3: Fullmetal Alchemist (2003)
Synopsis: What begins as a simple Monty Python-like "comedic" adventure involving two challenged brothers, Edward and Al, who work for the State Alchemist program, quickly turns into a plot about government secrecy, lies, death, and the power of brotherly love. Edward and Al want to find the Philosopher's Stone, a legendary stone that would be able to repair their ravished bodies. Along their journey, they discover the moral ambiguities of worldly decision making. They learn both that the making of a Philosopher's Stone requires the blood of hundreds, if not thousands of people, and that the State Alchemy program is simply using them to retrieve the stone so that the President can use it for reasons that I will not give away. Eventually they end up creating the stone and uncover the secrets and the lies endemic to the State Alchemy program. While on their great adventure, Edward and Al form an inseparable bond with each other, as they experience the joy, horror and sadness of life itself.
Why it`s on the list: Yet another government conspiracy, however well developed, is not why this anime is on my must-watch Netflix list. By now it should be clear that conspiracy is ubiquitous in anime. Rather, what puts this Anime on the list is love of two brothers, the libretto's leitmotif, if you will. Its greatness rests on questions of how far and how much can be sacrificed in the name of sibling loyalty and love. How strong are our primordial ties? These are real human questions that many of us have had to ask: How far would you go to save and help your own blood? How much are you willing to sacrifice to make your brother whole? In Fullmetal Alchemist, the answer is pretty far. The extent to which these brothers are willing to go beyond the boundaries of acceptable behavior raises another moral question central to the series' leitmotif: Are Al and Ed really heroes? Watch this brilliantly conceived anime and answer the question for yourself.