I am utterly amazed how such a big story could be contained in just 64 episodes [something which Bleach seems to be unable to do] without feeling rushed and yet retain it's complexity without the creators dumbing it down for the sake of keeping it short. I do not watch/read/enjoy military [and while I am at it, I also do not enjoy any stories set in prisons and apart from CSI I am also on the fence as far as police work in fiction/entertainment goes] and FMA Brotherhood, although dark and apocalyptic, is a military story at its heart. The characters are soldiers, their trade is war and the story carries the typical tropes: conscience is pitted versus hierarchy and orders; loyalty, bravery and patriotism are tested, defined and validated; humanity is examined. But FMA Brotherhood is so much more than that. It uplifts, despairs, saddens, cheers, admonishes, theorizes, speculates, invents, perseveres, inspires, whisks away and smuggles emotions into the viewer's heart. It does not settle for a genre, it greedily conquers all fronts from fantasy, to science fiction, horror, comedy, romance, action adventure, drama and even a bit noir.
I admit I cried and laughed hard on several occasions during these 64 episodes [I am a big softy, so that may not come as a surprise]. And yes, we are talking about anime [a medium, which still is considered childish and inferior by some]. Forcing a reader/viewer/listener to manifest a physical reaction to a story. Now this is power. This is what separates the good stories from the bloody brilliant ones. The best part is that it doesn't matter what medium carries the story. It just delivers and when it is done, it leaves the person altered.