Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – 61
「神を呑みこみし者」 (Kami wo Nomikomishi Mono)
“The One Who Devours God”
With the recent confirmation that the series will be 64 episodes (not 63), the pacing was so quick here that it left me wondering what we’re still in store for. Once Father contained God in his own body with the help of fifty million souls he absorbed from all of Amestris, the biggest surprise turned out to be Hohenheim’s countermeasure for the Promised Day. I always wondered what he was up to traveling around the country to various remote places, so it was awesome to learn that he laid the foundation using the souls of Xerxes to forcibly return all Amestrians to their bodies. It looks like my hunch was right that there was still hope with everyone’s bodies intact after all, with the subsequent activation of the alkahestry transmutation to neutralize Father’s one and unlock alchemy’s true potential being the tide turner here.
Before getting there, watching Scar battle it out with Wrath and sever both his hands was a pretty gruesome sight, not to mention that it didn’t even stop the homunculus from getting one more stab in using his mouth. They were both going full-out in a battle of the death, so that was quite the spectacle from a pure action-oriented perspective. Oddly enough, Wrath’s death wasn’t as dramatic as I imagined it would be, but that was likely because he’s been severely wounded for the past four episodes and trying to go out with a bang. Well he sure got that here, and Lan Fan made it just in time to witness the death of her grandfather’s killer.
I must say though, thank goodness that Hohenheim had something in store while Scar was having his death match with Wrath, because if Father started throwing mini suns and letting them go supernova, I get the feeling he’d probably take out sections of the Earth’s crust at a time. Fighting him in his weakened state as he focuses most of his own Xerxes souls to try and keep God contained within him turned out to be somewhat better, but even with the newly unfiltered power of the Earth in Ed and the others’ alchemy, it still looked like a pretty lopsided tilt against them. My immediate reaction was how ridiculously overpowered the little homunculus in the flask has become — holding down God and taking on a full-frontal assault — especially when both Hohenheim and May were doing everything in their power to hold Father’s attacks back.
However, their attacks weren’t all for naught despite how it may have appeared, as Father’s shell looks like it’s going to burst at any moment and God’s going to come flowing out. After he retreated to try and feast on some more souls, it was good seeing Ed finally do something about Pride. Chipping away at these immortal homunculus until they exhaust their soul supply seems to be the effective way of taking them out, but the reappearance of Kimblee within Pride was something I wasn’t anticipating. All I got to say is that it must take one hell of a psychotic freak to make his presence known in a sea of souls and disrupt Pride from within, though Ed deserves some credit too for getting into his head to land the final blow.
With the realization of Scar’s brother’s hard research, Wrath dying at the hands of Scar, and Pride reverting back to nothing more than a fetus, all eyes are on the final battle against Father and the return of the so-called God to its rightful place. It was a bit convenient how the souls of fifty million Amestrians were returned just as quickly as they were taken only the episode before, but there was plenty of build-up on Hoheinheim’s efforts the entire series to make the brevity of that reversal not even a concern. In fact, it was just the opposite as it was his lifelong work pitted against Father’s in the moment that everything came down to. Considering how it was on a country-wide scale and even had God involved, it was quite epic to say the least.
Finally, as the final chapter of the manga was released earlier this month, I’m doing my best to avoid being inadvertently spoiled by those who have already read it. So with that in mind, please don’t mention what happens later on if you already know (even in spoiler tags) and keep discussions to what actually happened this episode. Surely everyone has reactions to seeing these chapters animated, plus the announcement that we now have three episodes left! It might even mean we’ll see an epilogue episode with the extra time.