Fullmetal Alchemist (Hagane no Renkinjutsushi) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa. It was serialized in Square Enix’s Monthly Shōnen Gangan shōnen manga anthology magazine between July 2001 and June 2010; the publisher later collected the individual chapters into twenty-seven tankōbon volumes.
The steampunk world of Fullmetal Alchemist is primarily styled after the European Industrial Revolution. Set in the early 20th century, in a fictional universe in which alchemy is a widely practiced science, the series follows the journey of two alchemist brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, who are searching for the philosopher’s stone to restore their bodies after a failed attempt to bring their mother back to life using alchemy.
Fullmetal Alchemist has been adapted into various anime—two television series and two films, all animated by Bones—as well as light novels.
The manga has sold over 80 million volumes worldwide, making it one of the best-selling manga series. It received the 49th Shogakukan Manga Award for the shōnen category in 2004, the UK’s Eagle Award for favorite manga in 2010 and 2011 and the Seiun Award for best science fiction comic in 2011. The English release of the manga’s first volume was the top-selling graphic novel during 2005. Reviewers from several media outlets positively critiqued the series, particularly for its character development, action scenes, symbolism, and philosophical references.