What Is Manga?
For those who don’t know what Manga is and are reading this review, then you should probably start with this section. If you know what manga is, then just skip on ahead to the actual review. Basically manga are Japanese comic books with unique black and white art styles with fair amount of detail (most of the time) and usually reflects modern culture or gives us, the reader, a glimpse of the past or the future, however some manga serials are very much “out there”. As with most forms of books, manga has various genres to choose from, from you normal action and fantasies to the unique shōnen (aimed for teenage boys) and shōujo, which is aimed for teenage girls, yet more popular amongst teenage boys (logic I know). Another thing someone who is starting to read manga should know is that you read the books from right to left, rather than the conventional way of reading left to right. It can be feel unnatural at first but the more you read, it becomes second nature, however it does get awkward when you pick up your text book the next day and read it backwards, trust me, I know that feeling.
Review : Fullmetal Alchemist by Karune Walker.
- Title: Fullmetal alchemist
- Author: Hiromu Arakawa
- Series: Yes a series of 27 Volumes
- Genre: Manga/Fanatasy
- Available in the Library: Yes full series
- Website:Fullmetal Alchemist
- Rating: 8/10 BUY/READ IT! This would be a great investment for anyone.
For my first manga review, I decided I needed to write about something that was not only engaging with its storyline and characters, but also was not overly complicated to follow (seriously, some manga can get ridiculously confusing fast) and Fullmetal Alchemist ticks all the boxes (most of the time). Written and drawn by Hiromu Arakawa, this action/adventure/fantasy series follows the story of two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, who are both travelling in search of a philosopher’s stone to restore their bodies which were handicapped after an attempted revival of their deceased mother using alchemy fails, causing Edward to lose his right arm and leg and Alphonse to lose his entire body. As just mentioned and in the title of the series, the universe of Fullmetal revolves around the scientific art of alchemy, which can be sort of described as magic, and this allows wielders of alchemy to create many marvels but with a few restrictions. One of these restrictions is the law of equivalent exchange, which means something has to give in order for something to be created. Something is made from something. Something can’t be created from nothing. Along with this, there are just some rules that are never meant to be broken.
As with nearly every manga series, there are many characters that I could I write about, which could take a fair amount of time, so I decided to write about the three characters I deem the most important to the series.
Edward Elric – The older brother to Alphonse, Edward is very stubborn and when he puts his mind on something, it’s impossible to change it, no matter what. After losing his right arm and leg, Edward gets an “auto mail” or robotic limbs attached to him so he can pursue his goal of finding a philosopher’s stone and restore the bodies of himself and Alphonse. Even though he initially seems headstrong and aggressive, especially to anyone who mentions his height, he has a strong sense of loyalty to those who care for him
Alphonse Elric – The younger brother of Edward, Al as he is known by others, is the opposite to his headstrong brother by constantly being calm and acts as the peacemaker. Al is also kind-hearted to others, including his enemies, and always shows compassion to others. When he lost his body, Edward bonded Al’s soul to a suit of armour in an attempt to save his brother. That allowed Alphonse to travel with Edward to find the philosopher’s stone in order for him to regain his body. Because of the loss of his body, Al appears to have a higher maturity level than his brother, however it takes him more time for him to understand things than his brother
Winry Rockbell – The childhood friends of both Edward and Al as well as Edward’s automail repair woman. Because of her relations with the two since their childhood, she is more like a sister to the Elrics than a friend. Her personality is a mix of Edward and Al’s. Like Edward, she is very stubborn however she is also kind-hearted more than anything else. Throughout the series, she constantly provides emotional support for the two brothers, as well as constantly scolding them.
Art Style and Visuals
From volume one, you know how much dedication Arakawa puts into visuals of the series. One thing you can notice is the amount of details there is, from barren canyons to the nuts and bolts of machinery, and all this helps tell the story. The character designs are your typical manga style, which is usually larger than average eyes and all facial expressions becoming redundant when a character becomes angry or confused. However, this is made up for with the constant variety of outfits the characters wear, from basic cloaks and shirts to different styles of military uniforms and this makes it more diverse can keeps it fresh but usually by the time you notice these things, you are engrossed in the story and it becomes redundant.
Fullmetal Alchemist is great manga series that any manga fan should read and if you are not a manga fan, this is the perfect series to get you into it. With a great plot, witty humour and great characters it will compel you to keep reading on until you either have finished the series or something more important comes up (which should be nothing).
Out of a score of 10 I give Fullmetal Alchemist:
8/10 – BUY/READ IT! This would be a great investment for anyone.
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