Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Episode 62 Review

Episode 62, "A Fierce Counterattack"

FINAL FLASH!"You SURE he's dead?"

*****SPOILERS*****

Synopsis: Father creates more Philosopher's Stone by taking the souls of soldiers, but Hohenheim, Alphonse, Izumi, and May arrive to stop him. Father distracts the group by creating humans with the souls of the people inside of him, and then unleashes an enormous energy blast that a late Edward also gets caught in. Meanwhile, Greed recruits a group to go fight Father, including Roy, Riza, Alex, and Ranfan. Olivier finds out from Scar that Bradley was already mortally wounded when he fought him, thanks to Buccaneer. When the dust clears from Father's blast, it appears Alphonse has shielded May at the cost of massive damage and Hohenheim shielded Izumi and Edward. The Briggs soldiers attack Father and Roy and the others arrive to join them. Eventually Father starts to lose control of "God" inside of him and requires more Philosopher's Stone again. He staggers towards a wounded Edward, but Alphonse decides to use Rentanjutsu and sacrifice himself to restore Edward's arm. At the Doors of Truth, Alphonse's soul and body unite and the Truth loses Ed's arm. Edward's arm restored, he attacks Father on his own, with everyone cheering him on.

"Give daddy a hug!""I can't see right now, but this is totally awesome, right?"

Comments:

This was a very exciting, eventful episode, that adapted all of chapter 107 of the manga and added some great flourishes here and there. Of course, if they had adapted the past few chapters a little better, with more accurate pacing, this episode might not have been as exciting, so it's a double-edged sword.

Speaking of mixed emotions, I know I said this last time, but it bares repeating. Father has the power of "God" in him, but he uses it so poorly! Jeez! What happened to sinking into the ground? What about going into walls or something? Why not fuse people together with alchemy? He should be able to fart and cause earthquakes, sneeze and summon tidal waves. If he wants more Philosopher's Stone, why not just reactivate the nationwide array? All the blood seals are still in place, he just needs to activate the Gates in the human sacrifices, who are all, by the way, right there. It's like he hasn't even tried! He relies on DBZ power blasts and his forcefield. Is this all this guy's got? It's pretty pathetic when fights against his children had more variety. Father is a fuckwit.

That said, the offense against him is pretty amazing. Unlike in the manga, there was a lot more to it, with Izumi and Alex both engaging in close combat with Father, and Roy creating a huge force of fire. I especially like when they made a huge "oven".There was some pretty damn good animation in this battle, too. It would have been nice to see Hohenheim do more, but I guess he was too damaged. That sort of bothered me, though. What's with all these "huge blast, smoke clears, everyone's bloodied but otherwise fine" bits? Didn't that happen already? Still, plenty of creativity was put into everyone's attack on Father, even if Father himself is devoid of inspiration.

The real emotional core of the episode was towards the end when Alphonse sacrifices himself to restore Edward's arm. I'm reminded of a similar act in the first series, to bring Edward back from beyond the Gate. This was no less emotional, with Alphonse's soul and body becoming one again and being seemingly lost to the Gate to restore Ed's ability to fight. The first time I watched the episode, I wondered why Alphonse, who had two perfectly good arms to perform alchemy, didn't just do what Ed did when he got his arm back, using alchemy to continue damaging Father, but somebody pointed out that Al's armor had been cracked close to the blood seal and he was probably going to go soon anyway, so he took the chance to give his brother his arm back. I guess that makes sense.

The problem is, why did nobody else help? At the end, everybody is just standing around yelling, but most of them are probably in good enough shape to help out. It's not like Edward and Father were in a one-on-one duel! Why is everybody so fucking unhelpful?

Greed's ultimate motivation turned out to be. Turns out, he just wanted friends. Just friends. Yeah, it was that simple. He just wanted some good friends. Totally not a cop-out that makes me violently ill at all! At least he helped in fighting Father, somewhat.

Still, it's hard to beat this level of action, and Al's sacrifice was well done. This is one of the best episodes in a few weeks, and one of the best in the series. I just wish Father actually did something with his abilities. The guy seems like a crazy drug fiend now, looking for his Stone fix.

Two more episodes left, and the fight ends next!

"Woah... I totally never noticed those ribbon things!";_;

Overall Score: 4.5 out of 5

 

 

I'm also disappointed with

I'm also disappointed with Father not displaying his new powers. What's the point of having him absorb God if he doesn't do anything he couldn't have already done in the first place?

Then again, I guess you could say that without enough souls in his body, it would be risky for him to actually use God's powers. If you'll recall, in the manga he explicitly states this as the reason he doesn't release his nuclear fusion attack.

If Father was so desperate

If Father was so desperate for Philosopher's Stones, why didn't he absorb Pride? Or keep around any of the (seemingly hundreds) of Philosopher's Stones used for the zombie army? I'm also less than pleased that Father stood completely still while everyone was killing him.

The animation is pretty though. And they FINALLY put the main theme to a scene were it actually fit, though the reasons for Al's sacrifice still seem a bit contrived to me.

How do the reasons for his

How do the reasons for his sacrifice seem contrived?

His blood seal was cracked.

His blood seal was cracked. If he hadn't sacrificed himself, he would've died anyway.

What I didn't get is why he

What I didn't get is why he didn't just fix himself real quick and continue about.

Because Alchemy doesn't work

Because Alchemy doesn't work that way >_>

In the manga his blood seal was cracked and when he said to Mei "There's no time" it showed his seal starting to break, like the static lightning thing of a transmutation coming out of the seal. So it was cracking and his soul would have been destroyed, he would have died.

If Brotherhood has shown us

If Brotherhood has shown us anything, it's that alchemy can work however we like.

Besides, in the series, the seal wasn't cracked, and the surrounding area could've been fixed.


Click to Enlarge


Yeah, but in the manga the

Yeah, but in the manga the seal WAS cracked so that's Brotherhood's fail and Brotherhood's problem, not the stories'.

And no, alchemy cannot work however you like. I don't know where the fuck you pulled that out of but it's not true. Alchemy still has rules. You can't make something out of nothing, you have to have equivalent exchange of mass. What did Al have to be able to completely restore his armor body?

Did you not notice that

Did you not notice that Father is just romping around ignoring the 'rules'?

Father can do that because

Father can do that because he's basically a (super?) Philosopher's Stone. That more or less allows him to bypass the regular law of equivalent exchange.

What Brotherhood's taught us

What Brotherhood's taught us (and what I think the first anime did too?) is that a philosophers stone can bypass the laws of equivalent exchange. That's nothing new. Every other kind of alchemy still abides by the rules.

And even then...a PS doesn't really bypass the laws. You're using up a HUGE amount of HUMAN SOULS to get whatever you want. That's still a payment. And human souls are given a pretty high value in this 'verse.

If you're going to invest your time in watching the series at least pay attention to it.

In Brotherhood, equivalent

In Brotherhood, equivalent exchange has nothing to do with what Father does. He produces random energy blasts that are given no explanation and creates stones without the use of a circle. Since obtaining the power of god he's gone and thrown every aspect of alchemy out the window. That's the point.

He hasn't thrown every

He hasn't thrown every aspect of alchemy out the window. He obtained ultimate knowledge of the workings of the universe so he can manipulate it (what alchemy is) He doesn't need a circle? Neither does Ed or Al or anyone else who has seen the Gate because they understand that they can be the circle. Father has "swallowed" a Gate so he doesn't even need to make a circle with his hands to understand how energy flows and how to manipulate it.

And even if Father has "thrown every aspect of alchemy out the window" what does that have to do with Al and his alchemy and the ability he couldn't of had to regenerate his armor body without the materials?

I don't even know what your point is anymore. You clearly don't understand how the FMA 'verse works. Of course that can be blamed on Brotherhood since most manga readers understood all this without much trouble.

Hate to break it to you, but

Hate to break it to you, but Ed and Al create a circle when they clap. I could've sworn that was explained clearly at some point.

How you can't know what my point is, yet pretend to know FMA so well, that's mind boggling. Let me lay it out again, in Brotherhood Father has been completely disregarding the rules of alchemy without any explanation. How it happened in the manga, or your explanation for it, are irrelevant.

So, did you even read what I

So, did you even read what I wrote or are you just vainly holding on to whatever logic you think you have here?

"He doesn't need a circle? Neither does Ed or Al or anyone else who has seen the Gate because they understand that they can be the circle. Father has "swallowed" a Gate so he doesn't even need to make a circle with his hands to understand how energy flows and how to manipulate it."

Yes, Ed and Al clap their hands to make a circle. Any alchemist who hasn't seen the Gate has to draw a circle. So why can Ed and Al just clap their hands? Because they understand that by doing that they circulate the flow of energy through their own body, instead of through a circle drawn on the object they're transmuting, because with the knowledge they gained inside the Gate they understand how they are a part of the flow of everything. Father has a Gate INSIDE him. He understands how he's a part of the flow of everything and thus he's a step up from even Ed and Al and doesn't need to make a circle at all.

Father is disregarding the rules for NORMAL people who don't have THE THING THAT MAKES ALCHEMY ITSELF POSSIBLE in their possession! Father has that so of course he can bend the rules, and the way he bends them makes sense within the workings of this 'verse. Your whole point was originally that Al should be able to do something impossible for him just because Father has an ornate amount power, and because he has this ornate amount of power "alchemy can do whatever the hell anyone wants it to".
That's a pretty stupid conclusion to draw.

Like I said, it's Brotherhood's fault you don't understand because they haven't explained things well. So your not willing to have the explanation given to you from someone who understands because they've read the manga? It's just "irrelevant"? You're deliberately trying to stay ignorant by telling me my explanations aren't right just because Brotherhood didn't explain it well?

Ugh, let me cut to the chase

Ugh, let me cut to the chase again, I'm 'deliberately ignoring your explanations' because they're completely irrelevant to how Brotherhood presents itself.

Whatever explanations you can back fill based on the manga, or from wherever, don't have any bearing when looking at Brotherhood, and Brotherhood itself. You need to separate yourself from whatever explanations exist in the manga or what you've read in order to comprehend that Father was simply romping around without reason.

I'm trying to figure out who

I'm trying to figure out who is arguing what here.

Enough, already!

lets make this simpler

lets make this simpler then;

father can create 'random energy blasts' that seem to disregard the rules of alchemy because he has a giant philosophers stone inside of him. The energy -is- coming from somewhere. He's using the souls to power his alchemy. Hohenheim does the same thing when he is blocking those attacks in father's lair.

Isn't because he doesn't have

Isn't because he doesn't have enough metal to replace the parts of his armor? Ed had to redistribute the metal in the armor, which fixed Al's body but thinned his armor. Considering the damage he took, he may not have had enough to fix himself?

For the record, I'm waiting

For the record, I'm waiting for the Viz release to read this portion of the manga. While Al's seal may have been cracked in the manga, that is NOT what I saw in the TV episode. There are two small cracks somewhat near his seal, but they didn't seem overtly threatening. If I hadn't gone online and learned the real reason, I would have had no idea that Al was in the process of dying. I really shouldn't be surprised that Brotherhood skips over important details like this. Sigh. :/

Btw, when I mentioned things being somewhat contrived here, I was half-way referring to Father. In addition to what I mentioned earlier, I suspect something was lost in translation in terms of timing. In the TV version, Father is literally just a few steps away from Edward and about to convert his soul into a mini-Philosopher's Stone. This should take a few seconds at most, judging from what Father did to those earlier soldiers. But then Father begins to walk...so....very........slowly..... toward Edward, giving Alphonse enough time to converse with May and perform a full-on epic transmutation. And Father just stares as Al does his thing, and basically waits for someone to take advantage of how slow he is. I understand that Father is drained from that big explosion, but for the final boss to be so unresponsive AGAIN (following all those force field moments where he just let everyone attack him) seems too convenient.

Just wanted to confirm two

Just wanted to confirm two of your points. In the anime the crack is definitely approaching his blood seal, not through it. Definitely struck me as something critical, as in he's out of the fight, but not life ending.

And yes, in Brotherhood it's sort of ambiguous exactly how close Father gets to Ed, but it doesn't have the sense of urgency it could have.

I would have been fine with

I would have been fine with it if Father was more active in previous scenes. But oh well. At least they put a lot of detail into the animation. While I`m also not a fan of certain shonen tropes appearing in the story, I can at least admire the high energy that this episode provides.

I suspect that the reason

I suspect that the reason the manga has the crack starting to cut into the blood seal and the anime doesn't is probably because bones only had the rough draft or synopsis of the manga chapter when they began animating....
And when Arakawa actually drew the scene she decided that the seal should actually be splitting into it

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