Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood 30-32

30 The Ishvalan War of Extermination

Ed asks Hawkeye about the Ishvalan War and gets a lengthy backstory. Turns out Roy was a student of Hawkeye’s father. She and Roy ended up in the military through different paths. During the war, Hawkeye was a sniper and she talks about the horrible experience she had. That eventually leads to her teaming up with Roy to attempt to take over the government and try people for the many war crimes committed during the civil war.

I like getting more background about this war as it’s the defining events in the world’s history. It’s a testament to the depth of the world-building involved that this event is such a prominent backdrop in the show. It’s also good to get more history on Hawkeye and Roy, which we don’t know much about up to this point. In terms of pacing, this is also a nice place to settle it in the current lull of the series as all the characters are still left reeling a bit from the revelations of recent events.

31 The 520 Cens Promise

Ed and Al search for May in the hops of learning her different form of alchemy. Roy makes contact with his old boss Grumman (Rokuro Naya). Envy believes that Scar didn’t kill doctor Marcoh, but only made it look like he did so he releases war criminal Kimblee (Hiroyuki Yoshino) to hunt down Scar and Dr. Marcoh in the North.

This is one of those episodes that slightly pushes forward a ton of different threads so there’s little to grasp at here. Kimblee is a character we’ve seem mentioned before, he was teased way back in some of the earliest episodes, so it’s cool to see the show finally bring him into the spotlight now. While I appreciate the bit of a lull we’ve gotten with the past couple of episodes, it feels like it’s time to pick up the tempo now.

32 The Fuhrer’s Son

As Ed and Al investigate Xing alchemy, Selima Bradley (Yuko Sanpei) finds the two brothers in the library and ends up gushing about how awesome they are. This ends up with a really awkward visit with the Fuhrer’s family. The boys are able to eventually get away and make their way out of Central to search for May. Elsewhere, Scar ditches a train while fleeing, leaving Kimblee speculating which way Scar will move next.

While I like the idea of this episode, it’s coming at the wrong time. Having that unease of keeping up a sense of propriety as the Fuhrer’s family doesn’t know his nature makes for a tense episode and also helps add a human side to the Fuhrer. However, it feels like the whole episode is holding back the core story. After three episodes with little forward momentum, I’m starting to get antsy for the show to pick up the slack and keep moving forward.

© 2015 James Blake Ewing