The Best Anime Next Steps

There are a lot of anime out there! Literally thousands, with over a hundred more being released every year. There are new hits every season, and old favorites that have slowly lost their topical sheen. Given all those shows, it can be understandably hard to pick what to watch next – anime, like every other medium, is full of stuff that will disappoint you, and everyone’s tastes are different.

My own tastes in particular are a little weird – I like arthouse stuff and intimate character studies and occasional cathartic message-focused shows. But fortunately, there is indeed such a thing as “normal” taste in anime, or at least the most common preferences shared by fans outside of Japan. And today, I’m hoping to help that audience – or more specifically, hopefully, You.

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Rough Notes Archive: Fullmetal Alchemist

Management: So I heard you guys like notes or something! As with Utena and Katanagatari, I took a whole crapton of timestamped notes while watching FMA, with almost any line of any noteworthy thematic relevance being recorded and commented on in time. They’re not intended to be an actual formal piece – they’re me gathering ideas and poking at thoughts as I watch the show in real time. But if you want a big dense journey into FMA’s threads that goes beyond my essay on the subjecthere we are.

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Fullmetal Alchemist and the Promise of Power

Management: This piece is about the 2003 series. Please refrain from or at least clearly mark spoilers regarding Brotherhood in the comments!

Alchemy is the promise of power.

That doesn’t sound particularly profound – it sounds obvious, actually. Clearly stories of alchemy are stories of men of science attempting to harness the unharnessable, to make the laws of the universe bend to their will, to achieve great things. But in the case of Fullmetal Alchemist, “power” doesn’t necessarily mean “strength” or “possibility.” Power can simply mean knowing your strength exists, and the world is a place you have the chance to affect.

Alchemy is the promise of control.

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