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Watch & Learn: FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST BROTHERHOOD #52

Did this show's budget get MORE money?


 Things got a little GOD OF WAR in the Armstrong/Sloth fight.
 Things got a little GOD OF WAR in the Armstrong/Sloth fight.

Wow… typically, extended shows like this is face the risk of running out of money. If anything, this show’s animation has just gotten better as it’s gone along. This episode’s bravura setpiece of Al, Pride and Kimblee's fight was rendered more fully than the intro! I suppose that’s one of the benefits of producing a show like this where, I presume, the success of the first anime makes the success of the remake pretty much a given. Not only did they probably have a lot of cash to start with, but they probably produced it all at once, and well in advance, to avoid the kind of drawbacks EVA's week-to-week production schedule went through.

Keeping on the subject of the length, I'm sure it’s difficult to keep the plot as on-point to a central theme for a series like this as it would be for a feature or an OVA. So I’m intrigued, surprised and a bit impressed that they've finally revisited the theme of equivalent exchange in Al and Kimblee’s pre-fight tit-for-tat. In economics, the situation Kimblee describes is a zero sum - - for anything to ever be gained, something else must be lost. That's the limitation of alchemy, with even the Philospher's Stones secretly having the cost of human lives, and it was the defiance of that limitation that got Al and Ed in all this trouble in the first place.  

 Pride's already out of control with these monologues. Man, did it take him a long to get to around to eating Kimblee.
 Pride's already out of control with these monologues. Man, did it take him a long to get to around to eating Kimblee.

However, Al counters that whole conceit with the possibility of the ever-elusive "third option,"  foreshadowing at there perhaps being a metaphoric and literal solution to the law of equivalent exchange coming up.  Maybe they'll get their mother AND their old bodies back? 

And, yeesh… what a decisive way for Armstrong to get the upper hand on Sloth, huh? I've talked before about how the Homunculi's powers don't always sink up with the qualities of their sin (i.e. Lust didn't have sex magik) so it's pretty brilliant that Sloth is the fastest Homunculi, he’s just too lazy to use it. 

Kimblee checks out in a sudden way, one I definitely wasn’t expecting - - one that maybe isn’t even that fitting in the scope. If Mustang or Scar took him out, that would've resolved long grudges. Heinkel just hated his boss -  - which, then again, is maybe the most justifiable motivation of all.  Actually, if you want to get technical, Pride's the one who really finishes him off. Now that he's eaten two of the bad guys, I suspect he'll become a threat of his own against Father.

Watch this episode “Combined Strength,” 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

Lurkeroon Jan. 24, 2011 at 12:32 p.m.
Since the manga was pretty much done I figured they could approximate very precisely how much money they would be able to use over the course of the series. At no point during Brotherhood did I feel the show suffered because of budgeting
FoxxFireArt moderator is online on Jan. 24, 2011 at 1:20 p.m.
In the last article for this episode I said this,

" Ohhh, don't you go worrying too much about Alex stepping up. He pulls something off next episode that actually had me saying out loud. "Daaaannnmm...."." 

That Sloth spiking was that scene.
 
I should add, Tom. When writing this article in the past, if you have tried linking to a character or location that never appeared to be on the site. Try it again. I went through this series and made profiles of EVERYONE. All the major city locations now have profiles and even many of the minor characters.
 
Actually, the anime was designed to end along with the manga.
The last episode of the FMA: Brotherhood anime aired on Aug. 25, 2010. The last volume of the manga was released on Nov. 22, 2010, but the last chapter was released in the regular Shounen magazines a few months before the volume release.
 
A heads up, Tom. For whatever reason, I couldn't find episode 61 on the FUNiamtion youtube channel. I could find it on HULU.

@lurkero: 
Like with many productions, anime companies want to be profitable. Some series go all out, but they are normally short. Series such as this have to stretch out their budget. You find the budget increases for scenes of plot importance or for the finales. Recently, in the Marineford Arc of One Piece, the animation has taken a real increase for certain scenes.
rubberluffyon Jan. 24, 2011 at 3:21 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt said:

Actually, the anime was designed to end along with the manga.
The last episode of the FMA: Brotherhood anime aired on Aug. 25, 2010. The last volume of the manga was released on Nov. 22, 2010, but the last chapter was released in the regular Shounen magazines a few months before the volume release.

Actually, the final chapter came out in early June, and the final episode aired on July 4th.  I remember because I stayed up late and watched a live stream of it.
 
The last 2-3 episodes are a little different from the manga, in that it is pretty obvious comparing them that the animators were most likely using something like rough drafts of the manga chapters.  Of course, I'm just speculating, but it does seem as such.
 
Lust's powers do so totally match up to her name:  she can -penetrate- pretty much anything with her "lance", wink wink nudge nudge.
FoxxFireArt moderator is online on Jan. 24, 2011 at 3:51 p.m.
@rubberluffy: 
You're right. I was looking on Wikipedia, and I accidentally scrolled down too far, and I was looking at the release dates of the OVAs on the DVDs.
 
I didn't know when the last chapter was released, but I know that chapters come out months before the volume.
ethan staff on Jan. 25, 2011 at 11:40 a.m.
And comments are working again!

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