After a bad accident trying to bring back a loved one, the talented alchemists, Edward and Alphonse get into the world to reclaim their bodies and discover the secrets of the world. With just a mere 64 episodes, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood has been scored a staggering 9.23 at MAL (at the point of writing this review) and has been comfortably sitting at the peak of their Top Anime list. But the question is, what has this show done that is deserving of such high praises?
Well, pretty much everything, of course.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is focused on the Elric brothers and their journey to get back their original bodies which were maimed after an alchemy transmutation goes horribly wrong. And that in itself is the real strength of the show. The very title of the anime contains the word “Brotherhood”, and that is what it is actually about. At the end of the day, the show starts and ends with the brothers and their stories. The plot is extensive, do not be fooled, but the story is always grounded in the fact that it is about Edward and Alphonse.
The storyline starts to branch into various subplots pretty soon into the anime, backed by a varied and well-developed bunch of supporting characters. It is this amazingly characterized cast that became the foundation of the show. They simultaneously work as excellent plot devices while also enriching the overarching development of our main characters and are one of the strongest ensembles of supporting characters in anime to date. Fleshed out, unique and with well-choreographed interactions, they make sure that no moment of the show feels like a drag even if the main characters are not present on the screen.
Unlike classic shonen, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood does not have all of its characters be either black or white, and rather embraces the grey area that makes us human. The show, while having fluffy and light-hearted moments, has an underlying somber and sometimes even unsettling tone that is refreshing to see in anime even today. It urges us, the watchers, to ponder upon heavy topics such as what it really means to be good or evil.
Rarely do anime have an ending as iconic as this. The deep and profound message of the final conversation between Truth and the Dwarf has an impact like no other. It is a moment to be revisited and understood, a message about life in the simplest of terms- Truth is nothing but oneself. However, the show does not stray from its roots and instead concludes on the Elric brothers, and thus comes full circle.
All in all, the show will have you experiencing the full spectrum of your emotional range in the best way possible. Truly a masterpiece of the ages.
Music in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
The score of the show is very well composed and produced and adds to every scene in the show. For just a 64-episode series, the anime has a surprisingly large number of opening and ending themes. Even with five opening tracks and seven endings, the quality has not been compromised in any way, with each track being better than the last.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Studio – Bones
With Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood being their second try at the Fullmetal Alchemist franchise, Bones studio has another hit shonen adaptation under their belt. Founded by a few ex-Sunrise staff members, they seem to have perfected the shonen formula. Notable anime by the studio include Soul Eater, Space☆Dandy, Eureka Seven, Noragami, the My Hero Academia series, and Mob Psycho 100 to name a few.