Right off the bat, I want to say that it was such a pleasure to read Fullmetal Alchemist for these last 6 years. The length of this story was perfect; little to no filler, no fooling around.
Hiromu Arakawa really made a dent in the history of anime/manga and the last chapter was just a huge joy, a pleasure, to read. Having said that, I am also saddened by the fact that there are only 2 more episodes left. I know I will say this again next week, but I will certainly miss blogging about this series. But waterworks and broken hearts aside, let us explore the episode aptly name “The One Who Devoured God”.
Father has just opened the Gate to Heaven and is forcefully pulling ‘God’ down to Earth, finally capturing the energy and the power he’d been pining for all this time. I want to make a comparison between episode 60 and this one. There have been debates about whether the events in the last episode were much too expected; therefore, ruining the surprise when it actually happened. I kind of hate to agree that, when Father opened the Gate, the manga experience was entirely more powerful, had a greater ‘oomph’ than the previous episode. I believe there are a couple of reasons for that. Namely because I knew what to expect, being a manga reader myself. And also having been rewatching the episodes, it was obvious with every hint they dropped about God or some greater power that Father intended to do recreate an incident on a more massive scale like the one at Xerxes.
I could get into it, but I’d rather leave the issue up for discussion (hint: this means you guys need to comment!)
Getting back to the episode…
The scene quickly breaks to a shot of the sky of the eclipse as it still burns brightly over the country of Amestris. A chilling hush has settled over the land. It is ominous. Not even the grasshoppers are clicking and there are a number of shots of the people who have fallen. This continues for several eerie moments until we are brought back underground. A violent cough breaks the silence. Izumi is the first to come to. She, Ed, Mustang, Al, May-chan and Hoenheim all seem to be okay. It isn’t long before they realize what Father has done.
You’ll want to notice that Father looks a little different. He is no longer the spitting image of a paler Hoenheim, but a younger version back when he was a slave at Xerxes. After expressing their shock over the matter, Ed attempts to retaliate but is quickly stopped with the tap of a finger. Like before, Father is able to perform alchemy with only the slightest movement. He even shows off his new power, rubbing it in their faces by creating a small sun in the palm of his hand. The moment on his high horse comes to an abrupt end when a sort of pulsating feeling rushes through him. Unbeknownst to Father, Hoenheim had been planning his counterattack for quite some time. There was a scene, I’m not sure in which episode, where he shoves his hands in his chest, releasing some of the souls back to the planet. Scar and the Ishbalans even had a part in it, setting up a circle for when the time came.
Now, and this is just me, but, I thought that the way Hoenheim explained his plan was a little cheesy. He had been planning for years just how to go about tackling the strength of God and ended up utilizing the shadow from the moon as it is cast over the country. The souls activate on their own in the form of the circle that was set up; thus, initiating the counterattack.
What happens next is enough to forgive the cheesiness factor of Hoenheim’s plan. Once the circle is activated, striking the first blow, Father unleashes a hailstorm of energy that shoots high into the sky. This, we see, are the souls returning to their bodies. There is a shot of a baby carriage and we hear the child begin to cry. The opening music plays and his mother wakes up as well. Everyone who had fallen has now obtained their souls again.
A little part of me squealed happily when the quality of animation picked up and got really good. I knew right then and there that what came next would be epic. Despite losing the souls he had just snatched, Father is still quite powerful. He shoots off this attack that looks like a black and blue orb which Hoenheim blocks and diverts to the sky. It passes through the levels of Central, showing the chimera, Scar and Bradley (who is still not dead yet).
There is another attack. This time, May-chan is using her Alkahestry in order to protect them. She explains that the type of alchemy she uses draws from energy from the ground and there is plenty of that where they are. Another attack is fired off, which Hoenheim can’t seem to hold on his own, so Ed and Al hold his back, telling him not to lose focus. Kind of a touching moment between Father and sons, though short-lived.
Back up a few levels, Scar and Bradley are still dueling to the death. Let me just say, “Oh my God,” this is awesome. One note about the art: it looks very similar to the style of the manga with the thick lines and the way the characters move—awesome move on the animator’s part. It really gave character to the scene and was nostalgic in a way for us manga readers. So Bradley and Scar are kicking each other’s asses. Scar is using his ability to reconstruct, but the Fuhrer is merely slicing through whatever comes his way. Did I mention how awesome the animation is? As the fight gets more intense, it is abruptly ended when, after a long-winded speech from the Homunculus, declares there is no God. The moon begins to move out of the path of the sun and a ray of light shines down, hitting Bradley’s sword. This blinds him, giving Scar a chance to make his attack. Somehow, in the midst of it all, he cuts off both of Bradley’s arms. But, like the dirty fighter he is, Bradley takes the sword blade that’s been halved in between his teeth and stabs Scar in the abdomen. Both of them fall. It looks like Bradley will finally kick the bucket.
“It looks like God has forsaken me,” he says after saying he doesn’t believe in God. Lan Fan suddenly shows up; ‘a visitor’ coming to pay him back for the death of her grandfather. As he explains to her how he’s lived his life, his hair begins to gray and his skin deteriorates, too. It isn’t long before Bradley finally takes his last breath, leaving behind a Philosopher’s stone.
Scar is pretty roughed up by now, but asks Lan Fan to help him activate the circle; the ‘center’. Once this happens, Hoenheim can retaliate once more. Funny little moment, Ed teases that Father’s throne is now in pieces as they’ve ruined it. After a brief explanation from Scar about his brother’s research, we learn that alchemy from the West cannot fully harness the power that the Earth has to offer. Combined with Alkahestry, the power was even greater and could be used at full capacity. Their plan here is to continue to make Father use up his Philosopher’s stone as he will eventually run out of energy.
In a pathetic attempt to escape, Father heads up to the top level and offs a few Briggs soldiers in his path. Everyone follows except for Ed who sticks around to take care of Pride. Half of his face is missing, which is filled in with the black void/eyes and teeth of his true form. It looks like a crazy Halloween mask or something and is hard to take very seriously. I totally forgot, however, that Kimblee makes an appearance. As Pride is deteriorating, the Crimson Alchemist, who he swallowed earlier in the fight in the forest, tells him how much he’s underestimated humans—more specifically, Edward. This gives Ed a chance to attack, killing him, or rather turning him into his true form: a small infant no bigger than the size of a bean in his palm. For now, he leaves Selim resting on his coat. The creepy little newborn Selim whispers, “…Mama…mama…” as Ed walks away and the episode closes.
I hate to spoil anything, so just ignore the previews. It’s probably best you don’t watch them.
The end is coming soon!
~Blogged by Dee
Posted by Dee
Posted on June 13, 2010 at 4:06 pm
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