Review: Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1 (Fullmetal Alchemist, #1) by Hiromu Arakawa

Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1 by Hiromu Arakawa

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Online – Mangafox
Publication Date: January 1st 2002
Publisher: ガンガンコミックス
Point of View: Masculine
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Steam punk, Adventure


Alchemy: the mystical power to alter the natural world; something between magic, art and science. When two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, dabbled in this power to grant their dearest wish, one of them lost an arm and a leg…and the other became nothing but a soul locked into a body of living steel. Now Edward is an agent of the government, a slave of the military-alchemical complex, using his unique powers to obey orders…even to kill. Except his powers aren’t unique. The world has been ravaged by the abuse of alchemy. And in pursuit of the ultimate alchemical treasure, the Philosopher’s Stone, their enemies are even more ruthless than they are…


I have no idea what, in this manga, prompted an average rating of 4.47/5 stars. No idea. It’s even higher than Death Note, Vol. 1: Boredom (which is the most read manga on GR) and Fairy Tail, Vol. 01 which, until it became too repetitive, used to be my F-A-V-O-R-I-T-E manga series. Because the characters and drawings and world-building are extraordinary.

Nonetheless, the world-building in this book too wasn’t bad either. But there were too many characters that appeared and then disappeared… no time to get attached. This is something that I think can be interesting but NOT in a first volume! Edward and his brother, however, were fun to follow on their ”adventures”. There was a good enough backstory but too short! Very little detail! I’m going to assume, though, that there will be more in the sequels.

The premise was something I enjoyed too. Too many ”cases” (problems) to resolve – I would prefer one but long, deep and poignant – but just the fact that there were alchemists in the storyline was something unique and I wish to discover more about them.

I will continue with this series.


12 thoughts on “Review: Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1 (Fullmetal Alchemist, #1) by Hiromu Arakawa

  1. At least it was intriguing enough to make you want to continue. Funny how we can see books with all these fabulous reviews, be excited to read it, and then be left scratching our heads at the end because it was good, but it certainly wasn’t great and not worth all the hype.
    Just goes to show how we can all like the same things but then still feel differently about others. 😉

    Great honest review Lola! Have a lovely weekend!!


  2. You definitely should continue. Fullmetal alchemist gets A LOT better later. Even for me, the first volume was a little “meh”. But the story line becomes a lot more intense and the characters become more endearing as it progresses…I mean, it eventually became one of my all time favorite manga’s! But obviously, that’s just me. You may think differently. But I definitely think the overall consensus is that the manga gets better later. But yeah, nice review :).


    • Yay!! Thanks for telling me that! That’s great, exactly what I wished to hear 😀 Really? Well I don’t know if it could become my favorite manga since the drawing style of the characters is not my favorite (I prefer the Fairy Tail style ahha) but the background ARE beautifully drawn. Thank you! And for stopping by too!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome! Though keep in mind that I may have completely different tastes to you so you may end up not liking it at all! Haha. I don’t want to give you false hopes…so just expect the worst and maybe you might appreciate it more? 😀 :D. But yeah, i know what you mean. The drawing style wasn’t really my thing at first either…but it grew on me. I think the characters just won me over so much that I managed to somewhat give a pass to all the flaws of the manga. Haha …either way, give it a try. You don’t have much to lose other than time I guess…:P.
        You’re very welcome! You have a lovely blog :).


  3. I read this when I was younger (5 years ago, so not that young), and I read many volumes, but I can’t really remember all the characters. I kind of think that’s the thing for manga/anime. They introduce a bunch a characters and the only thing you can do is just continue on with the series and get used to it. I would love to reread this again, I think, especially since it’s finished, but I do not read or watch anime/manga during the academic year (I am VERY disciplined on this hahahah, surprisingly)


  4. this is one of the many manga (or anime) I never approached. It’s not that I ever think it’s bad because I’m quite sure it isn’t. I just never thought of reading (or watching) this. Since it’s a shounen manga, I think this is also very lengthy which is something I’m also trying to avoid.. I hope you enjoy this more as you read through more volumes.

    I’m actually planning to read Silver Spoon. I believe it’s from the same mangaka 🙂


  5. I’m not a HUGE manga reader but I do enjoy them and obviously this one is on my reading list! I’m actually pleased to see something other than a 5-star rating for this one, it makes it a bit more approachable and lowers the expectations going in. Hopefully the series will get better for you as you move forward 🙂 Lovely review^^


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