list of must-watch anime.