Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Episode #28 (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Friday, October 23, 2009
Release Date: Thursday, October 22, 2009

And so, a new homunculus is born.

What They Say:

The Elrics come face to face with Father – and his face is familiar indeed. Powerless and amazed, Ed and Al can only watch as Father creates a new Homunculus with alchemy that should be impossible.

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

After the last episode which was mostly recap with a few framing pieces by Hohenheim, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood rolls right along with this episode. There’s something about this show that’s really captivating, just as it was in the previous incarnation of it, where the characters, settings and emotions that come into play are so highly appealing. Perhaps it’s all just basic manipulations done to get you into it, but what it ends up doing is something that’s simply fun and enjoyable and this episode is no exception.

Everything has come together at this point where the various groups find themselves in the same place. Gluttony has returned “home” to see Father with Al and Shao May in tow and within Gluttony we have the trio of Ed, Ling and Envy. This sets the initial stage as just as Father appears before Gluttony, the trio’s attempts to get out of Gluttony’s insides reaches fruition and they come barreling out. The whole setting is somewhat surreal at this point because there’s so much confusion about what happened that even Father is mildly surprised that people have escaped from within Gluttony.

While it may have been apparent before, it’s fully confirmed now that Father and Hohenheim aren’t the same person per se, though there is obviously much more to be explained. Father goes into all sorts of mild and circumspect revelations about what’s going on as he’s genuinely surprised that Hohenheim has gone off on his own and procreated somehow, resulting in the two wonderful sacrifices he has before him. This changes the perceptions of Hohenheim quickly as you think back to where he’s been and what’s he’s said and done, and even Ed and Al are really taken aback by all of it. These little revelations are spot on in providing some answers but upping the intrigue level as well.

The real fun of this episode though is that we do get more homunculi fun as Gluttony gets to go after everyone, including Mayu and Scar when they arrive on the scene. Poor Mayu as she learns some dreadful news when she finally meets Ed after building him up in her dreams. An alchemy battle is the order of the day, but what makes it so much more tragic – and haunting because of the music of the moment – is that there is a new Greed that’s been created by a willing subject. The previous Greed was alright, but this one has a very different feel about him and a back story that really makes him quite the challenge for everyone to deal with. A Greed with style, combined with the fun of Gluttony and the over the top nature of Envy makes for a great fight scene, even with those who can’t use Alchemy all of a sudden.

In Summary:

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood manages another solid episode with a whole lot going on and some game changing moments. What appeals so much about a show like this, and its source manga, is that there isn’t a fear of making changes to things that may upset some. Cast changes, deaths and so on are important things that get minimized in a lot of really popular shows and books, but the willingness to make these kinds of changes is what is so appealing about them to a lot of people. Nothing is the same as when it started and it’s only going to change more. The revelations and changes here is great stuff that makes you wonder where it’ll go next if you haven’t read the source material. Next week can’t come soon enough. And do note that after the ending sequence and before the next episode preview, there is a brief scene that deals with events of this episode.  I don’t believe many episodes have had new material in this spot before.

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