>DVD Classics: Packed with Fullmetal Goodness

>One might wonder why I haven’t seen all of “Fullmetal Alchemist” yet, since it’s the number one anime on almost every fanatic’s list. Well, it is long, and I had a really tough time trying to follow the series on television.

But I can safely say that “Fullmetal Alchemist” is one of the best anime series ever made, with adrenaline-packed war and grotesque alchemist conspiracies.

This isn’t just any war anime though. This series packs in compelling moments of friendship and heartbreak. To give an example, the first few scenes of “Fullmetal Alchemist” literally show two brothers attempting to reincarnate their only parent, their mother, with alchemy. In the process, Ed’s arm and leg gets reduced into a bloody stump. As for Al, his body disappears, leaving a bloody pair of clothes. And their mom now looks just plain gross.

Although this series is not for the faint of heart, there is a heartwarming tale in all this gory madness. The Ed and Al Elric brothers are seeking to gain their bodies back through alchemy, hoping to repent for their sins in defying the laws of alchemy to revive their mother. In particular, they seek to find the Philosopher’s Stone to revive themselves.

Throughout their journey, they discover much more dark, confounding truths about the origins of the Philosopher’s Stone. They also discover homunculi, dark spiritual figures who are also seeking to manipulate Ed and Al for their own purposes. They also discover the true injustices of genocide, especially the nearly complete eradication of the fiction Middle Eastern country of Ishbal.

And honestly, it’s too hard to summarize this entire series in one review. However, this is a crucial series which exemplifies all the worst aspects of war through the escalation of heavy-duty weaponry. With the massive numbers of people sacrificed in this series, it’s hard to even find a definite truth to war.

And the female characters really take center stage in offering relief, no matter how difficult the cost. Winry Rockbell and Sheska are some of the most bubbly characters, but they are also the forlorn victims of war. Their friends are caught in violent warfare, and they are some of the only people who can offer shelter for them.

It’s a delicate balancing act, with moments of humor, action, heartbreak, tragedy and love. And somehow, this series handles it all masterfully. There’s no other series like “Fullmetal Alchemist.”

Image courtesy of sake0winter.blogspot.com

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Filed under alchemy, Fullmetal Alchemist, genocide, homunculi, masterpiece, shonen

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