Episode 26, "Reunion"
Synopsis: While unsuccessfully trying to battle Envy, Edward comes to a realization, and halts the fight with the promise of returning himself, Envy, and Ling back to the real world. Back at Central, Scar and Mei follow Alphonse and Gluttony in underground passages. Edward decides to do a human transmutation on himself to open the real Doors of Truth, and use Envy's Philosopher's Stone to send everyone back. He also reveals his realization that whoever made the homunculi used Xerxes' people to transmute a Philosopher's Stone centuries before. In Central HQ, Bradley relates to Roy the story of his childhood and becoming Wrath. Back in the darkness, Edward activates an alchemy array and goes through the Gate, finding himself face-to-face with Alphonse's withering body. As the gate reopens to pull him out, he promises to return some day.
I meant to do this one when it first aired, but kept putting it off, and so here it is.
I realized something about the English dub for this show, and that is that on occasion, several lines will be said to impart information relayed with fewer words in the Japanese version, or at least, it seems that way the way they're spoken. Of course, Japanese and English are very different languages, so I'm sure that can't be helped at times. Sometimes dubs do the opposite, where they try to say less, and then you miss some information, and that's bad, too. It's probably difficult for people working on an English dub to strike a balance between what's being said, how it's said, and the time they have to say it. This is why it's so important to not add more lines where they aren't needed or disregard lines where they are.
The example I have in this episode is the lines Ling is thinking when he sees Edward clap his hands together to transmute the array to get the group out of Gluttony's stomach. He thinks to himself that Edward looks like he's praying. In the Japanese version of the scene, the words are spoken very deliberately, but in this version, it's very quick and you miss their significance the way the actor delivers them. It sounded like they were trying to squeeze them out as quick as possible. It's an oddity of dubbing. It's not something that I particularly find a big problem with, but it can mean you miss a few things here and there that can ultimately add up over time.
That being said, I found the performances in this episode to be decent, especially towards the end. Wendy Powell's Envy is a little more tolerable in Envy's monster form. Vic Mignogna did a fair job with the final, heartwrenching scene of Edward promising his brother he'll return. I still dislike Ed Blaylock's Fuhrer King Bradley, because it always his this very on-the-nose "sinister" quality, but it's not even sinister enough to come off as intimidating, so it misses the mark on both counts. The guy who played the younger Fuhrer was decent.
There sure is a lot of blah, blah, blah in this episode. I know a lot of it is necessary, but still. I don't know why my ADD is kicking in when I have no trouble dealing with it in LoGH or in the first FMA show. I guess because I see the first FMA series as more of a drama.
Overall ENGLISH DUB Score: 3.5 out of 5