Title: Fullmetal Alchemist: Fullmetal Edition Vol. 8
Author: Hiromu Arakawa
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Shounen, Battle
Publication Date: February 11, 2020
Volume 8 of Fullmetal Alchemist Fullmetal Edition kind of starts off in a bit of a lull, yet, somber moment. Hoenheim leaves; however, Ed doesn’t want to see him off for obvious reasons. He asks Pinako to come with him as he digs up the remains of his mother that he tried to transmute. There, he discovers the truth that the person they transmuted was not their mother at all. Through this shocking discovery, Ed learns the difference between the dead and Al’s body. He learns that Al can definitely return thanks to the link between body, spirit, and soul. It also reveals more information about The Truth and what Ed had seen previously went looking through The Gate.
Ed and Al renew their passion to get their bodies back and to do that, they decide to question a homunculus… the only problem is that they need to drive one out of hiding. With them previously calling Ed a precious sacrifice, he knows that he can’t afford to die. In order to lure a homunculus out, they need to put their bodies in danger… so the best way to do that is to challenge Scar who is revealed to be still alive.
This leads to a fantastic battle between Ed/Al and Scar. It is also during this battle that Winry ends up getting involved and she learns a horrifying truth. Ling tries to assist in capturing a homunculus, which ends up being Gluttony; however, King Bradley gets directly involved and that complicates things greatly. Meanwhile, Mustang is on the move himself as he is all out of pawns to move for him. With the capture of Gluttony, the revelation about Bradley is spilled out in the open; however, before they could get any information out of him, Gluttony plays the ace up his sleeve.
This volume had a great balance between storytelling, character development, and action… which seems to be the case with this series in each and every volume. Just when you think we are starting a brand-new arc where Ed and Al are on the way to recovering their bodies, we get reminded that there is still a military conspiracy going on; however, these two storylines seem to be intertwining even more so than they already have. While the pacing started off a bit slower than usual in the beginning, the somberness and gravity of the dialogue helped keep the pacing swift and attention-grabbing!
There was quite a bit of character development here but not really in the advancement of personalities or who people are as characters but more or less from a backstory situation.
Ed and Al keep going through this cycle of being down and then picking themselves back up by filling themselves with determination. That is no different here as their renewed determination to get their bodies back is proof of that. Ed’s discovery that not all hope is lost is significant, though. With the possibilities right in front of them, it should give them the strength to break this cycle. The only obstacles that could get in their way are now superficial, yet, related to their main objective… such as the military conspiracy, Scar, or other outliers. Then there was the thing Ed said to Winry as she departed central. If that wasn’t development in a certain area, then I don’t know what is!
Al’s development came when they realized his body is still alive and how Ed plays a role in that. It also opened up the discovery of why some of the smaller, nonchalant things Ed has been doing throughout the series were more important than we had previously realized. It was kind of an eye-opening moment as you realized that the clues were right there in front of you the entire time.
Scar seems to be undergoing a personality change. His battle against Ed and Al was pretty standard at first until Winry got herself involved. Once that happened, something sparked inside of Scar that made him seem like he was thinking twice about his goals and what they were truly accomplishing. Makes you wonder if we could see a turn for Scar in the future.
Another amazing edition of Fullmetal Alchemist with just the right amounts of balance in each of the important areas. Since all of our main characters were caught in Gluttony’s trump card play, I’m pretty sure that their plot armor will keep them alive and well. The mystery of their status isn’t the cliffhanger here, it’s what they’re going to do now that Gluttony did what he did and if that means that they are back at square one. Obviously, with the revelation about Bradley, there’s a lot of other things to consider which could change the direction of their plans altogether.
May is a bit of a fun character so far as well. She didn’t really do much here except interject herself into the battle to allow Scar to escape. Ling is growing on me more and more and you can’t help but feel for Lan Fan after everything she has gone through. One thing this series knows how to do well is make you feel an incredible attachment to its characters no matter how big or small their roles are. Even Jean had some good feels moments here in this volume!
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This item was provided for review by Viz Media