Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Episode #17 (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Thursday, July 30, 2009
Release Date: Thursday, July 30, 2009

The game is afoot as Mustang makes more of his moves.

What They Say:

Freed by an unlikely liberator, Ross’s escape is interrupted by Mustang. Even those most loyal to the Flame Alchemist are shaken by the controversial action he takes against the accused killer of Maes Hughes.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

The further into the series we get, the more amused I am at how much the show is focused on slow plotting and placement of the cast. I didn’t expect a big action show or anything, but I figured there’d be a bit more to it than this based off of what we did see in the previous series. Episode seventeen gives us more of the methodical setup material as you have the opposing sides really starting to come into focus and the marshalling of their respective troops. Of course, caught up in the middle of all of this, and likely being used by both sides, is Ed and Al as they continue on their search to create a Philosopher’s Stone to retrieve their bodies back.

Everything at the moment is revolving around the death of Hughes and how it can be manipulated, much like a chess game. Lust is doing her best to make sure that Mustang is neutralized for the time being until she needs him and Edward and having Hughes dead gives her such an opportunity. The twist that came in the previous episode has the military now trying to confront Maria Ross over it as she had requested a resupply of a single bullet, one that she had used in the 5th Laboratory incident. Of course, because of how that entire incident went down and was covered up, there’s no way to prove what she said. Well, outside of her partner that was there and fired as well, but that’s being conveniently ignored by the military investigator, Douglas, at the moment.

With Ross now in jail and unable to see anyone, Mustang is able to start putting his plan into motion, which is done in a way that is plain to the viewer but understandable why Edward doesn’t get it. What was really amusing about it is that they ended up using Number 66 to get involved with it and he actually plays along in helping out, though he’s saddened he can’t cut anybody up. 66 has been an interesting addition to the show in that he’s still being used and adding some welcome levity to the proceedings, much like Armstrong does in a way and now Ling as well, though to a lesser extent. In the end, what’s making episodes like this work is the characters as we see them changing positions. Mustang sets a lot of this in motion after his time out east and what he’s set up there, but it’s now starting to move a bit faster. At least until the higher-ups start to see a lot of people around him taking their leave.

In Summary:

Though there isn’t all that much action here overall, what we do get is fun as there’s a decent prison scene and another with Mustang getting a chance to use his flame power. The bulk of the show is more emotional, as you have Ross trying to figure out why she’s being sacrificed or watching as Edward confronts Mustang over Hughes death and everything else that he’s done. There’s a raw anger in Ed’s eyes this time around that we haven’t really seen before. And as intense as it is, it also distracts him from the obvious of what’s going on with Mustang. But it is useful and it provides the distraction and diversion, the authenticity, that Mustang needs in order to set his side of the game board. Seventeen episodes in and still going strong in all departments, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood continues to be very engaging and fun.

Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment

Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: NA
Video Rating: NA
Packaging Rating: NA
Menus Rating: NA
Extras Rating: NA
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
Running time: 25
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Fullmetal Alchemist