****WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD****
Anyone who knows me well knows that I watch a lot of anime. Sure, there's a lot of different shows I've never seen, but who's counting? Anyway, I watch stuff from a lot of different genres and shows, and Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood falls into my top picks.
Unfortunately, I can't explain a show without giving spoilers so yeah...I'll try to avoid some major spoilers, but they might slip through anyway...
1. Thick, Complicated Plot
This week on Explain A Plot Badly: Mustang's group and the Elric brothers discover a plot to kill millions of people and work towards stopping it. Sounds really simple when you put it this way, but the reality is it's got a lot more layers than you could even imagine.
If you're paying attention, the foreshadowing starts in episode one. Some of it, you don't even realize it's there until you're re-watching the show.
3. Unveiling The Lies And Secrets
Part of this complicated plot is finding the secrets hidden in plan sight. Some of these secrets are hidden by lies placed in opportune moments. Like how the Ishvalan war began. One little lie changed the course of the entire nation.
This one word sums up the entire series. Everyone who discovers the truth is determined to stop the inevitable. Every character has something they can't sit back and watch.
5. Well Rounded Characters
It's difficult to pick a favorite character in this series. Every person has an intricate background. You can understand why everyone makes any action they take. By the end of the series, you even understand why the villains interact with the world the way they do. Every character is very real and you can begin to predict what they will do based on their individual personalities.
6. Strength Because Of Adversity
Many of these characters were forced to be strong. Ed and Al are prime examples of that. Think about it. Their dad walked out when they were toddlers, and they didn't get an explanation for a long time. Their mom gets sick and dies before either of them makes it to 12 years old. They made a terrible decision based on their inexperience in life, and were forced to live with the consequences. Now they are faced with with saving the world, because they can't just sit back and watch.
7. Brutal Honesty
Each character faces these situations with brutal honesty. Every emotion is very real and very raw.
No one is perfect. As such, some people have weaknesses and some are just plain picky. Example time! Ed refuses to drink milk because he hates how it tastes and Roy Mustang is useless on a rainy day.
9. Anger Problems
EDWARD ELRIC. And let's not forget Winry when she discovers that Ed has destroyed her precious automail. Again.
10. Trigger Words
Never call Ed short. Ever.
We have to remember that Ed is 15 and Al is 14. Because of this and the many situations they face, they need a lot more encouragement that they are unaware they need. They find it from enemies, like Scar and Greed. They find it from comrades, like Mustang and Hawkeye. Most of all, they find it from friends, like Winry and Ling.
12. Number One Dad Award
There are many great dads in anime history. Among their number include Ranka from Ouran High School Host Club, Spirit from Soul Eater, and of course Maes Hughes from FMA: Brotherhood. He's a doting father who loves his family to the point of embarrassment.
13. Unrelated Father Figure
Unbeknownst to both parties, Roy Mustang became a father figure to the Elric Brothers. Whether they liked it or not. In fact, Roy did everything he could to keep those boys safe, though they had a knack for finding trouble. This caused a lot of teenage angst directed towards Roy.
14. Number One WORST Dad Award
There are some pretty bad dads in anime history, but Shou Tucker pretty much tops the list. Some dads put work before their personal lives. This guy took that concept to a whole new level. As long as you don't pull a Shou Tucker, I don't think you have much to worry about.
As explained in the beginning of the series, Alchemy is based on science. The number one rule is Equivalent Exchange. In order to change one object to another with alchemy, you must use the same material. You can't get something from nothing. Thus, you need to know the chemical build up for anything you are disassembling and reassembling. There's a lot more science to it, but let's not go into all the complicated details.
The author carefully used bits of mythology in this series. When talking with Rose in Liore, Ed references Icarus flying too close to the sun. Chimera are creatures with three heads: a lion, a goat, and a snake, according to mythology. In this series, they are creatures that have been fused together using alchemy. The possibilities are endless and are still be explored. We also see humonculi, the philosopher's stone, and the concept of the Seven Deadly Sins, with the mythology altered to better fit the story. There are more details and more myths present if you're paying attention.
17. Major Armstrong
Many times, his presence is comedic relief. He literally rips his shirt off with his muscles every time he goes into a fight, while using alchemy to launch busts of himself at his enemies. His muscles and personality are so dazzling, there are literal sparkles that follow him everywhere. Did I mention Ed and Al are afraid of him?