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Anime / Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa

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The Movie based off Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) 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 alchemic world of Amestris is one for our world; it's unclear which one is the original world in-universe.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The movie ends with Ed and Al driving off in search of the uranium bomb, as part of a vow to do their part and make their new home a better, safer place.
  • Batman Cold Open: The movie begins with an action sequence set during Ed and Al's search for the Philosopher's Stone note  where they battle a Mad Scientist named Huskisson who's created a Uranium bomb.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The movie sort-of sweetens the series' ending while pulling off a Bittersweet Ending of its own: While Al regains his memories and reunites with Ed, the brothers choose to strand themselves on Earth to keep the Gate sealed forever, meaning they'll never see Winry or any of their other friends in Amestris again. Not to mention that Hitler and the Nazis continue to loom over the horizon.
  • Book Ends:
    • 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.
    • The montage recapping the 2003 show's most important moments throughout the opening credits. It opens with a reprise of Ed and Al's fateful, failed transmutation of Trisha and closes with Ed's fateful transmutation of himself in the series finale.
    • The Elric brothers’ journey began with them burning down their home to ensure there would be no turning back. This film ends with them sealing themselves on the other side of the gate and heading off for new adventures in our world
  • 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.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: The OVA's contrast between Earth and Amestris extends to capturing the less savory aspects of 1920s Weimar Germany, including the anti-semitism and bitter resentment that would eventually propel the Nazis into power.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Played for laughs when Ed blows up the Castle of Science in the Batman Cold Open. Ed being Ed, he didn't think about how he and Al were actually going to get off the artificial island until after he'd already started the sinking (or the accompanying risks to Al's blood seal due to all the water and no boat).
  • Eldritch Abomination: The... thing Gluttony turned into after eating Dante.
  • Evil Counterpart: Our world's version of Hughes signs up with the Nazis.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Roy Mustang has taken to wearing one since he lost his right eye to Archer in the series finale; it serves to further contrast him with Führer Bradley/Pride.
  • Finale Movie: The movie serves as the conclusion to the 2003 anime adaptation of Fullmetal Alchemist.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Effectively invoked. While the Beer Hall Putsch is doomed to fail, various background hints all point to the Nazis' eventual rise to power, regardless of what Ed and Al do.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The Castle of Science's steam tanks that Ed sabotages to sink it. Just before they blow, if you look carefully, you can see Ed drew an unflattering doodle of Mustang's face on one of the tanks.
  • Good Counterpart: Fritz Lang is much more helpful to Ed than King Bradley/Pride was.
  • 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 to though). 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.)
  • Grand Finale: For the 2003 series and its era of the franchise.
  • Heroic BSoD: Roy's fallen into this during the interim since the series finale. The toll of the revelations, losses, and injuries from the series have caused Roy to resign his commission and enlist as a common soldier on the edges of Amestrian territory. He's also refused to use his Flame Alchemy again since the fight with Pride.
  • He's Back!:
    • Roy snapping out of his 2-year Heroic BSOD and taking command of the defense of Central City during Eckhart's invasion. The trope even gets mentioned in-story by his own allies.
    • Ed likewise quickly shows that 2 years away from Amestris and being unable to use alchemy haven't dulled his transmutation abilities and skills.
  • 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..
  • I Should Write a Book About This: Alfons teasingly suggests to Ed early on that he should write a book about his adventures. In the Kids OVA, at least, he does.
  • 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 Roma 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.
  • It's Personal: Implied with Gluttony when Alphonse and Wrath encounter him in the Underground City. Despite Dante reducing him to a mindless state in the closing episodes, Gluttony does seem to recognize Wrath on some subconscious level (and with it, the implication he remembers that it was Wrath who killed Lust). It's telling that Gluttony ignores Al entirely during the ensuing battle and focuses all of his rage and attacks on Wrath and Wrath alone.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • By the end of this movie, Izumi Curtis, Wrath, Gluttony, Envy, Hohenheim, and Alfons Heidrich have bit the dust.
    • It's also retroactively, albeit implicitly, confirmed that Dante was on the losing end of her and Gluttony's scuffle in the elevator in the series finale. It's even possible that the pair of legs dangling from the front of Gluttony's monstrous form are what's left of Dante's body.
  • 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, though sharing many of the same views, 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 to possess the power lurking at the other side of the gate.
  • Previously on…: A variation. The Opening Credits are interlaced with footage from the 2003 series, recapping some of the show's most iconic and relevant moments (and leading up to Ed's fateful transmutation in the 2003 series finale).
  • 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, especially as she realizes how powerful alchemy is. 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.
  • Series Continuity Error: The movie seems to indicate that Al was restored to his 10-year-old body in 1914, given that he is said to have forgotten the four years he traveled with Ed, and is 13 by the events of the movie in 1917. However, the anime itself indicates this would occur in 1915, given that Ed has already turned 16 and the events of Liore are said to have occurred "last year."
  • 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.
  • Title Montage: The title sequence of the movie mixes stylized drawings of the characters with footage from the series, such as Ed's battles with Scar and Greed or his final transmutation to revive Al in the finale, all scored to "Link" by L'Arc-en-Ciel.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Their pre-Third Reich incarnation shows up alongside the Thule Society.
  • Trash the Set: Dante's Underground City is all but demolished between Wrath and Gluttony's battle and the Thule Society incursion's passage through the Gate. Central City also likewise gets seriously wrecked by Eckhart's invasion forces.
  • 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.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: The creators of Conqueror of Shamballa showed their work in depicting Munich in 1923. The Thule Society was a real Nazi secret society trying to enter an unknown land called "Shamballa", and the Nazi meeting Edward stumbles into was based off the Munich Beer Putsch. However, much criticism of the movie accuses the film of perpetuating the All Germans Are Nazis stereotype, suggesting many Fullmetal Alchemist fans were not familiar with this period of German history or the references to it.
  • Villain Decay: Envy goes from the deadliest Homunculus in the series to being totally sidelined and disposed of by the Thule Society.