11 Reasons Why Fullmetal Alchemist is a Masterpiece Manga
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11 Reasons Why Fullmetal Alchemist is a Masterpiece Manga

"A lesson without pain is meaningless..."

11 Reasons Why Fullmetal Alchemist is a Masterpiece Manga
Otaku Afterthoughts

The manga (Japanese comic) series Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa is a one-of-its-kind manga. The story follows the dangerous adventure of two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, as they try to restore their bodies after losing them to a tragic alchemic accident. The manga is filled with deep thought and meaning, for it covers topics ranging from human experimentation to genocide and war to the lives of civilians, war veterans, the disabled and the social outcasts. The author also develops the idea of alchemy deeply, similar to J.K. Rowling developing the idea and the art of wizardry in her books, while inventing concepts such as automail (prosthetic limbs that act as actual limbs would by connecting the limbs to the nervous system). Throughout the manga, morals are brought into question and a rough answer to what it means to be human is formulated, all the while having a mix of unforgettable comedy in between. It really is a masterpiece manga and here are eleven reasons to highlight as to why.

1. The art

2. The concept of equivalent exchange

3. Automail

Taking prosthetic limbs to a whole new level. If only this was real!

4. The interesting take on truth and the Seven Deadly Sins

The Gate and Truth.

The Seven Deadly Sins.

5. Ed's height issues

Call him short. His response:

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F07%2F23%2F636048990930961726-674507261_03-Top-5-%25E2%2580%259CEdward-Elric%25E2%2580%259D-Highlights.jpg&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=727&h=476db0f43f0d1f51375e0acafb0c44659afe3910a5ff04e7e5ff35e427a541d4&size=980x&c=1181725862 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F07%252F23%252F636048990930961726-674507261_03-Top-5-%2525E2%252580%25259CEdward-Elric%2525E2%252580%25259D-Highlights.jpg%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D727%26h%3D476db0f43f0d1f51375e0acafb0c44659afe3910a5ff04e7e5ff35e427a541d4%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1181725862%22%7D" expand=1 original_size="1x1"]

“What?! I'm not small! It's the world that's too big!!" -- Edward Elric; Hiromu Arakawa, Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 2

6. Mustang and rain

Normal days:
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Rainy days:
[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F07%2F23%2F63604900636044626239305500_roy-mustang-s-rainy-day-o.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=937&h=e5ee8a9c057ab85d6f716e4af6c543a893699303745e8d7c415bcfed2e29372f&size=980x&c=618676525 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F07%252F23%252F63604900636044626239305500_roy-mustang-s-rainy-day-o.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D937%26h%3De5ee8a9c057ab85d6f716e4af6c543a893699303745e8d7c415bcfed2e29372f%26size%3D980x%26c%3D618676525%22%7D" expand=1]

7. Nina

When the ethics of experimentation on living beings and the morals of alchemy are exposed at a terrible cost.

"That's the only thing I've ever been. Just a simple human that couldn't save a little girl. Not even with alchemy." -- Edward Elric; Hiromu Arakawa, Fullmetal Alchemist

8. The strong, brave women

From automail mechanics to alchemy masters to military commanders, these characters tend to break a majority of the stereotypes associated with women in the media and are key players in the manga series.


Winry Rockbell

Lt. Riza Hawkeye

Major Olivier Armstrong

Izumi Curtis

Lan Fan

Mei Chang


9. The diverse cast of characters

The ethnicity of all the characters in Fullmetal Alchemist range from what seems to be European to Asian to African to Middle-Eastern (as determined by character names and their traditional clothing). Even cultures such as the tradition of desert nomads are included as a feature in the manga. Civilian life and the lives of PTSD soldiers are covered as well as those of war-hungry folks and war refugees. It also includes characters with physical disabilities competing on par with or even above those without physical disabilities. This is one of the handful of classic manga to include such diversity in its characters and story arc.

10. These life-changing, noteworthy quotes

“A lesson without pain is meaningless. That's because no one can gain without sacrificing something. But by enduring that pain and overcoming it, he shall obtain a powerful, unmatched heart. A fullmetal heart.” ― Hiromu Arakawa, Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 25

“Life will come to an end, a return to dust from which we came... The spirit becomes memories living in the minds of people.” ― Hiromu Arakawa, Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1

"To 'bear' and 'forgive' are not the same thing. You must not forgive the outrageous things that happen in this world. As a person, you must feel resentment. However, you must endure it. Someone has to break off the chain of hatred." ― Scar's teacher; Hiromu Arakawa, Fullmetal Alchemist, Ch. 72

"If you let yourself be carried away by rage, that makes you a beast - no different from an animal."― Scar's teacher; Hiromu Arakawa, Fullmetal Alchemist, Ch. 72

"The power of one man doesn't amount to much. But, with whatever little strength I'm capable of... I'll do everything humanly possible to protect the people I love, and in turn they'll protect the ones they love. It seems like the least we tiny humans can do for each other." ― Roy Mustang; Hiromu Arakawa, Fullmetal Alchemist

11. The truth that the bond between siblings is unbreakable

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After all, isn't the main point of their journey to be reunited again, no matter what?

Fullmetal Alchemist is certainly not for the faint of heart. Through hardships and victories, the tale of these two brothers will stand strong in the test of time.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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