DVD
Full Metal Alchemist
Volume 2 - Scarred Man of the East

Starring (voice): Romi Paku, Rie Kugimiya, Yuuko Satou and Junichi Suwabe
MVM
RRP: 19.99
FP 08134
Certificate: 15
Available 25 July 2005


In a semi-mythical world in which alchemists are able to manipulate and transform objects from one form to another,
Full Metal Alchemist follows the lives of two young boys who have a secret to hide from the world. The manipulation process does not come without a price, as young brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric have discovered when they were transformed into part-metal creatures when an experiment went wrong...

Volume 2 of Full Metal Alchemist contains episodes 5-8 of this 51-episode series based on the best-selling Manga by Hiromo Arakawa. Two brothers, Edward and Alphonse, have both been changed. While Ed's arm has turned into metal, Al has suffered a worse fate - his entire body has transformed, giving him the appearance of a huge knight in shining armour. The two boys are on a quest to change themselves back to the way they used to be.

The Man With the Mechanical Arm sees the two boys arrive in Central City in order to apply as State Alchemists. But, unfortunately for them, the train is hijacked and Ed and Al must use their wits to stay alive.

The Alchemy Exam sees Ed and Al preparing for the State Alchemist exam. However, it is soon pointed out to Al that it may not be a good idea if he sits it. If anyone gets wind of the fact that he is not a man in a metal suit, but actually a kid who has been physically changed, then the authorities will want to run tests on him.

Night of the Chimera's Cry sees Ed pass the State Alchemist exam - becoming the youngest ever to do so. The two brothers are staying with an alchemist called Tucker, who is on edge as his assessment day is approaching. He previously created a Chimera which died after a few hours, and now the state is demanding that he proves that their funding of his research is producing something of merit. When Tucker creates another Chimera, Ed and Al discover that his work is extremely unethical.

The Philosopher's Stone sees Ed and Al investigating a string of murders that seem to be the work of a mysterious serial killer. It is hoped that by tracking this killer down, that Ed and Al will also find Tucker's daughter, who has vanished.

The English dubbed soundtrack is extremely good - even the lip synch is spot on, and the music is fantastic.

Extras include Japanese commercials, textless opening and closing titles, illustration, line art and model galleries and trailers.

Another very fine example, which illustrates why Japan leads the world when it comes to engrossing animated shows.

Nick Smithson

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