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FMA: The Brotherhood Diaries – Episode 32

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Episode 32

Ani-Gamers staff writer 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 32 – The Fuhrer’s Son

As the title suggests, we get some back-story into the Fuhrer’s son, Selim, as well as a bit of his family life. Unless Mustang breaks in and torches the Fuhrer in the next episode, I’d say it’s a fair assessment to expect an attempt at building Bradley into a more human figure to set up a conflict for Ed killing him. Of course, this is all conjecture, but the attempt at character development is always a welcome thing.

A note not of comparison or contrast: visual clues in FMA2 are getting gradually more subtle. An example: while attempting to track Scar, Kimblee studies a map, which shows a patch of rail zigzagging through a mountainous region. The last shot of Ed and Al on a train shows them going into a tunnel through a lush forest with snowy mountains in the background. Yeah, we already knew they were headed north, but the attention to visuals is appreciated.

One outstanding difference includes a return to Liore via flashback to examine the chaos stemming from Ed’s actions there. While similar to FMA1, FMA2 emphasizes the government’s role in heightening the violence instead of the delicate balance of an occupied territory. Also important to note is the use of this flashback. In FMA1, Mustang concealed this information from Ed in an effort to bolster his self-confidence/commitment to the military, while FMA2 uses the same instance in a conversation between Mustang and General Grumman to instill a sense of need for revolution against a corrupt government.

A lesser but still notable exception is Ling/Greed, who is a much more subservient homunculus, in a very disappointing way, compared to his FMA1 counterpart or even the FMA2 that preceded him. Of course, it’s too early in his story to tell for sure, but if Greed acts as all the other homunculi, it fits what FMA2 has shown us so far. This, in my opinion, is inferior to FMA1’s Greed, who exemplified his name with utter brilliance. It’s a shame such a shadow is cast, but there is much time left for development.

“Won’t this be the first time we’ve ever been up north?” asks Al after the credits. Ha ha, FMA2…yes, we are all traveling there for the first time. Thanks for the reminder that we’re not watching FMA1 and that you are daring to explore all of Armestris. And I have to say, the scope of this series is refreshing. Already it sets Armestris in relations to a neighbor not in FMA1 (Xing) and also wishes to clue us in on the different territories within itself. FMA1 had no similar ambition, which also may have been its strength. Much like Mustang’s team, FMA2’s focus is spread thin over the vast territories that form Armestris. Hopefully there’s enough going on in each region to keep the episodes interesting.

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