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Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 3: Equivalent Exchange

1 rating: 3.0
A movie directed by Seiji Mizushima

The action anime series FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST explores epic themes of hubris, personal transformation, and spiritual quests through the tragic story of two grievously wounded siblings. While attempting to resurrect their dead mother through the forbidden … see full wiki

Director: Seiji Mizushima
Release Date: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
1 review about Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 3: Equivalent...

To obtain,

  • Sep 18, 2006
Rating:
+3
Pros: Finally caught back up to present day.

Cons: Still dunno about Japanese Ed and Al.

The Bottom Line: I like the whole alchemy aspect, but I'm still not totally enthralled.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.

It’s volume 3 of Fullmetal Alchemist. If you didn’t start from the beginning, you, uh, really should. Watching them out of order doesn’t quite work. There are too many little connections you need to be aware of in order to understand everything that’s going on.

There are 51 episodes, and with about 4 episodes per volume that brings us to roughly 12 (probably 13) volumes in total. Good times for all.

Edward and Alphonse Elric (guh, I still get them confused) are young boys (Ed: 15, Al: 14) who are searching for the Philosopher’s Stone. Because of a failed human transmutation, they’ve lost much when it comes to their bodies. Alchemy requires the law of equivalent exchange, but with the stone, they can bypass the laws and hopefully regain what they’ve lost. The only way to gain information about the elusive Philosopher’s Stone is to access the State Alchemy Library, and now that Ed is a State Alchemist, complete with watch and new name of Full Metal (hence the name of the series), they can do their research. That’s our basic storyline – but of course, what’s a basic storyline without plenty of subplots? Whoohoo!

Episode 9: Looks like Ed has his first mission as a State Alchemist – investigate a coal mining town and the coal they produce. All seems well when they arrive, but the moment the people find out Ed is a State Alchemist they toss him out on the streets. A lot of people seem to not like the military – but why not? Maybe Ed can change their minds.

Episode 10: And so we’re finally caught up to where episode #1 began, with Edward at age 15 and Alphonse at 14, their names beginning to spread and become popular with the common folk. On their way back from Lior, they stop off at another little city and once more find themselves in charge of a problem – this time it’s a thief, whose specialty happens to be alchemy.

Episode 11: After receiving a small bit of information about a possible lead to the Philosopher’s Stone, Ed and Al head off to yet another town suffering from a bad economic system (seems to be a trend…). Sounds like the information was right as the name Magwar comes up right alongside the mention of the Philosopher’s Stone. But what is all this strange talk of the real Elric brothers?

Episode 12: Ed and Al search for answers concerning the stone and the strange Elric brothers. They find a lot of false things, and the only real factor is that many children in the city are sick, and that sickness is caused by one thing. It is now up to Ed and Al to stop all the ill-fated research going on.

The Test Results Are In!
I think they’re doing a pretty awesome job of incorporating all this alchemy stuff into the series. Granted, I’m sure that’s not how old school alchemists worked, but do we care? Psh, no. I always did think alchemy was an intriguing science (if it can actually be called that). I look forward to the appearance of the Philosopher’s Stone – that is, if it ever shows. And I’m real curious as to the motivations behind Lust – whoever she is. I know she’s not normal, but other than that, I’m at a loss.

Animation? Despite my early quirks with the style, I’m quite accustomed to it now. I’m always amused when Ed gets mad at people calling him short and his character gets exaggerated, or the same for Al when he gets that really simple look on his face. You really have to see it to understand what I mean, but it’s hard to miss once you do.

Voices – I prefer the English version. When it comes to the English voice actors (VAs), though it took me a while to get used to Ed and Al, I enjoy them now. All the other characters work out rather well, so I don’t really have any complaints here at all anymore. As for the Japanese version, even though Ed and Al are both done by women that are easily identifiable, ironically before I was able to overlook Ed and be slightly annoyed by Al. Now, though, for some reason I’m focusing more on Ed and leaving Al alone. It’s quite odd. That’s not to say that I ignore Al completely, no, there are still times when I catch myself thinking “Mmph,” because of the girlishness of the tone. Everyone else though, just like in the English version, they work well, and I have no qualms about them.

Though like every other anime series, there’s the opening and closing songs, but so far nothing too memorable. I like the closing song better than the opening one. I’m waiting for the opening we get from the ones on TV. I do, however, really love the instrumental music during the episodes – it’s really beautiful. I :heart: piano and string compositions.

As for viewer age there is mostly violence going on in here, but it’s not too strong, as well as a bit of swearing here and there (mostly by Ed), but that’s about it. I think in some ways that if you let your kid watch a Harry Potter movie, then they’re good to go for this.

Episodes in this Volume:
Episode 9: Be Thou for the People
Episode 10: The Phantom Thief
Episode 11: The Other Brothers Elric, Part 1
Episode 12: The Other Brothers Elric, Part 2

NT

Earlier Volumes:
Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 1: The Curse
Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 2: Scarred Man of the East

Future Volumes:
Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 4: The Fall of Ishbal
Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 5: The Cost of Living
Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 6: Captured Souls
Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 7: Reunion on Yock Island
Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 8: The Altar of Stone
Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 9: Pain and Lust
Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 10: Journey to Ishbal
Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 11: Becoming the Stone
Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 12: The Truth Behind Truths
Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 13: Brotherhood

Recommended:
Yes

Viewing Format: DVD

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