The bells of war have rung and all the central players are gathered for the climatic showdown that will decide the fate of not just the country of Amestris, but the whole world. With the rebels holding down central and Hohenheim seeking a confrontation with Father, this volume makes up for the long downtown between releases with more action than one could ever hope for from a shonen series.
With Ed, Al, Mustang, and Scar left to burrow beneath the catacombs of central, the supporting characters are given the spotlight. Arakawa’s ability to build realistic and believable characters is second to none and its especially evident here, with each one given specific goals and motivations that allows the reader to get behind them.
Unfortunately, the focus on secondary characters is not without its drawbacks. With so many life and death battles populating the mix, its only natural that a few are going to bite the dust. Thankfully, even in death, Arakawa does not forsake them, given them heart-wrenching sendoffs that feel natural given the flow of the story.
Fullmetal Alchemist is a series unlike any other on the market today. The plot is strong and the characters moving. It utilizes them to near perfection and delivers a powerful piece of fiction worth investing reader’s time and energy into. While the conclusion of this volume draws the curtain on several character’s arcs, the main spectacle is yet to begin.