The ramifications of the Ishvalan war is examined in a truly fascinating way.
What They Say:
As Edward hears Hawkeye's tale of a time when idealistic young soldiers were tasked with genocide, the horrors of the Ishvalan battlefield are revealed.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)”
There have been a lot of changes in the show throughout and some of the more recent ones are really engaging because they alter the dynamic a lot. With Mustang now firmly in the Fuhrer’s grasp due to the way he’s manipulated everything, Roy is certainly feeling contained and likely strangled some because of all of it. His motivations all along have been the ones to really watch because he has a strong sense of right and wrong and of justice in general, but his approach is one that really needs more understanding in order to realize what he’s truly trying to accomplish.
The route to this understanding is very nicely done as Ed returns the gun that he got from Hawkeye back to her. The use of a gun has been anathema to him from the start and even more so after watching what Winry went through when she confront Scar over her parents. This does give him an opening to talk about himself and how he felt, which in turn allows him to start a dialogue with her about Mustang. She’s surprisingly open about it, which feels odd considering how closely guarded she’s been so far in the series as she tends to show more by action than by words. Going back to an old argument that Mustang had with his teacher over the use of alchemy as Mustang is about to become a State Alchemist, the early schism in his life is very apparent.
Where the tie becomes stronger is that he teacher was none other than Hawkeye’s father, which in very few words really makes their bond incredibly strong. Mustang’s journey is told alongside Hawkeye’s as he deals with his time in the Ishvalan campaign and the run-in with the homunculi that they weren’t aware of before he went completely nuts in enjoying all the devastations. Mustang plays it bigger because of his forward nature, and as much as I enjoyed watching him, it was far more fascinating to watch Hawkeye as she joined the military and became a sniper in that war. There is something really poignant to the narrative about how she had to deal with being a precision killer in comparison to all the other soldiers out there who often just randomly fire or the Alchemists that cause massive destruction.
There is a load of information here and a subplot that ties into it all as well. The Fuhrer’s war against the Ishvalan’s is given some time and it’s so telling when he uses the phrase “you humans” at one point. The subplot that’s woven into the narrative has the encounter between Scar and Marcoh in the jail cell where Marcoh reveals parts of the war as well and how things played out. There is so much anger, above the surface and below, with so many of the characters that it’s saddening and frustrating to watch what they go through. Sometimes that anger really resonates and that’s a huge connection that many shows never really make with a viewer. Once again, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood goes further and further in building a truly engaging world, one that feels like it’s adapted more from a novel than from a manga.
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.