I spent a good chunk of my high school years watching the original FullMetal Alchemist anime and loving it. I still get nostalgic for it even now. When I first heard about the live action version and saw that first trailer, I needed to see it. I hoped and prayed for it to come to American theaters. It didn’t, but thankfully Netflix got it. I just watched it, and let me tell you how much I loved it.
For those of you who don’t know, FullMetal Alchemist takes place in a world where alchemy is the main science. In order to create something with alchemy, something of equal value has to be taken. Young boys, Edward and Alphonse Elric try to use alchemy to bring their mother back to life. Instead, Al loses his whole body and Edward loses a leg. What they created was a monster. So in order to get his brother (his last relative ever) back, Edward sacrifices an arm and binds his brother’s soul to armor. Edward gains a metal arm and leg, and instead of being reprimanded they are trained as State Alchemists. On every journey, the brothers have the goal to find the fabled Philosopher’s Stone, the only item that can restore Al’s body.
Throughout the anime, different moments of brotherly love, heartbreak, and joy take viewers through this world and cause you to cheer and love the brothers. And the live action film took all that wonder, love, and definitely the heartbreak of the first half of the anime and put it all into a 2 hour movie.
It was perfection. I think I spent half of the movie just weeping, whether it was for the brothers or for certain other scenes (yes, for those of you who know the anime, they do go to the Tucker’s). And it was all just so beautifully done. It focused on the parts that mattered the most from the anime, parts that were essential to Ed and Al’s story, adding in the humor where it needed and keeping all of the important and emotional parts. Most importantly, it ended in a way that leads to a sequel. Which, considering how well the movie did in Japan, seems likely to happen.
If you’re a fan of the anime, you will love this movie. If you’ve never seen or read FullMetal Alchemist, the original anime is on Netflix (sub and dub) and FMA Brotherhood is on Netflix, Hulu, and Crunchyroll (also sub and dub). And the new movie is only subbed on Netflix. In my opinion, all three are worth it so start anywhere.
And believe me when I say I will be watching this movie over and over again.
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