Fullmetal Alchemist in Our Own World

During the presentation of this project in class, I really wanted someone to ask me how much time I had spent on it so that I could quickly reply, "Oh, about 30 or so hours." Obviously to give my work any credibility I had to watch the entire 64 episode series, which works out to around 32 hours of pure enjoyment. I suppose there was some actual work that went into this section; I rigorously studied the geometry and theory behind what are called transmutation circles. 

In Fullmetal Alchemist, a transmutation circle is the basis of power by which the alchemy or alkahestry can take place. It draws power from the earth and depending on the design and symbols contained within, it can have hundreds of different effects. For an alchemist to use a transmutation circle, they must first understand how it works and the chemistry of whatever they are attempting to transmute. One of the basic principles of alchemy and alkahestry is "equivalent exchange," which states that one must use a starting material, or "toll", in order to create something new.

Here is the actual show. The opening sequence explains equivalent exchange very well. Also, the theme song is awesome! :)

 For example: this circle, in the presence of oxygen and a spark, will create an explosion of flames. Also, even though what I think is a lizard appears on the circle, no actual lizards are used in the creation of the flame.

This circle is an example of the forbidden act: human transmutation. In the series, the two main characters, Edward and Alphonse Elric, attempt to use this circle to bring back their dead mother. However, the experiment goes horribly wrong and Edward ends up losing an arm to satisfy the principle of equivalent exchange. Alphonse wasn't so lucky and lost his whole body, but Ed saved him by bonding Al's soul to a suit of armor, losing a leg in the process.

This is part of an alkahestry tattoo that will decompose any material that the user touches, provided that the user understands what that material is. 

The other major research component was actually reading the works assigned in class: Ovid's Metamorphoses  and the ancient Chinese text Classic of the Mountains and Seas. Ovid helped more with the drawing portion while the Classic applied more to the presentation. 

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