Funimation Lands Full Metal Alchemist

Slated for the Cartoon Network in October
Funimation Productions, the American anime company responsible for adapting the various Dragon Ball anime series along with Fruits Basket, Kiddy Grade, and Yu Yu Hakusho, has landed one of the most sought after anime series of recent years, Full Metal Alchemist. Produced by Studio Bones and released in Japan in 2003, the 52-episode series (Hagane no Renkin Jutsushi in Japanese) is owned by Square-Enix, the videogame company famous for its Final Fantasy franchise. Square-Enix will release a Full Metal Alchemist videogame in the U.S. in the spring of 2005, but the anime series is currently slated to debut on the Cartoon Network in October 2004 and Funimation plans on releasing the first Full Metal Alchemist DVD in January of 2005. At last report the Full Metal Alchemist manga series, which originated the property, remains the subject of a serious bidding war between American manga publishers.

The story of two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, who suffer grievous physical damage when attempting to bring their dead mother back to life, Full Metal Alchemist is the episodic chronicle of the brothers' search for the Philosopher's Stone, the one object that can restore their bodies (Edward lost an arm and a leg, while Alphonse became completely disembodied as a result of their futile attempt to raise their mother). With a powerful storyline and strong characterizations, Full Metal Alchemist has been a huge hit in Japan and has the potential to duplicate that success here in the U.S. This is one of those properties, which could have a huge impact on both the anime and manga marketplaces here in the States.
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