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)