Sheesh... we’ve talked a bit about the viability of American adaptations of anime and I can’t help thinking that Spielberg would glomm to this - - absentee fathers show up a lot in his work. Just imagine this in live action… with cinematography Janusz Kaminiski and a full orchestral score by John Williams. I suppose if they did turn FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST into the movie, they either tip it into a more kid-friendly zone or a more adult zone, because it’s straddling an odd line between the two right now. Like I’ve always said, the show feels like “DUCK TALES does FAUST” and here you’ve got one of the most transressive acts - - digging up your mother grave - - rendered in such a bright and friendly style.
I should remark that it was quite accurate the way Ed’s Dad got into his head like that. He becomes obsessed with digging this grave up, thrusting his head down into the worms and all, because of something simple, but direct, that his Dad said. It's actually a very insightful observation.
Another great insight is the conclusion Al makes about the fragility of his current existence not being that much different from that of regular human life. Death is always around the corner, either way. Although, is he going through puberty in that big suit (we showed you Comic Con that he’s packing nothing under that loincloth.) Am I supposed to read his line about "being alone at night" as him wanting a girl?
And so all these alchemists are just creating fleshed dummies, not malformed resurrectees? If that's the case, then those things are all technically homunculi.
I think it’s funny how Ed’s arc progresses here; not by him maturing about his inadequacies, but by him physically changing. You know, he frets about being short, Winry even says she could never marry a man who was so short. And what's the button line of this episode? It's her swooning, remarking “I’ve never noticed that his shoulders were so broad.”Nobody's learning everything, except maybe the value of drinking your milk.
Watch this episode, “Father Before the Grave,” below make your own decisions, and then read my comments on the previous episode here.
Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE . Order them on Amazon here & here .