Survey: What is Fullmetal Alchemist?

Topic started by gia on April 22, 2009. Last post by JELEINEN 5 years ago.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13

It's published in a shounen manga magazine. It takes place in a fantasy world. Its view of alchemy is decidedly (fictionally) scientific. The story is as much a bildungsroman and a tale of redemption as it is an action adventure. Its characters buckle swashes, get spooked by monsters, and track down massive political intrigue.

Which makes it very, very difficult to really classify a series like Fullmetal Alchemist. I came upon a post earlier that referred to it as “steampunk,” which-- for that rare person who knows what steampunk is but isn't familiar with FMA –is both mildly accurate and also misleading, since (at least for me) “steampunk” calls to mind anime like Steamboy and films like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen or Wild Wild West-- much more retro than much of FMA.

I've also balked from referring to the series as “fantasy,” since for most people it calls to mind a more Tolkien-esque world of bow-and-arrow-wielding elves and lush forests than of gun-slinging army men who are also alchemists. Similarly, it's no traditional sci-fi of pointy-eared aliens and space ships, nor is it even a classic shounen with tournaments and massive blasts of ki.

I'm not happy with any other potential descriptions I've come up with so far-- “fantasy western” makes me think of cowboys with magic wands, and “action/adventure shounen” is too generic.

So! If you had to describe Fullmetal Alchemist in a short phrase, think no more than 3-5 words, how would you do it?

Also, don't forget to tune in to Anime Vice tomorrow at 10am for our Fullmetal Alchemist watching party thread at 10am CST! (Ah, shoot, I'm on the west coast now...that's 8am!)
Post by Zeouterlimits (516 posts) See mini bio Level 7
I'd call it early 20th century fantasy (/sci-fi).
Post by HeeroYuy (1,210 posts) See mini bio Level 12
Shounen series where scientific alchemists replace traditional scientists.

Personally I think it is definitely a shounen series at it's core.
Post by JELEINEN (49 posts) See mini bio Level 1
Just to be completely penantic, it's CDT right now due to daylight savings time.
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