Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is all the more important when it comes to episodes like this one.
What They Say:
Al is haunted by the notion his entire existence was simply created by his brother. When the youngest Elric angrily reveals these suspicions, only Winry can convince him just how wrong he is about Ed.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood moves right along in telling its tale but it’s a tale that has a lot of very interesting detours to it. While it is firmly placed within the shonen genre and it adheres to a lot of it, it also spends a good bit of time focusing on the characters themselves in a meaningful way. Often a shonen series will play it for fluff, a way to detail what someone is going through emotionally by tying it to an action piece of some sort. Here, they spend their time dealing with the actual emotions and issues without doing that, which makes it all the more profound and meaningful. Of course, it is hard to imagine young men like these really communicating like this.
With the previous episode focusing on the action as the brothers dealt with the mysterious laboratory and its guardians, this one deals with the emotional impact of it. No. 66 imparted some very dangerous words to Al and they’ve resonated with him because of his own fears of not being real. Living the life that he has, coping with the lack of sensations that he had known for all his life beforehand, it’s certainly a very reasonable reaction for a young man like him to have. He hadn’t quite formalized the words in his head though and that helped to keep it from dominating his thoughts and making him depressed or angry. But now that No. 66’s words have been spoken, the ring of truth to them has him questioning everything and being less than social and easily set off.
And as angry as he is, he does still keep it pretty self contained and simply broods instead. The thing that lifts him up a bit is the arrival of Winry in Central as she’s come to help repair Ed’s arm after the fight that he’s been in since it no longer functions properly. Winry’s got her own problems since she thinks his problems are caused by her not putting all the parts in the last time she worked on him so she’s quite supportive and positive until she realizes otherwise. Winry is a wonderful balance between the two brothers because she does look after them both in a way and chides them when they need to really see what’s going on between them. But even with that position, she still can’t understand the way men are and how they hide and shield others from their feelings. This gives us a very fun little side piece where Winry spends time with Hughes for his daughter’s birthday and she gains a little more insight while we get to see the very adorable Elicia and Hughes family in general.
An episode like this from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is the kind that makes the show as much fun as it is. It’s the kind of episode that really works to connect you to the characters, to give them more depth in an obvious way but without being forcefully blunt like so many other shonen shows. Ed and Al really come across very well here as their relationship is deeper now, or at least clearer in the way that others can’t break their bonds through this method again. Along the way we get the relationship with Winry reinforced, a fun peek at the Hughes home life and a setup for what Scar’s up to with a look at where he’s landed and what may be motivating him. There’s a lot to like here even with no serious action outside of a brief fight between the brothers, and that’s a very good sign for how well this show works.
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.