No matter the job, Winry can do it! Even delivering a baby!
What They Say:
The Elrics, realizing alchemy has yet to unlock the mysteries of creating life, feel powerless when a new friend goes into labor. Winry, however, jumps into action with a young thief named Paninya.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
At first blush, this is the kind of episode that you can almost instantly recognize as filler or side story material with no really merit to it. Once they introduce the pregnant woman, you know that either the baby is going to be born in a heap of trouble, such as an attack from someone, or one of the main characters is going to have to deliver it. Such an experience is essentially what many pointless stories are made of where you wonder what happened to the main story you were interested in.
But as we said, that’s a first blush view of it. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood moves the storyline forward involving Ed and Al in a somewhat lighthearted manner for the most part here, which is quite needed after the seriousness of the previous episode. On the travel to the south, they’ve finally arrived in Rush Valley where Winry is insistent on checking out the automail “industry” that’s supposedly so vibrant here. They don’t get a chance to really investigate it quickly in the town because a local thief named Paninya has swiped Ed’s State Alchemist watch and run off with it. That puts Ed into a tailspin and they race off after her to retrieve it and that eventually lands them in a remote part of the mountain where they discover that Paninya has some really advanced automail legs made by a man named Dominic who is a genius at the artform. And naturally, his daughter is about to have a baby and everyone is there when things go awry.
What make this work a bit more is two-fold. The first is that we get some really good emotional material here as Winry makes a discovery about something that Ed is carrying around with him. The emotional baggage of a young man is usually pretty minimal and silly to those who are older and wiser, but there’s something serious to what Ed has and it’s nicely covered here. Winry and Ed have had a connection for an age, but it’s the kind of revelation when made that has Winry really starting to understand Ed more as she’s growing up into a young woman. The other good thing about this episode is that it puts Winry in a new place since there was a fear of her being a tagalong with Ed and Al on their journey. Nothing spoils a good shonen show like, you know, women! I don’t think that would be a problem here, but by placing Winry in Rush Valley and not having her on the road, it makes the pit stop less of a filler episode and more of a potential building block one for the future when it comes to the automail.
I was a bit leery of this episode considering it was following a very serious one that had a lot going on. The obvious angle of playing things a bit lighter was a given as well as going for a complete filler episode that’s devoid of any real substance. Instead, we do get some good substance mixed in with a lot of really nicely done humor. I continue to like the way they play with Ed on his size and how everyone seems to give him grief for it. It was also positively hilarious to see him given some hope for the future though based on what Dominic discovers and that he can sort of blame Winry for it now. It’s these little light moments that go a long way and make this a good deal of fun even when serious material is imparted. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood rolls right along here and hits some good notes while playing in the calm waters. Even with a pregnant woman.
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.