Heeey, it’s FMA-time again… :D
I’m telling you, it was a pain to get my hands an all of those VIZ-novels. Getting them reasonably priced in Germany is almost impossible. I had to import them from the UK and the US (the package of the latter almost never arrived). Folks from English-speaking countries will have it a lot easier, though Volume 1 & 2 have become kinda rare these days.
Volume 1: The Land of Sand
“The mining town of Xenotime has seen better days. Once renowned for its skilled goldsmiths, it now lies forgotten in a sea of sand, its mines empty and its fields barren. The townsfolk’s only hope lies with the talented state alchemist Edward Elric and his brother, Alphonse. But who is the real Edward Elric? When the Fullmetal Alchemist and his brother arrive in Xenotime searching for the Philosopher’s Stone, they discover that two strangers have stolen their names and their reputation! Will the real Elric brothers set things right, or will the battle between the true and false brothers shatter Xenotime’s only chance for survival? Plus a bonus story, “The Phantom of Warehouse 13”!”
Sounds familiar? Well it should, if you have watched the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime series. The two stories of the novels got adapted into FMA’s first animation season. It was still fun to read, even though I’ve seen it already. Need a reminder? Here it is:
I’ll just leave pictures of the other novels with the summaries without a comment. I enjoyed every one of them and I’m sad that only 5 out of 10 (7 original light novels + 3 video game novelizations) got an English translation (and that only 1 novel got animated). Inoue Makoto captured the characters so well, it really feels like the FMA-universe in text form. There wasn’t a single scene I felt was out of character. The design of the novels themselves is pretty as well. Every one of them has colored pages at the beginning, bonus pages of Arakawa Hiromu herself and a few illustrations in-between the story. It’s only weird that VIZ stopped numbering them after volume 3.
Volume 2: The Abducted Alchemist
“Train lines destroyed in a series of devastating terrorist strikes – all without a single victim! A string of kidnappings targeting the friends and families of the military! Civilian anger mounts with every passing day, and the authorities seem powerless to catch the insurgents. Colonel Roy Mustang alone sees a connection between the two crime sprees, but he’ll have a tough time convincing his superiors at Central Command – at least, until Edward and Alphonse Elric find themselves in the middle of the investigation – and the kidnapping, too!”
Volume 3: The Valley of White Petals
“Under direct orders from their commanding officer, Edward and Alphonse journey to a remote city deep within the wasteland borders of Eastern Command. Almost immediately, the Elric brothers discover that Wisteria isn’t exactly a normal place. Veiled in shadows, it appears to be a utopian wonderland ruled not by military command but rather by the very laws of alchemy that guide their own personal fate. Like it or not, the brothers must take the biggest decision of their young lives. Do they follow orders and expose the secrets of Wisteria? Or will they allow themselves to be seduced by the paradise they’ve discovered?”
Volume 4: Under the Faraway Sky
“It’s only been a year since the Elric brothers set out on their journey to find the elusive Philosopher’s Stone. But a lot has happened in that short time. For one thing, Edward has become an official state alchemist. And, as such, he often finds himself embroiled in one dangerous situation after another.
Now, sidelined with a fever in a remote village, Edward comes face to face with an old childhood friend. Even though he’s become a valuable member of the country’s military organization, Edward can’t help feeling a pang of jealousy during this unexpected reunion. While he and his brother are bound to their cruel fate, his friend is busy making his dreams come true. Once again Edward must wrestle with the consequences of his alchemically altered past.
Also included in this edition is a heartwarming story featuring Roy Mustang, Maes Hughes, and Alex Louis Armstrong. The trio of alchemists take a holiday in the woods and discover a mysterious village populated only with children.”
Volume 5: The Ties that Bind
“During a recent visit with their former teacher Izumi Curtis, the Elric brothers discover the existence of a particular book – a book so dangerous that it remains against the law to even print it! Curious, Edward and Alphonse set out to locate this unique and rare tome. On their journey they encounter a young Ishbalan child and his foster mother. Seeing them reminds the brothers of their own mother who died of a fatal illness.
Meanwhile, Roy Mustang, who was recently promoted to duty in Central City, investigates a puzzling case involving synthetic beasts known as chimeras. During the investigation, Mustang bumps into someone from his past – someone he never thought he’d see again!”