Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Episode 34

Come the end of the last episode, Edward and Alphonse Elric had finally made their way to Fort Briggs in the decidedly chilly North to meet with Major General Armstrong, only to find that it wasn't only the weather that was on-hand to give them a chilly reception.

After ignoring the letter of introduction from her little brother, the Major General is keen to know what brings the Elric brothers to her neck of the woods, something which they are understandably reticent to reveal in full given its implications for the entire military. Thus, the brothers decide to leave unmentioned much of the true purpose of their current journey, focusing instead simply on the need to recover their bodies and to track down May Chang to learn more about Eastern alchemy - A story which Armstrong certainly seems satisfied with, despite realising that these newcomers are hiding something.

So, everything seems to be going to plan.... until a Homunculus shows up, digging his way up from underground right into the heart of Fort Briggs. Of course, Ed and Al realise the nature of this new problem straight away, but they also realise that this could jeopardise their own plans, leaving them in a decidedly awkward situation where they try to help Armstrong and the other military forces within Briggs to stop Sloth from causing any further damage without revealing too much of their own knowledge. That aside however, what on Earth is a Homunculus who appears to know nothing of the Elric brothers even doing there?

As episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, this actually felt like one of the weakest instalments we've had in a while - That isn't to say that it was a bad episode, it simply didn't fascinate as much as the stellar episodes of this series that we've become so used to. This is perhaps at least partly down to the mysterious introduction of Sloth to proceedings, which will doubtless be further explained later, but beyond that major twist in the tale much of the remainder of the episode was simply going through the motions of introducing (and in one case reintroducing) characters, again hopefully with a view to what comes next. Still, even after an arguably more sloth-like episode, at least you can pretty much rest assured that it won't be long before we get back to the really good stuff, and no doubt that will prove to be the case once again as the current story moves onwards apace.

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