Title: Fullmetal Alchemist: Fullmetal Edition Vol. 7
Author: Hiromu Arakawa
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Shounen, Battle
Publication Date: November 12, 2019
The seventh volume of Fullmetal Alchemist Fullmetal Edition deals with Barry the Chopper confronting a soul that has been placed in his original body. Of course, rather than being shocked over it, Barry wants to chop it up by stating that it’s not every day that you get to chop up your own body.
I mean, you can really refute that logic, can you?
Things take a turn for the worst as Envy and Gluttony show up. Thankfully, Hawkeye and Havoc were also stationed nearby to help with the situation. An all-out battle ensues but Envy and Gluttony are called back so they retreat.
Meanwhile, Major Armstrong abducts Edward in order to bring him back to Risembool. This is just a cover-up where he’s taken across the border into the East where he meets up with a certain someone who has ties to Colonel Mustang. While there, Ed is attacked by Ishvalans; however, one of their elders lets him go due to a debt she felt after two Amestrian doctors saved their lives. Turns out those doctors were Winry’s parents and we end up getting a nice glimpse into their backstory.
Edward heads back to Risembool in order to get his automail repaired. Once there, he runs into his father Hohenheim. Edward finds him standing on top of Trisha, his mother’s, grave. Ed isn’t exactly happy to see him; however, Hohenheim acts like nothing really happened. He heads back to Pinako’s house where he warns her of a great catastrophe that’s heading for the country. He wants her to get out while she can.
Finally, we get some details on Ling’s background as a Prince of Xing as well as how the government of that country works. Pretty interesting stuff there. The end comes when Colonel Mustang needs the help of Dr. Marcoh; however, before they can get to him, Envy and Gluttony pay him a visit!
Lots of nice events happening in this volume. We learn of the fates of quite a few characters as well as get introduced to Edward and Alphonse’s father. This was another great balance between progressing the story further, enhancing some of the mystery details which are becoming more and more obvious, and doing a nice chunk of character development!
Some of the more notable developments came with Winry’s parents. We learned how they stayed neutral during the Ishvalan war. They treated many Ishvalan civilians and soldiers; however, during the attack, they were killed by an Ishvalan soldier with a large tattoo on his arm. Hmm… I wonder who we know who matches that description? Still, thanks to their work, it saved Ed’s life as he was about to be taken for ransom in exchange for having Amestrian troops withdrawn from the region. Good to see Winry’s parents still having an effect on the world… even in death. It’s a nice message to leave your mark on the world as much as you can because there’s no telling how your legacy will live on after you’re gone.
Of course, our new character Hohenheim took center stage albeit for a brief period of time. There’s not much we can say about him but he tends to know a lot more than what is on the surface. The fact that he warned Pinako to leave shows that this character is going to play a major role in the future. Plus, Alphonse even mentions that he knows a lot about alchemy due to the size of his library in their former home. Those clues all point to him becoming a central plot device. It’s just way too obvious!
Lastly, Ling received a bit of development as he said he is one of many princes of Xing and never really talked to his father. His father, as the emperor, had multiple concubines for the sole purpose of breeding to carry on the dynasty. Ling is just one of his many sons; however, the emperor has fallen ill. His entire purpose was to seek out the Philosopher’s Stone in order to heal his father. This would be seen as a power move so he could beat all of the other candidates and become emperor himself. It’s always about politics, isn’t it? I just can’t see Ling as an emperor. I can only imagine the chaos with someone like him in charge!
If there is one thing Hiromu Arakawa knows… it’s striking that perfect balance. Nearly every volume has had a perfect balance of story, character development, plot development, and fantastic artwork. Not to mention that no matter how small or how large of a role a character plays, they always have something meaningful to add to the story. No character is ever truly wasted with Arakawa. That’s what makes Fullmetal Alchemist such a great series and one of the greatest manga/anime series of all-time.
Still, I’m excited to relive this story. It is true that big things are coming on the horizon but we still have a long way to go before we get there. Still, Arakawa has put the work to make this journey as interesting as possible and it shows. I use the phrase “living, breathing world” often in my reviews but I don’t think that there is a better example of that than Fullmetal Alchemist. While a series can do a lot of world-building, Arakawa seems to have mastered it. It really feels like things are happening all over this story’s world and the fact that we touch on them in little bursts gives us a nice reminder that our characters are part of a much bigger setting than what is in front of the reader’s face.
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This item was provided for review by Viz Media