Thursday, March 13, 2014

Obsessions: Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

(No major spoilers)
So, I did the dorkiest thing I've ever done the other night in class. I was trying to take a picture of my sketchbook in a dark room, where a critique was going on on the projector, and the flash went off. The thing in my sketchbook I was so eager to photograph was a fanart of Greed from Fullmetal Alchemist with hearts drawn around him. Never in my life did I think it would come to this.

I know the type of people that love FMA, and they can get hella lame. But it's really more of a sorry not sorry situation, because it really is that good.

So if you know even less than I did a month ago (I thought the suit of armor was a girl because it had a ponytail), it's the story of two boys in a pseudo Industrial Revolution Germany named Ed and Al. There's something called alchemy in this world and it's basically magic. Ed and Al lose their mother to some disease and try to bring her back to life using alchemy, and the price they pay is their bodies. Ed loses an arm and a leg, and Al loses his whole body, and spends the show as a talking suit of armor. They're trying to get their bodies back the whole show, but bigger shit goes down.

I think one of things that makes the show so good is it's widespread appeal. There's a wide variety of characters, and they're all important. It's not just about two kids, so it's not just directed towards young boys. The coolest part for me was how the show treats women. You kinda get used to the way females are treated in media (particulary action storyies, both Eastern and Western), as side-characters, a kind of breather you take from the main story to add a bit of romance or sexual tension or something for whoever the main dude is. But FMA actually treats it's women as humans. And it's kind of wonderful. I swear there were only two instances that could even be considered fan service across all 5 seasons, and all the female characters had depth, their own motivations, and agency. They literally could have swapped the genders of the characters and it wouldn't have made a difference, so color me impressed. I guess that's what you can expect from a manga written by a real live woman.

It especially surprised me because I know a lot of people who like it because it's "badass." Sure, maybe sometimes, but honestly, the main character is a twerp that spends the show growing up. Like, they're a couple of kids that don't know what they're doing most of the time, and I found it to be a lot more touching than fuckyeahbadass.

Other noteworthy things:
An amazing job of slowly aging the characters
Great balance of funny to serious moments
Compelling characters, each and every one
First season theme song was cool af
Al (as a human) had a great haircut
Greed/Ling is my waifu

Anyway, I definitely recommend watching through it if you haven't. The first four seasons are on Netflix, and you can find part 5 with a quick Google search.

Next on my list: Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Death Note, Attack on Titan, K-On. I'm considering watching through the original FMA, too, since it's got a different storyline. Any recommendations are welcome!


  1. Brotherhood is great! SO glad you did this post, it's awesome finding other anime lovers. Death note and Attack on Titan are both fantastic but Fairy Tail is my favourite.

    1. Thanks so much for the rec, Lexi! Just added it to my Netflix list!

  2. AAAAAH, Brotherhood is so amazing! Attack on Titan and K-On! are also amazing but Attack on Titan involves soooo many tears.

    If you want something short and sweet, you should check out Kyoukai no Kanata/Beyond the Boundary:

    1. I'm so sad it's over! I've watched kyoukai no kanata and I really like it, can't wait for more episodes!

  3. I'm so gonna check this out, thanks! I did watch a few episodes of Attack on Titan and it just seemed like a lot of dramatic gawking to me. That should make sense if you watch it.. lol Maybe you'll like it better than I did, though!

    <3 Megan

  4. I remember watching this years ago! I need to rewatch Fullmetal Alchemist and start on Brotherhood again. Marathon time!!