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FMA: The Brotherhood Diaries – Episode 24

Envy takes a seat in Dr. Marcoh's cell

Ani-Gamers blogger Ink contributes a weekly column in which he examines the differences between the original Fullmetal Alchemist and its re-telling, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. To read previous entries, click here.

Watch Episode 24 – Inside the Belly

Oh I do love surprises, and FMA2 definitely serves up a good one with the return of Doctor Marcoh being held captive by Envy. The homunculus’ “emotions before logic” argument for leverage over Marcoh serves the plot well enough, but is ironic given FMA2’s plot-before-emotion modus operandi. The same ultimatum, if it occurred in FMA1, would have been only slightly more effective because there are a couple more episodes that deal with Marcoh’s Ishvalan guilt-induced dedication to helping out the people of a certain small town through medicinal application of a fake Philosopher’s stone.

FMA2 also finally introduces Pride (which was Fuhrer King Bradley’s homunculus identity in FMA1) via absentee/telepathic conversation. Digressing for a moment, it’s more than worthy to note the differences between FMA1/FMA2 Fuhrer-homunculus names and the related impression of Amestris military. FMA1’s Bradley (Pride) served/directed a country saturated with a sense of rising nationalism, with a slight regret at the force of its military, whereas FMA2’s Bradley (Wrath) leads a country hell-bent for all-out war (at least as far as impressions go). It’s a small but rather brilliant adaptation that should be noted for fans of either series.

Another impressive split between FMA1 and 2 is Mustang’s confrontation of the military’s higher-ups, which he was going to use to gauge who is a friend or foe. In FMA1, Mustang was the initiator at a meeting he knew the Fuhrer would be attending – hoping to induce a reaction from Bradley much like Hamlet’s Players did of Claudius. FMA2 has Mustang sneaking around and meeting a trusted friend’s contacts, which ends up being a conference room trap with a surprise appearance by the Fuhrer. For what it’s worth, FMA2’s scenario skillfully evoked much more of a sense of anxiety. Well done!

And the last I’ll say of this episode is that the battle between Envy and Yao resembled that of the one between Envy and Ed near the end of FMA1, and that, similarly, Ed goes bye-bye. Ed’s FMA2 disappearance is not a self-sacrifice, however, and Gluttony’s stomach is much larger than any FMA1 fan could have ever imagined.

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