Title: Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1
Author: Hiromu Arakawa
Book #: 1st of Series
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
Publish Date: May 3rd 2005
Date Read: October 16th 2013
Rating: ★★★★★ / out of 5
"To obtain something, something of equal value must be lost.”
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...
(Synopsis taken from Goodreads)
This manga is awesome compared to the other series that I just got in to, Sailor Moon. While the experience with both is still very different from reading a book, I felt the story was not only more complex, but also more developed.
In this first volume, we are introduced to a world of alchemy and two brothers who broke one of the laws of the art and have paid the ultimate price. I really enjoyed being around Ed and Alphonse. I think they are great protagonists and the strength of their "bromance" is undeniable. I really felt for them and their struggles, but also rooted for them all the time and know that they will eventually be able to find what they are looking for.
The story is very interesting, too. I read another book dealing with alchemy, The Alchemyst , and while I enjoyed the book, the side of alchemy that we see in Fullmetal Alchemist is definitely more exciting.
One of my favorite aspects of this story, though, is the humor. I found there to be more humor in this than in Sailor Moon, which I felt had too much drama.
Overall, I will definitely be continuing this series and if you are new to manga like I am, this is a great place to start!
"Nothing's perfect, the world's not perfect. But it's there for us, trying the best it can; that's what makes it so damn beautiful."
"Humankind cannot gain something without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. This is Alchemy's First Law of Equivalent Exchange. In those days, we really believed that to be the world's one, and only, truth."
“Even when our eyes are closed, there's a whole world that exists outside ourselves and our dreams.”
“Is it alright to believe in the future where everyone can live in happiness?”
“Teachings that do not speak of pain have no meaning...because humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return.”
“Well, it's like that myth about the hero. He made wings out of wax so he could fly, but when he got too close to the Sun, to God, the wax melted and he crashed to the ground”
On My Goodreads: