Mark Watches ‘Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood’: Episode 43

In the forty-third episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, I don’t know whether I can handle another plot twist. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch FMA:B.

I don’t even know how to start this review. What an experience, y’all.

•    There are too many plots twists. THERE ARE TOO MANY OF THEM.
•    Look, I totally believed that since the Drachma forces were closing in on Fort Briggs, this meant that “Bite of the Ant” would feature a prolonged battle sequence between the two armies.
•    NOPE. IT’S A MASSACRE. And I don’t understand it!!!! Why the hell would Kimblee betray the commander of the Drachma army? Why set them up for the slaughter? Why is this the crest of blood that he wanted? I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY THIS WAS SO EASY FOR MAJOR MILES! Which frightens me, y’all, because that means that Kimblee has something else planned.
•    You know, I was looking forward to Scar interacting with more of the Ishvalans in Asbec, but we didn’t get much of that at all. Granted, it’s not like “Bite of the Ant” is boring in the slightest, but given that there aren’t many Ishvalans left alive, I thought we might explore them a little bit more.
•    Anyway, the ramifications of Zampano’s betrayal at the end of the previous episode are brought to light almost immediately as Envy, in the form of a random Ishvalan, arrives to ruin EVERYTHING.
•    But before that ridiculous scene, we check in on Riza. Seriously, how does this show find a way to be so relentlessly uncomfortable? I mean, Bradley hasn’t been the focus of the story in quite some time, and yet his character is able to cut right to the bone in terms of unsettling me. He’s always been so direct, you know? Here, he confronts Riza about her knowledge of his and Selim’s true identity, and it’s so awful. IT’S SO AWFUL. He is manipulating her by demonstrating that she can’t keep secrets from him. Of course, this is made even worse when he admits that he chose his wife. That relationship? It’s possibly real. Well, I don’t know if that’s the correct way of stating that. How can it be a real relationship if Mrs. Bradley doesn’t know who her husband truly is? Wait, does she know her husband and her son are Homunculi? This is destroying me.
•    Back to Envy and Asbec. I love that Al has learned a tenet of alkahestry! That means he is one step closer to finding a way to get his original body back. Plus, then he and May get to work together to troll Envy from a distance! IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL.
•    Yeah, and then Envy transforms to his monster form. I think I was perfectly fine never seeing this form ever again, but NOPE. TOO BAD. Honestly, I was worried that someone (probably Zampano or Jerso) would be killed by Envy. But my expectations are continually played with during this fight sequence. I didn’t expect Scar to use his deconstruction powers on Envy, and I certainly didn’t think they would ACTUALLY WORK. Well, not completely. Envy is able to use his tongue to grab hold of Dr. Marcoh.
•    WHICH GIVES US ONE OF THE BEST SCENES IN THE WHOLE SHOW. I am seriously so happy that there’s so much moral complication and character development in Fullmetal Alchemist. Here, Dr. Marcoh uses his own guilt and regret to enact positive change in a huge way. Knowing that his work inherently helped create more Philosopher’s Stones, Marcoh refuses to be complicit in a system or an environment that devalues human life. He refuses to let Envy destroy Asbec! And it’s such an admirable and important change for his character to make because he won’t let himself be a pawn in a larger game. Not only that, but he puts his own well-being at risk by standing up to Envy, which is something that Winry picks up on in a later scene.
•    OH MY GOD.
•    If Dr. Marcoh can create Philosopher’s Stones, certainly he can destroy them, too!!!
•    It’s seriously one of the most shocking scenes in the whole show, and it’s animated beautifully. The way that Envy’s disintegration takes place is gross and sickening, but it’s kind of gorgeous at the same time.
•    Y’all, Envy started off as a slug???? I NEVER WOULD HAVE GUESSED THIS.
•    CAN WE TALK ABOUT HOW NO ONE WANTED TO SAVE YOKI’S LIFE AS A BLUFF. Oh god, I love these characters so much.
•    Can we talk about the utter tragedy that is the fact that Envy isn’t spreading a rumor about Ed’s disappearance. Oh my god, WHERE IS EDWARD??? It’s been two episodes since we’ve seen him. At least a week has passed!!! Shit, I hope he’s okay.
•    I think it’s pretty obvious in the commission video that I was really gutted by the group splitting up. I’ve enjoyed how the show has explored so many fascinating character dynamics by forcing people to work together when they otherwise wouldn’t have ever done so. If you had told me long ago that Scar and Winry would one day be allies, I would have yelled at you for spoiling me, and then I would have laughed because clearly you were trolling me.
•    I’m sad that May is going off on her own, despite that Scar does have a point. She needs to care for her own country and clan. It’s not that these people don’t want her around! But she has her own problems that she needs to deal with. I’M ALREADY SAD SHE’S GONE, AND I SHALL STAY THAT WAY.
•    I’m also pleased with the deliberate character parallels that the show is giving us through Scar and Dr. Marcoh. Both characters have done horrific things in their past, and they’re going to be working together to change Amestris for the better. I can’t wait to see more of this!
•    WHOA, it’s Bido from “Beasts of Dublith”! I love how this show brings old plots/characters back into the main story. First Rose, now Bido! Oh god, Bido has no idea that Greed doesn’t exist anymore. Is Father ever going to re-create Greed? We haven’t heard anything about that. Anyway, clearly the military and Bradley are keeping track of Izumi Curtis, which I assume is related to the fact that she’s one of the sacrifices needed by Father. (NOTE: This rot13 is for those who have seen the next episode. V’z yrnivat guvf evqvphybhf cbvag hc gb cerfreir ubj haoryvrinoyl hacercnerq V nz orpnhfr V SBETBG NOBHG YVAT/TERRQ. JUBBCF. Ur unqa’g orra nebhaq sbe n juvyr!)
•    Okay, I like Olivier a lot, but I’m really saddened by her treatment of her brother. Obviously, his emotional breakdown during the Ishvalan Civil War is taken to be cowardice, but no. That’s not at all what that was! Ugh, she is so mean to Alex, and I just want everyone to get along. 🙁
•    Look, I knew that something was wrong when Olivier was being led underground. This couldn’t end well! But y’all, despite that multiple characters have literally mentioned an immortal army before, I was still completely fucked up by the reveal that the military has been MAKING AN ARMY OF HOMUNCULI SOLDIERS. That’s what they are, right? Created from Philosopher’s Stones, right? I can’t do this. LOOK AT OLIVIER’S EXPRESSION. SHE IS HEARTBROKEN THAT HER MILITARY DID THIS. Oh no, this is so bad.
•    But wait! There is so much more. Al’s reunion with Rose is bittersweet, especially since Edward isn’t there. (OMG I love that Al noticed Winry’s expression!) But HOLY FUCK, HOHENHEIM. I DIDN’T KNOW THAT HE STAYED IN LEORE. OH MY GOD I NEED THE NEXT EPISODE IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOW.

The video commission for this episode is now archived in my store for just $0.99! You can purchase the entire show at once for only $49.99 for 64 videos!

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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