FMA means Fullmetal Alchemist, a popular, award-winning manga and anime by Hiromu Arakawa. A fab story that I happened upon by chance -- and that's thanks to my beading, actually!
To connect the dots, we need to travel some years back in time when there was still a channel called ZTV in Sweden. It was pretty much dying at the time and one of the few things they aired was a whole bunch of anime series late at night. At the time I was spending many late nights in the beading room, often with a kitten in my lap, and in order to dispel the darkness and quiet I had the telly on. For some reason I one day zapped through the few channels available to me until finding anime on it, something relatively unusual in swedish channels and something I liked (albeit never seen much of as I've always been more of a manga person and anime wasn't widely available for me to get interested in). Some days I watched a few minutes before continuing to zap, but other days I stopped at ZTV for the whole night. As it was in the middle of all the three or four series aired in a row, I didn't pay that much attention. It was probably not even the best or most action packed episodes that I first stumbled upon and sometimes a protagonist does something mid-series that you find hard to sympathize with unless you know the background. But somehow I kept "bumping into" these two young guys called Ed and Al. And I got hooked, totally sucked into the story. Even when not understanding many of the things happening or persons referred to. The other animes were ok, I began following one of the others too, but nothing was as good as FMA. I became an instant fan and watched it more or less religiously to the end -- after which they put the series on a loop so I could watch it again, this time from the beginning.
Serendipity is perhaps what english-speaking people would call it. I knew nothing of FMA, found it by chance -- and was enthralled. I would sit in the dark with a sleeping cat as my only company and watch it. Night after night, just getting more and more hooked.
The above video is of the "outro" used in the episodes where I began watching. The song is Motherland by Crystal Kay. This was the song that ended the first episodes of FMA I watched so for me it's synonymous with the series -- and the same goes for this opening, Undo by Cool Joke. Everytime I hear just the intro of the song, I can see the scenes inside my head. You can a longer version of it here. The reason I didn't include that video here is that it shows images from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and I haven't seen that, nor have I got as far in the manga (due to various reasons). Haven't seen the movie(s) either, by the way -- and I still count myself as a huge fan... Anyway, while I have of cause stumbled onto many spoilers by now, I try to avoid them if I can. Even small ones.
Funny footnote regarding the video: were I began watching the anime, Winry isn't in the story so I never really understood who she -- and Den (the dog) -- was. It just seemed like silly (albeit pretty innocent) fanservice at first due to some parts of it. Once you see the story from the beginning, this ending used for episodes 26-41 makes so much more sense.
God, how that song makes we wish I could buy the soundtrack (for the original anime series) and the boxed set of the manga right now!
So what am I trying to say with this blog post? Other than how much I want the soundtrack and full set of the manga, that is. Well, most of all it's a story of how one can just by chance stumbled upon something one will fall completely in love with. It could just as well had been that I opted to listen to music instead of turning on the telly. Or that I settled for another channel. The probability of my never seeing even one episode of FMA was so much bigger than the probability that I would. And to think I would've missed out on such an amazing thing... It was so close. I almost missed out on a fab story. It's almost with horror that I think of how close it was that I never would've gotten to know Ed, Roy, Riza and all the others.
Of cause, that's life: we accidentally stumble onto things that have the potential to change something in our lives, but we never know what we might have stumbled onto had things been just slightly different. We don't miss those things that we didn't encounter or that didn't happen to us because we never were aware of them so we don't need to mourn the missed things. They aren't like opportunities missed because we didn't take the chance or were forced to decline them. If we miss one thing, there's another probably just as exciting around the corner. But once you do stumble over something, you can't imagine life without it as it was such a treat. Perhaps it sparked inspiration, made you reflect over your life or just change in some other way, maybe it was just something that made just happy or fill up with strong emotions. If just every so slightly, it added to or changed something in your life, your lifestyle/interests or your memory. I'm so thankful and happy that FMA was one of the things I stumbled over by chance and which left a beautiful impression in me!
I hope that I can perhaps pass this little nugget on to someone else who isn't familiar with anime and therefore haven't heard of it before. Maybe you'll be the next FMA fan?