I've seen the first series. It's very good, very dark. Shocking, proper villains, proper sorrow. Well timed.
Um. It is still sort of set up as a kids show still, it still has that flavour. Like a horror version of Dogtanian and the Three Muskahounds.
That is pros. Any cons? The only negative point I can think of is that the female characters are in the main not given any particular depth or realism. Stuff happens, they are cute, they react emotionally. Or, in the female villain group, stuff happens, they look mysterious, or unbutton some of their top buttons.
Plot summary. Universe where alchemy substitutes for science used by the military. Two little boys, absent dad, mum dies, they try to resurrect her, horrible things happen.
I don't want to give away any more details of the series as the journey's the thing.
I thought FMA was a pretty damn good anime actually. The only downside is I thought the ending was rather rushed, and showed it badly. Up until the ending though the series was first class in my opinion.
This is the best anime I've ever seen. The complexity and poignancy of the story, especially as it begins to wrap everything up, is great, as is the humor, which often turns up in unexpected places, more subtle than the humor of most anime.
I also love the art style, and the way characters are animated is more fluid than a lot of cartoons- there's relatively little woodenness.
The series is a bit violent at times- it always amazes me that in Japan it's a kid's show, and here it's got extreme violence warnings.
And I think the characters, male and female, are almost all interesting and well-developed. GrowUp, I can agree with you about Rose and possibly Winry, but what about Sciezka, Dante, Hawkeye, Izumi? And I think Lust's journey is one of the most interesting and sympathetic sub-plots. By the end of the series (I hope this isn't a spoiler) I had grown to like her character quite a bit.
Frozeninja- Upon re-viewing, I agree about the ending being rushed, but still powerful. After all, I did WHAT THOU SHALT NEVER DO and watched the last two episodes first, which is what actually hooked me on the show. Any ending that can make you curious enough to go back and see the beginning, is by definition a good ending. But the irony is that I had made up scenarios in my head of the intervening story arc, that I ultimately liked better than the story that was presented.