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» Company
Bandai Entertainment, R2-Japan
» Running Time
100 min.
» Genre
Action, Fantasy
» Type
» Final Score
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Full Metal Alchemist – The Conqueror of Shambala

» written by hinatasou [Discuss]

Legends tell of an underground kingdom hidden deep within the mountains where a utopian society exists without disease, hatred, and suffering. To be a citizen there promises eternal peace. Shambala. Those who rule Shambala posses the power to rule the world. Is what is said true or are they merely myths?

There is such a place. It’s called heaven. But I digress. In Japanese, Full Metal Alchemist - The Conqueror of Shambala translates to Hagane no Renkinjutsushi - Shanbara wo Yuku Mono. First, some background historical information to put the movie in perspective. In September 1918, General Ludendorff of Germany urged the government to call for immediate peace negotiations thereby leading to the end of World War I. During the war, the government controlled the spread of ideas through propaganda and censorship. To the populace, the surrender was a stab in the back by the newly found Weimar Republic who agreed to the unfair and harsh reparations of the Versailles Treaty. People thought that their army had not yet been defeated (only General Ludendorff and his closest military associates knew that the German cause was hopeless).Anti-Semitic sentiment was growing, as the Jews who occupied distinguished positions in business, law, medicine, and journalism were enviable. Gypsies, the mentally and physically disabled, Jehovah’s Witnesses, as well as homosexuals were labeled as undesirables. There were those who took satisfaction in thinking of themselves as of pure Arian blood. Secret societies were on the rise. In 1920, a group of discontented army officers staged a Putsch, or armed revolt in an attempt to seat Dr. Kapp as head of state. The Berlin workers, by turning off all public utilities, stopped the revolt. That same year the National Socialist German Workers’ party, Nazis, was born to keep alive the patriotic and military spirit. In 1923, they staged a ‘beer hall Putsch’ in Munich. Hitler fired a revolver at the ceiling and shouted, ‘National revolution has broken out!’ However, the police suppressed the disturbance, and Hitler was sentenced to five years in prison (A History of the Modern World, 1984). This event takes place in the movie. The movie also does an excellent job in showing the attitudes of hate along with the ethnocentrism of the German race, those with blue eyes and blond hair.

Secondly, at the beginning of the movie there is a physicist who claims to have discovered uranium. The year is 1914. In actuality, Martin Klaproth discovered a uranium oxide from pitchblende mineral samples in the Joachimsal silver mines in Bohemia (present day Czech Republic) in 1789. He named it uranium after the planet Uranus. That physicist in Full Metal Alchemist I would like to say is probably Klaproth in Ed and Al’s world since it was noted that he relied upon mine workers. Then again, the problem is that uranium’s potential as an energy source through nuclear fission, hence a nuclear weapon, wasn’t discovered until 1938 by Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman. The physicist Ed and Al encountered knew full well of its capabilities. Somehow the uranium bomb got warped into our world before 1923 (the photograph in the movie).

Lastly, Ed meets an Austrian film director by the name of Fritz Lang who he mistakes as the Homunculus Pride (Fuher King Bradrey) in his world. In the movie his monocle is on the left eye while in real life it’s on the right ( Lang’s mother was Jewish. He studied civil engineering at the Technical University of Vienna, but unsatisfied he switched to art in 1908. In 1910 he traveled to Africa and Asia. After World War I he joined Germany’s Ufa studio. His most famous silent work was Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler (or Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler) in 1922, the story describing the conflict between the master criminal Mabuse and detective Von Wenk. Lang left Germany in 1934 and had his sights on America. His wife Thea von Harbou was sympathetic with the Nazis and stayed behind. She herself joined the Nazi Party 1932 and divorced Lang in 1933.

The official Japanese website can be found at where you’ll find trailers, character profiles, a summary of the storyline, key terms, the cast list, two wallpapers, an interview, and plenty of screenshots scattered about.

The Breakdown
Who is really the conquer of Shambala? Is it Dietlinde Eckart, Ed, or no one at all? Watch the movie to find out.


» The Pros
You've heard the expression 'People fear what they don't understand.' When we meet someone who is different from us for the first time, one must go beyond their fears and exhibit cultural relativism accepting them as humans. Not everyone can do this falling into ethnocentrism. They might even be jealous like Dietlinde Eckart was of Ed's world.

» The Cons
Hawkeye's main purpose is the damsel not necessarily in distress but nevertheless waiting for her hero Mustang to return. The same goes for Winry and Ed. Both Mustang and Ed leave their lovers' side to do battle.

» Animation
Some of the backdrops are a little hard to distinguish at the beginning of the movie due to the shadows and the darkened landscape.

» Sound
The OP theme Link and EN theme Lost Heaven are done by L'Arc~en~Ciel. Both are incredible. My friend BethAviv100 even made an AMV for Final Fantasy 7 Advent Children using Lost Heaven.

» Story
The movie takes place two years after the end of the anime series. Having watched the entire 51 episode series is an essential prerequisite for the movie. The movie resolves what happens to the remaining three sins Gluttony, Wrath, and Envy (now a dragon if you remember) and Ed and Al's father Hoenheim. Izumi has died, and there is no one left to hold Al back from reuniting with his lost brother. There are cameos of Scar, Ed and Al's mother, and Lyra in our world.

» Recommend
Sorry guys but no hot gypsy sex. It's up to you to imagine what Noah does to Ed while he's asleep after she places her forehead against his. The movie comes out on DVD in January 2006.


» Other Information
Language: Japanese dialogue, English subtitles


Character heads from top to bottom - Dietlinde Eckart, Karl Haushofer, a policeman (Hughes), Roy Mustang, Noah, Alphonse Heiderich, and the Elric brothers Alphonse and Edward.



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