This is coming from a person who has watched, read and collected over 100 animes and mangas in total. Fullmetal Alchemist is by FAR my absolute favorite, and I can barely put it into words why. But, for the sake of this, I'll try. The foreshadowing is absolutely BRILLIANT. Hiromu Arakawa somehow managed to foreshadow suprising dramatic elements throughout the entirety of the series, but simultaneously doesn't tip anyone off. Even things that made complete sense and were shown in retrospect, I did NOT see coming. I actually have a few specific examples of what I mean, but no way am I going to spoil them. The characters are amazing. They're all individuals and likeable, even those that are of not so high moral caliber. They're all given their own reasons for doing the things that they do, get their own arcs to some extent, and are explored fully. They're also suprisingly funny and memorable. The writing is gold. The plot is complex, but not so much that it's hard to understand; the humor, even when it is arguably misplaced given the situations, are hilarous; the tragedy is genuinely depressing as well. This series succeded in making me cry at least five times, and that is no easy feat. My favorite thing about the writing of both the Manga and Brotherhood is, by far, the fact that there is NO filler whatsoever. Don't get me wrong, filler can be funny and entertaining in some cases, but in my opinion it usually just wastes time. Not so for this series. Every chapter, even EXTRA chapters, are relevant and connect to the plot or characters' development in some way. Even the extra chapter about Hawkeye getting Black Hayate(her dog) is relevant in some way! It may make the story had to keep up with, but trust me, it's well worth it. Speaking of, the story is incredible. It's heartwrenching, engaging, and even frightening in some areas, but still allows for happy moments and optimism. Making a darker story that characters can still be optimistic in is amazing in itself. ...Dang it, I'm running out of room. All in all, I give both the anime and the manga a 10/10. Pick it up, you won't regret it.
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