Two young brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric attempt unsuccessfully to revive their mother using the power of alchemy. In the process, the elder brother, Ed, loses a leg, and the younger brother, Al, loses his entire body. Ed manages to attach his brother's soul to a nearby suit of armor, at the cost of his right arm.
This is the story of the Elric brothers as they set off to find a means to regain their original and complete bodies.
Firstly, I became interested in this series only after hearing that Squeanix was involved, and, while I haven't touched any of the Final Fantasy-based series (since what I've heard of them isn't too attractive), this gives me some hope that they can spawn some decent shows, rather than just games.
Visually, this show looks relatively good, though I'm not a big fan of characters becoming deformed, even if it's for comedic purposes (and that's just because I'm a spoilsport). I never noticed the animation being choppy, inconsistent, or anything of that sort, but it wasn't quite as impressive as some of the other shows I've seen as of late (and some were a slight bit older, so that's really not in this show's favor). The character designs are excellent, with even uniformed characters within the military seeming distinct (Major Armstrong humorously standing out more so than the others), and the lead characters(Alphonse and Edward Elric) have interesting designs as well. In particular, I note Alphonse, the younger brother, who is encased in a hulking suit of armor.
The music during the show is actually quite forgettable (which, for a show that is related to Squeanix is bordering on unforgivable), though the most of the opening themes (and one ending theme) are energetic and catchy enough.
The characters are fresh enough, and well motivated thus far, Only one character seems somewhat stale: the brash, tomboyish mechanic Winry, who, for some reason, irritates me to no end. The interaction between the Elric brothers as they travel is interesting, and often amusing, with humor being a frequent visitor to this series, rather than the constantly grim series the summary might've indicated.
Storywise, this series is very good as well, and, while the series still has a substantial portion remaining, it is likely to wrap up nicely and be at the end of an entertaining ride. The series hasn't had TOO much filler, but the flashbacks have been annoying.
I look forward to seeing this series when it is released sometime this year (hopefully it will have been prepared competently), and recommend that anyone looking for a predominantly fun series look further into Full Metal Alchemist as soon as it is available stateside (which should be done later this year, and again, hopefully it will be a competent job).
Cinco estrellas. Five stars. Whatever you call it, it's good. I'd debated giving it only four for the animation, but really, this show is enough fun to deserve all five. — Samuel Arbogast
Recommended Audience: I'll bring out the 13+ brand for this one, since there's not a whole lot that'd be very objectionable, though some scenes might frighten the lil' ones, and there's a bit o' violence (though I don't recall blood being very frequent or abundant).
Version(s) Viewed: digital source
Review Status: Partial (30/51)
Fullmetal Alchemist © 2003 Hiromu Arakawa / Square Enix / Mainichi Broadcasting System / Aniplex / Bones / Dentsu
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