Art and Story by Hiromu Arakawa
Publisher: Viz Media LLC
Publication Dates: May 3rd 2005 (Book One)- May 15th 2007 (Book 13)
Average Pages Per Book: 186
Genre: Manga, Action, Supernatural
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-alchemical complex, using his unique powers to obey orders...even to kill. Except his powers aren't unique. The world has been ravaged by the abuse of alchemy. And in pursuit of the ultimate alchemical treasure, the Philosopher's Stone, their enemies are even more ruthless than they are...I would like to note that this is a review for the first 13 books in the Fullmetal Alchemist Manga Series. In total there are 27 books in the series. The two different anime versions are available on Netflix.
I completely put the blame for my obsession for these books on Jasmine from A Room With Books because she recommended them and I cannot stop. This is one of my first manga series and so far I am hooked. If you have never read manga/watched anime before, I would recommend you start with The Fullmetal Alchemist. Fullmetal is full of action, drama and loveable characters that go through a crazy roller coaster of ups and downs in their journeys. The story follows the Elric brothers, Ed and Al, as they go on a journey to fix what they did when they were younger.
The characters in Fullmetal are all very amazingly developed and I absolutely loved them all. The main characters Ed and Al are both given very strong backgrounds and personalities that let them stand out and seem like real people. Ed is very strong willed and just a bit sensitive. I love how he and his brother get along and have a great relationship. Al is the younger brother who, like his brother is a very determined character and is there to keep his brother from going too far. There are many other characters other than Ed and Al including his childhood friend, some of the people they work with in the brothers work with in the army as well as some villains.
I have no idea where the author came up with the idea for such a well structured and thought out story. This world defiantly wouldn't live inside my head. I'm not going to get into specifics about what goes on in the story because it's just going to get super confusing, but when you actually watch/read the story it makes perfect sense. There are multiple layers to the Brother's story and they all connect as it goes on, I can't even imagine figuring out how to write such a great story.
The art in Fullmetal is beautiful and well done and the characters seem to come to life. The artist/author do an amazing job at creating the story in a fun, beautiful, emotional, and humorous story that I absolutely love. I adore the story, and I can't wait to dig more into it! (I accutally have the next six requested from the library...)
If you aren't interested in manga, both versions of the anime are also great! If you want to watch and read, do not watch The Fullmetal Brotherhood until after reading the manga, otherwise both are great stories that go different directions!
My Overall Rating of the First 13 Books: