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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

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 and his brother's bodies...the legendary Philosopher's Stone. Contains volumes 10, 11 and 12 of Fullmetal Alchemist! Ed returns to Resembool and meets his estranged father Hohenheim for the first time in many years. Though their meeting is brief and strained, Ed comes away with the revelation that Al’s body is still alive somewhere. But before the newly energized brothers can search for it, Scar returns, catalyzing an unlikely alliance between the Elric brothers, Prince Lin of Xing, and Colonel Mustang. Though they hope to use Scar to lure in a homunculus, the hunters become the hunted when Gluttony proves more than they can handle. Reads R to L (Japanese Style) for teen audiences.…

Overall Book Review:

Hiromu Arakawa delivers another compelling installment of Fullmetal Alchemist. Brother Ed and Al have to contend with villains, plots within the state, and even strife between themselves in this issue. Some old faces from their past return, and some staples of the story so far make a final exit. The twist and turns of this story are not to be missed. Arakawa brings her gift of dramatic characterization to the forefront as she builds tension between the characters. She skillfully weaves the character-driven plots into a backdrop of almost non-stop action with never a dull moment. Long-time fans of manga, or fantasy fans who have never picked up this intriguing Japanese literary form, are sure to be pleased with Fullmetal Alchemist.

Note: This is not the first book in this graphic novel set, and it is one continuous story. You should begin your adventure with the Elrich Brothers in Volume 1.


Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  1 mild obscenity; 16 derogatory names; 4 anatomical terms.

Violence/Gore:  Character beats another in a comedy scene in the bonus material between volumes; character kicks another good-naturedly; a character chokes another (comical); a character squirts fruit juice in another’s eye a few times; a few verbal threats; character threatens another with a gun; a character discovers a dead, rotting body; mention of human sacrifice; report of destruction of a past civilization; report of past accidental death; a few reports of past murders; a character has scars from past injuries; past death is detailed, including pictures of dripping blood; recap of previous issues contains violence already mentioned; blood is shown on the ground in a depiction of past events; a few reports of deaths in previous war; report of magical experimentation on people; a few mentions of using blood in a ritual; report of past death; a character discusses eating people on a few occassions; previous arson shown; report of character bitten by a dog; a character carves runes on his skin; a character suffers from wound from a past fight; a character is knocked out; an adult shakes a child; martial arts fight with no major injuries; a character hits another with a wrench; an animal bites a person a few time; a fight with melee weapons and guns resulting in moderate injuries; a character is shot repeatedly (no blood shown); a couple of characters are bound and shot; a character is disintegrated (bloodless); a character has a scary dream of monsters grabbing him; characters exhume a body and examine pieces of it; tense scene where a character considers shooting another; a character takes on a monstrous form that makes a disturbing illustration;  a habitation is ransacked; explosions cause property damage; a character eats various things, causing property damage; a creature kills itself to end its suffering; a few melee and magic fights with injuries, property damage and/or deaths; a fight with martial arts and magic in which a monster is sliced in half; fight in which a character is shot multiple times and a monster is stabbed in the head; a fight in which one character is stabbed and another is brutally burned to death; blood and body parts are shown as the result of previous violence a few times; a weapon is shown dripping blood; a character is shown holding a detached bloody arm; a character’s head is cut through with a sword; a character’s arm is severed, with arm and bloody stump shown.

Sex/Nudity:  A character is illustrated in a tight, cleavage-revealing dress a few times; a character jokes that he wants a beautiful nurse while in the hospital; a male character is shirtless with exaggerated muscles; two male characters talk flirtatiously over the phone (to disguise their conversation, no actual romance); a boy proposes marriage to a girl; children fight over who gets to marry their female friend; characters joke about part of the country being full of beautiful women; a parody of Marilyn Monroe’s famous grate/billowy skirt picture is shown; character refers to another as “sexy” and “cute”; character considers whether she is in love with someone; a humorous love song talks about how “hot” someone is and mentions breasts and thighs and a harem; a character is naked, but only his torso and legs are shown (no sexual connotation); a character presents another character with a magazine labelled “naughty book” and another character is seen reading it later (no details about what is in it); discussion of a woman being unable to have children; report that a head of state has multiple concubines.

Mature Subject Matter:

Kidnapping; illegal immigration; familial conflict; government corruption; war; suicide (mention); child abandonment; banditry; death (friend, parent, spouse).

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Characters drink wine and sake; a character smokes cigarettes.

Overall Book Rating
Profanity/Language
Rating:
3
10
Violence/Gore
Rating:
6
10
Sex/Nudity
Rating:
3
10

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About the Reviewer

My taste in literature leans heavily towards sci-fi, fantasy, and (my favorite) horror, and the latter can present some fairly murky waters for parents to let their children explore. I enjoy novels of both the standard and graphic varieties. Since those genres, and graphic novels in particular, tend to appeal to boys, I hope that I can help other Boy Mommies in their quest to find books that their little video gamers--I mean, future bibliophiles will read and enjoy. When I am not reading, I enjoy tabletop role-playing games, video games, and singing karaoke. I have a wonderful husband who lets me indulge my reading habit by sharing the housework and being a great dad to our genius kids and their faithful hound.