Click here to return to the main site.

DVD Review

DVD cover

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood
Part One - Episodes 1-13


Starring (voice): Rie Kugimiya and Romi Park
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: 15
Available 23 August 2010

Alchemy: the mystic science of transmutation. Gifted alchemists can break down and reconstruct matter using the ‘Law of Equivalent Exchange’, creating miraculous things. But one taboo can never be broken - human transmutation. The Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse, broke the taboo in an attempt to resurrect their late mother and as a result lost everything. Al’s disembodied soul was transferred to a suit of living armour while Ed lost two of his limbs, an arm and a leg. To recover what they’d lost they embarked on a journey to find the fabled Philosopher's Stone. The closer they get to the hidden truth of the Philosopher's Stone, the deeper they fall under shadowy schemes and the perils of unnatural creatures...

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (originally called Hagane no Renkinjutsushi: Fullmetal Alchemist in Japan) is a 64-episode (and three OVA) anime series directed by Yasuhiro Irie (who served as animation director on the 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist series) and written by Hiroshi Ōnogi (Heat Guy J, Mobile Suit Gundam).

This is the second Fullmetal Alchemist series to be produced by animation studio Bones, but unlike the 2003-04 series this 2009-10 series follows Hiromu Arakawa's manga series a lot more closely.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood: Part One contains the show's first 13 episodes.

Episode 1, Fullmetal Alchemist, Edward and Alphonse Elric are on the hunt for a rogue State Alchemist known as the "Freezing Alchemist" due to his ability to control water. Edward suspects that the Freezing Alchemist is using a Philosopher's Stone - an artefact that is the brothers best hope of returning their bodies to normal.

Episode 2, The First Day, explains the origins of the Elric brothers and how Al's soul was merged to a suit of armour and Ed lost an arm and a leg.

Episode 3, City of Heresy, sees the brothers arrive in Liore in order to check out Father Cornello, who it is claimed can perform miracles including raising the dead. Is it possible that Father Cornello is in possession of a Philosopher's Stone?

Episode 4, An Alchemist's Anguish, sees the first appearance of Scar - a mysterious individual who is killing State Alchemists. Meanwhile the Elric brothers visit Shou Tucker the "Sewing-Life Alchemist" so that they can do research in his library in order to gain more information on turning themselves back to normal. While there they befriend Nina and the family dog. With his yearly examination coming up for review by the State Alchemists, Tucker is desperate to show he's achieved something special in the last year. Unfortunately the price may be a little too high.

Episode 5, Rain of Sorrow, and Scar has tracked down the Elric brothers and plans to kill Ed. During the fighting Al's suit is partially destroyed and Ed's arm and leg are damaged.

Episode 6, Road of Hope, and the brothers, along with super tough State Alchemist Armstrong, set off to Resembool in order to get Winry to patch Ed up. On the way Armstrong spots a man he recognises as a missing State Alchemist and doctor who during the Ishbal War conducted research on biological alchemy. The trio decide to make a quick stop and find the doctor in order to ask him for any help in transforming the Elric brothers, before they rejoin the train and head to Winry and her grandmother's in order to patch Ed up.

Episode 7, Hidden Truths, with Ed's automail as good as new (although Winry discovers she's left an integral bolt out) the Elric brothers head back to Central to visit the library where Dr Marcoh's notes are hidden. Oddly the library has recently suffered a fire, but the Elric brothers are directed to Sheska, a file clerk who claims she memorised all of Marcoh's notes. The notes are encrypted, but Ed finally works out how to create a Philosopher's Stone... but he doesn't like what he finds.

Disc 2 opens with Episode 8, The Fifth Laboratory, and the Elric Brothers enter the apparently closed down government laboratory. The place is guarded by two alchemists - both of whom are similar in design to Al. While everyone fights, one of the guards convinces Al that he may not be real after all, but a puppet manufactured by his brother.

Episode 9, Created Feelings, and Al is still trying to work out if he's real or not. Winry also turns up to fix Ed's arm.

Episode 10, Separate Destination, and the brothers set off to Dublith to find their old teacher. When Winry hears they are going near Rush Valley, the world central for automail freaks, she talks them into letting her come along. Hughes decides to do a little digging around to see what the government knows about the fifth laboratory and comes face to face with Envy.

Episode 11, Miracle at Rush Valley, and as the Elric brothers and Winry look around Rush Valley, a pickpocket steals Ed's State Alchemy pocket watch. The track down the thief and discover that she also has automail body parts. Winry is so impressed by the workings that she asks the maker if she can stay on and be his apprentice.

Episode 12, One is All, All is One, and the Elric brothers finally track down their old teacher, Izumi. We revisit Ed and Al's training and then Izumi reveals that she too once attempted human transmutation.

Episode 13, Beasts of Dublith, and the brothers meet Greed, a homunculus. It's another fight to the death as Greed takes the two brothers on. Meanwhile the hunt is on, by the State Alchemists, to capture Scar and bring him in for questioning.

Extras include audio commentaries on episodes 1 and 10 as well as textless opening and closing titles. Audio options are a little disappointing while the American dub is available in 5.1 surround, the far superior original Japanese soundtrack is only available in stereo.

Fans of the original manga will love this series as it's closer to the original source than the previous series. And equally, those that bought the original series will enjoy this new series too. There are elements of crossover between the two but so far, on balance, this is a much more polished affair and has a much better balance of humour and tragedy.


Darren Rea

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£14.99 (
£14.99 (
£14.99 (
£17.47 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.