Skip to main content

FMA: The Brotherhood Diaries – Episode 43

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Episode 43

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 43 – Bite of the Ant

Most evident as the main contrast between FMA series in this episode is the fate of the homunculus, Envy. Since there is no parallel universe in which for him to get trapped and captured, there is no need for FMA2’s Ed to accidentally transport Envy there while trying to bring back Al from The Gate (a la FMA1). Instead, Marcoh and company – Scar, Al, Zampano, May — have devised a plot to bring the shape-shifting homunculus down.

There are several important and defining issues here. I’ll start with FMA1, which was designed with a lot of loose ends — one of which was that Envy was only the second to last homunculus (leaving Greed) left in the war of humans vs. creatures. FMA1 needed envy alive to serve as a metaphorical parallel between Armestris and Shamballa (the real last episode). Just as in FMA2, it is not Ed who disposes of Envy, though it is by alchemy that he is undone. FMA1 uses Envy to create a physical portal between Armestris and Shamballa, whereas FMA2 has Marcoh use Scar’s alchemic short-cut of stopping halfway through the breakdown/reconstruct process. The result of both is different as well. Envy is swallowed up as material for FMA1’s portal as a result of selfless, emotionally crushing sacrifices involving alchemy, while FMA2 reduces him to a green, worm-like parasite to be kept for interrogation via the actions of humans and chimeras working together through action, alchemy, and alkahestry.

Before FMA1’s Envy pries open The Gate to track down and kill Hohenheim, Envy makes a remark that reveals the level of detest harbored by the homunculi for humans by claiming their extinction to be at hand. This is almost parallel to FMA2, with the exception of FMA2 valuing humanity at least as servants. The leveraging of FMA2’s class issues is brought to the forefront again with Envy lashing out at the frustratingly effective attempts of Marcoh and company’s ambush. In FMA1, there was no such politics; Envy was seemingly happy just to have Hohenheim skewered between his dragon jaws, bleeding for eternity. Demonstrating a consistent rift, one series serves a sociological end, the other an emotional one.

Scar would be the second biggest difference betwixt series here, namely his growth concerning the dissolve of his revenge fantasy. In FMA1, Scar died completing the city-wide transmutation circle used to create a Philosopher’s Stone after succumbing to wounds gained from performing a gut-instinct reaction to protect Lust, the embodiment of his brother’s former lover and Scar’s own crush. Completely true to the differences between series, this is an emotional growth; he protects something non-human at the expense of himself, but still ends up completing his revenge. FMA2, however, doesn’t (yet) require such martyrdom. Its Scar has learned from his Ishvalan brother, Milo, as well as those with whom he is currently travelling, to attempt to change the minds of the Armestrian people instead of enact straight revenge. Such learning was not absent from FMA1, though, which used the same type of growth (if only a bit more subtly) but ironically applied it to parallel feelings of brotherhood between Ed and Al and Scar and his brother.

blog comments powered by Disqus