Monday, 28 December 2009

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Episode 38

As we reach Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's thirty-eighth episode, so the game of chess between the military and everything it now stands for, and those who are seeking to reveal the truth and destroy what has tainted said organisation continues.

With the introduction of Pride in the last episode, so we see Hawkeye trying to come to terms with the danger in which she is now placed, a state of affairs that all but puts her out of said game of chess for the time being. Meanwhile however, a lot of the real interest is concentrated on Fort Briggs once again, as the Elric Brothers are sent out to capture Scar but find themselves under the watchful eyes of the military throughout. Luckily for them they soon find a way to temporarily escape these attentions, and set out to find May Chang - Something which proves to be altogether easier than they were imagining.

These jubilant times are short-lived however, as Scar himself proves to be equally simple to track down by some of the military's contingent, a couple of beefy soldiers who hide far more interesting secrets than simply too long snacking at the Central burger van... this pair are in fact Chimera created by the military, and as their true forms are revealed so Scar looks to be in a tight spot. However, these very same forms also allow for some plausible deniability on the part of the Elric brothers, who despite figuring out who this pair are attack them nonetheless, which allows them to eventually capture Scar for themselves.... or have they? Come the end of the episode Scar appears to have gained the upper hand, but in this game of cat and mouse between various parties it's difficult to know who is working towards which ends these days.

A new episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood invariably means it's time for me to sound like a broken record and gush about how great this series is, and once again I'm going to do so here. For starters there seemed to be some really noticeable care and attention paid to the animation of this episode, from Hawkeye's plight at the start of the episode through to the beautifully realised little "film" which accompanied the story of Yoki's plight - Not an important part of the episode in itself, but a nice break and change in pace which actually worked really well, as did some of the other shifts towards humour in the midst of all the darkness practiced by this instalment. I've criticised this series in the past for over-doing the humour at times, but as time has gone on it seems to have improved greatly at getting the balance just right, and on this occasion it's really blended well to both entertain and act as a compelling story-telling experience in its own right.

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