Thursday, May 31, 2018

Book Review: Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 1 by Hiromu Arakawa

Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 1 by Hiromu Arakawa

Two brothers dabbled in alchemy for selfish purposes and sustained horrible injuries. Alphonse Elric nearly died and his soul was transferred into a suit of armor. His older brother Edward lost an arm and a leg which were replaced by mechanical limbs. You'd think Alphonse would be the Fullmetal Alchemist but that title goes to his brother. Edward is more adept at alchemy (the transmutation of natural objects) and has become a government agent. He uncovers corruption and fraud and sets things right.

Three separate adventures are told in this issue, so there's no grand story arc. The brothers fight bad guys by their wits or by their alchemy. The big dramatic twist (which I haven't mentioned) in their origin story makes them very sympathetic characters. But other than restoring Alphonse's human body, they don't have any big goals. The stakes never feel very big--maybe they will build up to something bigger in future issues. I am curious enough to continue on.


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