After losing their mother, Alphonse and Edward Elric attempt to bring her back using the forbidden science of human alchemy.
However, alchemy operates on the of equivalent trade, and breaking the human alchemy taboo carries a heavy price. Ed loses his leg, and Al loses his life. Ed is able to seal Alís soul inside of a huge suit of armor, at the cost of his arm. Years later, Ed (now with two mechanical limbs) and Al (still trapped in the armor) leave their childhood home, each brother concerned with the otherís happiness. They are searching for any information on the fabled Philosopherís stone, hoping it will allow them to regain their old bodies.
Ed, who has a natural talent and skill for alchemy, soon becomes nationally certified. He is soon known everywhere as the "Fullmetal Alchemist."