Only Edward Elric could end up inside the stomach of a homunculus that’s inside the stomach of another homunculus.
What They Say:
Truths are exposed when Al finds the one called Father, and Mustang hears the tale of Bradley’s creation – but the most amazing revelation is reserved for Ed after he once again breaks alchemy’s greatest taboo.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)”
While the last episode and this one may not look the greatest when streamed because of all the black backgrounds, especially if you’re pumping it to a large monitor, they’re both episodes that really are quite good. This one in particular strikes a certain resonance with the revelations that come out and the key moments that are simply beautifully done with the amount of emotion that they can carry. With the series running for twenty-six episodes now, it’s so completely got its rhythm down and hasn’t dropped the ball once for me, that each new episode has me grinning as the opening animation starts up as I can’t wait to see what’s in store.
A good chunk of this episode focuses again on the innards of Gluttony as Ed and Ling battle against Envy. The scene is much as we left it with a pitched battle between them, but there are some really intriguing things that are brought out because of this battle. Envy’s form has quite a lot of bodies in it that are crying out for all sorts of things, and that provides Ed with a clue about how to get out. But it also starts a discussion about the ruins that are in Gluttony’s stomach, that of Xerxes, and what happened there and its relevance to events at hand. With the knowledge that Philosopher’s Stones are made from people, having an entire city that was devastated but without a single person left, Ed is able to put two and two together and realize just what it is that this mysterious Father is after in his own country.
The segment of this episode that really captivated me however is the time spent between Mustang and Bradley. Bradley is surprisingly candid about his past with Mustang, in some sort of effort to convert him or distract him for the moment, as he tells him about his origins. Bradley is certainly the most intriguing of the homunculi because of his nature and how he lives within the real world, and this explains a lot of it as we see him as part of a plan by someone to build the next generation of leaders from young children. Nameless for quite some time, we see him progress through the ranks, grow in skill and eventually be tested with the liquid form of the Stone that will either kill him or change him completely. For him to discuss all of this so openly with Mustang, it’s either a great sham or a larger plan that’s in the works, but it’s all simply beautiful to watch play out as it changes the way you view him and his potential goals.
There’s less comedy to be found in this episode, which is appropriate, but there are some moments that will make you smile. Watching Ed walking around with Gluttony while having a little panda on his shoulder is amusing in a very special way. But the core elements of the episode are very strong and serious pieces and the comedy is kept appropriately away this time. The revelations made here are fascinating to watch and learn as it plays out and it has me wanting to see more and more right away. In a way, this show feels like a huge guilty pleasure, but it’s simply constructed in a way that’s fun, engaging and exciting with animation that I enjoy and characters that make me smile. I want to follow these characters for years to come, not just for this single series. And few shows really produce those kinds of feelings.
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.