Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood 54 – The Right Way to Kick Ass

Unlike with the previous episode, it’s a bit tough — at least for me — to get behind the execution (pun not intended) of the storyline. In theory, Envy’s jealousy should be a heartrending moment, but at this point, who can muster even a scrap of sympathy for that little wretch?

“Aww, he started a horrific war and contributed to the deaths of untold amounts of humans because he was jealous of them! The poor little guy! Hug time!” Yuck, no, ick, get away.

The main issue with Mustang killing Envy isn’t that the dumb bastard in any way deserves less than what he receives. I don’t support the death penalty, but even I would probably be like, “OK, boys — give him the chair!” No, the concern is that which is seen in many series: Revenge-fueled murder leads to a darkened heart. Makes sense. Instead of saving his buds, or defending the country, Mustang becomes more interesting in boiling Envy’s eyes until they pop and burning his skin until it peels into one big, gross Homunculi rind.

Too bad the talking down isn’t quite as interesting as what we got last week, at least from Ed’s end. Scar’s view is interesting, though, because it is so practical: “Dude, do what you have to do, but look at me if you want to know what you’ll become if you go through with it.” Not really pushy, not really moralizing — just laying out the facts so that Mustang can calm down and make his own choice. Would have been pretty hilarious if he calmed down, rationalized it and then still roasted Envy alive anyway — creepy, but I would have laughed my ass off.

If Mustang wants to be a cold-blooded assassin, then he should take a few lessons from Alex Louis Armstrong. Everything’s all business with him: He doesn’t have any particular grudge against Sloth (well, except the whole trying to kill his sister thing); rather, he’s just fighting to protect himself and his home, and he’s doling out punishment accordingly. Nothing too flashy beyond all the sparkles — just a furious, efficient march of crosses, jabs, body blows and uppercuts. I always thought the boxing was the most badass part of Alex’s arsenal, because it’s crazy to see such an enormous man move so lightly on his feet. He could probably be a heavyweight champion for decades if he were so inclined.

Or, at least, a really killer final boss in Punch Out!! You’ve even got a ready-made Little Mac with Ed! Yoki can be Glass Joe, Wrath can be Von Kaiser, etc.

(The dislocated shoulder thing is totally LOL shounen though. If only my shoulder could do that without any debilitating effects afterward! Like, you know, breaking.)

What I’m most excited about, however, is the promise of more Izumi. Impossible to get enough of her, I say!

12 Responses to “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood 54 – The Right Way to Kick Ass”

  1. “contributed to the deaths of untold amounts of humans because he was jealous of them! ”

    Hey, its a legitimate reason ! “Aww, USians tried to bring freedom to Vietnam, and freed 2 million people from their mortal coil” – that one is a thousand times more sick.

  2. clinton Says:

    its too bad that i was nearly crying for Envy i hate to admit it but i had tears in my eyes its horrible

    but you have to adimit he was just really pathetic thats the thing he is just pathetic

    its sort of like Gollum from lord of the rings he killed people (like his best friend) and you still feal pity for him

    • For me, Gollum is more pitiable because he is created (by Tolkien) to be more human — he does terrible things, but it’s because the base natures of his being are being manipulated by the One Ring, which even the more powerful humans (Aragorn, Gandalf, etc.) admit to being unable to deny in the ring’s presence. He’s a pathetic wretch, but at the same time, he is the kind of pathetic wretch many people are capable of becoming.

      Envy on the other hand was created by Father to be insanely jealous of humans and be an asshole to them. I guess he got a raw deal there, but I can’t really feel for him in any way.

  3. Well in my case, I divide Envy in half, the first one is ‘Big monster / Guy in a skirt’ that has to die because it’s annoying. The second part is a cute, little parasite that brings funny moments. And now when it came to death sentence, I’d rather have him living, because he’s so damn kawaii, plus harmless. Especially after he realised his jealousy towards humanity – Owww! You poor little thing you! I know you didn’t mean it!..

  4. fathomlessblue Says:

    I was thinking about your comments last week of manga vs anime and this episodes confirms my beliefs. As much as I hated the Ishbal flashback being completely abridged, now I get that even if it was shown in its entirety it wouldn’t be anywhere as effective as the manga material. Theres simply no way the anime could create same the detail and atmosphere without upp-ing their budget and making the series much more darker and bloody (kinda like kenshin ova’s). The flashback inserted into the beginning of this ep proves that point to me. It was good but miles more effective in the manga. Possibly alot of that is because the flashback was shown in one big clump and so didn’t dilute the experience.

    However; like you mentioned last week the animesreally excellent at frenetic action in bringing the manga to life. Re-reading the mustang/envy chapters, I realised how the material was rushed through giving envy’s death really no emotional impact. Allowing mustang to really go nuts at envy (both in action and the hughs flashes) was amazing and envy’s longer and sadder death scene was far more effective. Whether you actually feel sorry for him is a personal choice. I did feel sad at the very end but like you said, he’d gone too far to be allowed anything else but a tragic death.

    I know clinton knowsalot about how the homunculi’s deaths relate to their sin’s divine punishment and I don’t know if Envy’s actual death relates to anything like that, but the idea of envy ultimately destroying itself from the inside is just so fitting. Plus even in his death he managed to rob people of their satistfaction and piss them off. classic envy to the end.

    Anyway as much as i’m looking forward to next week its ep 56 that has me really salvating. If they do as good a job for that as they’ve done over the last few eps then 56-7 will be my highlight of the anime in general. Can’t wait!

    • fathomlessblue Says:

      oh and I must say the scene with mustang walking slowly towards envy (with his head out of shot) while said homunculi cowered before him was a masterpiece in direction and execution. A big pat on the back for bones for that one. lol

    • clinton Says:

      well just for divine punishment thing you were pretty much right

      but the words are

      to have their self corupted hearts riped out and you can say that envy’s stone is his heart

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