- Paperback: 5248 pages
- Publisher: VIZ Media LLC; Box edition (Nov. 1 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1421541955
- ISBN-13: 978-1421541952
- Product Dimensions: 24.4 x 13.7 x 41.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 6 Kg
- Average Customer Review: 22 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #42,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Fullmetal Alchemist Box Set Paperback – Nov 1 2011
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About the Author
Born in Hokkaido (northern Japan), Hiromu Arakawa first attracted national attention in 1999 with her award-winning manga Stray Dog. Her series Fullmetal Alchemist debuted in 2001 in Square Enix's monthly manga anthology Shonen Gangan.
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Other than my gripe about the box, the books are your average/typical quality construction and are well worth the money.
If you're a collector, think seriously before buying this for the box. Some repairs may be required eventually......
First off, you might not know but volumes 1-3 had very different covers! The brand bordering (and Viz logo for that matter) was different and it had a metallic treatment which gave a more dynamic look with more depth and contrast. However, to my best knowledge, by volume 4 they had settled on what is in the box set. So if the difference would bother you, this is a plus. Even if you lament the loss of the metallics (like I do...) it's a fair tradeoff for the print quality inside. The ones in the box set have truer blacks and have cleaner print than my first editions. It's difficult to capture such differences on camera but I have taken some comparison shots (photos of chapter page shows 1st edition first, box edition second).
As to the box part of the box set itself, I was a little surprised to open it and find that the individual books were a little roughed up on the spine edges and corners. I'm not sure where along the line this happened, whether they were pristine when packed in the first place and were jostled in shipping as a little free space in the compartments is necessary for you to be able to withdraw books. Certainly not a big deal but just so you know. Also, as others have mentioned, the box is closed by means of round Velcro pads. I would have preferred Viz used embedded magnets for longevity and so as not to disrupt the art.
A final "just so you know" detail, the poster is 10x15" and comes folded into quarters, tucked into the lower compartment by the novel. So it's not a huge poster and there will be creases. It's double sided so you can choose which mood you prefer, a more peaceful scene or a hot blooded one. Maybe your choice says whether you're more of an Al or an Ed. :)
So there you have it everything there it is to know, physically, about these volumes that I can tell. Alas, I haven't had the resources to obsessively track any translation and art changes. Bottom line? If you don't have the full set already, it's hard to beat the value here, especially if you don't already have most of the volumes and would be buying the remainder brand new. An amazing series with some of the best written intrigue, world building, and character interactions I've ever read that hits hard (really hard) at times and makes you laugh out loud at others; all the while presented with excellent art, panelling, and composition. Thank you, Viz Media, for bringing this excellent story to English readers and especially in the affordable and accessible format this set provides.
I highly recommend Arakawa's latest work Silver Spoon, or Gin no Saji, as well though it's a decidedly much different kind of story. As of the writing of this review, I don't know of any official English language publication but here's hoping.
The poster is rather small and not particularly impressive. The extra book is designed for a young reading audience but is still nice for a fan to read. I have been storing the box upright and the velcros holding the side flap closed have stopped sticking (though it's not like the books will fall out even without the velcro).
I don't know anything about the translation history for FMA, but I think there must have been a second release of some of the first volumes. I remember reading, for example, that in volume 8 page 66, the original Japanese panel was changed from a cross to a stone slab to avoid offending a Christian North American population. But in this version, it wasn't changed, which makes me think a second release was done at some point. The box set would then appear to contain the most recent release. I've noticed a few typos in translations and some inconsistencies in name spellings for people and places. "Kimblee" is once spelled "Kimbly", for example.
Despite what I've noted, I am incredibly happy with this purchase. To anyone who became interested in FMA through the anime FMA: Brotherhood, I recommend buying this. The original manga story really fleshes out and adds to what we see in Brotherhood. In particular, Brotherhood edited out a lot of the humour from the manga.
Picking up the entire manga set was a definate must but buying them individually proved to be more expensive than I could afford (although they are worth every penny!)
When Amazon offered it at a 50% discount, I could not resist purchasing this baby.
You do the math, 27 books for 110$ + taxes with Free Shipping. That is a steal plain and simple.
In addition you get a novel, the complete manga set of the series (unlike Bleach and Naruto that are just incomplete manga sets since they are still on-going series)
The case is amazing and draws attention, some friends of mine were impressed by it and it makes transporting them much easier when you think about it, especially if you are moving.
If you are a fan of the FMA and/or FMAB, GET IT! You will not regret this beautiful full set in your collection.
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