About Fullmetal Alchemist Manga
Square Enix owns Fullmetal Alchemist, a Japanese manga series written by Hiromu Arrakawa and illustrated by him. The manga anthology magazine Monthly Shonen Gangan of Square Enix published it from July 12, 2001 through June 11, 2010, with one chapter per issue. It had 108 chapters and 27 tankobon (graphic novels) releases as of June 2010. Viz Media began publishing English translations in North America of the manga on May 3, 2005.
The last volume was released December 20, 2011. Viz Media has also published the series in nine Omnibus volumes. This is basically the same length as three volumes combined in one book. Yen Press was granted digital rights to the manga volumes in 2014. They were released simultaneously on April 15, 2015. On December 12, 2016, it was announced that Yen Press had entered into an agreement with ComiXology, which has published a number their titles there.
Hiromu Arakawa is a Square Enix employee and Japanese manga artist, she is. Her most notable work is the manga Fullmetal Alchemist. It was a huge success both in Japan and abroad. Two anime television series were adapted from it. The first followed loosely the source material, but was released before the manga was completed. The second followed the manga’s events and was released after it was finished. Her manga adaptation of The Heroic Legend of Arslan is another highlight.
Review of Fullmetal Alchemist Manga
Fullmetal Alchemist is similar to Death Note and is a popular manga. This is a great story, with interesting characters and a fascinating plot. Few manga can tell such a well-written, entertaining story.
Alphonse Elric and Edward are brothers who are alchemists. They seek the philosopher’s stones to restore their bodies to normal. Al has lost all of his body, while Edward has lost one arm and one leg. Edward has also lost his entire body. Al is now bound to an armor suit. To take advantage of these benefits, Ed is a military member. The story grows tremendously from here. However, almost everything that happens is reincorporated into it, creating a cohesive and interesting story.
New characters are added, which brings new plotlines and mysteries. Although things may seem simple at first, the complexity quickly increases. The story flows quite naturally, except for the last few parts that have difficulty expressing a sense time. All the mysteries raised in previous volumes are resolved later. It almost feels like everything happened out of nowhere. It’s a highly entertaining story with lots of action scenes that tie it all together.
There are some questions in the final act, and it would have helped if alchemy was better defined. However, these are minor problems in the story. Comedy is another problem in the story. The comedy interrupts too many of the more serious scenes, though this is reduced near the end. This disrupts the flow and mood. The jokes become repetitive quickly and get boring. The story of Fullmetal Alchemist is fantastic. It’s entertaining and complex without too many problems.
Although the characters may not be as strong as the story, they are still solid. Ed is a young, impulsive teenager who has a lot of ego. He’s the youngest military alchemist. Because it is so obvious, his character development is well handled. His character is also enhanced by a few carefully handled themes that he supports, which makes it even more complex. Al is calmer than his brother and is more rational thinker than his brother. However, he is still a little more childish. Ed’s development is managed a little worse than Al’s, as there are many arcs that go nowhere or get cut short. These two characters are strong because of their brotherly, lovable interactions.
The cast’s rest is somewhat weaker. The majority of secondary characters are strong and some even undergo character development. There is nothing to be unhappy about. Many of the secondary characters’ arcs feel confused by the desire to move the story forward or convenience. The secondary characters later on do not have strong personalities or are given interesting roles. However, the backgrounds of the characters help flesh them out.
Because they are strong characters, the villains merit their own mention. Two of them are mindless monsters so not much can be said about them. However, the other villains have strong personalities and an element of nuance that make them more than evil. Some characters even have well-planned arcs. The characters are strong and have great backgrounds, but nothing special.
The characters feel very unique, except for those introduced later. They are unique and give the characters a lot of personality. Because of their designs, every character is instantly recognizable. This helps because some characters might not be around for a while. It is easy to get a feel for where the characters come from, as there are many countries and regions within the setting. However, the later characters are too familiar to be remembered.
The setting is also influenced by the design, giving it an alternative England feel. It is nice to see that the alchemy has consistent visual effects. Different cultures have different ways of dressing and different objects. It is also helpful to give context to the story, including the mention of other countries and the origin stories. Although the alchemy is well-written, it could be fleshed out more.
The series’ art is quite good. Although the quality and detail are not very high, the action scenes flow well. These scenes are clear, concise, and impactful. It is easy to see the flow of the panels. They know when to mix dialogue-heavy scenes with more emotional scenes. For maximum impact, the most powerful scenes are given plenty of space, especially in later episodes. They are also consistent in the way they are drawn. The art is overall very well done.
My Final verdict
Some moments of the series aren’t as enjoyable as others. Alchemy, as mentioned before, isn’t as well-developed as it should be. Ed can heal himself by giving up his lifespan and transform himself into a philosopher’s stone to defeat pride. Another anomaly is the red stone at the beginning. Even homonculi need some fleshing out. Except for Wrath or pride, they don’t age. However, they can change their bodies. This is demonstrated by sloth’s very muscular body. Pride’s arrival is poorly handled because there is no foreshadowing, and it doesn’t make sense. He’s remained the same age throughout history. Yet, everyone doesn’t know that he’s been adopted. This means that he was adopted when he shouldn’t have been a baby. The president’s wife didn’t think so.
Kimblee’s treatment is particularly poor. Although his introductions were great, he had too many characters who wanted to win the battle (even though he lost to Al and was then eaten by Pride), which was a shame because he had very little to do with these characters. Although he had some arc, it was not satisfactory. Because he was so talented, he feels so disappointed. A lot of character deaths (Hughes and Buccaneer in particular) fall flat because there were few moments to flesh out the characters and they weren’t killed for any reason. These moments are, however, minor.
Fullmetal Alchemist is a manga that has a great story, characters who are memorable, and some pretty good art. Although there are some minor issues that make the experience less enjoyable (although the humor can sometimes be a little too intrusive), it is still an entertaining story with well-constructed themes. Fullmetal Alchemist is for you if you enjoy action and complex stories.
Rating of Fullmetal Alchemist
Story :- 7.5/10
Art :- 6.5/10
Character :- 6.5/10
Overall :- 7.5/10