Fullmetal Alchemist (2003 IMDb)

Categorization

Steampunk fantasy shounen. Year-long TV series.

Subject

The early 20th century in a world similar to our own, but where alchemy provides superhero powers and automail prosthetics are available to compensate for the costs of failures in forbidden alchemy. Two young brothers who've lost much of their bodies to their own attempts are questing to find the philosophers' stone, because it would give them another shot at human transmutation.

Commentary

Excessive superpowers, good music and character designs, and quite effective combination of moods. Good humour too, some of it probably unintentional (one enemy is destroyed through evaporation after she's been transmuted into ethanol). I saw episode 36 during its initial airing in Japan.

Japanese production animation series

Sequel:

Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa (2005 IMDb)

Categorization

Cinematic feature.

Subject

The brothers are still stuck in separate worlds after two years, but things begin to stir in Edward's parallel reality. Fortunately, the director of Siegfried makes an excellent sidekick.

Commentary

Nice film-historical jokes. The budget doesn't go all the way, the music is dull, there is not much closure and the villain is simply evil, but much of the spirit remains. The original title, Shanbara wo iku mono, can be misread as meaning “The Tax Collectors of Shamballa”.

References here: “Don't mention the war!”.

Japanese production animation movie