Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood 64 – East/West Brofist (END)
Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about.
I like seeing a good epilogue after an intense conclusion to a story. When you spend a lot of time with characters and get attached to them, you want to see them do well in their lives after they kick some bad guy ass, right? Of course. The characters in Fullmetal Alchemist fight to hell and back, so they deserve a pretty damn good end, and by god they get it.
Obviously Ed and Al get the happiest of ends — Al has his body back and is rebuilding his muscles (although he hasn’t gone through puberty yet, so he still has Rie Kugimiya’s voice, which probably won’t help him score with May), and he’s still an alchemist, as well, so he gets to go out into the world and research cool shit while his brother stays home to be a carpenter or something. Except not, since Ed gets to go out and do some theoretical research in the West, and presumably he’ll use all his awesome connections to test out his alchemic theories. Everybody wins!
And of course Ed gets the BEST END with Winry. His confession was as awkward and amusing at it should be, because, really, what social skills does Ed have, especially when it comes to girls? He’s been researching alchemy, foiling vast conspiracies and defeating Homunculi almost constantly for a fairly long time. Ed is pretty lucky that he was surrounded by people all the time and didn’t turn into some creepy loner. Instead he fulfills the dream of many a shipper and gets two kids out of the deal. Not bad.
I wasn’t a huge fan of Mustang getting his eyesight back in the manga (mostly because I thought it went against the theme of sacrifice), but at least it makes sense that Mustang would jump on the chance to regain his sight. As many have noted, Mustang is a grayer hero than Ed and Al — he is willing to take the extra step they will not if good will ultimately come of it, though he also has his limits. With that in mind, Mustang using the Philosopher’s Stone makes perfect sense. Mustang is certainly much more useful to the military when he can actually see, and while he has the opportunity, why not use the stone to heal his buddy’s paralysis?
Mustang’s mustache in the picture above has been mocked nearly everywhere I’ve seen. Here’s my theory: The mustache is Mustang’s penance for using the Philosopher’s Stone for his own plans. It’s the law of equivalent exchange in action — something cannot be gained without sacrificing something in return. Roy gains his sight; he sacrifices his looks, unless his goal is to become a World War II-era French general, or Inspector Clouseau, or something. So the mustache make sense in the context of the story as well. Everything has been built so perfectly from the beginning of the series!
Roy and his mustache are off to help Ishbal with Scar and Miles. There’s probably another explanation for Mustang’s unfortunate facial hair: He felt so intimidated by Miles’ wicked sideburns (and who wouldn’t be intimidated?) that he tried to fire back by developing an awesome signature look of his own. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a total failure. My question is this: Why didn’t Hawkeye stop him? Isn’t she supposed to be Mustang’s bodyguard? She should protect his social life along with his physical life — with that mustache, nobody will even invite Mustang to a party, much less take him seriously as the leader of a country. That is the kind of oversight that can ruin a relationship.
And here you’ve got Ling promising not to have May’s family slaughtered when they all get back to Xing. Rather nice of him, all told. He’s even let May leave the country to pursue some, ahem, ambassadorial duties, if you will, with Alphonse. Hey, any way to keep up some good connections outside of the country, right?
Joking side, this episode is a good coda to the series, and damn am I ever going to be sad to not see new episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist each week. It’s not a perfect series (some episodes were a bit slow, the fight quality was occasionally uneven, etc.), but as a good, thrilling shounen story, Brotherhood is pretty damn good. Lots of fun, exciting action, good story, ends within a reasonable amount of episodes . . . what more can you ask for?
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