The evil that showed itself in the previous episode has now been given a name and it is Scar.
What They Say
Edward and Alphonse are attacked by Scar, a mysterious killer wanted for a string of gruesome murders. His powers are incredible �" and his obsession with slaying State Alchemists might be justified.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The fifth installment of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood brings in a fair amount of material that should be key for quite awhile. The opening episodes laid down a lot of the foundation for the show with its characters and the setting in general. In fact, they’ve put out a lot of things in that short amount of time compared to a lot of other shows. Thankfully, it’s only felt a little rushed and top heavy at times but nowhere near enough to derail the show or throw the audience into a fit of confusion about what’s going on. The series is approaching things methodically but with a very different kind of pacing than we saw in the previous run of the show.
After the disturbing elements of the previous episode, this one has Edward and Alphonse being completely shocked by the news of what’s happened to Tucker and Nina. With him having some hope of finding a way of returning her to her rightful body, the discovery that she and her father have been outright murdered is something that never crossed his mind. The news from Hawkeye and the viciousness of it doesn’t deter them from wanting to find out more, but the situation turns even more convoluted as the brothers spend time away from everyone in order to sort out their feelings on this. The transmutation of Nina was a difficult enough moment in the young men’s life, but having this happen so soon afterwards is a strong shock to the system.
They don’t have too much time to dwell on it though as the other aspect of the previous episode is even more in play this time around. With State Alchemists being killed coldly in recent weeks, it’s a top priority for those in power. With some of those having been killed being quite powerful, it has everyone on edge. Naturally, the killer has set his sights on Ed and makes a blatant public attack on him in a fight that moves across the city streets. Given the name Scar because of his appearance, the State Alchemists now have a full on idea of what they’re facing and it’s not pretty. Scar’s intent on killing revolves around a sort of religious fanaticism of sorts, at least in what little he’s saying, because alchemists have crossed against God by distorting his creations and he’s been chosen to deal with it. Scar uses a form of alchemy himself, which means he’s just as cursed, and that’s only leading him down a more twisted and strange path. Though nothing is really resolved here since he’s set up to be a bigger thorn than this, we learn a good deal of recent history in a short time that paints a picture of exactly what’s going on.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood continues to be an engaging series with its presentation and overall dynamic. Watching this through this different filter is still problematic since I keep thinking forward to what I know from the previous incarnation but the show as it stands is even more engaging. And a lot of this comes from the overall direction of the series with its layout and settings and generally darker feeling. There’s moments of lightness in there that are priceless, such as Ed’s expressions when he’s flipped over during a fight scene or how Al hits him upside the head a few times towards the end, and that helps to balance it all out quite well. This episode introduces a lot of good material that explains Ishbala and its impact on the country at large which will be key as the story progresses. This is good stuff and continues to be a very solid production.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
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.