Sarah's Stars

Hiromu Arakawa. Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 1
Viz Media $13.95 ISBN 1-59116-920-8 180 pg.
Reviewed by Melissa, Age 13

The Elric brothers were young. Although they knew what they were getting into, they never suspected what was about to happen. Edward lost his left leg and right arm; replaced by a metal pair instead, while Alphonse’s soul was trapped inside a suit of armor. The alchemists had tried to bring their dead mother back to life, using the magical science known as Alchemy. Was that too much to ask? Apparently so, because now you know why it is called Fullmetal Alchemist.

Ed is stuck in the hands of the military for State Alchemists. He is to obey orders, using his powers. Even if that means people have to die in the process. Wanting, and needing, their normal bodies back, they are searching the world for the ultimate treasure, The Philosopher’s Stone. The Philosopher’s Stone allows its user to do all sorts of alchemy, even the forbidden kind.

This book in particular is not hard for one to imagine the canvas moving, the animated series and the video game versions help out with that. Now, all for the better, there is a book series, too. The characters are a joy, really! Their stony past, their outer appearance and their reactions along the way, all are well thought out, making it heartbreaking and smile warming. Everything is laid out so well. The pictures are complicated, too. The reason I say this, being, there is so much crammed into one section of the page. It takes a little bit to look at it all. The villains really did make the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end! They are evil and ruthless, seeming undoubtedly so.

I would recommend Fullmetal Alchemist for thirteen year olds and up. This may seem like a comic for kids, but the imagery is brutal, and so too is the language. It is not just any ordinary child's comic. My verdict is - FIVE stars dancing across the night’s sky! This is because I literally fell in love with the characters. The comic captures you totally from the start. This captivating story keeps you up late in anticipation.

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