Full Metal Alchemist Retrospective: Conqueror of Shamballa


Fullmetal-alchemist-the-movie-conqueror-of-shamballa-movie-poster-2005So with the obvious success of an anime like Full Metal Alchemist, it is needless to say that you are going to need to start milking that baby for all that it is worth and with that comes a movie to tie up all the loose ends that the original anime left dangling after the conclusion of the original series run. With that comes an interesting and thought-provoking movie called Full Metal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa. Complete with a healthy amount of intrigue and a just a pinch of good ole fashion Nazis, The Conqueror of Shamballa is a must watch of anyone that is a fan of the original series.

Taking place two years after the conclusion of the original series, Edward and Alphonse find themselves torn apart by different planes of existence. Alphonse, now with his body intact remains in the world of Amestris, while Edward is sent through the gate and has found himself on Earth in the early 1920’s where modern science has won over the alchemical process. While studying rocketry in Weimar Republic Germany, Edward learns that his world and Earth parallel each other with several people looking like people that he knows in Amestris, like his brother and Führer Bradley. After being kidnapped by a group of people known as the Thule Society who are attempting to open a gate to Amestris as is Alphonse along with the help of Wrath. So the story becomes of a rift between two world as the Elric Brothers attempt to thwart the Thule Society and reunite once and for all.

Pros

It Ties Up Most Loose Ends

Say what you will about the movie, it did succeed in its function. Most of the loose ends left at the end of the original series run were tied up quite well. What happened to Edward once he went through the gate, what happened to Wrath, Gluttony, and Envy, do Ed and Alphonse ever truly end up together. Most of the questions that fans were left asking were tied up by the movie, so for that I would say the film succeeded in what it was trying to do.

Enjoyable Watch

All things considered, this movie is still very enjoyable. There isn’t anything wrong with the movie, it is well animated, well acted, and well paced. For a one hundred minute movie, it will keep your attention from start to end. If you are a fan of the series then you can find a lot of enjoyment in the movie and feel satisfied with a strong conclusion to the plot.

Cons

It Feels Like an Elongated Episode

Whenever I see a movie that is based off of a TV series, I do expect a few things from it. First off, I expect it to look like a movie, be paced like a movie, and has the stakes of a movie that is set in the same universe as the source material. To me, Conqueror of Shamballa does not feel like a movie, it feels like an elongated episode of Full Metal Alchemist. The plot points and the way the movie is constructed feels like a half assed attempt to create a movie and attempt to draw people into it who haven’t seen the show, but maintaining the TV show elements. While it isn’t a major con, it still is a problem that I find with the film.

Conclusion

After watching this movie and writing the review about it, as I conclude I have come to realize that there just isn’t enough to this movie to talk about. It is still decently made, paced, and acted, the sad fact is there just isn’t enough to the movie to hold interest. Fans of the series will enjoy it but past that it just feels like an elongated Full Metal Alchemist episode. If you are a fan of the television series then I would suggest giving it a watch. But if you have not seen the series or just wasn’t a huge fan of it, then this movie simply isn’t for you. There just isn’t enough there to hold the interest for a 100 minute run time.

Final Score 2.5/5

Thank you for reading and as always if you enjoyed this review then please like and subscribe for more from me. Next up we talk about the reboot of the series, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. 

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