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Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1 (Library Edition) Hardcover – January 22, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
This manga inspired the popular series now airing on the Cartoon Network and captures the show's brand of mystical, action-packed adventure. Set in a steam-powered locale that isn't necessarily in our world, the series follows two teenage brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric—one bearing two cybernetic replacement limbs while the other's soul animates a cumbersome suit of armor. The two are government agents wielding prodigious abilities in alchemy who carry out the hazardous assignments issued by their handlers. Their exploits range from thwarting the machinations of a fraudulent and ambitious priest who abuses the faith of his oblivious flock to cunningly extracting an impoverished mining community from the exorbitant clutches of a corrupt official and dealing with a train-hijack situation that owes a serious debt to the film Under Siege. In a market glutted with too many like-minded efforts, Arakawa's work grabs readers and shakes them with simple yet eloquent visuals and a bizarre concept. To give away more would ruin the story, but the snippets of the brothers' origin hint at much darker things to come, and such portents herald fun in upcoming installments. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Born in Hokkaido (northern Japan), Hiromu Arakawa first attracted national attention in 1999 with her award-winning manga Stray Dog. Her series Fullmetal Alchemist debuted in 2001 in Square Enix's monthly manga anthology Shonen Gangan.
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In any case, described as advertised. Paperback box set with 27 volumes, light novel, and a small poster. And there's velcro to help close the box.
What you get, and comments about each:
(If I seem to nitpick, then sorry, but I like to be extremely specific and thorough, letting you know precisely what I received.)
I. All 27 Volumes of the Fullmetal Alchemist Manga in Paperback
--1. These aren't new editions or anything, they're the same versions you can already purchase individually from VizMedia, but all in one set for one heck of a price! The set also includes Volume 27, which has yet to be relased by itself. (UPDATE 1/8/12: IN THE COMMENTS, SOMEONE HAS INFORMED ME THAT THE TRANSLATIONS AND IMAGES ARE A LITTLE DIFFERENT IN SOME PLACES COMPARED TO THE INDIVIDUAL COPIES YOU CAN PURCHASE FROM THE SAME PUBLISHER. I HAD NO IDEA, AND I APOLOGIZE IF THIS MISLED ANYONE!)
--2. Three or four of my books had EXTREMELY tiny, extra pieces of the cover hanging off of the corners on the spines of the books. It's kind of annoying just knowing they're there, but I'm guessing it's normal for paperbacks. But believe me, it's probably not even worth mentioning.
--3. The first 3 books have holographic covers, and the rest do not.
--4. They're right-to-left style, to preserve the orientation of Arakawa's original artwork. I'm an American and have been reading left-to-right my entire life, but I, personally, haven't had an issue with this. I THOUGHT I would, but I simply haven't.
II. A 2-Sided Poster
--1. Both sides can be viewed on this product's homepage in the photo section.
--2. It's folded in fourths, so there's creases. I have mine hung up though and it looks good to me. I barely-to-don't recognize the creases.
--3. Approximately 10"w x 15"h.
III. The Light Novel "The Ties that Bind"
--1. I'm honestly not sure what this is. I did a little research and I guess it's a novelization of some of the manga chapters?... I really don't know. It IS a novel though, meaning pages full of paragraphs of words. There's only like 3 pages with actual pictures.
IV. The Box Itself
--1. Approximately the size of the poster, and 5 inches deep.
--2. Has 2 shelves (one above the other) that house the books quite snugly. It's kinda hard to get them out sometimes.
--3. Has a hinged "door" that protects the books from dust when closed, stays shut with small velcro circles on the right side, and has a handle on top making it much easier to carry around.
--4. You can see the outside design of the box on this product's home page. The inside of the box is basically the same design as the back of the box.
--5. My box arrived with a few small creases and dents in it, but I suppose this is practically unavoidable when shipping across country.
--6. I'd have preferred a horizontally-orientated version of the box and its contents, but it's a very nice box nonetheless, I must say.
Overall, this product is definitely well worth its price and worthy of being passed down the Armstrong line for generations!!!
As to the quality of the purchase, the box was in fine condition. It's a great way to keep everything together. And since I'm a bit of a book collector myself, it's nice to have a personal spot that this manga can abide in. I debated for a while if it was worth the cost. But it's going to be more expensive if you pick it up at a bookstore.
I think this is my favorite manga box set to date. It's got little shelves inside for the books to sit on, and they're all so neatly arranged inside in order. The first couple in mine are those "shiny" editions with the holofoil on them, everything is the same as far as I can tell but I actually bought normal versions and swapped them out so that when you open the box, all of the spines look the same (as opposed to some being darker shiny versions). That's just my personal preference however, certainly doesn't detract in any way from the majesty of this set.
And it is majestic. It deserves a place of honor in any collection. FMA is a brilliant series, if you're looking at this I imagine you already know that. Well worth the money in my opinion!
This box set is a great bargain for any fans of the series. The box it comes in is beautiful and holds all the books nicely. It's sturdy and even has a handle for easy carrying. And not only do you get the entire series, you get a bonus novel and poster as well. That makes it even more of a bargain!
At 27 volumes and the sticker price of $9.99 a volume, you're looking at a total cost of $269.73. Considering Amazon currently has it listed for $135.82, you're saving $133.91 and that's not factoring in the nice carry case box, novel, and bonus poster either.
Not matter how you look at it, this box set really is a great bargain and well worth it for any anime/manga fans!