Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood | One of the best anime series in recent years

I finally got around to watching this anime series after a few years of having watched the first series, so I decided to write up a quick review while it’s still fresh in my memory.This will help kick off the new type of reviews for the site, that you can now select in our shiny new menu. But I digress…

I mentioned this is the second series, but fear not: although this is the second Fullmetal Alchemist series, it’s not a sequel. It’s in fact a retelling of the story that follows the original manga more closely.

For those of you unfamiliar with this saga, Fullmetal Alchemist is based on a manga by Hiromu Arakawa. It’s about a world set in a fictional European-style 1900’s era where alchemy is commonplace, and treated as a formal science (although it’s actually performed like a magical ritual of sorts). Alchemists are people who understand the law of equivalent exchange and are able to transmute matter with the help of “transmutation circles”. The circles and the process itself has a more mystic feeling to it than scientific rigor, since the alchemists are able to perform it by channeling power but do not fully understand who or why is it exactly that allows them to so. Their knowledge is limited to drawing the right transmutation circles, by knowing the chemical components of whatever it is they are  trying to transmute. This would normally be a complaint against the plot, but it doesn’t go unaddressed. In fact, this very mystery is the main source of the overarching plot.

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