Episode 23, "The Girl on the Battlefield"
Synopsis: Ling, with Ranfan on his back, tries his best to evade Fuhrer King Bradley while Gluttony is sent after Scar. Ed leaves Winry to the MPs and goes off to help Alphonse. Gluttony arrives to eat Scar, beating him up. Bradley sees that Ranfan has cut her own arm off to throw him off. Ling arrives on the scene with Gluttony and Scar and with Ed's help, binds him. Ling escapes from the scene with the help of Hawkeye, but insists on picking up his aide. Mei helps Scar escape, but loses track of her panda, Xaio Mei, who Alphonse picks up. Ed and Al see Winry off at the train station, Ed promising to make her cry tears of joy next time. Roy picks the brothers up and takes them to a house where Doctor Knox treats Ranfan. As they argue over what to do with Gluttony, the homunculus overhears Roy's name, and enraged by Lust's death, transforms and destroys part of the house.
As much as I love Monica Rial, her Mei sounding so much like her Ai Satoume from Shin Chan really distracts me sometimes. Yeah, they're both little girls, and the voice suits her just fine, as does the delivery, but it's distracting because I keep thinking of Ai using alkehestry. Or Mei trying to make Shin Nohara her boyfriend. I'm not saying Monica Rial is a bad Mei, because she's pretty good, but it's just weird.
Is there any doubt by now that Maxey Whitehead is every bit as good as Aaron Dismuke in the role of Alphonse Elric? I cannot help but to keep thinking it is Dismuke doing the role still. And it's not like she's doing an imitation, it just seems like the voice is really Alphonse's voice in the way Dismuke made the role his when he did it. I think Whitehead may be the real star of the Brotherhood dub in the same way Dismuke was the real star of the first series dub. I continue to marvel regularly at how good she is in this role.
I know I've beaten this to death already, but I just cannot get into Ed Blaylock's King Bradley. The guy just doesn't sound as intimidating as the Japanese VA. He sounds vaguely sinister, and maybe this would be a great performance for another role, but Bradley sounds pants-shittingly frightening at times in Japanese, as if to say, "I enjoy tea and carving you up" and here it's just, "Yeah, I'm kind of sort of wicked, ooooh".
Ugh, all the lingering in Winry-related scenes in this episode made me want to vomit. Did we really even need the phone call scene? The answer is no. I mean, they're already shuffling her out of the forefront after briefly making her important, why pretend she matters by dragging this few bits of her out so much? Get back to the plot.
Overall Score: 3.5 out of 5