(The Ink and Pixel Club is pleased to present a review of the episode “Sin” from the anime Fullmetal Alchemist by guest writer Aldrius.)
Fullmetal Alchemist is one of my favourite anime series. It’s got an enthralling plot, compelling characters, and it’ll break your heart three to four times per episode, mercilessly and thoroughly. The show revolves around two teenage boys who, in their hubris, attempted to bring their mother back from the dead through the science known as alchemy. alchemy is a powerful art which can transform one substance into another following the ideal of equivalent exchange: that what is created must come from something of equal value. When attempting and failing to bring their mother back from the dead (a forbidden practice) Ed and Al wound up losing parts of their bodies in the process. Ed lost his left leg and Al’s entire body was lost, forcing Ed to give his right arm in order to ‘pay’ to rescue Al’s soul and place it in a suit of armor. Soon after, Ed replaced his lost limbs with mechanical parts. Their goal throughout the series is not to bring their mother back as you may expect, but to get back what they lost in the attempt. They hunt for the Philosopher’s Stone, a mystical object which is said to allow an alchemist to bypass the rule of equivalent exchange. They believe the Stone will give them the power to restore their bodies.
The main thing that appeals to me about Fullmetal Alchemist is that it’s a show with a plot so ongoing it’s hard to say where one arc begins and one ends. The whole show feels like one big 6-7 hour movie. Characters grow and change. This becomes more and more apparent as the series progresses. I picked an episode that I felt covered the show’s themes well and showcased the complex and overarching storytelling that the series was capable of. The episode is called “Sin” and deals with the backstory of Izumi Curtis, the boys’ alchemy teacher, and the homunculus Wrath.