Sunday, 27 June 2010

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Episode 63

The previous episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood brought us to the brink of victory for a newly regenerated Edward Elric (now with all original limbs intact) against the original Homunculus in his God-like form; but of course, this series being what it is, the battle isn't quite over yet.

With defeat imminent, Father makes one last grab for power via the Philosopher's Stone of Greed, leading him to depart from Ling Yao's body, although not without a fight from the latter, still keen to hold the powers of that stone for himself. However, Greed's departure is anything but a greedy one, using his powers to further weaken his new host to the point of no return, leaving him ready for Ed to deliver the final blow.

With all danger now gone, thoughts turn to Alphonse, and how exactly to return him complete with his own body from beyond the Gate of Truth. The prospect of using a Philosopher's Stone in proffered but quickly refused, as is the thought of trading Hoenheim's life for that of his son. Of course, something has to be traded in return for Al's life, and eventually Ed is struck with exact what could be given up in return for this brother as he sends himself off to make this very personal trade.

So Al returns, original body and all, and so the mainstay of the story ends with happiness pretty much all around - The Elric brothers have their original bodies, Mustang takes control of Central by weaving his previous tales of a coup against Bradley with his and Selim's death, and even Hoenheim finally manages to find peace from his many years of wandering. Perhaps all that is left now for the final episode is to see what becomes of Winry, who seems to be the only party left unattended at this juncture.

After the previous episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood was absolutely fantastic in its treatment of the story at hand, so this penultimate instalment found itself with time for a more slowly paced, emotional and thoughtful treatment, bringing the subtitle of the series to the fore with the relationship between people clearly becoming a key tenet of the show. Really, this was as good an ending as you could have hoped for - Emotional without being overly soppy, and happy without feeling like too many compromises were made to reach that happy ending. All that's left now is for the final loose ends to be tidied up, and that is perhaps the biggest sadness of all - That this absolutely wonderful series is about to come to an end after this intense journey which has taken over a year. I'm starting to miss it already, and it isn't even over yet.


JW said...

This episode turned me into a complete sobbing mess.

Greed made me go Awwwww... :)

But really, it was that last convo between Ed and Hoenheim that made me completely lose it. And before I could even recover, Al and Ed had walked through the gate together and Hohenheim rejoined Trisha.

The end was so satisfying for all those featured in the episode.

And for anyone who has any doubts about the anime vs. manga debate: the manga gave me no such emotional fits. It was 'cool' at best.

It's case closed in my opinion.

High-five also to Bones who added a slight bit of their own scenes in there without taking away from any of the important parts. You guys were great!

Anonymous said...

>The Elric brothers have their original bodies,

Actually, Ed still has his automail leg - he didn't get that back (since he traded it away during his mother's transmutation attempt). He got his arm back because Al reversed Ed's soul-armour binding alchemy, but the leg is gone forever.

FMA FAN said...

"And for anyone who has any doubts about the anime vs. manga debate: the manga gave me no such emotional fits. It was 'cool' at best.

It's case closed in my opinion."

It's not case closed. You're ONE person with ONE personal opinion. The manga made me an emotional wreck when I read the last chapter - when Ed cried and called Hohenheim "dad" I sobbed like crazy, and I sobbed more when Al got his body back, and more in other events that will take place next episode. For me, the manga gets bigger emotional reaction. For you the anime does. There's no way you can settle which is better just be YOU felt a certain way when there millions of fans that might have felt different. You aren't the final deciding factor in all things involving FMA.

Granted, I absolutely adored this episode, while I nearly hated the last one. I'm a very fickle person >_> But BONES did an amazing job with this episode and it made me emotional all over again - albeit not as emotional as reading it in the manga did. But this was a brilliant episode on it's own and brilliant as an adaptation.

JW said...

"You aren't the final deciding factor in all things involving FMA. "

Yes I am. :P

You can't changed my mind.

The manga was boring. Sorry if you like boring stuff.

FMA FAN said...

I don't want to change your mind. I want you to realize that it's your opinion that the manga is boring, not a fact.

Brotherhood is pretty much the EXACT same thing as the manga. They rarely add new material, what little they have added isn't anything plot altering are majorly significant that would make the whole story better. Maybe you like the anime more because it's got color and movement and sound but I can't fathom how you could think it's superior in story-telling.

But again, that's just my opinion.

JW said...

Sound, color, and movement make for better storytelling.

Animating the manga was precisely what made it better.

My only complaint was that they didn't animate more of it. :)

FMA FAN said...

*rolls eyes*

That' odd way to look at things. That sound, color and movemnt automatically make for greater story-telling. I'm tempted to say that's complete and utter bullshit but I'm going to respect your strange opinion.

JW said...

Where did I say always?

Take K-ON for example, which I love. I don't like the manga. Why? Because having a story about music with no music is pretty pointless even though the art is pretty good and so is the story. So the anime is better.

On the opposing side, take Kimi ni Todoke, which had good voice acting and a good story to work with, but lacked the intimacy and attention to detail that the manga did. So the Kimi ni Todoke manga is better than the animated series.

In FMA, a lot of the manga is action packed, fast-paced and expressive. Kinda hard to get that in a still, soundless media.

And sound and movement and wham-o! Everything is better. Bones understood the vision of the manga and took it to a whole new level.

Therefore the FMA Anime was 100% better than the manga could possibly be.

P.S. I lied when I said I thought the manga was boring. I just like baiting people. No hard-feelings. :P

Anonymous said...

I can understand that...but I disagree. I think it's perfectly possible to get all that in a still, soundless media. I get it in the FMA manga.

Just because anime may "seem" to lend itself better to a story full of action and expression doesn't mean it does. Any medium can portray that if the creator is talented enough. I think Arakawa has that talent down to the last and FMA is brilliant manga because of it. I think the manga expresses so much that Brotherhood just can't.

And no hard feelings ;p

Hanners said...

To weigh in on the debate, I'd probably say that it's *easier* to portray a variety of things via anime as you have movement, music, sound etcetera to play with, so you can create a much richer experience in theory to draw the viewer in.

That doesn't always necessarily mean that an anime adaptation will always be better, as a talented mangaka can do a perfectly good job of working around those "limitations" of his or her chosen medium.

FMA FAN said...

It's not limitations (and I was the last Anon I just forgot to sign in) It's a different medium that portrays things in a different way but equal to other mediums.