Thursday, September 27, 2018

My First Mangas--Double Mini Reviews: Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 1 & Fairy Tale Vol. 1

Earlier this month I read my first ever mangas! I've always been interested in them, but I never knew where to start because there are simply so many and everyone seems to recommend a different one. I finally settled first on Fullmetal Alchemist at the suggestion of someone who has similar taste to me in fantasy. I wanted to try another as well, so I found one that seemed like it would be more on the fantasy-side/less action-oriented and thus decided to try out Fairy Tail

Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa 
(translated by Akira Watanabe)
VIZ Media, 2002
Paperback. 192 pages.

About Fullmetal Alchemist:
"Alchemy: the mystical power to alter the natural world; something between magic, art and science. When two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, dabbled in this power to grant their dearest wish, one of them lost an arm and a leg...and the other became nothing but a soul locked into a body of living steel. Now Edward is an agent of the government, a slave of the military-alchemical complex, using his unique powers to obey orders...even to kill. Except his powers aren't unique. The world has been ravaged by the abuse of alchemy. And in pursuit of the ultimate alchemical treasure, the Philosopher's Stone, their enemies are even more ruthless than they are..."

I had a vague idea of what this manga was about going into it, but I was still really surprised by what I discovered! Edward and Alphonse are incredible characters and I almost immediately felt connected to them and began to root for them throughout the events of the book. Edward is easily my favorite, not simply because he's a cool and talented guy, but because I love the little things about his personality, such as how upset he gets when people comment on how short he is. 

I also really enjoyed the alchemy aspect of this story and how it was used. It's a really clever and well thought out system that I was really interested in learning about throughout the entire story. There is plenty of background and explanation to the various components of the world and plot that I appreciated, especially because it wasn't overdone and didn't hinder my enjoyment of the story at all. The storyline itself was interesting, with well-done--but not overdone--action scenes that added a lot of entertainment in a clear, fun art style.

I ended up loving this manga and cannot wait to continue reading it, so I've given it five stars! This is a really fun, action-packed, and exceptionally clever manga that I would recommend to anyone, especially if you're a beginner to the genre like me.

Buy the book: Amazon Book Depository

Fairy Tail, Vol. 1 by Hiro Mashima
(translated by William Flanagan)
Del Rey Books, 2008
Paperback. 198 pages.
About Fairy Tale:

Celestial wizard Lucy wants to join the Fairy Tail, a club for the most powerful wizards. But instead, her ambitions land her in the clutches of a gang of unsavory pirates led by a devious magician. Her only hope is Natsu, a strange boy she happens to meet on her travels. Natsu's not your typical hero, he gets motion sickness, eats like a pig, and his best friend is a talking cat. With friends like this, is Lucy better off with her enemies?"

I didn't love Fairy Tail quite as much as I did Fullmetal Alchemist, but I had a great time reading it nonetheless. Fairy Tail has a somewhat broader scope from the getgo, with a spunky, determined character named Lucy at the head. This manga was an unexpectedly fast-pace ride that moved moved much quicker than I expected, which also meant that I really had to pay attention to keep up.

I loved the humor in this book and the interactions between all of the different characters were wonderfully entertaining. Lucy is a bit naive, but she's also full of determination, and Happy, the talking cat, was probably my favorite part of this manga. I thought the artwork was entertaining to follow and the personalities of each character really shined and helped me get to know each one.

The only thing I didn't really love about this manga was that it was a bit confusing at times and seemed to jump around too much for me to follow. I felt that some things should have been explained more, as it felt as though the reader was just supposed to 'get' what was happening or what was meant at certain times when it wasn't actually completely clear to me. That being said, I still got there in the end and managed to figure out where everyone stood at the end of it.

Overall, I've given Fairy Tail four stars!

Buy the book:  Amazon | Book Depository

If you have any recommendations for more mangas for me to check out, don't hesitate to let me know in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. Ooh! I need to bump these up on my TBR! They both sound great!