Fullmetal Alchemist (鋼の錬金術師, Hagane no Renkinjutsushi, literally "Alchemist of Steel") is a steampunk manga first published from 2001 to 2010. It has spawned two anime, the first taking its own independent storyline and the second faithfully adapting the manga.
Two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, disregard laws against using alchemy on humans in an attempt to revive their late mother. When their attempt at resurrection fails, they pay a huge price. Ed loses two limbs, while Al's soul is ripped from his body and attached to a suit of armor. Hoping to restore their bodies, Ed joins the State Military to gain access to their considerable resources and they begin to search for the mythical Philosopher's Stone, which is said to grant unlimited alchemic power. During the course of their search, however, they begin to uncover the truth of alchemy and the corruption in their government and are forced to choose between their goals and the good of others.
- Edward Elric: A 15 year old alchemist, he joined the military at age twelve to gain access to their resources. He lost his left leg while attempting to resurrect his mother and his right arm while saving his brother, Alphonse. His missing limbs were replaced by mechanical prosthetics called automail. He now searches for the Philosopher's Stone to restore both his and Al's body. He is very sensitive about his short stature.
- Alphonse Elric: Ed's 14 year old younger brother. While attempting to resurrect their mother, Al lost his body and now has his soul bound to a suit of armor. At request of his brother, Al has not become a state alchemist and remains a civilian.
- Roy Mustang: Edward's superior, Roy is an ambitious man who aims to be Führer of the Amestris state. Having participated in a brutal civil war, he has become aware of the corruption in the higher political positions and wishes to begin a reform. He likes to tease Edward for his shortness and often puts on a cold, heartless air. Like Ed, he is also a State Alchemist and specializes in fire.
- Winry Rockbell: A childhood friend of the Elric brothers, Winry is an automail mechanic. She often becomes angry at the brothers for not telling her anything, especially at Ed, who often breaks his automail. Her parents were killed during the Ishval Civil War by Scar.
Fullmetal Alchemist has two anime adaptations. The first, which ran from 2003 to 2004, developed an independent storyline based on what material had been published at the time. Its story was wrapped up in the 2005 anime film Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa.
In 2009, a second adaptation began to air, this time following the manga more closely and only deviating to accommodate pacing. It is known in English-speaking countries as Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood to differentiate it from the 2003 series and in Japan as Hagane no Renkinjutsushi: Fullmetal Alchemist (鋼の錬金術師 FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST, Hagane no Renkinjutsushi: Furumetaru Arukemisuto).
Fullmetal Alchemist contains many clear steampunk and dieselpunk elements both in storytelling and setting. The world the story takes place in a setting reminiscent of the interwar period, which saw a huge burst of industrial growth, and much of the technology and clothing aligns with that era as well. There are clear social divides within the series and tension exists between races and classes, eventually resulting in rebellions.
Perhaps the most obvious steampunk influence in Fullmetal Alchemist is the presence of automail, or automotive armored prostheses which act as artificial limbs. Automail can take the place of legs and arms to any degree and can even contain weapons within them. Automail can also be constructed for animals. However, it should be noted that automail doesn't run on steam, and usually has no internal power-source, relying on electrical impulses from the wearer's nerves