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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Volume One, 8 Jun 2007
By 
T. R. Alexander (East Anglia, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fullmetal Alchemist 1 - The Curse [DVD] (DVD)
I had heard a lot about how good this series is and thankfully Fullmetal Alchemist more than lives up to its hype. The series follows the alchemist brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric as they search for a way to atone for the mistakes that left Alphonse bound to a suit of armour and cost Edward an arm and a leg, literally. Although the series doesn't really hit its stride until the next volume, the four episodes on this disc still better than many first episodes I have seen. The first two episodes see the brothers in a desert town where a priest is claming to be capable of bring people back from the dead. These episodes are entertaining but include some interesting subtext on the science vs. religion debate that add great depth and thought to the series. The following pair of episodes flash back to the brothers childhood giving both their history and the reasons for their current quest for the Philosophers Stone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The beginning of an anime classic, 1 Sep 2008
By 
J. Snook "Ichigo_2020 - Anime Buff" (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fullmetal Alchemist 1 - The Curse [DVD] (DVD)
This DVD kicks off the increasingly popular anime series full metal alchemist. Volume 1 contains 4 episodes. The basic story is that two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric fail to resurrect their mother from the dead after using human alchemy. Alchemy is basically the transformation of one thing into something else that has equal value and ingredients. They soon suffer the consequences of performing human alchemy as Alphonses body is destroyed and his soul is fused into a suit of armour and Ed sacrifices an arm and a leg. Ed is then equipped with a metal arm and leg and hoping to get their bodies back to normal, they both set off on an epic quest. What follows is a well made series that can be funny, action packed, scary and emotional. The two brothers are very likeable as Ed is very loud and outgoing and he always hilariously freaks out when someone makes fun of his shortness whereas Al is quite timid and rational, you notice that he has a tough time controlling his brothers rashness and bad temper.
The animation in this DVD is simply superb, most of the scenery is very bright and beautiful and this leads to the viewer wanting to carry on watching. The animation also successfully conveys the atmosphere of a particular scene whether it be tense or happy,etc
This DVD is one of the instances where I prefer the english dub. Even though the Japanese dub is good I think that sometimes the emotional scenes arn't as effectively portrayed as the english version. The DVD has few special features but the sheer brilliance of the episodes episodes themselves make up for that.
With its fun characters, interesting story and great action scenes, this is an essential purchase. FMA does not contain gratuitous violence, sex or language, therefore this results in an easy watch that you will most probably enjoy over and over again.
If you enjoy this, I suggest getting some of the other volumes as the story and characters develop further.
Full Metal Alchemist is an excellent anime and I would recommend it to any anime fan and even people who are not fans of the genre. If you are looking for an anime series that you have never watched before, why not try this, you may be pleasantly surprised!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb anime, and a good starter for newcomers to the genre., 25 Jun 2008
This review is from: Fullmetal Alchemist 1 - The Curse [DVD] (DVD)
Anime is somewhat difficult to get into if you're used to more.. western entertainment. I passed much of it off as kids cartoons, the likes of which you'll find on Cartoon Network et al - programs like Dragonball for instance. My viewpoint switched after watching Fullmetal Alchemist (FMA) for the first time. It was oddly gripping, a combination of excellent animation, great characters, a superb plot and many "adult" themes. By this i mean that it's not simply a cartoon, it deals with friendship, death, life and war. Make no mistake, FMA is by no means a happy anime series to watch. Whilst the humour is good, and there are a number of running jokes, there are many scenes that are genuinely thought provoking. Indeed, the plot twists and turns a lot yet the series finale manages to wrap it up well.

Now, the actual anime. It's centered around two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric who live in a world called Amestris. Amestris is a lot like our world, it's inhabited by humans, they've got guns, and they have wars. Timewise, it's a little hazy. Whilst there are motor cars and aircraft, there is a very varied amount of technology. This is in part due to Alchemy. An abstraction of olden day alchemy where men tried to turn lead to gold, alchemy works on the principle of equivalent exchange (much like the laws of thermodynamics in real world physics). To "transmute" something, you must offer something of equal value. Alchemists use this for a variety of techniques - from simply fixing broken items to awesome destructive power. However, the laws of alchemy forbid Human Transmutation and Alphonse and Edward find out the hard way when their mother passes away.

The botched transmutation loses Edward his right arm, and Al his entire body. The series follows the pair as they set out on a quest to return Al to his former body and to get Ed's arm back. So, Ed sets off to join the Military as a State Alchemist (a branch of the military who use alchemy against the enemy) to improve his knowledge. The overarching plotline is that of the Philosopher stone, a fabled object known to all alchemists - but passed off as myth by many. However, the stone does not come easily to those who want it - be it the imperialistic military or simply two brothers trying to make their world better. And so the plot thickens, as the shady background of the stone come to light, the brothers realise just what they're getting themselves into.

Yes, the plot is complicated, yes it can be confusing. But provided you keep at it, it's like a very good book that you can't put down. As other commentators have mentioned, it springs up many interesting debates about morality, religion and science and how they can coexist (or can't as the case may be).

One thing to bear in mind. The english dubbed version is inferior to the subtitled version. Simply because, whilst the actors are good, it doesn't sound nearly as good as the japanese actors. Ed sounds a lot less, well, american heroey in it. But hey, it's your choice.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Anime, 14 April 2007
By 
J. J. Hassan "Jj~" (UK, Durham) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fullmetal Alchemist 1 - The Curse [DVD] (DVD)
Before watching Full Metal Alchemist I wasn't exactly an anime or manga aficionado; I had dabbled in Cowboy Bebop and the Studio Ghibli Collection and had read some of the more popular manga. So I watched this completely unbiased.

The animation is superb, and suits the high level of movement of the characters perfectly. (Amongst the plot there are frequent, well choreographed, action scenes)

The story development is extremely deep and thought out, from political intrigue to subtle romance.

The characters themselves develop rather quickly, though bits of their history are thrown in throughout the series to deepen your understanding of why they are, the way they are.

With 51 episodes in all there was a lot of room for this, my only criticism would be the end of the series: Although it was a good ending, it raised a lot of new questions which annoyed me and the others who watched it with me. However there is a film coming out later this year which will explain this apparently

Overall I would recommend this to anyone who hasn't seen it. Just buy the first few DVDs (the story really gets going about episode 6) and enjoy ;).
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good start, 21 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Fullmetal Alchemist 1 - The Curse [DVD] (DVD)
I'm a new fan of the FMA franchise as a whole. I've done one of the things most people think is a bad idea - I watched Brotherhood from 2011 before the 2003 version!

I will say that it's a bit annoying to see the start of both anime's right to each other as they start in the same manner, but then they deviates a lot later on. I found the first four episodes entertaining, but compared to Brotherhood the pacing of the first episodes is kind of slow(due to that studio BONES didn't want to repeat themselves when making Brotherhood). But then again - almost every show has a kind of slow start because we need to have a foundation before the 'real' plot can begin.

All in all a good start and the animation is superb when you think about how old it actually is!
The cool thing is that the Japanese dub has the same voice actors in both version of the FMA animes. But the English dub has a different VA for Al(but Ed's VA in English is the still the same). Al's VA does an excellent job and is one of the roles where it actually is a 'real' young boy who is doing the voice acting instead of a woman. It's kind of refressing, because I think that female English VA's has a bit harder by sounding convincing as a boy compared to the Japanese VA's that almost always nails it.

Thanks for reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Maes Hughes, 16 Nov 2011
This review is from: Fullmetal Alchemist 1 - The Curse [DVD] (DVD)
best anime character in full metal alchemist maes hughes its worth buying just for him. absolutly amazing anime. the anime is one of the ebst anime's i have seen its 3rd on my list 2nd bleach 1st Naruto well worth buying.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy of Attention, 8 Sep 2008
By 
Mr. Daniel J. Coleman (Cardiff, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fullmetal Alchemist 1 - The Curse [DVD] (DVD)
Before watching this show i had lost all interest in anime. the last anime i watched was Dragonball Z when i was around 9 years old. but after the follow up show GT and the fact that british tv is not good for anime, i lost interest for many years.

However my freind said to watch this show, Fullmetal Alchemist and give it shot, and lent me a copy of this dvd. The show had me hooked by the end of the first episode. it was smart, funny yet serious, and truely blew me away, given the fact that i hadn't heard of it. the dvd is what got me into possibly the greatest anime for a extremely long time, if not, in history. the dvd is the beginning of the series, and while it's not too exciting as later on will be, it gets the series going really well, and it's worth buying. if you are or have ever been interested in anime and have not watch this before, buy tis dvd. it got me back into watching anime within 20 minutes, and deserves so much more popularity in the UK than it haves
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great new life changing anime for your collection, 27 Aug 2007
By 
M. P. Bloomfield "akuma" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fullmetal Alchemist 1 - The Curse [DVD] (DVD)
What can i say? This is absolutely amazing and its called Fullmetal Alchemist! First ill explaine the story and i apoligize if i get the story wrong. its about too brothers called Edward and Alphonse(most people call him Al) Elric. there both happy children who live with there mother but there dad ran off somewhere when they were young. Edward Elric is the older brother and Al is the younger. one day there mother dies somehow and the brothers try to bring her back to life using Alchemy. Alchemy is a wierd science-magic like combination. But they did it wrong so some thing fruesome happended... Edward lost his arm and leg and Allost his whole body!!! But thanks to edwards knowledge on Alchemy he was able to put Als soul into a body of armour and through out most of the series Al is a robot and thanks to winry (There friend) she was able make a robotic arm and leg for Edward. So now that they have messed up bodys the brothers are out to find the philopersers stone. With the stone they will be able to make there bodys back to normal. Thats pretty much what mostly goes on but there are other things going about in the world of Fullmetal Alchemist. there is loads of action in the first volume witch is very good becasue first volumes dont really have much action. ALthough there is one thing: While watching FMA PAY ATTSHION!!! or youll be confused because the story gets a little complicated at times. But other then that this is very good and you should try it.

The good parts:
loads of action
quite violent

the bad parts:
gets very complicated

So if you want a good anime to watch try this
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Fullmetal Alchemist 1 - The Curse [DVD]
Fullmetal Alchemist 1 - The Curse [DVD] by Seiji Mizushima (DVD - 2007)
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