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Watch & Learn: FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST BROTHERHOOD #62

Ed & Al brave the infinity gauntlet.



 I knew Al was an emotionally-fragile young man, but I didn't expect him to go and fall to pieces like this.
 I knew Al was an emotionally-fragile young man, but I didn't expect him to go and fall to pieces like this.

One classic  Marvel storyline's titled THE INFINITY GAUNTLET. It was about all the superheroes marshaling together to fight an evil space lord, Thanos, who obtained omnipotence by amassing these infinity gems. After snuffing out half the universe with a snap of his fingers, he temporarily gave up all but a fraction of his power to give the heroes a sporting chance in this big brawl at his  castle. Of course, even as he was significantly powered down, he still mopped the floor in spectacular fashion with the dozens of champions.

I bring that up because watching Father fighting basically every character in FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST at once (without even having to block their attacks!) brought it to mind. His morbid tactic of flinging all the ghosts at Hohenheim and Izumi really recalled Thanos’ increasingly artistic implementations of his reality warping powers. Hell, his infinity gems were even called soul gems at points, so there’s a parallel with the philosophers’ stones right there. Currents of commonality!



 Apparently, nobody bothered to clip Ed's fingernails on the other side.
 Apparently, nobody bothered to clip Ed's fingernails on the other side.

We’re at the climax here, so it’s all about fighting. Once more, I’ll reiterate how impressed I am by how often these characters are put through the worst possible situations they could be put in. Not only is it a big sacrifice for Al to (potentially) forfeit his own life to free Ed and get him to pull power, it’s borderline cruel of him to ask May to be the one to (potentially) officiate that sacrifice.

 


 Mustang got a hell of stand-out moment, too. Even when he's blind, he's a still a force to be reckoned with.
 Mustang got a hell of stand-out moment, too. Even when he's blind, he's a still a force to be reckoned with.

The end result’s a positively sublime relief of long-held tensions - - ones that’ve been held over 60 odd episodes. I never really got behind the complaints about Shinji not being manly enough of a lead in EVA, but the way Ed & Al haven’t taken the homunculi seriously so far (and you know they haven't) has been really frustrating. Thus, I’m absolutely relishing how he’s finally kicking Father to the turf and breaking out the smack talk. It’s been a looooooong time coming.

 
And once again, sorry for the delay on these Watch & Learns. Joey and I are cooking up a totally rad video that's taken a little more time than we expected. I guarantee it'll be worth a whole vessel of philosopher's stones, though.

Watch this episode “A Fierce Counter Attack,” 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

zaldaron Feb. 19, 2011 at 8:34 p.m.
some epic fights in this one.  Out of curiosity how did they eventually kill the space lord?  Destroy the gems somehow?
rubberluffyon Feb. 19, 2011 at 9:20 p.m.
Since we're in the endgame now, I figure I'll discuss a bit how the manga is versus the anime in these last bits.  It is pretty clear (to me at least) that the animators were possible working with rough drafts or something similar, because while everything plays out the same, theres a few differences that almost look like a "fill in the gaps" type deal.    
 
When Al is choosing to sacrifice himself, in the manga you can clearly see the crack has hit his sigil and is starting to spark, but it seems like the animators didn't have that detail.  Also, the manga actually shows Ed's arm appearing and his automail parts exploding outwards, but it is like the animators didn't have that panel for reference.  But Ed's assault on Father looks way cooler in the anime (SPEAR'D), so its all good.  They do a great job for seemingly cutting it so close to the line; the final chapter came out one month before the final episode aired.
MrASSH0LEon Feb. 19, 2011 at 9:37 p.m.

If there is one thing I did not like about this serie is that they did not establish Ed has a strong chracter it seemd like anytime some vilain was to be finished Roy,the Xingese,Al or hoenheim would do it!PLus they are sequences in the OP that t Iwould of liked to see in the anime like when Ed is fighintg Gluttony and Envy and he summons 2 giagantic pillars and runs up one of them and cathes envy in mid-air and slams him against one of them.
Make_Me_Madon Feb. 19, 2011 at 10 p.m.
@zaldar: 
Thanos has always had a thing about forgetting just how it was that he attained godlike powers in the first place.  He had become so powerful with the infinity gems that he discarded his physical body in favor of basically fusing himself with the essence of the universe.

His sister, horribly tortured while he was in control of the gems, retained enough sentience to take the gauntlet from his now helpless physical form and used the gems to undo what he had done to her.  In the process, she undid most of the destruction he'd caused since gaining the gems, and was on her way to becoming all powerful herself.

Before she could learn to utilize the gems fully, though, Thanos was forced into an uneasy alliance with the heroes and cosmic beings who had tried to stop him in order to keep his sister from harnessing the gems against them all.  In the end Thanos feigned his own death with a nuclear self destruct device, and the heroes split the gems to make sure they'd never be used in conjunction again.
kashif1on Feb. 20, 2011 at 6:33 a.m.
Now go and watch the old anime
Lurkeroon Feb. 20, 2011 at 7:31 a.m.

@mrassh0le said:
" If there is one thing I did not like about this serie is that they did not establish Ed has a strong chracter it seemd like anytime some vilain was to be finished Roy,the Xingese,Al or hoenheim would do it!

 
I agree with this. I know Ed and Al were younger, but children that have studied and experienced events as Ed and Al did would probably be more mature about trying to save the world. While Tom may like that it was about time Ed confronted the homunculi like he did father, I did not like it. Up until this point Ed has barely been able to defeat a homunculus. He was almost able to defeat Greed in the beginning, but beyond that Ed never fought toe to toe with a homunculus and won.
 
I get the same feeling when I watch Naruto. Naruto the character often ends up being the person to defeat a major villain. However, Naruto does so little during the battle to prove that he can win that I end up feeling like he doesn't deserve the victory. I had this feeling with Ed vs Father. The people calling out Ed's name didn't help either. That was kinda corny to me.
zaldaron Feb. 20, 2011 at 10:47 a.m.
In naruto and here I rack it up to the hero not unleashing his full potential until he is pushed to his limit.  Naruto usually has to give an extra umph (usually from some hitherdo hidden reserve) to win and I rack what happens here to be the same type of thing.  
 
I do agree though they should have killed some of them more when they had a chance...but Japan is pretty pacifist currently so that may have something to do with it.
FoxxFireArt moderator on Feb. 20, 2011 at 6:31 p.m.
Certainly brought an interesting perspective to this episode with the comparison to Infinity War.
 
That was almost cruel what Al put May through, but we see just how close that crack was to this blood seal. If the circle is broken his soul would just die and his body with it. Also, Ed was trapped and couldn't get away. It makes for impressive symmetry. How in the beginning of this story, Ed sacrificed his arm to put Al in that iron body. At the end, Al gives that arm back through a self sacrifice to take down the big bad of the series.
 
That did feel incredibly satisfying to watch Ed just royally lay into Father. Standing before him and calling him "third-string". I love these kinds of moments in anime when the protagonist charges forward with a large crowd all cheering him forward. Akin to watching a sporting event, but with the fate of the world in the balance. The whole fight and everything else leading up to it was so well animated.
 
We also got some nice insight into what Greed has always wanted. Why he was always taking the death of his former chimera followers so hard. Let's not forget how psychologically disturbing that scene of him making people was. More so for Izumi.
 
I'm finally getting around to organizing the Amestris State Military page and organizing the character's by their rank. It didn't seem right to have this page and not having it explains in some detail.

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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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