Lately I have been expanding my anime repertoire. A few days ago I watched some episodes of “Samurai Champloo,” which has to be the best synthesis of anime/hip-hop attitude/Japanese history that I have yet seen, assuming that there is other anime in done a similar vein, which I doubt (though “Cowboy Bebop” came close in terms of visual style and general sophisication).
Though “FullMetal Alchemist” is a bit of an anomaly in that it is perhaps one of the most (sporadically) violent anime that I have seen, and when I write “violent” I mean in a thematic sense primarily, though there is violent imagery.
It’s not as consistently dark–or as serious–as “Vampire Hunter D”, any of the “Stand Alone Complex” movies, “Spriggun,” “Afro Samurai,” “Hellsing” or “Devil May Cry” and I guess that’s why it’s so surprising.
It is sometimes as silly as “Trigun,” but as I mentioned, there are episodes of remarkable thematic violence, such as “Night of the Chimera’s Cry.”
Violence toward children tends to be anathema, whether or not it takes place in live action or a cartoon though it appears that no one told the makers of “Full Metal Alchemist” that, because in this particular episode a little girl not only undergoes a transformation into a terrible amalgam of man and beast, and is killed at the end.
Almost like adding insult to injury. Luckily violence of a more bloody nature tends to be more subdued than that of some of the prior mentioned anime, though I am not entirely sure that I would be comfortable with younger children viewing some episodes because of the very mature themes encountered.