joeshen's Fullmetal Alchemist Tv Review

Fullmetal Alchemist

Fullmetal Alchemist tv Review

"You can't gain something without sacrificing something else of the equal value. This is the principle of the equivalent trade."

The story takes place in Amestris, in the early 1900's. Two brothers, Edward and his younger brother Alphonse Elric, live with their mother, Trisha, in the small village of Resembool. Their father left home when they were still very young, but Ed and Al inherited his passion for alchemy. In 1909, Trisha dies of an unknown illness, leading ten-year-old Ed to resent his father for abandoning them. When Edward finds out about flesh forging in an alchemy book that belonged to his father, he engages in an intense training with Al in order to be able to perform a human transmutation and bring their mother back.

In 1910, the Elric brothers cross the forbidden line during the resurrection. Unfortunately, the endeavor is a complete failure, as Ed loses his left leg and Al — his entire body. In a last desperate attempt, Ed uses alchemy to restore his brother's spirit by putting it in a suit of armor, at the further cost of his right arm. The two decide to embark on a journey to find the legendary Philosopher's Stone, rumored to create anything from nothing, in hopes of getting their original bodies back.

Story & Characters

If you watch only the first two episodes, the sense of the story is straight to the point: They are searching for something. You meet the brothers, as well as the strangers following them. The plot itself gets deep midpoint through the series... sometimes you can't even tell who's on whose side... strange twists to the story make it original and appealing. Everything is centered on the Philosopher's Stone and the story branches out from there, including the characters themselves. Every single one of them is unique, each with different personalities; even down to the minor characters of the story. Each individual character has its own desires, ambitions, even down to why they do this or act a certain way. Their characteristics (Hughes is comedic yet serious... Hawkeye is serious but has a certain attitude change among different people). It's just like taking a bunch of random people, placing them in situations like in FMA, and seeing how they would react.

~The Good Side:
- The story is extremely well done and very through.
- Storyline leaves many cliffhangers that go can go either way per episode.
- Even though the story is very dramatic, comedic and humourous scenes here and there make it lighthearted.
- Each person is unique... very in-depth (even if it's just a minor character).
- Character relations with certain people and mutual hatreds with others... something common in reality as well.

~The Bad Side:
- I don't know about others, but I didn't like the extreme cliffhanger at the end of the series. Sometimes it just makes you wonder... a lot (I can't tell you how many days I would wander through the day wondering what would happen next in the storyline).

Rating: 10


The animation is graphically nice. There's a certain level of difficulty since you have to make it look like alchemy is transforming something, and even that is very smooth. Battles are realistic and subtle things as sunlight reflection, moonlight, and rain are all portrayed very well, giving it a nice realistic element to the anime series.

~The Good Side:
- They went far on the sounds... to the point where echo noises from metal clashing against metal is heard in a distinct yet subtle way. That itself is worth noting.

~The Bad Side:
- I can't see anything bad in this one.

Rating: 10


Music and sound effects were very clean. Object and sound effect noises were very clean, concise, and timed perfectly. There was very little overlapping of music to sound effects (we all know how disturbing that can be), and no overuse or reuse of music and sound effects (I mean, some of the battle scene ones can be considered as exceptions, but even then there is a small change to make it unique).

~The Good Side:
- Very clean, clearly heard when needed.
- No overuse or major reuse of sound effects or music.

~The Bad Side:
- I can't see anything bad in this one either.

Rating: 9


The way the storyline is laid out is very specific and organized. Each arc revisits the previous arc in one way or another, and even though the timeline may sometimes jump around, you can actually tell. The side jokes and humor stints during the episode, although funny and humorous, are sometimes a bit off in my opinion; the placement seems like it's there to release tension more than anything.

Other Notes:
A very enjoyable series that is full of suspense, humor, and drama to anybody who watches it. A central theme revolving around the plot (down straight to the "Law of Alchemy" described early in the series), and anybody who wants to watch an enjoyable and suspenseful series should definitely take their time to watch this.

Rating: 8

Final Verdict

9.17 (very good)

Reviewed by joeshen, Jan 06, 2007


  1. BossMac Jan 06, 2007

    Nice review! Very well written.

    But about the art of FMA, don't you think that the lack of details when it comes to the major fight scenes is also worth noting? Notice that injuries look incredibly minor (stab wounds, burn marks, bruises, etc.) during fight scenes but are then exaggerated after them.

    But still, FMA is a great anime and is well up the list of the best animes ever.

  2. shoujoboy Jan 09, 2007

    I recently watched FMA myself and I didn't rate it as highly as you did. The cliffhanger wasn't the problem for me, it was the poor execution of the ending entirely. But I'm picky on that.

    As for your review, it seems a bit on the shallow side. With a show of this size much more can be written about it to give readers a better feel for the anime. Not only that but your Good side in the art section was referring to the sound. You defintely have a different and quite effective way of reviewing via the point by point system, it simply needs refining and then you'll end up with some solid reviews.

  3. JusticePro Feb 05, 2007

    wahaha~FMA was a good anime but a little weird on the story plot...but all in all i think this anime is nice~

  4. Kukuru Dec 07, 2007

    Just to add to the above points - I could have mentioned something about the voice acting as well (but that's just me). I love this series as well so :)

  5. Sanisa Sep 22, 2009

    Thanks for the review!

  6. SchRita Jan 15, 2010

    Thanks for the review!

  7. Sanisa Feb 24, 2010

    Thanks for the review! Nice ^__^

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