Full Metal Alchemist Volume 8

You know something’s good when you come back to it after a bit of a break, and find that it’s every bit as enjoyable as when you left it. Fullmetal Alchemist is one of those series. Although it’s been a while since the last volume, FMA still manages to suck me in completely.

The mad rollercoaster of a story continues to belt along at a fair old speed, presenting ever more twists and turns that really do keep you guessing. The hook this time is yet another new addition to the cast – a strange boy found alone on a deserted island, with the mysterious ability to transmute parts of his body. At the same time, the Homunculi are busy setting their plots into motion, causing confusion within the military. It’s to the series’ credit that although there’s always a lot going on, it’s easy to keep track of things.

What really sets this series apart, for me at least, is the excellent interaction between the many characters. The new kid in particular is a good showcase of this; despite being only introduced in the first ep of this volume, over the course of the episodes presented here, he gains not only a comprehensive backstory (all dark and mysterious at first, with all the pieces slowly sliding into place), but also a well fleshed-out personality. There’s something not quite right about the kid, and there’s an aura of maliciousness about him, while also an air of tragic sympathy. He’s like the embodiment of all the irritating little buggers you know and love to loathe, but can always find it in your heart to forgive. Kinda.

The thing with FMA at the moment is that I don’t want to say too much about it, for fear of spoiling it for those yet to see it. It’s the kind of thing you just have to see for yourself. Try as I might, I just can’t come up with a compelling argument that you shouldn’t be watching this already. It’s just that good. Hell, the biggest qualm I have is with the discs themselves -there’re only four episodes, and no extras to speak of- but considering the quality of the series at hand it’s kind of moot.

In Summary

Fullmetal Alchemist is still delivering on all fronts as it hits the eighth installment, and is continuing to belt along at full throttle.. If you’re not already watching this, you probably should be – at the very least just to see what all the fuss is about.

8 / 10