Title: Fullmetal Alchemist: Fullmetal Edition Vol. 5 Author: Hiromu Arakawa Publisher: Viz Media Language: English Format: Hardcover Pages: 280 Genre: Shounen, Battle Publication Date: May 21, 2019
The fifth volume of Fullmetal Alchemist Fullmetal Edition ends the flashback scene of how Edward and Alphonse ended up in their current state. As Edward was about to leave, he remembers that he needs to take his assessment to remain a state alchemist and heads to a nearby branch office. Meanwhile, Alphonse heads out and ends up getting approached by some shady people. He’s kidnapped and that’s when we are introduced another homunculus by the name of Greed who wants to know how Alphonse had his soul transmuted onto his armor. Izumi gets worried and tracks them down but Greed makes it clear that he just wants to make a deal and needs information from Ed in order to close said deal.
Izumi gets Ed once he returns from his assessment; however, Ed was followed by Fuhrer King Bradley and Major Armstrong. Once they all know the details, Ed heads off alone to go find Alphonse. Bradley, Armstrong and a platoon of military members follow suit. Ed refuses to make a deal with Greed and the scene turns into a war zone. Bradley ends up taking on Greed by himself and that’s when we learn a bit of a secret about Bradley!
After the battle is over, Ed begins to become a bit suspicious about the military. Meanwhile, we get caught up with Winry who is confronted by our old friend Barry the Chopper! She easily takes care of him and calls Colonel Mustang to report that she captured him. This brings our volume to a close.
First Lust, Envy, and Sloth and now we’re introduced to Greed. The mystery gets deeper and deeper and now it looks as if there’s some collusion going on with the military as well. The volume was mostly taken up by the action but there was some great character development here as well!
Not much in the way of development for Ed but Alphonse ended up regaining his memories of when his soul was transmuted into his armor; however, those memories are not complete. Still, Ed and Al are now one step closer to figuring out how to get their bodies back. While it’s a small step, it’s still a step in the right direction.
Greed was an interesting character. Despite the battle that took place, Greed really did try to keep everything as civil as possible. He simply wanted information about soul transmutation. While he is a homunculus, he can still be killed and isn’t a true immortal. Having a soul transmuted into something would make him immortal and he was highly interested in that information. With a name like Greed, the desire to know that fits right in with his personality and his namesake. The fact that he kept ordering Al and Ed to be roughed up and not killed showed that he was very calculated in his moves and knew full well their value and worth… another sign of being greedy. I kind of liked that about him. He had a duality of being noble yet underhanded at the same time. As weird as that sounds, it was a cool yin/yang balance to him.
Of course, we got the big reveal with Fuhrer King Bradley but I won’t spoil it. Of course, this is only for people who have never read the series. As popular as this series is… if you’re reading the Fullmetal Edition, chances are you doing so as a refresher so you already know the secret in question. In the chance that this is your first time reading the series, though. It’s a pretty interesting reveal that makes you think more about some of the types of characters that are in the series and their alignments. That’s about as much hinting as I’ll do today.
Lastly, it looks like not Ishvalans care for each other as Scar was attacked by his very own people all because of the bounty that has been placed on his head. He is reunited with his master who takes pity on him when Scar attacks his attackers and says that he’s too far down the path to turn back now. I liked how they built some sympathy for Scar here… like he has no path for redemption but the fact that he just admitted that there’s no turning back means he’s already begun his redemption. He now only needs to realize that there is a way back. It’s a soft and subtle development cue placed by Arakawa. A little bit of misdirection and you’re setting Scar up for a shift in alignment in the future!
Another great edition of Fullmetal Alchemist! We got some nice story advancement and now we’ve opened up a bigger mystery involving the military. There’s enough hook and bait there to make you think about what is going to happen in the next volume. Plus, what is Colonel Mustang going to do with Barry the Chopper? It wasn’t all that long ago we saw him in a fight against Alphonse while Ed was busy dealing with his counterpart inside the prison.
This ties back to how the military tried to cover up information about the place and with Colonel Mustang getting transferred to central, this will also be a key to unraveling Ed’s suspicions about the military. While the final pages seemed almost like a moot point, they have bigger ramifications that it seems on the surface.
Can’t wait to see what the next installment brings us! Time to dive deeper into this new mystery!