Is Fullmetal Alchemist Worth Your Time? – A Complete Review

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.

Is Fullmetal Alchemist Worth Your Time? Review
Fullmetal Alchemist | Source: IMDb

Fullmetal Alchemist anime premiered in Japan with a 6.82 percent television viewership rating. In 2005, Japanese television network TV Asahi conducted a “Top 100” online web poll and nationwide survey; Fullmetal Alchemist placed first in the online poll and twentieth in the survey.

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 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 has a great story with a smooth transition between the arcs. Each episode of the series introduces new reasons to keep you hooked to the show.

With a creative storyline, great animation, and fitting music, Fullmetal Alchemist will check the boxes on your list.

2. Info Card

Fullmetal Alchemist

Air Date: October 4, 2003 Status: Finished Studio: Bones No. of Seasons: 1 No. of Episodes: 51
Watch Fullmetal Alchemist on:

3. Is It Worth Watching?

Fullmetal Alchemist is definitely worth watching. The series is home to an outstanding set of characters and a great story. No matter what genre you’re usually into, you will want to watch this one.

Fullmetal Alchemist Trailer
Fullmetal Alchemist Trailer

The characters ooze charisma and take you on their emotional journeys. Fullmetal Alchemist is an emotional blend of action, a well-written script, and above all, it is a melting pot for a vast world of different cultures, concepts, and religions that simply draws you in from the very beginning.

I. Plot

Fullmetal Alchemist revolves around two brothers who are described to be smart, good-hearted, and determined. The series is set in a world where Alchemy is the ultimate law. With the existence of alchemy, the characters can do tasks that would simply not be possible otherwise.

At the age of twelve, Edward and Alphonse use alchemy to try and resurrect their dead mother. This results in Edward losing his brother as well as his right arm and left leg.

This occurs because alchemy has its limitations.

It states that “Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. That is alchemy’s first law of equivalent exchange.”

With this rule in mind, the Elric brothers start their journey to find an artifact that will allow them to surpass this rule and retain their bodies to normal. Along the way, they meet interesting characters and face-off in some action-packed fights with their enemies.

Fullmetal Alchemist introduces you to a story of brotherhood, love, humanity, and the inevitable consequences of war.

Besides all the seriousness and badassery you will see throughout the show, there is an impressive level of humor as well.

II. Characters

i) Main Characters

Edward Elric, also known as Ed is the main character of the Fullmetal Alchemist series.

He is introduced as a  stubborn and determined guy, frequently letting his pettiness and vengefulness get the better of him.

Is Fullmetal Alchemist Worth Your Time?
Edward Elric | Source: Fandom

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.

Is Fullmetal Alchemist Worth Your Time? Review
Alphonse Elric | Source: Fandom

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 series.

Is Fullmetal Alchemist Worth Your Time?
Winry Rockbell | Source: Fandom

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.

Is Fullmetal Alchemist Worth Your Time?
Roy Mustang | Source: Fandom

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.

III. Setting

Fullmetal Alchemist 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 :

  • “Melissa” by Porno Graffitti (eps 1-13)
  • “Ready Steady Go” by L’Arc~en~Ciel (eps 14-25)
  • “Undo” by Cool Joke (eps 26-41)
  • “Rewrite” by Asian Kung-fu Generation (eps 42-51)

The opening theme songs of the series set the mood for an action-packed episode that is surely to come your way if you’re watching Fullmetal Alchemist.

The closing theme songs for the series are :

  • “Melissa” by Porno Graffitti (ep 1)
  • “Kesenai Tsumi” by Nana Kitade (eps 2-13)
  • “Tobira no Mukou e” by Yellow Generation (eps 14-24)
  • “Motherland” by Crystal Kay (eps 26-41)
  • “I Will” by Sowelu (eps 42-51)

The ending theme music has a lot of late 90’s kind of music and the visuals help in getting a sense of the world that the series takes place in as well as each characters’ journeys.

4. Grade

Fullmetal Alchemist 4/5

Story: A+

Cinematography/Animation: A+

Art: A+

Music: A

5. Final Thoughts

Fullmetal Alchemist is an epic tale of love, determination, and passion. All the characters in the show have diverse personalities which add to the amazing storyline.

The artwork deserves to be praised because of its attention to detail. Each character was designed with such precision that we can detect minute changes in emotion.

The animation quality of the series is top-notch as well. Overall, Fullmetal Alchemist will give you more reasons to watch the show than to let it pass you by.


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