Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Fullmetal Alchemist : Brotherhood

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood: One of the best, if not the best, anime, ever created. But before going into the details, let me make one point abundantly clear- Its NOT a cartoon! It’s an ANIME! Yes, there is a difference. Tom and Jerry is a cartoon. So is The Looney Tunes. FMA is not. An anime has high quality animation and a complex storyline which is not usually seen in most cartoons. Many anime, including Brotherhood, are based on comics called manga. So now that that’s out of the way, let me get to the actual review :

The Main Heroes : Edward and Alphonse Elric
The Transmutation Circles
Brotherhood is set in a world, where the dominant science is one called “Alchemy”, which the process of transforming an object into something else using special symbols called Transmutation Circles. The main rule governing this is the Law of Equivalent Exchange, which is basically conservation of mass. The series follows two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, in the fictional country of Amestris, who commit a grave taboo in trying to bring their mother back from the dead using Alchemy. This is forbidden, since the human soul has no equivalent. As a result, Ed loses his right arm and left leg, and Al loses his entire body, with his soul being bonded to a suit of armour. FMA follows their journey as they attempt to return their bodies back to normal, with the help of a legendary object called the Philosopher’s Stone, which lets a person bypass Equivalent Exchange. Along the way, they encounter supernatural creatures called Homunculi, and also learn shocking truths about the very nature of Alchemy in Amestris.

The Philosopher's Stone
The entire series, is , to put it simply, absolutely brilliant. By far the best anime I have seen, and I have seen quite a few. The themes of love, brotherhood, and courage that are portrayed are really touching. And I don’t mean it in a cheesy way; you get attached to the characters fairly quickly, and the way they overcome the trials they face, while at the same time, putting others before themselves, is really nice to watch. To ensure that it doesn’t get too serious and depressing, there’s plenty of comedy in between as well. The story builds up very steadily, and is not rushed through in any way; you can watch 5-6 episodes together without it frying your brain the way Death Note does :P . At the same time, the story doesn’t proceed so slowly as to bore you *cough* DBZ *cough*.  The complex , but interesting, storyline , will keep you interested throughout the 64 episodes. Quite a few “shocking revelation” moments. There are plenty of cool fight sequences too.  Yep, Brotherhood, is pretty close to perfection.

When I say close to perfection, I mean there were a couple of things I disliked about the series. The nature of the comedy, which is pretty standard for anime, does make some scenes appear more kiddish then they should’ve been. Also, there are a couple of sub-stories which are reeeeally depressing. But there’s not much for me to complain about. Like I said, it’s still pretty close to perfection.

The characters in FMA
There are actually two separate series: Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist:Brotherhood. The review so far was for the latter. The former follows the manga for about the half the series and then deviates, whereas FMA:B follows the manga to the end. Both are good, and worth watching. But the original series comes nowhere close to FMA:B. Brotherhood is in a league of its own, with a better storyline, better fight sequences, more characters, and a way better ending. FMA seems to end a little… prematurely. The storyline also becomes a little random towards the end. The only sector in which FMA is better than FMA:B, is the music.  FMA has some very beautiful instrumentals. Overall, though, I’d choose Brotherhood anyday. The storyline is just… more complete and well-rounded. I’d like to elaborate a bit more, but that would probably mean including a few spoilers, so I’ll stop here. Brotherhood is certainly a must-watch for all anime fans. It’ll probably convert most non-anime fans too J

-- Contributed by Deepak Dilipkumar