Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 5

[openbook booknumber=”1421501759″][rating:5/5]

In an alchemical ritual gone wrong, Edward Elric lost his arm and his leg, and his brother Alphonse became nothing but a soul in a suit of armor. Equipped with mechanical “auto-mail” limbs, Edward becomes a state alchemist, seeking the one thing that can restore his brother and himself… the legendary Philosopher’s Stone.

Ed, Alphonse and their mechanic Winry go south in search of Izumi Curtis the master alchemist who taught the brothers how to use alchemy. But in the boomtown of Rush Valley, an encounter with a pickpocket turns them down a different path in search of an auto-mail blacksmith whose handiwork is the best that Winry has ever seen. Then the action flashes back to the past to show how Ed and Alphonse first learned alchemy…

Volume five had some ups and had some downs. I loved reading about Rush Valley and getting to see this auto-mail mecca and the engineers (and people in need of them!) that lived there. Also reading about the story and the lessons learned by and from the pick pocket was good fun. Who knew one girl could give two alchemists so much trouble? And she does! It’s great fun! The most powerful part of the book was where the boys learned the limits of alchemy and the wonders of the human condition as they got to attend the birth of a baby. The creation of a human life is something alchemy cannot achieve and was just one of the many ways the boys are truly humbled in Rush Valley.

The story gets a little shaky after the boys leave to meet their teacher and the book flashes back to when they first started learning alchemy, and why. I thought that the scenes with their teacher when they show up on her doorstep from Rush Valley were a little forced. They were obviously supposed to show us some of their teacher’s beliefs and teachings without Ed and Al having to “tell” us them. But having random kids show up right at that time just so Teacher could solve their problems and show us the limits and proper attitudes towards alchemy that she likes to teach was almost more than could be believed. I wish that was done in a different way.

All in all another great addition to the Fullmetal Alchemist series. I enjoyed reading about the boys adventures – not to mention watching their interactions with Winry, Teacher and each other – and of course watching them eat their huge helping of humble pie that they have to choke down in every chapter of this volume!

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