I can’t believe I haven’t given any props to lil’ miss May Chan yet. Her voice actress is charming, she's cute and she can kick ass (believably,) it’s just plain fun to see the animators render her mess of pigtails... and she’s got real moxie! Seriously, her showing no fear against Father and ordering Ed & Al to take on the “small fish” of Pride was one of those great moments of courage that actually inspire you instead of bashing you on the head with the point.
One of these days, I’d be curious to find how much “real” occultism this show uses as a base for its own mythos. Alchemy and homunculi are, of course, from historical traditions. The Philosophers’ Stones seem to have been combined with carmot, the red alchemy-enabling solution. Alkahestry’s got an equivalent in Eastern alchemy, basically. However, I wonder how much more was invented for the show - - particularly the notion that an alchemist needs a proper sigil to conduct magic. I was thinking about that with Scar’s big reveal of his construction tattoos. Even it was made-up totally, it's still a very fitting arc for the character to embrace both his brother's heretical studies and his enemies' ways.Actually, refresh me, what was it that got him to mend his ways? Was it the time he got spared by Winry? Or was it just that dialog with the other surviving Ishvalans?
Something I’ve noticed is that a lot of climaxes in anime seem to revolve around one of the characters becoming some sort of blank, giant versions of themselves. Father’s colossal form HERE joins those I’ve already seen in EVA, PAPRIKA, even GURREN LAGANN to an extent. Out all of the times that conceit’s been used, though, I’d say that Father’s planet-sized ritual is certainly the most awe-inspiring. There’s just something sublimely wrong about that image of him opening a world-sized portal and reaching for the Moon, taking astrology to whole new level of influence, power and perversion. It visualizes a perversion of natural laws that recalls Faust and the stories of the Golem to me, but with a hell of a lot more menace. I'm just dying to see what happens next.
Watch this episode “Eye of Heaven, Gateway of Earth,” below and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.