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on August 27, 2006
Having just seen the sneak preview screenings of the english language reversioning of Fullmetal Alchemist - Conqueror of Shamballa, I can say without reservation that it is a thrilling and must-see epilogue/ending capping off what is without question one of the greatest masterpieces of anime. However, DO NOT START your exploration of this story with this movie. Some of the things that make this story so great are its character development, story arc, pacing, and unexpected twists of plot. To be properly appreciated, Fullmetal Alchemist MUST be seen in sequence from episode 1 through episode 51, and THEN this movie. If you try to watch this movie before seeing the series, not only will you find it largely incomprehensible, but knowledge of what happens will SPOIL many of the surprises that await in those 51 episodes. Virtually no backstory is provided; viewers are assumed to have seen the series.

All the charm and wonder of the series is here in this film. All the voice actors from the english reversioning of the series were brought back to voice their characters for the movie. The care and attention to detail shown by both the original creators and the reversioners is remarkable to say the least. I only wished it was longer. The epic story of the Fullmetal Alchemist, in its entirety, will stand for decades as a monument to and inspiration for what can be achieved in this medium. This film is the final coda at the end of all its symphonic glory.
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on August 25, 2006
Note: this may contain minor spoilers. That said, the FMA movie brings a close to the storyline left open at the end of episode 51 of the TV series. It has stunning visuals and a superb soundtrack, nicely rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. It picks up three years after the end of the television series and wraps up loose ends surrounding the gate, Hoenheim, Envy, Gluttony, Wrath, Ed, and Al. Despite the fact that it was written by the same staff who created the series, the movie does have a different "feel" to it (especially since alchemy can't be used for a good portion of the film). If you liked the series, you'll definitely enjoy (at least most of) the movie. Fans who are looking for romantic relationships are going to be disappointed as the staff seemed to focus more on the bond between the two brothers.

For the big fans of the series, this special edition will definitely be a highlight to your collection, as it will contain a hard-bound book, several character "portrait cards", and a bonus DVD with multiple commentaries and interviews with the Japanese cast and crew, as well as the American staff. It also has a nice portrait of Ed on the cover of the box (the same that was used for the Japanese ltd. ed. release).

I would highly recommend this film to anyone who likes Fullmetal Alchemist; despite what I saw as the film's few shortcomings, it was still a good movie overall.
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on May 31, 2010
First off, if you are a fan of Fullmetal Alchemist, this is a must buy. That said...

This was a great ending to the series. Fans who watched the 51 episodes prior to this were likely a bit disappointed with the ending of the series itself. It was rather open-ended, with little in the way of actual character resolutions. The movie, however, fixes this. it's a great ride from start to finish that leaves you satisfied when the end credits start rolling. Without giving anything away, I would suggest that you have at least watched enough of FMA to know the characters, but ideal you should have watched the entire series itself before watching the movie.

As for the video/audio, the movie looks great on Blu-ray. The colors are vibrant and the audio is crisp and clear...though there is a bit of an issue with line consistency, but over all this is a HUGE improvement over the DVD.
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on September 14, 2006
Similar to End of Evangelion, this film is essentially the conclusion to the 51-episode anime show that caught on big with audiences stateside. While it's not a fair comparison, that was my first thought that came to mind, especially since like EoE, Conqueror doesn't end with an "all questions answered" ending. While it's definately cool to see your favorite characters in a fuller context, there's some things that aren't dealt with, mainly with characters, that I wish they concluded. In case you haven't seen the series, I am going to spoil it so consider yourself warned.

At the end of the series, 4 Homunculi had been killed with one being sent through the Gate. Al had been restored to his body with his memory wiped out and Ed was in our world circa the 1920's in Munich, Germany. In this film, Ed rescues a gypsy named Noah who has mind-reading abilities. It also turns out she's being hunted by the Thule Society who wants to reach the world "Shamballa". Back in the series world, Al actually turned out to be a pretty powerful alchemist and has been trying to find Ed while dealing with a new villain.

One of the things that's always fun while watching these movies is seeing one of the old characters show up. I don't want to spoil it but some of them are like "hey! that's him/her!". But like certain movies that have the same back and forth structure, you start to get intrigued by the appearance of characters in one world then you jump back to someone else. It's only a minor nitpick so it isn't as important. But it is great to see the characters again.

Now where I guess the disappointment comes in is the handling of certain characters. There's obviously some romances that are suggested such as Mustang/Hawkeye, Ed and Winry(and even at one point Ed and Rose), Scar and Lust and you'd at least like to see some acknowledgement of one of them actually happen. And the conclusion of the film suggests there will be a sequel since there's obviously stuff that can be resolved. I haven't read a single manga of the show, not that we have it available here anyway, so I have no clue what happens at the end.

It's highly recommended that you watch the series as everything from transmutation circles to Homunculi will be completely lost. Sure you'll understand the basics but all the small details will be completely lost. The film's great so it's not that big of a problem but still, it's a big investment to watch the film so set some time to watch all 51 episodes then come here.
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on September 10, 2015
While bored with summer reruns, we stumbled on to the Fullmetal Alchemist series. The series ended on kind of a cliff hanger. This movie picks up where the series ended and finishes it up nicely. If you are not familiar with the series you will be pretty lost with what is going on. Throughout the movie you also get to see some older familiar faces. If you felt the series end left you hanging, I would recommend this movie.
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on November 3, 2006
(EDIT--Jan 2008: I've rewatched the entire series and watched this film again 2 or 3 times--and liked it far more on subsequential watchings--I would now give it a 4 star simply because I love the characters so much--but my complaints about its weakenesses still stand. I will say that I've watched it in both English and Japanese and I applaud both Romi Pak and Vic Mignogna for their outstanding performances as Edward. It's still muddled and could do with serious re-editing--but I've come to love it after seeing it again._)

Fullmetal Alchemist,in my opinion, is one of the most gripping, emotionally charged and memorable anime series of all time. It's not just good anime--it's good storytelling with characters you grow deeply concerned for. Even in the weaker 'filler' episodes are still worth watching. I rented the first three discs of the series and then purchased the imported box set with the movie--and believe me, I wouldn't invest that kind of cash if I didn't think FMA was a classic. The day after I finally viewed Episode 51 I sat down to watch the move, still stunned, shaken and moved by what I'd seen in the final episode...

...And I came away from the movie thinking how there was simply too much story, too many scenes that didn't propel the action forward. The subplot with the Rose-lookalike, Noah, as the psychic who figures out Edward's secret past could have been edited out completely and nobody would have missed it, as would have much of the Fritz Lang material (as a film buff I did appreciate the sly references to his wife, Thea Von Harbou, who was a dedicated follower of Hitler--their movie 'Metropolis' is the science fiction film Lang keeps refering to). All in all, the historical parts could have been pared back--most of us know enough about 20th century history that we don't need all the pointed references.

As for the Amestris characters--seeing Roy Mustang falling completely into his depression and self loathing (a key subplot in the series) only to rise to the occasion, recover his belief in himself and to take command once more provides some of the strongest scenes in the film. His brief reunion with Ed and Al suddenly shifts the movie into high gear--it develops a terrific Indiana Jones-type energy with sharp dialog and comedy/action timing that SHOULD have set the tone for the film. When Edward snaps, "Love the eyepatch. Pity it isn't over your mouth." I wanted to cheer. Classic "Taisa and the Shrimp" sparring that kicks both characters back on course. And of course, Armstrong steals every scene he poses in, sparkles and all.

Is this the end of FMA? Good question. There have been a few short OVA's out there, but nothing on the scope of the original series. The manga is still running strong.

The truth is, there was so much potential in this film--we know and love these characters, share their history--we want to know what happens next to Al and Ed as their journey continues. The fact that there was no GUARANTEE that the Gate was sealed could potentially leave the door open for more films...who knows? Studio Bones indicates that FMA anime is officially completed. If you watch the documentary with the disc you'll see that this original script was originally over 100 pages long and could have been made into a second series. I just wish the final hurrah had been better edited--it should have been a tighter, more exciting film. Still, it's definitely worth seeing.
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on February 6, 2016
This movie takes place after the fifty something episodes of the original television show (/NOT/ Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood). Edward has gone through the gate and is in Germany (in our world) during WWII with his father, Hoenheim, and brother, Envy. Alphonse is still in he and Ed's world (now known as "Shambala"). The movie has great art, soundtrack, and the same awesome Funimation voice actors for the dub. Definitely watch it if you're a fan of the original anime! It'll help you get some more closure for the series!
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on April 22, 2015
I'm very happy with this purchase! First of all, the movie is really enjoyable and marks a satisfying ending to Ed and Al's story. What I liked the most is the art: I think that animators and designers made an amazing job, and this Special Edition gives them the right credits. The booklet and postcards included are beautiful, and I also enjoyed the extra contents from the DVDs, which focused on the work of all the people involved in this project.
In the end, I totally recommend this collectible to all Fullmetal Alchemist fans- personally, I'll treasure it as a reminder of a story that touched my heart.
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on December 3, 2015
I only wish that there was an option to watch this in Japanese with English Subtitles. I find that the story tends to be a little different when dubbed into English from Japanese due to translation issues.
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VINE VOICEon December 20, 2011
This film takes place two years after the end of the original Fullmetal Alchemist anime series. Many of the characters from the series are seen in the film; those who have died are seen in the parallel world that Ed is now living in under different names. Ed, who has lost his ability to perform alchemy, is trying to find a way to return to his world.

When it comes to the Blu-ray release itself, the packaging is rather "bare bones." There is no actual insert with information for the film included inside; instead, there is an insert playing up other titles that FUNimation had released on Blu-ray.

As for the video quality, I have to admit that I didn't see a lot of difference when I compared it to the DVD copy of this film I had viewed previously. However, this doesn't mean that it's a bad picture quality on the Blu-ray; all it means is that I personally didn't see any significant differences.

According to the box, the main feature is 1080p High Definition 16X9, while the extras are 480i Standard Definition. For audio, the box says the main feature has Dolby TrueHD in English 5.1 and Japanese 5.1, while the extras are Dolby Digital: English 2.0. However, I do have to question the audio listing for the extras, since one of the extras on the Blu-ray is a talk session with the director and some of the Japanese voice actors, which is in Japanese.

All of the bonus features from the DVD release are included here, as well as an additional feature that was not on the DVD pressing; this means there are six special features in all. The first is the 40-minute long documentary, "The Making of Fullmetal Alchemist The Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa." The "Original Trailers" include one US trailer for the film, seven Japanese TV trailers, and the Japanese theatrical trailer; the Japanese trailers included English subtitles. "Production Art" is a slideshow that runs for one minute and fourteen seconds, and it includes character designs and backdrops. "Image Gallery" is another slideshow, which runs for one minute and thirty-five seconds and includes still frames from the film. There are also trailers for other FUNimation releases included as an extra.

The Blu-ray exclusive extra is a "talk session" with Seiji Mizushima (the director), Romi Park (the Japanese voice actress for Ed), Rie Kugimiya (the Japanese voice actress for Al), and Toru Ohkawa (the Japanese voice actor for Mustang). This feature is in Japanese with English subtitles. Over the course of 54 minutes, they talk together as a group, with the discussion being led by Romi Park. Intercut with this are talk sessions with two of the participants together. The full group discussions focus on the film itself, while the smaller group interviews focus more on the various individuals' lives and interests. Personally, I thought this was a nice little feature.

If you enjoy Fullmetal Alchemist The Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa and own a Blu-ray player, I would suggest purchasing the Blu-ray simply to have all of the bonus features that FUNimation released for the film.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of this Blu-ray that I purchased for my husband as a gift.
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