* Manga/FullmetalAlchemist is so good it's almost unbelievable. It combines an epic setting with fantastic characters, incredible fight scenes, and a genuinely intelligent plot. It sets the standard for all shonen manga, and few things come close, except what separates it is the fact that the battles tell a story, and are usually multiple fighters joining forces. Most shonen fights just have one guy duking it out while his friends commentate while he's dying. The comedy balance is brilliant, and the tear jerker moments are incredible. It's also got the best portrayal of women in manga or anime, they are badass with a feminine touch. They show that women are not just there to settle differences between the Hero and Lancer. Volume 15 is one of the best-written volumes ever written. Arakawa took a massacre and made both sides sympathetic; you are shocked by the brutality of war, but you also feel sad for the Amerstrians as most of them clearly don't want to be there. The looks on the faces of Mustang, Hughes, Hawkeye, Armstrong, Marcoh, and Knox are incredible. Furthermore, it avoids the heavy-handed {{Fanservice}} and moralizing that can plague manga. [[GatewaySeries This is the series to introduce your friends to manga]], confident in the knowledge that there won't be an inappropriate PantyShot or saccharine GoldenMoment to put them off. In term of moralizing, it's also deals with forgiveness. The scene with Scar and Winry basically tells us, yes, sometimes something is unforgivable, but that doesn't meant that you can just have your revenge easily. Sometimes,even if you can't forgive, you should endure. Yet another thing that makes it great is that it humanizes the extras. It shows civilians going about their lives and presents soldiers as realistic characters. In this way, we see the world the heroes are working to save and want them to succeed.
** Let's just say Fullmetal Alchemist is one of the best Shonen manga ever and leave it at that.
** This troper does not believe there has yet been enough gushing about FMA. Not only does it include some far-reaching, deep themes and avoid many inane aspects of manga in general, but the premise is very creative, the plot is fantastic, and the characters are believable and likable. They even mature and change throughout the series, which is the mark of a truly talented author. Not to mention, when the BigBad's master plan was unveiled, this troper's mind was blown completely. It's a shounen series, so it's very unlikely that it'll have a DownerEnding, but... when this troper realized the magnitude of the villians' influence and intentions, for a while there, he wondered, just like the characters did: "How can the good guys win? How can they possibly overcome that?" The fact that [[spoiler: not only does victory now seem possible, but the author did it believably instead of shoving in a DeusExMachina]] makes the series even better.
** This series is ,imo, all about the characters. Every single one of them is interesting enough for their own spinoff series. Arakawa took great care giving all those friends and foes their own memorable moments in the finale. It allmost felt like Ed and Al got {{DemotedToExtra}} because there where just so many characters being amazing at the same time the heroes practically got lost in the shuffle, only to take center stage again for the final battle.
** The [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist first anime]] was good, but the manga is one of my favourite pieces of fiction that I have ever read). Consistant magic, great mythology, amazing continuity, sweet romances, hilarious when need be, believable, layered, sympathetic, human characters, badasses up the wazoo, has been upping the Holy Shit Quotient for TWO DAMN YEARS on a consistant, damn near exponential basis, protagonists that are intelligent and antagonists that force them to use every ounce of their merits, wonderful foreshadowing, great lore, subtly expansive and well-detailed world; Hiromu Arakawa, on the off chance you have suddenly learned perfect english and are visiting this site; well done, you are one of my favourite writers of all damn time.
*** Love, Love, Love FMA. Definitely one of my all time faves and in my opinion deserving all of the praise it gets. So many awesome, fantastic characters, great story, great art, filled to the brim with badassery, unique concept; I could go on but I think I (and my fellow FMA-lovers) have said enough.
* The Anime/FullmetalAlchemist anime is my all-time favorite anime. I just love it so much that I sometimes think it's a little unhealthy. I've watched it no less than four times, both dubbed and subbed, and I've bawled like a baby every single time. I love how it emphasizes personal repsonsibility, and how it has this sentimentality that seeps into every episode. I ''love'' how they dealt with the Homunculus, because it ties into the running theme of how one's actions have resounding consequences. I also adore how they explained the origin of alchemy's power, and I get warm fuzzies thinking about Edward Elric running around kicking Nazi ass. It just makes me so happy and sad and GAH. It's awesome.
** I had kind of avoided the series for a long while (only saw a few minutes of about three episodes, played two of the games which were straight-up average at best), but it's now that I'm finally sitting down and watching the full anime series with a friend. I'm actually quite shocked at how '''good''' it is--I want to give both Elric brothers a big hug, they're quite endearing and adorable protagonists.
** Seconded. I really appreciate that the writers for the show created such an original concept while still staying within the feel of the manga! What I appreciate the most though is how NEARLY EVERY SINGLE EPISODE MATTERED TO THE STORYLINE and that even the filler episodes were more entertaining than most anime series can pull off. I love both series and the manga, but the first anime will always have a special place in my heart.
* I just finished watching Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood. Do you know how long it took me to finish it? Three days. That's right, I stayed up all night and watched something like 20 episodes I was so involved in the storyline and it was worth it. I've seen stuff like Evangelion, Elfen Lied and Higurashi, read stuff like Song of Ice and Fire and 20th Century Boys yet none of them even come close to the awesomeness that is FMAB. Whats so great about it? Literally EVERYTHING, from the intelligent story and plot twists, to the creative world and its alchemy system and especially, it's likable, memorable characters. I think its one of those works of fiction which are just perfect in every way. You can make a case against many anime for being flawed but for FMAB, you can't as it is literally flawless. This was the only anime that made me cry, feel disturbed, laugh, be happy and angry all at the same time; its the only anime that made me crazy enough to jump up and clap for the characters and cheer on them outloud to win and its the only anime where I was COMPELLED to clap just because the story was so good, that whoever created it deserved a medal for creativity. Even if, and this is a huge if, even if the anime isn't the greatest work of fiction ever, it certainly is one of the greatest and the greatest work of fiction of the decade not to mention the greatest anime of all time. It is the story I always wanted to see as a kid and it finally came in the form of FMAB and it was perfect and more.
** Brotherhood is even better than the original, and that's saying a LOT. With a better ending that ends on a positive and emotional note, more character development (with almost no characters being left out- even YOKI of all people gets a crowning moment of awesome), higher quality animation, extremely well-composed (not to mention fitting) music, more intense fight scenes, several comedic scenes that don't feel out of place, and the fact it follows the manga very well, Brotherhood is a must see. It especially grows the beard during episode 19 when Roy Mustang gets one of the most memorable crowning moments of awesome of all time, and he only gets more badass from there. Even with 64 episodes, it feels like the fastest-paced show I've ever seen, which is a good reason why I'm proud to declare it my all-time favorite show.
* This series, in all its forms, has left me with feelings of utter happiness and sad nostalgia. The first anime left me in tears, from its broken characters to its themes of sacrifice, and I am proud to say I own all three soundtracks. Brotherhood reminded me that realism can coincide with optimism, and that family succeeds above all. And the manga... as mentioned above, it deserves to be crowned as ''one of'', if not ''the'', best works of fiction ever created. And yes, I melt when I hear [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfAEMal84ag Beuatiful Mother, soft and sweet; once you were gone, we were not complete. Back through the years we reached for you, alas, 'twas not meant to be...]]