Fullmetal Alchemist - Episode 10 Review


Episode 10, "The Phantom Thief"

"In the book, this would have been baccarat!" "This isn't Casino Royale, brother."The Phantom Bunny!


Synopsis: The Elric brothers stop in the town of Aquroya, a tourist town. The police there have been trying to capture an alchemy-using thief named Psiren. The police inspector wants to use Edward's talents to help capture the thief. Edward stumbles upon the identity of Psiren, a kind nurse who claims to be stealing to save the hospital. However, when he allows her to escape from the police several times, he realizes she's been scamming him. Angry, he faces off with Psiren and captures her for the police. She gives the brothers a hint about the Philosopher's Stone: the town of Xenotime, which has been researching it. When they leave town, Alphonse regrets her capture, but shortly after she escapes again.

"Lupin, your under arrest!"After this, he'll be the Fatmetal Alchemist.


I love Lupin III. The shows are very entertaining, and some of the movies and specials are truly excellent. Even some of the bad entries are somewhat fun. So when another anime does a homage or parody of the franchise, it puts a smile on my face. FLCL did it. Excel Saga did it. Shin Chan's ("Poopin The Turd") made me laugh heartily. So, you'd think, "Hey, a Lupin III homage in Fullmetal Alchemist might be cool." And, well, yes, to some degree, it is. But, uh, it's also kind of stupid.

We get it. Psiren is Lupin, a thief that announces what she will steal, and the inspector is Inspector Zenigata. But Psiren is a thief who uses alchemy to commit crime, so that adds another element to it, which you think might give this an extra dimension. But instead, it's very anemic and bland, with no real point to it. They don't really play around enough with the alchemy element of her thievery. I mean, if Lupin III was able to use it, you can bet he would be real creative with it. And you'd think this would be a more madcap episode with a lot of hilarity in it.

Instead, it's just sort of a pointless filler episode that not only doesn't add anything to the main plot, but isn't even that entertaining on its own. The writers decided to go in the direction of simple sentimentality, rather than a celebration of what they're sending up.

There were some funny bits, though. One being just that the inspector runs after Psiren exactly the way Zenigata chases Lupin. Another being Edward's accidental groping of Psiren. And when Ed and Al are being conned and Alphonse continues to believe in Psiren to Ed's dismay is another funny part (though it does make Al seem a little too naive).

I think the real problem with this episode is, ten episodes in, we're really not getting a lot of meat. This episode just comes off as a very pointless excercise, and while parts of it are fun to watch, it's an episode that can be skipped entirely with no loss to the experience of the series. Do you really want that in a show, especially one with the potential of this one? I don't.

"I'm not a cop, but this is a cop.""When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie..."

Overall Score: 2.5 out of 5

(Note: Seiji Mizushima did Key Animation and was a Unit Director of the Lupin III TV special, In Memory of the Walther P38)