In the fifteenth episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Edward and Al return to Rush Valley to seek help from Winry; Scar gains a new traveler on his mission. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch FMA:B.
Oh my god, everything has changed.
- Okay, I actually knew that this show had been broken up into “seasons” in a loose sense, and then someone asked me on Tumblr if I was doing prediction posts, so I was aware of this being a thing.
- Of course, I didn’t actually realize I’d reached the end of a “season” until after I finished “The Envoy From the East.” That must be why the opening and closing credits have changed! How exciting. So many new things I don’t understand, which isn’t fair because I JUST BARELY UNDERSTOOD EVERYTHING IN THE ORIGINAL CREDITS. It’s like the people making this show just wanted to make sure that they could tease me more.
- “Those Who Lurk Underground” works as a really good season finale once you think about it. That means that “The Envoy From the East” is a fine season opener, too.
- New characters!!! New storylines!!! SO MUCH WORLDBUILDING!!!
- We start off with Scar murdering yet another alchemist, this one being the Silver Alchemist. I think I’ll always be disturbed by the way in which Scar kills people.
- So I guess Yoki is sticking with Scar for the time being!
- I’m far more interested in yet another newcomer, May Chang, and her tiny pet panda, Xiao-Mei. First of all, why don’t I own a miniature pet panda? Clearly, I’ve been living my life the wrong way. Through her (and later, Ling Yao), I finally get a better sense of the world that Fullmetal Alchemist is set in. I guess I’d always assumed that Amestris was everything, but that clearly doesn’t make sense. SHUSH. I’M TRYING. Anyway, far to the east is the country of Xing, where alchemy (called alkahestry) has a medical application, not a militaristic one. YES. DIFFERENT CULTURES USE ALCHEMY DIFFERENTLY. I LOVE THIS.
- I haven’t really spoken about the diversity of this show because I didn’t understand it, if that makes sense. I didn’t know if this was meant to take place on earth or somewhere else. But with this episode, we’re shown that there’s more to the world than the Ishvalan people and the Amestrisan people. (Is that even how you’d spell that?)
- Oh god, Scar’s tattoos are related to alkahestry. WHO IS HIS BROTHER???
- One of the things I’m loving about this show is how everything is so interconnected. May headed west to find Edward Elric; Scar is connected to Xing; Ling is a prince in May’s country. It’s a neat way of introducing new stories without confusing me with a billion different plot threads!
- Can I just say that May’s imagined version of Edward is hilarious? Okay.
- Actually, I’m okay with Xiao-Mei or Black Hayate being in my possession. What cuties.
- I hope that Barry the Chopper continually shows up in Fullmetal Alchemist, only to be upstaged by people’s unimpressed reaction to him. That’s the best running joke so far. But he’s not just there for humor. Through him, Col. Mustang learns of the truth in the Fifth Laboratory, which means he and his team are just a step closer to finding out the truth about their own military. Y’all, let me just predict Col. Mustang’s horrendous heartbreak. He’s going to be fucked up when he learns that he’s been complicit in whatever it is that Bradley is planning. Actually, I bet everyone is. This is going to be rough.
- Then the Elrics are back in Rush Valley, and EVERYTHING IS EXCITING. We find out that Winry has been working with someone named Garfiel, who is absent for most of the episode. He does appear briefly at the end, and I’m not sure how I feel about him? He’s drawn and voiced as being kind of stereotypically gay, but I don’t know if that is what he’s supposed to be like, or if it’s the English dub or what. I kind of want to wait to see more of him before I say anything.
- Ling Yao is yet another character who is instantly interesting and who I want to see more of. This show is so good at doing this! As a prince stuck in a long line of succession, he arrives in Rush Valley in the hopes of securing something that’ll give him better odds of becoming the next emperor of Xing: the Sorcerer’s Stone.
- This is a new reason for someone wanting the Stone, and Edward is just as reluctant as ever to hand over any information. He doesn’t want the possibility of immortality to be used for political means!
- We get to see the fighting styles of both Edward and Al as they fight their respective opponents, which reveals two very important details. First, Lan Fan has a particular devotion to Ling, something that I want explored more in the future. Why does she get so upset when Edward insults the Prince? Al discovers that since remembering his time at The Gate, he’s now able to transmute without a circle!!!! YAY FOR AL!
- Prediction: One day, Winry will just outright murder Edward for constantly getting into fights and ruining his automail. I know that’s not going to happen, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it did.
- I actually liked that the damage Edward, Al, Lan Fan, and Fu caused was acknowledged! Openly! That was awesome.
- Is Scar’s name actually significant? Or was that scene meant to imply that Scar has no intention of ever returning to a life of normalcy again?
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