Well, this isn’t really a post about alchemy, but it’s close enough.
I’ve recently started watching Fullmetal Alchemist. I don’t know if any of you are familiar with the series, or if any of you watch any anime at all, so here’s a little summary.
Edward and Alphonse Elric are two brothers, learning alchemy. Their (not much of a) father leaves, and soon after, their mom dies. They want to see their mom smile again so badly, that they decide to recreate her using alchemy, so to speak. This, of course, is taboo. Even though they know this, they go ahead and do it anyway. In the process, Edward ends up losing a leg, and Alphonse loses his entire body. In the chaos, Edward manages to afix Alphonse’s soul to a suit of armor, at the cost of his right arm.
After witnissing “hell”, they decide to join the Army, in the hope that they can help them with their search for a way to get their bodies back.
The series revolves around alchemy. Alchemy is the process of understanding, destroying, and recreating something. You must, however, present something of equal value, seeing as how you can’t create something out of nothing.
So, in theory, you could transmute a small golden figurine out of a heap of lead. In the series, characters have been seen transmuting weapons (with the metal and all) out of stone floors, so it is possible to change the type and properties of the stuff you’re dealing with.
I do strongly recommend you watch the series. I myself am Watching FMA: Brotherhood. People told me not to watch the original, and just watch Brotherhood. It follows the manga’s storyline instead of its own, and is said to be much better.
If you decide to watch it, do enjoy!