Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood 61 – What if God Were One of Us?

Before I get to the post, I want to thank everyone who voted for me in the Aniblog Tournament, and I want to congratulate steelbound of The Null Set for coming out victorious in our match-up. Best of luck to you in the rest of the tournament! While the loss stings, of course, what my run in the tournament says to me is that I am doing enough right to earn support, but also that I am not yet the best I can be. This blog is a couple of months shy from being a year old, which is still fairly young; UNMEI KAIHEN has a lot of growing to do, and you can all damn well be sure that it will grow!

Anyway, now that the meta nonsense is over with . . . this episode of Brotherhood kicks things up a notch, particularly the climax of the battle between Wrath and Scar. Where last week, I was a bit disappointed at how tame the fight between those two great warriors was, it’s clear now BONES was saving up a bit so that it could break the bank in this episode. So much movement, so much raw energy and so much viciousness! Just two powerful people going all out against each other in one burst of pure fire. Fantastic stuff.

A small bit in this episode I really like is the irony of how Wrath and Pride carry out their final moments . . . it’s almost as if their identities have switched, isn’t it? Wrath is the one full of pride for his identity as a Homunculus — he has long since accepted that humans are going to scratch and claw as much as possible to overcome the threat against him, but Wrath doesn’t stand down. He defends his turf. He has enough pride in himself to fight until the bitter end, even though he will die trying. Wrath wants to fight Scar as a warrior, but he is also fighting to ensure that Father’s plan continues.

Compare that to Pride: Kimblee calls the little guy out on his hypocrisy, on Pride’s admonishment of Greed for having no pride as a Homunculus, and then a few seconds later scheming to hijack Ed’s body for himself. Pride isn’t his final motivation; it’s fear. Interestingly enough, Pride becomes like his current container — a small, frightened child who can only stare dumbly while the bigger kid pushes him around. Without Father around to back him up, Pride is nothing. I’d feel sorry for the little guy if he weren’t such a creepy prick.

(Gotta say that the whole “turning into a Philosopher’s Stone and reducing Pride to his most basic form” is, uh, weird, though.)

I love how Father’s plan almost immediately falls apart. Not much time for him to enjoy being a god without peer; nope, Hohenheim as everything set up so that the body will expel all the precious souls required to harness such massive amounts of energy. Also, for manga readers and non-readers alike: Is it just me, or was it weird to hear Father’s normal speaking voice in a vastly younger body? He still sounds like an old man, even though he has, like, Leonardo DiCaprio’s body. Bizarre.

Going back to Scar vs. Wrath, I found Scar’s speech to be pretty poignant. Takes a lot to swallow up so much hatred and selflessly give help when it is truly needed. One thing I appreciate about FMA is that Scar’s growth feels genuine. He’s not helping out because, “OMG, Amestris is the same as us, and racism is wrong!!!!!” but because he is coming to terms with his own hatred, how it affects him, how he can change himself and how he can help his people. Things might be shit in the world, but Scar’s brother left a legacy of connection and improvement, and Scar has the ability to continue that.

Damn good episode here — consistently exciting, quickly and evenly paced, and lots of big moments. There should be no problems at all resolving the story in the next couple of episodes, which leads me to believe that we’ll get an extended epilogue in ep64. Should be pretty cool as long as it doesn’t go full on Harry Potter with it.

11 Responses to “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood 61 – What if God Were One of Us?”

  1. Fathers plan did end rather quickly. Become one with God/Truth, create a mini-sun and that’s about it. Considering how his original plan only destroyed fathers skin, what’s the bets Hohenheim had several other plans to defeat him lying around.

    No mention of the Dragonball-esque fight with power balls and stuff?

    • Haha, I was originally going to title the post “God’s Hadouken”, but I totally forgot about that while writing the damn thing. I only remembered after seeing Epi joke about it in his post. xD

  2. >Is it just me, or was it weird to hear Father’s normal speaking voice in a vastly younger body?

    Totally weird. It may be shallow, but I had been eagerly waiting for how they would handle Father’s younger voice (Envy’s seiyuu, maybe? or have Romi Paku do double-duty) but in no way did I imagine they would have him keep his old man voice. To this female, the moment he opened his mouth and that voice came out, he almost lost 50% of his sexiness (and boy, was he oh-so-sexy in the manga, and in a moment of weakness, enough to make me ignore the fact he’s a bad guy and propel him to my top favourite FMA character’s list. Yes, I did say it may be shallow.)

    • Was it just me or did anyone else think Father looked like an older version of Ed.

      Wow, that Wrath/Scar fight. What a joyous sight to see. The energy, the animation, right down to the very end. Man.

      On the other hand, that Kimblee scene seemed really out of the blue. I’m always pretty impressed at the counterattacks that each side has up their sleeve (Hohenheim’s counter circle being a prime example), but that Kimblee scene just seemed like blantant deus ex machina.

      • clinton Says:

        no he ha young hohenhime body

      • I wouldn’t say it was a deus ex machina. I mean they could have easily just had Ed defeat Pride the normal way and that wouldn’t have been odd at all considering Pride was already weakened.

      • That scene bothered me a bit when I read it in the manga, too, although it’s not really such a bad thing for the reason Epi mentions (Ed was going to win the fight if he held out long enough, which, being a shounen hero, he would have). But, yeah, it’s a bit of poetic justice for Pride that doesn’t entirely work for me.

    • lol, well, I can’t judge, seeing as I enjoy many characters in a fairly shallow way. :p

  3. What, no mention of Wrath’s parting “Fuck you!” Knife? Dude jams a broken sword in Scar’s ribcage (with his teeth, because HE HAS NO ARMS) just before shriveling up like an old apple, and not so much as a passing comment from you? I am disappoint, sir!

    As for the Kimblee thing, I actually kind of like how that went down. If you think about it, there was pretty much no way they would have made such a big point out of Pride eating him if it wasn’t going to give him indigestion later, and if anyone can avoid going unhinged in a whirling dervish of disassociated souls crying out for things they don’t even remember anymore, it’s gotta be the guy who was never hinged in the first place. Fitting the man is allowed to do his final Chaotic Douchebag act before his final parting. I will contend that Ed would’ve kicked Pride’s ass without his help, though.

    Wrath’s insta-bleach job actually kind of made me wonder if he had some kind of suppressed form of the Homunculus Healing Factor that all the others seem to have but is absent from him. Maybe the toll the stone took on his body caused him to age prematurely, but the healing properties were kept busy concealing it until death? Might go a bit of a way in explaining why he’s the only one who doesn’t have that basic power all the rest have. Either that or maybe Father’s a dick and planned for him to die of old age later on anyway, so he disabled that.

    Father’s new bod looks a lot less like Ed in this version than he did in the manga. I actually can see how he’s supposed to be Young Hoenheim now. Must be he hair, he’s got the Hoenheim Bangs going on. And yeah, his voice is weird. I kind of figured they’d give him a Voice of the Legion form of Romi Paku’s Ed voice or something, but I guess this works, too. He’s admittedly still kinda creepy this way. And I suppose it makes sense that his voice wouldn’t change, since he doesn’t technically have vocal chords and all. Same thing with Envy when he doesn’t bother with the voice. He probably just has really good vocal range when he needs to impersonate someone.

    And now I have an image in my head of Bill Cosby trying to convince Roy Mustang not to murder him.

  4. Pride being alive at the end of the series really highlights a big theme overall: “pride” keeps us going.

    It wasn’t just Wrath, but a majority of the characters showed a lot of pride in themselves throughout the series.

    I actually wrote about how the series shows that pride can be beneficial for survival. You can read it at: http://www.mangatherapy.com/post/806561122/pridesymbolism-fma

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