Episode 40, "Homunculus"
Synopsis: Olivier Armstrong arrives at Central, where she is questioned by Fuhrer King Bradley about General Raven. She requests Raven's position, and it amuses Bradley, who agrees to give it to her. Riza passes along information to Roy about Selim being a homunculus. Meanwhile, Father sleeps below Central and a flashback begins to the days of Xerxes. Hohenheim was once a slave who became an alchemy apprentice thanks to the help of a homunculus living in a flask in his master's posession. The king of Xerxes requests from the homunculus the secret to immortality, which comes at the price of many lives. An alchemy array is constructed around the country so that the king can obtain immortality, but the homunculus has tricked him and it is Hohenheim and himself that end up at the center of the circle when it activates. The result is the death of all of Xerxes' citizens, save for Hohenheim, and the transfer of those lives into the homunculi and Hohenheim. The homunculus decided to take the same form as Hohenheim, thus their similar appearance. In the present, Hohenheim meets with Izumi and Sig, and rearranges her internal organs to help her health, admitting to them that he is a Philosopher's Stone in human form.
This was an excellently dubbed episode. Though perhaps in part due to the fact that there's no Edward, Envy, or Marcoh in it. Roy, Riza, Hohenheim, Father, Izumi, these were the important characters in the episode. These are characters with solid representation in the English dub. So I don't have to deal with a lot of crap from my less favorite VAs. Well, there was a little of Ed Blaylock's Bradley, but he was okay in this episode.
Well, the big deal in this episode is the return of Aaron Dismuke. Not as Alphonse Elric, mind you, but as the younger version of Hohenheim, Slave 23. His voice sure has changed! However, it's good to hear he's still a good actor, because he puts forward a good performance as Hohenheim, however short it was. And then there was the voice of the "dwarf in the flask" that became Father, which I thought was okay, but not quite as creepy as the Japanese voice. I was very satisfied with the flashback overall.
I still wish they had included some scenes of Hohenheim with other people in Xerxes like in the manga. It helps to establish a connection between him and his fellow countrymen.
Overall ENGLISH DUB Score:
4.5 out of 5