Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 7

Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 7
Story and Art: Hiromu Arakawa
Release Date: 22nd March 2004
Covers Chapters 26-29
Shonen Gangan/Viz Media

The action kicks up a notch in volume 7, as the homunculus Greed and his Chimera team set their sights on Alphonse Elric. A metal body almost impervious to death, Greed wants it and wants it now! Juicy details and plot advancements lurk in the underground…

We focus on Greed and his gang as they attempt to capture Al and probe him for information, in volume 7. The new villains popping up one after the other is exciting after the slow build up of flashbacks and transitions, and each design is unique and stand out.Greed’s gang consist of human chimeras and there combinations work well with their appearances. We have Loa the huge bull man, Martel the slim snake girl and Dorchet the dog dude making up the main batch.

Their aims conflict with Al and Ed, but these characters and the ever characteristic Greed aren’t bad guys. They are incredibly likeable and it seems everyone would be friends if they’d met in different circumstances. The little panels of humour between the gang really fleshes them out and within four chapters you’ll want them to be part of the main cast. To have villains in a story popping up without the constant barrage of evil actions and thoughts is refreshing, and something Fullmetal Alchemist does very well.

This especially comes into play as the volume comes to an end and a giant brawl kicks off. Greed and the Chimera against the army. It is hard to choose who to support which brings some excellent moral questioning into the proceedings. Al and Ed may be in the middle of it all, but the new characters are stealing the spotlight. It all ends with an almighty twist in the story, which changes everything. When Fullmetal does action, it does it well, with plot revelations carefully slotted into the actions.

Volume 7 may stay in the dark underground of the Devil’s Nest, but here we have everything you could possibly want in an action manga. It balances humour with drama and new characters who serve the story well. Greed’s introduction is where the original anime branched off and the second anime started to slow down, an incredibly important part of the tale in all three versions. Greed wouldn’t allow them to cut him out of the story in any version, much too greedy.

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