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Watch & Learn: FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST BROTHERHOOD #27

Glad this was a dream...

   Crimes against humanity would probably follow the crimes against good taste he's committing with that pony tail.
 Crimes against humanity would probably follow the crimes against good taste he's committing with that pony tail.

Phew… I'm so glad it was only a dream, because those exploding kids would’ve made Hohenheim absolutely diabolical. People were warning me about this being another clip show, but I feel like it’s warranted. The plot’s so complex, you do need some help to connect the dots from time to time and - - much like the board presentation in EVA - - this “series recap as psychodrama” conceit is pretty brilliant and quite involving.

At first, I figured that Hohenheim might have some kind of evil duplicate who's doing all the bad stuff. Knowing that the Alchemical kids eventually travel to Shamballah (and, thus, there’s already some Tibetan mysticism afoot) I figured it was this creature who I can’t, for the life of me, remember the name of.  Much like a homunculus, it's a doppleganger that Tibetan monks will will into existence. A trippy, kind of unnerving, concept... but it doesn't matter, because Hohenheim was dreaming the whole time! 

If all these alchemists are really getting arranged around the city as sacrifices on a giant alter, then I'm getting some serious FROM HELL vibes here. That comic proposed that Jack the Ripper’s killing’s formed a pentagram on the “alter” of London and the blood letting was a sacrifice for a Byzantine ritual to give birth to the spirit of the 20th century. Then again, maybe that's a little esoteric, even for this show...

Seems like we’re going to be introduced to some more sins through the course of this season, even though the last opener made it seem like the Xingy bunch were going to be a much bigger part of the show than they actually were. I’ll agree with Rubberluffy that the outro’s kind of lame. Maybe it's just there to remind everybody that Winry's still around.

Since this is a season marker, I'm going to take a (short) break while I feature some other shows on Watch & Learn. Stay tuned tomorrow to see what the new shows are. Actually, before we depart from FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST , I just want to say that seeing the show recapped like this (and in subbed form) reminds me of the amusing, kind-of silly double-standards there are regarding pronunciations in anime. I've run into so many fans who're such sticklers about saying "ah-nee-may" versus "anne-nee-may" like it's some grievous case of cultural insensitivity , yet the cast of this show is consistently mispronouncing all the English names and terms.  

Watch this episode, “Interlude Party,” 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 .  Follow Tom on Twitter:   @tompinchuk

ninjadude853on Nov. 14, 2010 at 9:02 p.m.
 Shamballah?
 
Are you talking about the movie? 
 
Because that's part of the first anime.
rubberluffyon Nov. 14, 2010 at 9:15 p.m.
I really like the little filler story with Hohenheim here.  Especially the part at the end, "Remember the days you spent with us in Resembool."
 
Also, little injoke here, Hohenheim is drinking Stray Dog, which is the name of a manga that creator Hiromu Arakawa worked on prior to starting FMA. 
 
And yes, the third ending is the only one out of all 5 openings and all 5 endings that I actively dislike.  I have never gotten used to it nor warmed up to it.  Although in the animation for it, Winry's boobs got a total upgrade.  
zaldaron Nov. 14, 2010 at 10:28 p.m.
NO!!! Don't take a break from this!  This show is so epic and it is just getting good!!!  
 
" If all these alchemists are really getting arranged around the city as sacrifices on a giant alter, then I'm getting some serious FROM HELL vibes here. That comic proposed that Jack the Ripper’s killing’s formed a pentagram on the “alter” of London and the blood letting was a sacrifice for a Byzantine ritual to give birth to the spirit of the 20th century. Then again, maybe that's a little esoteric, even for this show... " 
 
From Hell doesn't begin to touch the esoteric nature of this show...remember this is anime where even the kids shows have crazy plots and Trippe philosophical ideas.  I mean really in sailor moon (a show aimed at 8 year olds) the main character travels to the future meets herself grown up and travels back in time with her kid...so the kid can learn to behave...and then figures out she hates her kid because of the way she acts...then figures out SHE ACTS THE SAME WAY...cue the transition to the sane adults they both need to be.  Anime trippy the way we want to be.  Even in kids shows...
zaldaron Nov. 14, 2010 at 10:41 p.m.
Actually that would make a good poster...show sailor moon with her daughter...caption
 
Yes that's her daughter...from the future...yes they don't get along, because they are both bratty...yes this is a show aimed at 8 year olds...
 
Anime as trippy as it wants to be since 1980
SamJazon Nov. 14, 2010 at 10:47 p.m.
Noone goes to Shamballa in this series. That's the last series, which was messed.
Not spoiling this one, but in the last series, turned out that whenever someone in FMA used alchemy, someone in our world died, and Ed Elric went over to seal the alchemic link or something, it was really weird and should be avoided.
 
And I'm sadly that your dropping this for a time, but can appreciate why. At least this time you know it's good stuff and you look forward to picking it up. I can only hope you pick up a short series until then.
sotyfan16on Nov. 15, 2010 at 4:15 a.m.

Hohenheim has quite the dream. This ep makes me really curious as to how old and what the hell he and Father are as they look very alike. Maybe Father is Hohenheim's father? I just don't know. I'm also sad about the break and will await the continuation of the Watch & Learn to pick this series back up. 

@rubberluffy: 
I thought there was something about the name but I counted it as having a meaning to who Hohenheim is as a person. In addition, I very much like scotch whiskey. Oh, and I also thought that Winry had "grown up" (and I liked it).

@SamJaz: 
While the original FMA didn't follow the story right I did like it. While the ending was sorely not liked by many I found it very interesting that the effects of alchemy took place in an alternate universe.

No_name_here staff on Nov. 15, 2010 at 11:50 a.m.
@rubberluffy said:
I have never gotten used to it nor warmed up to it.  Although in the animation for it, Winry's boobs got a total upgrade.   "
Does that not count for something?
No_name_here staff on Nov. 15, 2010 at 11:54 a.m.
@zaldar said:
" NO!!! Don't take a break from this!  This show is so epic and it is just getting good!!!        
Don't fret, my friend. Frosty'll be back a-gain some-daaaaaaay...
  From Hell doesn't begin to touch the esoteric nature of this show...remember this is anime where even the kids shows have crazy plots and Trippe philosophical ideas.  I mean really in sailor moon (a show aimed at 8 year olds) the main character travels to the future meets herself grown up and travels back in time with her kid...so the kid can learn to behave...and then figures out she hates her kid because of the way she acts...then figures out SHE ACTS THE SAME WAY...cue the transition to the sane adults they both need to be.  Anime trippy the way we want to be.  Even in kids shows... "
See, that sounds superhero comic complicated. Convoluted? Yeah. Esoteric? Not quite. Have you read FROM HELL? It basically weaves London's entire occult history together. 
rubberluffyon Nov. 15, 2010 at 12:20 p.m.
@Tom_Pinchuk: 
Well...a little. but not enough to make me not fast-forward through it.  It is just a weird song.  Not that the third opening, Golden Time Lover, isn't a bit weird too, but it has an AWESOME animation to it.  It actually took me a few listens before I liked it, but yeah, definitely my favorite now.
No_name_here staff on Nov. 15, 2010 at 1:47 p.m.
@SamJaz said:
" Noone goes to Shamballa in this series. That's the last series, which was messed. Not spoiling this one, but in the last series, turned out that whenever someone in FMA used alchemy, someone in our world died, and Ed Elric went over to seal the alchemic link or something, it was really weird and should be avoided.    
 Yeah that does sound really silly. I can see why people got miffed about the digressions the original anime took with the manga.
  And I'm sadly that your dropping this for a time, but can appreciate why. At least this time you know it's good stuff and you look forward to picking it up. I can only hope you pick up a short series until then. "
We'll be back sooner than later. The break will be much shorter than last time. It's just this series is 60 odd episodes, so I don't want this feature to be months of continuous coverage for one show.
SamJazon Nov. 15, 2010 at 1:49 p.m.
@Tom_Pinchuk: Completely fair. Be back soon.
No_name_here staff on Nov. 15, 2010 at 1:49 p.m.
@sotyfan16 said:
"

Hohenheim has quite the dream. This ep makes me really curious as to how old and what the hell he and Father are as they look very alike. Maybe Father is Hohenheim's father? I just don't know. I'm also sad about the break and will await the continuation of the Watch & Learn to pick this series back up. 

They're hinting rather blatantly that the two are one-and-the-same. That's why I wondered about the Tibetan mystical duplicate.  But it's probably just a red herring.
SamJazon Nov. 15, 2010 at 1:52 p.m.
@Tom_Pinchuk: No, they're not the same person. But you're on the right lines. Important to note the difference in hair colour.
bobber205on Nov. 15, 2010 at 10:30 p.m.
I didn't like the third ending not because of the song but because of the way they over sexualized Winry. I really thought FMA did a good job up until then bucking the trend.
vergiliuson Nov. 16, 2010 at 2:05 p.m.
@bobber205: To be fair, there are tons of awesome female characters in this show.
sotyfan16on Nov. 16, 2010 at 8:03 p.m.
@Tom_Pinchuk:
I really thought they were one in the same as well until part way through this series. Can't wait to figure out the mystery!
zaldaron Nov. 17, 2010 at 4:18 p.m.
@Tom_Pinchuk said:
" @zaldar said:
" NO!!! Don't take a break from this!  This show is so epic and it is just getting good!!!        
Don't fret, my friend. Frosty'll be back a-gain some-daaaaaaay...
  From Hell doesn't begin to touch the esoteric nature of this show...remember this is anime where even the kids shows have crazy plots and Trippe philosophical ideas.  I mean really in sailor moon (a show aimed at 8 year olds) the main character travels to the future meets herself grown up and travels back in time with her kid...so the kid can learn to behave...and then figures out she hates her kid because of the way she acts...then figures out SHE ACTS THE SAME WAY...cue the transition to the sane adults they both need to be.  Anime trippy the way we want to be.  Even in kids shows... "
See, that sounds superhero comic complicated. Convoluted? Yeah. Esoteric? Not quite. Have you read FROM HELL? It basically weaves London's entire occult history together.  "
I have read parts of from hell and it was interesting but this so is much more esoteric.  Remember my description was about sailor moon a show targeted at 8 year olds which FMA is most definitly not targeted at.  I don't remember the comics I read as an 8 year old and certainly not the cartoons I watched being that complicated.  I mean transformers didn't get near that crazy...

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