Directed by Kazuya Murata. In Japanese with English subtitles. (Not rated. 110 minutes)
With excellent animation, gobs of action, mystical mayhem and more twists and turns than you can count, “Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos” – the latest installment of the anime sensation from Japan – is not likely to disappoint its fans.
Or the uninitiated.
This chapter in the revered series (which includes television and film) begins when alchemist brothers Al and Ed Elric are hunting down a fugitive who inexplicably fled prison only weeks before he was scheduled to be released. Al and Ed trace the escapee to not-so-friendly territory in Creta, but end up taking a plunge (literally) into the unfamiliar world of a young alchemist named Julia.
There, down in a forlorn valley called Milos, our heroes become enmeshed in a rebellion in which the inhabitants are seeking to get their Holy Land back. Julia’s quest to spearhead this crusade, and a crucial decision that she makes regarding a particular stone, will have far-ranging effects on everyone.
At a few points, the narrative becomes bewildering if you have not followed the story from the beginning, although the filmmakers take great pains to include as much backstory as possible without slowing down the proceedings. For the most part, they succeed.
This is a very intelligent, well-plotted story – and my hunch is that we have not seen the last of our heroes.
E-mail David Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appeared on page E – 6 of the San Francisco Chronicle