In this batch of episodes, Roy Mustang gets to be a bad ass, Ed and Al’s father makes an appearance, and everyone begins to piece together the truth about the homunculi and who is in their ranks. Quite an important bunch of episodes then!
Fullmetal Alchemist was a manga created by Hiromu Arakawa, originally released between August 2001 and June 2010. This anime adaptation is following on an earlier attempt at an anime adaptation that was flawed due to having to diverge from the manga storyline halfway through. These six episodes, titled “Death of the Undying”, “Father Before the Grave”, “Advance of the Fool”, “Backs in the Distance”, “Girl on the Battlefield” and “Inside the Belly”, respectively, aired between August 9th and September 20th 2009.
The opening episodes see the conclusion of the battle between Mustang and his men and the homunculi they are fighting, and it doesn’t end without casualties…
After a meeting with his father, Ed returns to meet Al and soon they hatch a plan to draw out Scar and the homunculi, which soon involves Ling and his bodyguard Lan Fan and a full-scale battle between all sides, even drawing a certain friend of the Elrics to the battlefield. This and the fallout from the confrontation take up the remaining episodes.
Note: Full Spoilers From Here On Out!
Uh oh, someone’s going to get burned…
With no new addition to the cast this batch, I’ll jump straight into my favourite scene. Mustang, who Lust had left for death, returns to stop her from killing his beloved guard Hawkeye and Alphonse by repeatedly burning her over and over again. The scene is brutal, but given how Lust has acted, which by this point includes seemingly killing Mustang’s ally Havoc, it’s great to see him go all stone-cold and serious in his willingness to stop her. The fact that Mustang burned his own wounds shut so he wouldn’t bleed out just adds to the “bad ass points”, as it were.
Edward’s confrontation with his father Hohenheim is well played, and the revelation that Ed and Al didn’t bring their mother back from the dead, instead they just created some random smudge of human-like… thing, is a good twist. Once you’re dead, you’re dead in the FMA world. No alchemy can get you out of that.
Then you get to the big showdown between Ed, Al and Scar, which soon includes Winry, who over heard that Scar was the one who killed her parents. She picks up a gun and aims at him, asking why he did it. Scar had no answer and just says that dying by her hands would be “just”. Ed manages to protect her and get her to put the gun down, knowing it would just make things worse for her. It’s a dramatic and rather beautiful scene, and finally gets her to realise that she has actually fallen for Edward.
A tense face-off.
Why all this is going on Ling and Lan Fan end up fighting Fuhrer Bradley and Gluttony, or I suppose Wrath and Gluttony here. The fight is extremely one sided, they only escape by the rather grim plot of Lan Fan cutting her own arm off and attaching it to a dog to lure them the wrong way with a false blood trail. Shortly afterwards Gluttony is captured by being put in a net while reforming, his expanding flesh becoming too big for the wire net he was now in, making it impossible to get out (or so they thought!). All of them, including Mustang and Hawkeye, leave towards Dr. Knox, an old ally of Mustang’s that we’ve seen a few times previous, who stabilises Lan Fan.
The final episode is more of a set up going into the next few, which I guess can happen when you choose to do six episodes at a time without any set path, but it does include Gluttony revealing that his body opens up and creates a weird void that sucks anything in its path up. This happens to a nearby Ling, Ed and Envy to close out the episode, so a nice cliffhanger!
I’m pretty sure just a hand would’ve done the trick, but er… never mind.
Can’t really think of any. This collection of episodes covers some significant plot progress and some really well animated and enjoyable fight scenes. You can’t fault these episodes at all really…
“Ed… I am your father!” “Yeah, I know…” “Oh right, yeah… sorry.”
A great set of episodes, especially Roy Mustang going all cold-hearted “bad ass” (I hate that term really, but I can’t think of another way to put it…) being the highlight, though everyone’s struggles with both Scar and Gluttony in the latter half are great as well. As I’ve said before, this is the perfect case of not having to do any fillers, so the story is advancing at an enjoyable pace and fights aren’t overstaying their welcome.