Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 05: 07/06/11
Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 5 by Hiromu Arakawa continues to build Winry's character and expand upon her story and history with the Elric brothers. Ed and Al unaware of what's happened to Hughs are on their way to the south to consult with their alchemy teacher. Winry tags along to see Rush Valley, the nation's capitol for automail.
I suppose I'm being too flippant with describing Winry. She shows up so much sooner in the first anime that it's hard to come to terms that she's still a relatively new character by the time she makes the trip to Rush Valley.
In Rush Valley, Winry comes into her own as a character. Here the story in the original anime and the manga are very close but the manga's pacing is faster. Also the geography of Rush Valley is better described in the manga than in either anime. The book takes time to draw the city landscape to really give one a sense of the place.
Volume 5, then, is a pause in the present day action. It's a moment to pause after a death and a moment to reflect on how Ed and Al came to be the people they are. It's also a chance to introduce the supporting people in their lives.