Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 01 (Fullmetal Alchemist, #1)

ISBN: 1591169208
ISBN 13: 9781591169208
By: Hiromu Arakawa

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Genres

Anime Fantasy Fiction Graphic Novels Manga Mangas Sci Fi Steampunk To Read Young Adult

About this book

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...

Reader's Thoughts

Ashley Chen

I rarely read manga, but holy mother of all, this my friends is what I call perfection. I think this definitely converted me and now I have the "Anime" ;) The plot is just amazing, so unique and touching at the same time. I don't think I cried this much over anything before. Even now as I type this boring and quick review, I am tearing up. The characters! Oh dear! Don't get me started on the characters! OTPs everywhere! I think I drowned in them. (Oh yeah, if you don't know what OTPs are, they are One True Pairings...like the ultimate couples). Okay, first of all I declare myself a Royai (Roy/Riza) fan girl. I mean come one! Look at them!They know each other so fricking well! Secret codes and everything! Damn! I want a relationship like that! Okay enough Royai love. Let's give some love for the brotherly love for Edward and Alphonse! Gosh! Please people! Just read the manga! Or watch the animation! NOT the one that is Fullmetal Alchemist, but watch Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood!Okay I am going to be repetitive, but heck, I just love this way too much. So before I go, please check this series out. I recommend this to everyone!

Zarakoda

I have become a skeptical reader over the years. It's because I've read A LOT. I was the kid who could read over 12,000 pages in a single summer - and I know because I counted. So I learned about plots, characterization, and all the things authors can do to make reading a pleasant experience.Unfortunately, after a while, you become so knowledgeable of the meta-world that you lose sight of the treasure within the tale. Frequently I pick up a fantasy or science-fiction novel off a shelf and think, "This looks exactly like everything else."But. Fullmetal Alchemist. blew. me. away.As you can tell from my previous reviews of this first book (I kept them below... but I felt the need to rewrite this review YET AGAIN, sorry everyone), it took me a little bit of time to get into the series. It was good, but it didn't stand out to me too much at first. Books one and two didn't excite me all that much, and in fact I was a little offended by some of the content. Maybe you don't have that problem, but if you do share my lack of "hm, it's okay," just keep reading. Hiromu Arakawa created a world of alchemy, something that makes me want to be an alchemist because it's just so amazing. She wrote in characters with heart-wrenching back stories and wonderful personalities. I have developed a strong opinion of every single character in the series, something that few authors can really get me to do. We've got an incredible cast with wide personalities, and they're all so incredibly distinct. I squeal over Armstrong, squeal over Mustang and Hawkeye, and most of all, squeal over the relationship between Edward and Alphonse.There are two things that make this series absolutely fantastic beyond belief, and the first is the brothers and emotional depth we see there. The relationship between Ed and Al is incredibly poignant, heart-breaking, and heart-warming. They have gone through an incredible amount in their lives, and you feel it just as strongly as they do. I don't know that I could be any more invested in characters than this. We see loyalty, love, and perseverance. How Ed defends Al gets me every time.This brings me to the second incredible thing that distinguishes FMA from anything else I have read: the depth in the story. We aren't just in for action (though we've got a lot of that), romance (though there's certainly the "aww" moments), humor (though I always crack up), or plot twists (though Arakawa is ingenious in plot progression). We get a whole set of deep questions. The characters aren't just alchemists - they ask WHY they do it, if it's worth doing it, when it's worth doing it, what they should do with it. WMorals come up everywhere - when is it okay to kill people, if ever? How should we deal with sacrifice? How do we treat human souls? When does someone stop becoming human? We're bashed with questions over sacrifice, genocide, utilitarianism versus deontology... You don't just have an adventure when you read FMA, you have a real experience that leads you away changed and... in my case... absolutely obsessed.More comments about FMA can be found in my other reviews. You can even check out the first half of #27 to see my reaction when I completed the series (I give a warning before I start on volume-specific comments).Happy reading.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I decided to reread the first two volumes of Fullmetal Alchemist because:1. I hadn't read them in a while2. I plan to continue reading the series about now3. The library didn't have book three in.So. As a second read-through, I would say the series is much better. In fact, I just bumped it up from three to four stars. Or maybe it's because I read the book in slightly a different light.The first two books contain a lot of philosophical analysis concerning religion. I do not inherently consider this a bad thing; contrarily, the first two chapters in which a very cult-like society is realistically formed intrigued me during my re-read. I mean, it has all the standards one might psychologically expect: a strong, egotistic leader whom everyone follows without question, the claims of being a direct representative from God, a closed community, a desire for power amongst the authorities, etc. So that was sort of fun to analyze. But then - to continue onto book two (I might as well when on this train of thought) - we meet Scar, who even uses some possible vague scriptural references such as "there is a time to create and to destroy." Now, I do not have a problem with those sorts of psycho-religious bad guys, but I think one thing that got me disjointed at the beginning of FMA is the seemingly constant negative religious spin. Maybe that's me, maybe that's just the first two books... I don't know. It's not that Hiromu Arakawa does not have valid points concerning religions' dangerous facets, it's just very flinchingly one-sided at the moment.To clarify that ramble: maybe that's why I rated the first book three stars at first.Now let's get onto the good stuff. Rereading it, I found a bit more enjoyment in the dialogue and personality of the characters (first reread, it took me until book two to get the hang of it all). And there are some interesting moral questions brought up in this series that I find intriguing... a lot of teleological versus deontological issues, some I would have solved differently, but still fun to read. And the alchemy setting is well-done, particularly about the cost of trying to transmute humans. Very nice.I think it's hard to review manga based on just the first volume, so I think my opinions will become more relevant the further along I go in the series. Which, so I hope, will be further than book two this go-round!----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Original review:As a first book in a series, it doesn't really particularly stand out - except that you can see a lot of potential where it is going. The second book of the series is where I started to really get into the storyline (because this one, like many first books, is such an introduction you can't really claim too much of a significant storyline).

Victoria

A fantastic series opener to one of the most layered, astounding mangas I've ever read. The whole story continues to blow me away.Edward and Alphonse Elric are a very unlikely pair of brothers; one a diminutive (sorry Ed!), fierce-eyed young man, the other a full-body suit of armor that contains only a soul. Both are alchemists, able to break down and reshape the material of the world around them for purposes of both healing and destruction...but only if the trade is equivalent. When they were young, Ed and Al tampered with the most basic law of alchemy, which forbids the resurrection or creation of human beings. Ed paid with a literal arm and leg; his brother with his entire body. In order to restore themselves, they will need to unlock the secrets of alchemy's Holy Grail...the Philosopher's Stone. This is their story, and the story of a civilization beset by war, a military of both corruption and loyalty, a world where strange beings haunt the shadows, warriors seek vengeance, and alchemists work for good, for evil, and many in the gray areas between. This series is the equal of any "book," in its stunningly portrayed characters, its fantastic art, its winding storyline, its spectrum of emotions, and its deep, thoughtful commentary on humanity, death, religion, sin, good, evil, and the soul.

Brandon Varnell

Full Metal Alchemist is by far one of my favorite anime, manga and light novel. It has a deep, intricate story line, along with some seriously awesome characters and even more impressive character development. The tale of Edward Elric and his brother Alphonse is one that I couldn't help but get into, and after reading Volume 1 I not only ended up getting every single volume of the light novel, but also the anime and the manga, both for Full Metal Alchemist and FMA The Brotherhood.I think one of the things I enjoyed most about FMA was definitely the alchemy. It was a very scientific way of creating "magic" and done so in such a way that despite knowing it's not possible, it almost made me believe that it could be. It's definitely one of my favorite "magic systems" right up there with the Magecraft used in Fate/Stay Night.

ArdnAskelA

J'avais déjà vu auparavant quelques épisodes du animés, mais le lire c'est autre chose. Ce que j'aime bien c'est que l'alchimie est un des thèmes principaux de ce manga, or pour le chimiste que je suis c'est toujours un grand bonheur de pouvoir lire quelque chose qui est en rapport avec notre domaine. :D C'est donc avec grand bonheur que j'ai dévoré ce premier tome qui m'a fat rire à plusieurs endroits, mais aussi plu et donné l'envie de lire la suite.

Jezza

This isn't so much a review as it is an overview about this series, because there are so many people wondering about what the heck this manga (consisting of 27 volumes and approximately 108 chapters), the 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist anime and the 2009 Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood anime have to do with each other. I don't talk about the plot or characters here, so I'm sorry if this isn't what you're looking for!First of all, this entire series began as the manga. As you can see from the original publication date, this first volume was released in 2001. The 2003 anime was created (TA-DA) in 2003, consisting of 51 episodes. However, the manga was still ongoing as they were creating this anime, so they began to diverge in plot and characterization (around episode 28-29). More "filler" episodes were included, which in no way had any significance to the plot of the series. The author of the manga probably then gave the producers of the anime permission to continue and conclude the anime however they saw fit (I'm not actually too sure about this point, so don't quote me on it). The anime ended on a cliffhanger of sorts, and so a follow-up movie, Fullmetal Alchemist: Conqueror of Shamballa was created. [image error]The manga continued to pour out chapters every month, even as the 2003 anime diverged and ended. Then, in 2009, as the manga was approaching its conclusion, a second anime series, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, was released. This anime series was meant to stay true to the manga, unlike its predecessor. It spent the first 15 episodes or so recapping and highlighting all the important parts of the 2003 anime, so the rest of the episodes (64 in total) would make more sense. A second movie, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos was released as a companion to the Brotherhood series development, taking place somewhere in the middle of the plot, as Ed and Al go on their travels.And that is essentially the entire franchise of the Fullmetal Alchemist in a nutshell.In my humble opinion, while I loved the animation of the 2003 anime, and enjoyed the plot at first, the conclusion was a disappointment. It was confusing, there were too many characters, and the science behind the alchemy and bringing dead people back to life became too far-fetched, improbable, and confusing. I should point out that I was first hooked onto the series because of the 2003 anime, so it's definitely good! But, I began to read the manga, and discovered it was much more different than what was shown on TV.I enjoyed the manga much more than the anime because since the same author who created the alchemy concepts was developing the plot and characters, everything made more sense! There were also a few more humourous scenes that only the manga could portray through the characters' expressions and body language. As Brotherhood began releasing episodes, I was overjoyed to see the many things in the manga, which were absent in the first anime, were brought to life in this new rendition. And the conclusion of this series was absolutely perfect and beautiful.So, for those of you who enjoyed the 2003 anime, I highly encourage you to either check out the manga, or watch Brotherhood. It is definitely worth it; plus, you get to see your favourite characters come back to life! Anyways, that was my rant. I love this series, and I hope someone found this helpful! - sm:)e

cindy

One of the BEST shounen manga I ever read. No. I take that back. It is THE BEST shounen manga I ever read! It has action, it has drama. It has magic, but it based on scientific rules. It has politics, it has philosophy (uhm... marxism in manga, gosh!), and it has idealism. It has war maker, it has peace seeker. It has story as crucial as fate of the countrys, it has delicate story of children need their mother's care. It has dark background stories, it has hillarious way of story telling. And most of all, it has an ending. A really-really-really good ending, not a perfect happy ending nor a shabby tragedy, it just.... solid dovetail end, and life goes on.Equivalent trade.****Ed and Al Elric are brothers who had talent for being alchemists from very early age. When they were 11 and 10, their mother passed away while their father had been gone wondered for years. So with ability but without guidance, they did something taboo, try to "human transmutation" a.k.a bring their death mother back to life. This caused them dearly. Not entirely learnt their lesson, they promised each other to seek for the Philosopher's Stone which said to be carried a great power to alter the equivalent trade's law, and will have the power to restore their body back. At age 12, Ed sign into military, and got his name The Fullmetal Alchemist.In the bigger scope, the land was at war with the Ishvar, a race that believed in one mighty God. At one time, King Bradley - the highest military commander - commanded an Ishvar Annihilation, which caused almost a wipeout of the entire race. A handful who could survive hide themselves in the slummy villages holding their grunge. But these burden not just carried by those survivors, but also by some Ametrys soldiers, doctors and scientists for their hand were tainted all over with ishvarin blood. These people, then, spent their life to made things better. As the story goes, some secrets will revealed themselves, eventually. What is Philosopher's Stone really made from, who was Ed and Al's father, who were the seven deadly sins and what creature are they, and above all, what is the big plan behind all these riots and wars. Will they do it, is it worth it, to sacrifice so much -his leg, his arm, his entire body, her womb, her limb, his living body, his eyes, their friends, all people of Xerxes, in order to satisfy Equivalent Trade condition, and gain the true power?Uhhmm... have I said, I love the ending. Ed's choice was a very much unpredictable, one last twist in the story, which was really equal to the result. He learnt his lesson, finally.Status: completed (27 volumes)Downloaded from: http://www.mangatraders.com/manga/ser...

Farah

Fullmetal Alchemist, by Hiromu Arakawa, is definitely one of the best series I have ever read. Set in a fictional world where Alchemy is the prevailing science, the story revolves around Edward and Alphonse, two brothers who are in search of the ultimate alchemical treasure – the Philosopher’s Stone. In the past, the brothers committed the ultimate taboo by attempting to resurrect their deceased mother through alchemy, and paid a heavy price for it; Edward lost his right arm and left leg while Alphonse lost his whole body. After that traumatic experience, they begin a journey to search for the Philosopher’s Stone in hopes of using it to regain their original bodies. The story is so well developed and emotionally-charged that I was completely hooked by the first chapter. The characters are unique, funny and very relatable, which made reading the manga so much fun. Overall, this was an amazing read and I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good story about tragedy, war and the supernatural.

Andrea

After relenting to the constant peer pressure from the manga community, I picked this one up at the local library. Like many other super-popular series, like Shugo Chara and Naruto which was arguably an excellent read for until Naruto got his first ridiculous power-up, I assumed FMA was all hype. It's not. I was hooked from the first chapter and now there's nothing that is going to stop me from finishing this series. I may read this more intensely than I did Bokurano, of which I read a total of approx. 6,000 pages in two days. The art itself is easy on the eyes, though not as lovingly done as works from CLAMP. The plot is easily balanced with plenty of intense action, gasp-worthy revelations, and comedic relief. There are some elements of atheism, but this is obviously expected in a series centralized around alchemy. This "magic," however; is based off of a law similar to the Law of Conservation, so it avoids plenty the "because I said so" moments we find irritatingly often in most other shounen manga.

Stella ☢FAYZ☢ Chen

I know my friend Jen will be so proud of me (and herself considering she finally got me to read this). My friend, Jen, is a HUGE manga and anime fan and she's been bugging me to read this series for a long long time.Since summer began for me last week (June 22nd), I finally gave in to her constant fangirling and decided to try it. (Yeah, look at me advocating for peer pressure right here...NOT WHAT I AM TRYING TO DO.) I'm simply saying that friends are great to have and they know you. Trust them with their suggestions, whether it is with books, movies, school or relationships. :POn to the series itself (I'll condense my review for the whole series instead of just one per volume):- Great plot/plot development- Great characters/character development- Loads of action- Nice pacing- Humorous at timesI just loved it okay. There wasn't any cons for this series as it was practically flawless. If anyone wants to watch the animated version of this. I recommend for you to watch Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood as it is based on the manga (and it is better than Fullmetal Alchemist). The older version wasn't quite as good so, yeah, listen to your friend's (in this case, me) advice and go watch the anime adaptation.

Lucy

I’d heard about this series and seen images of it (and cosplay from it) long before I ever got around to reading or watching it. I assumed it was just another action/adventure manga that would go on way too long, awash with filler and minimalistic character development. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I was almost instantly charmed by the well-developed characters and the complex story line. The hype was not for nothing.This series really pulls at my heart strings, without being overly sympathetic or sappy. It’s full of great action scenes and a very fast-paced plot, but the characters really make the series. That said, I’ve always felt the beginning was a little confusing. Vol. 1 isn’t bad, but it’s feels like a somewhat sloppy beginning to what is an otherwise fantastic series.This genre is typically aimed at tween to teenage boys, but Fullmetal Alchemist has a wealth of stuff there for the female or older reader. It also boasts some of the best female characters I’m ever seen in manga/anime.

Carolina

Amo este manga, es épico y toda una obra maestra!Primero me vi el animé y me fascinó, aunque su relación con la historia del manga es mínima... Me entró la curiosidad de leerlo cuando salió FullMetal Alchemist Brotherhood-que por cierto no he visto-y sinceramente es una historia condenadamente enganchadora, original, muy divertida y gráfica, todos los personajes tienen su encanto, incluso los candenados humunculos esos. Dios mio sí que amé a Ed aquí! <3Que si vale la pena leerlo? Eso no se pregunta.

Renata

I read a manga so I could understand Carrie's jokes about it!! It has alchemy and a cult in it!!

Rachael

My all-time favorite manga series.

Buse

Ta, ta, ta, taaaam! Karşınızda "Çelik Simyacı" Edward Elric ve -dünyalar tatlısı- kardeşi Alphonse Elric! Bu manga hakkında nasıl bir yorum yapacağımı bilmiyorum. Çünkü M-U-H-T-E-Ş-E-M-di. Tüm samimiyetimle (ve benliğimle) söylüyorum ki bu manga inanılmaz. Mest olmuş durumdayım. Derin bir nefes alıp sakinleşmem gerek... Çünkü Fullmetal Alchemist ruhumu aldı götürdü! (Espri yaptım, millet! Hani Alphonse'nin ruh muhabbet? Gülsenize.) Fullmetal Alchemist dünyası Simyacılar'la "Mucizevi Güçler"le, çelik zırhlarla ve Elric kardeşlerle dolu bir okyanus ve ben boğulmaya dünden hazırım. Bu manga... Cennetten düşme gibi.ACI ÇEKTİRMEYEN BİR DERS ANLAMSIZDIR. ÇÜNKÜ BİR ŞEY FEDA ETMEYEN KİŞİ BİR ŞEY ELDE EDEMEZ. (sayfa 5) Elric kardeşler, ölen annelerini diriltmenin bir yolunu arar dururlar. Sonunda "Simya" adında bir bilim dalı ile karşılaşırlar. *Aslında bunu neden anlattığımı bilmiyorum. Zaten tanıtımda yazıyor.* Simya, elde etmek istediğin şeye eş değer bir fedakarlıkta bulunup, varlığın doğasını başkalaştırma bilimi-ilimi-eylemidir/"eşit takas"ıdır. Elric kardeşler -Edward ve Alphonse- bu yol ile annelerini geri getirebileceklerini düşünürler. Simya'da ustalaşırlar ve bu takası denerler. Ama işler ters gider ve Edward bir bacağını ve Alphonse ise tüm bedenini kaybeder. Edward, Alphonse'nin ruhunu çelik bir zırha koymak için de sağ elini-kolunu feda eder. Eski hallerine dönebilmelerinin tek yolu Felsefe Taşı'dır ve böylece iki kardeş Felsefe Taşı'nı aradıkları bir seyahate çıkarlar. (Epilog: Edward'ın sol bacağı ve sağ kolu için çelik protez takarlar. Ve böylece adı "Fullmetal Alchemist"/"Çelik Simyacı" olur. Ama insanlar her zaman -tüm vücudu çelikten bir zırh olduğu için- Alphonse'yi Çelik Simyacı sanırlar. Haksız da değiller hani Üzgünüm Ed.)"GÜNEŞE FAZLA YAKLAŞAN KAHRAMAN, BALMUMUYLA SERTLEŞTİRDİĞİ KANATLARI ERİYİNCE YERYÜZÜNE DÜŞTÜ." (sayfa 23-Edward Elric) Mangamız Çelik Simyacı toplam dört bölümden oluşuyor -ve bu bana hiç yetmiyor-.Bölümler sırayla:1-İki Simyacı2-Hayatın Bedeli3-Kömür Madeni Kasabası4-Trende Savaş ,şeklinde. Bu bölümler -ve çıktıkları seyahatin başı- boyunca Elric kardeşler, sahtekar Simyacılar'la, Kaymera'larla (yarı aslan yarı timsah/sürüngen yarı kuş, ucube bir yaratık), sahte Felsefe Taşı'yla, kötü niyetli Simyacılar tarafından sömürülen kömür madeni kasabalarıyla, bir altın bir kaya olan taşlarla, suç örgütü üyeleriyle ve Edward'ı "sıradan bir velet"(inanabiliyor musunuz?!) sanan beyinsizlerle uğraşıyorlar. "... GERÇEĞİ GÖRECEK KADAR CESARETİN VAR MI?" (sayfa 37 -Edward) SON SÖZ: Size iyi şanslar Edward ve Alphonse! Şansa ihtiyacınız var gibi görünüyor. Ha, Edward'ın sakinleştirici haplarına da ihtiyacı var gibi görünü-*TAK* (Edward, Kutsal Çilek'in kafasına Alphonse'nin başını atıp çenesini kapamasını söyler. Bu çocuğun cidden sinir sorunları var.)

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