Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 6

[openbook booknumber=”1421503190″][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.

The origin of the Elric brothers! Once, Edward and Alphonse Elric were willing to do anything to become alchemists. But when they tried to use their newfound skills to resurrect their dead mother, they broke a taboo and encountered something more terrifying than death itself. Now, hardened by years of military training, Edward and Alphonse have returned to the woman who first taught them alchemy… but can she help them, or even forgive them?

The more this series goes on the more complex it gets, in a very good way. Volume 6 continues the flashback from volume 5 covering the history of the boys and how they learned alchemy. The training was almost unbelievable to read about. I could not understand why some of the unspeakable and terrifying things even happened to them in the first place. This was true in the anime as well. But it really sets the tone for just how brutal and dark the rest of the series gets as things progress. They need to be toughened up in their training for what comes after and I understand that more now. But, the first time I read it? I could barely stomach it.

The rest of the volume doesn’t lighten up much either as you see the rest of what you caught a glimpse of in the very first frame of the very first volume (finally!) and get a lot of questions answered. But not all, of course. I really enjoyed having all the blanks filled in concerning the history of the brothers and how they got to where they are. I also enjoyed having some more of the tenets of alchemy spelled out for us and more of a foundation set up so that we can better understand the limitations, and what happens when an alchemist tries to play god (an ongoing theme).

After all the humble pie from volume 5, volume 6 goes straight for your gut. Those poor, poor boys.

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