Warning! The following will have major spoilers for the anime Fullmetal Alchemist.
Greetings from GuardianTree12!
One of my favorite animes of all time has to be Fullmetal Alchemist the original anime (I haven’t seen Brotherhood but it’s on my list of animes to watch before I die). There are so many aspects I love about this anime- the setting, the music, but most of all the characters. There are a lot of good, strong characters in this show that I love but the strongest out of all of them are the Elric brothers Edward and Alphonse. The bond between these brothers is the strongest brotherly bond I’ve seen in any story, and they might possibly have the strongest bond of any two characters period.
Brother, I’m starting to think this was a bad idea!
Their journey begins when after their mother dies, they try to bring her back with alchemy. Human transmutation is forbidden, but hey they’re kids, kids break the rules all the time. Their plan of course backfires, resulting in Alphonse losing his entire body and Edward losing a leg. Edward then gives up his arm to rescue Al’s soul and trap it in a suit of armor. Afterward, Ed’s arm and leg are replaced by a mechanical arm and leg. Edward becomes a state alchemist so he and his brother can look for the philosopher’s stone with the army’s help. Their ultimate goal is to use the stone to get their bodies back so they can go back to living their normal lives. The journey they go through, the friends and enemies they meet, and the tragedies they endure challenge and attempt to shatter their bond but they always pull through, proving time and time again that their love, brotherly love not romantic love, for each other is unbreakable.
Edward is the older of the two and he’s the one who becomes the state alchemist, thus he has more responsibility and is more mature and rational than the two. He’s very protective of his brother- in fact he doesn’t let Alphonse become a state alchemist because he doesn’t want his brother to be used by the army and he loses his arm on more than one occasion trying to protect him- and he often feels guilty for Al’s current state (well it was his fault). He’s also against killing, seeing that all life has value, but of course he is forced to kill off two characters: Greed and Sloth (who is the homunculus of his mother in the original anime). He can be overconfident, sarcastic, and a little stubborn at times but overall he’s very rational. Alphonse is the younger of the brothers but he’s not exactly immature he’s just very sweet and trusting. He’s still a child so it’s harder for him to accept death and sacrifice. He is good at alchemy though, almost as good as Edward, but he needs a transmutation circle. He’s also good at hand-to-hand combat so he does most of the non-alchemy fighting. Both brothers are very kind-hearted and will stop to help out anyone who needs their help.
Yes, Al, I cut off my own limbs, wrote your seal in my own blood, and went on a journey to find something that we may or may not ever find because so I could have an imaginary friend.
But while I love Fullmetal Alchemist, it isn’t perfect (nothing is) and there are a few things that really annoy me about this anime. The first deals with Alphonse. After the brothers discover a secret laboratory, they go there in the hopes of finding more information on the Philosopher’s Stone. They get separated and Al ends up having to fight off Barry the Chopper. I don’t know if this happens in the manga or Brotherhood, but during the fight Barry tells Al he doesn’t really exist and Edward just made him up out of his own memories. And Al believes him. Al believes the word of a murdering psychopath, who tried to kill Edward and is now trying to kill him, over his own brother. After the laboratory incident, Al goes all emo and runs away. I know that Al is young and naïve and it was stated earlier that he was having trouble remembering things but having him instantly trust the word of a psychopath makes him seem really, really really, really, really, really, really, really stupid. But at least this doesn’t last long and Al is eventually convinced that he really is Edward’s brother.
We’ll just keep on doing this until it works.
The second thing I didn’t like about the anime was the ending. Towards the end, Alphonse is transformed into the philosopher’s stone and then is captured by the homunculi. Edward had to rescue him and in this attempt, he is killed. Alphonse uses the philosopher’s stone to resurrect Edward. He succeeds, but then his mechanical body is used up in the process. After Edward is resurrected, he uses his body to resurrect Al. He is able to get back Al’s soul and human body, but instead of dying, he gets trapped in the parallel world on the other side of the Gate of Truth. So in the end, they only got half of what they wanted, Al’s body, and the two are separated. But at least they get back together at the end of Fullmetal Alchemist movie The Conqueror of Shamballa, so I’m not too disappointed with the ending.
Still, despite its flaws, I love Fullmetal Alchemist and I highly recommend it. The bond of these two brothers is really inspiring. Look up Fullmetal Alchemist OST: Brothers on YouTube. This song sums up their struggles, their regrets, and most of all their love for each other.