Plot: Two young brothers attempt to use the scientific sorcery of alchemy to resurrect their mother. It backfires. To repent and find away to restore their mutilated bodies (Edward the elder lost some limbs and feel terribly guilty that Alphonse the younger now is nothing but a soul bonded to an empty suit of armor), the two join the state military, and being to search for the legendary philosopher's stone.
Verdict: Unlike its 2007 descendant, this anime does not follow its source material but rather uses it as a jumping point to do, as far as myself and many others are concerned, something greater. Whereas the manga-books are epic in tone, this tale is tragic. It is a personal tragedy, or rather tragedies, that all end not with bangs but with whimpers. Though it may be more somber in its conclusions, and smaller in its scale (though it is still a plenty big sprawling fantasy world), this story rings more true. The bonds of family, friendship, brotherhood, shared dreams, compassion, love, reconciliation, and justice run deep here, deeper than much else like it, and while they may not always save the day in the exact way we would like, they and the people behind them are ever the reason to keep going, keep fighting. There is peace to be found in that.
Watch this. Take a pause. Watch its sequel movie, and then after another pause, if you need it watch or read Brotherhood to find motivation to put these themes into action.
Facts: 52 half hour episodes and a feature film sequel (not needed, but nice). Same studio, cast (mostly), author, and such as the source material.