Munich, Germany, 1923. Two years have passed since Edward Elric was dragged from his own world to ours, leaving behind his country, his friends and his younger brother, Alphonse. Stripped of his alchemical powers, he has been all this time researching rocketry together with Alphonse Heiderich, a young man who resembles his own brother, hoping to one day find a way back home. His efforts so far had proven fruitless, but after lending a hand to a troubled gypsy girl, Edward is thrown in a series of events that can wreak havoc in both worlds. Meanwhile, at his own world, Alphonse Elric ventures deeper into the mysteries of alchemy in search for a way to reunite with his older brother.
Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa won the Best Animation Film Award in the 2005 Mainichi Film Awards, the Animation of the Year and Best Original Story awards in the 5th Tokyo International Anime Fair, and the Best Animated Film prize in the 2006 Fantasia International Film Festival.
5 WORDS OR LESS REVIEW: Must watch after the series
Want a real conclusion to the events that happened in Fullmetal Alchemist? Then you should watch Fullmetal Alchemist: The Movie – Conqueror of Shamballa. In my opinion, it is impossible to get some real closure from watching the series alone.
If you watched the series and followed it religiously like I did, you probably also marveled at how close Ed and Al are that they are willing to risk their lives for each other. If that’s the case, then you were also probably shocked that the series ended with the two brothers separated, Ed on Earth, specifically in Germany in the year 1923, and Al stuck in Amestris, specifically in Resembool. In the movie, Earth and Resembool are treated as parallel to each other, and you see how they interact with each other while in the process, the two brothers try to reunite themselves. It’s definitely a wonderful storyline that will give viewers the conclusion they’re looking for.
I guess to keep things fresh and exciting, the characters were given new looks to go with new storylines. Ed and Al certainly have matured (and they look cool!), and the same goes for minor characters such as Winry and Roy Mustang. I don’t want to spoil anything, but here’s a hint – dead characters are even brought to life in the movie, however they have different personalities. All the characters still have their respective voice actors from the series, but there are also new additions to the cast such as a gypsy girl named Noa (Miyu Sawai), who I don’t really like because she whines too much, and a new villain, Dietlinde Eckhart (Kazuko Kato).
Even the visuals of the movie were new and improved. The character design became sleeker, the backgrounds are more detailed and attractive, and the color coordination is better than in the series. I especially like how the colors in Earth have a slightly weathered look, while the colors in Amestris are bright and vibrant.
Michiru Oshima, who worked on the music of the series has returned to compose music for the movie as well, but I have to say I like the music of the series better. The music in the series was more striking and memorable compared to the music of the movie. L’Arc~en~ciel also sang the opening and ending themes of the movie, and just like the series, they also came up with catchy tracks for this one too.
As much as I liked the movie, I have to say that I like the series more. It’s not because of the plot per se, but I was disappointed that there was less talk of alchemy in the movie. Alchemy was so important in the series that it made the plot, but that wasn’t the case for the movie. Moreover, Al and Winry, two of my favorite characters, didn’t get enough screen time, so that disappointed me a bit.
However, I still recommend in watching the movie, because like I said earlier, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Movie – Conqueror of Shamballa will provide closure for the series.read more
Full Metal Alchemist: the Conqueror Of Shambala Review by realanimefan
This is a brilliantly written film that works in the tension of post WWI Germany to the plot exceedingly well. The people who wrote this film know their history and their folk lore, using aspects of the Nazi society (including Hitler’s supposed obsession with the occult) to pen an enthralling experience. I went and looked up a number of the references made in the film to find out most of them were real. The setting also leads to lots of character conflict. For instance, Hughs (the Maeyz of our world) is a soldier in Post WWI Germany suckered into joining the Nazi party out of desperation. He genuinely thinks the Nazis are doing the right thing (remember, none of these characters have the luxury of knowing where all this will lead) which puts him at odds with Ed. It’s very moving.
The characters from the TV series are all there. Ed takes center stage, with the majority of the film taking place in our world. Al and his alternate version feature prominently, though. Al’s bit in the underground city with Wrath and Gluttony is amazing. Some of the other characters, like Winry and Hawkeye, are somewhat cheated of screentime, but practically every character from the show gets to make an appearance, even if it’s just their alternate version (there’s one cameo at the very end of the movie that’s absolutely hilarious).
The animation in this movie is non-stop eye candy. The fight scenes and action sequences are all fluid and choreographed to perfection, but that’s only the half of it. The backgrounds and environments are lush and detailed and are just dripping with beauty, even when the setting is the dank bowels of a castle. I’m so thankful I got to see this film on the big screen.
It’s hard to rank Conqueror of Shambala. If you’ve seen the TV series you will adore this film. If you haven’t seen the show, you’ll like all the pretty animation, but the story will go completely over your head. Still, if viewed in the proper context, this film is worthy of a 9 to 10 rating. And if you haven’t seen the TV series, do yourself a favor and go check it out. You’ll be glad you did. Full Metal Alchemist is one of the best things to come out of Japan in a long time.
Thank you for reading my review of this movie if you have any questions please join my friends list and i can help you best I can. read more
I’m going to have to diverge my opinion from the consensus here. Though I had been a long time fan of the series, the movie was a dull, disconnected effort to recapture the quality of the former.
This is where things fall apart. The general premise of the story was high quality yet the execution in relation to its source material was poor, largely because the end of the series left so many plot threads to be explained. Unfortunately, the movie spends less time attempting to address these numerous plot threads and more time creating larger questions of its own. This is fine by itself but Shambhala is inherently a continuation of the series rather than a stand-alone piece. It begins with an unanswered series of questions, brings forth a new series of questions, and in the end, doesn’t conclude in answering any of them.
Beautiful and fluid as always: even more so since this is a feature length film.
Far above average. The film is lacking in truly memorable pieces in the vain of its predecessor series (Brothers, Heavenly Spirit) but it manages to capture the viewer into the world it creates. It melds well into the background and there’s little to be said otherwise. A notable exception is the movie opening, Link, which easily ranks among the best of the franchise.
And this is where the story comments arrive into effect. The returning characters are handled well; the newcomers on the other hand fall victim to the films limited length. So much time is spent on the original characters that Noah and Dietlinde appear as cardboard cutouts. The villain becomes prominent towards the second half, acts in the stereotypically evil manner, espouses a tacked on, clichéd motivation for its actions, and proceeds to be literally dehumanized thereafter. Other new characters are treated in a similar manner with two sentence reasons for what motivates them.
Interesting enough. If you take it as a continuation of the series, it often fails to reach a conclusion for plot threads espoused within it, while if you view it as a stand-alone work it still has some glaring problems in the character department. Still, its imaginations should manage to capture any viewer’s attention and many of its other qualities are top notch.
The overall presentation was gorgeous but the story and character flaws were often to glaring to ignore. An above average score but not that of a masterpiece.read more
Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa would have to be the most unrecognized piece of anime I've come across, compared to what it really holds within. This is a movie and it clearly has a high budget behind it. At the time the manga was incomplete, the anime having to recourse the story on its own route with its own image of itself. Also, coming from that, one shouldn't be confused with what this movie really is. This isn't a side-story like Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos, this is the ending of the original series. And no, this isn't another Lunar Legend Tsukihime. While the movie re-explains some basics early on, this isn't a good sample of the show to get a friend into the franchise either. This is literally the ending of the series, and one can only be in a state of denial to think it as anything else. It's recommended that, before watching this movie, one finishes the entire 2003, television series.
This anime movie is in a line of movies that surprised me by being one of the most memorable parts of their respective series (some being: End of Evangelion, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, and Cowboy Bebop - Knockin' on Heaven's Door). That could be because a movie and a television show are two different things, somewhat similar to how literature and any visual representation is. A television series allows for more down time and more complex setups. A movie doesn't have the run-time to allow for such things if it still wishes to balance its priorities, but it does allow for a format that makes it tolerable to watch something in a larger period of time by inserting a good deal of style and by giving the audience a great deal of respect. A good movie balances its priorities just right with that in mind, and I feel that is actually the weakest part of Fullmetal Alchemist: Conqueror of Shamballa. That may be surprising to start with what seems like a negative, but it may be even more surprising to say that it isn't even a negative.
FMA: Conqueror of Shamballa is a movie and is limited to what it can present. It does make sacrifices in aspects that aren't particularly necessary for the overall enjoyment, but still creates lacking elements that some who were hoping for them in particular will be let down. In this way some have spoken down this movie for giving them something that wasn't what they expected or hoped for, delivering something different. For this reason more now huddle to, the sister series, "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" which carries a more acceptable ending. I would like to go back and ask why being different is a bad thing? This movie is certainly different and places its priorities in odd unexpected situations with unexpected and seemingly unnecessary outcomes. This, however, creates an interesting setup where the movie feels capable of going in any direction while still sticking to the plot elements created by the end of the television series. It works with those elements and connects a surprisingly fitting story, which will be more delved into.
One thing this movie is criticized for is that it doesn't build up the elements of the story that much. It more works off of the unknown of the story, while simultaneously working closely with what is known from the series. It's true that if the movie had more time to build up the plot elements of the series, by bringing more explanations, that the entire film would have been more enjoyable. However, this movie is not three hours long and can only work with something near a six-episode length. This brings back the reality of priorities, and also leads to another point. If you have seen "2001: A Space Odyssey" (and if you haven't, watch it now), there is definitely a lot of working with the unknown being done by the end. The same can definitely be said for FMA: Conqueror of Shamballa. So why then does this movie not ring with the same acclaim as 2001? While building up plot elements is definitely a plus, it isn't necessary. When taking into account that we have different people working on the entire ending than who wrote the original manga, it may even be better to just not break what isn't broken.
Even if one is to still stand beside that criticism, it still seems unreasonable to not take into consideration what is literally being seen and heard from the film. People will praise Ufotable for their visual work and, while it is respectable, Fullmetal Alchemist: Conqueror of Shamballa has something even greater. The original Fullmetal series already had some pretty good animation for its time, but to suddenly rise from that to this makes one wish for even more. The animation and art is top-notch the entire time this movie is playing. The background art is astounding, nearing to the level of Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door. The art style is that of the television series, but the quality control was set on ultra-high and there is never a time when that quality doesn't meet full potential. The frames-per-second is also increased for much of the highlights of the movie, and this animation is good enough to not even require to be watched with SVP smoothing software (while it still makes it better).
Also, the directing for this movie is some of the best I've ever seen in anime. This director, Seiji Mizushima, needs more attention both from the industry and from the public. Seiji has talent, and this movie is likely his best example. While his work in the 2003, Fullmetal Alchemist series was still great, his grasp on all of this budget allowed him to work with no limits in that form (not taking into account of other possible and unknown factors). He treats timing perfectly and was able to fit in a huge amount of content in a roughly, two-hour movie and make it carry no aura of rushed pacing. He did push things to the limit, but he did so wonderfully. A movie is not a television show, and priorities come back again into how Seiji would now treat this part of the series as something more fitting to this form of media.
The spectacular soundtrack of the original series takes up a lot of the movie in brilliantly-rehashed orchestrations, this time presenting itself in a movie format allowing the indulgence of the entire involvement of the audio rollercoaster. Even so, there's still some new music to be heard, but it's mostly involved with new theme-songs to better fit changed settings and characters. The themes for much of the series are still in place, yet nothing ever feels redundant. In-fact, the movie makes the soundtrack feel as though it was supposed to be experienced in such a way to begin with. The sound in general is astounding and it's a shame to known that I'll never be able to experience this film in a theater.
There were certainly no budget-cuts made with any aspect of the budget for this movie, also linking to the storytelling and the screenwriting. This returns to how fitting this ending really was for the series, but first let me take note of the screenwriting. If one was impressed with the dialogue of the 2003 series, I will be happy to inform that this movie raises the bar from that point. The dialogue always stays interesting and feels as if it was read over numerous times to leave out filler conversation and thoughts. This is high quality dialogue, along with some in-depth screenwriting. While the writing doesn't explain the plot elements from the series, it relates them astoundingly well to this next phase of the story. This phase is a game-changer, and a story like Fullmetal Alchemist requires some work and some style to keep the quality storytelling on high marks. Well, Conqueror of Shamballa again raises the bar with the massive amounts of research its staff members must have done to create the movie.
I've written a lengthy examination of their research, in the blog on my profile, and the setting of this movie was definitely treated with care. They chose not to break the story with attempted reasoning, but instead made interesting setups and relations with the television series' plot to what is now on the table. They researched the setting, what was going on at the time in: politics, entertainment, and the society. This movie is also the point where many may start to notice the relationship of Buddhism to the Fullmetal Alchemist franchise as a whole. Without going into a lengthy explanation, "Shamballa" is a metaphysical kingdom in ancient Buddhism that obviously has a place in the story. Take note again that the staff working on the last half of the 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist was not the original creator and had to basically deconstruct what she had already constructed to continue the story (as it was too famous to halt production at the time). That's likely why the original series of Fullmetal Alchemist has more of a European feeling, from the simple coincidence that the majority of what was finished at the time shows visualizations similar to Europe from the cars to the clothing. In the original manga the setting diversifies, but the 2003 series sticks with such a different outlook of itself leading to a more consistent theme. Coming the time of this movie, that theme is treated with care for it to carry depth in itself by making solid connections to justify the risky plot-turn they already took in the series.
People shrug off this movie for being wasteful and useless, but they lack to remember that this is the ending of the series and its main goal is thoughtful closure. Some will immediately hear that and say it's still lacking, but when I say "thoughtful" I don't mean "considerate". This movie still takes an interesting turn in the fate of the characters and to which character receives the spotlight. By the ending of the series and the movie, basically every character receives thoughtful closure, but the strange and "cruel" direction of that closure is what's the problem for some. That's fine, but it shouldn't motivate to deter others from giving this movie a try. Opinions are opinions and one isn't better than the other, but it just feels tough for someone to justify a 3/10 rating or lower for this movie. Sure, for some visuals aren't everything, but this movie still knocks it out of the park. Sure, for some sound isn't everything, but I'd like to ask for a scene where the atmosphere wasn't engrossing. Finally to the story, not everyone will like every story, and the direction the 2003 series took is definitely different from the usual. Even so, such superficial parts of a story shouldn't be taken as such great negatives if they are still treated well.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Conqueror of Shamballa is heavily controversial and some may still hate the way it chose to give its characters closure and I could agree to disagree with that, but I couldn't agree for someone to consider this movie as a waste of time and as something to not acknowledge. If such superficial aspects make someone not want to acknowledge a story's ending, considering it "fanfiction" would still ironically backfire into the person in question filling in a “fanfiction” ending of their own. Fullmetal Alchemist: Conqueror of Shamballa is the ending to the 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. All you're expected to go in with is a bit of tolerance for the direction it might take.
Also, if you want to see my examination of the movie, go here: http://myanimelist.net/blog.php?eid=760355
Now I can only wish for a remake of the original series in a movie format, like Kara no Kyoukai, that reaches this level of budget constantly. With a bit of fine-tuning, that would definitely be the best anime around.read more
Looking back on the top selling anime series of the 21st century by year, you'll find some shows you'll expect to see, and some you might not have even thought about since they came out. Let's look back and see what shows sold the most in their years.