Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood – 64 [END]

Final thoughts: Happy endings are nice, aren’t they? ^^

I have been skipping out on reviewing this, unable to catch up with the series previously. A big reason was the manga ending and I didn’t want to spoil the readers with too much information. I am hugely satisfied as an FMA fan because I get to not only finish the manga but see it animated within 3 weeks tops. I was more than delighted to see the ending sequences played out and everyone getting a happy one at that. It’s like an era ending because this has been one of the first anime I picked out to see and then followed later with manga. I am sad to see this go but we know: all good things must come to an end.

This post is my final summation of FMA Brotherhood, an anime that has been true to the manga to its core. I’ve observed that when you stick to the original material, the outcome is much better than something that you improvise on. Take Bakemonogatari, Arakawa Under the Bridge and Durarara!! as examples, the directors of which stuck to the source material and didn’t deviate much. Now look at the first season of Fullmetal Alchemist, till it remained true to the manga it was brilliant, the moment it spun out of control with failed human transmutations becoming homunculi and bland characters, it went downhill. Not that I didn’t like Conqueror of Shamballa, that was a good follow up to season one, yet the fans knew there was something missing and we got a bonus in Brotherhood.

The last episode was simply EPIC to say the least. I would say, it not only answered a lot of questions but did better than manga in conveying some hard hitting facts and back-story explanation of future events.

The foremost has to be Mustang’s return of eyesight. After the showdown with Lust and Envy, it was pretty clear that he can kill and blindly so, when in rage. With a past of actively participating in the Ishbalan war, one can’t imagine him hopping on rainbows. He’s calculating, intelligent and a true strategist, who joined the Military to make a difference and later on determination to atone for his mistakes (being a dog of the military was never easy). He is shown more humane and helpless, unable to even forgo his own gate of truth like Ed because there would be no return for him (in case of Ed, he escaped from Al’s gate than his own). Still, he was preparing to become the next Fuhrer rather than being dejected, working with his team to free the Ishbalans from slums and return access to their Holy land. Of course, without his eyesight, Mustang would have to retire but Dr. Marcoh brings a solution and rightly makes his judgment of using a Philosopher’s stone made from the souls of Ishbalans to return his eyes to help reconstruct their homes and future betterment. It was a good twist that Mustang preferred Havoc’s legs to be healed before his own eyes; more than a team player definitely.

Can homunculus be connected with humans via their hearts? Ma ne~

Coming to politics, the old codger Grumman finally gets his fill of becoming the Fuhrer of Amestris with Mustang in East and Armstrong in North as his loyal soldiers. Selim (Pride) is being brought up by Mrs. Bradley and turning out to be a very kind boy but of course, Grumman would still keep an eye on him. On the other hand, Scar is saved by Olivier and along with Miles, he gets to not only rediscover his identity but reconstruct the Ishbal for which his brother and countrymen had sacrificed their lives.

Al is shown to have a soft spot for Mei, who helped him in his final contribution to fight Father (sacrificing himself to return Ed’s arm). She would be protected by Lin Yao, the emperor of Xing who would take responsibilities of all families (Greed sure rubbed off on him).

Isn’t Mei-chan kawai~? “Taking all families in? You are too Greedy, Lin Yao!”

Ed and Al finally return home walking together. The ensuing scene is one of the most moving of the series with the appropriate background music and a feeling of nostalgia as Winry walks towards the main gate as if in a trance hearing Den bark in glee. Their reunion is what you call a full circle at its finest moment.

Two years after the showdown with homunculus in flask, Ed and Al decide to go on a journey to discover not only Alkahestry but basis for their new theory on equivalent exchange. They were always haunted by the death of Nina (Shou Tucker’s daughter) and want to change the way equivalent exchange works with not only returning what one took but more. Al travels to Xing and other eastern countries with Zampano and Jerso in tow, while Ed travels to western countries, both with the same aim of gathering troves of knowledge and combining it for not only research but alchemy’s advancement at its core.

Of course, how can I leave out Ed finally confessing to Winry? Remember, when they were young, Winry refused to marry any of the two brothers because they were smaller than her in height. Well, guess what Ed has been taller than her since he returned to Risembool after fighting Kimblee with chimeras. Even she realized her feelings for him but the two bakkas never actually said anything. Even while confessing, Ed found an alchemist’s way to do it: “It’s equivalent exchange! Give me your half life and I will give my half to you.” I face-palmed with Winry, ah mo~! She’s willing to give it all and there is never equivalent challenge when it comes to love anyway; the balance continuously tips on both ends.

DAAAAAAAAAAWWW-NESSSS~

Ed narrates philosophically in the end and very fittingly so: “A lesson without pain is meaningless. You cannot gain something without sacrificing something in return. But once you have withstood the pain, you will gain a heart that is stronger than everything else. A Fullmetal Heart.”

End Thoughts: It’s nice when you get closure, right? What’s the point of hanging on a thread for what will happen next…?! Mattaku~! Yes, I’m so hinting at you, Brain Base (Drrr!) and Production I.G (KnT)! This has been one of the most satisfying end of a manga/anime, compared to many well-made anime that had tear-jerky, sad endings, like Bokura ga Ita, Wolf’s rain, Fate/ Stay Night, Honey and Clover, etc. To the contrary, this has been EPIC and I can imagine the millions of fans throughout the world shedding a tear or two while watching the end. A most fulfilling experience indeed. Following you can say is a summation of the strong themes and moments that I cherished and will keep on cherishing, whenever re-watching:

The air of camaraderie: Fullmetal has always been about working in a team. Even when dealing with individual strength and morals, there have always been the brothers coming to the same conclusion from different thoughts, egged on by many friends that they encountered in their journey. This has been the main theme till the end: nakama are precious and to be cherished.

Al and Ed, the high-minded souls: I was acutely reminded of why I love this show so much by the selfless acts of Al, for refusing to reunite with his body just to have a shot at destroying Father and later completely abandoning the armour at the crucial moment of overture to return Ed’s missing arm. In episode 63, Ed does the same for Al and sacrifices his own gate of Truth to return his body. From the few flashback and old pictures strewn throughout the last few episodes, it seems the creators were reminding us of all the good times and foundation of this story. We remember and we’ll always love it.

Hohenheim, the Father: His character has always been shown as distant yet we finally got to see the warmth and hundreds years of struggle that he spent on building bonds with the souls residing in his body. His counterattack was more than delightful. Badass goddamn it! Not to mention his closure of finally being accepted by Ed as a father and getting to breathe his last in front of Trisha’s grave.

Deaths of Homunculi: Wrath was one of the intriguing homunculi that actually aged with time. His death was not as dramatic as Envy’s but quite fitting by Scar’s hands—a nameless human—and watched over by Ran Fan, whose grandfather he killed. You reap what you sow and that is that, old man.

Pride on the other hand got a second chance just because Ed saw the child in him. Kimblee, of all people understood what Ed was thinking. Isn’t it too ingenious how great both Ed and Al’s character are? They surprise us with their perseverance in most inspired ways in the toughest of times. Ed saving Pride’s true form and later apologizing to Mrs. Bradley in the end was just another example. (I steered clear of the nipple joke because I watched Mitsudomoe and ah mo~ =.=;;)

Of all the homunculi, I liked Greed the most; he had such a grey personality yet stood out since introduced in Beasts of Dublith. In the end, he finally came to realize that all he ever wanted was friendship, like Ed and Al had with their nakama. He definitely had a heroic end compared to other homunculi, preparing the grounds over which Ed was finally able to foil Father’s plans.

Scar the Hero: Who knew that the vengeful Scar would be the savior of Amestris who almost obliterated his nation? The reverse transmutation circle that his Ani researched finally came to fruition by releasing the pure power of Alchemy destroying Father’s wards all over Amestris. He also got to work together with Miles to reconstruct the Ishbal that was destroyed. This is one of those full circles that had a very satisfying feeling.

Love is in the air! Ed and Winry’s relationship has been obvious since Mustang came to visit him after the human transmutation incident. Finally getting all of it out there was a wondrous moment. It was also cute seeing their children look carbon copies of each other. In case of Al and Mei, at least it was explained in anime while it was totally absent from manga except for the ending montage. I would still say, a hell of a growth spurt by Mei to become taller than Winry! =P Hopefully, there was progress between Mustang and Liza as they are pretty much married anyway (WTH is with that moustache anyway? Was not there in manga! x_X). Also, hopefully, Ran Fan is not just protecting Lin Yao (he sure has a mask fetish! *snicker*).

Random fact: Xiao-Mei (the little panda) sure has a very funny seiyuu voicing many types of squeaks and screams. Ever wonder who voiced her? Well, it’s actually Alphonse-kun or even Elle Armstrong; Rei Kugimaya voices all these FMA characters.

Le sigh, I will miss all these characters I’ve come to love dearly. Though, I’m consoled with the announcement of FMA movie being green-lit; release date still unknown (I hope it’s not a live action as some people are reporting; Kami-sama, please let it be an anime). Hopefully, this would deal with the after two-years-part when Ed and Al go out to discover the eastern and western borders with some romance thrown in. So, look forward to it!

I had fun reviewing FMA: Brotherhood and after 20,000 words and 46 word pages, it’s the second series I’m ending at Metanorn. Phew! Now tell me your reaction of the last episode via comments or twitter. Till next time, Ja ne~

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37 Responses to “Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood – 64 [END]”

  1. This is why I keep returning to this place. I can not believe I missed so many posts since the last time!

  2. Shockerz says:

    A well written review of the overall FMA: Brotherhood. Yes! It was a good show and the characters are very lovable yet interesting.

    I wonder what will the movie be showcasing? I hope that its something we does not expect. Anyhow, it’s a pleasure reading your the writing on FMA.

    • Kyokai says:

      Thanks. I speculate that it would be more details on the brothers’ journey towards east and west. Let’s see when it comes out.

  3. Ultimate Tempura from the North says:

    WOW.

    Typically you expect hair growth to show ow much time has passed.

    but Mustang just grew a mustache (haha! (didnt notice that in the manga)

    and hawkeye goodthing she cut her hair.

    • EvoIce says:

      Ya i just noticed the porno stash XD, he looks cooler in the manga without the hat and combed back hair
      I can’t believe he used the stone to get his sight back, wonder what Ed, and Al would have said.
      It be better if he had Hawkeye be his eyes. ;P

      • Shad_Phoenix says:

        Well, he does say that he doesn’t want them to know. So even he knows that they’d kill him.

        It’s symbolic. He lost his sight for the future, now he regained it. The Ishbalan souls helped him so he could help them.

    • Kyokai says:

      @ Ultimate Tempura from the North, that was such a troll towards Mustang. There was no mustache in manga but yeah, hawkeye did cut her hair. It’s a shame seriously, when she herself liked her hair long… :/

      @ EvoIce, That is what I exactly thought while following manga that Hawkeye would be his eyes but being from an army family I know that such disabilities causes retirement because unless you are fit for the job you can’t continue. I personally didn’t like what he did but if you think from the POV of working towards betterment of Ishbal and Amestris, who else could’ve been a good Fuhrer? Not Grumman for sure.

      @ Shad_Phoenix, Yeah, that is the reason I didn’t go nuts over what he did because he was a grey-hero from the beginning. However the situation is, at least he’s done it for the right choices rather than vice versa.

  4. kewldude says:

    no bad thing i wish she had kept her long hair! It looked a lot better! that aside, Ed n winry have kids = Awesomeness! ^_^ Awesome series and awesome ending. I got tears of joy when i finished seeing it! ^_^ XD

    • Kyokai says:

      Hehee. Same here. It was a very satisfying ending indeed! Been rooting for Ed and Winry from the beginning and it was nice seeing them all together and happy. ^^;

  5. Ms. Doodles says:

    lol “Happy endings are nice, aren’t they ^^;” is still a spoiler. ^^

  6. gwern says:

    Pursuant to a really stupid Wikipedia argument (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_%28illusion%29), I’m curious: was Winry & Ed only visually presented as married (as in the manga) or are they actually stated to be married/husband and wife/etc.?

    • Kyokai says:

      I won’t compare Maya from Hinduism to a married life because the former actually talks about something that makes up the physical world which is just an illusion while the afterlife is what is real. According to them, “Dunya tou mayaa hai” (world is an illusion) so don’t waste it on acquiring money and go on the hedonistic path rather meaningfully, marriage is a very tiny bit of Maya thought.

      If you ask for my opinion, I remember Hohenheim marrying Trisha but the brothers took their mother’s name (Elric). I think Ed would do the same, marrying Winry because he loves her so much and they are practically married already.

      PS: You just gave me material for my next post on Occult Academy though! xD

      • gwern says:

        Heh. Looking back, it seems like I seriously got my wires crossed.

        That Wikipedia link was meant for my comment on some blog post which thought the Occult Academy’s “Maya” might be a reference to the Indoamerican Maya, and I thought it was much much more likely to be the Asian religious term that I linked.

        What I *actually* meant to link in my above FMA comment was http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Edward_Elric#Manga_Final_Chapter_-_Ed_and_Winry (which is the stupid argument I was referring to – how the editors think we can’t describe Winry as Ed’s wife because it’s never written).

        Hoo boy. Curious brainfart.

    • Kyokai says:

      LOL! Happens to the best of us, gwern!

      I checked out the comments and seriously, I don’t understand why would Ed wear a ring if not only to show to the world that he’s married. If you see closely, Winry’s ring finger is hidden so she could’ve been just wearing it. Also, knowing Ed and how he is, he would never wear “bling” unless ultimately necessary. Sometimes wiki editors are just stupid… :/

  7. Epi says:

    Any thoughts on the ‘growth’ of Ed? I was always under the impression that his height didn’t change at all during the series (flashbacks of when he was a kid aside of course).

    BTW I love the 2nd pic you have in this review, it’s great!

    • Kyokai says:

      I started noticing the growth since the 20th episode in which Winry commented over his broad shoulders (at that time his height was almost an inch’s difference from her). Though, in episode 46 after fighting Kimblee and transforming his lifeform to heal himself, he did grow finally taller than Winry. I fangirl squeed after this episode because he was literally looking down at her while she worried over him and Al.

      Thanks for the compliment! <3

    • Hagaren says:

      Ed’s been steadily growing throughout the series (it’s more obvious in the manga) You can see how much he’s grown when you compare the beginning of the story to the arch after the Winry/Scar incident and then in the Briggs arch even taller. Finally see a more obvious visual hint when he’s taller than Winry in episode 46, and of course at the very end he’s very tall ^^

      You can also see him physically maturing in more ways than just his height. His build, his shoulders, the shape of the face and jaw…

      • Kyokai says:

        @ I would definitely agree with all your observations. I seriously had fun watching Ed and Al grow into men who would do anything to save mankind. Heroic pretty much suites them. ^^;

  8. Mikoto says:

    I agree. I prefer the real happy ending over the first anime’s bittersweet ending. (:

    • Tanisha says:

      So true, I have to agree. The first series just pales in comparison compared to Brotherhood.

      • Kyokai says:

        Agree with the both of you. Happy endings are always awesomer than the sad ones… ^^;

  9. Mikoto says:

    Oh, a little fun fact: if you watch the first anime again, you can see that Bones already had some idea with what Arakawa was going to do in the manga. Some small plot points are pretty similar (like Roy losing one eye while he goes blind in the manga/Brotherhood, Hohenheim being immortal, Ling making a cameo in episode 15 with Greed’s glasses etc.)

    • Kyokai says:

      Good facts. I plan to marathon the old and new one weekend. Hopefully I’ll get time soon to enjoy this again! ^^;

  10. vucubcaquix says:

    Here’s to hoping that the movie will be a big budget animation about the Ishbal War.

    That’d be amazing.

    • Kyokai says:

      Wouldn’t that be kinda grim? Because so many people died and it’s been a bad experience for all of the ones who participated in it. I’d love to see the epilogue part of the manga in the movie though.

  11. naru says:

    wow u have written such a nice review.man awes the whole episode ,
    i was searching for the last pic i wanted to see it..
    also the last lines of ed,did.nt knew where to searchfor..
    really thanks..
    once again the review is awesome ,out of the world.. i like FMA.
    :wink: :wink:

    • Kyokai says:

      Aww, you are welcome and thank youuu! <333 :love:

  12. Tanisha says:

    omg, I thought Ed looked taller in episode 46 as well, but I thought was just because of the way the scene was angled. I’m so happy that Ed didn’t stay his short stature even at 18! Btw, did anyone else realize how good looking Al and especially Ed were in the last episode? Hubba Hubba!

    I gotta say that the last 15 episodes or so were just stellar. Every twist and turn in the plot was surprising and captivating. [spoiler] Everything with the Madam, Selim, Radio Central, and the coup d’etat was just too much. I don’t know about anyone else, but I LOVE fma: brotherhood so much more than the original fma series. The plot was more interesting, happy endings were ample, and it was just great, great, great, great! so happy…

    How did everyone else feel about this series compared to the original one?

    • Kyokai says:

      You and me both, Tanisha! It was awesome seeing the two grow up to be such nice young men, even bishie at that! :4:

      This anime to me will be one of the best out there with a very satisfying and happy end (I’m a sucker for happy endings). Everything was great both the good and bad characters.

      It has been an awesome journey and this one would be very dear to my heart.

  13. FlutterAwayy says:

    After watching the first fma anime back in 2007/08, and having just finished brotherhood, i can really say i enjoyed both versions of the anime. i never read the manga, but i think the first anime (which didnt follow the manga in the end) depicted the earlier eps better i.e. there was more background stuff + scenes such as nina’s death were more emotional, but in terms of storyline, brotherhood’s story was more interesting (the ending was EPIC!). Maybe cos i hadn’t seen fma in a while, it took me a while to like brotherhood. but brotherhood’s ending was definately much more fulfilling, and yay to ed and winry :)

    thanks for the review!

  14. bielizna says:

    Friend of mine recommend me to visit your site, I found the informations I looked for . Thank you very much

  15. Tolle says:

    I’m so glad I found this specific page.

    I always get this sad feeling when an anime series finally comes to an end and FMA:B was no exception. Still after the last sentence, I kept looking at the credits, hoping for more.

    I usually have a hard time “getting over” the last episode of an anime and therefore usually start on a new one to “get going”. I might lie around and watch part of the end again trying to “fill my heart”, but it’s never really sufficient – but I guess all I need to do is read some thoughts of other people. I share a lot of the opinions on this page and I couldn’t agree more about Mustang’s (CHIKUSHO!!!) mustache xD

    Thank you so much for the post – it was relieving.
    Oh, and as many others, I really did hope for a Mustang > Riza thing :P But I guess it might happen in the movie :)

  16. sush96 says:

    dont know if anyone noticed, but in episode 9 wen winry spots armstrong and shouts his name al n eds teacher and her husband pass by her

    • Kyokai says:

      Yeah, I saw that. They were traveling towards the norther region at that timeline. :3

  17. JinSage says:

    After two years it has been a while since I watched it (after finishing it). Thinking about watching all seasons and finish it again just for the fun of it, seeing I miss the show.

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