HAGANE NO RENKINJUTSUSHI
HAGANE NO RENKINJUTSUSHI
full metal alchemist
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FMA Manga Re-read It From The Beginning, Session 1, Chapter 1, (for Week Of July 11, 2010) Full Spoiler Warning!, "Ohhh, now I know," chapter 1 "Re-reading" discussions
Tombow
post Jul 11 2010, 10:55 AM
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reserved for chapter information

The actual discussions start below. smile.gif

We'll fill out the chapter info later. Meantime, if you can help out and list entries for these chapter info for the listed categories (such as characters in this chapter, etc.) please go ahead and post!! (Except, transcripts for chapter 1, which we already have, courtesy of Broken ChouChou. ^^) Or, if you can think of some other interesting categories, please post and share! biggrin.gif

Or, if you have any questions for any part of chapter 1, now is the chance to post and ask us!! ^^

Or, please post your thoughts and opinions on this chapter, now that you're reading it second time! ^^

And now this thread is open to discussions and comments for re-reading of FMA manga chapter 1!! biggrin.gif


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animegirl95
post Jul 11 2010, 04:24 PM
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For thoughts on this chapter I find something a little "funny" about this chapter. Now when I first bought this I found it to be very "simple" looking, the background is simple and the characters are simple looking as well, even Al's armor can be seen as simple. What I'm getting at is that this shows Arakawa's development of chapters over time. aside from the first two pages (Ed realizing Al is gone and the two page spread of the two brothers) this was a simple looking manga. However even over the course of this one chapter the style seems to change, things get more elaborate up to the very last page. I also see the style fitting the mood, when we see Ed with his leg missing it is a darkly colored page, the dark tones warn us of what is to come. Now look at what comes after, a happy looking town, bright (even though it is in black and white), and happy looking not at all like the previous pages. This seems to show that this isn't going to be fun or serious but a balance of both. Also the main thing is the big "revel" at the end (can't really call it that since Al said Ed was the Fullmetal Alchemist and I had seen the first anime prior to reading this the first time) but this just feels like an appetizer, Ed's line at the end is pretty much telling you to buckle your seat belts, your in for the ride of your life. Almost like Arakawa is telling her readers that this isn't going to be like anything else, it'll be a ride you'll never forget, and it will be awesome!
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Tombow
post Jul 11 2010, 04:39 PM
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^ Ah, yes, I was having the similar feeling, but animegirl95 expressed it nicely! biggrin.gif
Just like animegirl95 said, I was looking at this chapter, and thinking about Arakawa-sensei's own development as a serial manga artist.
And, animegirl95 above already described it eloquently, so I'm not going to repeat, but coming back to the first chapter, and reading it again makes me rather happy, like, "aha, this is how it all started.." kind of way... and knowing how her storytelling gets better and better as the chapter progresses. smile.gif Anyway, I will add more specifics later. ^^


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Rentanjutsushi
post Jul 11 2010, 09:07 PM
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My thoughts on Chapter 1:

Firstly, when Al uses alchemy to fix the radio, why doesn't he have to put his hands on the circle?

Al tells Rose about the Law of Conservation of Mass and the Law of Natural Providence. While the former is referred to often during the series, I think this is the only time we hear about the latter. I looked up the Law of Natural Providence and apparently it states that one cannot change the atomic properties of the matter they are changing. So is it relevant in this series?

A tiny thing, but on page 4 (I think?), where Cornello first begins his sermon, we see a sign off to the left with the words “Stray Dog” on it. Does this refer to Arakawa’s oneshot?

On page 3 (?) is a transmutation circle on Al's left. It doesn't seem to be the human transmutation circle, so it's just for visual appeal, I guess, but I've learned that many of Arakawa's circles actually have meanings (as in the symbols on them actually represent something), so is there somebody who can figure this one's out?

So yeah, that's all I can think of for the moment. :3
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animegirl95
post Jul 11 2010, 09:18 PM
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QUOTE (Rentanjutsushi @ Jul 12 2010, 12:07 AM) *
My thoughts on Chapter 1:

Firstly, when Al uses alchemy to fix the radio, why doesn't he have to put his hands on the circle?

Al tells Rose about the Law of Conservation of Mass and the Law of Natural Providence. While the former is referred to often during the series, I think this is the only time we hear about the latter. I looked up the Law of Natural Providence and apparently it states that one cannot change the atomic properties of the matter they are changing. So is it relevant in this series?

A tiny thing, but on page 4 (I think?), where Cornello first begins his sermon, we see a sign off to the left with the words “Stray Dog” on it. Does this refer to Arakawa’s oneshot?

On page 3 (?) is a transmutation circle on Al's left. It doesn't seem to be the human transmutation circle, so it's just for visual appeal, I guess, but I've learned that many of Arakawa's circles actually have meanings (as in the symbols on them actually represent something), so is there somebody who can figure this one's out?

So yeah, that's all I can think of for the moment. :3


You're right! I always noticed Al's hands never being on the circle but just dismissed it but now it does bug me a bit. I'd file it under Arakawa just starting and she probably didn't have the full "need to touch the circle" out yet. However it's a long shot.
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Tombow
post Jul 11 2010, 10:06 PM
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QUOTE (Rentanjutsushi @ Jul 12 2010, 12:07 AM) *
On page 3 (?) is a transmutation circle on Al's left. It doesn't seem to be the human transmutation circle, so it's just for visual appeal, I guess, but I've learned that many of Arakawa's circles actually have meanings (as in the symbols on them actually represent something), so is there somebody who can figure this one's out?

This one below, right?

Outer circle is familiar but that's all I can recall anything at the moment. Hopefully someone can pitch in with his/her input. smile.gif


QUOTE (animegirl95 @ Jul 12 2010, 12:18 AM) *
A tiny thing, but on page 4 (I think?), where Cornello first begins his sermon, we see a sign off to the left with the words “Stray Dog” on it. Does this refer to Arakawa’s oneshot?

Yes it is. biggrin.gif
Will add this to "cameo appearance/mention" category. ^^


QUOTE (Rentanjutsushi @ Jul 12 2010, 12:07 AM) *
...when Al uses alchemy to fix the radio, why doesn't he have to put his hands on the circle?

Didn't notice it before, but that's so true!


QUOTE (Rentanjutsushi @ Jul 12 2010, 12:07 AM) *
Al tells Rose about the Law of Conservation of Mass and the Law of Natural Providence. While the former is referred to often during the series, I think this is the only time we hear about the latter. I looked up the Law of Natural Providence and apparently it states that one cannot change the atomic properties of the matter they are changing. So is it relevant in this series?

Aha, I see that on page 21, far right panel.... And, yes, this seems to be the only time mentioned of this in the series.


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Causmicfire
post Jul 11 2010, 10:18 PM
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The outer circle seems to have the zodiac symbols in it. The others are planet symbols? I definitely see either Mercury or Venus, Earth, and the moon on the inner circle that spirals out from the sun. Maybe the circle represents life's journey? Now that I really look at it, I can't help but be reminded of the discussion of the doors of truth and Kabbalah. Which seems to go with the theory that it's a circle depicting life's journey much like the doors seem to depict growth.

Hmm, it's quite fun that the story begins with a small baddie being an "emissary" of the sun god and that the Promised Day takes place during an eclipse where the big baddie is trying to become a perfect being/god (and the fact that this particular arc furthers Father's plan).

Hmm, and an invincible army with no fear of death sounds familiar...

I've just realized what the lion/serpent chimera Ed fights always reminded me of...the Amestris flag.


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ChaosRogue
post Jul 11 2010, 11:16 PM
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QUOTE (Tombow @ Jul 12 2010, 06:06 PM) *
QUOTE (Rentanjutsushi @ Jul 12 2010, 12:07 AM) *
...when Al uses alchemy to fix the radio, why doesn't he have to put his hands on the circle?

Didn't notice it before, but that's so true!


Will post more when I get back home, but to perform alchemy you don't necessarily need to actually touch the circle (at least, in some cases). There's likely a degree of willpower that's used when activating a transmutation circle. I remember this being fairly consistent throughout the series, but this reread will confirm or deny that.
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A Pierrot's Aria
post Jul 11 2010, 11:44 PM
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This is actually really exciting; I'm actually finding myself looking forward to each weekend for a new chapter. wink.gif I know I could just sit down and read it all now but waiting is making it more fun. xD

I love that how from the beginning of the first chapter, even though I know what happens, it still has a sense of mystery from the first page. Especially starting with the lines "Teachings that do not speak of pain have no meaning...because humankind can not gain anything without giving something in return".

I also really love how Al's state is revealed; he's shot through his eye and everyone thinks he's surely dead, then the next minute he's up and talking. Haha!

I also think it's great how she makes Ed and Al so...detached...with lack of a better word. At first they just come across as two vagrants who are looking for something; but as the series goes on the reader becomes more attached to these amazing characters, learning more of their goals and values- I think that's amazing. That brings me onto one of the many reasons why I love FMA- Arakawa doesn't seem to dwell on making her characters all nicey-nicey and goody-two shoes who everyone has to love and agree with; she actually gives them character which makes them more believable and human.


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Nacchan
post Jul 12 2010, 02:05 PM
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God, the first chapter makes me so melancholic! I love the happy-craziness on it, the first time Ed freaks out 'cause someone called him little XD

The first quote is so... I don't have words. It remuses all the story, and it's so suggestive ;_; It makes you say "I want to know more NOW."


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Kasumisty
post Jul 13 2010, 05:36 AM
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Time for my thoughts. I will be using Polish edition of FMA as a reference, hope that's ok. I'm posting while reading it, so they may be a bit laconic or chaotic:

-Firstly, I love the very first quote. It encourages one to read more. (and I just love Arakawa for ending the manga with bringing this quote back.)
-If I were reading the manga first, before watching the first anime, I would have hard time guessing this boy without leg is Ed. He was drawn in a way his main traits (haircut, eye shape) were somewhat hidden.
-Ah, the artstyle was so simple. It was cute.
-Hey, Ed had two antennas at the beginning! Page 10 and 11...then one starting with page 12. It was also drawn differently, as a part of the bangs, instead of something separate.
-And yeah, I guess at this point Arakawa still hasn't decided how the transmutation circle should be activated - this was the first and last time the gesture Al made was shown - or was she not sure if she wants to give him clap alchemy yet? It looked like something between two techniques.
-Ahh, the first midget joke. Delightful.
-Just occured to me - Rose is actually one of the few weak female characters. Glad she evolves later, she was very annoying.
-I'm also glad that Ed evolves from a stubborn ignorant to a thoughtful teenager.
-Elrics' attitiudes are kinda repulsive. And they're being rather distant.
-They never brought the discussion about the second law again. I guess Arakawa resigned from that.
-Arakawa stated that FMA does not contain any actual religion, but actually there are a lot references and talks about it. Mostly about God.
-I have a feeling Edward was even more cocky in the first chapter.
-Wee, our midget is a half.

Ahh, I find it hard to do already knowing the content of the all chapters. All my thoughts for now.


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Due to the cancellation of the end of FMA, Kasumisty must think of new signature.

It may take a while.





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Tombow
post Jul 13 2010, 09:23 AM
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<Program Note>

^ Thank you, Kasumisty for reminding about FMA managa fans with non-English official volume books! I edited my post and added a part addressing about that in the post explaining our use of "reading reference" in the Re-reading sessions (scroll down towards the end of the page for the post.) ^^


And, on a different note...

Everyone: We're still working on creating standard categories for "notable information for this chapter" list (second post on that page) to be used throughout the next 108 chapters for the Re-reading sessions.
If you can think of other interesting categories, please post and let us know!! biggrin.gif


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Winry Chi
post Jul 13 2010, 11:33 AM
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I know this is a bit of an odd idea...but what about a kitty-counter? I noticed during my other readings of this manga that Arakawa likes to throw in cats into her background and of course, Al's armor. (Not counting the Chimera characters, because they appear in multiple panels.) It could be that for each one found, a picture is posted of it, entitled with it's page number(Viz Media pg #), and panel number of that page.

Examples from this week's Chapter:

Page 11 (Viz Media)
Panel 1


The circled section on the left may be difficult to see, but it is the back of the cat that is shown resting near the potted Cactus, as seen below:


Page 11 (Viz Media)
Panel 4


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Michiyo-
post Jul 13 2010, 03:00 PM
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So, let’s see the first chapter. It’s strange to re-read it now that I know how it ended. But it’s fun to look back to how the story developed in those 9 years. And now we can look for small hints which foreshadowed the future! biggrin.gif
When I first read this chapter I already started watching the first series, but I was curious how things happened in the manga. (And when I realized that the story is different and much better from FMA1, I immediately became a huge fan of the manga! biggrin.gif)

So, Arakawa gave a dramatic start, showing Ed after the transmutation. I liked that the actual story of their human transmutation wasn’t revealed in the first pages, it was just a small prologue. The chapter continued in Liore, so the readers were left with many questions.

Also, the most important quote in FMA was right in the first page. Now that I’m re-reading the chapter I love the fact (WARNING, chapter 108 spoilers in the spoiler tag!) that Arakawa used the exact quote at the end of the last chapter, and adding more thoughts to it, that if someone overcomes that pain, they can obtain a fullmetal heart. It gave a great frame of the whole story.
This beginning arc was interesting to read, because now we know that the Sun played an important part in the later chapters.

Arakawa’s drawing style was much simpler in the early chapters. As the story progressed, the style changed. But it shows the characters’ growth too. Ed changed a lot, in personality as well, and the simple art style reflects that he was still a kid in the first chapter, but he became a strong person at the end.
I also like when Arakawa draws the characters in chibi style. And the old joke when everyone mistakes Al for the Fullmetal Alchemist. laugh.gif Or when everyone freaks out when they learn that Al’s armor is empty. We got lots of these scenes at the beginning of the story.
Oh, and the Stray Dog cameos! We should count how many times it appeared in FMA! laugh.gif And let’s look for the Stalker Guy as well!

All in all, this chapter was a good start of an awesome story. The main characters, Ed and Al were introduced, and we also learn why the story is called the “Fullmetal Alchemist”. And the chapter ended with the same gesture and quote as in chapter 107. Arakawa doesn’t draw unnecessary panels, even the smallest things can turn out to be important. smile.gif

Btw, someone mentioned that Al didn’t touch the transmutation circle when he transmuted the radio. Well, I recently re-watched ep. 11, the Rush Valley arc, and he did the same gesture there. Check it in chapter 17, p. 33.

That's all now, chapter 2 comes tomorrow, or when I’ll have time to write down my thoughts. ^^


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Tombow
post Jul 13 2010, 08:05 PM
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^ Winry Chi, we can put that, too, but then you have to be our "official kitty counter," and check every chapter and post and tell us how many kitties in that chapter (if any) for each chapter Re-reading thread. Xd Deal? biggrin.gif


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