Fullmetal Alchemist - Episode 03 Review


Episode 3, "Mother"

SCI--- er, ART!"Hey, mom, can we have terribly tragic backstories?" "Maybe when you're older, Edward." "Aww."


Synopsis: Finding a basic alchemy book in the library, the Elric brothers reflect on their past. In the small town of Risembool, Ed and Al grew up with a loving mother, but they were abandoned by their father. The two learned alchemy to try to cheer their mother up, but she died of an illness. The brothers try using human transmutation to ressurect their mother but things go horribly wrong. Edward loses an arm and a leg and Alphonse's soul has to be attached to a suit of armor. Roy Mustang, who works for the state military, comes upon them after this and offers to have them become State Alchemists. Edward decides to get surgery to attach artificial "automail" limbs and go to Central to become a State Alchemist. The two boys burn their home down so that there's no turning back.

Hohenheim abandoned this?! The bastard. "Yeah, two drops of blood should cover an entire human soul."


Another great episode! We get a peek into the Elric brothers' past, growing up in a small town with their mother. I would think that an alchemist father who abandoned them would make them instinctively hate anything to do with him and not become alchemists, but I have a feeling there wasn't a whole lot to do in that town outside of farming. Winry's parents were doctors and Pinako is an automail mechanic. I doubt she even gets that much business, so opening a competing shop would have been pointless. I don't see Edward milking cows. He hates milk so much he probably couldn't stand the smell of it. I'm the opposite, I love milk.

So, their mother dies and they decide that they'll use alchemy to bring her back. They find an alchemy teacher and go through all sorts of training (we'll see that in greater detail later), and return to town to do it, but things go horribly wrong. Alphonse gets pulled into some place and Ed loses his arm and leg, but manages to attach Al's soul to a suit of armor. The military guy, Roy, comes in afterwards and offers to make Ed a State Alchemist, and Ed has automail made for him so he can go get his license. How convenient that Roy should arrive just in time. A month or two later, maybe Ed would have been farming with an automail hoe-arm and Al hauling hay inside of him, and he would have become the Fullmetal Farmer.

My favorite part is that Roy isn't too far off from the Elric home when the kids are performing human transmutation and he recognizes it as being the light from human transmutation, but he just sort of stands there and lets it happen. It's like he was thinking, "Yeah, I'm going to see where this goes."

Actually, scratch that. My favorite part is Ed and Al trying to come up with a way to compensate for a soul in their human transmutation by adding some drops of blood. "Oh hey, for the soul, two drops of blood. That'll cover it." Ah, children.

I really love the music in this episode, because it's a very emotional storyline, and it really sells it (not that it needs to). Edward and Alphonse have a pretty sad background. No wonder Ed's such a douche sometimes. Of course, it seems like he was always a little irritable, even before the terrible incident.

Apparently, it is NOT a piece of cake to bake a pretty cake. The brothers didn't have the heart to admit the cause of the fire was a kitchen mishap.

Overall Score:

4 out of 5