Anime Vice News

FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST #25 - - Watch & Learn

Skipping ahead to the point where this show "gets good?"

Following the general consensus of advice offered in the last write-up’s talk back, I’ve opted to skip over a half-season to the point where (as I’m told) this version starts making up in its own material. I suppose, through a certain angle, this means we have a show here that might actually take 25 episodes to “get good” - - and that’s a concept you’ll only ever come across in anime fandom, I reckon.

(As an aside, I haven’t felt this liberated in a viewing experience since I realized I could run TASTE OF CHERRY at 3X speed and still read all its subtitles when I had to research a paper on Iranian cinema in film school. I still cherish the solid hour of precious, breathing life that saved me).

Anyway… EIGHT-YEAR-OLD SPOILER ALERT!

This episode handles the point where Hughes learns too much about the Homunculi’s conspiracy and pays the highest price for it - - a point that occurred fairly early in BROTHERHOOD, as I recall. Again, this version does develop the moment a bit a more, providing more details to support Hughes’ conclusions, and also showing the State Alchemist putting up the fight he logically should put up against these bad guys.

What’s funny about watching this version is that it make does make clearer the moments in BROTHERHOOD which seemed to carry a certain amount of significance without necessary set-up. I do think that version was quite accessible on its own merits, but there were portions - - such as the tragedy of Hughes’ death and the sort of “street cred” Mustang carried around with him - - which built on audience expectations built in this version. Hughes didn’t get a quarter of the time to earn sympathy points, of course, and Mustang didn’t do anything cool before we were supposed to understand him to cool.

I’m liking this experiment. For the sake of novelty, I might just hop around through the rest of the season instead of doing any more sequences. My finger’s on the fast-forward button, already - - why stop pushing it?

Watch this episode, "Words of Farewell" 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

jj_jacksonon Jan. 9, 2013 at 11:11 a.m.

Probably shouldnt skipp the whole greed ordeal though or else things will maybe get a bit confusing later on in this version for you. Also the yock island thing you shouldnt skip either..which is the "all is one and one is all" episode. deff dont skip Theory of Avarice.

AgentJon Jan. 9, 2013 at 12:44 p.m.

If you had no prior knowledge of FMA, I imagine everything that has happened up to this point would feel fresh and fun for you. So I can't say that it is a series that takes 25 episodes to get going.

ComicMan24on Jan. 9, 2013 at 2:52 p.m.

This version did do a few things better. Like with Hughes. He actually spent years next to the Elric who were there when his daughter was born (they even helped a bit with that) unlike with Brotherhood where they just met a few weeks before he died IIRC. And generally imo this version handled a few emotional scenes better.

@AgentJ said:

If you had no prior knowledge of FMA, I imagine everything that has happened up to this point would feel fresh and fun for you. So I can't say that it is a series that takes 25 episodes to get going.

True. Because I had seen this version first, when I started watching Brotherhood, I actually thought that it was quite boring at first since it was pretty much showing us things that had already be shown before in this version. It got better after episode 15 when they started introducing new things.

sickVisionz moderator on Jan. 9, 2013 at 3:15 p.m.

I'd really suggest against continuing to fast forward. This and the warehouse fight are where the series get wildly different and skipping around will just leave you confused. It only made sense here because it's telling pretty much the exact same story that you're already familiar with.

@AgentJ said:

If you had no prior knowledge of FMA, I imagine everything that has happened up to this point would feel fresh and fun for you. So I can't say that it is a series that takes 25 episodes to get going.

Yeah. I agree with this. I think it was a case of having already seen the same content in an abridged format really lessening Tom's enjoyment of it and not it being a series that takes 25 episodes to get good.

Kino88on Jan. 9, 2013 at 7:45 p.m.

ugh...... why did there have to be two of these shows, its such a pain

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