There is no doubt that most anime fans are already familiar with the basic premise of Fullmetal Alchemist. In a world similar to early 20th-century German society, where alchemy is real and has replaced science in many aspects of life, there are two little boys and brothers living in a world where alchemy is real magic.
Even though their father, a renowned alchemist, has never returned from his adventures. Initially, Edward Elric and Alphonse Elric, two brothers who are both becoming alchemists, are perfectly content to live in their family’s pleasant, picturesque farmhouse with their mom. In an effort to one day become alchemists themselves, they study their father’s alchemy books.
Then things worsen as a result of the loss of their mother. In addition, their father doesn’t even visit them or send them flowers. They had the wonderful idea to try using banned alchemy to resurrect their single parent after their father failed to appear. They attempted to revive her in their desperation about losing the lone parent they still had.
As it turns out, such a move has awful consequences. As a result, the brothers were faced with awful punishments, Ed’s punishment was to lose an arm and a leg, while Al lost his whole body, but his soul was attached to a suit of armor by Ed’s alchemy, and they did not get their mother back, but a hideous and scary creature was summoned.
After that Incident, In exchange for access to classified alchemical information and access to the Central Library, Edward Elric became a “state alchemist” by his country’s military. While Edward continues to hope to study alchemy enough to learn how to obtain the body and arm of his brother’s back, he remains hopeful that he can do so.
In the show, the brothers embark on a series of exciting adventures in their country, becoming involved in both political intrigues and supernatural battles. It is not only that they gain a great deal of knowledge about alchemy, but they also gain a great deal of knowledge about mysteries that are unique to their own lived experiences. In addition to that, they are able to give back to society by helping others.
Differences with Fullmetal Alchemist (2003)
Besides the endings being different in both versions, FMA: Brotherhood gives us an ending that is similar to what is in the manga, but the old version had to make its own ending as the manga was not complete at the time.
FMA: Brotherhood shows us the world outside of the Elric brothers’ country of origin (Amestris), considering the politics and international policies of surrounding countries and integrating characters from outside of Amestris. Apart from world-building, in FMA: Brotherhood, some of the homunculi have different identities, and in both shows, the backstory and the way that a homunculus is created are a little different.
As an automatic effect of any attempts to perform human transmutation in the original anime of 2003, homunculi are created as an automatic consequence. It is, therefore, because of this that each homunculus resembles a human being whose existence had been attempted to be revived by forbidden alchemy through the use of forbidden alchemy.
Brotherhood has better animation, and the characters look less cartoony and more serious. I also thought the Brotherhood battles were more epic, and the fighting was more dramatically fierce. However, that impression may have something to do with the varying animation quality.
The movie: Sacred Star of Milos is a Brotherhood-universe film, whereas Conqueror of Shamballa was a film made during the period when the original 2003 series was aired. In spite of the fact that I think that both of these films are great, I prefer Sacred Star of Milos because it has a smoother plot and is relevant to global poverty and imperialism today, as well as having a smoother plot.
As an entertaining and intriguing film, Shamballa also suffers from the “dual worlds” problem, which can sometimes make it seem that everything is a little confusing at times. Shamballa is primarily concerned with good versus evil, whereas Milos is more interested in the nuanced moral considerations of the characters involved.
The Theme of FMA: Brotherhood
Throughout both series, the main recurring theme explored is that of mankind’s limitations. The irritating repeated line “To obtain, something of equal value must be lost” is the main theme explored in both series. It seems that alchemy in Brotherhood is more often described as a process of breaking things down and reconstructing them.
In both cases, however, the idea is that sacrifice must be made for every gain, and this is the essence that is stressed. Throughout the stories, humanity is reminded that it is a small and limited species and that if it chooses to forgive and cooperate over hatred and greed, it has a special goodness that exists within it.
In both series, the conflict between science and religion is discussed. In this universe, alchemy is regarded as a true science. However, in an early episode, a false prophet uses alchemy to claim to perform miracles.
In addition to deceiving people that he can do the impossible thing – bring people back to life – he is also using tricks to deceive them into believing that he can perform what alchemy cannot. As Edward Elric takes on the deceptions that he has been accused of, Ed mirrors what atheists think about religion or at least the scams that are perpetrated on people by religious figures.
You will see later in the show that there is more to this show than you would expect. The country of Amestris has also been guilty of a near-genocide of people that resemble Middle Easterners, and their government has many dark secrets buried beneath its surface.
In their ‘enlightened’ and ‘modern’ society, unethical human experimentation is all too prevalent under the surface, like what was happening to our Western societies in the early part of the 20th century when their societies were ‘enlightened’ and ‘modern.’ There are many people in Amestris who are strong and innovative; however, they are often undone by their contempt for foreigners or condescension toward them.
Brotherhood challenges their perception of superiority over these foreigners by presenting characters from Xing (a country very similar to China), as well as from Ishvalans (the people they slaughtered due to misinformed errors in intelligence, sound familiar to me, USA? ), and these two nationalities play an important role in the plot as well.
So the story takes advantage of the historical attitude of Western imperialism, particularly in regard to the attitudes of cultural superiority it held toward non-Western cultures, which at the time were regarded as backward and superstitious, as a way to criticize Western imperialism.
Also Read: 20 Fullmetal Alchemist Facts That You Should Know
In spite of the fact that I believe both series do a good job and that the story is very moving, creatively innovative, and entertaining, I prefer Brotherhood to the 2003 anime due to the fact that Brotherhood is a bit more serious and deep, as well as being a bit more expansive and suspenseful than the 2003 anime.
There are many anime shows that fall under the same genre as Fullmetal Alchemist, but I must say that Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is one of the most enjoyable anime shows out there. Brotherhood ended in a beautiful and moving way, and although I didn’t think that it was a perfect ending in terms of righting every injustice done by the antagonist or in terms of making all that much logical sense.
I still think that it was a wonderful and moving story. In my opinion, there was something that seemed a bit dragging about in the fighting leading up to the ending in the last 10 episodes or so, but it might just have been due to the fact that there were so many characters that it would have been difficult for the writers to come up with a meaningful and satisfactory (at least for the most part) ending for all of their stories with such a large cast.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is another excellent example of a meaningful and satisfactory anime. The fight scenes are well choreographed, and the emotional scenes are enhanced through the beautiful soundtracks, which enhance the story and accentuate its depth.
There is something mystical and emotional about Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, from the original anime to the manga to the manga adaptation itself. There are lots of things you can do with this piece of work of art, and It’s Definitely Worth Watching.
Our Rating: ⭐ (4.4/5).
Watch FMA: Brotherhood on Crunchyroll.