Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 8

[openbook booknumber=”1421504596″][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 raid on the Devil’s Nest becomes a slaughter, as government troops – led by the Fuhrer President himself, King Bradley – exterminate the half human forces of the Homunculus Greed. But will Ed and Al survive the battle unchanged? As Greed is sent to meet his maker, foreign travelers arrive in Amestris, having crossed the great desert form the eastern country of Xing. Their names are Mei and Ling, and they’ve come for the Philosopher’s Stone… and a secret even the Elric brothers never imagined…

Definitely a very dark beginning for Volume 8. After the huge plot twist at the end of Volume 7 the rest of the fall out occurs in the start of Volume 8. It’s very dark and very sinister and while some pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place many more questions remain unanswered. I also thought the soldiers at the beginning wondering who wasn’t human (the chimeras and Greed or the alchemists and King Bradley) was very illuminating of where things are in the series right now.

The plot lightens up a bit after that as several new characters (and a whole new country!) gets introduced in the form of Xing. A country that uses a different form of alchemy that is more focused on the healing arts, and as a result thinks of alchemy in a very different way from the war-centric Amestris. Some very humorous scenes commence, especially the ones with the little girl Mei and her reaction on learning about Edward, the Fullmetal Alchemist.

Volume 8 was definitely a turning point in the series as new characters, new countries and a whole new viewpoint is brought into the manga. The moments of darkness offset with scenes of humor and witty banter that are true throughout the series really come to play in this volume. Another winning chapter in the Fullmetal Alchemist saga.

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