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Just when I was ready to give up on the series...
Posted by Robert P. Beveridge on 5/27/2007
Hiromu Arakawa, Fullmetal Alchemist, vol. 4 (ViZ, 2005)
Something happened between Fullmetal Alchemist 3 and this volume. I'm not sure what, but whatever it is, I like it a great deal. There's a real story arc! There's continuity! Dare I say it? Fullmetal Alchemist is actually starting to live up to its sky-high reputation with Volume 4. Ed and Al head back to their hometown of Resembool so Ed can get fixed up after that last battle, and we get to know Winry and her grandmother a good deal more. Ed realizes that, while he's a state alchemist, he has a lot more maturity and experience to gain, so the boys decide to head back and see their old teacher. Winry, finding out they're going past Rush Valley, decides to tag along. All this means there's really not much going on in this volume actionwise, but Arakawa handles it better than any volume so far in the series. Finally, I see why this series gets so much attention. *** ½
Posted by M. H. Bos on 10/26/2008
Despite the fact that I`ve already seen the anime.
This Volume keeps me entertained throughout the story.
The basic and simple humor and the way people react doesn`t change in this fourth volume of FMA.
Posted by Sesho on 1/15/2006
After barely surviving their encounters with the guards of Laboratory #5 and the arrival of Lust and Envy, Ed has to be put into the hospital to recover. While he gets in contact with Winry to ask her to come fix him up, Al has something on his mind. Ever since his encounter with the armor-bound former serial killer Barry the Chopper, he has begun to question whether he really IS Alphonse Elric, or whether he is merely the memory of Al, artificially created and place in the suit of armor by his brother. At the risk of his own safety Lt. Col. Hughes begins to investigate a dark web of deceit and lies perpetrated that could involve all levels of the military order.
This was probably one of the best manga volumes of any series I have read. Not only does it contain humor and action it also questions what humans really are composed of. Is a memory of someone just as valid as the real thing? There are also some very poignant scenes in here. Hiromu Arakawa is not afraid to take her characters to very dark places and she is not afraid to kill them off either. The art is great and her storytelling is excellent. Her humor can be a little ill-placed at times but that's a minor complaint. Classic series.