Otaku News : US Edition Elfie - The Otaku News Mascot
Advanced Search
\ -


World Edition
UK Edition
US Edition
PSP Edition

Site Nav
Main Page
News Categories
DVD Reviews
Manga Reviews
Links We Like
Otaku News Shop

Site Info
About Otaku News
Link To Us
Contact Us

RSS Feed Details


Advert Space

/ \
Sponsored Link: Amazon.com
\ /

/ \

Fullmetal Alchemist - Season One Part One Box Set

Fullmetal Alchemist - Season One Part One Box Set
Review Date:
Reviewed By: Priss

Released By: FUNimation

Age Rating: 15

Region: 2 - UK
Volume: 1 of 3
Length: 390 minutes
Subtitles: English
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1

Buy from Amazon.com     Buy from Amazon.co.uk
Spanning the first 16 episodes, this new 4 disc edition features the first epic instalment of one of the most significant titles in the past 10 years of anime. The acclaimed animated adaptation of Hiromu Arakawa's alchemy adventure manga has excellent production values, courtesy of Bones - the studio holding such classics to their credit as Cowboy Bebop, Wolf's Rain, Ouran High School Host Club and Soul Eater.

Set in a world reminiscent of pastoral Europe of the early-mid 20th century, Fullmetal Alchemist presents a precarious state of human imbalance, beset by chaos and corruption. As society stands poised on the precipice of change, rural life clashes catastrophically with the industrial and the unrest burns between the military state and the people. The almighty schemes of the state are underpinned by intrigue, concealing connections to darker schemes and alchemical abominations.

The story follows the path of the Elric siblings, Edward and Alphonse, two alchemists who restlessly seek the Philosopher's Stone in hope of reclaiming the pieces of their shattered lives.

After attempting to resurrect their mother's lifeless body, the young brothers learn the cost of abusing fundamental alchemical law and the principal of "equivalent exchange". The practice of human transmutation is forbidden and their trespass costs them dearly, stripping away both flesh and innocence, as their childhood is immersed in a baptism of fire.

As the story traces their trials and travels through time as the boys search for the stone, an artefact of legend that is said to be imbued with sublime power and restorative properties.
Fullmetal Alchemist is one of those wonder works, widely publicised and internationally sensationalised. It was a franchise pushed to the fore by a fleet of major corporate backers ranging from Square Enix to Sony. Taking the anime world by storm in a massive operation of multimedia and merchandising does not necessarily guarantee greatness in a series itself. Fullmetal Alchemist, on the other, hand lives up to legend remarkably well an explosion of elements conjured from a formidable fusion of horror, psychological drama, comedy and adventure.

Fullmetal Alchemist - Season One Part One Box Set

While conceptually profound and often harrowing, the series manages to create a watching experience that is remarkably well balanced. For all the abject endurances the Elric brothers face, their adventures are charming, exciting and are lifted by an abundance of humour.

Fullmetal Alchemist - Season One Part One Box Set

Bringing the story to life is an extensive cast of characters, all of which are fiercely individual, diverse and totally vivacious.

Fullmetal Alchemist - Season One Part One Box Set

Edward, the elder brother is an alchemist of the state duty bound to the military, a position he adopts to gain access to the greater secrets he seeks. The title of Fullmetal Alchemist, by which he is officially known is not without its irony, for Edward possesses a principally human body of flesh and bone, optimised by metallic prosthetics, unlike the younger brother Alphonse. Al, who by comparison is a gentle soul, is a young boy whose spirit is incongruously bound to a hefty suit of armour. This imposing vessel stands empty but moves with the life and will milder Alphonse (who often uses its cavernous interior to foster lost kittens). Travelling as a duo, therefore, creates the crux of confusion, for Edward, who is young and... shall we say... rather diminutive in stature (and highly sensitive about the fact) is often overlooked as people turn to Al as the obvious embodiment of a Fullmetal Alchemist. Ed is affronted and rage ensures, regularly.

On their adventures, Ed and Al encounter a world of unrelenting opponents that rise from corruption within realms of power, to the war torn survivors of genocide. Murderers and madmen are entwined with the shadowy forces at work behind the scenes, beckoning the boys yet deeper into the darkness. Hailing the first wave of lower level adversaries in the set are sexy phantom thieves, impostors, train hijackers providing plenty of amusement.

Fullmetal Alchemist - Season One Part One Box Set

Secondary characters storm in to support the brothers and shape their experience of a scattered world as they lead transient lives.

Regular appearances from their hometown are cute childhood friend Winry and her Granny Pinako, a pair with personalities that pack a punch as potent as the automail prosthetics they engineer for Edward.

Fullmetal Alchemist - Season One Part One Box Set

Their military adventures are flanked by comrades such as the enigmatic Roy Mustang - a flame wielding ladies man, devoted daddy and family man soldier Maes Hughes and the sharp-shot no nonsense Riza Hawkeye, Roy's right-hand woman. The set also sees the introduction of the sparkling Major Armstrong (one man who lives up to his lineage and title with gusto).

The narrative timeline slips from past to present, piquing interest, raising questions to always keep you guessing and eager for more.

Fullmetal Alchemist - Season One Part One Box Set

The set boasts two outstanding voice casts with the delights of dual languages and hosts an array of extras, including music videos and production art.

For one neat and tidy introductory package, the set is an exceptional box of tricks. I make no hesitation in recommending this title and for anime fans in general and to old time devotees, who will know that the complexity and richness of the adventure easily accommodates secondary viewings.

Rating: 9/10
\ /


Recent News
World's Largest Collection of CardCaptor Sakura Merchandise
Evangelion Ring Watch Details
An Interview with Toshimichi Mori of Arc System Works
An Interview with Katsura Sunshine
ReedPOP Acquires UK MCM Comic Con
RWBY Volume 5 - Premieres October 14, 2017 on Rooster Teeth FIRST
Silent Manga‚Äč Audition Round 9
An Interview with Masaaki Yuasa
An Interview with Danny Choo
An interview with Tim Clark the Curator of Hokusai: beyond the Great wave at the British Museum

Recent DVD Reviews

Shin Godzilla
Shin Godzilla
One Punch Man Collection 1
Digimon Adventure Tri
Nisekoi: False Love (Season 2 Complete)
Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions - Heart Throb (Blu-ray)
When Marnie Was There
Sound Euphonium! (Streaming 1-14)
Golden Time Part 2 (Blu-ray)
Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie
Terror In Resonance (Blu-ray)

DVD Review Archive

Links We Like
Helen McCarthy's Blog
Lego Howl's Moving Castle
Emma Vieceli's Workblog
Jet Arts
AnnaTheRed's Bento Factory
Tokyo Mango

Link Archive

Essential Reading
Anime News Network
Pirate Anime FAQ
Otaku Calendar

Johnny Wander
Three Panel Soul

Dead Tree Magazines
Giant Robot
Neo Magazine UK
Otaku USA
Shonen Jump
Protoculture Addicts

Anime Companies
Bandai Entertainment
Manga Entertainment
Media Blasters
Urban Vision

Manga Publishers
Dark Horse Comics
GEN Manga
Kodansha Comics
Yen Press

US DVD Retailers
Akadot Retail
DVD Empire
DVD Planet
Right Stuf
Tower Records

Import Retailers
CD Japan
Tokyo Otaku Mode

/ \
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners.
Everything Else ©2002-2018 Otaku News