Christina (A Reader of Fictions)'s Reviews > Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1

Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1 by Hiromu Arakawa
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Jan 26, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites-fantasy, favorites-manga, manga-manhwa
Read in January, 2012

Fullmetal Alchemist starts off pretty lighthearted and comedic, giving the reader time to familiarize themselves with the characters and the world it's set in before breaking out the serious drama. Part of what makes this series so completely marvelous and one of the best mangas ever is that vein of humor running through even the darkest parts.

Of course, comedy alone does not make a good story. The darkness too makes the tale compelling. Aspects of this story, especially one in particular which comes not too far into the story, will undoubtedly haunt me forever. Actually, this same instance continues to haunt Ed and Alphonse all the way through their lives, as well. When you read it, you'll know what I'm talking about.

Add to the above a completely amazing cast of characters. Seriously. Ed and Alphonse's love and care of one another are completely charming. Their grandmother is hilarious with her tiny little pointy bun. Winry, the stubborn female automail mechanic, will always be my favorite. Then again, I also adore Colonel Mustang with his odd combination of jadedness and hope, and Lieutenant Hawkeye, who is seriously badass but also surprisingly sweet underneath. All of the human characters are just so vibrant and human, complete with foibles and hangups. I love it.

Plus the alchemy in a freaking amazing steampunk setting! Who doesn't like steampunk? Okay, lots of people probably, but they are lame and don't count (just kidding...mostly). Honestly, though, the alchemy in here is astounding. No wonder so many people spent their lives trying to figure out its secrets. I would too if I thought I could have powers like the Alric brothers.

If you have any interest at all in manga, Fullmetal Alchemist is a good one. Although aimed at a male audience, it has universal appeal. Unlike some shounen manga, you will not have lots of baloon boobs thrust at you for fan service, likely because the series was written by a woman. This manga has one of the best stories out there and I just cannot recommend it highly enough.

Note: I have not yet watched the anime version, either one. I do know, though, that you should not just the manga off of the original anime series. After the first few episodes they seriously part ways (or so I've heard), because the anime was made before the series had been completed. A couple years before. What a bad plan.
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