View Full Version : Shounen Full Metal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa

January 11, 2008, 01:13 AM
Title: Full Metal Alchemist
Genres: Shonen, Fantasy, Adventure
Author/Artist: Hiromu Arakawa
Publication: Monthly Shonen Gangan.
Start Date: January, 2001
End Date: On-going
Number of chapters at review: 78
Number of chapters read by reviewer: 78

General Overview:
The series starts off with two brothers Alphonse and Edward Elric in the desert. Edward is an alchemist, meaning he can basically control matter. They come to a desert town and the plot starts off. Series uses flashbacks interspersed within chapters. Chapters are in a monthly fashion so each one is around 40 pages.

Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)

Art: 9
Considering the mangaka has roughly a month to do one chapter, the art is amazing. Details are immaculate, each panel is awesome. Character designs are very memorable. Her comedic panels are particularly good.

Plot: 10
It’s pretty much why I follow this series like a zealot. Highly intricate, with unforeseen twists and turns. The series makes excellent use of flashbacks, which almost always are relevant to the plot. It’s quite mature in ideas, and in structure. I’d compare it to the Master and Commander for terms of movement. Think of this more as an illustrated book, sometimes fights occur 2 chapters apart eschewing the shounen genre. Each chapter reveals something important to the plot.

Characters: 9
The cast is immense, but doesn’t shove it down your throat like Bleach or other shonen does. Characters are introduced in chapters in manageable groups. Within those chapters she also develops/shows most of the supporting character’s back story, so the reader gets a greater understanding of where they’re coming from .The titular characters, Edward and Alphonse are very deep, and grow throughout the series. For me, at least, they’re the Hamlet of the manga world.

Themes: 9
Prepare to experience each side of the emotional spectrum. Brotherhood features largely because well duh the titular characters are brothers. Death and its consequences are a large apart of the series which sometimes casts a melancholy shadow on the series, but other themes like loyalty and friendship come to the readers’ emotional rescue.

Originality: 10
I’ve never seen a manga about alchemists before this one. It’s awesome to see something in the series then look it up online and, hey presto, it’s actually drawn from historical fact. I also liked the historical influence in this manga, I’m a sucker for historical fiction but seeing a re-imagining of our world is just plain awesome.

Overall: 10
My favorite manga which most definitely gives me bias in reviewing it. You must read it.





January 15, 2008, 05:57 PM
this is a great series but by watching the anime, pretty much spoil me...
Maybe it is just me, but the anime seem to be better

overall 8/10

January 19, 2008, 03:25 AM
it can go either way I think. Personally, I think both are awesome. The dubbing of the anime was really great, whenever I'm reading the series I've got all the character's dubbed voices in my head. Watching the original (non-dub) version just seems weird.

January 27, 2008, 09:56 PM
it can go either way I think. Personally, I think both are awesome. The dubbing of the anime was really great, whenever I'm reading the series I've got all the character's dubbed voices in my head. Watching the original (non-dub) version just seems weird.

i actually feel the same way. of those that i have watched, this is the only anime that i prefer the dub. (i know, the horror! :o) i saw the dub first, so those are the voices i've associated with the characters. but to be fair, though, i have only watched a few episodes of the subs. i might change my mind if i watched a bit more and got used to the voices. what really bothers me, though, is that ed and al's voices in the subs really just sound like women to me, not boys :s

as far as anime vs manga, i enjoy both, but i'd have to say the manga is better (as usual). the manga is one of my favorites :)

February 19, 2008, 06:22 PM
such a great manga.. :D ... I just wish there was more of it.

February 22, 2008, 07:06 AM
To me the anime and manga are two different stories but both use the same concept well. I prefer the manga though.

I would have also mentioned that while there are serious funny scenes, overall the manga is not light hearted. It is for that reason that a friend won't read it. The main reason I would give a high art rating is Arakawa's attention to detail; panels are full and clever angles are also used. Her cliffhanger are also very good.

It is my favourite and the only manga RAW I read.

April 01, 2008, 03:45 PM
I agree with Amatersu's review. The only thing I can think to add is to mention the ingenious bits of chemistry that are littered throughout this manga. Edward Elric makes chemistry fun.

As for which is better the anime or the manga, i would go with the manga, but Nantalith is right they are two different stories. Both of which are quite good.

August 24, 2012, 06:08 PM
I haven't read the manga, but I'd have to say the Fullmetal Alchemist anime is one of, if not THE best anime I've ever seen.