Fullmetal Alchemist - Episode 06 Review

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Episode 6, "The Alchemy Exam"

Alexander asserts his dominance over Edward. Looks like a nice guy. I'm sure he'll be a friend.

*****SPOILERS*****

Synopsis: Edward and Alphonse are assigned to study the notes of The Life-Sewing Alchemist, Shou Tucker, and study for the exam to become an official State Alchemist. Tucker lives with his young daughter Nina and dog Alexander in a large house gained with his pristege. Maes Hughes throws a birthday party for Ed at his house, but his wife goes into labor. Trying to help with the delivery, Ed discovers he can use alchemy without a transmutation circle. The baby is delivered successfully and Ed returns to studying for the exam. Alphonse is forced to drop out of the exam for fear the nature of his body might be discovered, but Edward manages to pass with an impressive display before the judges.

NOTHING TRAGIC HAPPENING HERE!"How will giving Gracia a sponge bath going to help?" "Going to help me, brother."

Comments:

This is the episode we're introduced to Shou and Nina Tucker. First of all, what the fuck kind of name is "Shou" for a guy who looks like that and lives in Amestris? Second, his daughter is most kinds of adorable. Even the huge dog is endearingly cute. Shou Tucker is the "Life-Sewing Alchemist", which would immediately tip me off that something's not right about him, because even the title makes me think of some guy sewing together corpses and running volts through them to bring them back to life. Apparently, though, the military has no problem with a guy who makes terrible abominations for a living, go figure.

We saw chimeras in Lior, but in this series, that happens chronologically after this bit of the story, so by then, Edward is already in the know about chimeras. At this point, Edward and Alphonse have presumably never seen one before. Compare this to the manga and Brotherhood, where not only have they seen one, but there are several in cages all around Tucker's house. He just seems to leave them around, like it's no big deal.

Maes Hughes' wife Gracia is introduced in this episode, and goes into labor during Ed's birthday celebration. It was pretty funny how Ed, Al, and Nina ran around panicking. The brothers may be good with alchemy, but that doesn't mean they know anything about child birthing. Eventually Hughes comes back with the doctor, but I'd like to know if Ed and Al had a hand in the actual delivery or not.

The final part of the episode was the examination to be a State Alchemist. I thought it was a great element. We don't get to see much of Ed's examination in the manga, just the demonstraton of his abilities. Here he's entered along with other potential candidates in a very college-exam-like situation, with a written part. I really liked the interview portion where Edward says that he's doing it to fulfill a promise. And then there was the demonstration part where different alchemists also competed for a license, giving their all, but Edward coming out on top because of his use of alchemy without circles. This really sets it apart from the original story, and in a good way.

We don't find out why Ed is capable of alchemy without circles until later, but it was interesting to see how he first came to know he could. Then again, maybe he already knew?

Anyway, there was a lot going on, but it ended up a pretty good episode.

Suddenly, matriculation!I'm still wondering how this is possible, even in this world.

Overall Score:

3.5 out of 5