Title: Fullmetal Alchemist: Fullmetal Edition Vol. 10
Author: Hiromu Arakawa
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Shounen, Battle
Publication Date: August 11, 2020
Volume 10 of Fullmetal Alchemist Fullmetal Edition picks up with everyone captured by Father. Ling accepts Greed into his body and the two of them merge; however, it appears as if Greed won the internal battle. Scar and Mei show up and a battle ensues. Scar and Mei handle Envy and Gluttony while Ed battles Ling/Greed where he cannot transmute; however, Scar and Mei still can. After the battle, Al and Edward end up in a room with Mustang and King Bradley. Bradley uses his status as a homunculus to threaten everyone should they defect from the military or divulge his secrets. He says that he has a plan for them and to sit tight until it’s ready.
The majority of the volume then shifts focus to some character development, mainly with Dr. Marcoh and Scar. We are taking through the Ishvalan War. Part of this is due to the fact that Scar learned the truth about who started the war and who is to blame. It also takes a nice look into the life of Dr. Marcoh and how he came to develop the philosopher’s stone.
There is also some backstory there for Mustang and Hawkeye and how her father was Mustang’s master and the one who passed on his flame alchemy to him.
All in all, this volume was mainly focused on the characters, thus halting the progression of the main story but everything was highly interesting! Plus, since this was a flashback, it was nice to see Mayes Hughes once again! Lots of interesting details here which shows just how good Hiromu Arakawa is at crafting both stories and characters!
The biggest character development lies with Scar. The catalyst which started the fight between Greed, Envy, and Gluttony was Ed telling him the truth about who actually started the war. Scar still has his own personal agenda and things are certainly not patched up between Ed/Al and Scar but it seems as if there is some self-reflection going on there with him… as if he’s rethinking about where to place his blame for the way things are. In fact, Scar even goes so far as to visit Dr. Marcoh who is still being held captive. Marcoh confirms what Ed proclaimed and even asks Scar to end his life to atone for the sins he committed. Scar thought about it but wanted more information on Dr. Marcoh. That happens right before we get the big flashback to the war to see how it looked from both sides.
Speaking of Dr. Marcoh, there is a chapter called The Immoral Alchemist which showed his role in the creation of the philosopher’s stone. The look on his face as he saw people’s lives taken for the sake of the stone’s creation said it all. He had been filled with deep regret for many years because of his role in everything. For such a minor character, you couldn’t help but feel for Dr. Marcoh in this situation. Making you care about even the smallest of characters is another one of Arakawa’s specialties and it clearly shows here with her focus on him.
Roy Mustang’s backstory with being trained by Hawkeye’s father was short but impactful. In fact, when Ed visited her to return her gun, something triggered in Hawkeye’s mind that reminded her of the final moments of her father. Still, it was pretty deep and impactful as well which gave a whole new dimension to her and Roy’s characters!
Of course, the other big focus was on Ling/Greed. Ling seemed to have a plan in willingly accepting Greed into him. In fact, he pre-wrote a note to Lan Fan and, somehow, Greed complied in delivering the note to Ed and Al so that they could deliver it for him. Plus, as Ed was fighting Greed, the mention of Lan Fan’s name caused him to hesitate for a moment. There are some hints that Ling is still inside of Greed somewhere and that, perhaps, the whole “Greed Won” thing could just be an act. We’ll have to wait and see how this plays out!
While the pacing was a little bit slower, Arakawa does an amazing job of building the history of the world in this volume. It helped prop up some of the supporting characters, making them feel more important in the overall story. Plus, all of the things hinted at before with the war are being fleshed out. We were introduced to a new character at the end of the book which I know will be playing a bigger part coming up since I’ve already seen the anime! Fans of the series who are reading the Fullmetal Edition will be WISE to this new character already.
Volume 11 looks to heat things up some more and I can’t wait to see the next installment of the series! If you’re not picking this up to read for a first or second (or more) time, then you owe it to yourself to grab this collection. Just the HQ paper, covers, and details is worth it alone!
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This item was purchased for review.