A few weeks ago, I asked the Beneath the Tangles community to choose an anime for me to watch this summer out of a group that I’ve been meaning to watch or which I had begun, but hadn’t finished. There were a few popular choices, but I’ve honed in on the one that I most wanted to complete and which was also chosen by readers. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is perhaps the most celebrated modern anime, and after these many years, I’m almost through with it! Here are my thoughts on episodes 54 and 55, as I near completion.
What Went Down
- Hawkeye realizes that Envy has disguised himself as Mustang, who himself arrives and begins to obliterate the homonculous. Under fire, Evy reverts back to his true form. Before Mustang can destroy Envy in his hatred, the others stop him and help Mustang realize he has to be a better, kinder leader; Ed also confronts Envy with the reality that the homunculous is ultimately envious of humans. Humiliated and in despair, Envy pulls out his own philosopher’s stone, killing himself.
- The Armstrongs are losing their battle against Sloth and the mannequin soldiers, when Izumi and Sig arrive. The housewife’s immense power, and the combined brute of Alex and Sig, lead to the group’s victory, which includes Sloth’s death. Elsewhere, the Briggs soldiers are interrupted in their celebration as King Bradley returns to headquarters.
- Hoenheim faces off against Father. The two powerful foes trade blows back and forth, with Hoenheim seeming to gain the upperhand, but Father shows his strength—suddenly appearing behind Hoenheim, he plunges his fist inside him.
- The manliness and sparkle of the two muscleheads was beautiful. Definitely one of my favorite parts of the entire show!
- Izumi is so awesome. If she hadn’t lost her internal organs, Izumi would perhaps be so strong that the bad guys would all have been put at bay by now.
- Mustang, btw, is ridiculously strong, too. I keep forgetting that. Ed is tenacious and talented, but he doesn’t have the strength of Mustang.
- The brutality of the Briggs men is intense compared to the mercy of Mustang’s forces. There’s a real civil war atmosphere here, and it speaks to the authenticity of the piece, since General Armstrong’s words about her forces don’t ring hallow, as I think they would in a lesser series.
- The dialogue about humanity in Envy’s final scenes were really thought-provoking…good stuff there. I love how you have a group of people—Scar, Roy, Riza, and to a lesser extent, Edward—who’d done some terrible things, but were now committed to doing right, even though, as Mustang demonstrates in this episode, it’s not easy.
- I’ll probably mention this in my final notes about the show, but as someone told me, this is about as perfect an anime as there is. Everything is connected—the series is laid out so well. I compared it with A Song of Ice and Fire last time for a different reason, and here’s another.
- Although I don’t remember much about Hoenheim/Father’s original relationship, there’s definitely a mentor/disciple relationship here…does that mean that, as Star Wars, we’re gonna get a student kills master scene?
- Why did Envy want to kill Mei? He tricks her, and then he has to kill her, too?
I’ll update everyone from time to time as I move toward completion of the show. Please feel free to comment below but please, no spoilers!!