Anime Vice News

Watch & Learn: FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST BROTHERHOOD #63

Ed goes for the third option!



 All I can say is... FATALITY!
 All I can say is... FATALITY!

And the third option won out, after all. Ever since Al refused to accept the zero sum game Kimblee proposed during their fight, I’ve suspected that some kind of thematic counter to the law of equivalent exchange’s rigidity would end up being the ultimate point of this series. In this penultimate episode, it appears as if Ed has found a way to get Al’s body back without surrendering his powers. At least, it seems that way.  

Does Ed ultimately get to keep his alchemy by passing some test to prove that he isn’t putting all his faith in it? Is that the real unequal, inexhaustible exchange? Believing in people instead of science?



 Clarity and enlightenment!
 Clarity and enlightenment!

I’m still trying to figure out what the significance of Father’s final judgment is (though, I was honestly distracted by how much he and his mirror looked like the jawbreaker aliens from the covers of the HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE books.) It’s an interesting twist on the usual “sympathetic villain” conceit, having this whole scheme be borne out of him trying to better himself by purging his sins and eliminating human weaknesses. The Homunculus shrieks as he’s dragged into the door, asking what he did wrong and, discounting the murders, I’d be asking that same question, too.  

Is it that the little dwarf thinks he need to use all these tricks to improve himself when such efforts should’ve come from within? Taking the Faustian themes to their usual outcome, his folly might lie in the hubris of presuming that one can exist without human weakness (which is another variation of the equivalent-less exchange fallacy.) Perhaps there’s some symbolism in Pride surviving after all?  So many questions...



 So does Ling get to keep all his powers, now, without all the pesky possession problems?
 So does Ling get to keep all his powers, now, without all the pesky possession problems?

We get  a couple big death scenes in this one. Greed's is oddly surrealistic - - a scrap of his face floating in the wind while his inner monologue ruminates on life and everybody mourns him from below. Hohenheim's is a bit more touching, of course. Pulling off a good death scene is a hard trick, after all, so I think it's a feat how his was understated enough to feel poignant without being overwrought. Did he just end up using up all the souls then? Is that how this immortal alchemist finally died? Well, only one more to go. Let's get to it.

Watch this episode “The Other Side of the Gateway,” 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 Feb. 24, 2011 at 5:16 a.m.
It always amazes me that villains say emotion is what makes humans weak when emotion is what makes humans, human.
 
If anything I'd have to say my fav female Olivier knows how to handle emotion. That's what I would inspire to be.
metalsnakezeroon Feb. 24, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Its very complex about the giving up ones alchemysince it can have many meanings to it so its ok be question it. 
rubberluffyon Feb. 24, 2011 at 7:24 a.m.
 Greed's death in the manga doesn't include the whole floating through the air as a disembodied head, he just looks like nearly formless black smoke.  I thought the anime made it look goofy and drawn out.  Still, Greed goes out a hero.
 
Hohenheim's death hit me pretty hard when I read it, and again when I watched it.  He finally got what he'd been searching for.
 
Only one more to go.
zaldaron Feb. 24, 2011 at 10:40 a.m.
I still think honenhiem should have survived...sigh..
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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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