Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Episode #50 (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Thursday, April 01, 2010
Release Date: Thursday, April 01, 2010

Mustang's finally taking on Central yet the leaders at Central can only feel that Mustang is mocking them.

What They Say
Mustang leads a ragtag assault force of hardy northern troops - and welcome faces from the past - against Central's defenses. Victory seems certain until the military's most horrifying secret is revealed.

The Review!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The action this time around picks up nicely, but it's fairly restrained in a way as well simply because of how the characters interact. The first half deals with the more overt aspects of the battle in Central while the second half works towards the quieter side as infiltration is the name of the game and that requires being sneaky and quiet. Mixing in a few fun character elements along the way from the supporting cast helps bridge both sides of it while adding a flavor of excitement that's warranted, especially since it's dealing with characters from the pats returning.

The overt side of the show is a lot of fun as Mustang, aided by men from Briggs, gets out of his first sticky situation and then moves on to makes his full escape so he can deal with the larger threat. His approach, having seen so much war and the cost of it, is one where he intends to minimize the casualties overall while still making sure his mission is accomplished. With his sense of style attached to it, the ability to take down dozens and dozens of soldiers without killing any works perfectly. He doesn't want to hurt his own compatriots, most of which have been fooled. This approach also has the added effect of making the brass feel like they're being mocked by him and his smug attitude. There is that as well but the combination of it all works great and Mustang almost looks like he's having fun during it.

In the midst of this there's some good returning characters that get involved in the action to different levels. Havoc has a very amusing nod where we see how he's best used his skills since being injured while Rebecca has commandeered quite the vehicle for a weapons delivery, all while making sure she stays to her high standards when it comes to allowing which men can flirt with her. The best is the return of Maria Ross however, as she's managed to conduct quite the mission to help out Mustang's plan. Not to be left out, General Armstrong has a beautiful sequence where she deals out with a few of the higher ups of the military beholden to Father and points out what it is that makes a Briggs soldier different from others and why she's the top of the flock right now. Her cold nature, especially in comparison to her brother's openly loving one, serves her well here and makes her the real toughie of the series overall I think.

In Summary:
The rest of the episode, a fair bit of it, involves Ed's group making their way into Central. The stealthy side isn't exactly the strong suit for several of these people but they do a decent job at it and eventually figure out a way inside. There's some humor along the way that's priceless, especially when Ed pulls a "There's Scar! Go get him!" moment in order to get past some soldiers, but most of this is set up for the underground battle to come. The dummies that are being created down below are ready to be used and the moment where they're "turned on" so to speak is one of the creepiest moments of the series. So many of the characters are converging on Central now that the tension is certainly rising as is the disturbing factor as we see what's about to be unleashed. There's a lot to like here, especially for Mustang fans, as he gets the party moving right along.

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