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FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST #7 - - Watch & Learn

Wherein we compare tragic death scenes...

For the record, “dog of the military” always sounded like a term cooked up by somebody who hadn’t any experience with the subject outside of maybe some table-top RPG she’d played. And it sounds all the more ridiculous when its first significant usage in this series coincides with a little girl getting fused with an actual shaggy dog for a defense project.

If that observation seems morbidly jokey, I assure you it’s only so because I’m trying to fight back the sorrow of watching this innocent tyke suffer such a horrific fate, once more - - and after an even more prolonged set-up, this time around! Here was one of the better early episodes of BROTHERHOOD: Ed and Al getting put through a poignant life lesson about the true seriousness of what they’re dealing with.

Speaking of which - - were these kids presented as being 12 and 11 in that version? I suppose I’m splitting hairs when I’m voicing disbelief suspension issues with that particular detail but, sheesh, even making them 16 and 15 would be more believable. They’d still be wildly prodigious at those ages, and here’s a world of development between 12 and 16. Why not just make Ed a nine-year-old then, if it doesn’t matter? What’s the cut-off?

(Perhaps this prepubescence the real explanation for Ed’s bafflingly-sexless romantic tension with Winry?)

While we’re still comparing this version with BROTHERHOOD, I’ve got to say that Scar gets the lamest-ass introduction here. Honestly, which do you prefer…

A vengeful heretic who’s already raising hell for the State Alchemists when he first appears?

Or a mild-mannered amnesiac who just kind-of ambles into these shenagigans?

Got to say, Nina’s murder carried a lot more weight when it was being done by the first Scar I’ve described.

Watch this episode, "Night of the Chimera's Cry" 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

FoxxFireArt moderator on Dec. 10, 2012 at 12:34 p.m.

This original anime series is pretty much littered with scenes that are well enough, but never hold the same weight as it's original concept. Scar was much more intimidating in the original manga appearance, the way he was shown in BROTHERHOOD.

I really believe the original anime zoomed through this part of the series was to get past events over and done with. They didn't want to spend too much time retelling the smae story and wanted to get to the stuff they never got to animate before.

AgentJon Dec. 10, 2012 at 12:47 p.m.

@FoxxFireArt said:

I really believe the original anime zoomed through this part of the series was to get past events over and done with. They didn't want to spend too much time retelling the same story and wanted to get to the stuff they never got to animate before.

Yeah, they were really stuck between a rock and a hard place even by considering the concept. Either tell the same story the way it was meant to be told, in the process rehashing the original animation project and potentially boring lots of fans. OR, truncate all of those early scenes, limiting their effectiveness to move on to the material not yet animated.

Personally, I would have just as soon seen them start from where events begin to branch off, but there certainly would have been a strange tonal shift, as well as the new art style which would have been jarring for anyone whose first experience of FMA was with Brotherhood.

tristenkw5on Dec. 10, 2012 at 7:20 p.m.

You know, not EVERYTHING needs to be done In Media Res.

Again, seeing Scar the first time fresh in this series paints him in a different light. I think this series goes for more of a slow progression of his actions, which is fine too. Jumping straight to the part where he's all pissed and causing havoc is fine as well, but no more exciting. A more thoughtful, world-searching Scar to begin with leaves a lot of questions about the man for new viewers to contemplate on.

Amnesia as a story device may be cliched, but for a side character as opposed to the protagonist, it has more potential. In this case, you learn along side Scar exactly why he should be so angry, and so you don't just see him as another ignorantly vengeful reckless villain. Which is almost more cliched.

I think this series overall goes for more slow burns and set ups that pay off, and that isn't a problem until you feel like it's BROTHERHOOD at half speed.

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