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Watch & Learn: FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST BROTHERHOOD #50

Anime is the medium of the gasp...

    For my benefit, Ms. Ross needs to go everywhere with a nametag on her vest and a resume taped to her back.
 For my benefit, Ms. Ross needs to go everywhere with a nametag on her vest and a resume taped to her back.
 I've concluded that anime is the medium of the gasp. Every single time there's a reaction shot, it's a character making some kind of audible question mark. Sometimes it happens for four separate characters in quick succession! Hell, I've noticed these little moments are even illustrated in manga!

And, oh man, this is the hardest it’s been to wait for the next episode to come. What will happen now that the homuncu-zombi have been activated? My restraint will have to reach new levels, of course. It is really hard to believe we’re actually done to the final part of the story. Aren’t there still 12 or 14 more episodes left? That's hell of a length for climax et denouement.  

I sense that the thrust of this final part is going to depend on who gains control of the reanimated-and-created army. My initial guess was that it'd be Olivier, but the playing field's a lot less clear cut than I originally figured.  It is fascinating to watch this country's inter-departmental politics unfold (definitely reminding me of the various coups and in-fighting in Nazi Germany.)  Maybe Ms. Armstrong isn't going to get control of the goons, but I'm loving how she's handling her enemies.  Even though she caps the one guy so coldly, I still prefer her approach to non-lethal solutions on the whole over Vash's - - it's a lot more effective and mean, not limp and wishy washy. C'mom... she totally maims that one guy! Zombie army or no,  I think I've finally seen a proper heiress to Sarah Connor's title as the gal-you-don't-ever-mess-with.  
 
Al, on the other hand, is increasingly looking like the chump-you-can-mess-with-however-you-please. I still can't get over how he's just letting Pride just mock him like that - - and it looks like a lot more than his dignity is at stake now. I'm pretty sure the kid's sending messages to Father in morse code through that thing.   

We some cool street-and-pavement gunfights with Mustang's crew that recalls HEAT for me but, good lord, I'm having the hardest time keeping track of these tertiary characters in the army. It's been a long time since they've shown up and it's really hard to remember who they are when they don't have immediately noticeable ticks. What was Maria Ross' deal again? She was discharged, right?  
 
We're running out of space,  but it's worth noting that there were some surprisingly-touching character moments in this one. Mrs. Bradley questioning whether Wrath has forsaken her or if they’ve both been forsaken by the state, Hohenheim walking away with Lan Fan so he can get her to fess up to her feelings for Ling.... it's moving stuff!

Watch this episode, “Upheaval in Central,” below and decide for yourself, 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 him on Twitter:  @tompinchuk

FoxxFireArt moderator on Jan. 19, 2011 at 3:14 a.m.
I've been marathoning FMA: Brotherhood to try and catch up with these articles. Figures I'd start wanting when these are so nearing the finale.
I've been astounded at just how poorly the episode profiles are filled out on Anime Vice. Some pages are missing key characters and some have utterly no information on them in the final episodes. I'm at episode 41, now. All the key locations of this world have profiles now, and I've created character profiles for some of the lesser character cast.
 
You really forgot about Maria Ross?? I have a hard time forgetting beautiful women. She was framed for Maes Hughe's murder. They sent her off to Xing until Mustang had a use for her.
 
I can say that watching at just how close this anime plays to the canon of the manga after about episode six. It seriously makes me sad that VIZ had to be the publisher of the manga. VIZ Media mangas being on my boycott list due to their censorship of other series. I got so many Borders gift cards for the holidays, too. About $90 worth when added them all up (people know I like to read). It's just that VIZ publishes so many of the series I enjoy.
 
I'm not sure if you ever knew this, Tom; but when Fullmetal Alchemist was first being published it was actually a monthly series. Unlike series such as Naruto and One Piece, which are weekly.
Watching this animated, I can see what you've been speaking of with the overuse of chibi. There are times the drama is cut off at the knees by an over-reaction shot of something. This is probably something that worked better on page than animated.
kashif1on Jan. 19, 2011 at 3:43 a.m.
Are you going to watch the old anime?
ninjadude853on Jan. 19, 2011 at 4:27 a.m.
"Anime is the medium of the gasp..."
 
You just noticed that? how many episodes of anime have you seen? 
 
Al will redeem himself soon enough.
@FoxxFireArt said:

 This is probably something that worked better on page than animated. "


It was freaking hilarious on page.
JoMateon Jan. 19, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
@FoxxFireArt said:
" I've been marathoning FMA: Brotherhood to try and catch up with these articles. 
I did the same a few weeks ago but couldn't stop so now I have finished it, and in my memory those last 12 episodes just seem like a 2 hours tops(best 2 hours ever though) guess that is the downside of marathoning a show this long in less then 2 weeks
rubberluffyon Jan. 19, 2011 at 6:46 a.m.
  Opening/ending change coming up next episode.  I'm a fan of both.  The next opening is actually quite different from all the others in that it is a bit slower.  Funny how the slowest opening is paired with the most action packed episodes.
 
I love Mustang's crew in this episode.  Getting things done.  I do feel sorry for Mrs. Bradley, though.  I mean, she still doesn't know her family are really monsters, and it seems her kidnappers are the only ones concerned for her safety.
 
Lots of crazy stuff about to go down, especially in the next few episodes.  Oh man.  Its pretty intense.
Lurkeroon Jan. 19, 2011 at 8:57 a.m.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Anime reactions = not funny
 
I'm glad some series manage to avoid it though
zaldaron Jan. 19, 2011 at 11:32 a.m.
When I first read the title I thought you were saying anime makes the watcher gasp and I was like you saw eva and you are just figuring that out now?  I can see what you mean though.  Going to have to go back and rewatch these episodes been a bit before I saw them.  I got a little clone army wiff from this whole thing though.  When did the manga come out in comparison to the clone wars...I mean it isn't like lucas is beyond stealing stuff but it would tick me off even more (we won't get into how he has ticked me off recently) if he stole from such a great show like this one.
vergiliuson Jan. 20, 2011 at 10:03 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt said:

"This is probably something that worked better on page than animated."

If I had one nit to pick with this show, it would be this, definitely.  Sometimes you can go overboard in terms of "staying true" to the source material...manga and anime are different mediums, you can't just take the book and use it as a story board and expect everything to work.
 

I'm not sure if you ever knew this, Tom; but when Fullmetal Alchemist was first being published it was actually a monthly series. Unlike series such as Naruto and One Piece, which are weekly. 


I think this has a lot to do with why the narrative is as good as it is.  It's easier to carry all the plot threads when you don't have to constantly be worried about disorienting your audience.

Dig Deeper into Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is the second anime series based on Hiromu Arakawa's original manga. Edward Elric with his brother Alphonse failed to resurrect their mother. Now, they travel across the country with their alchemy to restore their bodies as they hunt for the mythical Philosophers Stone and correct their mistake.

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