Manga Review: Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 11

Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 11 is a manga by Hiromu Arakawa, and it was published in North America by Viz Media in 2007. 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 11
Written by: Hiromu Arakawa
Publisher: Square Enix
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: January 16, 2007

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.

At the beginning of Volume 11, Ed encounters his father, Van Hohenheim, at his mother’s grave; unfortunately, it’s not a very happy reunion, since Ed harbors a lot of ill feelings towars his father for leaving the family behind.

Later, Hohenheim talks with Pinako and asks if whatthe boys really transmutated was Trisha and insinuates it may not have been her. Ed overhears this conversation, and after Hohenheim leaves, Ed has Pinako show him where the transmutated body is buried in order to try to determine whether or not that really was their mother. What Ed ultimately discovers becomes very important information that helps to propel the story further.

Meanwhile, Al and Wintry learn that Lin is really a prince from Xing, and that he has come to try to find the secret of immortality in order to win his father’s favor and succeed him to the throne.

Breda comes up with the idea of talking with Dr. Marcoh to use the Philosopher’s Stone to help Havoc regain the use of his legs. Unfortunately, by the time Breda gets to Marcoh’s home, he has already been kidnapped by the Homunculi.

May Chang collapses while she’s on her journey, and she is helped by Yoki. She ends up joining up with Loki and Scar.

After Ed returns to Central, he and Ed come up with a plan to lure Scar out in the hopes of also luring out the Homunculi; Ed knows that he and Al are considered to be important human sacrifices, so the Homunculi won’t want Scar to kill them. The volume ends just as the battle between Ed and Scar is just getting going.

Volume 11 allows the reader to see just how strained Ed’s relationship is with his father. In addition, we also get to see flashbacks through Winry’s perspective of when Ed and Al lived with her and her grandmother after they tried to bring their mother back to life. Through this flashback, Winry is able to show the reader that Al’s body not as a great of a thing to have as Lin seems to think that it is. Just between these two aspects of the story, there were some very well-done character moments in this volume.

It was also nice to finally learn a little more about Lin and who he really is. Previous to this volume, all we knew was that he was a traveler from Xing and that he was being accompanied by Lanfan and her grandfather.

Even though I may already know what’s going to be coming up through watching the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood anime series prior to reading the manga, I’m still just as interested and engaged in the story as I would have been if I hadn’t seen the anime adaptation already. It’s really a testament to how strong Arakawa’s story and characters are.

If you’ve read and enjoyed the previous 10 volumes of Fullmetal Alchemist, then I believe you’ll also enjoy reading Volume 11 of the series.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 11 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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