The world the Elric brothers live in different from ours. In their world a system of "magic" called Alchemy replaces the need for most modern machenery. It is taught as "an eye for an eye": you can not gain anything without first giving up something of equal value. The series begins when the two Elric brothers attempt to break this law in order to bring back their dead mother. The results are disasterous: Edward Elric, the older brother, literally loses an arm and a leg while Alphonse Elric, the younger brother, is left as nothing more than a soul encased in a suit of armor that was in the room. Together the two journey to regain everything they have lost at any price.
Overall the series was excellently done. The characters are vivid, the story is sad but does not colapse under its own weight. The only real problem with this series is the ending is more of a segway into the upcoming movie than anything else.