Surrounded on all sides, and unarmed from their allies. This season of Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood is pretty slow and full of lots of filler. It doesn’t end on much of a cliffhanger either unlike the previous season. The opening for this season is also fairly dull in my opinion. This is obviously a low point. There were some new avenues explored though that were not seen before.
The two brothers start off wandering after a confrontation with the enemy only to find out the enemy is leading the charge. While his son lurks in his shadow he might be the greatest shadow of them all. Allies let alcohol become a sense of relief to sway their worrying souls, buying trinkets and flowers to impress their loved ones while their loved ones are held, hostage. The backstories behind the loved ones deepen more and more as the loved ones grow older and perhaps more beautiful, the alchemists stay cold and desperate, clinging to the vestiges of their sanity and their disposition. Not much lies ahead and no one knows where to turn.
Allies of relatives emerge and are quick to assume rank above the brothers. Telling them that they too hold secrets that they keep locked away. As pressure builds, a massive new foe appears seemingly oblivious to everything. One has to wonder if all the enemies are oblivious to the true plan about to unfold. The main antagonist of the series emerges in this slow season. Tension builds quickly as he plays with the people and moves them to his will. Everything is orchestrated perfectly, as a massive underground network of tunnels is discovered guarded by an elusive predator. The purpose of the tunnels holds an even darker truth than before.
As the two brothers continue to refuse the use of a philosopher’s stone to do their bidding or to pay the toll to get their bodies back, they are forced to watch the stone be used against them. Neutral Evil comes forward not taking any side and just wanting to use power for power’s sake. To kill because he can. Only driven by the curiosity of who will win, is a huge price to pay for what some people would look at as foolish.
Humor plays a large role as some choose to hide their feelings from others as a means for safety. Some unusual backstories are explored too through means of coercion and insecurity. I chuckled quite a few times and felt sorrow for our characters. Wondering deeply about how they choose to resolve this issue of corruption in the ranks of those higher-up than them. This season is about staying together when it might be clear that it would be best to drift apart. Drifting apart allows the enemy to grow complacent, and keeps them entertained. Our characters will have to get creative in order to talk to one another safely because just running away to hide where no one is watching cannot work forever.
People borrow money from one another as the enemy strips them clean of their assets. Some grow stingy, but to tell the truth, it’s mostly in jest for future plans that they hold dear to their heart. While guilt weighs on them for their past mistakes and the war they were a part of they like to think that condemning themselves to eternal punishment would be a just reward. Others wouldn’t be so kind to let them do that much to their chagrin. It becomes clear that they must unite and fight for their country if they wish to survive. On a brighter side, one of our primary characters from last season Ling gets what he desires, and in doing so leaves his friends behind to serve his new master. His friends receive his message and rejoice thinking he is alive and well, but rather than go to him decide to regroup and recover from the deadly encounters they have faced. I have a feeling though that while Ling took a backseat in this season, he will most certainly play a bigger role in the next season.
The chance at being immortal is used as an excuse to get people to tell the truth. Taking the bait like a squealing pig and then being sent to die like a groveling child. When the two brothers travel far north, one receives upgrades while the other struggles to hide their ambitions. Getting really excited by his newfound strength he chooses to act like an idiot to get the upper hand on the enemy without killing them. This makes for some entertaining imagery and playful animation. I can’t say for certain that this is my favorite season of the show. It’s definitely weaker than season 2, but with so much great stuff unfolding it’s hard not to get sucked in at this point. You just gotta keep watching to see how it all plays out since so much is left to judge. What could be so important about our main characters that the enemy would refer to them as sacrifices anyway?