Lately there haven’t been a lot of interesting titles jumping out at me on Netflix lately, so I decided to revisit a classic anime series. This one started as a manga series that sold over 70 million copies worldwide, eventually becoming a best-seller. It tells the tale of two ambitious boys looking to bring there mother back after a disastrous attempt of alchemy. I’m talking about Fullmetal Alchemist.
Fullmetal Alchemist chronicles brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric on their journey to search for the philosopher’s stone. After losing their mother Trisha to an illness, they work to bring back her mother through alchemy. They attempt to bring their mother back, but a dangerous mistake causes Ed to lose his right arm and left leg while Alphonse’s soul was placed into a suit of armor. Ed gets fixed up through automail and joins his brother on the quest to search for the Philosopher’s Stone.
The underlying story revolves around seeking out the Philosopher’s Stone, a powerful stone that can bypass the laws of Equivalent Exchange. Ed and Al search relentlessly for any clues about how to create the Philosopher’s Stone, only to find some hidden surprises along the way. But within the major story lies a fictional PR nightmare revolving around the State Military, the nation of Ishbal, and a group of Homunculi.
So the story goes like this – the nation of Ishbal was being invaded by the State Military. Orders were set out to fight a war against the Ishbalans. There was even a Ishbalan Massacre where many people were slaughtered in a matter of days. Soldiers were told that Ishbalans ignited the war, but the story went MUCH deeper than that.
All of these orders were set off by Führer Bradley, who happened to be – WAIT FOR IT – the Homunculi Pride. Führer Bradley, the leader of the State Military, was a Homunculi all this time. He was working alongside with Envy, Sloth, Wrath, Lust, Greed, and Gluttony. What’s even more shocking is that Juliet Douglas (A.K.A. Sloth) was working alongside Führer Bradley the whole time. Better yet, the entire State Military was working with the Homunculi the whole time.
Not only did they start the war on Ishbal, but they even took many of them as prisoners as well. Those prisoners were placed into Laboratory Five where they were used to recreate the Philosopher’s Stone. They would then use the Philosopher’s Stone to cause even more destruction towards its enemies.
Of course, the State Military did everything they could to cover up the story. They never wanted anyone knowing that the Philosopher’s Stone exists or what they were using it for. It got to a point where Captain Maes Hughes was shot by Envy after getting to close to the source. All of this just to keep the secret about the Philosopher’s Stone hidden from everyone. It’s just like the old myth says – you fly too close to the sun and you come crashing down on the earth.
Just…wow. I am amazed at the level of depth this PR nightmare went throughout the season. The main plot comes with a powerful storyline, but the PR nightmare around the State Military is just absolutely brilliant.
There are some amazing stories in anime these days and Fullmetal Alchemist is a great example of that. Fullmetal Alchemist is so much more than about two boys looking to bring their mother back – it’s a disturbing tale about the Philosopher’s Stone and the lengths people took to obtain it. So much war and chaos went into the Philosopher’s Stone throughout the series. I’m not sure which is more bizarre – what people did with the Philosopher’s Stone or the actions they took to keep it secret from everyone else.
In the end, Fullmetal Alchemist was definitely worth watching all over again. It was shocking to watch the hidden PR nightmare unfold in front of my eyes. This storyline featured many twists and turns around every episode.
If you’re looking for a good anime with a crazy PR nightmare, definitely check out Fullmetal Alchemist on Netflix.