Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Episode #55 (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Thursday, May 06, 2010
Release Date: Thursday, May 06, 2010

When manly men meet, manliness must occur. 

What They Say
A rebel victory is imminent and hope takes hold among Mustang and Armstrong's troops. Central's forces teeter on the brink of collapse - until their fallen leader returns to take control.

The Review!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
While there have been hiccups along the way, things have been mostly going to plan for Mustang and others trying to stave off what the homunculi are doing with Central. The biggest area of concern on a personal level involved Mustang going too far with Envy in the last episode, but that's been safely resolved and now the cast has to move on to bigger fish to fry. The war side of it gets played up again as we see what Izumi has done since arriving at the end of the last episode and the bit of propaganda that's being played out as the various forces deal with the Immortal Legion.

The Immortal Legion itself continues to be a big sticking point and there's a lot of fun in watching them run about doling out death and carnage wherever they go. But what really was a lot of fun in this arc has been watching the Armstrong siblings deal with what's going on. The arrival of Sloth previously and the manly fight between him and Major Armstrong was a real highlight, though obviously a rematch wouldn't have the same kind of impact. Sloths regeneration ability does put him back into play as expected, but everything feels much darker and more ominous during all of it. What saves it from being too overbearing is the arrival of Izumi to the room where she does her best, along with her faithful husband, to kick a whole lot of ass. Much to the Armstrong's surprise. The Major's expressions over meeting him is absolutely priceless and worth the price of admission alone.

A good chunk of the episode does focus on one of the more anticipated meetings for the past while as Hohenheim finally catches up with Father. The confrontation between the two goes about as expected as each wields their power in different yet similar ways, but it's fascinating to watch as Father is silent and merely throwing off attacks at him while Hohenheim is just trying to dodge and get closer so he can talk to him. As he says, he's not a fighter and really doesn't want to have to do any of this. It's been a long time in coming for these two to end up back in each others' presence, and while relatively short, it's just as I had hoped it would be.

In Summary:
There's a whole lot going on in this episode with some really solid action pieces that helps to really progress the story. But as enjoyable as those are and how fast events seem to be changing again, what will prove more memorable are some of the moments of humor. The meeting of the two manly men is absolutely priceless and Izumi's usual introduction of just being a housewife. Having her finally meeting up with other people as well as a big plus since she's just got a really fun way about her. If there's disappointment with this episode, it's that we don't get any Al time as I really want to see what he's up to. But all of this is worthwhile for the last thirty seconds or so of the episode where the winds change yet again and tensions flare. Definitely a solid episode across the board.

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: 24
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Fullmetal Alchemist