Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1

Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1

Alchemy: the mystical power to alter the natural world; something between magic, art and science. When two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, dabbled in this power to grant their dearest wish, one of them lost an arm and a leg...and the other became nothing but a soul locked into a body of living steel. Now Edward is an agent of the government, a slave of the military-al...

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Title:Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1
Author:Hiromu Arakawa
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1 Reviews

  • Kogiopsis

    Love love love love love.

    It's actually been quite some time since I first read this volume, and now that my public library has finally started buying the series (just in time for me to leave town - thanks, guys) I checked out the first seven on a whim.

    I'd actually forgotten a lot about this volume. Somehow I got the idea that the Cornello/Liore plot was stretched over the entire volume, and that Youswell was in V. 2, and obviously that was wrong - and the train thing I'd forgotten entirely. It

    Love love love love love.

    It's actually been quite some time since I first read this volume, and now that my public library has finally started buying the series (just in time for me to leave town - thanks, guys) I checked out the first seven on a whim.

    I'd actually forgotten a lot about this volume. Somehow I got the idea that the Cornello/Liore plot was stretched over the entire volume, and that Youswell was in V. 2, and obviously that was wrong - and the train thing I'd forgotten entirely. It was interesting to go back, too, and compare the art and plotting of this volume to that of the very end. Obviously, there is significant improvement, but the seeds of - dare I say it? Yes, I do -

    are definitely here. In much the same way as a webcomic artist develops over time, the art and plotting improve as the series goes on, but this first entry is the furthest thing from shabby.

    So anyhow, this volume. Yes. Youswell is my favorite plotline in it, possibly my favorite episodic entry in the series as a whole, because it really shows Ed's integrity as a character. I mean, all three plotlines do that, though the train one is not as good as the others just because its main purpose is to segue into an introduction of Mustang and Co. Youswell is still the best. It establishes so many things for the rest of the series - the idea of corruption in the military, Ed's renegade attitude, his almost instinctual commitment to doing the right thing no matter what, and more. It's really kind of amazing to look back on these first few chapters and wonder what Arakawa was thinking - I'd love to know how it is to work in manga publishing. Surely when she was writing/drawing these, she couldn't have imagined the massive success that would follow. What was she planning? The whole thing? And what a tragedy it would have been if the series had been canceled before it could run its full arc. (I assume this can happen in manga; it's only logical.)

    I remember reading this for the first time and being interested but at the same time put off by the episodic style, which I expected to be the norm for the entire series. If anyone else out there has that niggling worry, be not afraid: fairly quickly, a full arc asserts itself and it'll sweep you up entirely.

    Original rambling fangirly review under the spoiler tags - no actual spoilers.

  • Ilias

    I can't imagine someone not liking this. I just can't....

    If you like manga, you will like this.

  • Caroline

    YAY a new favourite! My boyfriend and I recently bought the full boxset of this manga (27 volumes hell to the yeah!) because it was EXTREMELY cheap* on bookdepository and we have no self control. I have been wanting to read this for so long and now I'm getting into it and honestly I am so hype.

    The story is so much fun and I already love both Edward and Alphonse. I find Edward incredibly relatable... not because of

    YAY a new favourite! My boyfriend and I recently bought the full boxset of this manga (27 volumes hell to the yeah!) because it was EXTREMELY cheap* on bookdepository and we have no self control. I have been wanting to read this for so long and now I'm getting into it and honestly I am so hype.

    The story is so much fun and I already love both Edward and Alphonse. I find Edward incredibly relatable... not because of his sad backstory or anything like that but because of his angry reactions when people point out how short he is because

    . I love the way alchemy works and the fights are really well done. I'm keen to learn more about it all (I am already so hooked on the story). The art style is really cool and has cute little moments that I find really charming.

    Definitely recommend to people! I'm excited to continue reading this manga series and then watch the anime on Netflix. Goodbye social life!

  • Melanie Jasmine

    Haven't read a manga in such a long time!!! I loved the Elric brothers!!! Can't wait to keep reading!!!

  • Raeleen Lemay

    This was great! Pumped to check out the anime(s) and more volumes of the manga soon.

  • Jen/The Tolkien Gal/ジェニファー

    Buddy read with

    It's my first time reading this series and I'm hyped!

    Looking forward to this so much, friend!

    I've decided to review each volume by chapter, as each chapter has an underlying theme that can't be ignored. Also, it's mostly me rambling and fangirling so I apologise in advance. Compared to most of my "articulate" reviews, these will be a jumbled mess.

    Buddy read with

    It's my first time reading this series and I'm hyped!

    Looking forward to this so much, friend!

    I've decided to review each volume by chapter, as each chapter has an underlying theme that can't be ignored. Also, it's mostly me rambling and fangirling so I apologise in advance. Compared to most of my "articulate" reviews, these will be a jumbled mess.

    This is the volume where we are introduced to Alphonse and Edward - the Elric brothers. And boy it's such a fantastic introduction.

    A little background of the world if you haven't watched/read FMA: Think if the industrial revolution took place with alchemy (a type of magic where different elements can be manipulated). This chapter is all about corrupted religious institutions and their effect on people.

    I can't wait to be introduced to old favourites, but for now just seeing the brothers again is a treat. Still love that everyone assumes Alphonse is older. Edward's height often gets made fun of, which is always so much fun to read and watch.

    So there's this asshole called Cornello who belongs to the house of the sun god, Leto. Cornello reportedly has the philosopher's ring, a ring of restoration - a ring that can bring people back from the dead.

    Rose is an innocent girl who helps Cornello so that she can get her boyfriend back with the power of the philosopher's stone. After seeing my friend just lose her boyfriend so tragically and at such a young light, (and having a boyfriend of four years) I finally understand Rose's desperation.

    What I love love love about this chapter is that it critcises the hubris of both religious people and atheists. It shows that no matter what our beliefs, we can all be asses and holier-than-thou about it.

    Hiromu Arakawa is such a great writer! She shows that there is wisdom in the young and naivety in the old.

    Minor spoiler: The chapter ends with the reveal of Ed's arm and the whole scene is glorious.

    I find out funny how Cornello thinks that Ed has committed the greatest sin

    what Cornello is doing is so much worse, especially given his age compared to when Ed did what he did. How can you blame two young boys for missing their mother after their father has walked out on them?

    Fullmetal Alchemist understands the importance of having the right balance of text and images in a comic. It's busy, but it doesn't bust your brain and give you a comic-induced headache.

    Al and Ed are just yin an yang - the fierce and gentle one, the proud and quiet one. I just love them. I love how they support each other on the road they have chosen - it's do or die to get their bodies back.

    It's rare in any story where the characters start out with a burden and a sacrifice - many new books have a character who only picks up a burden on the way. But this is why FMA is such a gem. I also love that Ed doesn't stop Cornello with alchemy, but with wits.

    Also, how could you not love Ed's facial expressions?

    Ooh and do I love a good story that doesn't end in forgiveness but death instead. Forgive me, but I'm petty like that.

    And what Ed says to Rose...powerful stuff.

    Also a lovely introduction to some of the main villains is in order...

    Since I've only watched the original anime series, a lot of this is uncharted territory from here on out for me. So I'm so excited!

    A lot of good humour in this one. It also really highlights the prejudice against the alchemist military. I love how militia corruption is the main theme in this chapter, where previous chapters dealt with religious corruption. It shows the good and bad side of military members. Yoki is such an ass - he treats those below him badly but is a total sycophant to those above him.

    "Kid, you don't get it. This is our home and our coffin."

    This is such a good chapter that introduces us to the heart that Ed and Al have in helping others. They give so much, despite what they've lost.

    Crimes are being committed on trains by a bunch called the "blue group".

    WE GET INTRODUCED TO HAWKEYE AND MUSTANG AND THE GANG. Peeps, it's getting real.

    I'm Roy's number one fan, so everyone else can just move out the way please. IT"S MY ROYBOY

    Alright - back to the story. So Ed and Al end up on one of the trains that the Blue Group is going to steal from. What the Blue Group doesn't know is that they picked the wrong hostages.

    Ah, Alphonse. Always taking control while Ed kicks ass. <3 My boys. Al gets to shine a little in this one.

    After reading the 4th chapter, I can't help but think that each bad guy in every chapter of this volume represents some kind of greed - and we all know that greed (and Greed) plays a huge role in this manga. In this volume, it's pirate guy. (I didn't pick up on his name)

    I still believe that FMA is one of the most beautifully stylised manga in history. Also, this first volume shows us that although the philosopher's stone is the ultimate goal of our brothers, they never cease to help others along the way. We also get introduced to the Roy-Ed dynamic, which has always been one of my favourites.

    All-in-all, this is a fullmetal start to my buddy read with

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  • Rusty Grey

    This manga has definitely one of the best anime adaptations as Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood . But let's not take anything away from the original material . I loved this manga . Definitely recommend .

  • Lola

    I have no idea what, in this manga, prompted an average rating of 4.47/5 stars. No idea. It's even higher than

    (which is the most read manga on GR) and

    which, until it became too repetitive, used to be my F-A-V-O-R-I-T-E manga series. Because the characters and drawings and world-building are extraordinary.

    Nonetheless, the world-building in this book too wasn't bad either. But there were too many characters that appeared and then disappeared... no

    I have no idea what, in this manga, prompted an average rating of 4.47/5 stars. No idea. It's even higher than

    (which is the most read manga on GR) and

    which, until it became too repetitive, used to be my F-A-V-O-R-I-T-E manga series. Because the characters and drawings and world-building are extraordinary.

    Nonetheless, the world-building in this book too wasn't bad either. But there were too many characters that appeared and then disappeared... no time to get attached. This is something that I think can be interesting but NOT in a first volume! Edward and his brother, however, were fun to follow on their ''adventures''. There was a good enough backstory but too short! Very little detail! I'm going to assume, though, that there will be more in the sequels.

    The premise was something I enjoyed too. Too many ''cases'' (problems) to resolve - I would prefer one but long, deep and poignant - but just the fact that there were alchemists in the storyline was something unique and I wish to discover more about them.

    I will continue with this series.

  • Lily

    3.5 stars *flips coin to decide whether to round up or down*

    Of all the stages of grief, "bargaining" has always struck me as the most interesting and memorable: the appraisal of all we have and don't have, and the hypothetical transactions that we think would make things better. It's an activity whose allure is counterbalanced by its low probability of success. What would the world be like if bargaining actually had some chance of working? That's the world of

    .

    Following the d

    3.5 stars *flips coin to decide whether to round up or down*

    Of all the stages of grief, "bargaining" has always struck me as the most interesting and memorable: the appraisal of all we have and don't have, and the hypothetical transactions that we think would make things better. It's an activity whose allure is counterbalanced by its low probability of success. What would the world be like if bargaining actually had some chance of working? That's the world of

    .

    Following the death of their mother, the brothers Edward and Alphonse engage in an alchemical ritual that seems guaranteed to bring her back. They fail, but that's not the worst of it; in the process, Edward loses a limb and Alphonse loses his whole body, left as a soul inhabiting a hollow suit of armor. We follow them as they attempt to put their lives and bodies back together, encountering other, dangerous alchemists along the way.

    This first volume is very episodic, covering three stories that seem pretty independent of each other. The first story, which I think was the longest of the three, was my favorite. It's about the vulnerability of people who want to retrieve the irretrievable, and it shows what the brothers learned from their own attempts at doing that. The art is cleverly done; sometimes the most effective way to convey a horrible image is to barely show the edge of it and leave the rest up to reader/viewer imagination, and here it's done to great effect.

    Though, this volume as a whole isn't super serious. In the preface, Hiromu Arakawa talks about her fondness for B-movies and how she wanted to create a similar effect in this manga, and I think she succeeded at that. There are a lot of hilarious, over-the-top action scenes, and I love when humor comes through in the art style and people suddenly turn into freaked-out stick figures. However, action scenes don't hold my attention for very long, and I ultimately didn't find those parts of the story to be particularly memorable.

    Nonetheless, I'm excited to continue with the series and I'm looking forward to seeing some kind of continual story-arc emerge. The story has an interesting magic system, with real power coming at real cost. More importantly, it has a big heart. And Alphonse is adorable. More please!

  • Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)

    Um.... Am I missing something??

    This series has a super high average (4.49 as I write this) and several of my friends have really enjoyed it. But I was just very underwhelmed?

    This is

    creative, both the magical aspect and the brothers being the way they are. The brothers were both fun characters and their loyalty to each other was enjoyable.

    But I wish this world had been explained a little more before they just started embarking on all these different adventures. It sort of fe

    Um.... Am I missing something??

    This series has a super high average (4.49 as I write this) and several of my friends have really enjoyed it. But I was just very underwhelmed?

    This is

    creative, both the magical aspect and the brothers being the way they are. The brothers were both fun characters and their loyalty to each other was enjoyable.

    But I wish this world had been explained a little more before they just started embarking on all these different adventures. It sort of feels like they are just going to wonder town to town and keep getting in trouble. Not only was the large cast of side characters kind of annoying, but there didn't seem to be much of an overreaching plot.

    I know lots of people love this series, but it's just not for me.

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