Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 04 (Fullmetal Alchemist, #4)

ISBN: 1591169291
ISBN 13: 9781591169291
By: Hiromu Arakawa

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Fantasy Favorites Fiction Fullmetal Alchemist Graphic Novels Manga Science Fiction Steampunk To Read Young Adult

About this book

Trapped and injured in a secret alchemical laboratory, Edward Elric is at the mercy of his enemies, Lust and Envy. But they don't want him dead...they have other plans for him. As the laboratory goes up in flames, the brothers find themselves back at square one, with only an inkling of the massive scale of the Philosopher's Stone conspiracy. But then, Lieutenant Colonel Maes Hughes uncovers a shocking secret...

Reader's Thoughts


Alright, people dying or stuff blowing up anytime they're about to make progress in this mystery is getting repetitive.


** spoiler alert ** As I expected, this was the volume that had the tragic end. I hate it that they killed off such a great character but at the same time, I love it that the author was gutsy enough to do it. I admire that in anything whether it be a book, manga, TV show, or movie (although in the case of a movie, I usually never watch it again, even if I did like it--case in point, Atonement). It's really a double-edged sword for me.


Volume 4 is the one where the reader gets it that characters that you begin to like can and will die and that brothers can doubt each other.One of my favorite FMA volumes of all. Tragic, funny, and excellent balance to the storytelling.


Really amazing as ever.It is really a combination of drama, action, mystery, comedy (esp the milk punk xD) and love story (???)In this volume continues Ed and Al's adventure at the abandoned laboratory and was still spared by envy and Lust. Their relationship as brothers are also tested when Butcher said something to Al about his memories being fake ones. But in the end Winry helped them. I really love it if Winry and Ed would be couple at the end. (hehe)Well, as the Elric brothers uncovers more about the Philosopher's Stone, people around them is also in serious danger. I was so sad that someone has to die, well, it is part of the story, I get it. It just got into me... Sigh.


This might be too much for a younger reader. Violence, death, sadness, and darker emotions. The story itself is still compelling and I'm finally getting used to reading in appropriate manga order.

Ryley Story

love. how even though the two brothers were mad at each other they still got along and loved each other. how the little girl loved the girl who fixed her toy and didn't want her to leave. the author saying that if you love someone you can never truly be mad at them. the toy the girl fixed symbolize the thing that we all have to fix in our lives. this is a quick read and lots of action.


More reviews at Rondo of a Possible World: YA Book Reviews Action-packed, thickening plot, three-dimensional characters, and humor drizzled on each character, Fullmetal Alchemist is a book that should definitely be read by all. Left me with tears in my eyes and a warm heart for every character that you meet along Ed and Al's long journey.


Because I saw the anime first, the pacing of this volume seems a bit off for me. Certain events feel out of order, indeed a particular event happens "too soon". Nevertheless, another strong outing and another worthy read.


This volume was so good (Maes Hughes!! And I thought I was prepared after what happened with Nina and Alexander), and the wait for volume 5 from my library was so long that I gave up and watched the anime (Brotherhood, not the first version)....and now I have no way to coherently speak about this series, I love it so much. The family relationship! Ed and his absolute devotion to getting Al his body back! Al and his conviction that he won't let others suffer in his quest to get back to normal! Colonel Mustang and his ambition and his loyalty to his men! Hawkeye and her awesome sniper skills and her loyalty and strength and ability to keep Colonel Mustang from doing too many stupid things! Winry, who is a fantastic automail mechanic and the best kind of friend and not afraid to use force to knock some sense into her reckless childhood friends! The romance, which feels natural because it's centered on such a strong friendship, and which builds naturally over a long series of significant events (that I can't give away without spoilers, although seriously, they're awesome), and which is naturally an understated subplot, because the characters are so focused on the terrible doings happening in the main plot! Not to mention Scar and the truth about the Ishbal Rebellion and Von Hohenheim (!!!) and Greed and Lin and Pride (who is so freaking scary) and the truth of the philosopher's stone...Umm, basically, if you took every character and every event and every world-building detail and added a few sparkly hearts and exclamation points before and after them, that's how I feel about this story. Give me a few weeks and I might be capable of a more rational analysis.If anyone in the neighborhood is interested, I have since found the Westerville library has the whole manga series; I've spent about the last week devouring it. (Maybe for me March is just a month meant for light--yet very awesome--book series? I seem to remember devouring the Alex Rider series in a similar fashion during spring break one year. Although Fullmetal Alchemist > Alex Rider by a billion points or so; they're not even on the same level of enjoyment, here.)One side note: I have so, so, so many good things to say about this series, but it is worth noting one thing that truly baffled and then somewhat offended me when I read through: (minor plot point spoiler) later in the series, Winry becomes an apprentice to Garfiel, an automail mechanic who is gay. Japanese culture tends to portray gay men as cross-dressing, hyper-feminine individuals, and the mangaka keeps with this stereotype. It was confusing when I first encountered Garfiel, because to me and my American cultural assumptions, his appearance and actions weren't coded gay; they were coded as a man who cross-dresses (no sexual orientation implied) or someone who, perhaps, is transgender. Research was helpful in clearing up what the mangaka was actually trying to convey to the reader. For what it's worth, no one in-text shames Garfiel or treats him negatively or thinks he's less of an automail mechanic. (Well, Ed runs away when Garfiel flirts with him, but Ed also freaks out and does pretty much the same anytime anyone implies he has a thing for Winry.) The mangaka tends to use Garfiel for humorous purposes, which is an unfortunate stereotypical way to treat the only gay character in the series, but he's a very minor character in the story who only appears in only a handful of scenes, and ultimately, my dislike for his portayal didn't ruin my enjoyment of the series as a whole. Obviously. YMMV, of course.

Piero Sevilla

This volume is really sad. I though that Mr. Awesomeness(Colonel Maes Hughes) is going to be one of the main characters and is going to be at the last page of all the volumes but when i read almost to the final page i found out that he dies (almost started crying) plus is sad because he had a daughter and he cares about her but then he die because he found out a shocking secret (that doesn't tells).

Federiken Masters

Y tras la conclusión de las peleas, la diversión y los debates filosóficos del tomo anterior, viene la muerte. Y nada más ni nada menos que la de uno de mis personajes favoritos. ¿Por qué era de mis personajes favoritos? Principalmente por el desarrollo que había tenido en la versión anime: acá es igual de simpático, disparatado e inteligente, pero hay muy poco tiempo para tomarle cariño. Lo presentan, le muestran sus mañas y un centenar de páginas después, cae muerto, en circunstancias igual de heróicas que en la adaptación animada. Esta fue una de las pocas veces en las que sentí alivio de haberme espoileado las cosas previamente en anime porque eso me hizo sentir mayor empatía con los personajes.Además de esta polémica muerte, el tomo está muy bueno porque empieza a ahondar un poquito en los "villanos", ya no son sólo tipos malos que rompen todo de jodidos que son nomás, sino que hay algo detrás, la gran "big picture" que le da sentido a todo.Y como bonus, está uno de los capítulos extra más bonitos de la serie. Ay, ese perrito, qué plato, jejeje.

Stefani Rogers

(by the way: i've read the whole series) I loved it! The idea of being able to use alchemy is amazing!!! The best thing about it is that it that it is never confusing!


So I'm reading this series because it's so high on many lists as being the best evar, and I see that fans of the series love this volume, and I am still waiting for it to get interesting. I feel like this is all still slowly setting the scene and meeting the characters. I like the characters, but I found nothing engaging about this volume either - the intrigue hasn't really started yet, for me, so I'm wondering if I should quit now if I don't love it yet.


This is at once both my favorite volume and one I can't stand. A testimony to the writing and characterization, I suppose, but that doesn't mean I don't quietly resent it.(view spoiler)[That Hughes's death can hurt so much to read/watch after such a short period of time is truly amazing, but much as I respect the skill that went into it, I still wish it hadn't happened. In fact, eventually I'm going to plot out and perhaps write a Doctor Who/FMA crossover to change that and see what happens. (hide spoiler)]Spoilers for the nature of the evil plot: (view spoiler)[Re-reading is really nice, because now I know what Hughes figured out and how he did it. That man is a bona fide genius, to be able to put so many things together and see the transmutation circle on such a huge scale, especially after he'd only seen a rough diagram of it and just for a short period of time. And he probably at least guessed that Bradley was in on it, too, since his first reflex was to call the President and then he reconsidered. (hide spoiler)]The bonus story at the end does make the volume a bit more bearable, since of course it's the Black Hayate one - always good for a smile and very necessary, what with everything else.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>


This series is really great. I love how the anime incorporates some of the side stories into its plot, because they are so hilarious! Right now, though, I still like the anime better.

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