Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 01 - Hiromu Arakawa
Not sure what there is to say - it's become a phenomenon in both its manga as well as its anime forms, and has introduced an entirely new type of sci-fi/action/drama to a world of uninteresting characters and ideas that dry up like it's a drought.

The big difference between the original manga and the anime seem to be the focus on which each chapter/episode allows for the subject matter and the plot to grow in. In such a manner, it seems to me that the story is like a a fungi, growing to fit the proportions of what its medium sets its boundaries to.

The four chapters included in the manga are basically the same as four episodes of the television series, with the major difference being, to me, that the manga provides a condensed version while the anime provides a richer and more expanded version of the same story. It's not necessarily a bad thing that the manga moves at a quicker pace than the anime - it could be correctly noted that the manga is better edited and gets across very nearly the same content in a much quicker manner than the anime does.

This is fitting, to me, of the two very different mediums of storytelling - when you read graphic literature, information is relayed quickly and time spent away from real action is cut down to a minimum. Television, while indeed relaying information quickly and with much the same focus on the visual element in the storytelling, can allow for a more in-depth sort of experience, complete with good voice acting and an animation style mirroring that of the art work of the manga. Although it does not stray very far from the canon established by the manga, the anime does add more to the richness of the story of the ELric brothers, with additional content that, to me, adds to the emotional pull of each scene pulled straight out of the manga.

One very good example is the "resurrected fiance" that had supposedly never been in the manga, but in the anime we get a scene that perfectly mirrors the origin story of what brought the Elric brothers to their desperate search for the Philosopher's Stone in the first place. It's a gruesome scene that is the epitome of being careful for what you wish for, and the manga simply did not have it. I would be doing a disservice if I did not state that, for the fact that the anime had added moments like this that the manga simply did not have, the anime is superior in terms of full immersion of the story.

That's not to say that the manga is not worth reading - far from it, the manga does provide a more condensed version of a very rich and complicated world in which science, hope, love and unimaginable cruelty all float together with the same material composition. I would recommend, however, that for the sake of going over very nearly the same stories twice that it would be a good idea to pick one or the other to experience.

Brotherly love and compassion, tempered by sitting on the border of obsession, add something indescribably addictive to what could have been a drier and much more puerile story.