We’re really nearing the climax for this series now, you can really see that the focus is getting more and more back to the lead characters and especially the lead villains. The next episode should be all about Father, trying to do whatever he needs to do in order to execute that plan of his. After that there are going to be three more episodes to wrap everything up. Should be enough.
Thumbs up for especially Al in this episode: he actually refused to go back to his body, because he knew that it would be impossible to be useful with that kind of a posture. That was actually very well built up: ever since he got stuffed in that box and Pride got hold of him, he’s had a lot of trouble being useful, having to play the part of damsel in distress a few times, along with just being too far away to help out in the early battles of Central City.
This episode made a ton of promises for interesting fights: it’s not just the question of “Will Al be able to redeem himself?”, but also, “how will Roy kick ass now that his eyes are gone?”, and “what will Mai Chang’s role be if the creators went through the trouble of putting her amongst the most central characters of the story at the most crucial time?”, to a fight between Scar and Mustang that will continue into the next episode. And then there’s Ed: as the lead character but nowhere near the best fighter, what is his role going to be?
The animation was quite inconsistent in this episode: some parts were animated quite smoothly, and you can really see that the animators really like animating the fights that involve Bradley with great detail, but there also were a few speedlines, unrefined faces and still frames. The big question for that is obviously going to be whether or not the creators saved enough budget for those final episodes, especially since they’ve been teasing us over and over with that ED.
Rating: ** (Excellent)