Fullmetal Alchemist - Episode 09 Review

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Episode 9, "Be Thou for the People"

Welcome to Adventure Town #3030356!A brain-damaged Ed then imagined the whole rest of the series!

*****SPOILERS*****

Synopsis: Edward is given his first assignment as a certified State Alchemist: inspecting the Youswell coal mine in the east. He and Alphonse take a train to the small mining town, which is controlled by an officer named Yoki. Edward is shunned by the locals for being a dog of the military and flattered by Yoki who wants to buy his trust. However, seeing the bad position the people are in, Edward tricks Yoki into giving up the deed to the mine and sells it cheaply to the people of the town. Because of this, Edward's reputation as a hero of the people spreads. The episodes long flashback ends to where Ed and Al began the show, just outside Lior.

No midgets allowed!"Sorry, I seem to have caught the Douchebag's Cold."

Comments:

This is one of those little side quest stories that ends up being subversively important later on, but not for the same reason as it was in the manga. On its face, it's just another of Ed and Al's little adventures in another place where they meet people who've been affected by alchemists or the military and they're faced with making a decision over whether to help out and risk screwing things up worse or not helping and letting status quo rein. Of course, Edward's not one to just let an injustice go on, even if he sometimes tries to stay out of things.

In the manga, this takes place in the first volume, immediately after Edward exposes Cornello as a fraud. The brothers leave Lior, end up in Youswell, and get involved in the people's issue with the military official, Yoki. Later on, after much time has passed, Youswell is revisited when May enters there, it being the most Eastern town after the desert. In this series, this is the only time we see Youswell, but things that happen here affect later events, regardless. One difference between this episode and the manga is that there was no Lyra in the manga. Lyra is an anime-only character.

About Lyra, she doesn't really do much here, and really does feel just like an insert. We know she's an alchemist, wants to be a State Alchemist, and is willing to side with a corrupt official like Yoki, and even destroy public property and endangering the lives of innocents. So, she's sort of a bitch, but beyond that, we know and learn nothing about this character, so she doesn't leave that big an impression, except the impression that they added a character who doesn't leave an impression. She does become involved with the main plot later on, but I wish they had made more of her debut. Then again, maybe that's the point of her debut, to get the viewer to think that's all there is to her, that she won't be important.

The episode ends by removing us from the episodes-long flashback that started in episode 3. The first time I watched the show I was confused and didn't catch it, so I wondered why in the next episode they were referring to Cornello when they hadn't been there yet.

Anyway, a fairly good episode, if really not all that remarkable.

And this is how Funimation paid for the license to FMA. I wish Lyra would have done this more often in the series.

Overall Score:

3 out of 5