1. It's been over 15 years since Hiromu Arakawa published the first chapter of her massively popular manga series (artwork by Alexandre Chaudret)

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2. Since then, millions of fans have grown up loving the unique world she built and the colorful characters she created. (cosplay by Warrior Within)

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3. Both anime adaptations were high-octane, action-filled adventures, though most prefer Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood for its more faithful translation of the original comics (and thus, more deliberatley paced plotline).

 

4. But it's the emotional versatility of the series that really makes it stick in fans' minds. Everyone can pick the moments that ripped their hearts out...

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5. In fact, the tone can swing wildly from high energy antics to disturbing body horror...

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6. The true core of the show is the relationship between Edward Elric and his brother Alphonse. One of the strongest bonds in modern fiction (artwork by nikuman1103)

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7. Their traumatic past and motivation to correct their mistakes by any means neccesary make them relatable characters to anyone who would give anything to undo a single, terrible moment (cosplay via @saratotama)

insane fullmetal alchemist elric brothers cosplay

 


8. Alongside some very likable allies and complicated villains, the brothers travel a world that is at once fantastical but also familiar. (artwork by InHyuk Lee)

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9. And there might never be a gag character as wonderful as goddamn MAJOR ALEX LOUIS ARMSTRONG.

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10. Creator Arakawa has a keen eye for comedy, and she isn't afraid to let characters and situations get a little crazy to relieve tension or land a solid joke. 

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11. Basically, if you get ahold of FMA at the right age, it will leave you entertained and inspired.





 

12. The "alchemy" system allows for characters to express their strengths and personalities through their abilities, leading to some interesting confrontations.

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13. The story grows from a personal story of redemption to the fates of nations, the whole time breaking a lot of the tired "shonen" cliches. (cosplay via Pugoffka-sama)

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14. Trying to explain it in words will always fall short.

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15. You have a couple of months before the Japanese live-action film drops, now's a great time to reconnect with the series (or pick it up for the first time, assuming I haven't spoiled it to high heaven already).