FMA Brotherhood (FullMetal Alchemist Brotherhood) is yet another anime that shows should strive to be like. I can’t hail enough praise on this fantastic drama that blends humor, a bond of brothers, as well as fascinating back drops and supporting characters. Its here that we get introduced to excellent characters such as Scar, Colonel Mustang, Edward Elric, and Alphonze Elric. The story is rich, deep, and has a satisfying conclusion that doesn’t jump the shark, nor cheat the viewers out of closure at the conclusion of the story. In today’s Animania, we’re going in depth with FMA’s fantastic story.
We’re only going to be giving away minor spoilers, so if you’re worried about blowing any major plot lines or giving away any major spoilers. For those who don’t know, the show focuses on the practice of Alchemy. The way it’s represented in the show, however, it’s more like magical science. Through the law of equivalent exchange, objects can be transmuted into other objects. Stone can be transformed into a metal sword. A suit of armor can have the metal that it’s made of stretched thinner to replace broken areas. There is one unbreakable rule, however. You absolutely cannot use alchemy to create life, nor to bring back someone from the dead. Alphonze and Edward Elric attempt to circumvent this rule, and pay dearly for it.
The story picks up sometime later, and takes the boys through a country that is living in a post war era. Alchemists are employed by the state as scientists and soldiers due to their fierce combat powers. The state funds their research, and thus the scientists by giving them grants to continue their research. Some are soldiers, but some are purely scholars. What FMA Brotherhood (We have to make the Brotherhood distinction because there is a regular FMA) does so well is telling the story that needs to be told. Characters are introduced to a menacing threat, and there is genuine tension and suspense around every corner.
The animation is slick and fluid throughout, without ever dipping in quality. Characters are interesting and all have their specific part to play within the story. There are no characters that feel unnecessary or unwanted, and although some border on the edge of annoying (I’m looking at you, Mei!) none of them ever cross that line, which is an extremely important distinction. Characters have deep and rich arcs that flesh out who they are and make them all the more relate-able and strong throughout the story. The enemy is menacing, and the plot comes to a fantastic conclusion in the best way possible.
Sticking much closer to the manga, it does a much better job of telling this story. The original FMA tried, but went too far off script and ended up being nowhere near as amazing as Brotherhood. If half of the anime that exist today could write a script like this, there would be no point in watching anything else. This is a near perfect show, a near perfect anime, and something that I wholeheartedly recommend to those just trying to get into the genre, or longtime animaniacs who need something to watch or re-watch.
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