Somewhere in Central one night, the Iron Blood Alchemist Basque Gran gets attacked by a man with a scar on his forehead. Gran manages to trap the man inside a metal enclosure by using alchemy, but he gets too close to it and is killed when the man breaks free. Hughes and Armstrong are part of the team that finds Gran’s body afterward, and they’re eventually joined by King Bradley who makes it clear that any rebels must be taken down. Ed and Al meanwhile return to headquarters and tell Mustang about what happened in Lior. They’re interested in the chimera that Cornello created, so Mustang sends them to Shou Tucker, the Sewing-Life Alchemist. Tucker became a State Alchemist after creating a chimera two years ago that understood human speech, however the only thing that chimera said was that it wanted to die. It died shortly thereafter of self-starvation.

At Tucker’s house, Ed gets ambushed by Tucker’s dog Alexander and daughter Nina, and it turns out that Tucker’s wife had left him. Tucker wants to know why Ed and Al interested in transmuting living things, so Ed tells him the story of their past. Tucker decides to give them access to his lab and library, and the two brothers spend the entire day reading. The only break they take is to play with Nina and Alexander, and soon it’s time to go. Jean Havoc comes to pick them up, and before leaving, he reminds Tucker that assessment day is coming up soon. This means that Tucker will have to report the results of his research, and it weighs heavily on him because he already did poorly last year. Failing again this year would mean losing his State Alchemist title.

The next day, Ed and Al learn from Nina that Tucker’s wife left him two years ago. Nina’s loneliness reminds the brothers of the distance they had with their own father, so they opt to play with her some more. Tucker reveals later that life before he took the State Alchemist exam was hard, and his wife couldn’t put up with it, so she left him. He doesn’t want to return to those days ever again, and he offers to play with his daughter, making her quite happy. When Ed and Al arrive the next day, they find that Tucker has successfully created another talking chimera. Ed is at first amazed, but after it calls him onii-chan (brother), he realizes that this chimera is actually a transmutation of Nina and Alexander. What’s more, it now makes sense that Tucker transmuted his wife two years ago in order to pass his exam.

Ed is furious at Tucker, but Tucker tries to defend his actions by claiming that mankind’s advancements come from human experimentation. When Ed tries to lecture him on playing with a person’s life, Tucker points out that Ed once did the same thing. This leads to Ed punching Tucker, and he keeps doing so because Tucker keeps saying that they’re the same. Al eventually stops his brother, and since they can’t do anything for Nina and Alexander, Al apologizes to the chimera that wants to play. The two report back to Mustang, and Mustang thinks that as State Alchemists, there will be times when they have to take lives, so what Tucker did isn’t too different from their position. He feels that, since something like this will likely happen again where Ed will have to get his own hands dirty, Ed can’t let it get to him like this. What frustrates Ed is that he’s just a human who couldn’t even save a single girl.

With Tucker’s house now under guard, Tucker is stuck inside with the chimera form of Nina. He is soon paid a visit, however, by the man with the scar on his forehead who has already killed the guards and is now after him. After killing Tucker, the man observes the crying chimera and decides to kill it as well since it can’t be changed back. As he leaves the house, he says a prayer for the two souls.


So a lot of the basic elements are the same as the first series, but the context of story is quite different. Here, Ed and Al aren’t preparing for the exam anymore and are instead doing research, and that allowed them to keep it all in one episode. Basque Gran also shows up at the beginning and is promptly killed off by Scar, which I guess served as Scar’s introduction. The fact that Tucker is killed by Scar at the end is different as well, but it’s probably for the better since I never really liked Tucker’s character anyway. Overall, they set this episode up to have plenty of emotional impact with everything that Nina says/does after the transmutation and all of Ed’s frustrations, but having seen the original series and knowing what would happen kind of took away some of that away. It might be nostalgia talking, but I remember the first series having more impact. That doesn’t mean though that this episode isn’t worth watching. If nothing else, it’s interesting to see how the manga story was developed differently compared to the first anime, and it looks like next week will have a battle between the Elric brothers and Scar.


  1. Definitely the best episode of the series thus far. Almost an ABSOLUTE adaptation of chapter 5 of the manga, with some added material with Scar and Basque Gran. I was very impressed.

    Still, I sort of liked the first show’s take on this material. Especially Tucker’s fate. Show Spoiler ▼

    I’m starting to like the soundtrack a little better now, though.

  2. @Skye – unless they wanted to make this 200 episodes series, they have to do things fast. however, they are doing something that seems to be a standard when making manga adaptations – one chapter into one episode. only difference is that FMA chapters are twice as long as many of the mangas out there. in my opinion it’s good, because this series won’t be so slow. also, from that i see – they included everything that was there to be included in this episode. maybe it seems squuzed compared to first series, since tucker arc was broken down into two episodes there.

  3. Hmmm, they mentioned Yoki in the beginning. Guess that means they wont add a youswell episode later, as its already ‘happened’ now. Not a terrible loss I guess, but will just mentioning him and showing his file for a split second work as an introduction for his character to new viewers?

    Regardless, excellent episode, the best one so far. Liked the addition the showdown between Scar and Gran. Looking forward to the next episode.

  4. @Ryan

    This definetly is sticking to the manga. If you want to know more of this storyline I suggest to read it if you hadn’t. For me it was better than the original anime, it’s more complex storyline with good characters that didn’t showed up in the anime (ling yao it’s the best fma character for me)

  5. It’ll only feel squeezed if you are still nostalgic of all the filler the first series added to these arcs along with their own adjustments to the story. There’s a lot of new material to be animated so they can’t afford to do that anymore.

  6. @Yufan-kun – there is a possibility that they will show short flashbacks of Youswell when Yoki will be properly introduced later. for now, just mentioning Yoki is good enough, he’s not important enough to have full episode about him.

    @vin-nii – i think that childhood flashbacks will be shown later, when Show Spoiler ▼

  7. @Yufan
    Yep, most probably it’ll be longer, and longer than 51+ eps… BONES said it themselves, even considering that the manga might be closing off in the next 12 months or so. Thus, they would have ample time to plan it and finish the anime as the manga (in contrast with what had happened in the first anime version).

  8. Honestly, after watching first 4 episodes, all i can say: i liked old anime much more. First FMA was epic and brilliant, and i hope i would fell much better about new one, when they cross the line, where story gets different.

  9. @Schmell – actually, it’s just like the manga, it starts more quietly than the first series. epicness however, is going to ensue soon enough. and from what i think it’s actually going to be more epic than the first series if they won’t fail somewhere along the road. just one word – Show Spoiler ▼

  10. personally i think this part was the saddest in the whole series, even mo sad than…well.. “that’s a spoiler i guess”. poor girl..looked so pitiful as a dog-thing.

    BROOKLYN otaku
  11. @Snap: Don’t cha know? Paperwork is a ***** (still doesn’t diminish the sadness I felt watching what happened to Nina for th efirst time…)

    Gah, I feel this really strong urge to dig out all my volumes of FMA and go on a binge read…

  12. What the hell? Its the same thing all over agan.I thought new seasons are suppost to have diff epi’s. And how in the world are the characters that dyed coming back to life?

  13. @Taki

    How is it the same if Ed’s already a state alchemist, 15 years old, and Tucker actually dies this time? Not to mention Ed has never met Grand and never will unlike the first anime?

    Seriously, I think a lot of people need to go back and rewatch the first anime and note the differences.

  14. Well, its very different from the original anime’s set up of this part but its pretty much in line with the manga from what I remember so no surprises there and I assume it’ll continue that way but we’ll see as the series continues.

  15. @Skye,

    It’s not just you. The first series was MUCH better. Nina’s murder was robbed of most of its emotional impact because we’ve only seen her in this episode. In the first series, Ed and Al were living with Tucker and Nina was in multiple episodes, so you had time to grow to love her before she was transmuted and killed.

    I’m not loving it.

  16. ———–
    LJ at 5:32 am on April 26th, 2009

    Hmm it’s the best that they made this ep this way
    the other series made me feel awkward that tucker didn’t die

    That always bothered me greatly about the original anime version. I really liked Nina (how cold you not) and what happen to here was truly horrible and the fact that Tucker was allowed to live just left me with a very sick feeling.

  17. but we all know she’s going to die since we all know this is a more faithful adaptation, right? so what is the point lingering on nina if that is already diminished in the first place?

    anyway, im trying to look for 2 blogs for this anime. one that neither watched the first anime nor read the manga past this episode. and/or second, one that did watch the first anime but writes as someone who did not watch it and write his impressions as though having an alter ego.


  18. Man, I alays cried during the Nina episode. I feel like now BONES is making every manga chapter or book into one ep. I just feel like they left you with to many things waiting. MAN NOW I HAVE TO WAIT ANOTHER WEEK!!! (really want to see the Elric vs. Scar showdown).

  19. Hm, they managed to adequately fit in all of the manga material, and even managed to add a few things. Not bad. The mention of Yoki being exposed by the Elric brothers was a bit odd considering we didn’t see it though.

    When I first heard that Kenta Miyake was voicing Scar I was a bit wary, since I’m used ot him playing wackjobs like Count Elec, but I was pleasantly surprised. He actually sounded a lot like his old seiyuu. I was kinda glad that his dispatch of Grand wasn’t as nasty as it was in the first series.

    Anyway, grim, sad episode. I remember getting depressed after I first read this in the manga, and I still felt lousy after watching this.

  20. The Nina part in the first series was too disturbing, especially how they showed the remains and blood stains on the wall. I remember not liking that part as it was too confrontational.

    I like how this one handled it, it’s still confrontational but not as disturbing. Of course, the emotional impact is lessened since I know was going to happen.

  21. This Ep was OK. Once again they made a 2-long-episode-event fit in 1 episode, but still it was very well done. The episode had very funny moments and also sad ones. Still i feel like they rushed things up. It took me for surprise that Shou Tucker was killed by Scar.

    I feel that the 1ºseason is far superior that this one in any field at the moment, but I think it’s too soon to speak.

  22. bah, that’s why i didn’t like the idea of redoing FMA. it’s only obvious that people would try to compare the new series with the first one, treating the latter as canon (when it’s certainly not). just one thing – yes, this episode packs some emotional charge, but remember, Ed and Al went through hell when they were young, why would something like that have greater effect on them? i know that it did in the first series, but the circumstances were completely different (and irrational at the same time – why would they let the 12 years old kid join the army and why the hell would Ed need to study for the exam, even being 12? he’s a genious alchemist, he’s seen the truth, he simply doesn’t have to study for a simple exam) and they were much younger. and yet here it even does have an effect – we have Ed realize that he’s only human. that’s why i think that the first series is much inferior to the manga – they concetrated too much on excessive drama which was not needed and made Ed look like an Emo kid without any resolve to do anything. bah

  23. This episode was great. It went down JUST like the manga does.

    Originally it did happen at this point in the timeline, not when Ed was younger and in training for the exam. The imagry when Ed realizes what Tucker’s done and their fight is lifted shot for shot from the manga, which is great, because even reading it as text and still pictures that particular scenes has always struck me as extremely intense and suspenseful.

    And even though I already knew what happened, I was still pretty relieved to see Scar kill Tucker like he was supposed to, leaving no chance for a second upsidedown-head-bear-sloth incident. Auugh.. oh god I hate the first anime.

  24. I don’t know why everyone’s so obsessed with having the anime play out EXACTLY like the manga. Your all too caught up in that to realize how much better the original anime actually was!
    The only reason why their rushing this season is to get it over and done with to satisfy the fans who only care that it finally plays along to the manga.

  25. @kota – because manga version is, well, better. more complicated, absolutely logical, darker, more epic. and gives You great amount of entertainment, especially when You start seeing things that point to some secrets that are not yet revealed or remembering that there were earlier some premises of things that happen. first anime is just much simplier and have much less content. this would be the reason this one may seem “rushed”.

    and well, it’s somehow a trend that manga adaptations are worse than the manga.

  26. @Kota:

    You probably never read the manga then. The pacing, plot, and character development are far superior to the first anime series. You have no idea how different the plot of the first anime series is from the original story and probably can’t recognize the excellent foreshadowing thats being set up right now in the second anime series.

    And for that matter first anime couldn’t even keep it’s own continuity straight, it was full of gaping plotholes, contrived melodrama, weak filler, and a muddled, anti-climatic conclusion that abolished any mystery to the Doors of Truth and rushed over the one thing the brothers had been working towards the entire time. It was a mess.

  27. I’m gonna go watch this now! aah! exited! have read the comments, read the manga and seen the first series, so no surprises here. But I liked the manga better than the anime (not just this chapter but the whole series), cause..well the anime was…so…very….eumm… much. Like they wanted to drag this part out, and I must agree with a lot of people here, really disturbing that Tucker didn’t die in the first anime…grr…and that this one is funnier and more lighthearted, and less depressing…anyway…I’m going now..see ya!
    (I just realised something, spoiler for the manga: Show Spoiler ▼

    (oh, I have a favorite part in the manga, and I can’t wait to get it animated!)

    Watching now….
    *I’ve never really understand what Scar is doing…like, practically. does he blow them up from inside? to me it looks like in the manga, he like implode the heads…it looks freakishly scary in the volymes…
    *hah! first time I heard Bradley’s voice, first ep I think, I thought, wow! what a good vioce, fits perfectly! then I realised it’s probably ’cause it’s the same from the first series! 😛
    *OHH!! it’s so like the manga!! I love every second!! and I love Alexander!!
    *Half way through the episode, about to cry…at 15:08 they’re all like ‘Oh, what a great dad! Not like ours!’ and it’s the opposite!

    Sorry about the unnecessary long comment, but I have to “discuss” with someone…nobody of my friends watch this…they’re retarded… sorry K, H, R & R!!! sorry! you are not retardes, you’re funminded!!(as in “I’m not short, I’m funsized!”)

  28. It doesn’t aim to make you ‘sad’ this time. If you want to see Nina who was like a sister to Ed and Al and then cried when she died, you can go back to watch the first version anytime. This time it aims to make a point that Alchemist can be very twist. And to make Ed realized that how little he can actually do, and that he’s only human. In a manga she’s just one innocent kid who met a disturbing fate by her Alchemist father.

  29. As much as I hate Tucker I still don’t think they should’ve killed him afterall Show Spoiler ▼

    Yup this episode in the first series was better.

  30. Although I love the manga much more than the first series, I also thought this had much less emotional impact than the first run through. It might be because the shock value for that is already spent. If I remember correctly, the voice acting was much more emotional the first time. I think most commenters here are correct, this chapter wasn’t aimed to be emotionally charged to Ed and Al as opposed to showing how down and dirty State Alchemists can get.

    For everyone who is adamant that the first series is better, I encourage you to keep watching until the series doesn’t diverge from the original story. I find that the manga’s story is much more rich with new characters as well as interaction. I thought the first series did an excellent job, but the way Arakawa has expanded the story obviously got Bones to reanimate it to follow her storyline as a retelling (I never thought I’d see the original story get animated).

    Have faith and keep watching.

  31. I think creators want to be done with manga storyline we’ve already seen in first series (until episode 38) as soon as possible, I guess it will take them 13-20 episodes maybe – and when proceed to something we haven’t seen yet=)

  32. Ah..Finally..Dis episode is probably the 1st in the new series that made quite a solid impact..But i gotta say i have mixed feelings about it..To b frank in the manga dis was done in such away dat its something u cannot screw up..It defenately followed the manga wit little tweaks here and there but that can b 4given as in da manga u can visualize and in the anime many ppl expect to be spoon feed..I kinda wish the directing would be better(no offence but the guy kinda sucks)…The 1st had so many memorable pockets for the viewers to hold on to although many claims there was alota dramarama and also i am not an animation expert but i gotta say the colour in the 1st anime had a better mix of warm and cool colours than this..Since they are already done animating the show its possible they more money(yes… using brighter tones, tints and shade does suck up alota money) on the later episode which many(ppl who didnt read the manga)..The sound tracks are decent but not that great so far..The orchestra composed of piano and violine in the 1st was defenately superb..Still there are always room for improvement and this episode is a sign that it can..

    Pie eating inNocent bystanderED
  33. I think the entire series seems squeezed, I mean, this was one of the most touching arcs in fma storyline, i don’t complain, this was the best episode of all that have aired, but it didn’t have the emotional impact of the first series, somehow it seems rushed. They don’t give you enough time to process the characters, to look around to find that nina’s missing, like he did the first time around, she practically screamed i am nina, look what happened to me. So i think overall, this time around things are done this way, since the pace is way faster, you don’t have time to cry before you’re moving onto the next scene. This isn’t to say this series isn’t good in its own merit, but i’m a little parcial, since i was such a fan of the first one.

  34. Great episode. But I’m going to say that the first series had more of an emotional impact. One because we already know what happens to Nina (so it’s not new). Two, that arc was stretched over two episodes and Ed and Al became closer to Nina. I mean the part about Tucker burning all of Nina’s letters to her mom, Hughes’ daughter being born, and the very eerie atmosphere as Ed pieced everything together felt more powerful in the first series. And it’s a bit harsh of people to call that extra stuff filler, it was emotional stuff.

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