Manga Review: Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 10

Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 10 is a manga by Hiromu Arakawa, and it was published in North America by Viz Media in 2006. Fullmetal Alchemist is rated “T” for teens; from what I’ve read of the manga and from seeing both of the anime series, I would agree with this rating.

Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 10
Written by: Hiromu Arakawa
Publisher: Square Enix
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: November 21, 2006

Brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric know how to perform alchemy, and tried performing a forbidden alchemy technique to bring their mother back to life. In the process, Alphonse lost his body and Ed lost one of his legs. In order to attach Al’s soul to a suit of armor, Ed ends up losing one of his arms. Ed now has “auto-mail” prosthetics, which are designed by his childhood friend, Winry Rockbell.

Ed has become the youngest State Alchemist in history, and has been given the name “Fullmetal Alchemist.” The series follows Ed and Al as they search for the Philosopher’s Stone, a legendary artifact that they believe will help them to recover their bodies.

Volume 10 picks up right where Volume Nine left off, with Hawkeye, Fuery, Havoc, Lin Yao, Lan Fan, Al, Mustang, and Barry the Chopper fighting against two of the Homunculi as well as with Barry’s original body. This ends up leading the group to Lab Number 3, which is an alchemical research facility. The confrontation that takes place at the facility causes a major change for Havoc.

Meanwhile, Ed has been taken to Resembool by Major Armstrong. When they reach Ed’s hometown, he’s surprised to see Breda waiting for them. They meet up with Mr. Han, who will help the group cross the border to get to the Cselkcess Ruins, which are located in the country of Xing. While he’s at the ruins, Ed gets a couple of surprises. When Ed returns to Resembool, he has another surprise waiting for him.

Story-wise, the group that goes to Lab Number 3 start getting some serious leads as to what’s been going on with the Homunculi, and Mustang believes it goes pretty high up in the chain of government command. Also, what Ed discovers when he gets to the ruins in Xing helps to prove that Mustang isn’t as heartless as he was portrayed to be in an event that took place in Volume Nine. For me, one of the most memorable parts of Volume 10 takes place at the ruins at the point that Ed encounters have Ishbalan refugees. The conversation that Ed has with them is a rather touching moment.

At this point, we’re getting closer to the halfway point of the Fullmetal Alchemist series; this is becoming readily apparent to the reader with the advancements that have been made in the story over the past couple of volumes. Since I’ve already seen Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, I already know what to expect not only in this volume, but in future volumes as well. I think that with this knowledge, I already know where the story is going and what will be coming down the line, so that probably helps me to pick up on the sense that the manga series is almost halfway over.

Volume 10 of Fullmetal Alchemist has a good combination of the action, drama, and emotions that have come to define this series. Even though I may already know what’s coming, I’m still looking forward to reading Volume 11 in order to see what portion of the story that particular manga volume covers.

If you’ve read and enjoyed the previous nine volumes of Fullmetal Alchemist, then honestly I believe you’ll really enjoy reading Volume 10 of the series.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 10 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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