Fullmetal Alchemist

"Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. That is Alchemy's first law of Equivalent Exchange. In those days, we really believed that to be the world's one, and only, truth."
-Alphonse Elric

This is a story of the loss of a loved one and how far someone will go to get that loved one back.  Edward and Alphonse Elric are brothers who lived alone with their mother after their father left them.  When she died, the grief struck brothers decided to use Alchemy, a magical science, to bring her back.  Unfortunately, they forget about the law of Equivalent Exchange, making the brothers fall to pieces.  Ed looses his leg while Al looses his entire body.  Ed gives up his right arm to anchor Al's soul to a suit of armor. In order to retrieve their bodies, they must set off in search of the Philosopher's Stone, a relic that can bypass the laws of alchemy.

These are the Elric Brothers (from left to right: Alphonse, the younger brother, and Edward, the older brother) before they lost their bodies.

This is Edward present day.  You can't really see it, but his left leg and right arm were lost when he tried to bring his mother back with alchemy and when he anchored his brother's soul to a suit of armor, respectfully.  They have been replaced by automail, a fully articulated prosthetic limb made of metal.  In alchemy, you have to draw the circle to weave your mojo.  Not Ed; he can create the circle just by touching his hands together.  Here's what I'm talking about:

Wasn't that something?  It cuts short, but you can tell that something cool is about to happen.  This skill landed him a position as a licensed State Alchemist, allowing him to gain access to any alchemy research there is, and gaining the title of Fullmetal Alchemist.  Not too shabby for a kid who was about twelve years old at the time.  To conclude on Ed, here's three things you should never say to him:

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Never talk about his mother

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Never chime in your assumption on the reason why he has the automail limbs

and finally

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NEVER, under any circumstances, comment on his height.

This is Alphonse, much different from the picture up above.  As mentioned before, Ed had to anchor Al's soul to this suit of armor, because when he and Ed tired to bring their mother back, Al lost his entire body instead of just one limb.  Because of his hard shell, everyone believes he's the Fullmetal Alchemist.  Really he's just a little boy stuck in a hulking frame.  He can do Alchemy as well, but not like his brother.  He actually has to draw the circle.  He's also very strong and nothing can hurt him (short of an alchemically powered arm).

This is Winry Rockbell, long time friends of the Elrics.  She's an automail engineer who built Ed's automail arm and leg.  She shows up from time to time to either fix Ed's limbs or just pop in for a flashback.

Roy Mustang is a Colonel in the State Army.  He made the recommendation that Ed try out for the State Alchemist Exam.  He's all serious and no nonsense.  He's also known as the Flame Alchemist, wielding special gloves that creates a spark whenever he snaps his fingers.  He can then control that flame to do some major property damage.

And what's an anime without the token antagonist.  This cheerful feller goes by the name Scar (guess why he's got a name like that, and you win a cookie.  A real cookie, by the way.  Not a computer cookie).  His life's a total mystery, but you shouldn't worry about his past, especially if you're a State Alchemist.  Because if you are, you should avoid this cat at all costs.  He has this strange notion that State Alchemists are angering his god.  So with his alchemically powered right arm (yes, that same one I mentioned before), he goes around killing State Alchemists and abominations like Chimeras (that'd be a bunch of animals fused together as one animal).  Soon he goes gunning for the Elrics, blasting off half of Al's body and making Ed left handed (he destroyed his right arm, you get the picture)

Between Scar, Evil Homunculi, and misguided Alchemists, Ed and Al have their work cut out for them to find the Philosopher's Stone.  For more information on this amazing anime, watch Fullmetal Alchemist on Cartoon Network, Saturdays at 11:30 PM.  Also, buy the first two volumes of the Anime on DVD and the first volume of the Manga that inspired the Anime, now on sale.

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