Anime Review Fullmetal Alchemist

Title: Fullmetal Alchemist Complete (Original)

Format: Blu-ray / 51 Episodes

Shorewood Blu-ray OcardPublisher: Funimation

USA Release Date: 9-15-15

Genre: Quest, Action

Age Rating:13+

Overall Personal Rating: A-


Placed in a land and time where science developed along the lines of alchemy, there were two brothers Ed and Al, both under 15 years old. They were alchemy students who entered into the forbidden when in an attempt to bring back their mother who died. Horrendous things happened and they barely survived. Ed losing both an arm and a leg, Al only retaining his soul, now inside a suit of armor.

They are now on a quest to find the Philosopher’s Stone because they believe it will allow them to regain what they lost. They are not the only ones looking for a stone. There are people wanting to find one or make one, sometimes with seemingly good reasons, others for completely selfish or evil purposes. And, not all of the people are really human but Homunculi, creatures that look like a person but don’t have the soul or humanity.

At first the events they encountered seem separate, but Ed and Al realized there is something more sinister. They are trying to figure out the complex weave of deception believing it will aid in their search for the stone. Ed, having been a state alchemist has friends in the military, but that seems to lead to more complications than the help they receive.


Me? No, I’ve never seen either one of Fullmetal Alchemist anime. (There are 2 animes, one which was produced before the manga was finished and was allowed to develop on its own path, the second follows the manga story line.) I knew a little about it. People kept telling me that I really ought to watch it, some differing on which one was best. I think the most common advice was to watch the original one first, then the Brotherhood version.

This is a classic right? That is how people describe it, even though it was broadcast starting 2003 (Japan). So I don’t know if it can really be a classic but I’d say it expresses the essence of a classic. Maybe it is a classic if every anime fan ought to watch it. I agree that every anime fan over 16 would want to watch Fullmetal Alchemist. Although it is rated 13+, I’d recommend it for older teens, it is rather bloody and there is some pure evil doing really terrible stuff. This is not for kids!

This anime is one that has something for almost anyone, which might put some people off. It is action for sure, but relationship are surely central. There is a quest (with a conclusion, not forever like Gilligan’s Island), mysteries to solve, magic and comedy. Even with the comedy, Fullmetal Alchemist is rather dark. It deals with life and death, and a lot of people die. The battles and alchemy fights are violent and often bloody. There are also the bizarre creatures that resulted from those people experimenting with alchemy with no regard to outcomes and who they might hurt.

A strong element in this anime is the character designs. I find them to be well done. From their looks to personality, and including their situations they seem authentic and well thought out. None of them seemed to me to be a standard character or a typical anything. Even the military characters were individuals, though a belief in their duty often had them obeying orders without question. This leads to what I felt was a epic story element, when one state alchemist finds his voice, illustrating there is a whole lot more to Fullmetal Alchemist than what is on the surface.


Overall Grade: A-  A central series in the anime community of the USA. Next to watch would be the movie Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa which takes place years after the series ends where we further see what happens to Ed and Al.

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