Volume 12 covers chapters 46, 47, 48, & 49, and out in Japan on November 21, 2005!!
~ Anyone Here Got A Close Look At Volume 12's Cover? I have to say, it's a work of art ~
Just recently managed to get my hands on volume 12 of the FMA manga (which covers ch. 46-49), and I have to comment on its particular cover art. It is perhaps the most artistic of all the FMA cover arts that Mrs. Arakawa has done so far. I remember seeing a small thumbnail of the art some months ago, but I didn't feel true emotional impact until I held the book in my hands.
Minor spoilers for old chapters....
The way it's arranged, it's all very beautiful. Ling defending the grievously injured Ran Fan against the overwhelming power of the Fuhrer. Scar, literally bigger than life, imposing a sense of menace to the entire scene. Especially telling is the tearful figure of Winry to the side, with Ed (whose hand is the only thing visible) reaching out from the side to hold Winry's arm to convince her from walking down a path of violence, all without a single spoken word. I'm not very knowledgable about artistic terms, but that picture of Winry and Ed was perhaps the most telling of the entire scene. Even though it is clearly off the center of the focus of the art, my eyes couldn't help but throw looks at this sad imagery.
Compared to all the cover art that has been released so far, this one's by far my favorite, since it's something more than a simple collection of characters. I hope that Mrs. Arakawa continues such inspired work.
*Note: Did anyone else catch the "Konami code" in ch. 47? The "creator interview" comic in the back was particularly amusing as well. The omakes also did not fail to make me laugh.