Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Episode #39 (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Thursday, January 14, 2010
Release Date: Thursday, January 14, 2010

Deceptions are the name of the game but the stakes are high and others are playing just as serious a game.

What They Say:

The ruse of Winry's abduction by Scar is revealed, but a plan of rescue must still be hatched. A brutal storm is coming – one which only Alphonse Elric can brave.

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

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood goes for a rather subdued episode but one that has a fair bit of tension and challenge to it with episode thirty-nine, “Daydream.” With Kimblee doing all he can to capture Scar and now on the verge of having him, everything in the previous episode shifted to showing Scar atop the building with Winry as a hostage. The game changes pretty often in this show so such a reversal of fortunes, at least of Kimblee’s fortunes, isn’t a surprise. What makes the situation all the more difficult now is that Ed is furiously angry with Kimblee over his lack of protecting Winry as well as the local troops panicking over an impending snowstorm that will devastate the area in short order.

What’s interesting is that the bulk of this serves only as the bookends of the episode while the majority of it goes back a short bit in time to deal with the confrontation last seen between Winry and Scar. The two have had a few encounters now and as Winry has learned what the truth is about the past with her parents and Scar’s involvement, her reactions to it have been fairly tight and controlled, though there is a strong sweeping sense of vengeance seething from her at times just under the surface. So having another encounter with all the time she’s had to think things out gives her a prime chance to really ask him some direct questions, questions that he actually does well at answering. The two of them really are very good for each other as they allow their actions and words to speak in a way that other people wouldn’t be able to do to get through to them. Scar and Winry are the kind of people, based on their changing relationship and understanding, that would change the world when they figure out what the right path is. And they help put each other on that path.

This episode is really quite subdued as the dialogue plays out and Major Miles works out a plan with how to get everyone out safely and away from Kimblee since he’s the real threat to everything. With a snowstorm incoming and his understanding of the importance of all of those involved in this, the group orchestrates a rather daring plan to get everyone to safety so they can figure out what’s really needed in order to stop this countrywide plan that’s being cooked up that will destroy everything. Miles and Scar have some good moments as they talk about their shared heritage and we start to see some of the manipulations that Kimblee’s put into motion come into effect as well. The plan that Miles and the others have worked out is certainly interesting, but plan rarely survive reality.

In Summary:

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood has another good episode but it’s one that has a bit of action to it that doesn’t stand out much. The episode focuses more on the relationship side and forming more bonds that will be key as the show goes on and events swell up even more. Kimblee’s playing his game with his own goals and everyone else is suffering by it. But as the Fuhrer raises the stakes across the board with his manipulations, more and more is getting out to the military men and women and they’re finding themselves in positions they didn’t expect, potentially causing them to go against the Fuhrer while others will side with him. There’s a lot of good setup in here and a few sharp conversations that offer insights, but it’s another building episode more than anything else.

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