Episode 31, "The 520 Cenz Promise"
Synopsis: Edward meets up with Alphonse after leaving Lt. Hawkeye's apartment and the brothers discuss their plans for the future. Edward tells Alphonse what he learned about the time that they couldn't use alchemy, and they look around for Mei, who has already left Dr. Knox's house. Roy's team leaves to their new posts, and he decides to visit Madame Christmas, a woman who runs a brothel, who contacts Lt. General Grumman for him. Ed and Al take Fu to see Ranfan, and he refuses their offer to fit his granddaughter with automail, not wanting to involve them any futher. The two Xingese leave for their country, with Ranfan vowing to return. The next day, Zolf J. Kimbley is let out of prison, it turns out, from Envy, who contracts him to bring back Marcoh and kill Scar. Scar, with Marcoh, plans to head north, where he hid his brother's research notes.
I found a scene where Vic Mignogna's Edward Elric was pretty decent, which was when he was talking to Roy just outside his car and telling him how he'll keep borrowing money. Romi Paku definitely delivered better in this scene, but Mignogna did a decent enough job conveying Edward's friendly sarcasm towards the colonel, even bordering on warmth from him. Then again, Vic Mignogna's never really had trouble with the more dry side of Edward, but I can feel some rare geniune emotion here, which is a good start.
Travis Willingham is, as usual, excellent as Roy. His friendly banter with Madame Christmas, his talk with Hawkeye, his musing over his current position (the chess board scene). He's really every bit as good now as either Japanese voice was.
Unfortunately, a good chunk of the second half of this episode involves a conversation between Wendy Powell's Envy and Eric Vale's Kimbley. I can't imagine two worse performances in either dub. It's heartbreaking. As usually, Powell's over-the-top scratchiness obscures her speech and it just comes across as trying too hard to sound like a wicked monster, but without actually sounding threatening the way his Japanese VA does. Likewise, Vale also sounds like he needs a lozenge, and that smooth snideness of his Japanese VA is replaced by superficial sinisterness.
Then there's the scene with Scar and Marcoh. J. Michael Tatum should try to put a little more power into his voice, which is a good one for Scar, but without a sense of force, there's no power to it, and it comes off as vague and unimpressive. I still abhor the new Marcoh voice. Monica Rial's May is doing well, though.
The episode's dub score loses points for Powell and Vale's peformances. Even Vic Mignogna blew them away.
Overall ENGLISH DUB Score:
3 out of 5