Rachel's Reviews > Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 3

Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 3 by Hiromu Arakawa
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's review
Sep 07, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy, graphic, schizotech, bildungsroman, comic

In lieu of a plot summary for each of the volumes (as they do tend to run together in my memory), I've decided on a brief character summary. Perhaps the character will be relevant to the volume in question, but perhaps it won't. It's anyone's game.

This time, I'll go with the simpler of the two characters on the cover: Alex Louis Armstrong, AKA the big shirtless guy in the background.

Major Armstrong, the Strong-Arm Alchemist, the third child and only son of the venerable Armstrong family, is a walking mountain of a man. He has incredible pride in his heritage, intense loyalty to country, family, and comrades, a propensity for removing his shirt at the merest suggestion of an opportunity (all the better to display his insane musculature), and a tendency to burst into tears at the slightest provocation. He remains merely a Major because he's too soft-hearted to pursue promotion, a trait which not only results in waterworks when faced with another's misfortune—or joy, or displays of solidarity, or pretty much anything that might evoke an emotion—but also led to a nervous breakdown during his stint on the front lines of the Ishbal war.

While he does have serious moments, mostly in his backstory, Armstrong is largely played for comedy. In case the shirt-ripping and extravagant tears weren't enough of a clue, the odd muscle-flexing competition and several (literally) crushing hugs of relief point that out quite nicely.

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