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FMA: The Brotherhood Diaries – Episode 37

Winry cares for Ed's automail arm

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 37 – The First Honunculus

There’s an interesting parallel between Ed’s pondering the use of Lab 5’s red liquid in FMA1 and Ed’s pondering of the third task (mass murder) presented to him by Kimblee in exchange for a philosopher’s stone in FMA2. That parallel is both the prospect of attaining their goals at the expense of those lives sacrificed for the stone and the concern with how Al would perceive him for doing so.

What FMA2 has done rather smartly is made Al a bit impatient for the reclamation of his body and all the sensations that go along with it, which puts a bit of anxiety in the viewer as to whether or not the brothers Elric might actually forgo their morals just to reach an end. This is utterly unrealistic of course, but it is in there nonetheless. FMA1 had no such conflict, as it was always clear that the brothers were working together according to their own morals and no one else’s. Strangely enough, FMA2 touches upon this as well with Kimblee’s admiration for those that stay true to their own intentions/philosophies, so the corrosion of Ed’s stance on killing is believable to the characters in FMA2…at least those who barely know Ed (namely Kimblee).

Winry’s animation just seems to be getting worse and worse. Colors are barely palatable, and at times figures look like they’ve come out of a coloring book. FMA2 also advances the love interest angle between Ed and Winry, directly having Winry admit she’s fallen for Ed (to herself) and Ed overreacting to the memory of Hawkeye’s accusation that he loves his mechanic. Still more of a difference can be seen in how active a character FMA2 is attempting to make Winry, as opposed to the placatory Winry of FMA1. Of course she’s still supportive of her love, but no longer is she content to sit idly by.

The main contrast this episode, obviously, is the title’s namesake: Selim Bradley, the Fuhrer’s (adopted) son. FMA1 made Bradley the homunculus named Pride and made Izumi’s stillbirth Wrath, but FMA2 bestows the title of Wrath to Bradley and the distinctive honor of being the first homunculus (Pride) to his son, Selim. The nature of this homunculus is vastly more sinister than his FMA1 counterpart. FMA2’s Pride is a shadow-lurker with a sadistic streak linked to those little black hands from behind the door of truth. One could make the parallel that both Prides are shadow-lurkers, as FMA1 Fuhrer seemed to have his own information network, but really, FMA2 Selim is in everyone’s shadow and appears to be everywhere at once, making him a much more formidable foe than FMA1’s Bradley.

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