Posted by psgels on 13 June 2010 with categories: Full Metal Alchemist - Brotherhood




It’s just as I hoped: the finale of Full Metal Alchemist managed to surpass itself. I really consider this and the previous episode to belong to the true highlights of this series. This is really what I’ve been hoping, the way in which the creators managed to use all of the build-up of the entire series and just deliver an incredibly action-packed finale.

It’s also great to see that the animation is back to its old quality again. The action-scenes looked incredibly diverse and gorgeous, and it really showed that Bones was saving up its budget for those final few episodes during the past season. I especially loved the scene in which Father blasts his first energy beam to Hohenheim.

My biggest fear of this episode was of course the following: with how powerful Father has become, how the heck did the creators plan to bump him from his throne? It would be pretty lame to just have a bunch of kids ruin a plan that involves hundreds of years of preparing. I wasn’t disappointed here, though: it was Hohenheim who turned out to have the final trick up his sleeve, as he too spent centuries, attempting to do something against Father’s plans, and therefore formed an excellent core to foil his plans. Add that to Scar’s brother, who turned out to be surprisingly close to the truth here with his research, and I’m more than satisfied.

This episode was over the top in its action, but that’s especially what I’ve been expecting of it from the start. It was all about having formerly invincible characters getting defeated, but it’s all done in style: Wrath’s ending was epic. He went down against a worthy opponent, and even then he was only at a fraction of his strength because of a mistake he made a few episodes back, causing him to get wounded. Pride in the meantime went down like Envy: it’s because he’s flawed by design in the way that he just allowed himself to be completely destroyed, just for the sake of Father’s Pride.

And at the same time this episode also had those small details in between the action. I loved the scene in which Izumi saw her husband again, or when Roy Mustang saw Hawkeye again. They were short but powerful, and exactly what’s necessary to prevent this show from just going way too much over the top. This episode really had an excellent balance between that exposition and those action-scenes.

The final episodes also now look a lot more interesting, because Father now is no longer a god-moded threat that can’t be defeated. The problem with all-powerful characters is that they can also be made too powerful. When that happens, creators need to pull really weird deus ex machinas or plot-devices in order to keep these guys from just blowing everyone away. Here however, it was handled very well.
Rating: **** (Fantastic)

40 Responses

  1. Ian says:

    PRIDE IS NOT DEAD.

    ED SPARED HIM.

    ED IS THE KIND OF PERSON WHO SPARES HIS ENEMIES WHENEVER POSSIBLE.

    THIS IS NOT A SPOILER.

    IT WAS EXPLICITLY STATED WITHIN THE EPISODE THAT ED HAD NO INTENTION OF DEFEATING PRIDE BY KILLING HIM.

    THIS DISCREPANCY CANNOT GO UNPUNISHED.

    I WILL NOW SPOIL SOMETHING FOR YOU:

    SHIT.

    WILL.

    GO.

    DOWN.

  2. Ian says:

    THAT ADORABLE THING ED WAS HOLDING IN HIS HAND AFTER OBLITERATING PRIDE’S BODY WAS HIS TRUE FORM.

    AND HE WAS UTTERING “MAMA” BECAUSE ED INTENDS TO BRING HIM TO HIS ADOPTIVE MOTHER AFTER THE FINAL BATTLE ENDS, SHOULD THEY ALL SURVIVE.

    THIS WAS STATED AT THE VERY END.

    AND NO, THE ALL-CAPS TYPING IS NOT TO BE CONSIDERED SHOUTING.

    DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY.

    I JUST CAN’T STAND OVERSIGHTS TO DETAILS THAT END UP BEING MISTAKEN FOR SOMETHING ELSE.

  3. Cornwiggle says:

    It makes me wonder how he could think Pride WAS dead. Doesn’t Ed even say “You’re going to apologize to Mrs. Bradley after this is over”?

    How could you miss that part?

  4. blakraven66 says:

    “it was Hohenheim who turned out to have the final trick up his sleeve, as he too spent centuries, attempting to do something against Father’s plans”

    While I haven’t seen the ep yet, I remember it was the scene in the beginning of ep 36 was when he found out about Father’s plan which he found out accidentally (like how Ed, Al and Olivier did) while researching a way to make himself mortal to live with Trish and the kids. So it couldn’t have been centuries, more like 15 years maybe?

  5. psgels psgels says:

    Wow… FMA is serious business…

    If you want to know how I could have missed that… it was a typo. Sorry about that.

  6. Denizen says:

    Pride did effectively “die”, you nitpickers.

    You know the human boy that could wield deadly shadows? It no longer exists, instead just a foetal core called Selim. “Pride” is dead.

    Christ, you people.

  7. pgal says:

    Lol, yes FMA fans take it very seriously ;)

    @blakraven66: Agreed, it seems he learnt of Father’s exact plan while he was with Trisha, but he mostly probably spend centuries trying to figure out what Father was up to.

  8. egress63 says:

    Good grief, the amount of rage in the first three posts in unbelievable!

  9. Hana says:

    Well since everyone else wants to complain :D

    Gah, it annoys me you say “creators” since ONE person thought up this whole story and the BONES team is just following it, having nothing to do with the actual plot. >.> ONE genius cow. Not “creators”

    Okays, I’m done.

  10. Azule says:

    I got the impression Ed killed Pride and spared Selim…

    but anyway. Agreeing that this episode put all my doubts aside and agreeing its epic

  11. clinton says:

    nice to see Kimblee come back thanks to him him Ed beat Pride

  12. Cornwiggle says:

    These posts about “Ed sparing Selim” make no sense.

    Selim is not a real person, it was Pride acting like a little boy. A persona, an act.

    Pride still exists, read Grumman’s line in the final chapter; he’s still a Homunculus too. I think that now it’s a fresh start, without Father’s influence, so he won’t be evil, but he’s not a not a normal human.

  13. Ian says:

    FURTHERMORE, NO, ED DID NOT SAY HE WOULD MAKE PRIDE APOLOGIZE TO HER. ED WAS GOING TO APOLOGIZE HIMSELF.

  14. Ian says:

    And Pride IS Selim.

  15. Kane says:

    Ohhhhh man!!!!!

    That’s what it means to be A SMOOTH CRIMINAL!!!

  16. Cornwiggle says:

    Dude, why would Ed apologize to her? He didn’t do anything to her.

    The people who post on this blog are seriously missing half their brains.

    “LoOKa IM screamiNG IN CapS beCusE eVerYtHIgn IS sAY IS tHAt~!1 ImPorTaNNNNNATTT!1!”

  17. psgels psgels says:

    Cornwiggle: just because one guy abuses capslock doesn’t mean that everyone is. The vast majority of commenters here are normal, sensible people. ;)

  18. Kim says:

    Psgels just to let you know there is now an extra episode of Brotherhood. It is going to be 64 episodes instead of 63. Which is a good thing because the last chapter was over 100 pages (and without giving anything away it was wonderful). :)

  19. Kane says:

    If I were to use psgels’s rating system on this episode:

    The first half was “merely” **(Excellent).
    Then, the Scar vs. Wrath finale bumped it up to ***(Awesome).
    THEN, when Kimblee showed up, it became ****(Fantastic).

  20. Jeff says:

    Found it fairly funny when you say Mustang “saw” Hawkeye

  21. Kamibito says:

    I have to say the beginning of this episode was kinda anti-climactic. I was looking forward to see what a person who “swallowed” God can do. But the next battle alone was more than enough to make up for it.
    Though I still kinda feel Scar’s left arm is Deus Ex Machina-ish.

  22. Liebs says:

    To me, the best thing about this episode was how well Bones adapted the fight with Wrath from the manga to anime. They did something the manga didn’t do as well, and that is convey Wrath’s emotions of, well, wrath.

  23. Zaric says:

    I am SO glad they didn’t mess up the Kimblee scene, he got his proper exit from the series just like in the manga.

  24. Bobby says:

    man oh man did wrath go down in style!!! Bones really made a point of making him virtually invincible in attack mode, and it’s fitting that the only two times he gets hurt occur when his supposedly infallible eye is unexpectedly blinded, foreshadowed by ling in ep 21 when he tells bradley that he relies on his eyes too much.

    like psgels said it looks like Bones saved its money for the last few eps, from the release of souls to wrath’s all-out final attack to the counterattack vs father, i literally caught my mouth open a few times in this ep. epic end to an epic series

  25. Placinta says:

    “…Roy Mustang saw Hawkeye again…”
    Technically, he can’t see. =]

  26. Cornwiggle says:

    Scar’s left arm was the first thing shown in his flashback, and Scar’s brother’s notes are a key element of this story.

    Also take into account how much Scar has changed over this series; his arm is not deus ex machina at all.

  27. Kane says:

    I love all these Roy-bashing jokes you guys make. Freaking hilarious, especially since I don’t even like him :-p

  28. shirofox says:

    @ cornwiggle
    I believe when Ed said that he was going to apologize to Mrs. Bradley, it was because he had effectively destroyed her son.

  29. Ian says:

    For the last time, Pride was NOT killed or “effectively destroyed”. His mind was merely shattered like his unstable physical form and reverted back to a simple life form as a fail-safe of sorts to prevent him from being killed or “effectively destroyed”.

    But yes, that is the basic gist of why Ed is going to apologize to Mrs. Bradley.

  30. Cornwiggle says:

    I could have sworn in the manga chapter I read it had “You’re going to apologize”

    So that’s probably why I’m mistaking what he said. Selim would have a pretty hard apologizing and I guess destroying him (more or less) is something to apologize for while presenting what’s left.

  31. helen says:

    “They were short but powerful”

    yes, we need more of these scenes – subtlety and realism is key

  32. Topspin says:

    All I know is that I haven’t been as engrossed by a childish shounen since Gurren Lagann. But geez, people.. over-analyzing it seems like an exercise in futility. You’ll only diminish it’s impact and greatness. Let your inner child enjoy the rollercoaster ride, and don’t ruin it with pointlessly excessive analysis.

  33. Cornwiggle says:

    Gurren Lagann fucking fails.

  34. Hana says:

    Topspin, this show/manga (more so the manga) deserves some over analyzing. Hell is deserves a lot. Arakawa put a lot of research/thought and work into this series and if you give one ounce of a damn you could realize there’s a lot to be discovered in this series especially everything involving The Gate and Truth, Father, the homunculi, and Alchemy itself.

    Ever heard of Kabbalah? Go nuts Topspin. You have a lot of analyzing to do.

  35. Topspin says:

    See, Hana, you aren’t talking about the type of analysis I’m seeing above. You are referring to analyzing a great piece of entertainment in terms of it’s influences. That’s how you know it’s great – it actually inspires you to seriously consider figuring out where it drew it’s own inspiration.

    But arguing overmuch about the show itself is ridiculous and missing the point. Who cares if Pride died symbolically or physically? Or if someone missed a detail or maybe found a plothole? Sure, it wins you geek cred on a certain level, but it’s not the same thing as reading up on Merkavah mysticism, Neoplatonism, and all the other inspirations the show draws from.

  36. Reltair says:

    I liked how “Father” made himself look younger after he merged. Can’t he change his appearance to whatever he wants anyways?

  37. Hunter-Wolf says:

    @everyone

    How come no one commented on the best moment ever in the Episode .. actually in that moment the anime does surpass the manga medium .. at first i noticed the lack of an OP to fit with the grim mood (almost everyone died) .. then at the exact moment the souls return to their hosts and with the first cry of the baby the OP starts playing .. heck .. that was one of the most impactful moments in the series for me (after the first Winry/Ed/Scar scene where Winry cries).. they really played it right .. made great use of the OP song/music and timed it perfectly to create and switch the mood around .. BRAVO Bones.

  38. PicoPallino says:

    @Hunter_Wolf: That scene you found so incredible for me it was pretty cheesy. Especially the long wait until the baby finally cried. I KNEW it would cry any second as a sign of hope, everyone is alive whatever. It had no impact on me because it was just too obvious Bones was trying hard to make a nice scene. The best scene of the whole anime for me was the one when Ed saw his brother on the gate. How they played the music, the emotions, that was really great. Impressive.

  39. Bobby says:

    @PicoPallino

    I. TOTALLY. AGREE.

    i thought the OP playing as everybody got up was pretty lame, plus it took too long because they had to play most of the song as well as show that damn near every person we know was alright.

    it took time away from the action. for instance when ed/al/izumi got their alchemy back and destroyed father’s throne they cut the BGM (the music that played when Mustang killed Lust, probably the best piece of music in the entire series) and the way they cut it kinda ruined the impact of the “the fightback begins” scene for me.

    and then after ed destroyed pride’s body and put him on his coat, they quickly cut to him walking away because they were about out of time… because of the long, cheesy OP sequence

    also agree that the best they’ve combined the OP/ED music into the actual show was Ed/Al meeting at the Gate. one of of the best episodes of the entire series IMHO

  40. Pride being alive at the end of the series really highlights a big theme overall: “pride” keeps us going.

    A majority of the characters showed a lot of pride in themselves throughout the series.

    I actually wrote about how the series shows that pride can be beneficial for survival. You can read it at: http://www.mangatherapy.com/post/806561122/pridesymbolism-fma

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  • Bam
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 10:50 PM)
    They places that mattered they still control in some form, and they will till the blood diamonds run out. You know what makes the world go around, right? That’s what most wars and conflicts really come down to.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 10:47 PM)
    @Ninja: The Spanish went harder because they saw gold in the Americas, where in Africa they were greeted by non-favorable climate and disease.
  • ninjarealist
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 10:47 PM)
    @Bam But yes, I do ultimately agree with you that you can never look to one factor to explain the course of events. I just disagree with you about the importance of weaponry in this case.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 10:46 PM)
    It definitely didn’t help that that many regional tribes and city-states were on the verge of collapse when they got there neither.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 10:44 PM)
    @Vincent: I think when we have cases of thousands of people dying and whole cities ruined by preemptive synchronous canon-fire then it is probably pretty safe to assume that it was a factor.
  • ninjarealist
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 10:44 PM)
    @Bam Comparative history is an inherently sketchy endeavor. But my pursuit of it comes from my view of history as falling under the humanities whereas you treat it more like a social science. I’m merely using the analysis to illustrate how, despite the massive technological difference in both cases, things nonetheless went much worse for the Americans, and you have to look at the other factors to explain why.
  • Vincent
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 10:43 PM)
    The Spanish took advantage of rivalries and played them off against each other.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 10:42 PM)
    @afgm: I believe your competent enough to search the internet on your own and see the facts for yourself and then come play freshmen anecdotes with us, but here: James Lockhart and Stuart Schwartz, Early Latin America: A History of Colonial Spanish America and Brazil. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1983.
  • Vincent
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 10:42 PM)
    @Bam It is different in Africa. But South America was a different story. Military power didn’t factor in early on in the invasion.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 10:40 PM)
    @Ninja: the thing about decisive factors is: you’re never going to find a single one. These things are always an amalgamation of various ecological, economic, political, environmental and cultural factors; but this is no excuse to write off the vast difference of military technology as not a major contributor.

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