“A lesson without pain is meaningless. For you cannot gain something without sacrificing something else in return. But once You overcome it and made it your own …. you will gain an irreplaceable fullmetal heart“
Those who knows Elric brothers, definetely know the quote above. Yup, it was from Fullmetal Alchemist’s final chapter Journey’s End. I’ve wanted to write something about this manga since I last read it, so I thought, “yeah this is it, this is the time, the right moment…. bwahahahaha” (I really don’t know what to write so I just add some comic relief, huft).
Now, onto the real thing. I have encounter FMA (Fullmetal Alchemist) in many anime/manga forum when I was looking for the best manga. I also saw it on last page of each manga that I bought. There was only a brief summary and picture of Edward and Alphonse (just like the above pic). And I, as someone who’s not into mecha manga (Alphonse looks like a mecha to me), obviously didn’t consider to read it at that time. So when time passed and I get bored, I give it a try. And like the tittle of this post, the writer must have drawn some transmutation circle to make a very smooth and well paced plot.
Like my other review, for some people out there who haven’t know about Fullmetal Alchemist, I’ll give you some brief explanation of what it is all about. Fullmetal Alchemist (鋼の錬金術師 Hagane no Renkinjutsushi, literally “Alchemist of Steel”) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa. The world of Fullmetal Alchemist is styled after the European Industrial Revolution. Set in a fictional universe in which alchemy is one of the most advanced scientific techniques known to man, the story follows the brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric, who want to restore their bodies after a disastrous failed attempt to bring their mother back to life through alchemy. (Fullmetal Alchemist wikipedia).
This Elric brothers’ life quite dramatic, you know?! Their father left them when they were just little kid and their mother died few years after. This two kids then tried to learn alchemy to transmute their mother back (I cannot explain what transmutation is coz it will be probably will lack in detail. Just read the manga. The point is, transmutation is Coooool, hehe). But, of course, human transmutation is forbidden and they have to pay a lot. Edward, the eldest have to sacrifices his arm and the younger, Alphonse lost his entire body. And their journeys to regain their real body using philosopher stone lead them to some big plot by the bad guy (The Homunculus). I won’t explain in detail this time coz every little information more than I give above would ruin all the surprise.
From the get going, this manga kick off on advancing plot. After some introduction of the main characters and little bit of their past and two or three minor arc, the plot steadily going on to prevail the main villain and the main problem of the whole story, bit by bit. The writer did a really good job in delivering the direction of the whole thing. Every event and character connected with the others and function as the plot gear for the story. It seems like no piece of detail that serve hollow spot/fanservice.
I was really enjoying the journey. It was not too fast but not too slow either. It was in the followable pace. I guarantee, you won’t get bored along the way. You will be accompanied with comedy that make you laugh (We got a midget shōnen hero here that would be easily pissed off when people mock him, and a colonel that aim for the higher position just to make policy that require all the female officer to wear mini skirt), it has drama and thrill (a scientist using his own wife and daughter as guinea pigs), and full of scientific fiction (Umm, I can give any example of this coz I really don’t get it myself. But it still worth reading just for the fun and imagination sake).
And for those who like bromance, you should give this a try (well, Edward and Alphonse are brothers to begin with). Even though, at near the end, the series didn’t show Ed and Al bond that much, but well, everything still ok, I guess.
The characters were fun. The main one are awesome (Alphonse, behind those armor, we could really feel a very warm soul emanating). The army was cool too (It still make me sad to see captain Mae Hughes died). Roy Mustang and Liza Hawkeye are my OTP. They are beautiful. It even defeat Ed and Winri that obviosly canon. The bad guys are cool too, they really make me scared sometimes (but didn’t like it too much, the way it end. It wasn’t that wow TO ME).
About the art. Well, FMA actually one of those art that I like. As far as I know, every manga with European industrial revolution as their background usually use this kind of art style. It was nice, well drawn, and has a feeling (Okay, I might be a lil bit exaggerated, but that’s how it is for me).
Well, all in all, this is a good manga with a fantastic story line, structure, and great adventure. It was like I was watching a movie. Trust me, it worth reading.
Hmm.. the last, I will tirelessly to apologize for all the grammatical and typing errors. I hope you’ll enjoy reading this post and the manga as much as I do.
Terima Kasih, Thank You, Sukran, and Arigatou 🙂
- New Manga Love: Fullmetal Alchemist (thebookhog.wordpress.com)
- Anime Review: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (hsjhpantherpress.wordpress.com)
- Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos Movie Premieres Tonight (putthatback.org)