The homunculus Envy hunts Dr. Marcoh down in Briggs while Lin strives against Greed for control of his body!
Writer/Artist: Hiromu Arakawa
Translation: Akira Watanabe
Adaptation: Jake Forbes
What They Say
Betrayal and double-crossing are the order of the day. Greed, Pride and Envy prove to be formidable enemies, but one homunculus seems to be having pangs of--could it be?--conscience. Ominous news spreads quickly about a mysterious portal. Will this gateway help the Elric brothers regain their natural bodies? And will the gigantic underground transmutation circle be completed, leading to a major regime change? Plus, a moving reunion between Al and someone from his past! 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.
The previous volume ended with several cliffhangers. The Drachma invasion concludes with more of a fizzle than a bang, but the other story arcs are much more satisfying. We get a hint of where the newly recalled Major General Armstrong's true loyalties lie when, having discovered High Command's plans for an invincible army, she takes extreme measures within the Armstrong family (the sibling dynamic between Olivier and Louis is hilarious). And in a surprising series of doublecrossings, Envy's hunt for Dr. Marcoh ends with Envy as the prey, and once the dust settles, you'll never see Envy the same way again.
Meanwhile, Envy's brother Greed has his hands full with his own problems. A chance meeting below Central sparks suppressed memories of the former Greed, providing Lin with the perfect opportunity. Though Lin's consciousness seemed done for when Greed took over his body, Lin immediately takes advantage of Greed's confusion to try to regain control, and an intense battle between the two psyches ensues. Thrown into emotional turmoil, Greed attacks Wrath in a ferocious fight (I wish I could see it animated) and ultimately severs ties with the rest of the homunculi.
Upon his retreat from Central, Greed crosses paths with, of all people, Ed. Arakawa glosses over the details of Ed's escape from the mine shaft; we find him already recovered and trying to reunite with his brother. However, Ed’s plans change upon encountering Greed, and the two (or three if you include Lin) form an alliance which, at first glance, looks like a valuable boon in the struggle against the homunculi. However, considering Greed's innate character, unless Lin is able to dominate Greed for good, this collaboration could easily turn into a different route to perdition for Ed.
Vulnerabilities arise among the homunculi ranks, and unexpected alliances form as High Command's diabolical plans for an indomitable army come to light. But time is on the homunculi’s side, and Arakawa turns up the tension as Amestris stands on the brink of repeating the Cselkcess incident!
Extras consist of a story thus far summary and character lineup, three pages of post-manga extras, a preview for Volume 21, and ads for other Viz products.