Fullmetal Alchemist

Fullmetal Alchemist

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Encyclopedia
, is a Japanese manga
Manga
Manga is the Japanese word for "comics" and consists of comics and print cartoons . In the West, the term "manga" has been appropriated to refer specifically to comics created in Japan, or by Japanese authors, in the Japanese language and conforming to the style developed in Japan in the late 19th...

 series written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa
Hiromu Arakawa
is a Japanese manga artist from Hokkaidō. Her renowned manga, Fullmetal Alchemist, became a hit both domestically and internationally, and was later adapted into two television anime series. She often portrays herself as a bespectacled cow.-Biography:...

. The world of Fullmetal Alchemist is styled after the European Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

. Set in a fictional universe
Fictional universe
A fictional universe is a self-consistent fictional setting with elements that differ from the real world. It may also be called an imagined, constructed or fictional realm ....

 in which alchemy
Alchemy
Alchemy is an influential philosophical tradition whose early practitioners’ claims to profound powers were known from antiquity. The defining objectives of alchemy are varied; these include the creation of the fabled philosopher's stone possessing powers including the capability of turning base...

 is one of the most advanced scientific techniques known to man, the story follows the brothers Edward
Edward Elric
, commonly nicknamed , is a fictional character and the main character of the Fullmetal Alchemist anime and manga series created by Hiromu Arakawa. Edward, titled , is the youngest State Alchemist in the history of the fictional country of Amestris...

 and Alphonse Elric
Alphonse Elric
, commonly called , is a fictional character in the Fullmetal Alchemist manga series created by Hiromu Arakawa its respective adaptations. Alphonse is a child who lost his body during an alchemic experiment to bring his deceased mother back to life, and had his soul "attached" to a suit of armor...

, who want to restore their bodies after a disastrous failed attempt to bring their mother back to life through alchemy.

The manga was serialized in Square Enix
Square Enix
is a Japanese video game and publishing company best known for its console role-playing game franchises, which include the Final Fantasy series, the Dragon Quest series, and the action-RPG Kingdom Hearts series...

's Monthly Shōnen Gangan magazine (starting August 2001 and ending June 2010) and was collected in 27 tankōbon
Tankobon
, with a literal meaning close to "independently appearing book", is the Japanese term for a book that is complete in itself and is not part of a series , though the manga industry uses it for volumes which may be in a series...

volumes. It was adapted into an animated
Anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

 television series
Television program
A television program , also called television show, is a segment of content which is intended to be broadcast on television. It may be a one-time production or part of a periodically recurring series...

 of 51 episodes by Bones
Bones (studio)
is a Japanese anime studio. It has produced numerous series, including RahXephon, Wolf's Rain, Scrapped Princess, Eureka Seven, Angelic Layer, Darker than Black, Soul Eater, Ouran High School Host Club and two adaptions of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga along with Star Driver: Kagayaki no Takuto and...

 from October 4, 2003, to October 2, 2004, later followed by a film sequel
Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa
is a 2005 Japanese animated film directed by Seiji Mizushima and written by Sho Aikawa, and acts as a continuation of the first Fullmetal Alchemist television series...

 that concluded the story of the anime. Fullmetal Alchemist would later spawn a second series called Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, which first premiered in Japan on April 5, 2009, spanning 64 episodes, and ending on July 4, 2010. A multitude of spin-off
Spin-off (media)
In media, a spin-off is a radio program, television program, video game, or any narrative work, derived from one or more already existing works, that focuses, in particular, in more detail on one aspect of that original work...

 novels, original video animation
Original video animation
, abbreviated as media , are animated films and series made specially for release in home-video formats. The term originated in relation to Japanese animation...

s (OVAs), drama CDs, soundtracks, and video games have been adapted from the series. A collectible card game
Collectible card game
thumb|Players and their decksA collectible card game , also called a trading card game or customizable card game, is a game played using specially designed sets of playing cards...

, multiple supplementary books, and a variety of action figures and other merchandise based on the characters of the series have also been released.

The manga has been licensed by Viz Media
VIZ Media
VIZ Media, LLC, headquartered in San Francisco, is an anime, manga, and Japanese entertainment company. It was founded in 1986 as VIZ LLC. In 2005, VIZ LLC and ShoPro Entertainment merged to form the current VIZ Media LLC, which is jointly owned by Japanese publishers Shogakukan and Shueisha, and...

 for publication in the United States, with 25 bound volumes released currently. Although there are no major differences with the Japanese version, some pages have been edited to avoid minor references to western theology. Funimation Entertainment
Funimation Entertainment
Funimation is an American entertainment company. Originally founded in 1994 by Gen Fukunaga, the company became a subsidiary of Navarre Corporation on May 11, 2005...

 has dubbed the anime episodes in the United States and Canada, and has also released them in all English-speaking DVD regions. The English version of the film premiered in a limited number of U.S. theaters on August 25, 2006, and was later released on DVD. Funimation and Destineer
Destineer
Destineer is a computer game developer and publisher based in Minnesota, United States. It was founded in 2000 by former Bungie Studios vice-president, Peter Tamte...

 have also been releasing the video games from the series.

In Japan, the Fullmetal Alchemist manga has enjoyed exceptional sales of 50 million volumes sold as of 2010. The English release of the manga's first volume was the top-selling graphic novel during the year 2005. In two TV Asahi
TV Asahi
, also known as EX and , is a Japanese television network headquartered in Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo, Japan. The company writes its name in lower-case letters, tv asahi, in its logo and public-image materials. The company also owns All-Nippon News Network....

 web polls, the anime was voted #1 most popular anime of all time in Japan. It was nominated in six of the eight categories for which it was eligible at the American Anime Awards
American Anime Awards
The American Anime Awards are a series of awards designed to recognize excellence in the release of anime and manga in North America.The first annual American Anime Awards balloting was supervised by Milton Griepp of industry website ICv2. The first gala awards presentation was hosted in New York...

 in February 2007, winning awards in five of them. Reviewers from several media generally had positive comments on the series.

Plot



Edward
Edward Elric
, commonly nicknamed , is a fictional character and the main character of the Fullmetal Alchemist anime and manga series created by Hiromu Arakawa. Edward, titled , is the youngest State Alchemist in the history of the fictional country of Amestris...

 and Alphonse Elric
Alphonse Elric
, commonly called , is a fictional character in the Fullmetal Alchemist manga series created by Hiromu Arakawa its respective adaptations. Alphonse is a child who lost his body during an alchemic experiment to bring his deceased mother back to life, and had his soul "attached" to a suit of armor...

 are two alchemist brothers searching for the legendary catalyst called the Philosopher's Stone
Philosopher's stone
The philosopher's stone is a legendary alchemical substance said to be capable of turning base metals into gold or silver. It was also sometimes believed to be an elixir of life, useful for rejuvenation and possibly for achieving immortality. For many centuries, it was the most sought-after goal...

, a powerful object which would allow them to recover their bodies (which were lost in an attempt to bring their mother back to life through alchemy). Born in the village of Resembool from the country of , the two brothers lived there with their mother. Their father, Van Hohenheim, left home for unknown reasons and years later, their mother Trisha Elric died of a terminal illness, leaving the Elric brothers alone. After their mother's death, Edward became determined to bring her back through the use of alchemy
Alchemy
Alchemy is an influential philosophical tradition whose early practitioners’ claims to profound powers were known from antiquity. The defining objectives of alchemy are varied; these include the creation of the fabled philosopher's stone possessing powers including the capability of turning base...

, an advanced science in which objects can be created from raw materials. They researched Human Transmutation, a forbidden art in which one attempts to create or modify a human being. However, this attempt failed, ultimately resulting in the loss of Edward's left leg and Alphonse's entire body. In a desperate effort to save his brother, Edward sacrificed his right arm to affix Alphonse's soul to a suit of armor. Some days later, an alchemist named Roy Mustang
Roy Mustang
is a fictional character from the Fullmetal Alchemist anime and manga series authored by Hiromu Arakawa. In the series, Mustang is a State Alchemist of Amestris' State Military as well as the superior of the series' protagonist, Edward Elric. Roy holds the title of the for his ability to create...

 visited the Elric brothers, and proposed that Edward become a member of the State Military of the country in exchange for more research materials to find a way to recover their bodies. After that, Edward's left leg and right arm were replaced with automail, a type of advanced prosthetic limb
Prosthesis
In medicine, a prosthesis, prosthetic, or prosthetic limb is an artificial device extension that replaces a missing body part. It is part of the field of biomechatronics, the science of using mechanical devices with human muscle, skeleton, and nervous systems to assist or enhance motor control...

, created for him by his close family friends Winry Rockbell
Winry Rockbell
is a fictional character from the Fullmetal Alchemist manga and anime series by Hiromu Arakawa. Winry is mechanic who often spends time with the central characters, brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric , who are childhood friends of hers. Specializing in mechanical repair, specifically prostheses...

 and her grandmother Pinako.

Edward then became a , an alchemist employed by the State Military of Amestris, which infamously annihilated most of the Ishbalan race (Ishbal) in the past decade. Becoming a State Alchemist enables Edward to use the extensive resources available to State Alchemists. The brothers set off in search of the Philosopher's Stone as a means to restore their bodies. Throughout their journey, they meet many antagonists, including those who are willing to do anything to obtain the Philosopher's Stone; Scar
Scar (Fullmetal Alchemist)
, also known as , is a fictional character from the anime and manga series Fullmetal Alchemist by author Hiromu Arakawa. Scar is introduced as a mass murderer who targets alchemist working for the state military from the fictional country of Amestris...

, one of the few surviving Ishbalans, who seeks vengeance on the State Alchemists for the destruction of his race; and the homunculi, a group of human-like creatures who carry pieces of the Philosopher's Stone inside themselves, and from it derive the ability to survive almost any harm.

As the story progresses, Edward and Alphonse discover the vast expansion of Amestris was the result of the homunculi, who created and secretly control the State Military. The homunculi and much of the high-ranking military officers are commanded from behind the curtains by the creator of the homunculi, a man simply known as "Father", who gained immortality through a Philosopher's Stone, which he created by tricking Hohenheim centuries before the series' timeline. He plans to use Amestris as a gigantic transmutation circle in order to transmute the entire country for reasons unknown to the Elrics. When Edward and Alphonse discover Father's plans, they, along with other members of the State Military, set out to defeat him.

As the forces collide, one by one, the remaining homunculi are defeated and Central city's troops are enlightened about the truth of the situation. Father tries to transmutate Amestris to gain god-like powers but fails due Hohenheim's actions. A weakened Father is defeated by Edward with his original arm, Al having sacrificed himself to bring it back. After Father is trapped within the Truth, Ed sacrifices his ability to use alchemy to bring Alphonse back in his original body. The Elrics return to Resembool, but two years later, they separate in order to repay the people who helped in their journey.

Differences in the first anime adaptation


The first half of the anime
Anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

's plot basically follows that of the manga
Manga
Manga is the Japanese word for "comics" and consists of comics and print cartoons . In the West, the term "manga" has been appropriated to refer specifically to comics created in Japan, or by Japanese authors, in the Japanese language and conforming to the style developed in Japan in the late 19th...

, but the plots severely diverge from each other near the middle of the story, when Ed and Alphonse reunite with their teacher Izumi Curtis. A former lover of Hohenheim, the former mentor to their own teacher, Dante, acts as the series' main antagonist, appearing only in the anime. Centuries ago, the two perfected methods for making the Philosopher's Stone, achieving a sort of immortality by transferring their soul and intellect into others' bodies as they age. Hohenheim was eventually overcome by the guilt of sacrificing lives to make the Stone and left Dante. Although Dante is still able to jump from body to body with the last stone she and Hohenheim created, she does not possess the complete knowledge on how to make one. She uses the homunculi to spur Edward and Alphonse, along with other Alchemists equally desperate, into creating another complete Philosopher's Stone for her.

When Scar creates the Philosopher's Stone, he infuses the stone into Alphonse's metal body, making him the main focus of Dante's efforts leading to him being kidnapped. When Edward goes to rescue him, he is killed by the homunculus Envy. Alphonse uses the Philosopher's Stone to revive his brother but disappears in the process. Dante tries to escape, but she is killed when the homunculus Gluttony, whose mind she had earlier destroyed, fails to recognize his master. After being revived, Edward risks his life to bring back his brother in exchange. As a result, Edward ends up in a parallel world
Parallel universe (fiction)
A parallel universe or alternative reality is a hypothetical self-contained separate reality coexisting with one's own. A specific group of parallel universes is called a "multiverse", although this term can also be used to describe the possible parallel universes that constitute reality...

, while Alphonse recovers his original body. Determined to reunite with Alphonse, Edward becomes involved in rocketry research, with the intention to use that technology to try to get back to his home world.

The story is followed in the film Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa
Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa
is a 2005 Japanese animated film directed by Seiji Mizushima and written by Sho Aikawa, and acts as a continuation of the first Fullmetal Alchemist television series...

, which takes place two years after the anime's narrative. While Ed is working in Germany to find a way to return to Amestris, Dietlinde Eckhart, a member from the Thule Society
Thule Society
The Thule Society , originally the Studiengruppe für germanisches Altertum , was a German occultist and völkisch group in Munich, named after a mythical northern country from Greek legend...

, discovers the existence of Ed's world and starts giving him hints to open a portal to Amestris. Alphonse, having been looking for his brother after two years, also discovers the portal and opens it at the same time as his father Hohenheim opens the one from Germany, allowing Dietlinde to enter Amestris and try to conquer it. Edward reunites with his brother and they join forces to defeat Dietlinde. Knowing the danger that both worlds are now connected through the portal, Edward returns to Germany to destroy that side of the portal, knowing that he would be trapped there forever. Alphonse secretly follows him, having decided to stay with Edward.

Production


After reading about the philosopher's stone
Philosopher's stone
The philosopher's stone is a legendary alchemical substance said to be capable of turning base metals into gold or silver. It was also sometimes believed to be an elixir of life, useful for rejuvenation and possibly for achieving immortality. For many centuries, it was the most sought-after goal...

, Arakawa said that she became attracted to the idea of using alchemy in the manga
Manga
Manga is the Japanese word for "comics" and consists of comics and print cartoons . In the West, the term "manga" has been appropriated to refer specifically to comics created in Japan, or by Japanese authors, in the Japanese language and conforming to the style developed in Japan in the late 19th...

. She liked it so much that she started reading books relating to alchemy, which she found very complicated because some books contradicted others. Arakawa was attracted more by the philosophical aspects than the practical aspects. For the Equivalent Exchange concept, she was inspired by the work of her parents who had a farm in Hokkaidō
Hokkaido
, formerly known as Ezo, Yezo, Yeso, or Yesso, is Japan's second largest island; it is also the largest and northernmost of Japan's 47 prefectural-level subdivisions. The Tsugaru Strait separates Hokkaido from Honshu, although the two islands are connected by the underwater railway Seikan Tunnel...

 and always had to give all their effort in order to earn the money to eat.

Arakawa wanted to integrate social problems into the story. She gathered information watching news programs and talking to people, such as refugees, war veterans and former yakuza
Yakuza
, also known as , are members of traditional organized crime syndicates in Japan. The Japanese police, and media by request of the police, call them bōryokudan , literally "violence group", while the yakuza call themselves "ninkyō dantai" , "chivalrous organizations". The yakuza are notoriously...

. Several plot elements expand on these themes, such as Pinako Rockbell caring for the Elric brothers after the death of their mother, and the brothers helping people all over the country, to gain an understanding of the meaning of family. When creating the fictional world of Fullmetal Alchemist, Arakawa was inspired after reading about Europe during the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

 period; she was amazed by how different the people from different countries were, in terms of their culture, architecture, and clothes. She was especially interested in England during this period and "added to it her own original flavor to turn it into a fantasy world."

When the manga began serialization, Arakawa had in mind how the story would end. As the plot continued, however, she felt some characters were maturing and decided to change some scenes, resulting in some sketches of the faces of the characters being improvised. In creating the characters' designs, she comments that the manga authors Suihō Tagawa and Hiroyuki Eto are her main inspirations, and describes her artwork as a mix of both of them. The easiest of the series characters for her to draw was Alex Louis Armstrong, as well as little animals. Due to the fact she likes dogs, Arakawa added several of them in the story. Arakawa made comedy central in the manga because she thinks it is intended for entertainment, and tried to minimalize focus on sad scenes.

When the number of manga chapters was around 40, Arakawa commented that as the series gets near the end, she will try to make the story faster until getting to the conclusion. To avoid making chapters less entertaining than others, unnecessary details from each of them are removed and a climax is developed. The removal of minor information is also necessary since the number of pages that Arakawa has to work with in Monthly Shōnen Gangan
Monthly Shonen Gangan
is a manga imprint of Square Enix . It publishes manga in several magazines aimed at different reader demographic groups in the Japanese market. Its magazines are home to some popular manga series which were adapted into anime series, like Fullmetal Alchemist, Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit,...

is not enough to cover all the storyline content she wants to add. As such, certain characters' appearances were limited in some chapters.

During the development of the first anime
Anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

, Arakawa allowed the anime staff to work independently from her, and requested having a different ending from the one in the manga. She said that she would not like to repeat the same ending in both media, as well as to make the manga longer to work more in the development of the characters. When watching the ending of the anime, she was amazed about how different the homunculi creatures were from the manga and enjoyed how the staff speculated about the origins of the villains. As Arakawa also helped the Bones
Bones (studio)
is a Japanese anime studio. It has produced numerous series, including RahXephon, Wolf's Rain, Scrapped Princess, Eureka Seven, Angelic Layer, Darker than Black, Soul Eater, Ouran High School Host Club and two adaptions of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga along with Star Driver: Kagayaki no Takuto and...

 staff in the making of the series, she was kept busy from focusing on the manga's cover illustrations and had little time to make them.

Manga


Written and drawn by Hiromu Arakawa, the Fullmetal Alchemist manga
Manga
Manga is the Japanese word for "comics" and consists of comics and print cartoons . In the West, the term "manga" has been appropriated to refer specifically to comics created in Japan, or by Japanese authors, in the Japanese language and conforming to the style developed in Japan in the late 19th...

 series is serialized in Square Enix
Square Enix
is a Japanese video game and publishing company best known for its console role-playing game franchises, which include the Final Fantasy series, the Dragon Quest series, and the action-RPG Kingdom Hearts series...

's monthly manga magazine Monthly Shōnen Gangan. It has been serialized since Monthly Shōnen Gangans August 2001 issue (published on July 12, 2001) and has been completed with chapter 108 marking an end to the series, as of June 2010. A side-story to the series was then published in the October issue of Monthly Shōnen Gangan on September 11, 2010. In the July 2011 issue of the same magazine, the prototype version from the manga was published.

Square Enix compiled the chapters into 28
tankōbon
Tankobon
, with a literal meaning close to "independently appearing book", is the Japanese term for a book that is complete in itself and is not part of a series , though the manga industry uses it for volumes which may be in a series...

volumes. The first volume was released on January 22, 2002, with the last one released on November 22, 2010. A few chapters have been rereleased in Japan in two "Extra number" magazines and Fullmetal Alchemist, The First Attack, which features the first nine chapters of the manga as well as other side stories. On July 22, 2011, Square Enix started republishing the series in kanzenban format. Viz Media
VIZ Media
VIZ Media, LLC, headquartered in San Francisco, is an anime, manga, and Japanese entertainment company. It was founded in 1986 as VIZ LLC. In 2005, VIZ LLC and ShoPro Entertainment merged to form the current VIZ Media LLC, which is jointly owned by Japanese publishers Shogakukan and Shueisha, and...

 is releasing the manga in North America. The first volume was released on May 3, 2005, and the latest volume it has released is volume 25 on June 7, 2011. On June 7, 2011, Viz started publishing the series in omnibus format, featuring three volumes in one.

The content of the manga released by Viz in the United States were mostly consistent with the original material. As of October 2011, the only edits that have been made were to a set of twelve panels from the original volume 8, depicting the character Greed tied to a cross-shaped stone slab in crucifixion
Crucifixion
Crucifixion is an ancient method of painful execution in which the condemned person is tied or nailed to a large wooden cross and left to hang until dead...

 style. In the North American version the stone was redesigned to become round in each panel, as commented by Viz to avoid references to Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

. This change in the manga was made with the approval of Arakawa.

In Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, the manga is being published by Chuang Yi
Chuang Yi
Chuang Yi Publishing Pte Ltd. is a publishing company based in Singapore that specializes in producing domestic and imported comics and comics-related merchandise, in English and simplified Chinese. Chuang Yi distributes all or some of its products in Singapore, Malaysia, India, and the Philippines...

. Publishing in both English and Simplified Chinese, nineteen volumes have been released in English, while twenty-one volumes have been released in Simplified Chinese. In Poland, Japonica Polonica Fantastica
Japonica Polonica Fantastica
Japonica Polonica Fantastica, also known as JPF, is a Polish manga publisher, located in Mierzyn near Szczecin, Poland. The founder of JPF is Shin Yasuda.-Titles published:*.hack//Legend of the Twilight*Akira*Angel Sanctuary...

 is publishing the manga - as of January 2010, eighteen volumes have been released. In France, the manga is being released by Kurokawa. Volume eight, released in September 2006, was available also in a collector's edition, which consisted of the book packed with the original comedic novel Flame Alchemist, focusing on Roy Mustang's schedule. Prior to this, this novel was only available with the limited edition of volume six in Japan. In Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, Editora JBC
Editora JBC
Editora JBC is a company that publishes books and magazines related to Japan in Brazil. It has its headquarters in Sao Paulo....

 is publishing the manga with forty-four volumes equivalent to the first original twenty-two volumes having been released currently. In Italy, the manga is published by Panini Comics
Panini Comics
Panini Comics is an Italian comic book publisher. A division of Panini Group, best known for their collectible stickers, it is headquartered in Modena, Italy...

 using the label "Planet Manga". In South Korea, it is published by Haksan
Haksan Culture Company
Haksan Culture Company , a subsidiary of Daewon Media, is a South Korean publisher, famous for its large selections of domestic and imported comics and light novels. It was established in Seoul, in 1995.-Publishing:Magazines...

 and was serialized in Booking.

Fullmetal Alchemist



The animation studio Bones
Bones (studio)
is a Japanese anime studio. It has produced numerous series, including RahXephon, Wolf's Rain, Scrapped Princess, Eureka Seven, Angelic Layer, Darker than Black, Soul Eater, Ouran High School Host Club and two adaptions of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga along with Star Driver: Kagayaki no Takuto and...

 adapted the manga into a 51-episode anime
Anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

 series. It was directed by Seiji Mizushima
Seiji Mizushima
is a Japanese anime director. He has directed such series as Slayers Next, Shaman King, Fullmetal Alchemist, and more recently, Mobile Suit Gundam 00 and Un-Go...

, written by Shō Aikawa
Sho Aikawa (screenwriter)
is a Japanese screenwriter. His writing credits include Jikuu Senshi Spielban, Mister Ajikko, Dangaioh, and Urotsukidōji. He has recently written the anime adaptations of Love Hina and the first Fullmetal Alchemist series, as well Kamen Rider Blade and Kamen Rider Decade...

 and co-produced by Bones, Mainichi Broadcasting System
Mainichi Broadcasting System
is a broadcasting station in Osaka, Japan, affiliated with Japan Radio Network , National Radio Network , Japan News Network and TBS Network, serving in the Kansai region. MBS is also one of the major stockholders of Tokyo Broadcasting System Holdings, Inc...

 and Aniplex
Aniplex
, formerly known as Sony Pictures Entertainment Visual Works Inc. and Sony Music Entertainment Visual Works Inc., is a Japanese anime and music production and distribution enterprise owned by Sony Music Entertainment Japan and established in January 1997...

. Character designs were handled by Yoshiyuki Itō. The anime was broadcast on Mainichi Broadcasting System
Mainichi Broadcasting System
is a broadcasting station in Osaka, Japan, affiliated with Japan Radio Network , National Radio Network , Japan News Network and TBS Network, serving in the Kansai region. MBS is also one of the major stockholders of Tokyo Broadcasting System Holdings, Inc...

, TBS
Tokyo Broadcasting System
, TBS Holdings, Inc. or TBSHD, is a stockholding company in Tokyo, Japan. It is a parent company of a television network named and radio network named ....

, and Animax
Animax
is a Japanese anime satellite television network, dedicated to broadcasting anime programming. A subsidiary of Japanese media conglomerate Sony, it is headquartered in in Minato, Tokyo, Japan, with its co-founders and shareholders including Sony Pictures Entertainment and the noted anime studios...

 in Japan from October 4, 2003 to October 2, 2004, with a 6.8 percent television viewership rating. The English dubbed version of the anime was produced by Funimation
Funimation Entertainment
Funimation is an American entertainment company. Originally founded in 1994 by Gen Fukunaga, the company became a subsidiary of Navarre Corporation on May 11, 2005...

 and debuted on the Adult Swim
Adult Swim
Adult Swim is an adult-oriented Cable network that shares channel space with Cartoon Network from 9:00 pm until 6:00 am ET/PT in the United States, and broadcasts in countries such as Australia and New Zealand...

 block of the United States cable channel Cartoon Network
Cartoon Network
Cartoon Network is a name of television channels worldwide created by Turner Broadcasting which used to primarily show animated programming. The channel began broadcasting on October 1, 1992 in the United States....

 on November 6, 2004. A year and a half later, Canada's YTV began airing it on March 3, 2006. The anime's later story and conclusion by Bones is different from the manga due to a request by Arakawa. During the making of the anime, Arakawa was present in meetings to give the staff insight into the world of Fullmetal Alchemist, though she did not actively take part in any writing for the TV series.

The series has been released in a series of thirteen DVDs from December 17, 2003 to January 26, 2005 in Japan. Funimation Entertainment
Funimation Entertainment
Funimation is an American entertainment company. Originally founded in 1994 by Gen Fukunaga, the company became a subsidiary of Navarre Corporation on May 11, 2005...

 also released the same series of DVDs from February 8, 2005 to September 12, 2006 in the United States. MVM had released the first eight volumes in the United Kingdom; however, Funimation gave the rights over to Revelation Films
Revelation Films
Revelation Films is a British distributor of entertainment programmes on DVD.It was perhaps most well known as the company through which as of November 2006, the American anime company FUNimation Entertainment has launched its titles in the United Kingdom on region 2 DVD...

. A series of five original video animation
Original video animation
, abbreviated as media , are animated films and series made specially for release in home-video formats. The term originated in relation to Japanese animation...

s (OVAs) were also released. The majority of these OVAs are side stories and do not expand on the plot. These OVAs also include a live action
Live action
In filmmaking, video production, and other media, the term live action refers to cinematography, videography not produced using animation...

 segment with Alphonse Elric
Alphonse Elric
, commonly called , is a fictional character in the Fullmetal Alchemist manga series created by Hiromu Arakawa its respective adaptations. Alphonse is a child who lost his body during an alchemic experiment to bring his deceased mother back to life, and had his soul "attached" to a suit of armor...

 travelling around a city. In March 2006 a DVD featuring these OVAs was released in Japan with the name of Fullmetal Alchemist: Premium Collection. Funimation acquired and dubbed Premium Collection during the end of 2008 for English release. The DVD was released in English on August 4, 2009. During January 2009, Bones released a "DVD box archives" of the anime. It includes the first anime of 51 episodes, the film, the CD soundtracks, and guidebooks from the series.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood



In the 20th volume of the manga, creator Arakawa announced that a second
Fullmetal Alchemist anime series was being produced. Bones produces the new series with Yasuhiro Irie
Yasuhiro Irie
is a Japanese animator, character designer and anime director.-Biography:Beginning his career at Sunrise, he has worked as an animation director and animator on several productions, and made his debut as a director with volumes 2 to 4 of Alien 9 and the 2004 television series Kurau Phantom Memory...

 as director and Hiroshi Ōnogi
Hiroshi Onogi
is a Japanese screenwriter and novelist focusing on anime productions.Ōnogi attended Keio University in the same years as Macross character designer Haruhiko Mikimoto and creator Shōji Kawamori, both of whom he would first collaborate with in The Super Dimension Fortress Macross.- Filmography :*...

 as writer. The title of the series is also
Fullmetal Alchemist in the Japanese version, although as to differentiate it from the 2003 series. The series premiered on April 5, 2009, on MBS-TBS's Sunday 5:00 pm JST anime timeblock, replacing Mobile Suit Gundam 00
Mobile Suit Gundam 00
is an anime TV series, the eleventh incarnation of Sunrise's long-running Gundam franchise consisting of two seasons. It is directed by Seiji Mizushima and written by Yōsuke Kuroda, and features character designs by Yun Kōga. The twenty-five episode season was officially announced by Sunrise...

, and voice actresses Romi Park and Rie Kugimiya
Rie Kugimiya
is a Japanese voice actress affiliated with I'm Enterprise.Kugimiya's most famous roles include Alphonse Elric in Fullmetal Alchemist, Happy in Fairy Tail, Kagura in Gintama, Nagi Sanzenin in Hayate no Gotoku!, Shana in Shakugan no Shana, Louise in Zero no Tsukaima, Taiga Aisaka in Toradora!, and...

 reprised their roles as main characters Edward and Alphonse Elric respectively. Unlike the first anime which had an original story, the second series follows the story of the manga. On March 20, 2009, it was announced that the English title of the series was
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and that it would receive its English language premiere on Animax Asia
Animax Asia
Animax Asia is the Japanese anime TV network Animaxs English language feeds in Southeast Asia and South Asia, as well as its feeds across other regions of mainland Asia, including Hong Kong and Taiwan...

, with Japanese audio and English subtitles, on April 10, 2009, at 8:30 p.m, five days after its Japanese premiere. Aniplex started releasing the series in Blu-ray
Blu-ray Disc
Blu-ray Disc is an optical disc storage medium designed to supersede the DVD format. The plastic disc is 120 mm in diameter and 1.2 mm thick, the same size as DVDs and CDs. Blu-ray Discs contain 25 GB per layer, with dual layer discs being the norm for feature-length video discs...

 and DVD
DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

 on August 26, 2009, with the first containing two episodes and an original video animation
Original video animation
, abbreviated as media , are animated films and series made specially for release in home-video formats. The term originated in relation to Japanese animation...

 (OVA). Two more OVAs were included in the fifth and ninth volumes alongside four episodes. Other volumes feature four episodes and no OVAs. A total of sixteen volumes were released, with the last one on November 24, 2010.

On April 3, 2009, Funimation announced it would stream English subtitled episodes four days after they air in Japan. Madman Entertainment will also stream it "within days" of the episodes airing in Japan. Funimation later suspended the release of new episodes of the series for a few weeks due to an incident involving an episode of One Piece
One Piece
is a Japanese shōnen manga series written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda. It has been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump since August 4, 1997; the individual chapters are being published in tankōbon volumes by Shueisha, with the first released on December 24, 1997, and the 64th volume released as...

 being uploaded before it had aired in Japan. However, the episodes are now back on the Funimation website as well as on the official Funimation channel on Youtube. In September 2009, Funimation announced the cast for an English dub of the series. On February 13, 2010, the English dub of the series premiered on Cartoon Network
Cartoon Network
Cartoon Network is a name of television channels worldwide created by Turner Broadcasting which used to primarily show animated programming. The channel began broadcasting on October 1, 1992 in the United States....

 and ended on September 25, 2011. Funimation also began releasing the episodes in Blu-ray and DVD volumes each of thirteen episodes on May 25, 2010, and finished on August 2, 2011 with a total of five volumes.

Films



A film sequel to the first anime, Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa
Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa
is a 2005 Japanese animated film directed by Seiji Mizushima and written by Sho Aikawa, and acts as a continuation of the first Fullmetal Alchemist television series...

, was produced by the Bones, and premiered in Japanese theaters on July 23, 2005. The film follows Edward Elric's attempts to return to his homeworld, having lived for two years on Earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

, which exists in a parallel universe
Parallel universe (fiction)
A parallel universe or alternative reality is a hypothetical self-contained separate reality coexisting with one's own. A specific group of parallel universes is called a "multiverse", although this term can also be used to describe the possible parallel universes that constitute reality...

 to his own, while Alphonse is equally determined to reunite with his brother by any means necessary. Funimation Entertainment released the English DVD on September 12, 2006.

Following the second anime's ending, an announcement was shown regarding a new Fullmetal Alchemist film. A teaser trailer began streaming in November 2010 in the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood official site, confirming that a movie entitled Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos would open throughout Japan in July 2011. It was directed by Kazuya Murata, while the script was done by Yūichi Shinpo. Set within the second anime's storyline, it follows the Elrics going to another country to capture a criminal. Funimation has licensed the film and will release in the United States in 2012.

Light novels



A series of six
Fullmetal Alchemist Japanese light novel
Light novel
A is a style of Japanese novel primarily targeting junior high and high school students . The term "light novel" is a wasei-eigo, or a Japanese term formed from words in the English language. Light novels are often called or for short...

s, written by Makoto Inoue, have been published by Square Enix
Square Enix
is a Japanese video game and publishing company best known for its console role-playing game franchises, which include the Final Fantasy series, the Dragon Quest series, and the action-RPG Kingdom Hearts series...

. The novels are licensed for an English-language release by Viz Media
VIZ Media
VIZ Media, LLC, headquartered in San Francisco, is an anime, manga, and Japanese entertainment company. It was founded in 1986 as VIZ LLC. In 2005, VIZ LLC and ShoPro Entertainment merged to form the current VIZ Media LLC, which is jointly owned by Japanese publishers Shogakukan and Shueisha, and...

 in North America, with translations by Alexander O. Smith
Alexander O. Smith
Alexander O. Smith is a professional English/Japanese translator and author. While his output covers many areas such as adaptation of Japanese novels, manga, song lyrics, anime scripts and various academic works, he is best known for his software localizations of Japanese video games...

. Although Arakawa did not write the novels, she did illustrations for them, including covers and frontispieces. The novels are spin-off
Spin-off (media)
In media, a spin-off is a radio program, television program, video game, or any narrative work, derived from one or more already existing works, that focuses, in particular, in more detail on one aspect of that original work...

s of the manga series and follow the Elric brothers on their continued quest for the Philosopher's Stone. The first novel, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Land of Sand, was animated as the episodes eleven and twelve of the anime series. The fourth novel also contains an extra story about the military called "Roy's Holiday". Novelizations of three of the PlayStation 2
PlayStation 2
The PlayStation 2 is a sixth-generation video game console manufactured by Sony as part of the PlayStation series. Its development was announced in March 1999 and it was first released on March 4, 2000, in Japan...

 games,
Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel
Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel
, is an action role-playing game developed by Racjin and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 2 console. The game features an original story by Hiromu Arakawa from the creator of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga. It is based on the Fullmetal Alchemist manga series, also published by Square Enix...

, Curse of the Crimson Elixir
Fullmetal Alchemist 2: Curse of the Crimson Elixir
is the second console role-playing game for the PlayStation 2 based on the series of the same name. It is the prequel of sorts to Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel. The game has much improved visuals than the previous title, as well as all dialog being voiced over...

, and The Girl Who Surpasses God—have also been written. The first was authored by Makoto Inoue and the rest by Jun Eishima.

Drama CDs


There have been two series of
Fullmetal Alchemist audio dramas. The first volume of the first series, , was released before the anime
Anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

 and tells a story similar to the first novel. The Tringham brothers reprised their roles in the anime. and are stories based on different manga chapters with the addition of other characters from the State Military from the series.

The second series of audio dramas, available only with purchases of
Shōnen Gangan, consists of short stories. There are two stories in this series, each with two parts. The first, , was included in Shōnen Gangans April and May 2004 issues, while the second story, , was found in the November and December issues.

CDs



The music for Fullmetal Alchemist was composed and arranged by Michiru Oshima
Michiru Oshima
, is a Japanese composer who has worked on several video game, movie, and television titles. Her works include composition for the video games Genghis Khan II: Clan of the Gray Wolf for Super Nintendo, Ico for PlayStation 2, Legend of Legaia for the PlayStation , is a Japanese composer who has...

, who won the 5th Tokyo Anime Award in the category "Best Music" for Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa
Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa
is a 2005 Japanese animated film directed by Seiji Mizushima and written by Sho Aikawa, and acts as a continuation of the first Fullmetal Alchemist television series...

. TV Animation Fullmetal Alchemist Original Soundtrack 1 was released on March 24, 2004 in Japan and contained thirty-three tracks, including several of the background sounds used during key points in the main series and the first opening and ending theme songs. Although never released officially, a version of the Russian track "Brothers" (Russian: Братья, Bratja; Japanese: Burācha) from this CD has been recorded in English by Vic Mignogna
Vic Mignogna
Victor Joseph "Vic" Mignogna is an American Anime Award winning voice actor and musician who has done voice work for many anime series, movies, and video games...

, the voice actor who played Edward Elric
Edward Elric
, commonly nicknamed , is a fictional character and the main character of the Fullmetal Alchemist anime and manga series created by Hiromu Arakawa. Edward, titled , is the youngest State Alchemist in the history of the fictional country of Amestris...

 in the English dubbed version. TV Animation Fullmetal Alchemist Original Soundtrack 2 was released on December 15, 2004 and contained thirty tracks. TV Animation Fullmetal Alchemist Original Soundtrack 3, released on May 18, 2005 contained twenty-seven tracks.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Complete Best and Fullmetal Alchemist Hagaren Song File (Best Compilation) are compilations of the soundtracks that were released in Japan on October 14, 2004 and December 21, 2005, respectively. A bonus DVD, exclusive to the U.S. release, contains a music video for Nana Kitade
Nana Kitade
Nana Kitade , is a Japanese singer-songwriter and musician. She has had success as a solo artist, model, actress, fashion designer, and the lead singer of the Germany based noise pop band, "Loveless"....

's "Indelible Sin". Fullmetal Alchemist The Movie Conqueror Of Shamballa OST, which contained forty-six tracks, was released on December 21, 2005. All are tracks used in the featured film Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa. During December 2004, a concert titled "Tales of Another Festival" was staged in Tokyo and Osaka. It featured performances by several of the musical artists from the television series as well as narrations by the voice actors and actresses. A DVD of the concert entitled Fullmetal Alchemist Festival - Tales of Another was released in Japan on April 27, 2005.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhoods music composer is Akira Senju
Akira Senju
is a Japanese composer, arranger and conductor. Composition credits include Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Yomigaeri, Fūrin Kazan , Nada Sōsō , Rampo and the soundtrack of Red Garden. Arrangement credits include Hikari. Performance credits include Handsome...

. The first CD soundtrack from this anime was published on October 14, 2009. The second CD soundtrack from the anime was published on March 24, 2010. The third and final CD soundtrack became available on July 7, 2010. Finally, Fullmetal Alchemist Final Best, a compilation of openings and endings songs, was released on July 28, 2010.

On June 29, 2011 Original Soundtrack of Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos (FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST Nageki no Oka no Seinaru Hoshi), composed by Taro Iwashiro
Taro Iwashiro
is a Japanese composer.-Career:He has worked on music for many Japanese Television Series but is most well-known for his musical scores for film...

, was released.

Video games


Video games based on Fullmetal Alchemist have also been released. The storylines of the games often diverge from those of the anime
Anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

 and manga
Manga
Manga is the Japanese word for "comics" and consists of comics and print cartoons . In the West, the term "manga" has been appropriated to refer specifically to comics created in Japan, or by Japanese authors, in the Japanese language and conforming to the style developed in Japan in the late 19th...

 and feature new characters. Square Enix
Square Enix
is a Japanese video game and publishing company best known for its console role-playing game franchises, which include the Final Fantasy series, the Dragon Quest series, and the action-RPG Kingdom Hearts series...

 has released three role-playing games
Action role-playing game
Action role-playing games form a loosely defined sub-genre of role-playing video games that incorporate elements of action or action-adventure games, emphasizing real-time action where the player has direct control over characters, instead of turn-based or menu-based combat...

 (RPG)—Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel
Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel
, is an action role-playing game developed by Racjin and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 2 console. The game features an original story by Hiromu Arakawa from the creator of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga. It is based on the Fullmetal Alchemist manga series, also published by Square Enix...

, Curse of the Crimson Elixir
Fullmetal Alchemist 2: Curse of the Crimson Elixir
is the second console role-playing game for the PlayStation 2 based on the series of the same name. It is the prequel of sorts to Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel. The game has much improved visuals than the previous title, as well as all dialog being voiced over...

, and Kami o Tsugu Shōjo—and one fighting game
Fighting game
Fighting game is a video game genre where the player controls an on-screen character and engages in close combat with an opponent. These characters tend to be of equal power and fight matches consisting of several rounds, which take place in an arena. Players must master techniques such as...

, Dream Carnival, for the PlayStation 2
PlayStation 2
The PlayStation 2 is a sixth-generation video game console manufactured by Sony as part of the PlayStation series. Its development was announced in March 1999 and it was first released on March 4, 2000, in Japan...

. Bandai
Bandai
is a Japanese toy making and video game company, as well as the producer of a large number of plastic model kits. It is the world's third-largest producer of toys . Some ex-Bandai group companies produce anime and tokusatsu programs...

 has released two RPG titles, and , for the Game Boy Advance
Game Boy Advance
The is a 32-bit handheld video game console developed, manufactured, and marketed by Nintendo. It is the successor to the Game Boy Color. It was released in Japan on March 21, 2001; in North America on June 11, 2001; in Australia and Europe on June 22, 2001; and in the People's Republic of China...

 and one, Dual Sympathy
Fullmetal Alchemist: Dual Sympathy
is a video game created by Bandai for the Nintendo DS. The game was released in Japan on July 21, 2005, just two days before the first Fullmetal Alchemist Movie came out, and was accompanied by a PlayStation 2 release of Fullmetal Alchemist 3: The Girl Who Succeeded God. Dual Sympathy was announced...

, for the Nintendo DS
Nintendo DS
The is a portable game console produced by Nintendo, first released on November 21, 2004. A distinctive feature of the system is the presence of two separate LCD screens, the lower of which is a touchscreen, encompassed within a clamshell design, similar to the Game Boy Advance SP...

. Bandai also released another RPG, , for the PlayStation Portable
PlayStation Portable
The is a handheld game console manufactured and marketed by Sony Corporation Development of the console was announced during E3 2003, and it was unveiled on , 2004, at a Sony press conference before E3 2004...

 on May 20, 2010, in Japan. Destineer
Destineer
Destineer is a computer game developer and publisher based in Minnesota, United States. It was founded in 2000 by former Bungie Studios vice-president, Peter Tamte...

 released a game based on the trading card game
Collectible card game
thumb|Players and their decksA collectible card game , also called a trading card game or customizable card game, is a game played using specially designed sets of playing cards...

 in North America for the Nintendo DS. Of the seven games made in Japan, Broken Angel, Dream Carnival, Curse of the Crimson Elixir, and Dual Sympathy have seen international release; the others have not been released internationally. For the Wii
Wii
The Wii is a home video game console released by Nintendo on November 19, 2006. As a seventh-generation console, the Wii primarily competes with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3. Nintendo states that its console targets a broader demographic than that of the two others...

, was released in Japan on August 13, 2009. A direct sequel of the game, , was released on December 10, 2009, for the same console.

Funimation licensed the franchise to create a new series of Fullmetal Alchemist related video games to be published by Destineer
Destineer
Destineer is a computer game developer and publisher based in Minnesota, United States. It was founded in 2000 by former Bungie Studios vice-president, Peter Tamte...

 Publishing Corporation in the United States. Destineer released its first Fullmetal Alchemist game for the Nintendo DS
Nintendo DS
The is a portable game console produced by Nintendo, first released on November 21, 2004. A distinctive feature of the system is the presence of two separate LCD screens, the lower of which is a touchscreen, encompassed within a clamshell design, similar to the Game Boy Advance SP...

, a translation of Bandai's Dual Sympathy, on December 15, 2006, and has commented that this will be the first of many titles that they plan to release. On February 19, 2007, Destineer announced the second game in its Fullmetal Alchemist series, the Fullmetal Alchemist Trading Card Game. This title was released October 15, 2007. A third game for the PlayStation Portable titled was released in Japan on October 15, 2009. The game was announced for a European release with Namco Bandai being the publisher on March 4, 2010. The massively multiplayer online role-playing game
Massively multiplayer online role-playing game
Massively multiplayer online role-playing game is a genre of role-playing video games in which a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual game world....

 MapleStory
MapleStory
MapleStory is a free-to-play, 2D, side-scrolling massively multiplayer online role-playing game developed by the South Korean company Wizet. Several versions of the game are available for specific countries or regions, and each is published by various companies such as Nexon...

is also going to receive special ingame items based on the series as tie-in.

For the RPG games, Arakawa oversaw the story and designed its characters, while Bones
Bones (studio)
is a Japanese anime studio. It has produced numerous series, including RahXephon, Wolf's Rain, Scrapped Princess, Eureka Seven, Angelic Layer, Darker than Black, Soul Eater, Ouran High School Host Club and two adaptions of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga along with Star Driver: Kagayaki no Takuto and...

, the studio which would be responsible for the anime series, produced several animation sequences. The developers looked at other titles for inspiration, particularly Square Enix's action role-playing game Kingdom Hearts
Kingdom Hearts
is an action role-playing game developed and published by Square in 2002 for the PlayStation 2 video game console. The first game in the Kingdom Hearts series, it is the result of a collaboration between Square Enix and The Walt Disney Company. The game combines characters and settings from Disney...

, in addition to other games based on manga series, such as Dragon Ball, Naruto or One Piece games. The biggest challenge they had to overcome was to try to make the title a "full-fledged" game rather than a simple "character-based" game. Tomoya Asano, the assistant producer for the games, noted that development spanned more than a year, unlike most character-based games.

Art and guidebooks


The Fullmetal Alchemist franchise has several artbooks for the manga
Manga
Manga is the Japanese word for "comics" and consists of comics and print cartoons . In the West, the term "manga" has been appropriated to refer specifically to comics created in Japan, or by Japanese authors, in the Japanese language and conforming to the style developed in Japan in the late 19th...

 and the anime
Anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

; three manga artbooks called were released by Square Enix
Square Enix
is a Japanese video game and publishing company best known for its console role-playing game franchises, which include the Final Fantasy series, the Dragon Quest series, and the action-RPG Kingdom Hearts series...

 with two of them also by Viz Media
VIZ Media
VIZ Media, LLC, headquartered in San Francisco, is an anime, manga, and Japanese entertainment company. It was founded in 1986 as VIZ LLC. In 2005, VIZ LLC and ShoPro Entertainment merged to form the current VIZ Media LLC, which is jointly owned by Japanese publishers Shogakukan and Shueisha, and...

. The first contains illustrations made between May 2001 to April 2003, spanning the first six manga volumes, while the second has illustrations from September 2003 to October 2005, spanning the next six. The last one includes illustrations from the remaining volumes. For the anime, three artbooks with the name of were released in Japan, while only the first was released by Viz Media. An artbook from the second anime titled Fullmetal Alchemist Official Drawing Collection was also released in November 2010.

The manga also has three guidebooks; each of them contain timelines, guides to the Elric brothers' journey, and gaiden
Gaiden
is a Japanese-language word meaning "side story" or "tale", used to refer to an anecdote or supplementary biography of a person. This use of gaiden is commonly used in popular Japanese fiction to refer to a spin-off of a previously published work that is neither officially considered a sequel nor...

chapters that were never released in a manga volume. Only the first guidebook has been released by Viz Media, under the name of Fullmetal Alchemist Profiles. An anime character guide book called was released Japan as well in the United States. A series of five fanbooks have also been released with the name of containing each one information of the anime as well as several interviews with the staff of the series. Additionally, a series of four guidebooks focused on the second anime series were released from on August 12, 2009 to August 2010. A new guidebook titled was released in Japan on July 29, 2011 which contains more information on what happens after the end of the manga.

Other merchandise


Action figures, busts, and statues from the Fullmetal Alchemist anime and manga have been created by leading toy companies; primarily Medicom and Southern Island. Medicom has created high end deluxe vinyl figures of the characters from the anime. These figures are exclusively distributed in the United States and UK by Southern Island. Southern Island has also released their own action figures in 2007 of the main characters. These figures and a 12" statue were scheduled to release in 2007. Southern Island has since gone bankrupt, putting the figures on permanent hiatus. A trading card game was first published in 2005 in the United States by Joyride Entertainment. Since then, six expansions have been released. The physical game was retired on July 11, 2007. Destineer released a Nintendo DS
Nintendo DS
The is a portable game console produced by Nintendo, first released on November 21, 2004. A distinctive feature of the system is the presence of two separate LCD screens, the lower of which is a touchscreen, encompassed within a clamshell design, similar to the Game Boy Advance SP...

 adaptation of the game on October 15, 2007.

Manga reception


In March 2007, the manga
Manga
Manga is the Japanese word for "comics" and consists of comics and print cartoons . In the West, the term "manga" has been appropriated to refer specifically to comics created in Japan, or by Japanese authors, in the Japanese language and conforming to the style developed in Japan in the late 19th...

 has sold over 27 million volumes in Japan, while as of March 2008, the number increased to more than 30 million. With the release of volume 24 in December 2009, the series had a total of 40 million units printed, while with volume 27, the copies increased to over 50 million. As of January 10, 2010 every volume of the manga has sold over a million copies each in Japan. Along with Yakitate!! Japan
Yakitate!! Japan
is a manga, authored by Takashi Hashiguchi, serialized in Shogakukan's Shōnen Sunday, which has been adapted into a television anime series by Sunrise. The manga has spanned 25 tankōbon volumes, as of January, 2007, while the weekly serialization of the manga has ended as of January 10, 2007...

, the series won the 49th Shogakukan Manga Award
Shogakukan Manga Award
The is one of Japan's major manga awards, sponsored by Shogakukan Publishing. It has been awarded annually for serialized manga since 1955 and features candidates from a number of publishers.The current award categories are:...

 for shōnen
Shonen
The term refers to manga marketed to a male audience aged roughly 10 and up. The Kanji characters literally mean "few" and "year", respectively, where the characters generally mean "comic"...

in 2004. During 2008, volumes 19 and 20 sold over a million copies, ranking as the 10th and 11th best seller comics, respectively from Japan. In the first half of 2009, it ranked as the 7th best-seller from Japan, having sold over 3 million copies. Volume 21 ranked 4th, with more than 1 million copies sold and volume 22 ranked 6th with a similar number of sold copies. Producer Kouji Taguchi from Square Enix
Square Enix
is a Japanese video game and publishing company best known for its console role-playing game franchises, which include the Final Fantasy series, the Dragon Quest series, and the action-RPG Kingdom Hearts series...

 said that Volume 1's initial sales were of 150,000 copies and changed to 1.5 million copies after the first anime aired. Prior to the second anime's premiere, each volume sold about 1.9 million copies, and then it changed to 2.1 million copies. The series is also one of Viz Media
VIZ Media
VIZ Media, LLC, headquartered in San Francisco, is an anime, manga, and Japanese entertainment company. It was founded in 1986 as VIZ LLC. In 2005, VIZ LLC and ShoPro Entertainment merged to form the current VIZ Media LLC, which is jointly owned by Japanese publishers Shogakukan and Shueisha, and...

's best sellers, appearing in "BookScan's Top 20 Graphic Novels" and the "USA Today Booklist". It has also been featured in the Diamond Comic Distributors
Diamond Comic Distributors
Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. is the largest comic book distributor serving North America. They transport comic books from both big and small comic book publishers, or suppliers, to the retailers. Diamond dominates the direct market in the United States, and has exclusive arrangements with most...

' polls of graphic novel and The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

Best Seller Manga list. The English release of the manga's first volume was the top-selling graphic novel during the year 2005. In a survey from Oricon
Oricon
, established in 1999, is the holding company at the head of a Japanese corporate group that supplies statistics and information on music and the music industry in Japan. It started as , which was founded by Sōkō Koike in November 1967 and became known for its music charts. Oricon Inc...

 in 2009, Fullmetal Alchemist ranked ninth as the manga that fans wanted to be turned into a live-action film.

Fullmetal Alchemist has generally been well received by critics. Though the initial volumes were felt to be formulaic, critics noted that the series grows in complexity as it progresses. Arakawa was praised for being able to keep all of her character designs unique and distinguishable, despite many of them wearing the same basic uniforms. The characterization of the protagonist Edward balances between being a "typical clever kid" and a "stubborn kid", successfully allowing him to float between the series' more comical moments and its underlying drama without seeming false. Reviewers celebrated the development of the characters in the manga, with their beliefs actively changing during the story forcing them to grow in maturity. Mania Entertainment's Jarred Pine found that the manga can be enjoyed by anybody who has watched the first anime despite the similarities in the first chapters. Like other reviewers, he praised the dark mood from the manga and how it balances the humor and action scenes. The development from characters who have little appearances in the first anime was also praised by Pine. In a review from volume 14, Sakura Eries from the same site liked the revelations in spite of the fact that there are still several story arcs that need to be resolved. She also praised the development from the homunculi such as the return of Greed as well as their fights.

Anime reception


The anime
Anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

 premiered in Japan with a 6.82 percent television viewership rating. In 2005, Japanese television network
Television network
A television network is a telecommunications network for distribution of television program content, whereby a central operation provides programming to many television stations or pay TV providers. Until the mid-1980s, television programming in most countries of the world was dominated by a small...

 TV Asahi
TV Asahi
, also known as EX and , is a Japanese television network headquartered in Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo, Japan. The company writes its name in lower-case letters, tv asahi, in its logo and public-image materials. The company also owns All-Nippon News Network....

 conducted a "Top 100" online web poll and nation-wide survey; the Fullmetal Alchemist anime adaptation placed first in the online poll and 20th in the survey. In 2006, TV Asahi conducted another online poll for the top one hundred anime, and Fullmetal Alchemist placed first again. Fullmetal Alchemist was also a winner in the American Anime Awards
American Anime Awards
The American Anime Awards are a series of awards designed to recognize excellence in the release of anime and manga in North America.The first annual American Anime Awards balloting was supervised by Milton Griepp of industry website ICv2. The first gala awards presentation was hosted in New York...

 in several categories. These include "Long Series", "Best Cast", "Best DVD Package Design", "Best Anime Theme Song" ("Rewrite
Rewrite (song)
is a song by Japanese rock band Asian Kung-Fu Generation. It was released as the third single of their second full-length studio album, Sol-fa, on August 4, 2004.-Reception:...

," by Asian Kung-Fu Generation
Asian Kung-fu Generation
, typeset as ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION, is a Japanese rock band formed in Yokohama, Japan in 1996. For nearly its entire career, the band has consisted of vocalist Masafumi Gotō, guitarist Kensuke Kita, bassist Takahiro Yamada, and drummer Kiyoshi Ijichi...

), and "Best Actor" (Vic Mignogna
Vic Mignogna
Victor Joseph "Vic" Mignogna is an American Anime Award winning voice actor and musician who has done voice work for many anime series, movies, and video games...

, Edward Elric
Edward Elric
, commonly nicknamed , is a fictional character and the main character of the Fullmetal Alchemist anime and manga series created by Hiromu Arakawa. Edward, titled , is the youngest State Alchemist in the history of the fictional country of Amestris...

's English voice actor). It was also nominated in the category of "Best Anime Feature" for Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa
Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa
is a 2005 Japanese animated film directed by Seiji Mizushima and written by Sho Aikawa, and acts as a continuation of the first Fullmetal Alchemist television series...

. The series also won most of the Twenty-Sixth Annual Animage
Animage
is a Japanese anime and entertainment magazine which Tokuma Shoten began publishing in July 1978. Hayao Miyazaki's internationally renowned manga, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, was serialized in Animage from 1982 through 1994...

Readers' Polls. The series was the winner in the "Favorite Anime Series", "Favorite Episode" (episode seven), "Favorite Male Character" (Edward Elric), "Favorite Female Character" (Riza Hawkeye), "Favorite Theme Song" ("Melissa", by Porno Graffitti
Porno Graffitti
, also known as is a Japanese male rock band from Innoshima, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. The band got their name from the album Pornograffitti by the band Extreme...

), and "Favorite Voice Actor" (Romi Park, Edward's Japanese voice actor). In the "Tokyo Anime Fair", the series also won in the categories "Animation Of The Year" (Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala), "Best original story" (Hiromu Arakawa
Hiromu Arakawa
is a Japanese manga artist from Hokkaidō. Her renowned manga, Fullmetal Alchemist, became a hit both domestically and internationally, and was later adapted into two television anime series. She often portrays herself as a bespectacled cow.-Biography:...

) and "Best music" (Michiru Oshima
Michiru Oshima
, is a Japanese composer who has worked on several video game, movie, and television titles. Her works include composition for the video games Genghis Khan II: Clan of the Gray Wolf for Super Nintendo, Ico for PlayStation 2, Legend of Legaia for the PlayStation , is a Japanese composer who has...

). In About.com
About.com
About.com is an online source for original information and advice. It is written in English, and is aimed primarily at North Americans. It is owned by The New York Times Company....

 2006 American Awards, Fullmetal Alchemist was the winner in the categories "Best New Anime Series" and "Best Animation".

The series has become one of the top properties of Square Enix along with Final Fantasy
Final Fantasy
is a media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchi, and is developed and owned by Square Enix . The franchise centers on a series of fantasy and science-fantasy role-playing video games , but includes motion pictures, anime, printed media, and other merchandise...

and Dragon Quest
Dragon Quest
, published as Dragon Warrior in North America until 2005,Due to the inconsistent usage by sources since Square Enix obtained the naming rights to Dragon Quest in North America. Dragon Quest has been used by sources to refer to games released solely under the Dragon Warrior titles...

. It was named the 95th best animated series by IGN
IGN
IGN is an entertainment website that focuses on video games, films, music and other media. IGN's main website comprises several specialty sites or "channels", each occupying a subdomain and covering a specific area of entertainment...

. They commented that although it's mostly upbeat with amazing action scenes, it also touches on the human condition. They described it as "more than a mere anime," and "a powerful weekly drama." The staff also featured it in their "10 Cartoon Adaptations We'd Like to See" with comments focused in the characterization the series features. The designs of the characters have been praised remarking they are different from each other. Flashbacks have been criticized to be annoying as they are repeated several times. Other reviewers compared the series with an Odyssey as part tragic, part coming of age story. The plot and the music have been celebrated to be very entertaining. Criticism towards the anime focused on the large number of sentimental scenes in the series abused to evoke kneejerk emotional responses from the viewers. The ending was also the basis of one negative review noting that Edward's beliefs did not change at all as he tried once again to bring somebody back to life. Reviewers have praised the soundtrack for its variety of musical styles and artists, and the pleasant but not too distracting background music. DVDvisionjapan considered the first opening theme and the first ending theme as the best tracks of the series, remarking that they made a good combination of anime and song.

The initial episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood received criticism from members of the Anime News Network
Anime News Network
Anime News Network is an anime industry news website that reports on the status of anime, manga, Japanese popular music and other otaku-related culture within North America, Australia and Japan. Additionally, it sometimes features similar happenings throughout the Anglosphere and elsewhere in the...

 staff, who felt that repeating events from the first anime led to a lack of suspense. Mania Entertainment's Chris Beveridge noted that the entertainment in these episodes lay in the differences in the characters' actions from the first series, and how some episodes had original content which focused on the emotional theme from the series. In another review, Beveridge praised the new fight scenes as well as more drama which made these episodes "solid". Chris Zimmerman from Comic Book Bin agreed with Beveridge as the series "turns around and establishes its own identity" due to the inclusion of new characters and revelations not shown in the first series, increasing its depth. The animation was also noted to be superior than that of the first anime, with comments focused on the characters' expressions as well as the way the fight scenes were executed. Much praise was given to the climatic episodes for the way action scenes and morals were conveyed, with many finding them superior to the conclusion of the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime. The way the series closed was found satisfactory by critics to the point of being called "A virtually perfect ending to an outstanding series." In April 2010, it was listed as the 6th best anime between April 2009 and March 2010 by Animage.

Light novels reception


The first Fullmetal Alchemist novel, The Land of the Sand, was well received by Jarred Pine of Mania as a self-contained novelization that remained true to the characterizations from the manga series. He notes that while the lack of backstory makes it geared more towards fans of the franchise than new readers, it was an impressive debut piece for the Viz Fiction line. Ain't It Cool News
Ain't It Cool News
Ain't It Cool News is a website founded and run by Harry Knowles, dedicated to news, rumors and reviews of upcoming and currently playing films and television projects, with an emphasis on science fiction, fantasy, horror, comic-book and action genres...

also found the novel to be true to its roots, and that while it brought nothing new to the series, it was compelling enough for followers of the series to enjoy a retelling. As a whole, the reviewer felt it was a "work for young-ish readers that's pretty clear about some darker sides of politics, economics and human nature." Charles Solomon of the Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

noted that the novel has a different focus than anime series, with The Land of Sand "creating a stronger, sympathetic bond" between the younger brothers than is seen in its two episode anime counterpart.

External links