Kate (kate_nepveu) wrote,

Fullmetal Alchemist commentary: volume 1 art

I've posted a longish booklog entry on volume 1 of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga, talking about it in comparison with the anime. As I said there, "The art here strikes me as clean and with slightly more delicate, less detailed lines than Saiyuki. The panel layout is mostly straightforward and linear. . . . I only found a couple of additional things to say about this art."

Two things, specifically, both below the cut. 129 KB of images, spoilers for the first two chapters, but nothing major. Spoilers for further volumes of the manga, or of any anime episodes but the corresponding ones here (1, 2, 5, 9) are not welcome.

Images from scans at readmanga.com. Page numbering per the Viz volume.

The first thing is the handling of flashbacks. Minekura tends to use black gutters to designate flashbacks; Arakawa [*] uses a lighter panel border, as so in panels 2 and 3 of chapter 2, page 76:

[*] I did guess right as to the surname, yes?

1.2.76 reduced quality

I think I prefer Minekura's approach; the lighter panel borders are fairly subtle and easier to miss. (Yes, there's a wider gutter after the flashback, but that doesn't help when you're going from panel 1 to panel 2.)

Second, there's a kind of cool transition in panel 5 of chapter 1, page 29; Cornello's henchman has just agreed to make the Elrics disappear, and then his dark hair and clothes fade out behind him into a far shot of a hallway with the brothers being shown into a room.

1.29 cropped

(The fading is a little more even in the print version.) This internal-panel transition gives an ominous effect that two separate panels wouldn't have produced.

Like I said, not a lot. I did look, honest. Since this is easily available as scans, anyone have comments on things I overlooked?

Tags: fullmetal alchemist, manga, manga analysis

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