The heart warming, and breaking, anime about the journey of two young boys trying to get their bodies back. Edward and Alphonse Elric are children who preform alchemy, but this practice will eventually be their own undoing.
Warning this is full of spoilers!
Fullmetal Alchemist (2003)
This was the first anime made of the Manga series. It was much more brutal than the second series they made of it. Edward and his brother decide to try to bring their dead mother back from the grave. This doesn't work out and they end up losing much more. In exchange for a failed human transmutation, Al lost his body, Edward tied his body to a suit of armor, and Ed lost his leg and arm.
As time goes on, Ed becomes a state alchemist and nicknamed 'Fullmetal' by the leader of the country. Along the way, they find homunculi who are made from failed human transmutations and philosopher stones. These human like creatures have powers to change their looks, transform parts of their bodies into weapons, and so much more. Amongst these homunculi are the Al and Ed's mother and the leader of the country. Their master, Dante, was once in love with the boys' father, Hohenheim. They are both centuries old and made philosopher stones together. She uses these stones to jump from body to body.
Now she needs a new one made and a man named Scar makes it for her, unknowingly. The boys use the last remains of the homunculi, including their mother Trisha, to destroy most of them. Edward is then sent to the "other side" on accident by one of these monsters when it kills him. The other side is Germany where he sees his father. When Al brings him back he inadvertently disappears from using the stone that is inside him.
Edward uses alchemy exchanging his life for his brother's. This lands him permanently in Germany. Alphonse, however, does get his body back. Now the brothers are separated in different worlds.
They struggle to find a way back to each other til a movie is made. Together they defeat the Germans trying to invade their home world. In doing so they choose to stay in Germany together, with no way to ever go back.
This is similar as the brothers are still trying to get their bodies back and the back story is the same, but the rest is different. The homunculi are working for a man named "Father" and they are creations made from parts of his soul. This "man" looks just like their father and is trying to destroy their country.
Together with the military and their father, Hohenheim, they defeat the Fuhrer of their country along with the other homunculi. This version the boys do not go to Germany. They stay in their country Amestris whole once again. It ends on a happy note where they are traveling and learning more about alchemy.
These two versions of Fullmetal Alchemist are great for anyone new to anime. They're fun and adventurous! Both series get 5 star ratings from me! It is amazing watching these stories unfold. It has action, drama, and perfect timing on comedic relief!