Endings Without Context 7: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

"He brought this feature back for this!?"
“He brought this feature back for this!?”

“So it’s about uh, this guy Elric and he has a brother who lives in that armor suit. They are trying to get the brother’s body back after they messed around with alchemy and cost the guy his body. For some reason there are people after them too.”

– Me Attempting to Explain the Plot to Full Metal Alchemist to a Co-Worker circa 2006

I’ve decided to raise this feature from the dead after two years. It wasn’t simply a case of running out of shows that I hadn’t watched, but rather it felt like I was being compelled to only watch those shows that had infamously bad endings. Why not take on a show that is popular and pretty much watched by anyone who has casually watched anime, but that I had not seen? As for the explanation above, it was 11:30pm on a college campus where beer was being served a few feet away and I could only go off of what I had picked up about the show in vague things I read online. I think we’re good to go here.This episode begins after some sort of final battle deal where a guy who is now blind is learning all about Ishvalan agriculture so that he can help them get back to their holy land. This is Roy Mustang apparently, wow did I forget a lot over the years, and this Doctor Marcoh shows up with a stone that will allow him to see again, but he wants it to be used on someone else first. If it can be used multiple times, why the hell does it matter what order it’s used in? Because reasons I guess.

The next scene goes to a rich house where a guy named Scar, who has lots of scars on him (nominative determinism at its finest) was apparently saved by a couple of his allies, one of whom wants to use him to get back at Mustang. However, Scar has decided he needs to take on a new gimmick having already been killed twice. So he’s decided to go as Zodiac a man with no name. That’s a terrible gimmick especially for someone trying to save their homeland.

fmab64bMeanwhile, the Brothers Elric go for a walk that sounds like it’s straight from a recording studio and looking pretty cheap to go along with that. Then a flashback where Ling tells May Chang that she’s not going to become the empress, but that he will do a good job in her place and continue to serve her. Back to the present and it’s confirmed that Al is in fact attracted to young girls who have some combat abilities. Did we really need to know that? Also considering how atrophied he looked after that final battle, he must have been eating a lot on this journey home. They arrive back home and the cliche reintroduction to a Winry; you know the one where she hears loved ones outside then the sound disappears as she sees them again for the first time. Yes, that. She also calls them idiots which is also cliche at this point.

Two years pass and Edward can’t use a hammer and it’s also time to see what everyone else has been up to. There’s a trio of characters who talk ominously about the little boy, but I don’t really know enough to care about any of them. Al talks to someone else about some girl who died during the story, then goes to meet a couple lackeys at a restaurant where he announces his plan to travel to Xing. Presumably to go after that girl with the cover of “I want to see the world” with his brother.

fmab64aSpeaking of him, he’s about to leave on a train. Then, he decides to give a cringeworthy marriage proposal as he’s boarding to Winry. I get the feeling this is just one of many dumb moments, but she accepts in a dumbly worded way anyway. While the train gives them several minutes for some reason, they get this romantic moment because it’s supposed to be heartwarming I guess.

That’s followed by a credits montage of where things went in the future filled with tons of characters I know nothing about. Oh and Ed and Winry have a pair of kids while Al got his lolicon on. Well at least until she’s judged to be too old. Then fade to black. End series.

Character Development: A- There’s pretty much no character development going on at this stage of the show. They had 63 episodes to build it up before this. The only bit of development really took place in the final few minutes when OTP status had to be confirmed for all those watching for their ships.

Plot Comprehension: C I had just as much understanding about what happened over the course of the series as I did going in to this episode. That might be a bit unfair on the score since this is more of an epilogue episode than an episode that captures the climax and denouement.

Unintentional Comedy: C+ There’s moments that had me thinking the production studio for this show, Bones, got to the last episode and decided ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Deus Ex Machina: No The story is already over so there’s no need for one at this point.

Sequel Potential: Non-existent Even I know that they timed the ending of this series to coincide with the ending of the manga. I mean yes they could bring it back for a spinoff or sequel, but why?