Episode 13, "Beasts of Dublith"
Synopsis: Despite her understanding, Izumi expells Edward and Alphonse for their going against her teachings, but they return to ask for her help. Meanwhile, Roy Mustang prepares to transfer to Central by calling together his subordinates. Scar recovers from his injuries at an Ishbalan refugee camp, where disgraced Lt. Yoki tries to have him taken by thugs for a reward, but Scar fights back. In Dublith, a group of chimera lure Alphonse to them, then subdue him for their boss, a homunculi named Greed. In their hideout, Greed offers to teach Alphonse how to make a homuculi in returns for information on how to attach a soul to something. Edward comes into the hideout refusing to make an exchange of information, and he and Greed battle. Greed uses his ability to harden his body to fight, but Edward figures out the key to it, and the battle comes to a draw. Suddenly, Izumi steps into the hideout, immediately subduing Greed.
Wow. Just, wow.
They managed to do it. I don't know how, but they did it. I didn't think it could be done. I really didn't. I thought, well, maybe they might, but they probably wouldn't. I mean, really. Amazing. This was just stunning. It blew me away.
They really found a way to completely ruin the Greed arc. To butcher it like never before. This was not only the worst episode of Brotherhood so far, but probably the worst episode of anything Fullmetal Alchemist ever. They really found a way to transmute gold into shit.
Gone (or at least cut down) is the manga section wherein Alphonse asserts himself, taking on the chimera, giving them a good run before they subdue him. Gone is a lot of the banter between Greed, his chimeras, and Alphonse. Gone is Greed's "cool" factor, the women on his arms, the swagger into the hideout, the threatening but strangely aimable nature. Gone is the manga bits where Edward visits the South Headquarters, where he meets up with Alex Louis Armstrong and Fuhrer King Bradley, and they follow him back to Dublith to visit his teacher. Rearranged are many of the events, with Edward coming in first, then Izumi, pointlessly.
The character designs are lazy, with Greed and his gang look balloonish and overexaggerated. The animation is all over the place. The music is mediocre. The action is even subdued, the production team mistaking bloodiness for excitement. The colors are even wrong. I mean, making Greed's carbon form a medium grey? He looks like a robot.
And the speed, my god, the speed. Explanations are sped. Musings are sped. Interaction is sped. You cannot fucking speed through one of the most pivitol story arcs in the series. This episode made it seem like a fucking joke. They tried cramming every little bit from the manga in but ended up ruining all of those bits by speeding them along like they shouldn't have been in there to begin with. If they wanted to include things like Scar's scene or Roy being transferred, they should have put that in a seperate episode and lead up to this one. They barely gave Greed enough space to introduce himself before he was in battle with Edward.
What's the point of having Izumi come in after? The whole reason Izumi came in first in the manga is because Ed hadn't returned yet from South HQ, and Izumi utterly fails to beat Greed, even injuring her hand in the process. And in the first series, it's because Ed had been knocked out at Dante's place and hadn't woken up in time to follow the group back to the Devil's Nest. The whole point of Izumi's involvement is that she isn't capable of fighting Greed due to her condition, so Edward does. Having her come in and so easily subdue Greed makes a joke of both her and Greed. Now he seems like some weakling scrub mini-boss instead of the menace he appeared as in the manga and first series.
This episode was shit. The only redeeming qualities it had were that Greed's new voice actor, Yuuichi Nakamura, who was Graham Acre in Gundam 00, was pretty good in the role. But with the way they treated Greed, he might as well have been Mister Bushido.
Fuck you, Bones. I don't want to drop this show, but you're not making it easy to stay.
Overall Score: 2 out of 5 (I'm being generous)