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FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST #12 - - Watch & Learn

The sky looks BLOOD red. Hint hint.

Which animator in the Bones staff just loves to draw Gatling guns? It feels if there’s ever an available opportunity for something to be transmutated into a six-barrel MG, that opportunity is taken - - even though it would seem to contradict the rules of alchemy that get hammered into our heads at the beginning of each episode. Yeah, there might be enough available matter to turn into whatever metal befits the weapon; but that’s not taking into account all the varied moving parts, chemicals and bountiful ammo needed to sustain such a furious rate out of fired projectiles.

C’mon, didn’t anybody watch TERMINATOR 2?

Again, I’m not really seeking out the opportunity to split hairs about some silly suspension-of-disbelief details here, but the guns might as well as be ACME-brand mallets being pulled out of these alchemists' pockets. For a franchise that otherwise takes great lengths to assure its own internal consistency, these gags really do stick out as additions put in by people who don’t quite “get” the property their handling. (Yes, it’s another comparison point for BROTHERHOOD).

Past that, this was another shrug-inducing episode. It’s a little interesting to see another angle offered on how Philosophers’ Stones are created. I always thought that was one of the more fascinating parts of the FMA world. A magical item that not only offers an alternative for villains who don’t have alchemical skills, but also wraps the quandary of equivalent exchange into a sort-of “blood debt” that spookily mirrors Ed and Al’s original transgression.

Again, this does offer more time to put a sympathetic face on the victims, but it’s also tied up in a rather limp conclusion to another extraneous addition to the larger story. It also feels like we’re missing some important story beat where the faux Edward Elric suddenly went from being a callous junior con-man to a sympathetic, misunderstand young man who just wants to cooperate with the good guys.

Well, at least Lust is finally showing up. Maybe this means we’ll finally see this meandering wagon put back on the right track?

Watch this episode, "Earth of Gravel, Part 2" here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

sickVisionz moderator on Jan. 2, 2013 at 2:46 p.m.

If you enjoy stuff about the stone and alchemy talk, this series goes pretty deep into it once the story splits from the manga.

zaldaron Jan. 2, 2013 at 5:19 p.m.

@sickVisionz: of course it does so rather poorly and the take the actual manga takes on it is much much better.

Kino88on Jan. 2, 2013 at 6:03 p.m.

agreed, shrug it,

sickVisionz moderator on Jan. 2, 2013 at 7:39 p.m.

@zaldar: We have total opposite views on these series.

zaldaron Jan. 16, 2013 at 9:48 a.m.

@sickVisionz: Yup!

Dig Deeper into Fullmetal Alchemist

Fullmetal Alchemist is a tale of two brothers traveling the world seeking the cure to the physical afflictions they suffer as a result of their experimentation with alchemy.

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