Tuesday 24 May 2011

Book Review: Full Metal Alchemist vol 1 by Hiromu Arakawa

Title: Full Metal Alchemist vol 1
Author: Hiromu Arakawa
Series: Full Metal Alchemist #1
Published: May 3rd 2005 by VIZ Media
Length:192 pages
Warnings:Gore, minor profanity, alchemy.
Other info:There's a rather large fanbase, with an anime series adapted from it.
Summary :Dabbling in alchemy carries a price. When brothers Edward and Alphonse played with the mystical power to alter the natural world, they both paid dearly. One lost an arm and a leg; the other became a soul locked into a body of living iron. Now these siblings are slaves of the evil military-alchemical complex, using their unique powers for dire purposes.
Review: we first see a a boy, kneeling and calling for someone in what looks like a scientific experiment goes wrong. Yes that is his leg that is missing.  We then get to what appears to be a pub, where there is a young boy and what is basically  a suit of armour. Everyone starts talking about alchemy, and it is revealed that aforementioned young boy and suit of armour are a couple of brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric. Just remember that Edward is the one with his body and Alphonse is the soul in steel. If you want to know exactly how this happens, read the manga. It also turns out that Edward is the FullMetal Alchemist, which is another way of saying he is extremely good at alchemy. The whole series, I think, is basically them trying to fight off enemies with their powers which, as is typical in shounen, they do fairly well. Its actually pretty hard to sumarrise this....
The story was good and easy to understand. There are a few interesting plot twists, but most of it is pretty simple: fighting with a bit of witty dialogue in the middle of it.
I liked the characters....sort of. Although we don’t get much character development (this contains fourchapters. You can’t expect character development in four chapters), you get a lot of backstory for Edward and Alphonse. The other characters such as Rose the nun and that priest person weren’t particularly stand out, but worked well with the story. My current favourite character is Lust, even though we see her in five pages only. Lust is  depicted as a curvy woman who’s nail/claw thingy can go straight through a man’s head. Seriously, I want to read the next volume just so I can see how the rest of the deadly sins are portrayed.
The art was well drawn. I don’t particularly like the style that much (I prefer it to be more flowy and soft, but thats rare in shounen) but the clean lines go well with the atmosphere of this series.
Overall:  I give this strength three tea because I can see why it has a pretty large fan base, and I would like to carry on with Full Metal Alchemist, but its not really a must read for me.

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Thanks for taking time to read this!
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Nina xxx

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