Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Episode 59 Review

Topics: 

Episode 59, "Lost Light"

"FINAL BATTLES MAKE ME CONSTIPATED!""You'd better give the shippers something! There you go!"

*****SPOILERS*****

Synopsis: Roy ultimately refuses to perform a human transmutation, disappointing the gold-toothed doctor. One of the chimera disables the doctor as May arrives and helps take on the Fuhrer candidates. Roy, Scar, and May fight the Fuhrer candidates, and Roy makes it to Riza. May spots the liquid vial of Philosopher's Stone the doctor dropped, but decides to help Riza instead, using retanjutsu to stop her bleeding. Fuhrer King Bradley arrives, having swam through a drainpipe after falling into the moat. Then Pride arrives. Wrath springs into action, using his swords to nail Roy down into the doctor's alchemy array. Pride uses the gold-toothed doctor and the alchemy circle to force Roy to be a sacrifice. May notices that the source of the weirdness she's been sensing is beneath them, and Scar uses his arm to create a hole. Roy is sent through the Gate and ends up in Father's lair, where Ed discovers his sight has been taken from him. Above, Scar engages in combat with Wrath. May decends to Father's lair and notices that Alphonse hasn't regained consciousness. At the Gate, Alphonse meets his human body, but is dismayed at how malnourished it is. He decides to return without his body, but promises to return. In Father's lair, Alphonse regains consciousness. Father is happy that he has all five sacrifices now.

I'm shipping BradleyxRoy, and you can't stop me!This is total bullshit.

Comments:

When I first watched this episode, streaming live as it aired on Japanese TV, I didn't think much of it. Though I do purposely work on other things while it streams so that I can catch the best parts when I can see it subbed, I usually glean something from watching it this way. All I got from it was some excitement about the action going on, but other than that was less than impressed. But when I rewatched it, with subtitles, on my television (hooking my laptop into it), it was a lot better than I remembered. It's not perfect, but it's good.

Well, there are a few little issues with it. One being that thecliffhanger from last time doesn't really pay off. When Roy says, "I understand" and "okay last time, it turns out he meant that he wouldn't do the human transmutation. Now, normally, this would be a fine element, but as a pick up from a cliffhanger from the last episode? It's kind of weak. I remember that in the manga, a chapter ended right when Riza gets her throat slit by the Fuhrer candidate and we see Dr. Goldtooth, who says, "Open the Gate, Mustang." A slightly better cliffhanger. Maybe if they had ended the last episode that way, or ended it after the chimera arrived and disabled the doctor, ending the episode on an upswing, we wouldn't have had to have this weak resolution.

But, for some reason, and this is my biggest problem here, it's possible to force a human transmutation. Yes, this whole time, the homunculi could have just forced somebody to be a human sacrifice. Not only that, but for some reason, as soon as Pride comes in, he and Wrath know immediately what to do to force the sacrifice and are able to put it into action as if it had all been planned. Bull. Fucking. Shit. That's such a cop-out. If Arakawa couldn't figure out a way to make Roy use human transmutation of his own free will before this part of the story came, she should have had one of the other characters do it. This is such bullshit. In this case, the homunculi could have just picked five random people and done this to them, or at least a few to pad out the folks who really wanted to do human transmutation. Are we supposed to believe that the homunculi had this back-up plan all ready, and that Bradley just happened to be in the right place to help it along? It's a big much to ask the audience to just accept that. Bradley forcing Mustang to be a sacrifice might look cool, but to me, it's a load of shit.

Yeah, I know, it has obvious effects on Pride, but are you telling me he wouldn't sacrifice himself for his Father's goals? That's not even really the point. That you can force a human transmutation at all fucks the whole theme of foolish choices. People foolishly CHOOSE of their own FREE WILL to do human transmutation. It cheapens the plot element that it can be forced.

Poor Roy. Poor, poor, Roy. Well, now he won't be so overpowered, without his vision, but this does seem a little cruel. At least the Truth didn't take his junk, so blind or not, he can still satisfy Riza, except on rainy days, when he's impotent. Jokes aside, though, I guess this is a step further than the original TV series, where he just lost one eye and had to wear an eyepatch (an oddly large one, at that).

Well, at least Doctor Goldtooth got what was coming to him.

That aside, the Fuhrer is one badass motherfucker, and I think he's Bones' favorite homunculi. No, probably their favorite character altogether. Nearly anything that involves him gets the best art and animation. There's always an animation boost when Wrath springs into action. Even fatally injured, Wrath staggers back onto the battlefield. It's almost silly ridiculous that he hasn't been killed, but for Bradley, you just sort of believe it's possible. That look on his face says it all. He is the endurance champ of the homunculi.

Speaking of Wrath, his next battle is with Scar, our walking plot device who hasn't been a real character since the Briggs arc (or probably before that). I know how it turns out, but you know I'll still be rooting for my favorite character of the two. From what we've seen so far, it's a well-animated battle, and I look forward to more of it, despite Scar being little more than a plot device at this point.

But the best scene by far is Alphonse at the Doors of Truth with his body. The last time we saw Alphonse's body was in Al's flashes, and before that when Edward encountered it and promised to get it. Now, unfortunately, Alphonse has to leave the gates without his body and make a promise to return himself. The scene is played perfectly, and I love how Al's body speaks kindly of him when he leaves, over the scenes of the group in Father's lair preparing to battle him. It's one of the best scenes in the series. You really feel how happy he is to be before his body, but how torn he is when he realizes it would be useless in combat (kid needs a hamburger or two). Al's body is right, he really is a noble guy. Go, Alphonse. You help defeat Father! You noble bastard! Oh god, now I'm tearing up. Give me a moment, I need a tissue.

But wait. Did Pride go through the Gate, too, or did he just slip through the cracks in the ground at the right time? Can homunculi see the Truth?

There was a lot of amazing visuals in this episode, from Bradley's leap onto Roy, to the forced transmutation, to Scar and Bradley's exchanges. The music was pretty strong, too, though there was nothing in particular that stood out. More than all that, the voice acting was really strong, especially Rie Kugimiya's Alphonse and Hidekatsu Shibata's Wrath. I wonder how well Maxey Whitehead and Ed Blaylock will handle this when the dub gets there.

Anyway, Father FINALLY does his thing in the next episode. It's taken long enough!

Roy wonders if Black Hayate can be trained as a seeing eye dog."Next time, bring a sandwich."

Overall Score: 4 out of 5