Meaning of life
Fullmetal Alchemist, (not to be confused with the storyline of the manga) is a series that asks what it means to be human. Edward Elric and his brother Alphonse use alchemy to attempt to restore their mother to life. Unsuccessful, they pay for their "sin" by Ed losing his arm and leg and Al becoming only a soul attached to a suit of armor. However, they do not give up, and Ed joins the military to research alchemy to find a way to restore their bodies to how they are before. On they way, they encounter the homunculi, a group that are not human who are personifications of the seven deadly sins. These homunculi are different in many ways from humans and wrestle with their apparent physical advantages versus their moral deficits. This series brings up questions about whether it is alright to create life through artificial means, is life sacred, and what makes someone human.
Pros: self-sacrifice, perseverance, brotherly love, recognizing one's own mistakes, and humility.
Cons: swearing, violence and blood, character deaths, some lack of respect for superiors, and flirting.
Summary: This is a great show with superb anime animation that tries to answer questions everyone asks about life. In this way, the story goes much deeper than most TV shows. A quote that summarizes it is, "Teachings that do not speak of pain have no meaning...Because humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return." Because it is an anime, it also can quickly switch between slapstick humor and serious scenes, it takes a little to get used to because this doesn't happen so much in Western media, but you can get used to it. The show is from an Eastern viewpoint, rather than a Christianity-influenced view.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing