Full Metal Alchemist is another quest show in the vein of Orphen, Fushigi-Yugi or Arc the Lad. Brothers Edward and Al, powerful Alchemists, nearly died when they attempted a forbidden transmutation in an effort to revive their dead mother and paid a terrible price. Now they travel the land, battling evil-doers and searching for the artifacts that might cure them.
The animation is crisp and clean, as to be expected from BONES. The background music is the vaguely classical stuff you expect in this adventure-driven type of anime and suits it well. The characters are well conceived and have enough depth to them to keep you interested.
But, as far as being the standout anime that some have proclaimed, that claim is not so apparent. Unlike other richly engaging quests, such as The Twelve Kingdoms or The Vision of Escaflowne, there really isn't a sense of "big mission" in Full Metal Alchemist. Each episode has a villain-du-jour and the overall quest is quite clear. Perhaps down the pike, things get more involving but for now it remains a solid middle of the pack adventure.
Volume 1: "The Curse" Plot Summary:
Edward and Al are gifted kids. The sons of one of the greatest Alchemists ever, they have inherited their father's skills. But all is not well. The father has been been gone for years and nobody knows where he is or when he will return. Not even his wife, who hides a life-threatening illness from her sons so that they will not worry more.
Unfortunately, their mother dies before father returns, leaving the boys alone and distraught. Desperate, they tempt the fates, using their amazing skills at Alchemy, the magical conversion of matter, to attempt to revive their mother. But the spell goes terribly wrong and Al's body is consume by the force. Edward acts quickly and saves his younger brother's soul by bonding it to an ancient suit of arm, sacrificing his own right arm and left leg in the process.
As a result, the two boys become State Alchemists - using their special skills in the service of the military - and begin a quest to not only defeat evil magic-users but find a way to restore their bodies.
In this first volume, the story of their being is told, along with two tales of combating evil Alchemists. Along the way, they meet cute girls and kind souls plus a mystery lady who has an interest in the brothers.
Languages: English & Japanese with subtitles
Video: 4:3 NTSC Standard Aspect Ratio
Audio: Dolby Digital
American Release Status: Unavailable
(click on linked names to view a listing of all their works)
Creator: Hiromu Arakawa
Director: Mizushima Seiji
Character Designer: Ito Yoshiyuki
Music: Oshima Michiru
Animation Director: Sugiura Kouji
Animation Studio: BONES
American Producers: FUNimation
Volume 1 Information
Title: The Curse
Running Time: 105
Number of Episodes On This Volume: 4
1: Those Who Challenge the Sun
2: Body of the Sanctioned
4: A Forger's Love
Sorry, a synopsis of this volume is currently unavailable.