As Ed and Al are preparing to leave Yock Island, they can't get over the feeling that someone was watching them during their stay there. They were right, as a young child comes walking out of the forest and his alchemical power might just be the most powerful that the brothers have ever seen. The boy is able to take on the attributes of any matter he touches without a transmutation circle. Naturally enough, the brothers are suspicious of him because the encounter seems a tad too convenient. But their master Izumi takes him in and treats him as a normal child. When the military finds out about his existence, they'd like to get their hands on the strange boy as well. Meanwhile Mustang and his fellow officers continue their search for Scar and track him down to a remote outlying slum, only to find themselves in danger of starting another civil war, with the help of the Homunculi. Humans are so easy to manipulate.
This eighth volume of Fullmetal Alchemist brings the show back to its original theme, that is, of trying to bring loved ones back from the dead, and the evil it brings into existence. Or really not evil, but amorality. The humans in the show bend alchemy and Nature to do their bidding but they don't even know what they're manipulating! Izumi's backstory as presented in this volume is really involved and I almost wish there was another title devoted just to her character. Hopefully, she will be fleshed out even more in future volumes. A small problem that I had with this installment is that the creators are beginning to juggle too many storylines. Yes, all of these characters seem to be connected somehow, but it feels as though the plot is becoming diluted. Whereas before Ed and Al were the main focus, now you have all these Homunculi running around, Mustang and Scar in a prelude to rebellion, Winry, and now this kid, and then Izumi. You can't focus on anyone now. The plot is beginning to control the characters rather than vice versa. Don't get me wrong, it's still an excellent show, but it's starting to become cluttered.