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FMA: The Brotherhood Diaries – Episode 44

Al and Winry

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 44 – Revving at Full Throttle

The town of Liore in FMA2 has survived two more episodes than its FMA1 counterpart and is not the focal point for the creation of the Philosopher’s Stone (the scope of sacrifice being elevated in FMA2 by requiring the entire country of Armestris instead of just one city). Also, its inhabitants do not harbor a grudge against the Elric brothers despite having “had some violence and stuff.” Instead, FMA2’s Liore is standing on its own two feet and rebuilding itself, slowly and with a renewed sense of camaraderie. While this may seem like a trite, happy ending for Liore, the series isn’t done yet. More importantly, this shows humans working together, possibly foreshadowing the human race’s future rebuilding after the war with the homunculi.

This foreshadowing isn’t out of the proverbial blue. Hawkeye’s major complaint in a previous episode, when asked by Bradley how Hawkeye feels as a citizen that her Fuhrer is a homunculus, was that of disappointment in having been lied to. This may be a parallel between the people of Liore and their exposed false prophet Cornello.

Al’s just as eager to reacquaint himself with his long lost father as he was in FMA1, but instead of Al camping out with Hohenheim for a night and then waking up to him having gone missing again, Al works alongside his estranged father while helping to rebuild Liore to spend time with him. Al’s reward? He learns the whole Hohenheim back story that we just watched four episodes ago.

And the last thing I’ll say about Liore is that FMA1 never had a Winry-in-the-bathtub scene, but it did have a Resembool Ed-in-the-shower scene. Whatever your preference … just sayin’.

Although the plot about the legion of immortal soldiers and how they’re created continues FMA2’s darker approach to military than that of FMA1, it carries some of the same relationship aspects. For instance, FMA1 homunculi were after any talented alchemist to create a Philosopher’s Stone because they could not perform alchemy. FMA2 homunculi, while having been seen using Philosopher’s Stones for alchemic purposes, still have shown the need for humans as intermediaries, and the immortal soldiers are just such an example.

Another instance of like but dislike relationships would be the use of homunculi against each other. Greed, specifically, is easiest to map out, because he is out for himself and no one else, making him the violent anarchist of the bunch. Whereas FMA1 has Greed sound the death knell for the other homunculi through information relayed to Ed and the popping of Ed’s killing cherry, FMA2 uses the breaking free of a human soul restrained mentally by Greed in his own body to initiate a rematch with Bradley. Again, this shows the divisions between series by making the conflicts not within similar factions (FMA1) but very clearly defined species (FMA2), setting their respective specialties of emotional trauma and sociopolitical drama.

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