Monday, 25 March 2013


Full Metal Alchemist The Movie: Conqueror of Shambala
Released By: Manga Entertainment
Rating: 12
Running Time: 325 Mins
Audio: English & Japanese DD 2.0
Release Date: 1/4/2013
Reviewed By: Sandra Scholes

Dabbling with the unknown is tricky for anyone, but what if you were dabbling in something that was forbidden by certain laws? In the case of Edward and Alphonse Elric, it is Alchemy that is forbidden for them to use, yet when they were young, they used it to try and bring back their mother, but due to the laws of equivalent exchange, they had to give up something precious to them if they were to get what they wanted. They did this, and their transmutation went horribly wrong, leaving Edward without a leg and his brother Al without a body.

In this, the first full-length movie based on the hit anime series has the two brothers who try to thwart an evil genius who wants them to help him promote his new creation, yet it is too late to stop him wanting to dabble in Alchemy too, and before long he has lost himself forever.

The story takes place two years after Edward was taken through the Gate of Alchemy to a mirror world in the twenties. He finds that the place isn't what he thinks and notices that science is what they use instead of Alchemy so he has to be careful not to cause trouble with the locals when he starts working on his new rockets, but as he has no Alchemical powers and to everyone else he looks normal, he will have nothing to fear. In Munich he has a friend called Alfonse who looks suspiciously like his own brother. He wants to get back to his own timeline to see his brother again, but so far that has been nothing more than a dream. Ed finds himself on his way to a carnival led by gypsies. One gypsy girl in particular, Noah who can tell fortunes, but she's no sideshow act, she is the real deal, and some evildoers are after her. This leads her to Ed's side when he comes into contact with them, and gets them to go away by force. She is what leads us to the main story where Haushofer and Eckhart want to use Edward's father Hoenhiem and the Homunculus Envy to open a portal to a place called Shambala which they think is a utopia, untouched and very desirable  They intend to create a metal bodied army and send them through. If it all works out, they will be the conquerors of Shambala and the place will be theirs, but they don't intend to stop there, using Shambala as the base, they want to conquer the entire world.

This movie shows what happened with Ed when he was helping his sponsor build all kinds of terrifying things. Haushofer and Eckhart are planning a devastating war along with Hitler that will threaten the entirety of the human world as they know it. Al tries to be a different person, but he still wanted to be back with his brother. The constant changes with the story can confuse a viewer who isn't a fan, but if you know the story already, then this will give you more information to clear up loose ends from the original plot line of the series. The upshot if the story is that as brothers they should not always think of themselves and what they want, but look to others and think of them. They want to help and protect other humans from harm. They also have the Homunculii to deal with so no wonder there is a second movie. This is one to enjoy as there is something in it for everyone.

Bonus Material:  Behind the Scenes, Original Trailers, Production Art and Image Gallery. Disc Two contains the extra bonus material of a Talk Session and Audio Commentaries.

Verdict: Action and magic all the way - this is the first of (hopefully) many more excellent movies.