Fullmetal Alchemist - Episode 13 Review

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Episode 13, "Fullmetal vs. Flame"

Ed putting his hand in his brother to pet his pussy. Yes, I'm terrible."Dinner!"

*****SPOILERS*****

Synopsis: The brothers arrive in East City, where they report in with Colonel Mustang. Annoyed by Mustang's attitude and suspecting he's holding back information from him, Edward decides to take the opportunity to challenge him to a duel. Roy initially refuses, but the Fuhrer gives his approval, and the match is set up. Edward finds himself over his head in the match, but Roy hesitates at the end and it ends as a draw. Roy volunteers information about a military doctor named Marcoh who fled the battlefield.

Olan Mills must love this guy. :p

Comments:

This is one of my favorite episodes of the series. For a mostly comedic episode, we do learn a bit about the Ishbal conflict and get some fun action to boot. I enjoy the antagonism between Edward and Roy, mostly one-sided, since Roy plays it cool most of the time. Edward really dislikes what he sees as Roy's manipulative and cocky behavior. Ed is the type to want to put people with an air of arrogance in their place, take them down a few pegs, and he finally gets an opportunity, and hilarity ensues because of his own overconfidence.

This episode combines two little "gaiden" stories from the manga, one about Edward and Roy having a duel that sparks when people around the colonel wonder who would win in a fight, and another about the dog, Black Hayate. These are seperate tales, but are quite well woven together into the narrative of this episode, with the addition of drama about Ishbal and Alphonse's love of cats (a constant subject of Arakawa's FMA 4-koma extras). In fact, I think this episode should get some kind of award for combining extra manga material in a creative way.

In the manga story, the duel ends as soon as Roy reveals that his other glove has an array on it, too, and he just blasts Edward, who has to be taken away in a stretcher. Here, Edward gets a final charge and the match ends in a draw when Roy hesitates due to an Ishbal flashback. In the flashback, he kills a child who raises his gun in fear. I really liked this bit, where he sees Ed and then flashes to the child, showing that in some ways, Roy still considers Ed a kid and doesn't want to hurt him, despite him being a State Alchemist. It shows that Roy has some sensitivity about his role in that past conflict, and we'll see more of that later. Good forshadowing. Or, er, maybe aftershadowing, since it already happened in chronology? Anyway, it's a pretty dark end to an otherwise comedic fight, but it tells us we're on the main story track finally. In fact, that single moment does it, telling us "fun and games are over, children".

But the episode does have some genuinely good, funny moments, even after that bit, like the Fuhrer arriving and telling them to clean up the mess, and Riza training her dog by firing her gun around it. I'm pretty sure that's animal abuse, but I wouldn't make an issue of it to her. And of course, earlier on, we have (hopefully just one of) Roy's motivation to become Fuhrer, the miniskirt army. In the 4-koma extras for the manga, he adds later that he'll kick all the other men out of the military. They don't like hearing that.

ANGST TIME"Damn it, now I need to wash these clothes again!"

Overall Score:

4.5 out of 5