Moving up the ladder


I have just become editor in chief of the review section of Manga Jouhou. My duties include the editing of reviews and the posting of reviews on the site. I can't wait to start the job!!

Shakugan no Shana Volume 1


My review of Shakugan no Shana Volume 1 has been published. Check it out!
But it Now!

Crimson Shell


My review of Crimson Shell has been published. Check it out!

Tena on S-string Volume 1


My review of Tena on S-string Volume 1 has been published. Link here.
Buy it now.

Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 1: The Curse


Plot Synopsis
As children brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric used Alchemy to resurrect their dead mother. The resulting failure destroyed their bodies, causing Edward to lose an arm and leg, his brother losing his body, it instead replaced by a suit of armor. Four years later, after becoming a part of the military and Edward replacing his limbs with mechanical body parts, the brothers are on the search for the Philosopher's stone, an item that will allow them to repair their bodies and amplify their alchemy.

The first volume of Fullmetal Alchemist starts off with Edward and Alphonse Elric visiting an unusually prosperous town called Leore. They soon discover that a local priest is conning the townspeople into believing he is god's messenger by using alchemy to create things out of thin air and supposedly raise the dead. The boys, perplexed by the priest's ability to ignore the law of equivalent exchange, conclude that a philosopher's stone must be in use. They then attempt to reveal the priest's plan to the townspeople and steal the philosopher's stone from him. This makes up for the first and second episodes, both successfully giving a dark, albeit humorous tone to the show, also providing moral insight and a social commentary on the argument between religion and science.

The third and fourth episode flashes back to Edward and Alphonse before they attempted to resurrect their mother. Through this, we then discover that the lack of a fatherly figure, due to the father, Hohenheim, mysteriously leaving the household earlier, was the main reason why Edward and Alphonse attempted to resurrect their mother. The third episode fully introduces the main heroines, also further emphasizing the dark tone of the story.

Unfortunately, while the first three episodes are engaging, the fourth is both a filler episode and a snore fest. While it does have some moral insight, huge plot-holes and the mild entertainment value makes it easily skippable. The plot has the brother's traveling to Central City in the hopes that they will be allowed to join the military in order to get their bodies back. Instead they get sidetracked by hearing of an Alchemist named Majihal, who had previously been a friend of Hohenheim. While an interesting concept, Majihal is not an interesting character as he has no relevance in the story later on and lacks any information regarding the father of the brothers, making it a torturous episode to watch. Huge plot holes, such as Edward fainting for no explained reason while looking at a flower (I'm being serious), causes the episode to show moments of immense stupidity in an otherwise brilliant show. Still, the moral insight included in this episode is at least interesting.

Vic Mignogna does an excellent job as Edward. While there is the occasional awkward delivery, his voice perfectly fits Edward's "smartass" attitude and makes him a pretty cool character at times. Aaron Dismuke also does a great job as Alphonse, with a nearly flawless performance with his innocent voice being a perfect fit for Alphonse. Overall the dubbing is solid with the occasional awkward delivery, poorly chosen supporting cast member and a few lip syncing hiccups. The sub is also great for those who want to listen to the original material or just enjoy their anime subbed.

Graphically, the series has aged well with character models, backgrounds, textures and animations that still look good by today's standards. While it does fall immensely behind Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood (for obvious reasons), it still looks very nice, considering that the material is a half a decade old.

The opening theme, Melissa by Porno Graffiti, is an appropriate song that gives the show a sense of adventure. While not exactly a great song by any means, its acceptable. The ending song, Kesenai Tsumi by Nana Kitade is much better, as it fades in while the episode is about to end, giving it an immensely epic feel. Plus, it's a great song, even if it is J-Pop.

The extras include the original Japanese commercials, the textless opening and ending themes, character bios, an image gallery, production art, a preview to the next volume and trailers. The trailers included are:

  • Case Closed: Dubious Intent
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 2: Scarred Man of the East
  • Spiral
  • Lupin the 3rd
  • Dragon Ball GT
  • Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel
  • Tofu Records: Smile by L'Arc En Ciel
The packaging of this volume is designed nicely, with a picture of Edward showing off his metal arm (also known as automail) while shirtless on the front of the box. The picture can also be found behind the removable cover of the box, making it useable as a poster for those who have a collection fetish. The disc has a transmutation circle imprinted on it, making for some pretty cool looking discs. A guidebook is also included, with design art, character bios, a statement from the director of the series and an episode guide. The only major flaw is that the back of the box has a plot description that has little to do with the occurrences of this disc, instead revealing events that happen in future discs.

Volume one of Fullmetal Alchemist benefits from a strong story and an engrossing cast of characters that make it a riveting start to a classic series. While the fourth does some damage to the product, it doesn't stop it from being a worthy investment. Those looking for a blend of action, moral insight, comedy and elements of adventure will love this product, regardless of age or intelligence.
Buy it now!

Episode nine of Jouhou Cast delayed


Due to extremely poor audio and content quality, I have come to the decision to temporarily delay Jouhou Cast till after Spring break. I apologize for the immense inconvenience this presents to viewers, but the contents of the episode that was to be released can only be described as embarrassing for both Manga Jouhou and the hosts of the show. I promise to deliver an episode with outstanding quality after Spring break.

Shelf Updated


I have recently added the following manga and anime to The Shelf:

  • Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 4
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Season 1 Part 2
  • Gunslinger Girl Volume 1
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion Volume 1
  • Pumpkin Scissors Part 1
  • D.Gray-man Volume 1
  • Love Hina Volume 1

Bamboo Blade Volume 2


My review of Bamboo Blade Volume 2 has been published! Link here.

Reviewer Bio Page Published on Jouhou Shisou!!!


My reviewer Bio Page for Jouhou Shisou, the blog of Manga Jouhou, hase been published. Link here.