Pride attacks Ed -- using Al's body!!
Writer/Artist: Hiromu Arakawa
Translation: Akira Watanabe
Adaptation: Jake Forbes
What They Say
Somewhere between science, magic and art lies Fullmetal AlchemistTwo brothers on a quest to find the Philospher's Stone - Meet Edward and Alphonse Elric. Two brothers endowed with the power of alchemy. In the war between science and magic - the future of the world belongs to 2 brothers. Edward and Alphonse: Alchemy be thy name!
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.
A diabolical trap is set for President Bradley... If he is assassinated, a power vacuum will open that Mustang and his allies will be more than happy to fill. Then, while Ed is reunited with someone from his past, Al is separated from his body--his proxy armor body! Now who is filling his heavy metal shoes...? Plus, take a break from all the alchemical intrigue and homunculus backstabbing at the annual Resembool Spring Sheep Festival!
The "Promised Day" draws near, and homunculi and humans start making their moves. Their initial plays aren't too overt -- Winry sneaking back to Resembool and President Bradley paying an unexpected visit to the annual joint North-East training session. However, the tempo quickly picks up pace when an explosion sends Bradley's train crashing to the bottom of a ravine! It's a well-played move that plunges the military higher-ups into confusion, but just when you think they've suffered a mortal blow, the homunculi respond so unexpectedly even Olivier Armstrong gets shook up.
Meanwhile, Pride catches Al in a weak moment and overtakes his body. Quick to take advantage of his new pawn, he uses Al to lure Ed into a trap. Fortunately, Ed's still traveling with the rogue homunculus Greed and eludes capture. A furious fight ensues and soon homunculi, chimeras, alchemists, and foreigners are all caught in the fray. The fast-paced fight is a real page-turner, incorporating strategy, brawn, and alchemy. Even this late in the game, Arakawa's homunculi are still full of surprises. Greed's motives for joining the battle against his sibling homunculi are unknown, and when Pride gets backed into a corner, he takes a drastic measure that I never saw coming.
In the midst of all the action, Arakawa manages to insert some poignant moments, among them a reunion between Ed and Winry (though I'm surprised he didn't return her earrings to her) and one between Ed and his father. With the series going into its final stretch, Arakawa's tying up loose ends and doing a good job of it. One of my favorite scenes is the return of Lanfan, who’s been out of pocket since she lost her arm several volumes back. It's great to see her beside her prince again although it will be interesting to see how they work out having Greed as a permanent third wheel.
The Promised Day is rapidly approaching, and with the stakes laid out, all the players launch into an all-or-nothing battle for Amestris. Both sides land unexpected blows against the other, and it's anyone's guess as to which characters will survive and who will ultimately triumph. Arakawa does an amazing job balancing suspense and action, and I'm expecting great things as this series nears its end.
Extras consist of a story thus far summary and character lineup, seven pages of Arakawa's post-manga extras, a preview for Volume 22, and ads for other Viz products.