More catching up with episodes taped off Adult Swim. Spoilers below the cut; don't spoil me for later episodes or I will strand you on a deserted island.
(Speaking of which, I am annoyed that I won't be able to check differences in the dubs at The Genuine Truth Behind Truths anymore, as its comparison for episode 29 spoiled me quite unnecessarily. Grrr. I'm going to pretend I didn't see it, however.)
Two quieter episodes with backstory and regrouping before plot ahoy!
Episode 27, "Teacher": In which the boys' teacher beats the shit out of them. But with love!
Izumi kicks ass (a little more than I'm comfortable with, actually, at least with regard to the brothers), but I couldn't help notice that she's ill and childless, and this is a known sore spot. In the mother-figure arena, this seems a touch gratuitous to me, on top of everything else. (If it turns out that Hawkeye is going to be hugged and called Mom and such, I shall be most annoyed. *screencaps Hawkeye at shooting range*)
And once again it sucks to be a cat in Fullmetal Alchemist.
The military plot proceeds in parallel, with Mustang taking his chess pieces back to Central. The next meeting of him and the Elrics should be so very interesting.
Episode 28, "One Is All, All Is One": In which Ed and Al learn about the circle of life on a (not as deserted as they think) island. Twice.
Also, I give them points for actually killing the cute bunny, eventually.
(Is Al color-blind? How could he mistake mystery-boy with black hair for Ed, even at a distance?)
It did not escape me that Izumi is offering an ethical approach to alchemy—equivalent exchange limited by a non-egocentric understanding of the world. (
Have to post belated post-episode-25 thoughts after this. Nevermind, any ethics post is going to have to deal with the series to date. Meanwhile I've posted a minor comment on episode 25.)
Episode 29, "The Untainted Child": In which Izumi brings the mystery boy home with her and things go all mystic in flashback.
Eek. I'd noticed that the child's skin was weirdly colored, green and then not, but I wasn't expecting it to be because he (it?) had Ed's limbs. Ed offers up his limbs as equivalent exchange inside the Gateway; Ed saw the child's face inside the Gateway; and Izumi's husband: "You didn't tell them how a Homunculus is born." Also, Envy says that Sloth is the youngest of them.
I briefly feared, hearing all this, that Ed and Al had somehow created Sloth out of their mother, but since Sloth started the Ishbalan war, that doesn't work. The child also watched them the first time they were on the island, before Ed went through the Gate; so he wasn't created by the brothers, but he may have been modified by their actions; if all of Ed's body had been taken, perhaps he would be completely non-green (and look like Ed? Or maybe Al if Ed hadn't successfully bound him into the armor?)? The broken stone circle with a line leading away from it on the island suggests a prison to me. (The child can do alchemy, though perhaps that would also have been lost with the green parts of the body.)
Okay, so I am a dork and watched the Gateway montage at x0.13 speed. I spotted several things from the series to date, including after the Gateway (the Tringham brothers, the girl who stole Ed's leg, the alchemist at Youswell, Nita, Rose, the tomboy who gets "fixed" in episode 4), and stuff from our world (the American flag) as well as probably from theirs. I didn't spot anything animated that was from after this point in the series, though.
Human transmutation is forbidden for lots of reasons; is whatever's behind the Gateway (truth, a shortcut, knowledge of the future) one of them, or is that a separate matter?
(When did Izumi go through the Gateway, and was she trying to resurrect someone (dead child?)? Is that when she got that tattoo? Does Ed have one somewhere on him or does he just wear it on his cloak?)
(I believe that has used up my quota of question marks for this post. Be relieved.)
Sloth sends Envy off to Izumi's town to find the Elric brothers, give them another opportunity to create a Stone, and keep them from "sticking their noses into that Ishbal business. I assume you undertand." (The weird raggedy watcher on the roof at the end of the episode is possibly Envy, then.) Greed is being left to Lust and Gluttony. Meanwhile, the Furher sips a beverage alone.
Lt. Col. Archer is Hughes' replacement, has unhealthy-looking skin, and intends to keep closer tabs on the Elrics "for the sake of the upcoming battle, you understand." Is this "the Ishbal business"? At least I can hope that Armstrong will tell Ed and Al about Hughes. *sniff*
It's nice to see that the Hughes family is not forgotten. Sciezska amused me by saying that she wasn't a terribly brave person and then yelling at Mustang. I rather fear for her safety, though.
* * *
The list of people who know or knew about the brothers' human transmutation:
- Lust, Gluttony, Envy, Sloth (Greed? I don't think so, at least not on-screen);
- did the people of Lior understand about the empty armor? I don't think so, but there's a slight possibility that "most of Lior" should be on this list (what's left of it);
- Shou Tucker;
- Winry and Auntie Pinako;
- The ex-soldier without a leg in episode 16, who Ed tells about trying to restore his arm and leg and his brother's body;
- The Slicer(s), and Barry the Chopper;
- All the prisoners in Lab 5;
- Izumi Curtis and her husband; and
- the nameless child found on the island.
- In the military:
- Roy Mustang;
- Riza Hawkeye;
- Maes Hughes;
- Alex Louis Armstrong;
- Cain (sp?) Furey;
- Himans (sp?) Breda;
- Jean Havoc;
- Batoh (sp?) Falman;
- Maria Ross;
- Sgt. Block.