You can find the review for vol 1 right here!
Fullmetal Alchemist: Fullmetal Edition Vol. 2 picks back up with the first altercation between the Elric brothers and Scar. With Edward’s automail arm obliterated and Alphonse literally in pieces, it’s up to Colonel Mustang and the military to fend off the Ishvalan menace. Major Armstrong, the strong arm alchemist, steps in to defend the Elrics, but Scar manages to escape. Mustang describes the events of the Ishvalan war to the Elrics in order to clarify the motivation behind Scar’s actions. Beaten and broken, the Elric brothers return to their hometown of Resembool for much needed repairs by their mechanic Winry.
Accompanied by Major Armstrong on their way to Resembool, the Elrics encounter Dr. Marcoh. Marcoh was a scientist for the military charged with the duty of creating a philosopher’s stone. This element of immense power is exactly what the Elrics need in order to restore their bodies. Dr. Marcoh refuses to reveal the secrets of the philosopher’s stone, but tells them they can locate his research notes in the National Central Library. After Armstrong and the Elrics leave for Resembool, Dr. Marcoh is attacked by Lust and forced to reveal the location of his research notes.
After Winry repairs Edward’s arm, the fullmetal alchemist restores Alphonse’s armor body back to normal. Upon returning to Central in hopes of locating Dr. Marcoh’s notes, they find that the library has been burned to the ground. Luckily, they encounter a brilliant woman with the ability to recall every word she has ever read. She is able to duplicate the doctor’s research notes, but then the Elric’s discover the terrible secret behind creating a philosopher’s stone.
Upon recalling some advice from Dr. Marcoh, the Elrics look deeper into his research. They locate the site where the philosopher’s stones were once created and sneak out in order to investigate. The Elric brothers are confronted by a pair of deadly guards and must fight for their lives. After Edward bests his opponent in battle, he demands to know more about the philosopher’s stone. Just as the guard is about to reveal information about the people who created the stone, he is silenced by a pair mysterious foes.
The deluxe collector’s edition of Fullmetal Alchemist is absolutely beautiful. Before you even open the hardback manga, you are drawn in by the outstanding art and quality of the cover. The content of Vol. 2 is engaging and adds such a depth to characterization. Not only do you learn more about the characters you already know, but you are also introduced to a plethora of new personalities that are instant favorites. Personally, I love everything about Major Armstrong and it doesn’t hurt that he is voiced by Christopher Sabat in the English dub.
The dialogue and artwork are breathtaking. The pacing and quality of writing is hard to match and makes for a very quick read. It’s hard for me to put this manga down, but I force myself to so that it lasts longer. The humor is rampant throughout the manga in both text and art. The art is dynamic and creative. There is so much detail in every panel. The action sequences are easy to follow and play with the method of combat that is unique to this series. Fullmetal Alchemist has a heart that is hard to come by in any medium. You feel for these characters and are sucked into their world.
The Fullmetal Edition includes original concept sketches of Alphonse by artist and creator Hiromu Arawaka. Like I said in my previous review of Vol. 1, this edition is a must buy for any fan of Fullmetal Alchemist. Not only will it look amazing on your shelf, but it demands to be read over and over. You can find your copy right here on Viz Media’s online store.
Note: Viz Media provided us with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.