Episode 6, "Road of Hope"
Synopsis: Edward and Alphonse head back to their hometown of Risembool, escorted by Alex Louis Armstrong. On their way, they meet Dr. Marcoh, a researcher into the military's own efforts to create the Philosopher's Stone, who gives Edward a hint as to where to find his research. In their hometown, Winry and Pinako work on a new automail arm for Ed and adjustments for his leg. They leave with the comfort of knowing they have a place to come back to.
Ahhh, just as the dub was improving!
Well, okay, I can't say this was that bad an episode of the dub. Most of the major players performed solidly. Actually, I noticed that there were only a small handful of characters in this particular episode. Just Ed, Al, Alex, Doctor Marcoh, Winry, Pinako, and a small Lust cameo. With things scaled down that much, it was like an episode of a "slice of life" story.
Vic Mignogna's Edward Elric is still the same as ever (I should really stop pointing this out). Maxey Whitehead barely spoke in this episode, because for some reason, Alphonse barely spoke in chapter 8 of the manga, but had a few more lines in 9. She handed Al well when he did have something to say, though. Chris Sabat's Alex Louis Armstrong has even improved, with his normal speaking voice a bit more subdued, except when necessary to be over-the-top. I have no problem praising Sabat for his role as Armstrong. Pinako Rockbell's voice is still appropriate.
Speaking of a guy named Armstrong, though, what happened to Brice Armstrong's Doctor Marcoh?! Is that even Brice Armstrong voicing him? This is what devestated me in this episode, that they changed Marcoh's voice, one of the best voices in the original dub (and by that, I mean one of the ones I actually liked)! He had such a deep, authoritative, sage-like quality to his voice in the first dub, and here he sounds like he's a dying old man. It just makes him sound pathetic and painful to listen to.
Yeah, as a reader of the manga, and somebody who's seen the future episodes of this show, I can sort of see why they wanted Marcoh to sound feeble and weak, but this is a little too far. Maybe the voice will work itself out like Roy's has, but I'd still like to know if this is Brice Armstrong or somebody else, because it really doesn't sound like him at all.
Caitlin Glass' Winry Rockbell. Hrm. Well, it's not as bad as it was in the first series. Is Glass doing something different with her Winry this time around? I think it's probably working, because she didn't come across as irritating this time. And coming from someone who isn't a big Winry fan, that should mean something, right?
Still, Marcoh's voice really made me lose some enthusiasm, especially since he's more important in this series than the first. Let's hope Gwendolyn Lau is still Sheska in the next episode.
Overall Score: 3 out of 5