on 24 July 2009
The third volume of Fullmetal Alchemist sees Ed and Al (along with Armstrong) return home to Resenbool to get Ed's broken automail repaired, before travelling onto Central to continue their investigation into the Philosopher's Stone where they make a terrible and horrifying discovery. Ed attempts to learn what lies in the apparently abandoned military lab number 5; while Al meets someone who forces him to question his very existence.
As with the first two volumes, viewers of the first anime will find the story familiar, but that's not saying there's nothing new here. While the first two chapters 'The House Where a Family is Waiting' and 'The Philosopher's Stone' will be old ground for anime viewers, the last two chapters, 'The Two Guardians' and 'Definition of Human' offer a different (and arguably better) take on events.
This is an important volume in terms of characterisation as it sees the first appearance of Winry and Pinako Rockbell; Sheska the geeky bookworm; and Lt. Maria Ross and Sgt. Denny Bosh.
This volume also contains a short story, 'The Military Festival' which eventually became the anime episode 'Flame vs. Fullmetal'. It's interesting to read given as it is in this story that we see the introduction of a character who will become very important. As usual this volume also contains a few bonus comics, one of which contains the now infamous 'tiny miniskirts' line.
on 2 February 2009
Ed and Al make a trip to their home-town of Resembool where we meet Winry and her grandmother. After they fix Ed's automail, they return to Central City to find Dr. Marcoh's research notes...only to find the library burnt down. They track down one of the librarians; a girl called Sheska who has a photographic memory and transcribes the notes for them. The brothers try to translate the notes as it is written in code form which leads them to exploring the `abandoned' military research facility, Lab 5. However, all is not what it seems when they are confronted by guards with bodies similar to Al's...
This one takes a little while to get started but when it does, there is a fierce battle and a mystery to solve that hints at corruption within the military. There is a funny little bonus feature in this edition at the end called `Fullmetal Vs Flame, where Ed and Mustang have to fight using alchemy. Fans of the anime will recognise this, for there is an episode based on this [episode 13]. Anime fans will fond this volume very similar with minor differences.
Volume three of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga sees Ed and Al return to their hometown of Resenbool for repairs from their childhood friend Winry Rockbell and her grandmother. Once the repairs are done the brothers return to central to continue there research into the Philosopher's Stone and despite some serious setbacks they discover the terrible secret at the heart of the Stone.
This is another great volume of Fullmetal Alchemist with some nice information on the brothers and their friends, the Rockbells. As well as this there is more information on the source of the Philosopher's Stone and some questions raised about just what exactly Al is. The volume also has some nice action in it as well as some nice humour in places.