Mark Watches ‘Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood’: Episode 31

In the thirty-first episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, this show is unfair. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch FMA:B.

This fucking show, I swear.

  • Y’all, the camera shifted to show the missing chimera, and I even commented on the fact that I didn’t know there were chimeras in the room, and I still didn’t fucking get it.
  • Can Mark Does Stuff just be a continual experiment in documenting one man’s inability to understand anything? Because that’s what this is turning into.
  • I know I brought this up in the previous review, but I’m so thankful that Edward has a friend in Riza. I just adore her so much, I swear.
  • Plus, this whole exchange is followed by Edward meeting up with Al and FEELING HOPE FOR THE FUTURE. That’s dangerous. I know it. I know it, and I don’t care. I actually think it’s a neat (and probably unintentional) parallel to what Dr. Knox expresses later in “The 520 Cens Promise.” For the moment, these characters want to experience happiness, joy, or hope, even if they know it can’t last long.
  • What have I become when I now believe it is impossible for these characters to be happy for more than five minutes? Bitter and broken, that’s what. ALL YOUR FAULT.
  • Okay, I get a kick out of multiple characters thinking Xiao-Mei is a cat. He is not! He is an adorable pygmy panda! AND I WOULD ADORE HIM AS A FRIEND.
  • Y’all, it’s just so lonely to watch all of Mustang’s comrades get sent all over the world. Even if Riza is still in Central Command, they no longer work together. It is important to note, though, that she has a remarkably optimistic outlook on the whole thing. She’s concerned about her best friend, and we’ve already seen how she’ll do whatever she can to protect him, not just from outside factors, but from himself.
  • Which is also a theme that pops up when Edward reminds Mustang that he’s going to hold him accountable during his quest to the top of the military. Mustang’s friends are also trying to protect him from himself.
  • I just have waterfalls of feelings about Riza Hawkeye. I hope that this is okay.
  • I also forgot about Jean Havoc. Sorry!!! He hasn’t been around for over ten episodes, right???
  • This episode uses a chess metaphor to tell a story. Now The West Wing and Fullmetal Alchemist have both done this, and I LOVE IT.
  • ALSO THERE IS A MESSAGE IN THE KING.
  • WHO IS MADAME CHRISTMAS?
  • WHAT DOES GRUMMAN HAVE TO DO WITH THIS?
  • WHY ARE YOU ADDING ANOTHER MYSTERY TO THIS SHOW WHEN THERE ARE ALREADY A THOUSAND OF THEM?
  • Because that’s what’s so great about the narrative force of Fullmetal Alchemist. I spoke briefly about this at the end of the commission for “The 520 Cens Promise,” but I’ll elaborate here. I am floored that this show has managed to answer so many of my questions along the way without dragging out the plot longer than it needs to be. It’s not like LOST, which dangled the carrot in front of its viewers for years before they were finally given the bait. Instead, as one door closes, another opens, and the writers take this story in fascinating new directions. We’ve got a new thread to follow, for example, when Fu returns to Amestris when Lan Fan and Ling don’t return. I think I just plain forgot that he was Lan Fan’s grandfather??? Anyway, it’s a rough scene to watch because Fu is so hostile towards his granddaughter, but we’re given a glimpse of the future. Somehow, they’ve got to get Ling home before the Xing Emperor dies. HOW IS THIS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN???
  • Just remember that I also said that Dr. Knox was secretly a “softie” and then less than five minutes later, his estranged wife and son arrive and he’s crying to himself in his kitchen, and this fucking show keeps finding ways to ruin me and IT ISN’T FAIR.
  • oh. Oh. So that’s why Kimblee is in jail. Remember that I also asked why he was there and then the show answered me.
  • THAT WATCH GAG IS NOT OKAY. THAT WATCH GAG IS NOT OKAY.
  • As I just mentioned, this show finds new ways to move the story along that keeps it serialized, keeps it fresh, and constantly surprises me. (Though I must assume that most of, if not all of, this comes from Hiromu Arakawa, who wrote and illustrated the manga.) Because there’s now a new thread to follow: The Homunculi have freed Kimblee to kill Scar (if he wants to), return Dr. Marcoh to them, and then EXTERMINATE AN UNNAMED CITY BECAUSE WHY WHY WHY. Literally, their gift to Kimblee is to let him destroy any town he chooses. The whole thing.
  • Okay, so you know when Envy holds up the Philosopher’s Stone and says it was made from the lives of Marcoh’s assistants? Does he mean the prisoners there or his actual research assistants?
  • There is another plot thread! Scar is taking Yoki, May, Xiao Mei, and Dr. Marcoh north to retrieve Scar’s brother’s old research notes, where he hid them, so that Dr. Marcoh can translate them. That is very exciting! I want to know what they say!
  • OH, THEN SCAR LITERALLY CHANGES THE PHYSICAL APPEARANCE OF DR. MARCOH’S FACE
  • This show is deeply unfair on a cosmic level.

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!

NOTE: The next Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood review will go up on September 23rd. I will be out of town from September 10 – 16, and cannot write Double Feature reviews that week, so we’ll take a break on these for just one week. Thank you! Please check the Master Schedule for all info regarding scheduling. 

Mark Links Stuff

– I have redesigned MarkDoesStuff.com! Check out this post explaining the new changes, which includes the start of a permanent archive of all Mark Watches videos!
The Mark Does Stuff Summer Tour is happening now! Check out the posted dates, suggest new ones, help bring me to YOUR TOWN.
– Mark Reads Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is now published and available for purchase! It’s available in ebook AND physical book format, and you can also get a discount for buying the ENTIRE SET of digital books: $25 for 7 BOOKS!!!
– Video commissions are open, and you can commission a Mark Reads/Watches video for just $25!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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