Watch & Learn: Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood #4

Topic started by No_name_here on July 16, 2010. Last post by Contra 4 years, 5 months ago.
Post by No_name_here (856 posts) See mini bio Level 11
Staff

  Probably the densest creepy scientist in the history of fiction.
 Probably the densest creepy scientist in the history of fiction.
You know, there’s a lot said about there being different kinds of intelligence. There’s books smarts, there’s street smarts, there’s even love smarts (the kind Dr. Phil’s always harps on.) And, a lot of times, expertise with one takes away from understanding of the other. Take this Shou Tucker guy. Clearly, a brilliant bio-alchemist. He’s successfully bucked the “transmutation of human flesh” taboo and made no less than two Chimeras out of the women in his family. Well, he obviously doesn’t know how to love smart, but he’s also lacking in common sense. Did he honestly think he was going to be able hide what happened to his daughter from the Brothers Elric? Did the scenario play out something like this in his mind…?

Ed and Al enter the room. They find Shou standing over a dog with long, human hair.

ED: Where’s Nina?

SHOU: Oh, I don’t know.

ED: Hm… that’s weird. Hey, where’d that cute dog come from?

And Shou exclaims that he’s surprised Ed figured out his ruse so quickly? I’m not going to allow a “Well, he’s crazy” excuse, here. He’s just dumb. 
 

  This girl also needed to learn that barking won't renew her Dad's status.
 This girl also needed to learn that barking won't renew her Dad's status.

Hey! That’s probably why he was having problems with renewing his alchemist status in the first place.

Aside from that, this show continues to dance that endearingly-jarring ballet of quaint comedy and disturbing horror. Scene to scene, you really don’t know what you’re going to get. One scene, you’re watching Ed play red rover with the little girl and make sock puppets out of his cyborg arm. The next, you’re watching unholy monstrosities that were once innocent women and girls pleading for the release of death.

It'll be interesting to see where this scar guy’s righteous crusade goes, but I’m not going to try speculate. What’s more intriguing is how absurdly powerful the alchemy’s got in this episode. I can get behind these combat mages pulling stone walls out of the ground and flinging ice at each other. I don’t know about them summoning 20 cannons out of thin air and totally repairing complex machines like radios with just a touch. This seems less “steampunk  scientist” than “pied piper.”
 
Anyway, watch this episode, "A Forger's Love" below and here, and read my comments about the previous episode here

  

-- Tom Pinchuk is the writer of UNIMAGINABLE for Arcana Studios and HYBRID BASTARDS! for Archaia. Pre-order the HYBRID BASTARDS! hardcover now on Amazon.com.

Post by SamJaz (13,064 posts) See mini bio Level 20
Shou Tucker was just wrong in the head, one way or another. And You're right about Alchemy being powerful. On the other hand, so is everyone else, so it evens out.
Post by sotyfan16 (1,341 posts) See mini bio Level 20

Alchemy is a mysterious science. Powerful, of course, but equally unknown. Tucker disgusts me. Doing what he did just for the sake of science and becoming a State Alchemist? Scar has his own agenda but he's not the only party at work.You still have the woman in black and Gluttony (I won't say more than that). 
 
FMA would be an entirely different anime/manga if the odd and sometimes awkward mix of comedy was absent. The animation/art would be darker, as would everything else. I appreciate it's not like that or I may not like it as much.

Post by Gasero (167 posts) See mini bio Level 9
I appreciate the difference in power of the alchemists. It shows a clear distinction between different people and their interests and talents in regards to how they approach the science. It also shows that some alchemists are able to comprehend more than others, and take advantage of that.
 
How cool is it that Mustang developed a system of alchemy where he is able to create fire because of the molecules in the air? The first episode we saw a guy that used his alchemy to make ice. And then there is Armstrong that uses his alchemy to take advantage of his strength. It's amazing how the concepts of alchemy are manipulated to showcase a diverse cast of characters - just like most shonen anime have a bunch of characters with different powers/abilities.
 
FMA would have probably been a little boring if everyone did the same thing.
Post by frsty13 (30 posts) See mini bio Level 5
Honestly, I enjoyed this part of the story in the first FMA anime more than this one.  You hit the nail on the head when you said you point out how it goes from cute to disturbing at times. 
 
The obvious difference between FMA and FMA:Brotherhood's renditions of this part of the story is that the first FMA set this up as 2 episodes, while Brotherhood condenses it down to 1.  In the first series, they spend an entire episode building up Ed and Al's relationship with the Tucker family (with it highlighting Nina as much as possible).  This only made the events of the 2nd episode more disturbing (Shau combining Nina and their pet dog to save his licence). 
 
I've never hated a character in an anime more than Shau Tucker after seeing these episodes. 
 
Personally, I think that the first series is better than Brotherhood in the parts where they overlap.  Yes, some of it could have been condensed as Brotherhood did, but I think Brotherhood lost a lot in the editing (or the first series gained a lot from this "filler", depending on how you look at it).  Once it starts to move away from territory that its predecessor covered, Brotherhood really starts to shine.  Until then it felt like the Cliffs Notes version of an amazing part of the story.
Post by zaldar (1,298 posts) See mini bio Level 15
Wow I really disagree...brotherhood is so much better, even in these early places where they overlap.  I agree that Tucker is a terrible terrible person and I hate him that is for sure...
Post by SamJaz (13,064 posts) See mini bio Level 20
@frsty13: Brotherhood had to condense 30 episodes of material into 13 episodes, in order not to bore people with stuff they'd seen before. Where they overlapped, The 2003 series had the freedom to do it fully and comfortably. In Brotherhood, however, they were trying to avoid people shouted "WE DONE THIS! GET ON WITH IT!" and skipping ahead to episode 13, when the differences between the two series's storylines really began much earlier, and they didn't want people to miss those bits, nor did they want to get prematurely cancelled due to lack of an audience during the overlapping bits.
Post by frsty13 (30 posts) See mini bio Level 5
@SamJaz: Oh I understand that they had to condense the series since it was half as long as the first one.  I was saying that more in regards to Tom_Pinchuk's reaction to the episode, who I don't believe has seen the first series.  The first one really fleshes out some characters a lot better than Brotherhood did, such as Tucker, Mayes Hughes, and Mustang's squad (Brotherhood did a much better job with Hawkeye though).  Some of this is because of the roles each of them play in the later story, but one particular event (not giving away spoilers, but I think it's pretty close to where the two series start to really split if that gives any indication) loses something by not building up the character as much.  (Also, I prefered the more 'human' personalities they gave some of the Homunculi in the first series, but that's neither here nor there)
 
@zaldar: I'm not saying Brotherhood isn't a great series, and I'd have to say the ending in particular was way better and more satisfying.  However, the first series really blew me away with how human the characters were.  I was about to stop watching the series until the introduction of Le Ping.  The only favor they did themselves by shortening this early half is (like SamJaz pointed out) to get past ground that was covered in the first series and start to really shine as its own story.
Post by SamJaz (13,064 posts) See mini bio Level 20
@frsty13: Well, if you're lucky, we might get Fullmetal Alchemist Kai in 2018 or something.
Post by rubberluffy (596 posts) See mini bio Level 16
@frsty13:
Brotherhood didn't "condense" this story arc, the first anime added filler to it and dragged it out.  The whole Tucker arc in the manga is one chapter (this one 44 pages), and Nina is only in it as a normal girl for 15 pages, and she's not even in all of those.   The fight with Basque in this ep is also anime only to help show Scar a bit earlier.  Compared to other episodes, this one covers less manga (1 chapter with some filler, compare to 1.5-2 chapters for a lot of other episodes).
Post by frsty13 (30 posts) See mini bio Level 5
@rubberluffy: 
@frsty13
said:
"Yes, some of it could have been condensed as Brotherhood did, but I think Brotherhood lost a lot in the editing (or the first series gained a lot from this "filler", depending on how you look at it).  Once it starts to move away from territory that its predecessor covered, Brotherhood really starts to shine.  Until then it felt like the Cliffs Notes version of an amazing part of the story. "
I'm aware that this one followed the manga more.  Still, I wouldn't say the first anime dragged it out per-se.  It may have been "filler", but they used it to really define the characters more and ultimately made the series better for it. 
 
What they added to the first anime really defines the difference between that one and Brotherhood.  Brotherhood felt more like an anime or manga in terms of the characters, whereas most of the first series focused on building up the "human" qualities of the characters and made them feel more well defined to me (with some exception...you really can't pull off Alex Louis Armstrong without being wayyyy over the top).  Personally, I found the first series to be the stronger of the two in the area that they cover the same ground because of this "filler".  The whole point of my first comment was that he might want to check out the first series in these early episodes because it doesn't feel like it's going from "cute" to "disturbing" as quickly and the reasons for that jump is fleshed out way better.  
Post by nephrahim (11 posts) See mini bio Level 5
This is a pretty...  interesting episode  (Hard to think of another way to put it.).  It's really where things get started (In my head, at least.  Yes, the Ice Alchemist and Lior were important, but the Elric brothers could have avoided them with no change to the story.) 
 
That said...    Later in the story, it becomes pretty clear   Tucker isn't nearly as brilliant as you might think.  I don't want to spoil it, but it turns out that His extreme measures were clearly compensating for his lack of talent (Which is why he needs to do this to keep his license.)
Post by Contra (28 posts) See mini bio Level 9
@nephrahim: 
Yeah.  Considering later stuff, to me, what he is doing is actually more evil then it even seemed at the time.
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