"Fullmetal Alchemist (鋼の錬金術師 Hagane no Renkinjutsushi?, literally "Alchemist of Steel"), is an ongoing Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa. The world of Fullmetal Alchemist is styled after the European Industrial Revolution. Set in a fictional universe in which alchemy is one of the most advanced scientific techniques known to man, the story follows the brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric, who want to restore their bodies after a disastrous failed attempt to bring their mother back to life through alchemy.
The manga is serialized in Square Enix's Monthly Shōnen Gangan magazine (starting August 2001) and currently has 25 tankōbon volumes. It was adapted into an animated television series of 51 episodes by Bones from October 4, 2003 to October 2, 2004, later followed by a film sequel that concluded the story of the anime. Fullmetal Alchemist would later spawn a second series called Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, which first premiered in Japan on April 5, 2009. A multitude of spin-off novels, original video animations (OVAs), drama CDs, soundtracks, and video games have been adapted from the series. A collectible card game, multiple supplementary books, and a variety of action figures and other merchandise based on the characters of the series have also been released.
Video games based on Fullmetal Alchemist have also been released. The storylines of the games often diverge from those of the anime and manga and feature new characters. Square Enix has released three role-playing games (RPG)—Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel, Curse of the Crimson Elixir, and Kami o Tsugu Shōjo—and one fighting game, Dream Carnival, for the PlayStation 2. Bandai has released two RPG titles, Fullmetal Alchemist: Stray Rondo (鋼の錬金術師 迷走の輪舞曲 Hagane no Renkinjutsushi Meisō no Rondo?) and Fullmetal Alchemist: Sonata of Memory (鋼の錬金術師 想い出の奏鳴曲 Hagane no Renkinjutsushi Omoide no Sonata?), for the Game Boy Advance and one, Dual Sympathy, for the Nintendo DS. Bandai will be releasing another RPG, Fullmetal Alchemist: To the Promised Day (鋼の錬金術師 Fullmetal Alchemist 約束の日へ Hagane no Renkinjutsushi Fullmetal Alchemist Yakusoku no Hi e?), for the PlayStation Portable on May 20, 2010 in Japan. Destineer released a game based on the trading card game in North America for the Nintendo DS. Of the seven games made in Japan, Broken Angel, Dream Carnival, Curse of the Crimson Elixir, and Dual Sympathy have seen international release; the others have not been released internationally. For the Wii, Akatsuki no Ōji (暁の王子?, lit. Fullmetal Alchemist: Prince of the Dawn) was released in Japan on August 13, 2009. A direct sequel of the game, Tasogare no Shōjo (黄昏の少女?, lit. "Fullmetal Alchemist: Daughter of the Dusk"), was released on December 10, 2009 for the same console.
Funimation licensed the franchise to create a new series of Fullmetal Alchemist related video games to be published by Destineer Publishing Corporation in the United States. Destineer released its first Fullmetal Alchemist game for the Nintendo DS, a translation of Bandai's Dual Sympathy, on December 15, 2006, and has commented that this will be the first of many titles that they plan to release. On February 19, 2007, Destineer announced the second game in its Fullmetal Alchemist series, the Fullmetal Alchemist Trading Card Game. This title was released October 15, 2007. A third game for the PlayStation Portable titled Fullmetal Alchemist: Senka wo Takuseshi Mono was released in Japan on October 15, 2009. The game was announced for a European release with Namco Bandai being the publisher on March 4, 2010. The massively multiplayer online role-playing game MapleStory is also going to receive special ingame items based on the series as tie-in.
For the RPG games, Arakawa oversaw the story and designed its characters, while Bones, the studio which would be responsible for the anime series, produced several animation sequences. The developers looked at other titles for inspiration, particularly Square's action role-playing game Kingdom Hearts, in addition to other games based on manga series, such as Dragon Ball, Naruto or One Piece games. The biggest challenge they had to overcome was to try to make the title a "full-fledged" game rather than a simple "character-based" game. Tomoya Asano, the assistant producer for the games, noted that development spanned more than a year, unlike most character-based games."
Source: Wikipedia, "Fullmetal_Alchemist", available under the CC-BY-SA License.