( Japanese animation) produced by Square-Enix (best known for the Final Fantasy
game series) , Studio BONES (known for Cowboy Bebop
and Wolf's Rain
among other things) , and Aniplex.
The anime was based off the original manga
by Hiromu Arakawa. However the anime and manga (at least after around episode 25 of the anime) take off on completely different storylines as wished by Arakawa herself.
Both follow along the story of two brothers (Edward and Alphonse Elric) who are alchemists, and use it as part of their every day lives. Alchemy in this series follows the law of Touka Koukan (Equivalent Exchange)- you cannot gain without sacrifice. After their father walked out on them and their mother died when they were young, they attempted to bring her back using human transmutation. Unfortunately, it failed, resulting Ed to lose a leg and Al losing his body in exchange for the attempt, and Ed to then lose his arm when he attatched Al's soul to a suit of armor. Winry Rockbell, their childhood friend, help rebuild Edward's limbs using bionics called "automail". It was not long after that Edward decided to become a State Alchemist and workf or the military, in order to gain the valuable research they needed to get their bodies back. Edward became the youngest State Alchemist of all time at the age of twelve when he performed a transmutation without a transmutation circle (a near impossible feat). During their research after Edward joined the military they came across notes of the Philosophers Stone- an alchemy amplifier that easily defies the law of Touka Koukan allowing them to gain without the sacrifice. The series continues with their search for the Stone.
Notes- Contrary to popular belief, it is not magic and has nothing to do with Harry Potter
The anime was brought over and dubbed into English by FUNimation, a Texas-based studio. They're popular for the dubs of Dragonball Z
, Yu Yu Hakusho
and Fruits Basket
. Currently, the series is airing on Cartoon Network
's Adult Swim
Hiromu Arakawa's manga was brought over and translated by VIZ. The manga itself is still in progress in both countries, but you can currently find the availible translated volumes wherever you buy manga.
Since the end of the anime series (a full 51 episodes) , a movie ( FullMetal Alchemist The Movie: The Conqueror of Shamballa , can also be found with the titles Hagaren: Conqueror of Shamballa, or even Shamballa's Conqeuror ) , three RPG PS2
video games, one PS2 fighting game, two Gameboy Advance
games, a Nintendo DS
game, and several animated shorts have been released. You may also find soundtracks, DVDs, and other such merchandise for the show.
As far as anime goes, aside from shows like Evangelion
, Gundam Seed
, and InuYasha
, FullMetal Alchemist has one of the largest anime fanbases in America.
Other names for the series are: FMA
, Hagane no Renkinjutushi
, and Full Metal Alchemist
Girl 1: "Have you seen that cool anime show on Adult Swim called 'FullMetal Alchemist' ?"
Girl 2: "No, can't say I have, is it good?"
Girl 1: "It's awesome!"