So back in high school, my friend Latecia kept telling me I needed to watch Fullmetal Alchemist. Something about how it was awesome. And a lot more about how the main character reminded her of me. Apparently he was really short and flew into a rage if you mentioned his height.
This usually just made me fly into a rage about my height, and I never got around to watching the show. I wasn’t really into anime, anyway.
Well, now I’ve married an anime buff, and he keeps trying to get me into the genre. I knew nothing about anime except that the only kids who watched it were really weird (except you, Latecia, obviously.) And Ethan introduced me with Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, a show about a huge dude with a blonde Afro who fights crime(?) with his nose hairs. It didn’t go over well.
After a while, Ethan realized I might want a little more substance, and switched his tactic. After blowing all his bookstore credit on a complete set of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga, he started trying to sell me on the plotline: boys use alchemy to try to bring their mother back to life and everything goes wrong. That sounded a lot better than Bobobo, and I agreed to read one.
One was interesting, so I read another.
Twenty-seven gripping volumes later, I can’t begin to tell you how good this author is at political intrigue. I don’t even know who was pulling which government strings, but I can tell I would be getting my questions answered if I read it all over again. And her world-building skills are amazing. She has specific rules to how this alchemy works, she follows those rules, and occasionally blows your mind by breaking them. And then blows your mind again by explaining exactly how she broke them, and which rules she was actually following the whole time.
If you’re not into manga, start with this one. If you’re into manga and you haven’t read this one yet, get to it. And if you’re not remotely concerned with manga but you want a fantastic story about politics, genocide, humanity, and also some middle-grade goofing around, go read it. It’s good. ♦