Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 9

[openbook booknumber=”142150460X”][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 and his brother’s bodies… the legendary Philosopher’s Stone.

Ed, Al and Winry return to Central Command, but only bad news greets the Fullmetal Alchemist and his friends. Lieutenant Colonel Maes Hughes has been murdered – and Second Lieutenant Maria Ross is the prime suspect! While Maria awaits an uncertain fate in jail, the living suit of armor bearing the soul of serial killer “Barry the Chopper” breaks free of the military and goes on a rampage. Now, the mysterious Homunculi must come out of the shadows to deal with the mess before their monstrous conspiracy is exposed. But for Colonel Mustang, Maes Hughes’ former best friend, it’s not about the truth; it’s about revenge…

It’s really hard to review volume 9 without giving out some major spoilers, so if this review is more vague than most I apologize. Volume 9 is a bit of a wake up call as Maes Hughes death finally comes to light for the Fullmetal Alchemist and his friends. They are devastated by the loss and blame themselves for dragging him into this mess in the first place. They have some tough decisions to face as a result and some real growth is shown here for both the boys and for Winry as well.

The events in this volume also highlight the animosity between Mustang and Ed. Combined with some looks back at the Ishvala campaign and the machinations of the homunculi makes this one of the saddest and most sinister volumes yet.

I really encourage you to read on even as the plot twists and characters turn around and stun you. Just like with every other volume, keep unwrapping that onion. There’s always another layer underneath.

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