Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – 23

GluttonyScaryAssEye

This week’s episode impressed me more than expected due to some solid direction with the fight scenes in the first half.

The fight with Scar vs. Ed and Al is pretty good, but it really heats up when Gluttony and Lin hit the stage. Lin in particular is just GAR as hell in this episode. Not quite ep19!Mustang levels of GAR, but still. Flying out of the sewer and planting a grenade in Gluttony’s mouth is a hell of a way to make an entrance. Not to mention completely grisly. Brotherhood has not been afraid to be violent, but damn, this episode goes all out with Gluttony’s explosion. Gluttony’s tongue splattering down in front of Ed is the one detail that comes close to squicking me out, haha. Really like how chaotic the view on that scene is, too. Something like that can get annoying and disorienting when used to much, but it is employed well here.

The action in general also has this great heft to it in this episode. When Gluttony first appears and lays into Scar with a headbutt, you can really feel it when Scar slams into the metal cargo box, and again when Gluttony pounds the bejeezus out of him. Scar, Ed and Al’s shots at each other also have real weight behind them. One thing FMA does really well is add meaning behind every hit. You never feel like the characters aren’t hurting each other with their attacks.

Also love the emphasis on presenting King Bradley/Wrath as an unstoppable monster. As a fan of horror, I enjoyed the simple touches that work to make Wrath really fearsome: Wrath’s steady footsteps following the trail of blood, Ran Fan’s disoriented point of view shot, the fisheye lens view of Wrath stalking Lin and Ran Fan (Wrath’s face looks particularly evil here) and the power shot of Wrath stumbling upon Ran Fan’s severed arm. (This really cements Ran Fan as someone who is absolutely tough as nails. Yeah, it is either her arm or death, but how many people would unhesitatingly go through with it?) Wrath in the interrogation room with Winry is a subtly frightening scene as well, and probably becomes more so for Ed and Al afterward when Lin tells them King Bradley could possibly be a Homunculus (even though they both know he could potentially be involved with the plot). It is definitely a, “Think before you act, or the girl gets it” action on Wrath’s part.

LinBadass

Then the episode slows down a bit with some focus on Winry. The Winry hate I have read continues to baffle me. She is dealing with a reopened wound concerning the loss of her parents, and finally finding out the exact circumstances of their deaths. If you ask me, Winry is being unbelievably brave in this situation. How many people would have the strength to go back and help people right after being confronted head on with such a traumatizing event? She has a moment of weakness like any normal person would, but ultimately she resolves to move forward, just like Ed would. The criticisms of Winry’s scenes as “emo” are ridiculous. If Winry getting emotional about the deaths of her parents is emo, then EVERY DRAMATIC PLOT POINT IN EVERY ANIME EVER IS EMO. Good lord. People are just too quick to scream OMG EMO whenever a character breaks down just a little bit.

Some people are pissed because certain scenes are being cut but BONES is sticking with the Winry scenes. I can understand that, since I have not agreed completely with how much has been cut from the story so far. But don’t take it out on poor Winry. Her scenes have been good and plenty emotional in a real way. Sure, the lead in to last week’s big scene is definitely contrived, but the payoff works well enough that I can not be too ruffled by it. Manga adaptations do not have to be accurate to the letter, anyway. BONES pledged to stick closer to the manga with Brotherhood, but that does not mean it has to be 100 percent faithful. Adapting anything is a tougher business than it appears.

BradleyScary

Good episode. Really loved the fight scenes and next week should be plenty awesome with Gluttony going full on psycho in his hunt for vengeance against the man who killed his beloved Lust.

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One Response to “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – 23”

  1. I have to agree with your points here. Ling for one thing was completely badass here with how he went at Gluttony. He was pretty pissed off regarding Ran Fan so it’s no shock there. Still sticking an explosive into him and then watching the result was pretty messy. It really hit you how they don’t hold back sometimes with this series.

    That kind of went along with Ran Fan’s situation in general. Some series can gloss over the loss of an arm. But bringing in the doctor made clear how much pain she had to endure. Ling is lucky to have her around since she is an amazing person.

    Wrath is probably the scariest person in this series to me. You’ve seen his skill but it’s more than that. His position is frightening and you just don’t want him anywhere near the main characters. Thus being in the room with Winry should have scared most people. Definitely a threat and I don’t like her being alone and unprotected out in Rush Valley.

    There is Winry hate? What is wrong with people? This girl has gone through a shocking incident that would throw off anyone. A lot of people would be tempted to shoot the killer of their parents if they suddenly got hit with that information.

    Now I have not read the manga so I’ve got no clue what’s been left out. So this series has been great to follow in my mind. I’m glad they are sticking with the Winry scenes since after the first series and that movie she deserves it.

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