“Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos” proves to be another adventure of bravery, revolt and romance as the Elric brothers continue their search to uncover the ever deepening world of alchemy.

The film’s director, Kazuya Murata, who also worked as assistant director for the ever-popular anime, “Code Geass,” stayed true to the work of Hiromu Arakawa as the film aligns with her original manga series and the second animation series, “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.”

In the opening of each “Fullmetal Alchemist” episode, Alphonse Elric describes the parameters of alchemy: “Humankind cannot obtain anything without first sacrificing something. In order to obtain anything, something of equal value is required. That is Alchemy’s law of equivalent exchange.” This one law dictates the world of the Elric brothers.

When they were young boys, their mother passed away and their grief was unbearable. Together, Edward and Alphonse decided to attempt a forbidden human transmutation to bring her back to life. As a result, Alphonse, Edward’s younger brother lost his entire body, and Edward lost his leg. He then sacrificed his arm to affix Alphonse’ soul, which remained in the room, to a suit of armor.

Edward must live his life with an automail (metal prosethetic) leg and arm, Alphonse with a suit of armor as his body and both with the knowledge they obtained at the gateway of truth. Edward’s newly found knowledge combined with his automail arm and leg gain him the title, the Fullmetal Alchemist, as a state alchemist for the country of Amestris.

The boys then search the far reaches of their world for knowledge about alchemy in the hope that they may someday restore their bodies to normal. In this search, much of their energy is spent on finding a Philosopher’s stone, a stone that relieves its owner of the bounds of equivalent exchange.

In this original video animation (OVA), Edward and Alphonse Elric, trail a fugitive alchemist to the nearly uninhabitable valley of the Milos people. The brothers find that they have stumbled into a battle of three lands, all in search of the sacred star of Milos or, as the Elric brothers know it, the Philosopher’s Stone. At the heart of the story is Julia, a young alchemist who stands as the Milos’ primary hope for overcoming their oppressors.

Not only does the film deliver a sophisticated plot, the animation parallels with the intricate displays of impossible cities, beautiful underground lakes and an expansive demonstration of the mechanical wonders of alchemy.

Another compelling feature of the film is the voice casting which has Romi Park in her usual role as Edward Elric. A few other recognizable castings are Rie Kugimiya as Alphonse, Shin-Ichiro Miki as the ever-commanding and attractive Col. Roy Mustang and Kenji Utsumi as the glittering Alex Louis Armstrong. This combination of plot, acting and animation make “Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos” a must see.

After its debut in Japan on July 2, 2011, Eleven Arts and FUNimation have worked hard to bring the feature-length film to select North American theaters this January. In San Antonio, “Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos” premieres at Santikos Northwest 14 on Sun., Jan. 22 at 5 p.m. and Thurs., Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. 

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