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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent manga
First of all, to set things straight, the manga came first. The anime is based on the manga, and the plotlines are completely different (seeing as how the manga is still being released in Japan while the anime already ended). That being said, we can move on to discuss this manga, which I find to be superior to the anime.

The art is amazing, everything is drawn...
Published on July 16, 2005 by Alex

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Action packed but not perfect
Full of action, which is cool. But the storyline was broken up into amped up situations with very little connecting them. I lived that the series sets up the notion that alchemy comes at a price right from the start but, because of the main character's mastery of alchemy, that price isn't really seen in practice.
Published 6 months ago by Gene


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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent manga, July 16, 2005
By 
This review is from: Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1 (Paperback)
First of all, to set things straight, the manga came first. The anime is based on the manga, and the plotlines are completely different (seeing as how the manga is still being released in Japan while the anime already ended). That being said, we can move on to discuss this manga, which I find to be superior to the anime.

The art is amazing, everything is drawn well and the thick, bold lines make it easy to distinguish characters and backgrounds, unlike some manga where the art is just too crowded and confusing. The character design is excellent, and they all look great, especially Lust, Gluttony and the rest of the sins (to be intorduced in later volumes).

The plot is interesting and engaging. While the first volume is simply 4 side-stories and serves as an introduction to the main characters, the plot remains constant throughout the next volumes, never straying off to subplots.

One of the best aspects about this manga is the perfect combination between comedy, action and drama. It's a hillarious manga (ranging from Ed's height-based jokes to Roy's slacking-off and womanizing jokes), yet it manages to have solid, thrilling action and touching drama. However, the combination between these elements excells in that it's never entirely action, or entirely comedy, or entirely drama, and it works perfectly.

FMA's best quality, though, in my opinion, is that it's unique. It is a Shonen manga, but it's different from other Shonen. It's realistic, it doesn't focus on battles, and it lacks many elements of typical Shonen (such as flashy, long battles, or heroes that are willing to sacrifice themselves for anyone). This uniqueness makes FMA appealing and interesting. And considering this is Arakawa's first big manga (she had done a short stroy before FMA), it is a huge success.

Highly recommended, the best manga I've ever read.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than I would have ever thought, February 7, 2007
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1 (Paperback)
I used to hate anime and manga as a whole. That was until I decided to watch the Fullmetal Alchemist anime on a whim. Saw all 51 episodes and the movie in two days- yes, it was that addictive. Fresh out of anime and disgusted with the end of the series/movie, I bought the manga. And believe it or not, the manga is even better than the anime.

At first, it dosn't seem that much different from it, but once you get into the series, oh how much more does it offer! The charactrization is deeper, and so is the plot. Every month I'm still left on a great big hanger wondering what's going to happen next. Not only is the story line, characters, and action great, this manga is chock-full of heart and morals. Some of the stuff in here is pretty deep, don't be decieved by it. And for a mythology/symbolism nut like me, it offers a lot of entertainment.

For those of you who haven't seen the anime, the plot goes like this:

Edward and Alphonse Elric, two brothers from a rural town in the country of Amestris, tried to resurrect thier dead mother with the help of alchemy. However, things take a thing for the worse- the transmutaion goes horribly wrong, and Ed looses an arm and leg. Alphonse looses his entire body. Ed then transmutes Al's soul to an empty suit of armor, and Ed's limbs are replaced with Automail ( steel posthetics). The two brothers then set out on a quest for the Philosopher's Stone(this is nothing like Harry Potter, don't worry)which is the only thing that can return thier bodies to a normal state. In order to do this, Ed ends up working as a State Alchemist. And that's only the begining. Hiromu Arakawa keeps us constantly on our toes with so many plot twists, it's impossible to get bored of this manga.

So if you liked the anime, is a fan of manga, likes fantasy books, or is just looking for a fun read, go buy this series.

Word to younger readers- this manga does contain a lot of violence, but very little else besides that. I wouldn't let most pre-teens read it, but then again, it all depends on the maturitly level. Otherwise, this is an extremly great series.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended series, May 28, 2005
This review is from: Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1 (Paperback)
This is my favorite manga series by far, and I'm really glad to see it released over here, since the anime was grabbed first and I kept wondering when someone would pick up the manga. (Note: the anime IS based on the manga, not the other way around - it's just that the anime was picked up for a North American release before the manga was) The translation seems fairly good, with a couple of minor rough spots that didn't really bug me that much.

I really like the characters in this series, not only because character development is done well but also because each person in the story has a distinct and unique appearance and personality. No one seems blah or uninteresting, and no one can be mistaken for any other character. (I've seen this in too many other manga series)

I also like the blend of angst and comedy - the central tragedy in the series is very sad and there are a number of heart-wrenching scenes, but somehow the series manages to be amusing and light-hearted in other places without seeming awkward in transition. Action scenes are also awesome. It's a good mix, anyway.

Fullmetal Alchemist keeps you entertained and wanting more. The characters are likable and the plot is engaging. Isn't that as much as you can ask for in a good manga series?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you've watched the anime, read this manga. If you haven't...read it anyway., June 13, 2006
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1 (Paperback)
Fullmetal Alchemist is a series that sure isn't lacking in anything. The characters are well-rounded and interesting, the world is fascinating, and the action and humor in the plotline will keep you begging for more. The family bond between Edward, Alphonse, and their mother that caused the two brothers to go to such great lengths for each other and her is heartwarming. There is plenty of darkness in this manga, from cold enemies who care nothing for human lives to the questions the series brings up about humanity--but in the end, even if killers are still on the loose and the heroes are still bleeding, I always end up with a smile on my face. The way problems are solved is always clever and you can bet on a few good laughs along the way, be it laughing with the heroes or at the enemy (or both!). The world seems real to me and it is easy to lose myself in it. The art is fantastic and what really stuck out in my opinion are the characters' expressions. I find myself feeling along with them a lot of the time. So, while like everything, this series may not be for everyone, it is certainly an amazing series that is worth your time.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Start, June 15, 2005
By 
This review is from: Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1 (Paperback)
Fullmetal Alchemist is the compelling story of two young boys who try to bring their mother back from the dead using the science of alchemy. This is a great taboo, and one brother looses an arm and a leg, the other his whole body, his soul is bound to a suit of armor. Despite this they still do not get their mother back.

The manga is the comic book that was the original idea the spawned the anime that many people may have seen on Cartoon Network. The anime was made in Japan after the manga was started, in the US the anime was picked up first.

Please be aware, if you're a fan of the show, the plot line as the manga moves on is vastly differant from that of the anime. Both plots are interesting and compelling, but as the manga was still going on, the anime had to come to a differant resolution.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Brothers Elric, November 16, 2006
This review is from: Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1 (Paperback)
From the creative mind of a woman who's also a big fan of B movies comes "Fullmetal Alchemist," the manga that inspired the hit anime currently airing on the Cartoon Network's late-night block.

There's not much to tell Hiromu Arakawa's manga apart from its TV adaptation; the manga just moves at a faster pace. The Elric Brothers, Edward and Alphonse, still get maimed while using alchemy to resurrect their mother. And as agents of the military, they still search for the fabled Philosopher's Stone that would make them whole again. But the journey isn't any easier in print. To claim the prize for themselves, the Elrics face the same challenges and the same high stakes (and Ed still throws a fit over his height-or lack thereof).

Indeed all the action, comedy, and drama of the anime remains intact in its source material. Despite what the law of "Equivalent Exchange" says, owning this masterpiece won't cost you an arm and a leg.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Manga! Better than the anime, October 24, 2005
By 
Tracy Crum (Prestonsburg, Ky) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1 (Paperback)
I finished watching the anime series to FMA a couple months ago along with also seeing the movie. I never really got into manga until i was still craving a FMA fix after the series ended so i bought the first 3 volumes of the manga that is out right now in the USA and i was very suprised the manga is BETTER than the anime! If your a fan of the anime then do yourself a favor and buy these books if nothing else they make great collector items because the art is just so beautiful (especially roy ;) ). The story does have alot of difference than the anime which is a good thing if you are like me and seen the anime in its entirely. It still keeps you on your toes because even though the first couple of chapters are similiar to the anime they are still BIG differences! Buy this book!!!! Buy all three of them!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun escapism., January 24, 2006
By 
Ruger (A.P. MI USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1 (Paperback)
Just recently looked into manga. Heard of F.M.A. on Cartoon Network and some gaming channels. Picked up this issue and really enjoyed it. Used to collect comics many moons ago. This is a big jump from Marvel or DC. More adult, great storyline, great humour. May seem a little pricey, but you do get a pretty thick book and some great art, so you do get what you pay for. Being a parent, I would strictly look into these manga before purchasing for kids. See if it suits your views first and dig deeper than just the rating.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full Metal Alchemist Solider, February 19, 2007
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1 (Paperback)
Do you like comic books like Naruto? Do you like Science Fiction? Well, read this book and you will laugh, cry, and be astonish by the characters in this Japanese comic book. There are four chapters but, they are long and humorus. The writer was also famous for Stray Dog in 1999; the book was an award winner like Full Metal Alchemist. The fourth chapter is full of humor and misgrief. Read the book and find out what happens. p.s. There are eleven volumes in total, and by the way, they are all $9.99.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Equally good read, September 8, 2005
This review is from: Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1 (Paperback)
Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 1 gave me just what I was expecting of it. I've watched the entire anime, as well as read the entire Manga online, hence why I am buying them in English.

The story revolves around a young alchemist named Edward Elric and his brother, Alphonse. The two boys had preformed a taboo, an alchemic reaction forbidden by the natural law of Equivalent Trade. This resulted in the lose of Edward's left leg and Alphonse's body. Soon after, Edward gave up his arm to encase Alphonse's soul in a nearby suit of armour. Now don't be fooled. The manga has many differences from the anime, but let's keep in mind that the Manga came before the show.

The Manga is a very good mixture of comedy, action and drama, making for an enthralling read which will leave you demanding more, while playing with your heart strings the further you read. In conclusion, Fullmetal Alchemist is a must read for Manga fans and others alike.
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Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1
Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1 by Hiromu Arakawa (Paperback - May 3, 2005)
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