Fullmetal Alchemist (鋼の錬金術師, Hagane no Renkinjutsushi, lit. "Alchemist of Steel"), commonly abbreviated as FMA or Hagaren, is an ongoing Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa. The story centers around a fictional universe in which alchemy is one of the most advanced scientific techniques, resulting in different technological developments. The world of Fullmetal Alchemist is based on the countries of Europe during the Industrial Revolution period as well as several experiences from the author's life. The plot follows the adventures of two brothers, alchemists named Edward and Alphonse Elric, who want to recover parts of their bodies they lost in an attempt to bring their mother back to life.
The manga is serialized in Square Enix's Monthly Shōnen Gangan magazine and was adapted into an animated television series and a movie sequel. The manga is still running in Japan, and nineteen bound volumes have been released so far, while sixteen have been released in the United States. The anime, on the other hand, is finished, and consists of fifty-one episodes and a full-length movie sequel, which have been released in English in all English-speaking DVD regions. In addition, there are several spin-off novels, original video animations (OVAs), and video games. Merchandising of Fullmetal Alchemist, such as collectible card games, action figures, soundtracks, and supplementary books, have also been released. Concert performances of the series have also been made in Japan during December 2004.
The franchise has seen high popularity in both Japan and North America. As of March 2008, the Fullmetal Alchemist manga has sold over 30 million volumes in Japan. The English release of the manga's first volume was the top-selling graphic novel during the year 2005.The series' animated adaptation won the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize in 2003. In two TV Asahi web polls, the anime was voted #1 most popular anime of all time in Japan. It was nominated in six of the eight categories for which it was eligible at the American Anime Awards in February 2007, winning awards in five of them.
19 June, 2008