An Archetypal Study of Studio Bones’ “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” (2009-10)

Conference: The Kyoto Conference on Arts, Media & Culture (KAMC2022)
Title: An Archetypal Study of Studio Bones’ “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” (2009-10)
Stream: Cultural Studies
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Kunal Debnath, IIT Roorkee, India
Nagendra Kumar, IIT Roorkee, India


"Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" (2009-10) is a Japanese animation series (anime) directed by Yasuhiro Irie and produced by Studio Bones. The anime is based on Hiromu Arakawa’s manga "Fullmetal Alchemist" (2001–2010). In "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood", we find many archetypal character types and themes. Some of the significant archetypal figures in this anime are the hero, the villain, the wise old man, the femme fatale, the rebel, the shapeshifter, the avenger, et cetera. For example, the hero of the series is Edward Elric, the Fullmetal Alchemist. He has to go through numerous hardships to achieve his goals. Sometimes we also find characters having more than one archetypal characteristic. Archetypal themes in the series include the quest, “overcoming the monster,” “voyage and return,” the descent into hell, vengeance, rebirth, redemption, et cetera. The present paper intends to unravel and analyze the archetypal characters and themes in the anime. Joseph Campbell’s theory of “the hero’s journey,” Christopher Booker’s concept of "the seven basic plots", Jungian archetypes, neo-Jungian archetypal theories of Robert Moore and Margaret Mark, and Caroline Myss’s model of archetype cards shall be used as the theoretical framework to examine the archetypal themes and characters in the anime.

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