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Shonen Flop

Shonen Flop Recommends #1: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Aug 14, 2020

Let’s say that after listening to our episode on Dark Mage, you still (for some reason) don’t want to read it, but the theme of eastern-magic-vs-western-magic or the concept of the main character living with a disability intrigues you. That sentence was a contrived way of segueing into telling you to watch Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Brotherhood is the second anime adaptation of the manga Fullmetal Alchemist. It’s the story of the Elric brothers, two young boys who try to use the power of alchemy (a genuine science in their world) to bring their mother back from the dead. The attempt fails and the brothers suffer severe consequences as a result. The older brother, Edward, loses an arm and a leg, while his younger brother, Alphonse, loses his entire body and has his soul transferred into an empty suit of armor. Together, they dedicate themselves to getting their bodies back by searching for the legendary “philosopher’s stone”. English Harry Potter fans know what’s up. 

I just binged the whole series in two days, I didn’t want to stop watching it, I’m just so in love with these characters. I cried a lot. The series is great even if you’re completely unfamiliar with the series or even manga/anime as a whole. If you, like me, enjoyed the first adaptation, then you owe it to yourself to check this series out too. The first anime, Fullmetal Alchemist (2003), finished production before the manga was finished, meaning that the show’s creators had to invent a completely different plot when they started outpacing the manga’s author (think Game of Thrones except it wound up still having a good ending). The result is that Brotherhood is a vastly different story than the one that first ran on Adult Swim when we were kids. These are, without a doubt, the best versions of these characters, and this story deserves to be experienced.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is 64 episodes, available in both English dub and Japanese with subtitles, and you can find it on Netflix, Hulu, Crunchyroll, and VRV.