Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos
Starring: Vic Mignogna, Maxey Whitehead, Matthew Mercer, Alexis Tipton, Travis Willingham
Directed by Kazuya Murata
Based on the renowned anime and manga series Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa, The Sacred Star of Milos is the second film in this anime franchise.
For those who haven’t seen or read the series, the story is set in the country of Amestris, where the main characters use alchemy, a science of equivalent exchange (one thing can be made from another, as long as both objects are of equal value).
While the first film, The Conqueror of Shamballa, led on from the last episode of the first FMA series, the second film comes in somewhere in the middle of the FMA: Brotherhood series and is a stand-alone story with movie-only characters and locations.
Towards the beginning of the film we once again meet our protagonists, Edward and Alphonse Elric. For those who don’t know, the Elric brothers are alchemists who, as young boys, committed the taboo of alchemy by trying to bring their dead mother back to life and paid the price: Edward lost his right leg and left arm, and Alphonse lost his body and had his soul trapped in a suit of armour.
Edward then joined the military as a state alchemist so that he could find a way to regain both his and his brother’s original bodies. One of these possible ways is to use the fabled Philosopher’s Stone, said to defy the rule of equivalent exchange.
The movie follows the brothers as they investigate the breakout of a convict from an Amestrian jail, uses a new form of alchemy to escape to a canyon on the edge of Amestris. There the brothers meet the people of Milos and become caught up in their fight for the land stolen from them. They hope to use the Philosopher’s Stone in this fight, not realising that hundreds of lives would have to be sacrificed to create it.
Those who have watched the earlier FMA series will notice that the drawing style in this movie is different from that of both the first and second series, with gradient eye colours and less structured hairstyles. This doesn’t take away from the essence of the fluid and detailed animation and action so typical of the anime genre, though, nor does it drastically change the characters.
Edward and Alphonse still have strong morals and fight for what they believe in, which is not to take the lives of others. The action is almost constant and bloody as the many different factions fight each other. Although it seems obvious at the beginning who is good and bad, some of these perceptions shift as we find out more about the characters in or leading these factions, which answered most of the questions I had while watching it and resulted in something unexpected.
The Elrics are forced into this conflict and try to help the Milosians, who they believe are the victims, only to have their advice refused.
The instrumental music is pleasant but forgettable, except for the end credits song, "Good Luck My Way" by L’arc-En-Ciel. The voice actors speak with conviction throughout and maintain the characters’ personalities, especially the humourous Vic Mignogna as Ed.
I enjoyed this movie as a fan of the series, and for those who haven’t yet watched the series: I highly recommend you do, after watching this, especially the Brotherhood series. It not only provides context, but it's a really good, emotional story that follows the storyline of the manga series faithfully.
4 out of 5.
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