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shoujoboy'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 an alternate world 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, which ten-year-old Ed blames his father for. 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

When an anime graces the channel known as Cartoon Network, I almost find myself jaded by it regardless of it's merits. Ultimately, I hate that a show that isn't all that good can get such a blind dedication of out people. Trigun, Dragonball Z and even Cowboy Bebop weren't all that good in my humble opinion. But if I were to ever mention my dislike for these particular shows, I would be met with the most hateful and ignorant insults imaginable. Problem was any show that crossed that network ended up having a violent cult following around it. Because of this I would find myself either dodging the show entirely or going into it with a bit more of a closed mind than I usually do. Well for once I must concede that one show has proven itself to be quite worthy of high praise... for once. That show of course, Fullmetal Alchemist; taking everything you know about chemistry and making it cool. Wait, what!?

Edward and Alphonse Elric live a happy life with their mother in a village named Resembool. Ed and Al show at an early age that they have a talent for alchemy, Ed more in particular. As they grow up they continue to excel at their alchemical abilities and live out their lives devoid of the father that they are compared to. One day, Ed and Al's mother dies and this heartbreaks them to the point of attempting something forbidden in alchemy, Human Transmutation. The two kids try to bring their mother back from her grave and this attempt goes horribly wrong. Ed loses one of his arms and legs and his brother Al is so badly injured that Ed has to transmute Al's soul into a nearby suit of armor just to preserve Al's being. After this tragedy Ed and Al vow to become better alchemists and return their bodies back to normal. For this they require the Philosopher's Stone.

The plot is easy to follow early on. Ed and Al go from place to place seeking clues about the Philosopher's Stone. Along the way hints are dropped of a more sinister goings on in the shadows. Eventually you have a secret sect within the military that arises. The truth behind the Philosopher's Stone. Human-like beings named after the 7 deadly sins. Much more that proves to create a very engaging and wonderful story. The great thing is, nearly every character you see will eventually play a much larger part in the end. Definitely a fun ride and well worth the score of a 9.

Oh wait, I gave the story an 7 didn't I? Well that's because Fullmetal Alchemist couldn't escape the anime pitfall of the poor ending. The story throughout the show was an original and coherent story with a wonderful flow. The ending decided to take it in a different and completely outlandish direction. Talk about gates and other worlds and other bodies in other worlds. It actually took away from the suspense and anxiety that had built up from a wonderfully told story, and decided to take an Evangelion-esque approach to the ending. Needless to say, it didn't work and sad to say that a few episodes can ruin what was a fantastic experience.

Rating: 7

Art

The animation quality in this show was an absolute must. There was far too much action and too many different characters for this show to have been flat in the animation department. Thankfully it did a great job. The animation throughout the show was extremely fluid and was especially evident during the numerous action scenes during alchemical battles. The background designs and things like city creation was on point. But the main attraction was the character designs. They weren't exactly original in their makeup, but creative to fit their respective personalities. The best example of this was in the 7 deadly sin characters. Gluttony was a fatso with an insatiable appatite. Lust was a dark-haired vixen. It actually gave the characters much more of a personality. Of course it also had the hand drawn feel to it the entire time, which is a big plus in my book. In fact the only obvious CG work was in the 4th opening sequence. There isn't much better out there in animation.

Rating: 9

Sound

Being one of those 50+ episode monsters, this show was able to have multiple opening and closing songs. The majority of the songs used were not great but simple musical standards, but were made much better by the animation sequence that accompanied them. Admittedly though "Ready, Steady, Go!" by L'Arc~en~ciel and "Kesenai Tsumi" by Nana Kitade were both fantastic songs even on their own. On a show of this length, I tend to skip the openings and closings after hearing them once, but not those two. As for the BGM of the show, it accomplished what needed to be done. There is no real need to purchase the soundtracks, unless of course they came with your DVD's like they did mine. But the soundtrack does help with what is going on on screen quite effectively.

The voice acting was fantastic. The majority of the time, you follow Ed and Al. And although I find it odd to hear such a young voice out of a giant suit of armor, it was done nicely. In fact I think the actors for Ed and Al had a wonderful chemistry and actually gave me the impression they were real brothers. There were no real weak links in the voice acting chain on this show, and no real reason for me to do my usual of picking the best voice acting job. They all did a great job in bringing the story to life.

Rating: 8

Presentation

It seems almost pointless to write a review of a show that pretty much everybody on the planet Earth has seen, but I'm gonna do it anyway. This show is probably one of the biggest fan favorites in animation history, and with good reason. I certainly think there is better out there that many may never see, but there isn't much. The only things I can knock the show on is the missed ending and the drawn out episode count. If a bit had been skimmed off and made into say a 39 episode show, then maybe it would have had much more of an impact. I give credit where credit is due. The show had a wonderful story with characters to love and hate. Great and unforeseeable plot twists. Solid animation and sound. And there wasn't any flashback episodes (which I despise). In all honesty it was just a few things short of being considered amazing.
I can recommend this to virtually anyone that watches anime. I don't think I've seen a single person not like this show. In fact I may be one of the lower raters. If you haven't seen it, take some time out of your busy schedule to watch it. It
ll be a fun ride even with its minor flaws.

Also of note, I did not incorporate the movie "Conqueror of Shambala" into this review. I personally thought the movie was a disaster, and that would have dropped the overall score quite considerably. I would rather leave it out of the review entirely and judge the series on its own merits rather than an hour and a half that should have never happened.

Rating: 7

Final Verdict

7.50 (good)

Reviewed by shoujoboy, Apr 09, 2007

Comments

  1. MapleRose Retired Moderator Apr 10, 2007

    "I don't think I've seen a single person not like this show"

    lol, I have, just one person though... She found it too bloody and wrong (The whole idea of bringing ppl back to life bothers her I guess... and Gluttony eating ppl, and what happened to Nina...) ..

    You're right about the ending though, it is rather abrupt and I think takes almost a whole different route, like they almost changed the plans or something >_< (well it does diverge from the manga midway through...), and it did get a bit confusing.. but I think they were trying to set it up for the movie (which wasn't too horrible imo). However, those last few episodes do have some good stuff, in the philosophical sense and all, and how it can relate to reality, as well as makes you think. So I guess there's some credit there (so can an ending really bring down the rating by 2 points? gah there should be 0.5's allowed >.< ).

    You know what though, I didn't find 51 eps that long, because it is well-paced, and there's little flashbacks and stuff to bore you, and with the amount of stuff to cover, I think 51 is all right (I wouldn't want them to shorten it at the expense of making the plot less-understandable).

    Yeah the voice acting is great. But what I also like about this is that the dub is also great. In fact, it's one of the best dubs I've seen (as good as Howl's Moving Castle imo). And I admit that I actually like the dubs more for this series (a rarity)...

    Am I ranting? okay I'll go now...

    I find it kinda amusing that FMA gets rated lower than Fate/Stay Night XD

    btw, what # is this one on your list of 100?

  2. ealpha-scorpio Apr 14, 2007

    Quote by shoujoboyWhen an anime graces the channel known as Cartoon Network, I almost find myself jaded by it regardless of it's merits. Ultimately, I hate that a show that isn't all that good can get such a blind dedication of out people. Trigun, Dragonball Z and even Cowboy Bebop weren't all that good in my humble opinion. But if I were to ever mention my dislike for these particular shows, I would be met with the most hateful and ignorant insults imaginable. Problem was any show that crossed that network ended up having a violent cult following around it. Because of this I would find myself either dodging the show entirely or going into it with a bit more of a closed mind than I usually do.

    There are many people who think like you! I, for startes, am one of those! As for Cowboy Bebop, I haven't watched it at all. Only the movie which didn't drew me much. About Fullmetal Alchemist and your review, your discription and explanation is good and realistic about its' differest aspects. And that's what I like about your reviewe. :)

    What I like about Fullmatal Achelmist is its' quiet new plot. It's sort of unique and that's what I think has attracted many fans. The Art of alchemy, surely, has been presented in animes in the past but not as attractive as Fullmetal Alchemist. Considering today's action-favored animes it's brand new way of presentation.
    Thanks for your review. :)
    Keep up the good work...
    C-ya :)

  3. sin-shenlong Apr 14, 2007

    i think u misunderstood, the move, the anmes true ending is in the movie. So i think when u look at it that way the movie would b good, as it was a more appropriate ending than the one in the anime. Plus i like sad endings , it made the pic more..... epic lol thats just me tho nice review.

  4. Yendi Apr 28, 2007

    Cool review. I'm inclined to agree with you as far as CTN is concerned; although they do their best most of the time to limit editing of anime, it happens that most of the shows they choose are intended to draw in an audience used to non-sequential cartoons and endless 20 episode fight scenes.

    I'm a little sad that you don't like Bebop...maybe watching it with subs would change your mind? But hey, if we all hated vanilla, chocolate would taste like crap. You get me? :P

  5. tainted3 Jun 04, 2007

    @maplerose.

    the ending might have been a little abrupt but it still gave way for the movie,which is a good thing.i rather liked the ending as well as the series quite a lot and think it should have been rated higher.

  6. tyrant242 Jun 20, 2007

    i love full metal lachmeist, but my tvs gone dead and so i havent been able to watch it
    do u know of any site where i can watch full metal alchemist?
    thx

  7. Kukuru Dec 07, 2007

    A good solid and fair review - personally this is one of my favorite anime and I think you've done a great job reviewing it. I'm currently reading the manga at the moment - and I think the anime would have been much better to follow the manga storyline (though, with the manga not even being finished... that could have presented problems... :P).

    I have to agree with MapleRose on your Storyline drop from 9-7 - I mean sure even the manga author paid out the ending (or was it movie... I forget now ^_^;) but I don't think it was SO terrible that it needs to drop 2 points... where's a .5 when you need it? I think and even 8 at least... I mean the characters were lovable, the story unique in its plot and development and despite the ... strange ending I don't think it brought down the feel of the show that much.

  8. rukasu04 Mute Member Apr 28, 2009

    Nice review, FMA is very good. Brotherhood too lol

  9. Fanatik007 Jul 12, 2009

    Nice review. My fav character is Al

  10. Sanisa Sep 22, 2009

    Thanks for the review!

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