Sunday, January 10, 2010
The kids and I have recently begun watching "Full Metal Alchemist". It started off slowly, but we've begun to really enjoy it. The story line is fairly compelling, with surprisingly dark moments. These are relatively far and few in between, but the first one certainly caught me off-guard. I found myself wondering if I should actually be letting E and M watch the series. It wasn't so much that the scenes were violent (though there are several of those), but rather that there were scenes that were heart-wrenching and hard to watch. Very emotionally taxing. It's sort of the same reason I haven't yet let them watch "Hotaru no haka"
The FMA universe has a distinctly European feel to it. The towns that pop up through the Elric Brothers' journeys all appear to be from the industrial revolution. Edward and Alphonse, the two main characters are well-rounded, and draw the viewer in fairly quickly. Ed, the archetypal brash anime character still manages to convey a likability that many authors fail to realize in their leads. But author Arakawa Hiromu manages it admirably.
FMA has received wide acclaim, both in Japan and North America. Over 40 million volumes are in print in Japan alone. Initially, I was put off by the amount of face-fault/chibi usage in the first few episodes, but as the series has progressed and become increasingly complex, this tendency seems to be decreasing.
At the end of the day, if you're looking for a new series to watch, I think FMA is well worth your time. Enjoy.