What Is "Fullmetal Alchemist"?


Quick Answer

"Fullmetal Alchemist" is a manga/anime series about two teenage boys learning alchemy to restore their bodies through the use of the Philosopher's Stone. Edward and Alphonse Elric, the two main characters, had tried to bring back their mother once, but the attempt failed, causing Al to lose his body and have his soul bonded to a suit of armor due to another transmutation from Ed.

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Full Answer

Alchemy in the series centers around equivalent exchange; in order to create an object, the equivalent amounts of matter must be lost from elsewhere. At the start of the series, the two brothers collect the physical composition of a human body and use an alchemy circle to attempt transmuting it all into the human body of their mother. The rest of the series is about Edward and Alphonse attempting to find and use the Philosopher's Stone to restore Al to his body and to restore Ed's arm. The Philosopher's Stone is said, in the series, to circumvent the Law of Equivalent Exchange.

The series began in 2003 in Japan, and American dubbing company FUNimation began airing the show in 2004 The original anime has 51 episodes and diverges the story from the manga. A followup series called "Fullmetal Alchemist:Brotherhood" aired from 2009 to 2010.

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