The show starts Edward and Alphonse Elric as children living in their home in town of Risembool in the country of Amestris. Their father (known as Hohenheim of Light) left when the boys were very young, so they were living alone with their mother, Trisha Elric. Years pass, and suddenly Trisha dies of an illness, leaving Ed and Al heart-broken.
They leave home and end up receiving alchemy training from a teacher, and then they head back to Risembool with hopes of reviving their dead mother with the use of forbidden human transmutation. As the boys try to revive their mother, all does not go well though.
Ed ends up losing his left leg, and Al loses his entire body. Acting quickly, Ed sacrifices his right arm in order to transmute Al's soul to a suit of armor. Ed then gets a prosthetic arm and leg (known as automail) and later receives the title "Fullmetal." In order to learn more about human transmutation, Ed sets out with Al to become a State alchemist and gain access to valuable resources. Ed simply wishes to restore his brother's body, and his own arm and leg back.
However, as their journey progresses, they realize things may be more complicated than they ever could have imagined...
Fullmetal Alchemist is a pretty unique fantasy genre anime. It uses a somewhat original idea of transmutation magics to create something, by sacrificing something of equal value. Besides the unique theme, there are several other strong points to FMA that make it worth watching.
First of all, you've got the main goal, which is Ed and Al returning to normal after suffering tragedies to their bodies. Then along their journey, new events and "mini-stories" stories unfold. Many themes and controversial issues dealing with morality are dealt with, and it's up to you to make your own choices as to what's right and what's wrong.
However, as more information is sprung at you, your ideas may change completely. Fullmetal Alchemist really is an anime that has it all. The animation is good, and very fluid, and the art is very well-done. FMA is definitely one of the better looking animes, and combined with the storyline, plot twists, sub-plots, and sub-conflicts, FMA really is an anime you can enjoy till the very end, and then when you reach the end, it leaves you wanting more.