FMA recs

Posted on September 20, 2008
Filed Under small fandom recs, anime/manga fandom, Fullmetal Alchemist |

Another new fandom for me :) See my review of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga and anime here.

Usual drill:

## means “loved to bits OMG!”
# stands for “liked.”
[] means “rather liked,” on the brink between “liked” and “not my thing.”

If you want my reviews of manga and yaoi manga that I liked, click here. Other fandom recs are here. Or use the nav bar above.

FMA places to check:

gossymer’s FMA fandom intro post, with rec lists linked
Ship manifesto: Elricest (Edward and Alphonse Elric)
Ship manifesto: Roy Mustang/Edward Elric
fma_yaoi LJ comm
Touka Koukan, a Fullmetal Alchemist yaoi fanfiction archive
Scimitarsmile, another FMA archive
FMA recs people gave me when I asked
FMA recs at Try This Fic
Scar fic list

Pick your pairing:

Ed/Roy, Ed/Al (Elricest), Ed/Scar, Al/Scar, Threesomes, Other and various, Gen


new Chaos verse, by Metisket []
Roy/Ed, Al/Riza, Havoc/Winry, PG-13/R?, series in progress, the parts within are finished.

I’m not sure I quite believe in something in this ‘verse — either Roy and Ed or their relationship, or maybe there just is a bit too much banter for me. Having said that, I enjoyed these stories a lot. The author constructs her universe in a way that makes it come alive, maybe because it’s all about everyday life, small woes and wonders of it. As a result, it’s a very vivid and soothing slice-of-life/romantic comedy. Very pleasant to spend an evening on.

I stumbled upon this story after I had found and really liked a HikaGo fic of Metisket’s that had been posted anonymously in a HikaGo fest. I liked the writing very much and when the reveals were up, went to check what else she wrote. I’m very glad I did :)

new In Defiance of Reason, by Metisket #
Roy/Ed-ish, PG-13, oneshot, AU. A/N: So. In response to the question, “What would it look like if Edward Elric were as crazy as Allen Walker?” I said, well. CLEARLY I MUST WRITE THAT FIC. It’s a mad AU. And I don’t think Ed would handle being crazy with anything like Allen’s grace. Besides which, it’s possible that I wrote him even crazier.

I enjoyed this story a lot, and I don’t even like FMA AUs in the first place. But this is a “what if” AU that is fascinating, weirdly plausible, and very compelling: what if Roy didn’t meet Ed when he came to Rizembool after Elrics’ failed human transmutation? (There’s another “what if” involved but I won’t name it to avoid spoilers.) So here we have a mad vigilante Ed who rids the region where Roy is in command of the worst of the criminals. The balance of power is interesting, and I loved the ending :)

Pawns, by velvet_mace (or here) #
Roy/Ed, Al/Winry, PG-13/soft R, novel-length. Drama/Action. Warning: Torture. AU from the end of the anime. Summary: Al is flesh, Ed is retired, Winry is in love, and Roy is in jail. And the Army wants all of them, willing or not, for a sinister purpose.

Not without errors but interesting. Roy Mustang makes his move for power — but fails. Now he spends his days in an alchemist-proof cell, being a victim of military mind-games for the sake of his former subordinates. A new fuhrer, a really war-crazed one rallies the country for the war on two fronts. People are pressed and blackmailed: alchemists, doctors, and cannon fodder. Both Elric brothers and Winry Rockbell can’t escape the army. The world of this fic is scary, scarier than the canon because it speaks of mind control even more. But the story is very captivating because who is the hero? The mastermind of every and all manipulations, [now] Private Roy Mustang. He’s scary but brilliant and sooo attractive, OMG :) I loved him to bits. I loved Al in this story too. He is a moral compass even when he has to do things he wouldn’t want to, and he always keeps a level head, and a kind heart. Plotty and engaging!

Play to Win and A Game for Two Players, by E. E. Beck / lightgetsin (or at the AO3) #
Roy/Ed, others off screen, NC-17, 12,000 words. Summary: Ed loses his virginity, and then his inhibitions. Roy loses his mind. Summary 2: “The Bastard is not in love with me, and I can prove it. With science!”

Found this fic on Lyssaphra’s rec and fell in love, not unlike Roy :) The author managed to write a slut!Ed that is totally believable. I mean, a character can become anything; one just have to make readers believe in it. So if Ed becomes a slut, how will he behave to still remain Ed? This is how. This is perfectly Ed, as for me. Think of Ed’s view of the world. There’s this huge thing that is Al and then this much smaller thing that is everybody and everything else, right? So how would a person who is one of those small everybody elses go about winning Ed? Well, when they get a clue themselves that this is what they are doing. The answer is: as only Roy can do, meticulously plotting and scheming, very patiently. Loved the writing, loved the story! Would love a sequel very much too.

REC2: I already recced the first story here as a fantastic and believable slut!Ed fic. Now lightgetsin wrote a sequel to it and it’s as delightful as Play to Win was. In HP, we call fics that work with canon in such a way “AU 5th Year”, meaning that this is an alternate world here where Hughes is alive. All the better, as for me :) The author’s Roy, Ed, and Al are spot-on and perfect, and the story reads so effortlessly that you breathe it in rather than read it. In the first story, Ed discovered sex and went about it in an unexpected by very Ed-like way. In the second story, Roy who woke up to the fact that he was in love and jealous works on keeping him, in a very Roy-like way. Pleasure and delight all the way! Run, don’t walk!

new Prognosticate, by E. E. Beck ##
Roy/Ed, others off screen, NC-17, oneshot. Spoilers: Last third of the series and the movie, vaguely. Summary: “Divination alchemy,” Ed said scornfully. “Also known as complete and total bullshit.”

And this one, as for me, is bloody awesome. The ending in particular. So poignant and piercing and OMG perfect. I loved-loved-loved it. The story is about love and the allure and dangers of looking into future. There’s a sort of paradox that always comes up when we speak of fiddling with time, in any way: does Roy fall in love because he looks or would he anyway if he didn’t? But the fact is, Roy falls hard. Poor bastard :) Ed is also perfect here. Mouthy, loud, brilliant, and very Ed on the whole. Loved it!

The Shadow of Desire, by Sol 1056 []
Gen with some Roy/Ed undertones, R, novella. Drama/action. Warning: torture. Part 1 of The Contraries Arc. Summary: It hurt, somehow, to know that there was no one, now, who could see past the mask if he didn’t want them to. Spoilers for ep. 20-27.

Roy is depressed and desperately, achingly lonely, in the stoic Roy way of course. And Edward is an ever unpredictable trouble magnet who just happened in the same town with Roy when the latter is sent to investigate the disappearances of state alchemists in a small town. Edward invites himself to accompany him, which leads to much more trouble than any of them could predict. I liked Roy here; he’s very human. But I liked Al best of all, with his willing to go to any lengths to help his brother and with his mishaps. Pleasant story, would that it could be a Roy/Ed romance. Ed’s purring snore is a nice detail :) One of those that stick to memory.

Situation Normal, by Sleeps With Coyotes (ciceqi) #
Roy/Ed, Al/Winry, PG, ~13K words. Summary: Ed figures out why folks are acting so weird. Then he figures out why he is. Notes: AU after episode 14.

Good writing. I loved a few of Coyo’s Eroica stories and was glad to learn she wrote lots if FMA. People react strangely to Ed: they either get all tongue-tied or babble when speaking to him, and anyway they keep staring at him. Ed decides that it must be some weird rumours circulating about him. Heh, as if! Lovely stuff. Amusing, too.

Ed/Al (Elricest)

new Enjambement, by Kaltia (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) #
Al/Ed, Roy/Liza, PG-13 (?), unfinished at 7 chapters. Warnings: incest, duh (not graphic though). Summary: “I’m not being forced out of another home. They won’t be here long, and it’s not like they’ll be looking for us.” Spoilers: ep25 of FMA1/ch15.

I was seduced to try Enjambement with this rec that promised “intelligently written Elricest and Roy/Riza with plot.” It is indeed intelligently written and has plot, but what is more, it’s an Al/Ed established relationship which I swallowed as if it’s what I like best while in fact, I barely ever read established relationship fics. It’s neither graphic nor kinky. Instead, it’s understated and somehow very convincing emotionally: these are the two boys that don’t really have anybody except each other to rely on, very traumatised but tough, who finally found a quiet corner for themselves. A corner that is being threatened and that they are willing to fight for with all their, not inconsiderable, might. I think it can be called a post-series AU: Al is back to his body; Ed is officially dead and lauded as a hero. The story begins two years after those events when there’s some unrest in the neighbourhood and military choose the town where the Elric brothers are quietly hiding for their base.

This is a story I’ve kept on my update alert list for a year. I don’t think the epilogue is forthcoming at this point but one can read just these seven chapters. Believe me, they are worth it and they won’t exactly leave you hanging. Still, pity it’s unfinished :(


The Flooding Dark, The Evening Strange, by Herongale ##
Scar/Ed, NC-17, novel-length. Spoilers: This is a post-series AU. All 51 episodes are fair game and will (probably) be referenced.

Scar fascinates me. A fanatic, semi-religious and semi-patriotic, he’s on a killing rampage for most of the anime (and a large part of the manga). He has a mysterious cross-like scar on his face and a tattooed arm capable of destroying anything, the secrets of which we learn bit by tiny bit as the story goes on and with those secrets uncovered, we also accumulate the knowledge of his past. His and his people. But we also learn his more human, vulnerable side. And then there’s another ‘but’. But despite it, we still know very little about him. How can the man who’s pure and good, and also neither unaware nor particularly stupid — this is how he looks to me anyway — commit such atrocities? How can this man sacrifice so much for — for what exactly? The question “So what kind of person he is? What makes him tick?” occupied me almost all the way while I watched the anime. And this is the question that occupies Edward Elric when he encounters Scar, mysteriously alive and well but without scars or tattoos, in our world, in the pre-war Germany.

This isn’t a light story. It speaks of penance and sacrifice, of hard choices and a long way home, and ultimately, of love. The author evokes an amazing range of emotion throughout the story. The sex was so hot I felt shivers running down my back and arms, the tenderness was so heart-warming, and what Scar was willing to do, OMG, I cried and cried and cried. If I didn’t love him before, I would fall for him head over heels after this story. Actually, I think I did fall in love with him a bit more anyway.

Herongale’s Edward is rather different from how I see him. He’s more emotionally detached from everybody who’s not his brother than how I imagine him. He doesn’t know or recognise love unless it’s familial. But I believed in him here anyway.

Despite being set in our historical past in accordance with the sequel canon, the story shows rather little of the problems that existed at the location at that time. I found it a bit puzzling but on the other hand, I liked it. I want to read about Edward and alchemy, not about the beginning of Nazi movement. There are, nevertheless, enough details of Ed’s and Scar’s everyday lives to make the fic vivid. There are also cats, which is always a bonus for me, as you know :)

Stories like this are what I’m in fandom for: to have my emotions and thoughts stirred and rearranged by a wonderful piece of fiction. Heartily recommended!

The One Place: [1], [2], [3], by Toffee []
Ed/Scar, PG, discontinued. Only 3 chapters written. Spoilers for the end of the series and the film. Summary: “It is hard to hate you, Edward Elric. Even then, you were hard to hate. Both you and Alphonse.”

Oh my, why do the best ones get abandoned? Why oh why? :( It’s such a wonderful story! Really, I think it’s better to read only three chapters of it than many of a finished Scar fic I’ve inhaled in the last week. These Scar and Ed are at the same time spot-on and changed by the new life, and it’s such a pleasure to see them like this. I know that inspiration can’t be forced but I so, so wish the author finished this story. Because it’s joy and pleasure. Half a star only because it’s unfinished, otherwise it might have been ##, depending on the ending.

Sand Cathedrals, by Mikkeneko #
Ed/Scar, NC-17, ~10K words. AU from episode 42, spoilers up to this episode.

This is a post-canon-episode-42 1st person fic written from Scar’s POV. And I liked it. Sad but with a tiny glimmer of hope. Can’t say much about the plot because it would spoil it but I liked how the author twisted the Philosopher’s Stone thing and how it illuminates the characters.


Firebird, by Laylah (or here) []
Al/Scar, NC-17, ~5500 words. Canon what-if. Summary: Even if he wanted to, there was no way he could. Al would say yes, not because he wanted to but because of some stupid, alchemy-derived notion that it would be a fair trade for his food and shelter.

Smooth writing. This story reads a bit like Snarry, if to think about characters’ relationship and interaction. This fandom heads off to AU at any point imaginable and I’m used to it by now. I don’t get it though why Scar is living with his people after the end of the series; it looks like the author simply decided that they wanted it so. But I’d like some backstory for such a what-if. I also wasn’t persuaded that Al would come to Scar or that he would stay there. I need more reasons for both. But the picture the author paints is easy to visualise, and the scenes are pleasantly peaceful. And it is among the best Elric/Scar fics I’ve read.


Into light, by Toffee []
Ed/Al/Scar, past Ed/Heiderich implied, NC-17, short. Spoilers for the end of the series (and some for the film).

I’m not sure I quite believe in this threesome but I enjoyed reading the story. What I could believe is that Ed’s non-platonic interest in Al could stem from his past relationship with Heiderich, which in turn grew from Ed’s missing his brother. The author writes subtle nuances and shifts in their situation and emotions very well.

Stormbringer series, by Mirabella (or here) []
Roy/Ed/Al, PG except the last story which is NC-17; novella-length on the whole. Summary for story 1: You shouldn’t make jokes about Ed being short. It leads to things that make Al nervous.

The last story is very very hot. And they all are written very well. But somehow these Roy and Al kept being at odds with the Roy and especially Al that are in my head. Not that I didn’t believe in these ones, not quite. It just was a dissonance. But the sex was very hot, and for that at least I’ll remember it.

Other and various

Slave of the Heart, by velvet_mace []
Ling/Al, R, ~8,600 words. Warnings: Um… beating, branding, kidnapping, dubious consent. Spoilers to the end of the Anime. Animeverse, though Ling from the Manga.

This one is weird! Firstly, the premise: it’s set after the end of the first FMA anime but uses the country and the main character from the manga that appear and act in it way after the first anime diverged from it. And it works pretty well, if you are willing to go along with the FMA1 anime canon. Secondly, there are quite a few SPAG errors, which usually annoys me to no end. They did here too but I liked the story nonetheless. And thirdly, I’m not sure I should buy this Ling. He’s softer (maybe?) than the canon one. However, I did. I enjoyed the story a lot. A pleasure, especially seeing how rare the pairing is.



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Anime/manga fandoms:

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