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Anime / Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa

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The Movie based off the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime continues from the end of that series and wraps up some of the anime's loose ends. The plot for the movie gives away plot details of that series' ending, if you haven't watched the show, know that spoilers for the series show up frequently in the tropes below.

The Conqueror of Shamballa contains movie-exclusive examples of the following tropes:

  • Alternate Universe: The world of Amestris apparently serves as one for our world, and the film's ending suggests that this might have happened only due to Ed and Al's involvement.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The movie sort-of sweetens the series' ending while pulling off a Bittersweet Ending of its own: Al regains his memories and reunites with Ed, the brothers choose to strand themselves on Earth to keep the Gate sealed forever, and Winry gets left behind in Amestris. Not to mention that Hitler and the Nazis continue to loom over the horizon.
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  • Bookends: After a Batman Cold Open, the film begins properly with a shot of Edward in our world, hitchhiking on a truck full of familiar characters. The film ends the same way, though with Alphonse and Noah joining Ed.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Ed just happens to see a man in a car who looks like Fuhrer Bradley, who just happens to be Fritz Lang, who just happens to be following rumors of a dragon holed up in a castle, which happens to be real, who happens to be Envy trapped in dragon form since he can't perform Alchemy in our world.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The... thing Gluttony turned into after eating Dante.
  • Finale Movie: The movie serves as the conclusion to the 2003 adaptation of Fullmetal Alchemist.
  • Ghostapo: The Thule Society with its mystic Nazi hijinks actually existed in real life, albeit minus the invasion of a parallel universe (they would have definitely wanted so). The connection to the Shamballa myth likely comes from the books of Chilean diplomat Miguel Serrano, who claimed that the Thule Society and the SS actually tried to use occult means to access a hidden land called Shamballa. (And according to Serrano, Hitler will someday return from Shamballa as a conqueror of the whole world.)
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  • Historical Domain Character: Fritz Lang and Karl Haushofer, who have quite the screen-time in the movie. Rudolf Hess and Adolf Hitler also show up for a few scenes.
  • Historical Hilarity: Fritz Lang shows up in The Movie and acts as a genial comic relief mentor to Ed. He correctly guesses that Ed is not a native of Earth and discusses the subject of parallel words with him at one point, wondering what his otherworldly double would be like. Ed gives him a sideways look but doesn't let on his counterpart is a genocidal war criminal dictator: King Bradley aka Pride. Makes sense, given that Lang was Jewish and his counterpart is basically the alternate universe version of Adolf Hitler.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Wrath and Alfons Heidrich. Though it's subtly implied that the former was also trying to commit suicide.
  • I Choose to Stay: Both Ed and Al choose to stay in our world, because they are the only ones who could prevent the portal from ever being used again..
  • Identical Stranger:
    • The Earth versions of several Amestrian characters: Fritz Lang (King Bradley), Maes and Gracia Hughes, Alfons Heidrich (Alphonse Elric), Noa (Rose) and the two gypsies driving the truck that pick Ed and Al up at the end of the movie (Scar and Lust).
    • Heidrich's coworkers are human versions of Greed's chimeras, and one of them bears a strong resemblance to Yoki.
    • A lookalike of Lyra appears to serve Ed and Fritz tea at one point. Since the Big Bad of the anime had been wearing Lyra's face for a good fifty percent of the series, Ed is rather shocked to see her. Alternate!Lyra, however, doesn't know this and seems rather offended at the sight of Ed gawking at her.
  • In the Past, Everyone Will Be Famous: Ed ends up accidentally meeting legendary director Fritz Lang, who serves as a minor character in the story, as opposed to a cameo.
  • Killed Off for Real: By the end of this movie, Izumi Curtis, Wrath, Gluttony, Hohenheim, Envy and Alfons Heidrich have bit the dust.
  • Mister Exposition: Fritz Lang.
  • No Ending: Ed and Alphonse decide to stay in our world to keep the gate closed and destroy the Uranium Bomb, and the film just kind of stops there. The Kids OVA gives some form of closure to Ed, but isn't an official continuation, according to Word of God, since the director prefers fans to imagine their own ending.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Everyone in the scenes set on Earth speaks without an accent, even though these scenes take place in the Weimar Republic. You can likely justify this trope, in that having the cast speak with German accents might distract from the plot (and that you could write it off as a case of Translation Convention).
  • Piggybacking on Hitler: The Nazis and Thule Society seem to be piggybacking on each other. The former see their Thule comrades' plans to open Shambhala/Amestris as a key in forging their thousand-year Reich while the latter generally considers them a grand distraction preventing the outside world from interfering with their scheme.
  • Real Is Brown: The Earth scenes look much more muted with a more realistic filter in contrast to the decidedly more vibrant Amestris.
  • Reflectionless Useless Eyes: After Alfons is shot, his eyes quickly turn a dull colour.
  • Roguish Romani: Many characters consider all Romani no-good thieves. Hughes warns Edward, who befriends several Romani, not to live with Noah because she'll probably steal from him and run off. In reality, she's not villainous but she's not entirely truthful with Edward either due to the racism she's received.
  • Sanity Slippage: Happens to Eckhart after she crosses the Gate. The fact that she becomes covered by black, tar-like abominations certainly doesn't help.
  • Save Both Worlds: From both the Thule Society and Nazis.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: Poor Envy is trapped in his dragon form in the real world, because alchemy doesn't work there.
  • Shown Their Work: Conqueror of Shamballa contains a fairly accurate portrayal of the political climate in 1920s Germany. Although it made some obvious deviations from the actual history, they clearly intended to do so. The filmmakers based scenes in Munich on photos taken from the city itself, and firearms used in those same scenes were models available (more or less) in 1923.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Izumi's health took a turn for the worse after the anime, and she passed away a few months before the events of the movie.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Their pre-Third Reich incarnation shows up alongside the Thule Society.
  • A True Story in My Universe: If The Movie and Kids OVA are anything to go by, it's implied that either the Elric brothers eventually had their experiences made into a movie in our world or their story inspired Arakawa to make the franchise in the first place. Alfons in the movie even lampshades it by suggesting to Ed that he become a novelist.

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