Fullmetal Alchemist

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Name: Fullmetal Alchemist
鋼の錬金術師 hagane no renkinjutsushi
(meaning "Alchemist of Steel")
Abbreviation(s): FMA, Hagaren (from the Japanese)
Creator: Hiromu Arakawa
Date(s): July 2001- June 2010 (manga)

2003-2004 (Fullmetal Alchemist anime)
2009-2010 (Fullmetal Alchemist:Brotherhood anime)

2017, 2022 (live-action movies)
Medium: Manga, anime, light novels, video games
Country of Origin: Japan
External Links: http://www.hagaren.jp/ (JP)
Edward Elric Alphonse Elric - Fullmetal Alchemist by ale0-0
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Fullmetal Alchemist, or Hagane no Renkinjutsushi, is a steampunk fantasy manga by Hiromu Arakawa, set in a world that resembles early 20th Century Europe with working alchemy. It has also been rendered as an anime twice, produced by Studio Bones, as a novel, in drama CDs, three video role playing games and a trading card game. While the series is generally consistent with the shounen genre, it has attracted many adult fans as well. In addition, Arakawa is female, which some fans feel gives this shounen series a broader, more gender-balanced appeal.



This series follows the adventures of two boys, Edward and Alphonse Elric, as they search for a way to restore their damaged bodies after a dreadful alchemical accident. Over time they become increasingly involved in national affairs, both political and alchemical.

Anime and Manga

The 2003 anime is based on the manga, and follows it closely for a time, but at about the middle of the anime run and around volume seven of the manga the stories diverge. Arakawa consulted on the creation of the anime, but did not assist with the writing. The ending of the first TV series and the manga differ greatly after the appearance of the character Greed. The second anime adaptation, Fullmetal Alchemist:Brotherhood (usually shortened as "FMAB" or "Brotherhood") follows the manga much more closely, and despite some changes (particularly in the earlier episodes), Brotherhood and the manga are often considered the same canon (sometimes referred to by fans as "mangahood" to contrast with the '03 anime canon).

The differences between the 2003 anime and the original manga has, however, led to a split in the fandom. While the early fandom regarded the two versions as renditions of the same story, later discussion and fanworks have had to distinguish which continuity they are dealing with. This made the common divide between anime oriented fans and manga oriented fans considerably deeper than usual.

Some fans feel that parts of the two versions can still be reconciled. For example, the manga reveals that an early, minor character is the grandfather of a main character, Hawkeye. This is not indicated in the anime, but as there is nothing to absolutely contradict it, some fans fee it can be assumed. Others feel that, since the late anime diverged so greatly, no real continuity should be assumed unless it is directly confirmed in the anime.



Fullmetal Alchemist has had a very active fandom since late 2003, largely centered in LiveJournal comms. The central, general community is fm_alchemist [1], but the fandom has quite a few strong factions or sub-fandoms. Some of the more active comms include the major sexually based divisions fma_gen [2], fma_yaoi [3] and fma_het [4], and the manga-specific comm hagaren_manga [5].

Fandom Dates

October 3rd is an important date in the story, which fans of the series commemorate every year with fanart and memes. [1][2] Since it's the same date as a meme from Mean Girls there is also some popular crossover art and discussion of interaction between the two fandoms. [3][4]

Other calendar dates that are commemorated by the fandom include Meat Day (February 9th, based on a pun in Japanese that is refenced in the manga),[5][6] and International Tumbleweed Day (December 18th, for unknown reasons). [7][8]


FMA has a number of quite active pairing-based fandoms. Since the pairings often involve a single character with different partners, this makes for a lot of acrimony between staunch adherents.

One of the highest profile pairing-based conflicts is between RoyEd and RoyAi (Roy/Hawkeye). The prevalence of RoyEd among a handful of prolific fans early in the fandom's expansion may account for the intensity with which some RoyAi fans support their preferred pairing. In addition, RoyEd itself was the center of a different conflict. Some fans felt that, given Ed's youth and Roy's maturity, pairing them was an exercise in pedophilia. Some of the fans that held this view, notably elffromspace, were also involved in the creation of the fma_het comm, feeling that fm_alchemist was acting as a functional yaoi comm.

Popular pairings include:

Gen Relationships


Some conflicts, of course, have nothing to do with the pairings.

One came up fairly early in the fandom's expansion, among fans who felt that the influx of new fans was resulting in a distressing amount of bad fanwork and discussion. This is not an unusual phenomenon, but in this case the fans in question put together a closed-membership community dedicated to fanworks and discussion they felt were of good quality. This was the hagaren [6] comm, active throughout 2004-2005. This led to a certain amount of bad feeling, but not a great deal of active fighting.

Notable conflicts include:

Online Communities


Quite a few archives were started early in the fandom expansion, but only a few have been consistently maintained. One of the only FMA-specific archives that is still active is Scimitar Smile [7]. Most fans appear content to have their fic publicized primarily in LJ comms and/or fanfiction.net, or else to make single-author archives for themselves alone.

Significant but now inactive archives include Equivalent Trade [8] and Touka Koukan [9].

FMA Writers was a LiveJournal community.


Given the complexity of symbol and reference in FMA it is not surprising that a major category of fanwork was the informational site.

Some of these sites are generalist, and contain synopses, purchasing information, media clips, character profiles, background information and forums. Hagane no Renkinjutsushi, Full Metal Alchemist [10] is one of this type.

Other sites focused more closely on tracing out the historical and symbolic background behind FMA's alchemy, military and political organization, and even character name derivations. Fullmetal Alchemist Indepth [11] is one of this kind.

Example Fanworks

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

FMA produces a high volume of fanwork, the majority of which is fanfiction with fanart running a close second.



Stories or series:









  1. ^ Post by zudilio, Archived version. Posted 3 October 2019. Accessed 17 April 2022.
  2. ^ Don't Forgt, Archived version. Fanart by viria. Posted 3 October 2021. Accessed 17 April 2022.
  3. ^ It's October 3rd, Archived version. Fanart by alithographica. Posted 3 October 2018. Accessed 17 April 2022.
  4. ^ October 3rd. One side of tumblr :/Other side of tumblr :, Archived version. Post by jentrevellan. Posted 3 October 2017. Accessed 17 April 2022.
  5. ^ Meat Day, Archived version. Post explaining the pun behind Meat Day by shocotate. Posted 9 February 2021. Accessed 17 April 2022.
  6. ^ Happy Meat Day, Everyone!, Archived version. Post by fma-facts. Posted 9 February 2018. Accessed 17 April 2022.
  7. ^ International FMA tumbleweed day?????, Archived version. Post by fma-facts. Posted 18 December 2017. Accessed 17 April 2022.
  8. ^ Happy International Tumbleweed Appreciation Day apparently, Archived version. Fanart by indyfalcon. Posted 18 December 2014. Accessed 17 April 2022.