Fullmetal Alchemist : Brotherhood
Series Name: Fullmetal Alchemist : Brotherhood - 鋼の錬金術師FA
Year of Serialization: April 5, 2009
Author(s): Hiroshi Ōnogi , Hiromu Arakawa
Artist(s): Yasuhiro Irie , Hiromu Arakawa , Bones Studio
- Science Fantasy
Current Status: Completed
Moment of Reviewing: End of the series
Other Formats: Manga, written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa
Born in the village of Resembool from the country of Amestris, two brothers, Edward (Ed) and Alphonse (Al), lived there with their mother, Trisha Elric. Their father, Van Hohenheim, had mysteriously left home and years later, Trisha died of a terminal illness, leaving the Elric brothers alone. After their mother's death, Edward became determined to bring her back through the use of alchemy, an advanced science in which objects can be created from raw materials. They researched Human Transmutation, a forbidden art in which one attempts to create or modify a human being. However, this attempt failed, resulting in the loss of Edward's left leg, and Alphonse's entire body. In a desperate effort to save his brother, Edward additionally sacrificed his right arm to affix Alphonse's soul to a suit of armor. Some days later, an alchemist named Roy Mustang visited the Elric brothers, and proposed that Ed become a member of the State Military of Amestris in exchange for more research materials to find a way to recover their bodies. After that, Edward's left leg and right arm were replaced with automail, a type of advanced prosthetic limb, built for him by his close family friends Winry Rockbell and her grandmother Pinako.
From there on, the adventures of the two brothers start. Their goal always being to retrieve their bodies, they travel from place to place, gaining more information about how alchemy really works and what its limits are. They eventually even learn that every alchemist's dream, the philosopher's stone, exists and is possible to be attained. What is the method of attaining a philosopher's stone though? The two brothers strive to learn that.
While travelling, they get to know many people, from different cultures and with various backgrounds, they make friends and face foes, learning in the process more and more about the country itself, its history, as well as about the current status quo, in the process getting closer and closer to the root of everything.
Some things are clear, but others are well hidden. There are people who strive for the best of the country, while others are driven by other motives. The two brothers will realize how many things are hidden from the people of the country, who is behind them all and what connection does this have with alchemy but also with themselves and their goal.
As every shounen action series, Fullmetal Alchemist : Brotherhood has its fair amount of battles and epic moments. The theme of the series is alchemy, something that doesn't sound so spectacular at first, but from the very first episode the watcher realizes that this is anything but true. So, if one of the things that you seek in anime is action, you won't be let down.
Moving on to characters, the anime has a fair amount of them. Every single one of them is different, has an interesting background and an original point of view when it comes to the meaning of life and their own goals in it. What is important is the fact that very few of them can be considered static and especially the main ones are very dynamic. As far as the antagonists are concerned each one of them is unique and all of them together form a very intriguing opposite front for our main characters.
Being a very versatile series, Fullmetal Alchemist : Brotherhood can give you all sorts of feelings while watching it. From epic battle moments to touching ones, from fine humor to tragic stories and even more tragic events. When a series deals with the meaning of life that is unavoidable after all.
The manga on which the anime was based was written and illustrated by a woman and that should tell you much about fanservice. There is almost not even a hint throughout the series.
The music is finely chosen and accompanies the scenes accordingly during the entire series and the illustration although it may seem a bit "old style" at first, is of a very high quality, even during fight scenes.
Lastly, one thing has to be said about the pace of the anime. It starts with much info, so pay attention there, then moves for some episodes in a slwer pace, in order to introduce the main characters and set the scene for the play to start, and then has 3 turning points. One of them is around episode 15, when things suddenly heat up very much, and then after 10 more episodes more revealations are made and it picks up even more in pace. Around episode 40, the pace reaches its maximum and continues like that until the ending.
All in all, a very interesting, quality anime, different from the mainstream ones that is a must watch for every anime fan.
-Reviewed by Frankenstein