Friday, July 26, 2013

"Fullmetal Alchemest" Review

*This is a review for the 2003 anime, not for FMA: Brotherhood*

This show, THIS SHOW, totally trumps both "Fruits Basket" and "Host Club".  Action, adventure, alternate history and a slightly steampunk world... "Fullmetal Alchemist" is much more my type of show. Both the plot and the characters have great development, and every time you think the biggest plot twist happened, there's an even bigger one around the corner! FMA definitely makes it into my top 10 favorite shows.

Edward Elric and his younger brother Alphonse were living quite happily with their mother... until she died. So Edward and Alphonse decided to try to raise her from the dead. The resurrection failed, leaving Edward without an arm and a leg and Alphonse's soul attached to a suit of armor. Now they roam around the country trying to find a way to restore their bodies. Written by Salix

Aside from minor swearing, this show is relatively clean from general moral views. The violence is tricky, because it can go from 0 to Hunger Games and back again. Sometimes it is quite unexpected, and (less often) unnecessary. Fortunately these scenes normally add to the plot and character development, so it's not a waste of time.

*This is slightly spoiler-ey* The FMA universe is parallel to our own, having a split from our history from over 400 years before World War One. In this world, alchemy is the science that developed, instead of physics. There are many references to different religions, most of which are made up. The Ishvalan religion is the main religion, and it has some aspects similar to middle-eastern religion and culture (it is inspired a bit by Hindu, apparently). Christianity is brought up once, it being called a "dead religion". There are also many off hand/side comments about "not needing religion". I wouldn't say that there is any blatant Christianity/religion hate, but the "science, not God" attitude is sometimes there.

The show is about a war. It shows many different aspects and sides. It doesn't only focus on the heroes and the villains, but on the common people, on the villains  pawns, on everyone. It reminds me a bit of Timothy Zahns book, "Choices of One", which showed how one person can affect so many others. It is truly beautiful the way it is written like that.

It is quite interesting how the main villains are the seven deadly sins: Lust, Greed, Envy, Wrath, Gluttony, Sloth, and Pride.

Most definitely a 13+ show.

All 51 episodes are currently available on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon ($25). Subs and dubs available on YouTube. The only place I could find the movie was on Hulu. Trust me, you'll want to watch it right when you finish the show.

After debating if I should do a whole different post for characters, I decided to cram it all in this one. There are so many wonderful characters, and I'm going to talk about my favorites... because I love them that much :p.

Edward Elric
Aww.. bby y u so cute!
Ed is one of the most adorable/lovable/amazing characters I have ever met. His determination and loyalty, especially to his brother, are his most admirable traits, but he can be quite childish at times (but aren't we all?). Great overall development, and I'm going to end it here or else I will start a fangirly rant. 

Alphonse Elric
Haha this pic is so intense and misleading
Al, Ed's younger brother, is often mistaken for his older brother. After loosing his body, his soul is attached to armor, which makes him near invincible. After Ed becomes a state alchemest, he travels everywhere with him.

The Mustang Unit
(Heymans Breda, Kain Fuery,  Riza Hawkeye, Roy Mustang, and Jean Havoc; Vato Falman not pictured)
So I'm putting this lovely group of people together, because that is simply how it should be done. Breda, Fuery, and Havoc are mostly comic relief, but they are well rounded characters. Roy Mustang, the Fire Alchemest, leads this team, and could be considered a bit as Ed's mentor figure, even though they don't get along at first. And then there is Riza Hawkeye, who is the most fantastic character ever. That's all I can say about her. She is just fantastic. The first moment that Roy and Riza showed up I shipped them.

Maes Hughes
You have no ides how painful it was
looking for this picture. No idea.
Just don't get attached to this entirely lovable and hilarious character and you will survive. *Just thought I'd warn you.* He loves his wife and daughter to no end, and loves to take pictures of them... which he  shows every person he meets. He is Roy's best friend. I'm going to stop before I start sobbing.

Armstrong is pretty much this:
And that's all
  The Villains  
This is actually from FMA: Brotherhood, Pride is different in the 2003 version
The idea to make each of the villains represent one of the 7 sins was a truly brilliant idea. It makes it a bit more realistic in a sense, the internal struggle agents these traits. I felt no sympathy for them, except for Lust and Wrath in the end. It's genius how Lust dies while she is consumed by lust to be human.

There are so many more wonderful characters, but I'm going to move on to the last section.


*Not so spoiler free end*

Well, this show is AMAZING on so many levels. I laughed, I cried, I laughed and cried at the same time, I screamed and sat there in complete awe of plot twists.

There is something painfully realistic about Hughes's death. He dies early on in the series, and there are reminders of him, all the way to the end. In most franchises that I'm into (Harry Potter, Star Wars, Last Airbender, even Doctor Who), favorite character's don't die until the end. If they die/leave early on, they are forgotten about quickly. When Hughes dies, Roy is determined to honor his best friends memory, and the viewers are not allowed to forget about him. It reminded me that the good guys do die, that sometimes a parent doesn't come home, and friends leave, but you never forget them. Just beautiful.

And I ship Roy/Riza like there is no tomorrow, and Riza Hawkeye is the coolest character ever. I'm going to cosplay as her :)


  1. Another nice review! I've heard FMA mentioned so many times but knew barely anything. Sounds like it has really good characters. :)

  2. Thanks! I loved this show to pieces (just watched my favorite episode this morning), but it will chew up your heart and spit it back at you as you drown in your tears. Yep. other than that, I'd say watch it!

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  4. I'm a huge fan of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga and the Brotherhood anime, but I haven't watched the 2003 anime (save for funny bits and pieces - and the ending). I'd like to watch the entirety of it, but they all say it isn't as good as Brotherhood and the manga.
    Major General Armstrong, the Briggs soldiers, and the Xingese characters are obviously not there, and Mustang's 'chess pieces' barely played any roles apart from comic relief. And the ending is... why is it so depressing?

    I think I'll consider watching it after reading your lovely review. :) Have you watched the Brotherhood anime, by the way? If you've only watched the 2003 FMA, then you're missing out some awesome characters... and more RoyAi.

    (This person's a Roy/Riza or RoyAi shipper, too!)

    1. Awesome! i'm in season 4 of Brotherhood right now, I love it! The 2003 version isn't exactly better or worse... just different. It took a different rout with some interesting twists that I really liked, and what is covered in one episode of Brotherhood takes two episodes in the 2003 one. It goes deeper into the reasons of why something happens sometimes. You should watch it, it's really good!

      Yes, more RoyAi! I'm not going to lie, that has to be one of my favorite things about Brotherhood, especially since Roys whole group has a lot more character development.

    2. Yeah, the pacing in Brotherhood (in the first 13 episodes or so - until the Xingese characters arrive) is indeed a bit problematic. Some of the fans suggested watching the first half of the 2003 anime and then watching Brotherhood from episode 14 in order to get the best from both (ignoring minor discrepancies).

      If by season 4 you mean Volume 4, then just wait until you get to the part about their pasts. :)
      BTW, who is your favorite character in the Mustang Unit (that isn't Roy or Riza)? Mine would be Fuery (he's so adorable!) and Havoc.

    3. Yeah, I loved/hated that in the 2003 version Hughes is a much more developed character, and therefore it is MUCH MUCH MUCH sadder when he dies *im still not over it*

      I really liked the episode about Riza (duh) and her view on the war. I saw it coming up on netflix and it was sooooo hard to not skip ahead to watch it.

      Fuery is so CUTE! He's just, ugh, he's just so adorable! But Havoc has to be my favorite after Roy and Riza. Honestly, how could anyone not love him? I'm really worried about what's going to happen to him next (he's still in the hospital right now).