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August 15, 2022

Anime Review -- Fullmetal Alchemist: Conqueror of Shamballa

By Mel Trent

If you haven't seen the complete run of the series Fullmetal Alchemist, which you really should, be forewarned that this review may contain spoilers. So what are you waiting for? Go watch the series. Now, for those of you who have seen Fullmetal Alchemist in its entirety, let's continue.

Conqueror of Shamballa takes place not long after the events that end the 51-episode series. Edward Elric finds himself in Munich in the 1920s and on the other side of the gate that separates the worlds. In this world, alchemy doesn't work, and the people Ed thinks he recognizes aren't the same, even when their names are. It doesn't take Ed long to find himself embroiled in plots involving Nazis, a dragon and an insane quest to take over a mythical utopia called Shamballa. As it turns out, the gateway that opens to what the bad guys think is Shamballa leads right back to Ed's home world.

Meanwhile, Ed's younger brother, Alfonse, no longer just a soul attached to a suit of armor, is desperately searching for a way to find his brother and bring him home, although he has no proof that Ed is even alive. When a mysterious portal opens up in the town of Lior, Al makes a startling discovery.

Just about every character left hanging at the end of the series gets something of a conclusion in Conqueror of Shamballa. This is pretty satisfying for anyone who wanted a little more from the conclusion of the series. For my part, I was happy to see Wrath again, who was for my money the most sympathetic character of the whole thing, and to see him get a little resolution, sad as it may have been. It's also a lot of fun to see the doppelgangers of characters who didn't survive the series show up in Munich and get happier endings.

The animation, music and voice acting (the film was dubbed using the same voice actors from the series) are all on par with what you get used to seeing in the series. I think this makes it easier to get sucked back into the world and the lives of these characters. Of course, all the characters are still as fantastic and fun as they were before. For what it's worth, there's less humor in Conqueror of Shamballa, but it's also a little less of an emotional roller coaster. There isn't much need for the silliness in light of that, but it's a hallmark of Fullmetal Alchemist and was a bit missed.

I certainly recommend Conqueror of Shamballa, along with Fullmetal Alchemist. Both are loads of fun with engaging characters, good plots and pretty things to look at. However, I would caution viewers against watching Conqueror of Shamballa without first watching the series. You will get confused, and that's just no way to watch a movie.

Article © Mel Trent. All rights reserved.
Published on 2007-01-08
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