Before I say anything else, I want to point out that I get the feeling CSM did not actually watch the whole anime, as I'm rather shocked that they didn't mention any of the events that occur after the first six episodes. The show is very, very violent; that is true. It's a dark story, and many times more disturbing than it is violent - which is saying a lot. It also contains a multitude of religious themes, often alluding to the mythology of major world religions, in its depictions of the celestial forces that sway the story's universe; I find it very thought-provoking and powerful, but I know there are people on CSM who will be sensative to the sometimes less-then-glamorous depictions of forces like God in Fullmetal.
Now, with all that nonsense out of the way: the series is absolutely incredible. I don't throw around the word "masterpiece" very often. And I must say, if you only ever introduce your children to one television program in their lifetimes, I sincerely hope this is it. From the gorgeous musical score to the beautiful artistry, the thematic brilliance to the so-real-they-could-live-next-door characters, this show is everything about animation that is good. The storyline is deep, complex, and truly representative of the human condition. It is one of the most powerful stories I have ever had the pleasure to experience, and will surely envoke strong feelings on every end of life's broad spectrum - horrors that are truly horrifying, passions that are truly electrifying, jokes that are truly hilarious, tragedies that are truly heartbreaking, and heights that are truly magical. Edward (not Edgar) Elric stands out to me as one of the finest characters in any fiction - literature, film, or animation - that I have ever seen; disillusioned but persistent, stubborn but well-meaning, bitter but maintaining some vestige of hope, some reason to move forward. He is everything that a great character ought to be. He is unique in his perspective and personality; he is a methodical, mathematical, scientific mind, with a serious God complex and an aching need to be the biggest and the best. He is capable of unintentional cruelty and often he is rough and angry and mean. He is imperfect and weak and bitter. Even so, he is redeemable; he is talented, and intelligent, passionate and genuinely good at heart; he has an appreciation for the value of human life that is undeniable, and he is utterly incapable of doing anything he does not believe is right; it is impossible for him to put distance between himself and other people, and his love for his family is a bond that drives him into our hearts. In the end, Edward’s struggle is our own struggle, and every step he takes propels us forward. He is one of those people who battles an insatiable craving for the extraordinary, the unbelievable, the impossible- but some things are greater than even he is able to comprehend. His journey is one that touches each of us, because he is journeying into the world of our own nature, but it is he, himself, that makes the story belong to us.
The show guides its viewer through a breathtaking, albeit somewhat brutal, portrait of human nature- it's a beautiful story, and it will surely continue to move you, time after time after time.