Have You Got the Mettle? – Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Part 3 Review.
I’m sure many of you have been waiting with bated breath for the next installment of the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood saga, well your wait is over. Volume 3 is to be released on Monday, taking you all the way up to episode 39 of the 64 episode series. That’s right! We’re past the halfway point! It’s all downhill from here, just 24 more to go!
But poke-rap puns aside, first let’s bring things up to date for those who don’t know much about Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood…
Like the old anime series, Brotherhood follows Edward, the short, hot-headed, older brother and Alphonse Elric, the calmer younger brother as they quest to find a “philosopher’s stone”, a mythical artifact that allows the wielder to bypass the laws of “Equivalent Exchange”, that form the basis of alchemy, an artifact they believe will help them regain their original bodies.
And how does one come to lose a body? Edward and Alphonse committed the biggest taboo in the alchemy world: “Human Transmutation”. The two brothers, grieving their mum’s death attempt to resurrect her into a new body, but by toying with mortality, they are opened to powers that they never knew existed.
With exceptionally deep character design, fighting, conspiracy and mind games, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is without a doubt one of the best anime of its generation, a must see for any self-respecting anime fan!
Read no further if you haven’t seen up to the end of episode 26. Spoilers below.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – Part 3 Review (Further Spoiler Alert)
Title: Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Part 3 (Episodes 27-39)
Genre: Steampunk, Adventure, Science Fantasy
So we last left our heroic duo in a rather sticky, and in Ed’s case, slightly slimy, situation. With the enraged Gluttony having swallowed Ed, Envy and Lin through it’s own “eye of truth” in the midst of a hectic battle. As they resign themselves to an eternity trapped in limbo, Envy vents his frustration by revealing one of his more vicious forms, and a battle to the death ensues.
All the while, Al is struggling to come to terms with his loss, and is forced to make a deal with Gluttony so they can meet the mysterious “Father”, who may be able to help release Ed, Envy and Lin from Gluttony’s “stomach”.
Volume 3 of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood begins with a flashback episode, from the view of Ed and Al’s father, Van Hohenheim, which will hopefully bring you back up to speed for the excitement that ensues. As the Elric brothers find themselves trapped in tighter corners, and between harder places, the story of Fullmetal Alchemist begins to rise towards its climax…
Some treats to savour from as the story progresses include: meeting the almighty “Father” of Gluttony, travelling to the furthest Northern reaches of Amestris, and meeting the bad-ass sibling of an old friend of the Elric brothers, finally unravelling the motive behind Maes Hughes’ murder and finally coming face to face with the remaining 2 homunculus.
Fans of the previous two volumes of Brotherhood will be pleased to know that it hasn’t changed. The animation is still slick, and smooth, and the fight scenes equally as impressive. However, with volume 3 comes a whole new phase of the story. The introduction of new antagonists, and a few new allies, the third installment of the series really brings the political element to the forefront, with less battle scenes and more mind games, you’ll really have to put your thinking caps on. Desperately trying to fight against the conspiracy, Ed and Al are left in a helpless situation where only their mental sharpness can help them progress, and save the country from its otherwise inevitable downfall.
The deeply psychological storyline is broken up by more emphasized prat falls, and sometimes left driven by pointless and frustrating displays of defiance and idiocy, to counteract the intelligence shown previously…And thus the clever-stupid balance is restored. This however proved to be my only gripe with episodes 27-39, which otherwise added further fuel to the raging FMA furnace. With more questions to be asked and more questions to be answered, there is certainly a lot to look forward to.
Whilst it isn’t my favourite segment of the saga so far, and despite causing me a large amount of frustration, volume 3 sets the pieces of the story up for what is promising to be an incredibly thrilling story climax.
Extras – DVD extras include commentaries of episodes 28 and 36 with the FUNimation voice cast, and textless opening and closing sequences.
Additional – Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Part 3 is due for release this Monday (21st February) with an RRP of £24.99.