Top 15 Favourite Moments in Fullmetal Alchemist

Hey everyone, guess what? Fullmetal Alchemist is awesome!

*Brings out the party streamers and blares Celebration*

I guess I didn’t need to do that. But it really is an amazing show, I wasn’t lying! And while I dislike the whole debate on whether or not it or its 2009 counterpart is superior (I might cover that in the distant future, assuming I figure out how to do it justice,) there’s no denying the cultural impact its had on the Otaku world since its first syndication roughly 12 years ago. It’s not my favourite anime ever, or even my favourite action show, but it certainly has its place in the anime mainstay. What better way to honour that than with a Top 15 list of my favourite moments, eh?

Okay, enough chit-chat! Time to kickstart this enormous, spoiler-filled ode to my favourite Shonen series!

Ready, Steady, Go! 8-bit remix (Video courtesy of Sora1123.)

15. Gracia Hughes giving birth:

I have a confession: for all its excellence, Fullmetal Alchemist falls short in two places. The first is in its comedy. While not necessarily terrible, it tries way too hard and can be really hit-or-miss; in fact, a lot of the moments where it’s trying to be silly are when its jokes fall the flattest, like whenever Ed is freaking out over his height. But every-now-and-then it delivers memorable comedic moments, like when Ed, Al and Nina Tucker are trying to help Gracia Hughes deliver her baby, and none of them can figure out what to do. So they keep running around like headless chickens, all-the-while Gracia's screaming in agony.

There are a lot of great lines in this scene: Gracia mentioning that she’s gonna die, followed by Ed and Al bickering over whether or not she’s being serious? Definitely chuckle-worthy. Gracia passing out, causing Nina to scream? Even funnier. Ed panicking over accidentally reheating the water? Even funnier than that. But the highlight is when Gracia mentions that “[she] can feel its head now,” and Ed, Al and Nina scream in fear simultaneously.

That line gets me every time! I don’t know if it’s the awkwardness of it, the awkwardness of its juxtaposition with Ed, Al and Nina’s anxiety, or the sad reality that the scene is jabbing at a really serious issue in an over-the-top way, but I burst into hysterics each time I get to this part. Unfortunately, since it’s really the dialogue that makes it click, as opposed to the animation, it gets a low entry on this list. Still, it’s really funny. Besides, as someone who-apparently-took his sweet time coming out of his mother’s womb, such that she was incredibly hungry afterward, I can’t help but laugh at how guilty I feel for being reminded of that. So yeah, great moment, really funny, and it’s the kicker for a list of greatness.

14. The muscle-off:

Another comedic moment that resonated with me, except this time it’s more on the animation. Which is fine, since that really does all the talking. It’s such a weird, weird moment in an otherwise serious episode, and it definitely helped break the tension for what was to follow. Also, it features one of my favourite characters, Alex Louise Armstrong, duking it out with Sig Curtis in a battle of the muscles. That alone is too ridiculous to not be funny.

The best part? It’s completely in-character for Armstrong. He’s always been a bit of a show-off in Fullmetal Alchemist, strutting his muscles and flexing for “the good of the state”. This is another example of that, except that, this time, it’s not strictly vain. Armstrong realizes that Sig needs to be broken down to gain his trust, and since he’s as muscular as him, why not appeal to that? Besides, given the conditions surrounding the muscle-off, it was bound to happen!

This one’s largely on the list for being awkward, silly and hilarious simultaneously. It’s awkward because you don’t know how to react, especially with the super-serious music playing over it. It’s silly because, well, it’s pure macho man-cheese, and Lord knows how great that always is. And it’s hilarious because, well, it’s Armstrong being himself. I don’t think anything else needs to be said here, other than that Armstrong is such a beautiful specimen that his face radiates sparkles. No really, I’m dead serious.

13. The show’s ending montage:

Perhaps the most-controversial part of Fullmetal Alchemist is its ending montage. In particular, detractors have criticized the show’s lack of true closure, instead leaving the story open-ended for future shows to add to it. They claim that nothing gets resolved either, as it leaves a gaping hole that never gets properly resolved. And you know what? At first, I kinda agreed! I thought that the finale was a little lacking too, since it came out of left-field and left a lingering question looming over the show.

However, as I’ve re-watched the series again and again, it doesn’t bother me anymore. At least, not as much. One of life's big challenges, especially in good storytelling, is recognizing that the answers aren’t always clear-cut and spelled out for you. Sometimes, the best ways to conclude a story are to remind the audience that the characters don’t know what’s gonna happen in the future. It’s scary, suspenseful, clever and promotes discussion.

Besides, I think criticizing Fullmetal Alchemist for having an open-ended conclusion detracts from what it was trying to convey: that actions have consequences, even when they seem like good ideas at the time. True, it’s really unfair that Ed and Al don’t reunite after all they’ve been through, I won’t deny that. But they both still take something from the experience. Ed gets a chance to live a life separate from the harshness of alchemy, while Al has a new goal to look forward to. And they both promise to one day see each other again. So while it’s frustrating to end this way, hence the low placing on this list, at the same time it’s also a fitting conclusion to this bittersweet and disturbing show.

12. Izumi knocks Ed and Al silly:

Izumi is one of my favourite characters in Fullmetal Alchemist. I say that not only because of her tragic back-story, which didn’t make this list, but because she’s a sick woman who doesn’t let that get in the way of being a positive role model for Ed and Al. This means teaching them the importance of respecting nature, as well as scolding them for violating it in rather harsh ways. And by “scolding in harsh ways”, I mean using force. And by “using force”, I mean kicking the crap out of them for attempting to raise their mother back from the dead. Basically, she’s a drill instructor-meets-old school disciplinary.

It’s interesting because I initially wasn’t so fond of this moment. It felt like brutal overkill on top of brutal overkill. Ed had lost his leg trying to bring back his mother, followed by his arm when he brought back Al’s soul. Al, in contrast, had lost his entire body. They’d suffered enough for their arrogance, so why punish them further? And by pummelling them too?

But then the hug came in, and it clicked: Izumi treats Ed and Al like her own children. Sure, they misbehave sometimes, and that deserves some punishment, but she still cares for and understands their situation. And given what we’d learn about her, it’s her realizing that people do repeat their own mistakes sometimes. Also, considering that Ed and Al hadn’t had a proper chance to grieve over their mother, it was important to get the ball rolling because, well, they weren’t gonna do it themselves. It’s a reminder that blunt wake-ups can often be the most effective…even if they have to hurt.

11. Ed’s meltdown in Lab 5:

The episodes surrounding Lab 5 in Fullmetal Alchemist were easily the best of its first-half. There, I said it. But they really made the difference: they transpired after Ed and Al discovered the secret to The Philosopher’s Stone’s existence, but before Hughes’s murder. They contained, additionally, the perfect balance of suspense, excitement and mystery. Factor in all the important details that were revealed, as well as the intense finale/rescue at the end, and you have a genuine high in a series full of them.

I wasn’t kidding about that rescue, it really is intense. After Ed accidentally steps in the puddle of impure Philosopher’s Stone, everything goes crazy. So crazy that the music becomes intense and dramatic to indicate how serious it is. So crazy that everything starts self-destructing. So crazy that Lust, Envy and Gluttony, all of whom had orders to stay at all costs, are forced to flee. So crazy, even, that it takes the combined strength of a dozen military men, including Armstrong, to get them to safety. In short, not pretty.

I always feel emotional while watching this moment, a fact compounded by Maria Ross embracing Ed in order to calm him down. It’s a reminder of how vulnerable we can really be in times of desperation, even though we think we know the answers. Because we really don’t, and I like how this situation, even more than his encounter with Barry the Chopper, reminds the people watching this that, yeah, Ed isn’t the infallible prodigy we all think he is. He’s simply a kid who got himself into a situation he didn’t fully understand. Then again, considering how he’d almost sacrificed some prisoners to create a Philosopher’s Stone, that was probably a given…

10. Greed VS Ed:

Remember how I said this show was lacking in two areas, the first being its comedy? Well, the fight scenes are the second. To be fair, none of them are bad. But, due to a combination of budget limitations and weighty physics, they rarely amazed me enough to be memorable. They also, like the Digimon franchise, relied on timing to be effective and not the actual animation. Or, at least, most of them did. There are two exceptions, and the first is the battle with Ed and Greed in the basement of Dante’s mansion.

The fight benefits, most-definitely, from being allowed to breathe. Where as most of the show’s fights were short and sporadic, this one took up nearly a full episode. It also was visually descriptive, another element lacking from most fights, in its impact on Ed’s metal arm, even highlighting the damage it received. And finally, it was the first time Ed faced a homunculus head-on, meaning that he had to keep improvising his strategy on the fly. All-the-while, you’re left guessing who’d win: the boy with the fake arm and leg, or the fake person made of pure carbon.

But what makes the fight so great is its ending: since Ed managed to beat Greed near his human remains, and since Greed is too stubborn to die without exacting revenge, he gives Ed some last-minute advice on how to defeat the other homunculi. And then he shrivels up and dissolves. It’s amazing how effective that is in creating pathos for him, but that’s the beauty of this show. Besides, it wouldn’t be the last time I’d feel bad for an antagonist, as you’ll see later on. All-in-all, great fight, great ending to said fight, it’s great all-around!

9. Hoenheim’s back-story:

Probably one of the more interesting entries, and for good reason. Up until this point, I didn’t think so favourably of the protagonists’ father. He’d not only abandoned his kids at a young age, but his absence was partly to blame for Trisha’s silent misery that contributed to her death. He also wasn’t there for her funeral, and, therefore, couldn’t talk his sons out of what they’d eventually do. And now he suddenly decides to show up again? I was sure he had his reasons, but explanation doesn’t automatically equate to justification! This was the mindset I had even once he went to ask Dante to leave his sons alone, and I figured there was no way to redeem him…

…Then he met Sloth, and everything changed. Suddenly, through a haunting montage of still-frames, Hoenheim was interesting! Tragic too, as I realized why he’d left and how it hurt him to do so. He wasn’t evil, he was guilt-ridden over the mistakes of his past! And that they refused to leave him alone made him even more interesting, to the point where he’d have become a favourite character had he had more screen-time.

By the way, the show gets bonus points for two, really clever directing decisions. The first is having a really haunting tune play over this montage, as if it’s a demon coming back to haunt Hoenheim. And the second is having the flashbacks kicked-off by the homunculus reincarnation of his dead wife. That second one was especially haunting, really tying in with the grander story being centred around something that’s also so small. But hey, most great stories are like that! It’s a shame Hoenheim is then written out of the show via The Gate of Truth for a few episodes, but what can you do?

8. Mustang VS Bradley:

We arrive at the second of the two fights. While not on-par with Ed VS Greed in fluidity and visual finesse, I have to give it props for spanning the show’s finale and feeling like a final boss fight. Given Fullmetal Alchemist’s limitations in the action department, it’s nice to see that, like Ed VS Greed, the animators and writers let this battle breathe and develop. It’s also worth noting that, unlike Ed VS Greed, this fight is largely one-sided. Fuhrer Bradley, being a homunculus, is far stronger than Roy Mustang, and for the longest time it really seems like Mustang’s gonna lose. Admittedly, he states he doesn’t care, only fighting to right the injustice to his deceased friend and fix his mistakes, but the dread that one of my favourite characters could die is nail-biting.

I’ve heard complaints that Mustang’s win was pure happenstance and bad timing on the part of Bradley’s son. The argument claims it was a last-minute “well, we have to have Mustang win somehow!” moment on the writers’ part, and that it didn’t feel earned with the ordeal of Bradley’s skull. While I can see the contrivance, I think calling it unearned is a disservice: considering Bradley was so arrogant that he thought himself above humanity, to be defeated by a child, let-alone his son, was poetic justice. Because pride always goeth before a fall. That Bradley didn’t realize his own Achilles’ Heel was trusting his son with his life makes it not only funny, but also satisfying.

I also like how, despite Bradley’s defeat, no one ends up winning; Bradley aside, Selim is killed by his father, Mustang loses his right eye, Hawkeye almost loses Mustang, it’s a no-win situation. I like that because it feels more real. Sometimes, even when you win, you still lose. Not every fight works in your favour, and some battles leave their toll. So while it’s certainly a bitter and cruel way to conclude, it’s also really clever.

7. Ed and Al’s entire back-story:

Honestly, the first two episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist left me wanting. They weren’t bad, they were actually quite good, and the opening scene of the first episode, which I’ll cover later, really sucked me in, but it wasn’t the conflict in Lior that I wanted to see. I wanted to learn more about Ed and Al’s dark past. I wanted to know what’d prompted them to resurrect their mother. These episodes had only hinted at it, which was frustrating.

Enter Episode 3. This was the quintessential episode in the entire show. It tackled Ed and Al’s relationship with their deceased mom, Ed and Al’s relationship with Winry, Winry’s relationship with her deceased parents and how that culminated in the big turning point. And it didn’t sugarcoat any of it, leaving me as uncomfortable as I should be, especially during Trisha Elric’s funeral and the backfired alchemy session. This is pretty heavy stuff.

If I had to pick favourite moments, it’d definitely be the funeral scene and the alchemy scene. In the former’s case, that it’s the second-saddest funeral in the show is quite the achievement, but that it’s also enough to remind me of when my grandmother passed away is the cherry on top. And as for the latter? As dumb as Ed and Al were for ignoring the laws of alchemy, you don’t blame them. They’d lost someone close to them, and that they were being reckless with noble intentions makes me feel bad each time I see their alchemy go awry. My only complaint is that Ed recovers from his guilt a little too quickly, but he’s always had an impulsive side so I can overlook that.

6. The Ishvalan war:

Every great story has a central event that it builds its narrative around. Fullmetal Alchemist has two. The first is a love-story about two individuals trying to live forever, how that fell apart and how they’ve tried to pick up the pieces since. The second, and more immediate, is a war in a small province of Amestris named Ishval. It’s a driving force that motivates many of the character arcs in the show, and a good chunk of it is revealed by Dr. Tim Marcoh in Episode 15.

It turns out that the war was “started” over an accidental shooting of a child, and that it lasted seven years. It wasn’t until The State Alchemists took charge that it ended, but not before a montage of destruction and death was orchestrated to mixed results: some of the alchemists, like Mustang and Armstrong, felt guilty over their part in the destruction, while others, like Brigadier General Basque Gran and Solf J. Kimbly, actually revelled in their carnage. How fitting, then, that Basque Gran had his head blown clean by Scar, a survivor of the war, in cold-blooded revenge, but that’s a conversation for another day. Regardless, it’s an uncomfortably brilliant moment in a show filled with those, and it’s especially poignant to see how much pain it causes Marcoh. Then again, he was in a desperate place when he recounted it, so…

Perhaps the most-interesting side-story is that of Mustang and a pair of medics he was ordered to shoot because they kept healing Ishvalans. Not only were they Winry’s parents, but it gave an extra layer of humanity to Mustang, who was guilt-ridden over it. You don’t see that too often in action shows, especially Shonen, and it was nice to see it here. And considering that Ishval in this show is frequently compared to The 2nd Iraq War, it makes that one moment all-the-more chilling and real. It’s also one of the many reasons I love this series.

5. Nina Tucker as a chimera:

This is easily one of Fullmetal Alchemist’s most messed-up moments. Period. It not only turned a likeable character into a jerk, but it also turned a cute and innocent character, i.e. Nina, into an abomination. And, all-the-while, it was difficult to watch. I’m not kidding, watch it again and tell me it isn’t horrifying to see that girl become a byproduct of science and genetic mutation!

I can’t even begin to state what it is about this moment that resonates: is it because it’s dark? Is it because it’s creepy? Is it because it’s messed-up? Is it because it’s eerily reminiscent of the experimentation that Dr. Mengele conducted during WWII? Or is it all of that combined, and then some? Yes to everything!

The worst part is that chimera Nina is blown to smithereens by Scar as his first act of murder…and it’s the only time I’d consider it an act of mercy and compassion. Because for as much as Scar is a horrible human being, even he realizes that some acts are too cruel to keep living for. It’s also the first time you see and hear Ed cry over someone other than his mother once he finds her remains. That’s horrifying. But it’s also par-for-the-course, so I can’t complain too much.

4. Scar’s send-off:

Speaking of Scar, did I mention that he gets an awesome send-off? Because he does, and it’s both heart-breaking and well-deserved. Heart-breaking because you feel like you’ve become attached to him, and well-deserved because he’s a murderous psychopath who’s long had it coming. On one hand, he’s responsible for the death of Kimbly, another psychopath that, unlike Scar, you feel no sympathy and humanity for, but, on the other hand, you understand that he was doomed from the start. You feel bad for him once you discover his back-story and learn how he got his scar and arm, but you also feel relieved that he’s finally dying.

Actually, uncertainty is the best way to describe Scar’s end-fate. It’s like someone I Follow on Twitter said, you never know what to think of Scar: is he sympathetic? Is he disgusting? Is his quest honourable, or misguided? Even though he saves Al from disintegrating, courtesy of Kimbly’s dying act, was he really trying to help him? Or was he using Al’s body as a conduit for his inevitable Philosopher’s Stone?

I think the most-interesting part is that the show doesn’t say. Scar decides to finish The Grand Arcanum, but the music in the background is triumphant and heroic. Is Scar a hero? And if he is, why is he about to commit mass slaughter? Isn’t that contradictory? It’s left up to you, the viewer, to decide. All I can say is that, regardless of what it wants me to think about Scar, his death is awesomely tragic.

3. Ed’s final confrontation with Envy:

Of all the homunculi in Fullmetal Alchemist, Envy is the one I’d truly call a dick. The show makes it apparent it from his first appearance that he’s behind his master’s plans for selfish reasons that are quite different from his companions: revenge against Hoenheim for betraying him. It isn’t until the end of Episode 50, when Ed gets sick and tired of Envy messing with his mind and demands he reveal his true form, that we figure out that he was Hoenheim’s first child. He’d died from mercury poisoning and was brought back as a homunculus, only to be abandoned shortly after and develop resentment issues. And then, to top it all off, he impales Ed.

There were two times in the entirety of Fullmetal Alchemist where I freaked-out and screamed the first time I watched it: this, and my #1 entry. But while the latter got a higher spot for its lack of a deus ex machina resolution, this one had Al and his Philosopher’s Stone to remedy it. Still, for a brief period of time, Ed was dead. It was like playing a really hard video game, coming to the end boss, nearly defeating him and then dying and getting a Game Over. If Rose’s reaction were any indication, I was devastated by what I’d witnessed.

Fortunately, there was that whole “Philosopher’s Stone cheat code” to remedy the situation. And although it’d normally bother me, I don’t mind here because: a. The stone is capable of bypassing any and all laws of alchemy, including resurrection of the dead. b. Al still pays the appropriate price for using it, i.e. himself. So while it’s stretching the rules a little bit, it doesn’t bother me like it does most detractors. Besides, you wouldn’t want the story to end with Ed being dead, right? That’d be a waste of a good conclusion, even if it means putting this at #3.

2. The opening scene:

Here’s a riddle for you: take two kids and place them in the basement of their house on a stormy night. Have them attempt to bring back their mother from the dead with alchemy. Next, imagine that the alchemy goes awry, causing one of them to disintegrate and the other to lose his leg. Finally, add insult to injury by making the resurrected corpse of the dead mother look like an abomination. Put that together and what do you get? The first five minutes of Fullmetal Alchemist.

I’m not kidding, that’s exactly what happens. And talk about shock! Here you have a show known for being dark and creepy, and you get trauma as your first scene. Most shows, even the dark ones, start off with something less-serious, but not Fullmetal Alchemist! No, it decides to scar you from the get-go! No build-up, no context, it’s all “here’s the scary stuff. ENJOY!”

And it’s awesome. One of the problems the aforementioned shows is that they lack the guts to be dark from the get-go. While I can understand why, it’s hard to execute effectively, at the same time it shows confidence when done well. Fullmetal Alchemist is an example of that confidence. Ergo, it’s my favourite opening scene of all-time. No jokes, it really is!

1. Colonel Hughes’s death/funeral:

Admit it: you were waiting for this, weren’t you? And with good reason, as it was the other moment where I actually screamed while watching Fullmetal Alchemist. Much like Ed’s impalement, Hughes being shot by Envy while disguised as his wife is downright traumatizing. Because Hughes might’ve been loud, he might’ve been annoying, he might’ve never even shut up about how adorable his daughter was! But he was still loveable. He had his flaws, he contributed to the plot, and he wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty with government secrets. So once he got in over his head and escaped, only to then not escape, well…let’s say I wasn’t pleased. Like the #3 spot, it was like getting a Game Over in a video game, except with no cheats this time.

And then, of course, it led to the saddest moment in the entire show: Hughes’s funeral. Two details in particular made it especially painful: the first was, as expected, Elicia Hughes screaming for her daddy to “wake up”. The second was that Mustang relied on Hughes to keep him in-line on his way to becoming fuhrer, as explained via a flashback right as Hughes drops to the ground. With Hughes gone, so was an important part of Mustang’s conscience. So it hurt for him to say goodbye.

Above all else, this is the definitive moment for most people who’ve seen Fullmetal Alchemist. Sure, they can stomach the opening, Ed being killed, all the humour and even the awesome actions scenes. They don’t shed a tear when Scar dies, are underwhelmed by the serious moments and think the ending is a cop-out. But Hughes’s death? That they can never get over. It’s been ranked as one of the saddest moments in anime history by many, which speaks volumes since anime loves tugging at people’s heartstrings. It’s also an excellent moment in an excellent series, hence it's my #1 spot.

And that’s what Fullmetal Alchemist is as a whole: excellent. Sure, it’s flawed, but it also has ways to compensate for those flaws. I love it, many other people love it, and I’m sure many more people will love it in the future. Of course, whether or not people love it as much as Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is up for debate. I don’t, but that’s for another time…


  1. I'm not particularly fond of trying to rank things in most instances, and this topic is no exception. So I won't attempt to either agree or disagree with your ranking here. I would like to share a few of my own thoughts on each of these scenes with a fellow fan.

    # 15. Agreed that this was a funny scene. It felt so very human. [Plus, it was great to see motherhood so honored; I'm sure it feels like a thankless task for mothers at times.] What I'd add is that the scene is a big part of how the 2003 series gives the Elrics a deeper connection to Hughes than did the source material; they helped to deliver his beloved daughter.

    # 14. Like the shirt-bursting sequence in "Castle in the Sky", this scene deserves to go down in the annals of animation history as a classic.

    # 13. While I'd still have appreciated an additional few minutes, I sincerely appreciated the show takings a decent amount of time with the denouement. I was initially worried they'd spend too much time wrapping up the final battle and not enough time winding down. Instead, we got half an episode.

    # 12. Pretty much what you said.

    # 11. I too loved the whole Lab 5 arc, and I agree that this was a very good sequence to cap it off with. I especially loved Maria Ross here, though; sometimes a gesture is worth a thousand words.

    # 10. A memorable sendoff to a very enjoyable character. What's especially interesting is that for Greed, even in the act of helping the Elrics, its all still ultimately about himself on some level. He manipulates the situation to go out on his own terms and to get revenge on Dante and the other homunculi in the only way he still can.

    # 9. I've remarked before that, while he's not a bad character by any means here, Hohenheim felt more satisfying to me in Brotherhood. I think that's because he actually wound up contributing significantly to the plot in that series. Here, he's vital to the backstory, but his role in the plot proper is quite small; outside of helping to provide some emotional closure to Edward, he honestly does very little. After all the build-up to his appearance, and after his grand backstory, I confess he did feel kind of like a wasted opportunity. [The less said about his part in the subsequent movie, the better.]

    Still a memorable backstory, though.

    # 8. I *love* this entire fight. Pride is *terrifying* here; he could technically kill Mustang at virtually any time, but he's just having way too much fun to end things that quickly. Of course, he winds up toying with Mustang for too long, and his arrogance leads to his rather fitting downfall. A truly fantastic sendoff for my favorite villain in the series.

    # 7. I was a little iffy on the first two episodes, but there was enough good in them that I was willing to keep going. Episode three hooked me so thoroughly that I never looked back.

    # 6. Agreed that this was compelling backstory. Something I was especially intrigued by were the heavy implications throughout the series that the differences between the Ishvalans and the Amestrians were so irreconcilable that the war would probably have broken out anyway even without Dante and Pride being around to start it. It lends an extra layer of political and cultural realism to the Ishvalan war in this series that its Brotherhood counterpart, dramatically compelling though it was, never fully achieved.

    # 5. Pretty much what you said.

    # 4. Ditto.

  2. # 3. One of the interesting things about Envy's fury at Hohenheim is that, while his actions are inexcusable, he's not entirely wrong; technically-speaking, Hohenheim *did* just walk away from Envy after performing the transmutation that resulted in his creation. Granted, a desire to avoid responsibility on Honhenheim's part had nothing to do with it, but did he ever even *try* and explain himself to Envy?

    Great scene, by the way. Pity about Envy's subsequent sendoff being such a headscratcher, though. [And as with Hohenheim, the less said about Envy's role in "Shamballa", the better.]

    # 2. A good scene indeed.

    # 1. This whole sequence was indeed fantastically scripted and animated. No disagreement whatsoever about that. But you know what? It was actually the subsequent scene on the train at the episode's end that really hit me in the heart. Listening to Winry and the Elrics talk about Hughes and his family, and hearing Ed's facetious denial of any affection for the man-

    -and then he sees the spirit of his dead friend, waving farewell with a kind, gentle smile on his face.

    *That* was the moment that made me tear up.


    There's one scene not on this list that I want to give a shout out to; the reveal that King Bradley is a homunculus. The buildup is great of course; all the while, we're left wondering just how much such a jovial man *really* knows about the widespread corruption in the military. After Martel's revelation about the war's true cause, and her overhearing his plans in the subsequent episode, we're left attempting to reconcile the man we've seen before with the man were seeing now. And then-

    "Your agile moves won't work against *me*, snake chimera- I have the Ultimate Eye!"

    -Suddenly, it all clicks. And it makes complete, terrifying sense.

    What a great villain!

    1. I know you're not a fan of favourites lists, but I really couldn't not write this one.

      I didn't include Pride's reveal for the same reason I didn't include the scene where Scar loses his arm: I loved both moments, but they don't hold up as well on re-watch. Both felt like they were included for shock value, and they came on too fast to really absorb what'd happened. Plus, they tied in better to their pay-offs, both of which I think I covered here...


Post a Comment

Popular Posts