Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Episode 16 ENGLISH DUB Review

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Episode 16, "A Comrade-In-Arms' Footsteps"

"Oh hey, it's a phone booth, Al!" "Sure is convenient, brother!" NOTHING TRAGIC GOING ON HERE.

*****SPOILERS*****

Synopsis: Edward, Alphonse, Winry, and their Xingese aquainances arrive at Central, where Ling disappears and is picked up by the military for entering the country illegally. Winry goes to visit the Hughes household. Roy has a conversation with Armstrong about the brothers in relation to Hughes' death. He ends up lying to them about it, but Maria Ross accidently causes Ed to realize it. Ed and Al go visit Gracia and tell her and Winry about Hughes helping them out. Gracia tells them to continue on their quest to regain their bodies. The homunculi discuss current events and decide to keep Roy busy with something. Ross is arrested for the murder of Hughes while Havoc goes on a date with "Solaris", who is actually Lust.

Comments:

There's really not a whole lot to say about the dub of this episode. It was a fairly well done episode, but it wasn't stand out or anything. I think that it's probably very good that it doesn't stand out. It's just another English version of the Japanese episode, which means that it's doing its job. I'm still not a fan of Vic Mignogna's Edward or Wendy Powell's Envy, but everyone else seems to be peforming solidly.

The only really stand-out performance is Meredith McCoy's Maria Ross, and I hope she can keep it up throughout the next episode, too, because that character goes through the wringer. In fact, I'd say she does a much better job than the Japanese voice for Maria Ross used for Brotherhood. My preference was for the original Japanese voice. The new one seems to lose its strength. This seemed to be the same case when they recast the Japanese voice for Riza Hawkeye, too. Meanwhile, Colleen Clinkenbeard remains strong, and therefore the superior VA for the role. If Bones hadn't recast those roles, I would still be preferring the Japanese voices. McCoy's Maria has that sensitivity, the kindness of the character, but also brings a strength and determination that the character also displays. In comparison, the second Japanese voice sounds a little too weak.

I don't know why some of Mustang's subordinates sound so generic in the dub, though. You could easily switch the voices of Havoc and Falman and you'd get the same peformances.

There's only one more thing I wanted to add: what is with the music in this episode? It creates such a over-the-top effect in parts of it. Yes, we're supposed to fele how sad Edward and the gang are that they've discovered Hughes is dead, but at times the music swells so much that it deafens, and deadens the emotion by being melodramatic. Softer tunes would have been just as, if not more, effective in the scene where Winry cries about not being able to make a pie that Hughes could eat. Hell, even the characters going into their rooms is met with this great swell of music. Fuck, tone it down a little, even the first series wasn't this melodramatic. We get it, they're sad.

Overall ENGLISH DUB Score: 3.5 out of 5