Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Episode #19 (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Friday, August 14, 2009
Release Date: Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mustang cements firmly that he truly is a flaming badass.

What They Say:

Mustang, Alphonse, Havoc, and Hawkeye split up to search a military laboratory. If Lust has her way, none of them will ever see each other again.

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

The Homunculi are on the move as we saw in the last episode which had a climactic moment where Hawkeye had to go up against Gluttony, one of the more despicable of the group. The way everything sort of blew up in that confrontation, both above with her and below in the street with Barry and the others, it was a chaotic moment that played out beautifully. But now everyone is on the move and Mustang is intent on not letting anyone get away because he demands some answers about what’s really going on. The edges of the story are driving him nuts and there are things right in front of him that may start explaining it.

The initial fight turns into quite the mad dash as Mustang, Hawkeye, Havoc and Alphonse head off in a car after the body of Barry that’s wildly trying to get away. With No. 66 running alongside, eager to chop his old body up, the end up in an abandoned building where they split to find him. It’s a predictable enough setup, but it leads to one of the more intense sequence of events in the series yet. Mustang has been a favorite of mine since I first saw him in various forms years ago, so seeing him and Havoc pair up in the search only to run across Lust was just beautiful. Havoc’s shock – and Mustang’s pinning it on her cleavage size – was perfect. But with the mild bit of humor, it puts you off balance for the violence that is about to come as Lust lashes out and the two fight for their very lives in something more intense than either has seen so far in the show.

The other half of the group with Hawkeye taking the lead make an interesting discovery about Barry that has Alphonse feeling very concerned about his own future. But so much of this is pushed to the side when Lust shows up there as well and everything goes crazy as Hawkeye literally unloads on her. Hawkeye’s relationship towards Mustang has been amusing in this incarnation and seeing her lose her cool was really quite intriguing to see. The best of this episode though revolves around Mustang himself. We’ve seen him acting all hardcore and tough, such as when he “took down” Maria Ross, but his fight with Lust in this episode when he uses his flame ability is just above and beyond what he’s done before. It’s one of those rare moments when guys say, “That’s how cool I want to be,”

In Summary:

The nineteenth episode of the series brings in some very solid action sequences but it layers them with emotional aspects as well. It’s not all alchemy and guns here but something more. Havoc’s found he’s been used to some degree, Hawkeye thinks she’s lost something important and Alphonse has to question whether he can really return to a real body ever again. With the Fuhrer running around and a certain bearded gentleman walking into Edward’s view at the end of the episode, there is a ton going on here even without all the action. But when you add that in, this becomes a very solid episode and one that showcases the strength of the writing, plotting and animation in general.

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: A-
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