Fullmetal Alchemist started in 2001 as a manga series, which eventually ran for 9 years and was collected into 27 volumes. Set in a primarily European setting circa 1900 where alchemy reigns supreme, the series follows the story of two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, who are searching for the Philosopher's Stone to repair their bodies.
The series was later adapted into two separate anime series, the first in 2003. As the manga had not yet finished, the original creator, Hiromu Arakawa, requested that this series come up with its own ending. The second series, subtitled Brotherhood, was a complete adaptation of the manga, and ran from 2009-10.
Like many a shounen hero before him, Edward is loud, stubborn, and dedicated to his friends. But what sets Ed apart is his sheer determination. Ed simply never gives up, no matter what he's facing.
Seriously. We're talking about a kid who, at the age of ten, attempted one of the most difficult alchemical techniques in hopes of bringing his mother back to life. And when that failed, when his brother Alphonse got taken away in exchange, Ed immediately gives up his own arm to get Al's soul back and bind it to a suit of armor. And then Ed promptly dedicates his entire life to returning Al to his own body. This is not the backstory of someone who half-asses anything.
(Oh, and he becomes the youngest state alchemist ever, just to make the whole "fixing Al" thing easier.)
In all seriousness, Ed is the heart and soul of FMA, and is a large part of why it's been one of my favorite series since I was a kid. He's ridiculous at times, but his dedication is nothing short of inspiring.
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Edward and Fullmetal Alchemist are © Hiromu Arakawa and others.
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