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Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 4

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Trapped and injured in a secret alchemical laboratory, Edward Elric is at the mercy of his enemies, Lust and Envy. But they don't want him dead...they have other plans for him. As the laboratory goes up in flames, the brothers find themselves back at square one, with only an inkling of the massive scale of the Philosopher's Stone conspiracy. But then, Lieutenant Colonel Ma Trapped and injured in a secret alchemical laboratory, Edward Elric is at the mercy of his enemies, Lust and Envy. But they don't want him dead...they have other plans for him. As the laboratory goes up in flames, the brothers find themselves back at square one, with only an inkling of the massive scale of the Philosopher's Stone conspiracy. But then, Lieutenant Colonel Maes Hughes uncovers a shocking secret...


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Trapped and injured in a secret alchemical laboratory, Edward Elric is at the mercy of his enemies, Lust and Envy. But they don't want him dead...they have other plans for him. As the laboratory goes up in flames, the brothers find themselves back at square one, with only an inkling of the massive scale of the Philosopher's Stone conspiracy. But then, Lieutenant Colonel Ma Trapped and injured in a secret alchemical laboratory, Edward Elric is at the mercy of his enemies, Lust and Envy. But they don't want him dead...they have other plans for him. As the laboratory goes up in flames, the brothers find themselves back at square one, with only an inkling of the massive scale of the Philosopher's Stone conspiracy. But then, Lieutenant Colonel Maes Hughes uncovers a shocking secret...

30 review for Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 4

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mal

    it's a terrible day for rain. it's a terrible day for rain.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kogiopsis

    This is at once both my favorite volume and one I can't stand. A testimony to the writing and characterization, I suppose, but that doesn't mean I don't quietly resent it. (view spoiler)[That Hughes's death can hurt so much to read/watch after such a short period of time is truly amazing, but much as I respect the skill that went into it, I still wish it hadn't happened. In fact, eventually I'm going to plot out and perhaps write a Doctor Who/FMA crossover to change that and see what happens. (hi This is at once both my favorite volume and one I can't stand. A testimony to the writing and characterization, I suppose, but that doesn't mean I don't quietly resent it. (view spoiler)[That Hughes's death can hurt so much to read/watch after such a short period of time is truly amazing, but much as I respect the skill that went into it, I still wish it hadn't happened. In fact, eventually I'm going to plot out and perhaps write a Doctor Who/FMA crossover to change that and see what happens. (hide spoiler)] Spoilers for the nature of the evil plot: (view spoiler)[Re-reading is really nice, because now I know what Hughes figured out and how he did it. That man is a bona fide genius, to be able to put so many things together and see the transmutation circle on such a huge scale, especially after he'd only seen a rough diagram of it and just for a short period of time. And he probably at least guessed that Bradley was in on it, too, since his first reflex was to call the President and then he reconsidered. (hide spoiler)] The bonus story at the end does make the volume a bit more bearable, since of course it's the Black Hayate one - always good for a smile and very necessary, what with everything else.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jedi JC Daquis

    So I was very much ready to give this volume 3 or 4 stars, because seriously, Al is being such a huge metal jack*ss for believing what the enemy says, but the emotional buildup that leads to that end was so much for me. Damn you Arakawa for being a great writer!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Oliver Smith

    Al's body is, like, a shell. and his soul is in there like some kind of, like, ghost. like a ghost in a body that's like a shell. feel like there might be something there. Al's body is, like, a shell. and his soul is in there like some kind of, like, ghost. like a ghost in a body that's like a shell. feel like there might be something there.

  5. 4 out of 5

    ⋆ yel ⋆

    3.5 of 5 stars

  6. 4 out of 5

    Grace, Queen of Crows and Tomes

    I am literally an emotional wreck right now. This volume has all the feels, so prepare with some tissues!!! A great, heart wrenching volume with this one 😭😭😭

  7. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    WELL this volume made me sad oh wow! There is a lot of stuff that happens in this one and I have to say I was really surprised and upset by some of it :(( the art is absolutely awesome- seriously, the way the panelling is used in certain important moments is clever and helps those scenes to REALLY pack a punch. I'm so invested in this series and the characters now!! WELL this volume made me sad oh wow! There is a lot of stuff that happens in this one and I have to say I was really surprised and upset by some of it :(( the art is absolutely awesome- seriously, the way the panelling is used in certain important moments is clever and helps those scenes to REALLY pack a punch. I'm so invested in this series and the characters now!!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Marie

    Maes <3 and on a brighter note, Black Hayate!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    This volume was so good (Maes Hughes!! And I thought I was prepared after what happened with Nina and Alexander), and the wait for volume 5 from my library was so long that I gave up and watched the anime (Brotherhood, not the first version)....and now I have no way to coherently speak about this series, I love it so much. The family relationship! Ed and his absolute devotion to getting Al his body back! Al and his conviction that he won't let others suffer in his quest to get back to normal! Co This volume was so good (Maes Hughes!! And I thought I was prepared after what happened with Nina and Alexander), and the wait for volume 5 from my library was so long that I gave up and watched the anime (Brotherhood, not the first version)....and now I have no way to coherently speak about this series, I love it so much. The family relationship! Ed and his absolute devotion to getting Al his body back! Al and his conviction that he won't let others suffer in his quest to get back to normal! Colonel Mustang and his ambition and his loyalty to his men! Hawkeye and her awesome sniper skills and her loyalty and strength and ability to keep Colonel Mustang from doing too many stupid things! Winry, who is a fantastic automail mechanic and the best kind of friend and not afraid to use force to knock some sense into her reckless childhood friends! The romance, which feels natural because it's centered on such a strong friendship, and which builds naturally over a long series of significant events (that I can't give away without spoilers, although seriously, they're awesome), and which is naturally an understated subplot, because the characters are so focused on the terrible doings happening in the main plot! Not to mention Scar and the truth about the Ishbal Rebellion and Von Hohenheim (!!!) and Greed and Lin and Pride (who is so freaking scary) and the truth of the philosopher's stone... Umm, basically, if you took every character and every event and every world-building detail and added a few sparkly hearts and exclamation points before and after them, that's how I feel about this story. Give me a few weeks and I might be capable of a more rational analysis. If anyone in the neighborhood is interested, I have since found the Westerville library has the whole manga series; I've spent about the last week devouring it. (Maybe for me March is just a month meant for light--yet very awesome--book series? I seem to remember devouring the Alex Rider series in a similar fashion during spring break one year. Although Fullmetal Alchemist > Alex Rider by a billion points or so; they're not even on the same level of enjoyment, here.) One side note: I have so, so, so many good things to say about this series, but it is worth noting one thing that truly baffled and then somewhat offended me when I read through: (minor plot point spoiler) later in the series, Winry becomes an apprentice to Garfiel, an automail mechanic who is gay. Japanese culture tends to portray gay men as cross-dressing, hyper-feminine individuals, and the mangaka keeps with this stereotype. It was confusing when I first encountered Garfiel, because to me and my American cultural assumptions, his appearance and actions weren't coded gay; they were coded as a man who cross-dresses (no sexual orientation implied) or someone who, perhaps, is transgender. Research was helpful in clearing up what the mangaka was actually trying to convey to the reader. For what it's worth, no one in-text shames Garfiel or treats him negatively or thinks he's less of an automail mechanic. (Well, Ed runs away when Garfiel flirts with him, but Ed also freaks out and does pretty much the same anytime anyone implies he has a thing for Winry.) The mangaka tends to use Garfiel for humorous purposes, which is an unfortunate stereotypical way to treat the only identified gay character in the series, but he's a very minor character in the story who only appears in only a handful of scenes, and ultimately, my dislike for his portayal didn't ruin my enjoyment of the series as a whole. Obviously. YMMV, of course.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Artemy

    Ah, and here's the volume where the typical Japanese manga weirdness starts to show. There's a creepy guy who's obsessed with mini-skirts and who wants to hire only women in his military to make it his personal harem (and that's almost a direct quote). There's another creepy guy who can't shut up about his daughter and his family, and who basically kidnaps one of the female characters and makes her live at his home. And finally, there's the side-story about another character who adopts a puppy a Ah, and here's the volume where the typical Japanese manga weirdness starts to show. There's a creepy guy who's obsessed with mini-skirts and who wants to hire only women in his military to make it his personal harem (and that's almost a direct quote). There's another creepy guy who can't shut up about his daughter and his family, and who basically kidnaps one of the female characters and makes her live at his home. And finally, there's the side-story about another character who adopts a puppy and then shoots the gun in the puppy's direction to potty-train him! And that's supposed to be funny! WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK WAS THAT. And these are not the villains, mind you! These are the supporting cast of the book who you are supposed to like and care about! The worst part is, there wasn't really a lot of story in this volume otherwise. It keeps stalling for two volumes already, and if something doesn't start to happen soon, I'm afraid I might lose interest in this series completely.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Radwa

    Hughes! :'( It seems that whenever the brothers get close to solving something, something happens that sends them to square one. Of course, this should happen, or how else can the manga continue. I absolutely loved the extra omakes at the end of this volume. Also, this manga is making me sympathize with some of the bad guys. good job on the characterization and story building. Hughes! :'( It seems that whenever the brothers get close to solving something, something happens that sends them to square one. Of course, this should happen, or how else can the manga continue. I absolutely loved the extra omakes at the end of this volume. Also, this manga is making me sympathize with some of the bad guys. good job on the characterization and story building.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Celine

    Oh my god. This one won me over. There is this one heartbreaking scene in this manga - I'm sure other readers will know what I'm talking about - that is just so good. Absolutely fantastic panelling. I'm glad we get to see some more brother dynamics in this volume. Oh my god. This one won me over. There is this one heartbreaking scene in this manga - I'm sure other readers will know what I'm talking about - that is just so good. Absolutely fantastic panelling. I'm glad we get to see some more brother dynamics in this volume.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Aleksandra

    I really like it so far, and I could've rate it 5/5, but I'm anxious and I'd prefer to leave the 5 star rating for the toms that will blow me out of my socks. I really like it so far, and I could've rate it 5/5, but I'm anxious and I'd prefer to leave the 5 star rating for the toms that will blow me out of my socks.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Setasha Hall

    THIS VOLUME WILL BREAK YOUR HEART. Especially if you've seen the show. I thought this point was actually further into the story, but I was mistaken. THIS VOLUME WILL BREAK YOUR HEART. Especially if you've seen the show. I thought this point was actually further into the story, but I was mistaken.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tehanu

    And this is where my heart began to break.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ayesha

    It's raining. It's raining.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Paracosm

    I don't like miscommunication as a plot device. It's stupid and creates unnecessary drama, which is exactly what happens here. After a series of events, Alphonse decides to listen to a random serial killer that was trying to kill him instead of his family and friends, and starts to believe that his memories are fabricated. This issue occupied a good part of the manga and was resolved after Alphonse turned on his brain again. All of this felt very pointless. Also I still don't like Winry. On the o I don't like miscommunication as a plot device. It's stupid and creates unnecessary drama, which is exactly what happens here. After a series of events, Alphonse decides to listen to a random serial killer that was trying to kill him instead of his family and friends, and starts to believe that his memories are fabricated. This issue occupied a good part of the manga and was resolved after Alphonse turned on his brain again. All of this felt very pointless. Also I still don't like Winry. On the other hand a very important death happen on this volume and I know its gonna be incredibly influential in the future.

  18. 5 out of 5

    King Haddock

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Alright, definitely one of the best books I've read in this series, I mean, really. Especially the whole deal with Al freaking out because Barry told him that his memories might be faked. Great, interesting rift in the brothers' relationship. But the main comment I want to make is... WHY THE HELL DID YOU HAVE TO KILL HUGHES?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Alright, definitely one of the best books I've read in this series, I mean, really. Especially the whole deal with Al freaking out because Barry told him that his memories might be faked. Great, interesting rift in the brothers' relationship. But the main comment I want to make is... WHY THE HELL DID YOU HAVE TO KILL HUGHES?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

  19. 5 out of 5

    krad

    FUCK YOU ... [ gross sobbing ]

  20. 4 out of 5

    Maria Kaye

    For some reason I've always felt bad when the slicer brothers died :/ For some reason I've always felt bad when the slicer brothers died :/

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nicole aka FromReading2Dreaming

    Review found in Fullmetal Alchemist (3-in-1 Edition), Vol. 2

  22. 5 out of 5

    Anita Reads

    4.5 stars So close to a 5 star read. Can't wait to find out what will happen next. 4.5 stars So close to a 5 star read. Can't wait to find out what will happen next.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    This is the sad volume. I knew it was coming, but it was still sad.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Janeen-san

    FINALLY!!!!! I have at last succeeded at getting my hands (alas, no auto-mail) on the 4th volume of Fullmetal Alchemist! I'm so happy! I swept through this very awesome volume in one day!!! Now #SPOILER# when Hughes died in the tv series, I cried my eyes out, something I'd never thought I'd do. Ever. BUT I did! Ahhhhh I miss him. Rest in piece Mr Awesomness :( But when I came across the scene of his death in the manga...I CRIED! Not as much as I did when I saw it on TV, but my cheeks ended up ver FINALLY!!!!! I have at last succeeded at getting my hands (alas, no auto-mail) on the 4th volume of Fullmetal Alchemist! I'm so happy! I swept through this very awesome volume in one day!!! Now #SPOILER# when Hughes died in the tv series, I cried my eyes out, something I'd never thought I'd do. Ever. BUT I did! Ahhhhh I miss him. Rest in piece Mr Awesomness :( But when I came across the scene of his death in the manga...I CRIED! Not as much as I did when I saw it on TV, but my cheeks ended up very damp just the same. I was glad I was alone in the room, sitting in the dark chair with its white blanket sloping over its edges like a waterfall. I gripped the edges of the book hard, feeling the tears slip down my cheeks. Maes Hughes was a GREAT character and I'll miss him forever! I'm really glad I started reading these manga; they're awesome! After the Lab 5 incident, (which they changed the meaning of in the TV series) when Ed was in the hospital, and he and Whinry had the milk fight! It was really funny even though it was different from the TV series, which I saw first. BUT Both are great!!! Also Alex Louis Armstrong was soo funny! I'm loving how he was portrayed in the manga! Vol. 4 was a great blend of action, humor, and drama! AND SADNESS! HUGHES I WILL MISS YOU!!!!!!! I CAN'T WAIT TO READ VOL. 5!!!!! TEAM EDWARD CULLEN ELRIC FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!! REST IN PEACE MAES HUGHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He's talking about his daughter....*sniff*

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    4.5/5 I'm still very much enjoying this series, and this is probably my favorite volume so far. It's odd - there's very little action in this volume, but the overall plot is very engaging. I'm still kind of shocked that something this subtle and character-oriented is so widely popular, especially considering the other manga that gets well-known. But maybe people are just sensing quality. Arakawa is, after all, a supremely good author. Her eye for dialogue and character interactions is quite remar 4.5/5 I'm still very much enjoying this series, and this is probably my favorite volume so far. It's odd - there's very little action in this volume, but the overall plot is very engaging. I'm still kind of shocked that something this subtle and character-oriented is so widely popular, especially considering the other manga that gets well-known. But maybe people are just sensing quality. Arakawa is, after all, a supremely good author. Her eye for dialogue and character interactions is quite remarkable. She also has a very good eye for humor - this series has some of the most effective and funniest comic relief I've ever seen. It adds very well to a coherent mood and tone, which is overall fairly serious, without being dark, and keeping a sense of fun. The only real problem at this point is the worldbuilding, which makes less and less sense to me as the series goes on. The whole thing seems to be mostly based on whatever is aesthetically resonant, rather than any sort of logic. But it's a fairly minor complaint, compared to how strong most of this volume is. I'm looking forward to where Arakawa takes the series next.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Juho Pohjalainen

    After two plot-heavy volumes, we get more of a breather: wrapping up the previous struggles and setting up new ones, a great deal of foreshadowing, and the first major death. Some of the biggest laughs and - especially - cries in the series up until this point. I never bought Alphonse's existential crisis. It came rather out of nowhere, and the entire premise seemed to conflict heavily with the laws of alchemy established so far. How could Ed have come up with the whole wealth of a young life, th After two plot-heavy volumes, we get more of a breather: wrapping up the previous struggles and setting up new ones, a great deal of foreshadowing, and the first major death. Some of the biggest laughs and - especially - cries in the series up until this point. I never bought Alphonse's existential crisis. It came rather out of nowhere, and the entire premise seemed to conflict heavily with the laws of alchemy established so far. How could Ed have come up with the whole wealth of a young life, thoughts and emotions and memories, all on his own? It made little sense. The anime deals with the former issue, establishing it better and letting it carry on for a while longer, but it still felt rather out there. For that matter, the anime also gives more screentime for Hughes: his death makes an even bigger impact there. It's still pretty sad, though.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Devan, Sarcasm Expert

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. **Spoiler Alert** This volume of the series has to be the most heartbreaking, tearful, and painfully emotional of its entire series. I have never read any book that made me weep every time I read it. When reading I laughed so hard because of the character Hughes. He had to be my all time favorite with is overflowing father personality. But when Envy turned into his wife and shot him killing knowing he couldn't hurt his wife was so painful. When it was the funeral and his little daughter is just c **Spoiler Alert** This volume of the series has to be the most heartbreaking, tearful, and painfully emotional of its entire series. I have never read any book that made me weep every time I read it. When reading I laughed so hard because of the character Hughes. He had to be my all time favorite with is overflowing father personality. But when Envy turned into his wife and shot him killing knowing he couldn't hurt his wife was so painful. When it was the funeral and his little daughter is just crying out for her father and thought he was asleep killed me. The author truly knew what they were doing when they added that pure innocent child element into the mix. I have to say that with out a doubt no one could read this book and not end tear up.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kellie

    As expected, this volume was so good!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I'm loving this manga and the characters! I'm loving this manga and the characters!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ishraq

    I'm deeply hooked into this series now and things are getting pretty much emotional very fast! I'm deeply hooked into this series now and things are getting pretty much emotional very fast!

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