The Elric Brothers wind up in Mount Briggs where there is only one law: survival of the fittest.
Writer/Artist: Hiromu Arakawa
Translation: Akira Watanabe
Adaptation: Jake Forbes
What They Say
The original manga behind the hit anime and video game series: over 25 million copies sold in Japan!
A homunculus manages to breach impenetrable Fort Briggs, and the Elric brothers discover a terrible alchemical secret that penetrates every corner of the world as they know it! Meanwhile, Major Kimblee and a ruthless General Raven make Major General Olivier Mira Armstrong an offer she can't refuse... Whose side is she on, really? And how far is she willing to go?
In an alchemical ritual gone wrong, Edward Elric lost his arm and his leg, and his brother Alphonse became nothing but a soul in a suit of armor. Equipped with mechanical "auto-mail" limbs, Edward becomes a state alchemist, seeking the one thing that can restore his brother and himself...the legendary Philosopher's Stone.
There's a lot going on in the snowy northern outpost of Amestris. No sooner have the Elric Brothers arrived at Fort Briggs than the fortress comes under attack by a homunculus! The Briggs soldiers immediately suspect Ed and Al of being in cahoots with the homunculus, but the brothers don't dare say anything in their defense for fear of jeopardizing Winry's safety. Things only get more complicated when General Raven, one of Bradley's inner circle, arrives with Major Kimblee to take control of the situation. Will Major General Olivier Armstrong play into their hands? Or will the Elric Brothers find a way to warn Major General Armstrong of the high military's diabolical plan to create the Philosopher's Stone?
Arakawa-sensei has a penchant for strong female characters in this series, and Olivier Armstrong is no exception. Unlike her younger brother, there's nothing soft or sentimental about this snow queen. She's smart, perceptive, and tough as the land she guards. She has to be, given her detail and the men beneath her. She can be perceived as ruthless, but all her actions are guided by a strong personal moral code and an equally strong devotion to her regiment of soldiers. I'm actually quite enamored of this character and can't wait to see how Arakawa will use her in the story now that more pieces of the homunculi's plan are coming to light. By the way, the extras include a hilarious "family portrait" of the Armstrong family's five siblings.
This volume serves up a balanced blend of action and suspense. There are plenty of thrills during the battle against Sloth and the terrifying underground attack on the Briggs soldiers, and the alchemical discussion between Marcoh and May provide a lot more detail on the workings of Eastern and Amestrian alchemy. But even as the story surges forward with new characters and a clearer picture of how the homunculi intend to attain their goals, Arakawa includes a half chapter devoted to a flashback of the Elric family, giving us the back story behind the family photograph that shows up time and again in the FMA manga and anime.
Extras consist of a story thus far summary and character lineup, 9 pages of post-manga extras, and ads for other FMA related products.