(Spoiler warning! This movie takes place after the events of Fullmetal Alchemist)
Stuck in another world full of war and strife, Edward continues to research various applications of rocket science in the hopes that he can return to his brother. But when he runs into a gypsy with an unusual and dangerous ability, he ends up entangled in a conspiracy for power backed by a soon-to-be dictator. On the other side of the gate, Alphonse retraces the steps of his brother, attempting to find some clue as to Ed’s whereabouts when help comes in an unexpected ally. Little do the brothers know just how heavy a task has been handed to them, separated across time and space.
As is to be expected from a continuation of the original FMA series, this movie has its share of violence. Right from the start, Edward and Alphonse encounter a crazed man (during a flash back) who uses the corpses of past comrades to escape. In the last half of the movie, a man is killed by a “dragon” and blood flows down from its jaws. The enemies at the end are also corrupted by the gate and thus are transformed into a mass of mutations upon arrival, a sight that isn’t very pleasant. Though perhaps the most violent scene in the movie is when Wrath faces off against Gluttony. Limbs are ripped off and blood spurts everywhere. While worse violence is out there, it’s certainly not to be taken lightly.
Just like the original series, while the language isn’t frequent, the illegitimate-son word and some d—ms are present.
There’s not much to speak of in this vain, aside from the few scenes where Edward is only in his boxers while repairing his automail. The only other scene to be aware of would be when a particular non-human character dies. He is then seen at the gate, being reunited with his “mother.” Both are not clothed, but there is no detail present and the exchange is quick.
The idea of the gate itself, which links two worlds, can be interpreted any number of ways, though really it should be taken as is. No explanation for it arises, nor is there an explanation for the strange black creatures that live inside it. Racism is addressed, to some extent in this movie as well. Noah, the gypsy girl Ed encounters, is often ridiculed for not being of German decent, thus not of the “perfect race.” While this is sad, it’s also understandable as this movie takes place right before the outbreak of World War II. Also, when trying to catch a “dragon,” a spear that is reportedly soaked in Christ’s blood is used to still the beast. However, it is mentioned in passing (it’s easy to miss too) and doesn’t come up in conversation again.
When this movie came across the Pacific, it was a big deal for a reason. This movie is high on action and the setting is wonderfully realistic. The difference between the damper colors of our world and the bright colors of Ed and Al’s world make the contrast between the two stark. And this movie does wrap up a few plot lines that were left hanging at the end of the series (mainly the brothers being separated). That being said, I don’t often re-watch this movie for the very simple fact that it has a depressing air about it. As amazing as it is, -gorgeous visuals, wonderful music and an amazing pace- its dark nature makes it difficult to watch repeatedly. This is likely due to Edward’s personality being so dark and brooding, a large jump from his more go-get-em attitude in the series. It also made me long for more scenes with Alphonse in them as he had a more cheerful personality reminiscent of the tone the original series had.
Even so, this is an excellent movie. Again, lots of action, suspense and the tie in with World War II was expertly done. And for fans of the original series, Conqueror of Shamballa is near perfection (aside from people hoping for one particular couple to get together at the end). Just don’t go in looking for the same sunny attitude the first series debuted.
Personal Rating: Young adult