Fullmetal Alchemist image.

Elemental Magic

Learn the secrets of transmutation as Animefringe casts a spell on Fullmetal Alchemist.

by Megan Sutton

"People cannot gain anything without sacrificing something. You must present something of equal value to gain something. That is the principle of equivalent trade in alchemy. We believed that was the truth of the world when we were young." --Alphonse Elric

Edward and Alphonse Elric didn't fully understand the principle of equivalent trade when they attempted human alchemy, forbidden by law. However, once attempted, the brothers learned very quickly, in a horrifying lesson that they will never forget.

Fullmetal Alchemist image.

In the world of Fullmetal Alchemist, alchemy is a fantastical science that allows a person to transform one object into another of equal mass and substance. The most well known aspect of alchemy is the theory that one can turn ordinary metal into gold when using the Philosopher's Stone.

Since they were little, Ed and Al have always been interested in alchemy, becoming proficient at a young age. They most likely inherited their skill from their father, who left them when they were young. Since their father left, their mother has taken care of them. The boys, only naturally, loved her very much. Unfortunately, she gets very sick and dies, leaving the brothers orphaned.

Fullmetal Alchemist image.

At first, we are only shown bits and pieces of what happened to their mother, but we know that the boys were so desperate that they attempted to bring her back to life by using human alchemy. The boys tried to transmute the elements that make up a human body into a new body for their mother. Needless to say, the ritual goes horribly wrong.

The brothers are confronted with what may be the spirit of their mother during the casting of the spell. An evil-looking creature looms out of the middle of the transmutation circle, and then there is an explosion of light. The next thing we see is Ed, lying on the ground with one of his legs missing. Alphonse's body is gone completely, but somehow, Ed manages to bind Alphonse's sprit into a huge suit of armor. In the process of doing that, Ed loses an arm. Talk about costing an arm and a leg!

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Luckily, the brothers know Winry and her grandmother, who are Automail mechanics. They create a new metal arm and leg for Ed, and both of the brothers begin to adjust to their new bodies while planning what to do next.

The brothers embark on a journey to find a way to return to their former bodies. Ed becomes the youngest National or State Alchemist, which means he works for the military. He has access to the resources of the military, which helps the brothers in their quest. Ed is such a talented alchemist that he can transmute without using a transmutation circle, and that is quite a feat. Ed becomes known as the Fullmetal Alchemist, although most people assume that the Fullmetal Alchemist is Al. He is fully made out of metal, and well, Ed is a little on the short side. "Who did you call an ultra hyper midget?!" Yes, Ed is a little sensitive about that subject.

Fullmetal Alchemist image.

Ed and Al are looking for the Philosopher's Stone, which they believe can help them in getting their bodies back. The stone amplifies an alchemist's power, and of course, that means that everyone wants one for their own purposes, good or bad. They met all sorts of people along the way, who are very often not at all what they seem on the surface.

Fullmetal Alchemist is full of deep thoughts about the relationship between brothers, as well as issues such as religion and war. Its intriguing story, combined with clean, consistent animation makes it one show that you don't want to miss!

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