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Fullmetal Alchemist: The Complete Series (Limited Edition)
Fullmetal Alchemist (2003-2004) is the
adaptation based upon the popular manga series created, written, and
illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa. The anime series is produced by Masahiko
(Cowboy Bebop, Wolf's Rain, Escaflowne), Hiro
Beats!, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood), and Ryo Oyama (Darker
than Black, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood). style=""> The story of the series is centered upon the
Elric brothers Edward and Alphonse, who are alchemist brothers
the philosopher's stone.
Edward and Alphonse (Al) Elric are two brothers
alchemists. Alchemists are able to use alchemy, an advanced science, to
number of different things akin to magic but they must give up
something under the law of equivalent exchange. When the two brothers
were young boys they used alchemy to try to
resurrect their dead mother. The transmutation went wrong and instead
bringing their mother back to life, Edward lost an arm and a leg while
brother Al lost his entire body. Al's soul remains and is attached to a
The brothers decide to try and find the
which could help them to bring back Al's body and restore Edward's arm
Edward becomes a state alchemist working with the military and they
try and find information on the philosopher's stone as they traverse
region. As they go about their journey to find the philosopher's stone
Elric brothers end up encountering a number of madmen and monsters.
Al use alchemy to help others along their
quest while also working against the foes they encounter along the way.
The series features an impressive music score
Michiru Oshima (Patema Inverted). The music of the series is
complimentary to the style of the storytelling and it works quite well
the saga. Oshima crafted a strong score which is one of the more
The series was animated by acclaimed animation
(Wolf's Rain, RahXephon, Fullmetal Alchemist:
and Aniplex (Gurren Lagann, Paprika, R.O.D.).
animation on this series is absolutely amazing. The character designs
superb. The art throughout the episodes is cinematic and beautiful.
This is a
well designed anime with art direction by Kazuyuki Hashimoto (Sailor
and Norifumi Nakamura (Soul Eater). The artistic style of Fullmetal
Alchemist is stunning. This is one of the best animated anime
series from its
time-period and the series art holds up as an extraordinary
The series was written by Sho Aikawa (Love Hina),
based upon the manga created by Hiromu Arakawa. As the manga still
far along at the time of the series creation the anime version doesn't
closely to the manga storyline as Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
so, Fullmetal Alchemist manages to be an incredibly
with a great storyline and many important themes to explore. The series
themes about family, science, and war.
Fullmetal Alchemist was directed by Seiji
King). The series is well directed with an excellent blend of
comedy, and drama. The series excels at being an entertaining and
resonant series at the same time. The series remains an ambitious and
production which was superbly directed by Mizushima.
The legacy of this anime series continues. Fullmetal
Alchemist is one of the most significant anime productions to come
the 2000's. Though many viewers now prefer the more faithfully adapted Fullmetal
Alchemist: Brotherhood this remains an incredible anime which is
heartfelt, and essential.
Fullmetal Alchemist arrives on Blu-ray
from Funimation Entertainment with a strong
1080p MPEG-4 AVC encoded presentation in the original 1.33:1 full frame
ratio. The release is upscaled from standard definition to 1080p high
definition. This is one of the better upscaling efforts I have seen for
anime series. While there is some general softness to the image because
original SD source, the art on Fullmetal Alchemist looks much
and beautiful than before. The high-def upscale presentation delivers
and richer colors. The image has a few detriments: the biggest drawback
moments of banding present. Even so, this release actually is
impressive and is
a worthwhile upgrade for fans.
The audio on this Blu-ray release
is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1
English surround sound and Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Japanese stereo (with
subtitles). The surround sound version for the English dub sounds
good with nice dialogue reproduction and use of the surrounds. The
music score composed
by Michiru Ohshima sounds lovely. This is a solid lossless audio
presentation.style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">
This Limited Edition
release includes 10 collectible art-cards and a booklet featuring
notes: an interview with the head director, screenwriter, and producer
Alchemist. The included interview is quite interesting and
discuss the production of Fullmetal Alchemist, the high-def
the impact of the anime.
On-disc supplements include commentaries featuring
VA's and ADR directors on episodes 19, 25, and 51.
The Transmutation of a Phenomenon - An Inside
Ura Hagane: Comedic Previews (30 min.)
L' Arc en ciel Music Video
Lastly, the release includes textless
from throughout the series, a Japanese commercial, and a U.S. trailer.
Fullmetal Alchemist is a great anime
excellent storytelling. The saga of the Elric brothers is one which is
entertaining, emotionally resonant, and powerful. The series is also
beautifully animated and superbly produced from studio Bones and
Even though the more faithfully adapted Fullmetal
Alchemist: Brotherhood was created after the manga was completed,
original Fullmetal Alchemist anime adaptation remains an
important anime creation with a legion of fans. This is a quality anime
which holds up incredibly well.
Funimation's Blu-ray release features a strong
high-definition upconversion from the SD source. Fans of the series
consider this release a worthwhile upgrade. The extras in the limited
set are also worthwhile.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.