Monday, 21 June 2010

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Episode 62

Father's plan to use an entire country as Philosopher's Stones to give him an unimaginable amount of power might have been thwarted, but despite this he isn't exactly someone to be trifled with, and as he heads to the surface the danger is obvious - Even if he can't create more stones en mass via his original plan, he can still do it on a near-individual bases, person by agonising person.

So, it's up to Hoenheim, his sons and company to stop this virtual god from rampaging any further - A task which is easier said than done considering the still not inconsiderable powers available to Father. He's hardly afraid to use these powers either, responding to Hoenheim's goading by "giving birth" to a handful of supposed human beings before literally blowing away half of Central with a single blast.

Although our heroes all survive this blast which is aimed at them, it leaves both Hoenheim and Alphonse in dire straits as they use their bodies to shield their comrades while the others find themselves in anything but tip-top condition. Luckily for them, the remaining soldiers from Briggs refuse to flinch in the face of any enemy, and thus we see them launching attack after attack upon Father with virtually no let-up, regardless of how ineffective it seems. However, with Father's Philosopher's Stones being used rapidly by this constant barrage, the path to victory becomes clear (albeit difficult), and we soon see every man and woman left standing taking their part in the onslaught against their new enemy. Even Greed gets in on the act, fooling Father and forcing him to drop his guard and finally allowing for attacks to break through his previously impenetrable defence. With defeat in sight, Father makes a last desperate attempt to continue his life, looking towards Edward as his first victim - A situation which leads to his brother taking desperate action to save his sibling...

Well, what can I say about this episode? In a word, it's breath-taking; an absolutely stunning barrage of bloody violence, gunfire and explosions that is regularly dazzling to watch. These pyrotechnics aren't just for show either, with any blow having a purpose in not only defeating Father but also reinforcing humanity's greatest strength - It's ability to unite and work together in the face of even the most terrifying threat, and the importance of friendship, comradeship and... well, brotherhood, in the whole thing. On top of this we have a plot that was an incredible mixed bag of emotions - Heart-wrenching at times, rousing at others, all the way through to that magnificent moment where Al puts his trust and power in his brother to both save him and push him on towards victory. Really, words almost fail me - I know I've been labelling this show as AAA stuff for some time now, but this particular instalment was just something else. Quite simply anime at its absolute, unbeatable best.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad it seems that this episode had the same impact for you as it did when I read this stuff in the manga. As a manga reader I was pretty disappointed in the adaptation but I guess for someone just watching Brotherhood it was pretty good. Though you've always been a pretty easy critic as far as FMA goes...

JW said...

**Slight spoiler alert** but if you haven't seen the episode by now you deserve it.

Eek. I have to criticize a bit too.

In this episode, the animation seemed tired. There was a lot of missed moments that I was kinda disappointed that they didn't spend the time animating that was suggested in the manga.

The biggest disappointment was that they didn't animate the regrowing of Ed's arm. That moment took 4 large frames and two pages in the manga and deservedly so, because all this time and effort was for this purpose: to get his body back.

They didn't animate it. The arm just was suddenly there. I felt gilted to be honest.

But it was still nice to watch. We've got some huge moments still coming up and I'm going to hope that they animate the best ones. :)

Hanners said...

Not sure I'd say I've been an "easy critic" of this show, I was pretty disappointed by the first dozen episodes or so and how it was paced until we got to the new stuff.

It's always the case that if you've read the manga before watching the anime, you'll end up disappointed in some shape or form with changes in focus or pacing - Thankfully, I'm free from that kind of burden here, so I can just enjoy the Brotherhood anime for what it is.

Anonymous said...

I'm proud to say I am be the only fan on Earth who read the manga before the anime, and I consider Brotherhood to be the superior format for the FMA story.

JW said...

Is the FMA manga better than the anime?

I'd have to say no. FMAB has been superior in many ways, just because it took what the manga gave them and jazzed it up without changing too much.

But that doesn't mean its perfect.

Not animating the re-growth of Ed's arm was incomprehensible, but I still think they've done an excellent job and is by far the best series on TV for the past seasons.

Anonymous said...

I disagree 100% with JW and @Anon: You aren't the only fan. I read the manga before I saw the first anime (and I know several other people who have to) and TONS of people read the manga before seeing brotherhood. And the manga is millions times better. Brotherhood is like putting a white sheet of paper over a page of the manga and messily tracing it, then giving it to someone to read instead of the actual page. That said Brotherhood isn't bad - it just isn't as good as the manga. I've enjoyed it greatly for the most part but the manga is still better.