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Hagane no Renkinjutsushi  
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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 brother and himself... the legendary Philosopher's Stone.

Won the 49th Shogakukan Manga Award in the Shounen category.
Won the 15th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Award New Artist Prize.
Won the Eagle Award's "Favourite Manga" in 2010/2011.
Won the Seiun Award for best science fiction comic in 2011.


Related Series

Associated Names
Alchemist of Steel
Alquimista de Aço
Cang Giả Kim Thuật Sư
Full Metal Alchemist
Fullmetal Alchemist
Giả Kim Thuật Sư
Çelik Simyacı
Стальной алхимик
แขนกล คนแปรธาตุ
강철의 연금술사

Groups Scanlating
Basement Scan
Black e Noir

Latest Release(s)
c.Gaiden by MangaStream & Binktopia over 10 years ago
c.108 by MangaStream & Binktopia over 11 years ago
c.108c (end) by reddevilshn over 11 years ago
Search for all releases of this series

in Country of Origin
27 Volumes (Complete) (Tankoubon)
18 Volumes (Complete) (Kanzenban)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter
Starts at Vol 1, Chap 1 (FMA) | Vol 5, Chap 21 (FMAB)
Ends at Vol 7, Chap 29 (FMA) (Diverges) | Vol 27, Chap 108 (FMAB)

User Reviews
Fullmetal Alchemist by Cypher-Khan
Full Metal Alchemist by shounen_lover

33 topics, 393 posts
Click here to view the forum

User Rating
Average: 9.2 / 10.0 (3894 votes)
Bayesian Average: 9.18 / 10.0

Last Updated
March 20th 2021, 8:45am PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Gangan Online (Square Enix)
Shounen Gangan (Square Enix)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
Viz (29 Vols - Complete | 9 Fullmetal Eds - Ongoing; print)
Yen Press (29 Vols - Complete; digital)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #334 increased(+13)
Monthly Pos #432 increased(+2)
3 Month Pos #425 decreased(-14)
6 Month Pos #416 decreased(-13)
Year Pos #378 decreased(-24)

List Stats
On 3447 reading lists
On 1433 wish lists
On 7714 completed lists
On 209 unfinished lists
On 788 custom lists

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User Comments  [ Order by time added ]
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One of the few manga that sets the bar  
by awavingflag
June 17th, 2012, 7:04pm
Rating: N/A
I wish there was a separate folder that I could put this in to differentiate it from the other manga in the "Complete List." This is the one of the few - VERY FEW - manga that set the standard for what a manga should be: an entertaining, unique story, engaging characters demonstrating a range of human emotions, offers some thought-provoking ideas, a COHESIVE world. (Now, I'll name some of my top favorites to illustrate that I'm not predisposed to a particular genre - and to unashamedly promote:
Nodame Cantabile (a quiet, slice-of-lifey josei, about MUSIC, yes!),
Gintama (contains the most outrageous humor, lovingly parodies shounen tropes),
Lovely Complex, (one of the best shoujo with non-stereotypical couples, cast, and a surprisingly well-done romantic angle)
Monster (a brilliant, psychological seinen that is as 'literary' as manga can get),
Annamarasumanara (webcomic, a magical tale that pushes the artistic boundaries of the medium).

Some manga try to become great and fail, some manga rely on the shounen-mold that I'm quickly coming to despise for its lack of ingenuity, some manga try to carry an exciting story and fall from its own weight. Fullmetal Alchemist succeeds by following basic story-telling 101: BY TELLING A DAMN GOOD STORY. This may seem like a 'well, DUH' point but it's actually difficult. Maybe it's because I have high expectations, but I think there are quite few manga that carry through with a story without losing steam or are just plain juvenile or lacking in pacing or getting bogged down with stereotypical characters. The few great manga are the ones that DO NOT use the medium of 'manga' as a crutch or an excuse for low-quality story-telling, but works with the medium to its fullest potential.

In FMA, important plot points are unveiled throughout in just the right moments as to have a FUNCTION. Clearly there is thought and care in planning the story on the author's part. The villains are fleshed out enough so they don't have a 'villain-of-the-day' feel, which is something I loathe, abhor, DETEST in shounen manga. FMA touches many themes: the meaning of humanity, the distribution of power, the ethics of mass genocide, the importance and power of familial bonds. I don't judge manga on whether they tackle big themes because it's a choice on the mangaka, and if I DID judge them that way, I would probably eliminate some from my favorites list. But if a manga chooses to mention some, I expect them to elaborate upon them in such a way that they factor into the plot in some important way, and in a non-didactic manner.

Some final points:
1. Minor characters are brought back - NOT in a 'oh, remember this character that showed up ages ago? Well, as a bone to the readers who stuck by this manga since the beginning, I SPY!'. They either have a function by becoming a major player or they remain as part of the background, as recognizable landmarks, so to speak, that intensify the realism and cohesivity of the FMA world.
2. The main characters are MULTI-DIMENSIONAL. They have human, realistic, logical concerns, desires and fears, that drive the story forward.
3. There is a wonderful range of antagonists and villains who thwart the heroes. Some have multiple layers, some are flat (flat characters ARE necessary, too) - and most, if not all, are NOT completely black-and-white. And I don't mean in the typical shounen way, like after defeating the current villain the readers are privy to his sympathetic life story which is supposed to endear him/her to the readers in his/her last moments - NO.
4. The females are as kick-ass as the males. This is one of my biggest pet peeves of shounen manga. 'Strong' females in shounen typically tend to be strong in the physical-sense, but beyond that? No. FMA successfully displays the RANGE of females as equal to the range of males. Some females are strong, physically and emotionally, some are strong only physically, some are strong emotionally but not physically. One example: Winry NOT participating in physical fights is not 'insulting' to her character and is in no way a kind of underhanded 'women can support in the background' BS (I'm looking at you, Naruto). Winry is Ed's primary mechanic, which is her strength, therefore she IS a support character - not once do I think that it's because she's a female that she's a supprot character. She's also the Elric brothers' anchor, and, as demonstrated in the crucial scene
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
when she's about to shoot Scar but Ed stops her
it is symbolic for her to NOT sully her hands. Which brings me to...
5. Fighting isn't glorified in this shounen. This is not to say that the fight scenes aren't amazing - they are and it's awesome to see. (Who doesn't like a good fight scene? Especially the ones in FMA, in which battles are resolved in many different ways, by a combination of brute strength, ingenuity, luck, determination...) Fighting is in no way glorified, which is appropriate to the war theme that FMA has.
6. The range of relationships in FMA - familial, romantic, platonic - is just so well-done. God, most shounen with romantic elements are juvenile, I shouldn't be so harsh considering the intended audience of shounen manga, but that's my point - FMA goes beyond its genre. Some of the romance is hinted at so lightly it can be taken as an extremely strong bond
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Roy, Riza.
Some of the romance is light, but definitive
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Ed, Winry.
The bond between the Elric brothers may be considered in-your-face-ish, but it's because IT'S WHAT DRIVES ED AND AL; it's damn important. The friendship and camaraderie that develops between major/minor characters are NOT done in the obnoxious, in-your-face-ish-shounen-YOU-ARE-MY-NAKAMA way and therefore seems realistic, to me at least.
7. Not only is the plot of FMA amazing, but it also has MEANING. There's meaning to the characters' actions/words, there's meaning to the plot - If I can write a veritable ESSAY on FMA, then I know that it has enough depth.
8. The ending - one of the most satisfying, complete, perfect endings I've seen in a manga. I had no questions or qualms against it.

It may seem that I'm mainly talking about characters, but that's because a story IS as good as its characters. You can give me an amazing plot but the characters are the ones who give it momentum, who give it life. FMA is quite possible the only manga that I simply cannot decide on a favorite character because, truly, there are too many characters that are so real and amazing and all those good adjectives. The world of FMA is one that is both familiar (Western and Eastern elements, possibly Europe and Asia?) and unfamiliar and it's exciting. By the end of the series I have felt that I have actually traveled to Amestris, and the journey with the characters has come to an end. I've come to recognize landmarks of a fictional world because I've visited them numerous times; they are not simply places that the characters have visited, but places attached to memorable events, with meaning.

In most shounen manga there is brotherhood, there is sacrifice, pain, love, redemption, fire-forged bonds. But while most shounen manga come across as flat and devoid of that elusive 'something' that really leaves a mark on me, FMA succeeds; the brotherhood is integral, the sacrifices are real and moving -
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
the death of Maes Hughes is still one of the fictional deaths that I refuse to accept
, the love is understated, the redemption is realistic, the fire-forged bonds are not outrageously dramatic.

Now, I'll stop talking about FMA because I could go on forever. To the reviewers who gave this manga a poor rating, I'm honestly curious as to what manga you gave a GOOD rating. Because either they must be extremely amazing or...

... Last updated on June 17th, 2012, 8:05pm
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One of the Best  
by tingster7
February 19th, 2010, 8:38pm
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
I have been reading Fullmetal Alchemist for a long time, and I love it! There's nothing that will change my opinion towards the manga, there's no flaw! It really isn't the same trite kind of shounen manga at all. (For example, no offense to Bleach fans out there, but as much as I love Bleach, the story just got really...boring)

Although the art didn't appeal to me in the beginning, I now feel that it's drawn with confidence. The lines are bold, and I don't see those kind of lines drawn. Every character is special, as I have noticed almost everyone's eyes are different. Especially Ed's, he has those determined eyes that look that they'll never falter for even a second. He's also very special because of his braid. >< The chimeras are also very well drawn, as well as all the little details of the automail, which probably are a hassle to draw.

Putting that aside, the plot is phenomenal. In the beginning, I was only reading the manga for the entertainment and the idea of alchemy, and for Ed and Al. But as I kept reading on and on, I realized that there's so much more than just the fun and laughter, the tears and sadness of the story. Rather, Arakawa has took the military and scientists together and mixes it with the government. It shows conspiracies within, and it makes me think that our world is probably like that. We're all oblivious to these things, living our daily lives. Also, the deep bond between two brothers, they live for each other, and I wish I was like that with my own sibling. There is also the relationship between children and adults. Ed and Al never really rely on anyone else, but there are people like Mustang who would like to be relied on. Children are still children-they shouldn't grow up too fast. Arakawa also incorporates "God" into the story beautifully. The idea that with alchemy, even with that type of power, you would be condemned for trying to revive someone, that no one can get so close to God.

The concept I like the best is that all the bad guys are named after the 7 Deadly Sins. It shows that humans aren't perfect and those are the most hideous traits that we all have.

My favorite part of this series is that the everything is unique. The protagonists aren't like all the overused concepts of the shounen protagonist. The Elric Brothers may be prodigies, but they're not constantly popping out new powers or having powers that are surprising to everyone else. They're intelligent young boys, and what their logic and ways of fighting are what someone would expect from prodigies, so it's not surprising. They're not trying to be the best, nor are they the best. They're not invincible nor perfect.

Lastly, I just love all the characters. Ed is so...well there's no word to describe him! He's just awesome. He's funny, determined, and I hate seeing his sad face. He's unique, especially the part where he hates being called short! Al is so cute too! He's very kind. That reminds me, I love how Ed may not seem like the nicest person, being rude all the time, but he's also just as kind as Al inside.
Anyways, all characters in the story are essential, and like someone else said, they aren't just thrown away after being drawn for an arc. the story is just a big masterpiece. seems like I've over-commented on this...-__- Sorry! I'm pretty sure no ones gonna read this though...><


By the way, the anime is really good too! The first 51 episodes has its own story, which is really interesting. The OVA is awesome too! Brotherhood goes more according to the manga, but I think the anime is worth watching.

... Last updated on May 10th, 2010, 7:32pm
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FMA - Greatest manga of the 2000s  
by dannyboy95
June 25th, 2010, 7:07am
Rating: N/A
It's been a week and few days since Arakawa-sensei's released the final chapter of FMA. The day after viewing the 107th chapter I went back to chapter 1 and read it all over again from the beginning since the plot started to blur for me after months of waiting for the next chapter. Only then did I realize that this manga indeed, is the greatest anime-manga franchise of the 2000s. One Piece and Naruto certainly do not deserve this title since One Piece started in 1997 and Naruto in 1999. FMA started in 2001, and was still able to stand tall before those two fat giants.

After feeling completely satisfied after reading the final chapters (Which sadly, wasted a lot of paper with its everlasting action scenes), I wondered, "Why does this series leave me so content?". I've come up with many answers, but the gist of it is this.

The characters were all alive, and most importantly their position in the plot was secure and comprehensible. For series like Bleach and Naruto, some characters just pop out of nowhere and you are never sure whether this guy actually matters or is just another hobo. In FMA, you know the who, what, where, when, why and hows of the characters, and you could actually memorize most of them. This made the series more alive, and the plot progression seem as if they are based around those characters.

Another great thing about the series is that all the arcs are linked together, and the link is not forced. The brother's goal is still in place and going, and as each arch unfolds the brothers get closer and closer to their goal - returning to their original bodies. There are no plot holes and the puzzles all come together in the end. It's like the Harry Potter of Shounen manga, everything just makes sense.

Over all that, what left me most satisfied was the theory of "Equivalent Exchange". Arakawa-sensei created an omniscient law that not only alchemy, but the flow of nature abided by. The everyday motivational line of 'no pain, no gain' was brought to a more philosophic and sophisticated level and implied to the world of Full Metal Alchemist. Without this theory, FMA would've meant much less. The Elric Brothers had to discover the basis of Equivalent Exchange and truly understand through their journeys that this law was not only restricted to alchemy, but to the world and universe that surrounds them. Much like how the audience also learned that this rule can be just as easily exemplified in real life where you cannot gain anything without sacrificing something of equal or greater value.

"But once you overcome that sacrifice and make it your own, you will gain an irreplaceable fullmetal heart".

We look forward to your next masterpiece! Arakawa-sensei!

... Last updated on June 25th, 2010, 7:46am
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after almost 7 years  
by windshadow
November 30th, 2009, 10:27am
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
Have been following this from the start; FMA is like a diamond. One that took some time before one can see its beauty. I recall being turned off by her art as well as pacing initially but as it went along, it grew on me.

The squarish and stoic looks of the characters that DONT look like one another gives them an identity; instead of just being "different in hair" like most manga. There is a solidness in her art that gives it a much needed 'realism' in her tale filled with fantasy.

The unique personalities and their driving forces are points that hooked me onto the series. Arakawa looks at them and their actions carefully, there is a calculated angle seen from the way the story is going. Yet it flows along gracefully, each action and move a pivot to another. It is a tale filled with cause and effect, one that keeps us on our toes as we question and await the answer.

The boys learn from their doings and move on. They fight and they fail. They lose people and they lose things. But they still move on. FMA is a story filled with lessons and beautiful snippets. She weaves a beautiful tale where we are reminded time and again that there is only so much one can achieve, yet at the same time, there really is a lot one can achieve.

Spoiler (highlight to view)

Another thing that i really appreciated was how she tied in the old characters back into the picture. It shows a nice cycle and that these people are not like one-use items that only serve to fulfill an arc. They are there; and everything that was done both to them and for them adds up to a finale due to their actions.

FMA is surprisingly philosophical and raises interesting issues on morality and society. This is something i have not seen in a shounen manga in a long while; usually those that try come across as pretentious. FMA speaks with a truth and a boldness that itself embodies.

I am a jealous fan, a jealous reader. I used to praise and persuade people to read FMA, but now, i rarely do. Not because i stopped loving the series. But rather because i dont feel like sharing. Many newer readers dont understand the issues raised and instead look at it as an unique action packed series with tears and laughter. It pains me that this story is diluted to such by them. Hence, i urge all of you who believe that there is really something more to read deeper into the tale if you have never done so before and see what FMA really is all about.
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A look back at a golden series.  
by Jandalman
April 3rd, 2012, 5:07am
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
It has been two full years since FMA ended. Looking back at the series now my heart still warms up with happiness tinged with melancholic longing to relive the experience all over again.

This series is truly unique among mangadom. A story of two youths thrown into a world of intrigue, low-fantasy and adventure; who are forced to mature faster than normal less they and those they care about perish. Those who have read FMA witnessed a story of redemption, brotherhood, love, self-sacrifice; and an almighty bond forged between heroes and heroines of various races, creeds and walks of life in the face of almighty evil. Hiromu Arakawa created an incredible story that never faltered in its pacing, manipulating our emotions as effortlessly as an orchestra conductor.

Fullmetal Alchemist is a true epic saga bound in manga form.
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It brings adults into the picture they are likable, real, and part of the story.  
by Wufu
August 24th, 2009, 1:09pm
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
Fullmetal alchemist is like getting an egg from your local bazaar and waiting excitedly for that egg to hatch into that cute fluffy hairball but then, before it matures and starts painting your floor with carpet bombs of poop, it becomes the reincarnation of Buddha. Fullmetal Alchemist is like that. What the brothers strive for makes a great and original plot. Combining original plot with a creative sense of humor that does not rely on the same overused concepts (slapstick, pervy main char . . .) and placed at the right moments, this manga is quite the gem. The mastery of the manga is its ability to amalgamate (combine) light hearted humor with serious dispositions of tragedy without spoiling the overall mood. In other words, this manga will make you laugh, it will make you cry (only if you're really sentimental), and it will do both without interfering with one another.

What I love about Fullmetal alchemist is its reality in social relationships. This isn't a story only about kids. It brings adults into the picture they are likable, real, and part of the story. It is unlike other works that portrays adults as comical side characters (the silly homeroom teacher or horrible parents).This manga is is on par with books in its ability to fabricate a believable alternative reality. Although it's an adventure about two teenagers, I believe that with its realism and inclusion of adults, the audience extends beyond teenagers and towards adults who are fine with have young adult as one of the main characters and are seeking a captivating adventure.
[this next part is a commentary on her art. If not interested in her art then don't read.]

Spoiler (highlight to view)
Now a good plot is essential but so is art as nothing gives the reader reason to eschew (shun) the manga more than crude stick figure drawings. Luckily, this is not drawn with stick figures or bad art. The setting of the fullmetal world is vaguely reminiscent of the early 1900s. She's done her research and the weapons and vehicles look realistic—she even bought a fake (airsoft?) replica rifle (forgot which one). The characters are drawn sharply and their dress and their appearances reflect the different ethnicities/cultures which reminds me of Europeans, Asians, and Buddhists.

This is my favorite manga and is on the same level as a book. It's tied with Historie. I give this a 5 out of 5.
--wufu aka kwally
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Definetly in my top 5 list  
by Keikoku
March 28th, 2008, 10:15am
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
Fullmetal Alchemist: in my mind, it deserves a million trophies. It's certainly one of the greatest I've ever read, and I have read a lot. Just like a perfect stew, Fullmetal has all the right ingredients of an excellent plot development, character development and designs, emotion, action scenes, and of course, humor. A perfect blend of the right ingredients make its overall impact somewhat of a BAM in your brain (haha). It's a manga fit for all readers in that it's a mix of everything nice. For example, if you don't like action, there's plenty of other elements for you to enjoy.
It's hard to say what the best part of this manga/anime is , because the whole thing is so good. But I have to say whenever I read something, I really look for that character and emotional development, mixed in with some adventure. Purely fighting mangas doesn't interest me because they lack something that the heart needs (I am getting really sentimental here). The trials that Edward and the gang goes through, and their growth and maturity over time really hits me.
Overall, the plot unravels a bit like a puzzle pieces. You put a few together here, and you put a few there, and at first it doesn't connect into anything and you think you just have clusters of matched pieces, but suddenly a piece pops up and everything starts to relate and rely on each other.
The anime, I, rather than recommend, must insist all anime fans to watch, even if they haven't read the manga. This includes the movie sequel to it too. Beautiful coloring and animation, great voices, EVEN in the English version! (That has got to be a 1st.) Though it's a bit different from the manga series, it still has a great plot and even rounds off nicely, almost like a separate but amazing series.
All in all, if anyone is debating whether to read/watch this or not, DO SO! It's definitely worth the time smile
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Nothing like it  
by Got2runnow
August 8th, 2012, 3:10pm
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
I'm not going to bother writing multiple paragraphs repeating the same things others already have. Instead, I'll give you three important factors when writing fictional story revolving around a series.

-- SUBSTANCE: The plot, the world, the characters--everything has to carry some sort of depth. You can't have a world with just names, but with races, social classes, government, etc. Everything needs to be connected while independent. Everything needs to feel weighty while being light.

-- CONSISTENCY: Whether it's in the plot, world or characters, everything needs to flow along with the story. You can't have a character arc for a supporting character and then place them in the background in the next story arc. There has to be constant development and interaction among other characters. The balance through out a series is important.

-- END GAME: From the first book (in this case CHAPTER ONE) the end of the series must be in sight. Writing a series without an ending objective is asking for an inconsistant, light read that will last forever. Without an End Game their may never be a real ending.

In all honesty, FMA doesn't even feel like your typical shounen manga. It lacks MOST of the cliches (an I wouldn't even call Winry being cliche because she's not your typical shounen girl) and overall it's a 10/10 in every category I've listed above. It's so well done in every aspect of genre--comedy, action/adventure, romance, psychological, philosophical, etc, etc. It's so rounded, that calling it a manga for kids---teenagers feels wrong. The themes and motifs are very adult and the characters and their sufferings are relatable on all levels.

FMA is a whole different level. Nothing compares.
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by alusandrea
February 4th, 2011, 9:13pm
Rating: N/A
As of today, I believe this undeniably one of the best shounen manga ever. The characters are clearly defined, the plot makes complete sense, everything is tied together. Everything contributes to the story and none of the chapter felt like a waste of time. It feels real; nothing comes out of freaking nowhere, although a few things are extremely coincidental. When I finished it I had this wow feeling.
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The cream of the crop.  
by HollowNinja
October 15th, 2010, 7:58pm
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
If you're looking for a shonen manga to read, look no further. I could go on and on about how good it is, but let's put it this way: if you want to read a good manga, this is it. Take a shonen manga and remove the formulaic battles and allow the plot to drive itself with only having battles as part of the plot rather than making the battles drive the plot, and this is what you get.

If you don't like this manga, then I cant' imagine a manga you would like. The only bad thing about Fullmetal Alchemist is that you may never be able to enjoy another manga, because everything is garbage compared to FMA.

... Last updated on October 15th, 2010, 7:59pm
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