One of the highest-rated anime series, Fullmetal Alchemist, gave us the heartfelt adventures of brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric. Although FMA ended its long run in 2010 with Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, a new live-action film based on the manga is about to hit cinemas in Japan. As the influential series inspired many anime shows, we’re looking at 5 anime that every Fullmetal Alchemist fan needs to watch.
Last Exile‘s story takes place in the world of Prester – similar to our 19th century but with anti-gravity devices – where flight is the dominant mode of transportation. We see this beautiful world through the eyes of Claus Valca and Lavie Head who dream of surpassing their parents’ legacy as the pilot and co-pilot of a Vanship. During one of their courier trips, the best friends rescue a young girl from a strange killing machine, and that act of heroism changes their destinies forever.
Much like FMA, Last Exile is set in an industrial age where the main characters go on a journey trying to surpass their parents’ legacy. However, during their adventure, the main characters get entangled with the military and similar dangerous folks. As a result, the main characters need to learn a valuable lesson, like how Edward and Alphonse did. Though you’ll have to stick with Last Exile all the way through to see if the ending is just as poignant.
After the horrors of World War I, the world had to prepare itself for another kind of horror – demonic sinners. Chrono Crusade takes place in 1928 New York where a holy organization known as the Order of Magdalene is in charge of combatting a demonic presence invading reality.
One of the members of this religious organization is Sister Rosette Christopher and her demon hunting assistant Chrono. They aren’t your typical exorcists as they cause massive property damage when out on assignment. Rosette’s newest mission has become personal as she and Chrono set out to find Rosette’s missing brother, Joshua.
Both Fullmetal Alchemist and Chrono Crusade are set in the same period, although in an alternate version of reality. The main characters of both shows are also consumed with the desire to help their sibling and are willing to do anything for that person. This heartwrenching journey makes their stories all that much more worthwhile to watch. Chrono Crusade also offers a lot of mystical action in a similar style to FMA.
Buso Renkin begins when high school student Kazuki gets impaled through the heart while trying to save Tokiko from a monster. But, in reality, Tokiko didn’t need saving as she is an Alchemist Warrior whose mission is to destroy the evil race of artificial creatures known as Homunculi with her Valkyrie Skirt.
To save Kazuki’s life, Tokiko replaces his impaled heart with another successful work of alchemy, the Kakugane, which awakens in him. So, Tokiko and Kazuki join forces to defeat the Homunculi.
As with Fullmetal Alchemist, Buso Renkin deals with alchemy and the man-made creatures it creates. Both anime series’ focus on how the main characters battle those who misuse their alchemy power. Although Buso Renkin has more romance going on than FMA, it doesn’t take away from the action.
After a long war between the Royal Empire and the Republic of Frost, the two powerful nations agree to a ceasefire. It’s a costly ending as starvation, plagues, and soldiers turning into bandits beleaguers the Empire. To aid the war relief effort, the Empire creates the Intelligence Army State Section III aka Pumpkin Scissors.
While many in the Empire consider this organization a waste of resources, the Pumpkin Scissors take their role in the country’s reconstruction seriously. But that mission changes when they run into the mysterious Randel Oland.
As with the anime series mentioned above, Pumpkin Scissors takes place in a somewhat recognizable, post-war world. However, unlike FMA, which only touches the subject of corruption, Pumpkin Scissors digs deeper into the theme, observing the suffering that a military’s actions cause.
While Fullmetal Alchemist deals with social issues like racism, Pumpkin Scissors deals with another form of societal ill – social class discrimination. Many characters also share similar personalities and physiques to FMA, with Corporal Oland being quite similar to Alphonse, and Edward and Lt. Malvin who are also alike.
D. Gray-man follows Allen Walker, who joins an organization called Black Order whose mission is to destroy Akuma – mechanical weapons made by the dastardly Millennium Earl. To fight these creatures, Allen uses his cursed eye and an anti-Akuma weapon, Innocence, and, along with the Black Order’s exorcist, they must stop the Millennium Earl’s ultimate plan. However, questions connected to Allen’s past start popping up as they reach their goal.
Like many other series on this list, D. Gray-man is set toward the end of the 19th century, only a bit more goth than the others. Much like FMA, Allen has a powerful arm that he uses to take down enemies. Both Edward and Allen have a tortured past that drives them to embark on a quest with no way of turning back. And both leads are backed up by an eclectic cast who add some comic relief and silliness to the serious tones of both anime.