Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Episode #58 (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Thursday, May 27, 2010
Release Date: Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood doubles down on the intensity of the storyline with an episode titled, "Sacrifices."

What They Say
Mustang must make a difficult choice: will he break alchemy's greatest taboo? Or will he watch the person dearest to him die? Meanwhile, it grows ever more difficult to discern where Ling ends and Greed begins.

The Review!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the return of the Fuhrer to Central, the fight sequence that has been the most exciting to watch is the one between him and Greeling. Greed has always been a fun homunculi to begin with but his merger with Ling in his quest for immortality has made him a fascinating character to watch. The battle atop the battlements has been intense as Greeling has gone to bat against him while having Fu at his side, reaffirming that much of Ling still exists within him. And those two are becoming even more intertwined as time goes on which only adds to the intrigue he gives off.

The loss of Fu has Greeling go over the edge in a controlled form, but it's a barely in control kind of thing as he's intending to dole out death anywhere and everywhere. But at the same time, some of what makes him Ling is in there as he gives his opponents a chance to quite before he gets to them and even puts the nod out there that he has no intention of fighting women. That still leaves a whole lot of stupid people though and he goes intense on them. Just as the battles were starting to wane, it all flares up against in an instant and Greeling is now at the forefront of it above ground. And he looks incredibly cool about it, even as the somber moments flow by when it comes to those like Fu and Buccaneer.

While the sacrifices side refers to those that did give their lives up in the fight against the Fuhrer, it also references those that Father has been after for some time through the homunculi for his own grand plans. They've been drawn down below to his lair with Izumi, Ed and Al there, though Al is completely out of the picture at the moment. The flask homunculi is coming across as exceptionally creepy with its humanoid form with numerous eyes on it that is slowly absorbing Hohenheim into itself. As Father prepares things for his grand moment, the fight just a little bit further up takes a decidedly terrible turn as Mustang, Scar and Hawkeye find themselves in a very bad position. As much as I really like Greeling, Mustang is still the one I adore the most and they put him into a situation that's truly heartrending here and his performance is pitch perfect here as he has to handle so many varied emotions.

In Summary:
With the series inching ever closer to the end, the bodies are definitely dropping as sacrifices must be made, and the Sacrifices themselves are being drawn down to Father's presence so he can begin his true objectives. Though we're just advancing things a little bit here, there's so much drama and action this time around that it's almost overwhelming. Whether it's Greeling or Mustang, choices are presented in front of them and they have to make the hard choice. And there's no waffling here, no lengthy moral battles. Just action and intent playing out. With all the big moments and numerous small ones, you can get pretty jazzed up and end up crashing at the end when you're left hanging for next week. And that's a sign of a really great episode to me.

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