Thursday, June 10, 2010

Manga Reviews: Fullmetal Alchemist - Journey's End

Wow. When I woke up this morning I had no idea the new Fullmetal Alchemist chapter was going to be out. Then I realized, that this was the last chapter. The manga was ending. I was both excited and depressed. Depressed because I wouldn't be getting any new chapters, excited because I could finally get the resolution of all the plot threads and see where the characters ended up. Those of you who have been following the series know that for the past few months it has been quite obvious that the end was near. You'll also have noticed that for over the past two years or so the chapters have been at their strongest, ending with epic cliffhanger after epic that left us hating the rest of the month. Arakawa-sensei really proved that she was a master of rising conflict and outdoing herself with each new chapter. So does the finale match up to the strong run over the past many, many months?

It does. This chapter is over 100 pages long and easily ties up everything that needs to be tied up, while ending on a note that doesn't suggest that everything is done. In fact I think it is one of the better endings I've read in a while. It doesn't answer all the questions, and even the big ones are left unanswered, but everything is wrapped up in a way that lets the reader know that everything turns out alright, without pandering to us by categorically answering every question. Important character arcs are finished, while others still have a journey ahead of them.

Granted, I kind of would like an answer to certain questions.


Am I sad the series ended? Yes. Did it give me the ending I wanted? Absolutely. Even in its more cheesy moments, I loved this ending, and am glad that we finally have an alternate ending to the ending of the first anime. For now, once I have the money and catch up on the other series I am collecting I'm going to start reviewing the series volume by volume, like I'm doing for Naruto. So expect that sometime in the future. I can't make any promises about when this will be though, as currently I have no money for extra expenses, and when I do I have to be sparing with what I spend it on. And I have a lot of books and comics I want to buy.


Cholisose said...

I rather enjoyed the ending too. But mainly it's just refreshing to see a conclusion for a series like this--and have it be a coherent one, to boot.

Derek Bown said...

And for it to be a manga ending, a genre, along with anime, infamous for its bizarre/unsatisfying endings, is some kind of miracle. Though I think Rave Master had a good ending. I should make a list of all the different manga that have actually ended and whether their endings are satisfying.

Raven the Foolish said...

The ending was great. Things that needed to be wrapped up were done nicely, and the things that should have been answered...well, I have the same reaction. I like the series as a great read but not as a huge fan. It makes me happy that I read something worthwhile but not to sound like a jerk but it wasn't the kind of genre I enjoyed. What made it win was that the story flowed. Such is an example of a great story!

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