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Pumpkin Scissors Volume 1

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating


Pumpkin Scissors Volume 1 by Ryotaro Iwanaga from Del Rey Manga / Kodansha

Pumpkin Scissors Volume 1

© Ryotaro Iwanaga / Kodansha

The Bottom Line

With its vaguely Germanic setting and storylines that focus on likeable underdogs protecting skeptical villagers from twisted noblemen, Pumpkin Scissors will remind many readers of Fullmetal Alchemist. It may not have the magical plot twists and Hiromu Arakawa's polished artwork, but Pumpkin Scissors Volume 1 does offer some exciting action scenes and a few promising signs of being more than just Fullmetal Alchemist-lite.

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  • A winning mix of action, humor and heartwarming, good-triumphs-over-evil stories
  • Explosive military action scenes that never forgets the true cost of war and the value of peace
  • Introduces tantalizing hints of future mysteries to be revealed in future volumes
  • Likeable, interesting main characters


  • Artwork lacks polish, is a little rough around the edges
  • Story sometimes loses momentum in spots, can be hard to follow at times
  • Supporting characters, villains are somewhat one-dimensional


  • Original Title: Panpukin Shizazu (Japan)
  • Author & Artist: Ryotaro Iwanaga
  • Publishers:
  • ISBN: 978-0-345-50119-6
  • Cover Price: $10.95 US / $13.95 CANADA
  • Age Rating: OT – Older Teens, Age 16+ for some graphic violence
    More about content ratings.
  • Manga Genres:
  • US Publication Date: November 2007
    Japan Publication Date: 2004
  • Book Description: 224 pages, black and white illustrations

Guide Review - Pumpkin Scissors Volume 1

In a time and place not too far from our reality, a rag-tag paramilitary group tries to help their country and countrymen recover from a long and bitter civil war. Pumpkin Scissors is their code name, their mission is clear: to cut through the shell of corruption and evil that protects rogue soldiers and nobles who exploit the weak and innocent.

Led by the noble-born, idealistic and sometimes reckless Alice Malvin, Section III of the Imperial Army, a.k.a. Pumpkin Scissors doesn't get much respect from their fellow squadrons, but that may soon change, now that a mysterious, soft-spoken and frighteningly effective veteran soldier has joined their ranks.

Randel Orland is a giant of man, who carries himself with a kind of dazed war-weariness that hints at the horrors he's seen on the battlefield. But he's also an experienced strategist who offers thoughtful advice to foolhardy Alice and a pacifist who melts at the sight of an abandoned baby.

Pumpkin Scissors Volume 1 introduces us to most of the key players in this seinen manga action drama series. It delivers a winning mix of action, humor and heartwarming moments that should feel familiar and appealing to fans of Fullmetal Alchemist. Okay, so it doesn't have Fullmetal's magical twists or Hiromu Arakawa's polished art. But Pumpkin Scissors does offer up enough evil noblemen, rip-roaring action, likeable characters and hints of darker mysteries to come to fill the rest of the bill.

There are some points where the storytelling left me scratching my head and the artwork looked rough around the edges. But all in all, Pumpkin Scissors Volume 1 offers promising, albeit imperfect start to a series that may well develop into something much, much more than just a Fullmetal-wannabe.

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