Fullmetal Alchemist Movie: The Conqueror of Shambala - Worlds collide

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

Going back to this movie without watching the original TV series again isn't a huge problem, since it is fairly memorable. Where the trouble lies is in watching this movie again while watching the new Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood series which takes a very different route as time goes on. Thankfully though, the core of the film is still very strong and that's the characters. This feature lives and dies by the likes of Edward Elric and how he handles himself after he goes beyond the Gate and finds himself in our world, circa 1923.

First and foremost, this is not a movie that anyone can just jump in and get everything out of it. While there is plenty of eye-candy and a clear enough plot to follow, so much of it is layered in knowing who some of these seemingly minor characters are and understanding the relationships between them both in the world that Edward originally comes from as well as our world. In a way, I would really hate for people to get to know a character like Hughes, one of my favorites, solely on his Earth analog of a German policeman with strong anti-Jewish and anti-Gypsy feelings. Some of the challenge in this show for fans of the TV series will be seeing some of their favorite characters being involved in the birth of the Nazi party via their parallel world counterparts. It's certainly a tried and true technique in novels and science fiction in general, as anyone who has watched Star Trek will attest, but with Fullmetal Alchemist appealing to a younger crowd as well as adults it has the potential to cause some problems.

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