First appearing in the Japanese Magazine Z in 2001, Wild ARMs: Flower Thieves (Japanese: ワイルドアームズ花盗人 Hepburn: Wild Arms Hana Nusubito), also called WILD ARMS LES VOLEURS DE FLEURS in French, is a manga commissioned by Sony Computer Entertainment Japan and published by Kodansha. The manga features artwork by the Wild Arms series character designer Wakako Ōba and contains plot elements from the first two Wild Arms titles while set in its own unique world.
Interestingly, the storyline of the Flower Thieves manga does not take place on Filgaia, but on Earth itself. The storyline doesn't link Earth to any particular version of Filgaia, making it a little difficult to pin down the manga's place in the franchise.
Flower Thieves takes place thousands of years after a war between humans and demons destroyed much of the life on the planet, turning the world into a scorched wasteland. Set in a dystopian future, the manga features a large group of humans on their last leg, living in the overcrowded city of Upperhorse where flowers and other flora are rare and valuable.
When a plant-eating monster known as a "Flower-Thief" attacks a mysterious girl named Jessica, a young boy named Maxi Remington must use a forbidden ARM weapon to save her, and is subsequently expelled from the city. Traveling into the wilderness with Jessica and a florist named Guy, Maxi sets off on a quest to restore the balance of nature throughout the world and make the earth habitable again.
Chapter 1: A Peculiar Existence
The manga opens with a brief exposition of how the planet was left ravaged as a result of a war in ancient times between humans and demons, which the humans with the help of Guardians and the technology of the Elw (a cue taken from the original Wild Arms game). The next scenes exhibits Maxi, Jessica and Guy out in the open wilderness in battle with monsters, specifically the ones known as Flower Thieves. Guy takes one out with his gun, while Jessica captures another in her garrote. Maxi takes aim with his ARM and somehow misses, while Guy laughs at his expense while Jessica is furious at him at tries to take his ARM away and kill the monster herself.
The story then flashes back to the apparent prologue, set in the trade city of Upperhorse where Maxi lives with his older sister Cornette Remington and their mother. Maxi and his friend Liddo are part of the Junior Town Patrol on watch for monsters (a scheme aptly taken from 2nd Ignition). He is in search of his pet chicken, named Protein Supply, when he encounters Guy, the town florist, and gets in trouble with the town watch for leaving his station to look for the chicken. Later that night, he and Liddo are patrolling the forest near town when they are attacked by a Flower Thief. Liddo runs for help, leaving Maxi to fend the monster off with a knife. He ultimately wins the fight, but is kicked off the town patrol when he hesitates to kill the monster.
Meanwhile, Jessica shows up in town and is spotted by Guy. He tries to talk to her, but she disregards him and walks away.
Chapter 2: The Dream
Three days have past since Maxi's encounter with the Flower Thief in the forest, and his family (mostly Cornette) are on him about finding a new job. He runs into Guy while walking through town and Guy invites him into his flower shop. They converse about the current, desolate state of their world, why the Flower Thieves have become more vicious, and how to restore the rest of the world. At the same time, Cornette and her mother are discussing the recent episode with Maxi and how he must learn to think for himself.
The Junior Town Patrol attempt to keep Jessica away from the ship in the middle of town, but she is quick to dispatch them and move forward, bypassing the device that had kept everyone out of the infrastructure up to that point, and triggering an earthquake.
Chapter 3: As You Please
Jessica inadvertently sets off a trap at the ship and Flower Thieves emerge in the town. While hurrying to the site, Maxi's internal monologue recounts a story his father told him about the ship's arrival on the planet over ten thousand years ago, and that it housed something important inside. The town guard tries to defend Upperhorse from the monsters to no avail, and Maxi not only meets up with Liddo (who Jessica had knocked out) but has his own first encounter with Jessica, who he follows into the ship to try and get answers to what's happening around him.
Chapter 4: I Know All There is to Know
Maxi continues to follow Jessica deeper in the ship with Protein Supply in tow. On the way, he keeps asking her various things and tries to introduce himself, but she is mostly unreceptive. She continues to ignore him throughout, only expressing her annoyance with the townspeople's "ignorance". Jessica uses the key she manifested to release the Flower Guardian from its seals. This sets off another trap, and Jessica is revealed to be a Crest Sorcerer when she uses one of her crests to fight a Flower Thief. Maxi attempts to protect Jessica, which backfires spectacularly when his interference causes her to get distracted and the monster rips her right arm off. The flower from before blooms.
Chapter 5: I Love a Mind of Mysteries
Maxi tries to help Jessica get away from the monster, refusing to leave her to die despite her objections. He tires to shield her with his body as the Flower Thief leaps at them. When the two open their eyes, they are greeted by a lush field flowers. Jessica then collapses.
Maxi is panicking when a young girl makes her entrance, offering to save Jessica's life by restoring her lost arm to normal in exchange for Maxi's own right arm. Maxi is quick to make the deal, and the figure takes his arm, replacing it with her own body and making him as her "avatar". His new arm now bears and mark resembling a rose. Maxi then identifies her as the Flower Guardian.
While she is taking his arm, the girl mentions that the field of flowers is the image in Maxi's mind that's the strongest, and that it represents his very being. She has taken an interest in Maxi, telling him to lead her to such world.
Before depositing them back into the real world, she asks Maxi to imagine a weapon to fight the Flower Thief. As he imagines it, the Guardian encourages him, and an ARM (a pistol) manifests in his hand.
Chapter 6: Oh my Angel, do not Forget Me
Chapter 7: Go Together Around the World
Chapter 8: Frame of Mind
Chapter 9: Eternal Love
Chapter 10: Do All Flowers Have Thorns
Chapter 11: A Token of Humanity
Chapter 12: A Rival and Teammate
- Guy and Jessica's names in the original Japanese were "Gi" and "Jechika" respectively. However, these may be botched spellings of how their names are actually meant to be adapted and pronounced.