Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1

by Hiromu Arakawa | Graphic Novels |
ISBN: 1591169208 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 10/17/2017
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, October 17, 2017
I got this softcover at a local Savers thrift shop, for another release copy. (I enjoyed the anime adaptation very much.)

This turned out to be a very entertaining read, with more detail than is in the anime - though I do like the book-to-screen choices. The basic concept: two brothers have lost their mother, and decide to use alchemy (a mix of science and magic in this universe) to try and bring her back. But the rules of life and death aren't to be trifled with, and not only does the attempt fail, but Ed winds up losing an arm, and Al vanishes entirely... Ed quickly tries to recover his brother, but only gets his soul, at the cost of an arm. With the help of a local robotics expert, Ed gains metal prosthetic limbs, and Al's spirit is bound into a robot body - and the two set off on a quest to restore Al's body. Along the way they get involved with military plots, meet other alchemists, and do a lot of fighting and quipping and more fighting and having to be repaired so they can fight again {grin}. There's drama and horror mixed in with comradeship and humor, a lively mix. I gather that the plots of the manga and the anime adaptations diverge, but I'm enjoying both, and would recommend them.

Update: I'm reading more of the series thanks to my library. There are lots of enjoyable extras - a common feature of manga but not usually so much fun: each volume has opening quips from the authors, bonus stories, four-panel strips - and an "in memoriam" note at the end for notable fatalities during the story. [My favorite of these was for a poor guard who died suddenly (and bloodily): it shows his angelic form floating upwards, with the lines "I did it, Mom! An insignificant guard like me - appearing in a bonus in the graphic novel..." And there's a hilarious bonus story in Vol. 4, in which Lt. Hawkeye paper-trains a new puppy with her handgun. No, really - the puppy pees on the wall, Hawkeye fires off a clip (to the shock of everyone else in the office), cut to a scene of the puppy standing up against the wall, paws high, with half a dozen neat bullet-holes outlining him. Next frame, Hawkeye says "Your potty's here, got it?" and the puppy is nodding very, very forcefully. I hadn't expected this at all and was simply howling with laughter - a nice change in what is often a pretty grim story...]

***

[I also enjoyed the TV Tropes page for this series.]

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Little Free Library, 557 Mast Rd. in Goffstown, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Released 1 yr ago (10/19/2017 UTC) at Little Free Library, 557 Mast Rd. in Goffstown, New Hampshire USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

I left this book in the Little Free Library on this warm afternoon; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

*** Released for the 2017 TV Series release challenge. ***

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