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Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood rewatch, Episodes 47-49
I am way, way tired but my notes for the first three of this week's episodes aren't much and at least I can get this off my plate. Reminder: spoilers for everything.

Episode 47, "Emissary of Darkness"

In which LANFAN IS BACK. (Mark's post.)

LANFAN!!!

I grinned so hard my face hurt. LANFAN!!!

Anyway, stuff leading up to that:

Ed and Hohenheim reunite; their relationship is still complex and fraught. (Hohenheim plans to die tomorrow.)

Pride, who is keeping Al's soul tethered to his body, uses his armor to get close to Ed, Greedling, and the chimeras. (Pride's shadows and eyes suddenly appearing through Al's armor (comment with gif): NOPE NOPE NOPE.)

The fight is both funny (the "animal instincts" riff, Ed being tired of losing) and incredibly tense, with Pride's overwhelming force, Ed's turning off the lights, Ling and Greed agreeing to work together (I'd almost forgotten that Ling and the others from Xing had that ability), Gluttony appearing, and of course LANFAN. Eeeee!

(Oh, yeah, and Grumman is keeping back his troops to put himself in a better position, nevermind the plan, in the only break away from the slum outside Central. Cannot bring myself to care right now because, LANFAN!)

Manga notes:

Corresponds to vol. 21, the rest of ch. 85, "The Empty Box," and all of ch. 86, "Servant of Darkness."

The residents call Hohenheim "Mr. H" for short, which is so much better than "Mr. Ho" in the anime.

When Hohenheim cries after hearing Trisha's last words, he audibly sobs, which Ed finds freaky and unmanly. The anime skips that and gives him silent tears, which are more likely to be seen as dignified.

I suspect major changes are going to be a thing of the past because the story is clearly winding up and the anime would eventually come very close to the manga in terms of release dates, so the anime folks wouldn't have the whole arc in-hand to see what they could change. (This chapter came out August 2008 and this episode March 2010, but the last chapter came out June 11, 2010 and the last episode came out July 4, 2010.)

Episode 48, "The Oath in the Tunnel"

In which the battle with Pride continues and the battle for Central commences. (Mark's post.)

The oath is really more an order that's been accepted? Anyway: "Don't die."

(I love Madame Christmas, and I love that the anime made no attempt to pretty her up or to give her a softer voice.)

(Pride not aging makes no sense whatsoever, but the manga addresses this.)

Hi Foo! Bye, Gluttony! It was really very disturbing seeing your oldest sibling devour you for your Philosopher's Stone! Hi, rescued!Al! Hi, Hohenheim, glad to see you joining the party!

It only took me a moment to remember why General Armstrong told Father that Mustang would take Mrs. Bradley hostage: she's provoking the PR disaster that's forthcoming. Why should I remember that when I can't remember how half the baddies die?

Manga notes:

Corresponds to just one chapter in vol. 21, ch 87, "An Oath Made in the Underground."

The manga says that Pride's appearance (well, the appearance of his container Selim) is the same as his current "give or take about five years of age," so apparently he has enough power to adjust that container subtly.

(Interesting that Father chose to create Pride's container as a child in the first place. The advantage in being underestimated seems obvious, and the feeling of superiority Pride experiences thereby is doubtless gratifying, but it's kind of unexpected considering how obvious Gluttony and Lust look? Envy too for that matter.)

The manga calls Chris Mustang his adoptive mother not foster mother, which from a USian perspective makes more sense: you don't generally take a foster parent's name. I do love that it's just no big deal that she's not his biological mom, though.

The in memoriam panel has Gluttony going up, which I mention only because only Shou Tucker has headed down so far, and I will be interested to see if that holds.

Episode 49, "Filial Affection"

In which Pride is trapped. (Mark's post.)

I like that Al's plan to trap Pride parallels Winry's plan, it's their own idea to make themselves hostages whether real or apparent.

Both Wrath and Pride have unexpected affection for Mrs. Bradley (can I get a damn first name, please?). People have criticized the "angel in the house" strain in FMA, but I think Olivier Armstrong and Riza Hawkeye are reasonable offsets for Trisha Elric and Mrs. Bradley? Also, since Madame Christmas and Mrs. Bradley are both adoptive mothers, now I'm trying to think of Mustang-Pride parallels. I think I'll have to wait on that. (I've seen people compare King Bradley and Ling Yao as trying to claw their way to the top and lead their country, but with very different philosophies.)

And then we have setup for the big day: Greed bolts for Central; Ed dramatically dons his red cloak (hee!); Kimblee is killing Ishvalans again, the bastard; Mei is missing, Brosch is unexpectedly present, and then there's the post-credits bit where the military unequivocally demonstrates to Mrs. Bradley that they aren't on her side.

Manga notes:

Corresponds to vol. 22, ch. 88, "The Understanding Between Father and Son," and part of ch. 89, "Soldiers' Return."

Uh. There's a bit before the soldiers rush the building where Mustang and co. are holed up where the soldiers talk about his reputation from Ishval? I think that's it.

This is way less polished than usual, but beeeeeddddddd.

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