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?