This volume features Alphonse more because he gets kidnapped (armor-napped?) by Greed, another homunculus! Greed is looking for eternal life, and he believes Al has the secret with his transmuted soul. Meanwhile, Ed forgets about his annual examination for his State Alchemy license, so he reports to Southern Headquarters to pass his test. There, he runs into Major Armstrong, who is escorting Führer President King Bradley on an inspection of the Southern region. Bradley learns of Ed's teacher and tries to recruit Izumi for State Alchemy, but instead overhears of Al's kidnapping. Hot-headed Ed goes after his brother and is soon backed up by Bradley and his elite squad.
This volume definitely continues into the dark tones of this series, and there isn't much humor to lighten the mood at all. We also get to meet some of my favorite secondary characters. Greed is really interesting because of his special powers - impenetrable skin, and super-fast healing. - which make any fight scene with him very different than the other homunculi. Bradley is also a really complicated character, and this is the first time we get to see him in action. Greed's gang is full of chimeras, so the abilities they have and the way they are useful to Greed is enjoyable.
This volume also sees an uptick in the violence and a lot of blood because of Bradley, who is an inherently violent character, and it also has (in my opinion) the second-most heartbreaking death of the series.
Sara's Rating: 10/10
Suitability Level: Grades 7-12
Reviews of previous volumes in this series: vol 1, vol 2, vol 3, vol 4
Tags: Rating: 10/10, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Manga, Action Adventure
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