When Olivier arrives in Central, she runs into Mustang, and the two have a brief exchange about having a meal together and the florists in the city. Olivier then meets with King Bradley who immediately questions her about Raven’s disappearance. Knowing that there’s no use hiding it, Olivier instead tries to make the point that King Bradley didn’t need a careless person like that, and she wants Raven’s seat. King Bradley is amused and grants the request in exchange for her letting one of his men take over Briggs. Over in the mess hall, Mustang sits down to lunch with Hawkeye, and through the names she mentions in their conversation, she passes along a secret message revealing that Selim is a Homunculus. Meanwhile, Father is sleeping underground and recalls a scene from many years ago in Xerxes. Back then, a slave designated with the number 23 had been working in a lab where there was a certain being in a flask. It turns out that this slave’s blood had been used to create this being, and it had decided to name the slave Van Hohenheim. It had also offered him knowledge so that he could get his freedom, and it had called itself Homunculus. As time went on, Hohenheim became more useful to his master and had become an alchemist. He had been grateful to the one in the flask and had started thinking about starting a family because that would be happiness to him. His counterpart, however, just wanted to have a body outside of the flask.

Sometime later, the flask was brought before the king of Xerxes because the king wanted immortality, and based on its instructions, the king had his men dig an irrigation channel around the country and had ordered bloodshed at the key spots. Once it was done, they had initiated the ritual, but everyone then started dying, including the king himself. As it turned out, the true center of the ritual was where Hohenheim was standing with the flask, and when it was all over, they were the only two survivors in the entire country. Both of them were now immortal, each with one-half of the country’s souls, and Homunculus had chosen to take on Hohenheim’s form. Back in the present, Hohenheim wakes up from this memory while on a train and happens to run into Izumi and her husband. When Izumi starts coughing again, Hohenheim learns what happened with her and then plunges his hand into her abdomen. He uses his power to rearrange her insides to improve her blood flow and then tells her that she can’t die yet. When she questions what he is, he calls himself Van Hohenheim, a Philosopher’s Stone in the form of a man. At around this same time, Ed is telling Miles about the many shapes of the Philosopher’s Stone and how he’s never seen one bigger than a small stone. He doesn’t want to see a huge one either because of the unthinkable number of lives that would be needed to create it.


This turned out to be quite a good episode – much more compelling than last week’s. For starters, the small bits of plot development in the beginning were pretty interesting, and I liked how Olivier didn’t back down against King Bradley. It was also pretty cool seeing how Hawkeye got the Selim secret across to Mustang, and I wonder what the combination of Olivier and Mustang can do in Central given what they now know.

But what I really enjoyed about the episode, and what kept me on the edge of my seat, was how they then dived into what happened in the past in Xerxes and were expanding on the overarching plot. It was great to see how Hohenheim developed from Slave Number 23, how the “Little One Inside the Flask” became Father, and how these past events could parallel the future of Amestris. I loved how the episode ended too with Hohenheim helping Izumi and his declaration that he’s a Philosopher’s Stone in human form. It was a very emphatic way to finish. I guess the current ED sequence is appropriate in featuring him so prominently since it really does look like he’s getting involved in the story again. Of course, the preview indicates that next episode will be focused back on Ed, Al, and Winry, so it might still be a bit too early to say that.


  1. Yep, this is where we get into the meat of things. The story will just get more interesting from now on!

    Now to wait for when the RAW decides to rear its head on TokyoTosho… yummy!

  2. Yeah, they did a pretty good job with Hohenheim’s past. The only thing I would have done differently is include the scene with him teaching the other slaves what he learned from the Homunculus, because then it makes everyone’s deaths a little more tragic because he’s connected to them. But it was fine as-is.

    What I really liked was the voice of the Homunculus. Really unsettling. I was wondering what they would do with that, thinking they might go for the voice of Pride, but it’s different, and yet similar. You definitely get that he’s a little creep.

    Hohenheim’s encounter with Izumi and Sig seemed more serious than in the manga, too, for some reason, which is good. For some reason, I chuckled when Sig hit him in the manga, but here it really looks like he was frantic to save his wife. And I love Izumi and Sig, they’re my favorite couple in FMA.

    Good episode.

  3. Brotherhood’s pace has already been butchered to Hell and back.. why are you worrying about that at this point..?
    In a way, it would actually be bad if they slowed things down now.

  4. remember, he’s name isn’t Father. It’s a fake.

    Now in the FMA community we call him “Homonculus” that’s all. It’s not a Father. Just a little one in a bigger flask: a body.

  5. @egress63
    They might go for some filler arcs maybe, but I don’t see the possibility of an anime original ending. How can they kill Father, Pride, Gluttony, Sloth, Envy, Greed, Wrath, Kimblee in 15 episodes is beyond me! 🙂

  6. @egress63 – you have to realize that these chapters, from about 74 to 83, are extremely short- on average more than 10 pages shorter than the usual chapters. Based on future episode titles, it looks like they’ll be covering about 4-5 chapters in the next three episodes.

    You have to appreciate that pacing in general has improved considerably in the last 10 episodes. They’ve only covered 14 chapters in that span.

  7. The anime is meant to end somehow the same date it began, around May(?), or April, so in three months or less, we won’t have the manga’s finale. Meaning, that the anime is going to have a different ending…again…like in every anime, but Bokura ga Ita (since they followed the manga pretty well).
    I hope we don’t get a crappy ending… 🙁

  8. I don’t see why people think this will just end at 52 eps or in 3 months and have it’s own ending when it doesn’t have to at all.

    The first FMA ending had a cliffhanger that lead into a movie. You guys think that this 2nd version which follows the manga so damn close will just piss on it at the end and pull something outta it’s ass? It’ll either end on a cliffhanger and lead into yet another movie, or end at a good part before the final arc which the manga is in right now and then do an OVA later when the manga is done.

    There is zero need to do anything anime original for an ending.

  9. @ andrea
    What are your sources? Why would it end around 52 episodes? I think they said they would make Brotherhood as long as it had to be to cover up the manga… which would at LEAST mean 5 seasons… or more. Or am I completely off on this? xD ANYWAY I really, REALLY liked this episode. Homunculus’ voice was really… strange, but fitting. :]

  10. The anime will end in 5 months, mark my words.

    Anyways, I like that they shortened the scene with Roy and Riza; in works in manga, but in anime it would be boring and take too much time.

    And I like Viz’s name for the Homunculus better, “The Dwarf inside the flask”, instead of “The Little One”. 😛

  11. @GP, I don’t think people are saying it’s certain the anime will have an original ending, but even anime that have closely followed the manga have turned into an original smorgasbord for some odd reason. Death Note anime, for example, followed the manga really well up until just before the end of part one.

  12. Where are you guys getting this “3 more months/original anime ending” crap? I could be wrong, but I have seen MANY sources state that the series is slated to end at 63 episodes. That’s at least 23 more weeks from now–almost half a year. 5 more months. That would roughly coincide with Chapter 108 of the manga. That would be logical since I believe Arakawa had intended to end the series around Chapter 100..the only problem is that as of right now, at 103, I don’t see how she’d be able to do that. It’s looking like the ending is taking her longer to finish than she had intended. So until it gets closer to summer and we see how both the anime and manga play out, I’ll reserve judgement.

    I don’t think DN is that great of an example because while part 2 of DN did get quite abridged, the events that they did include were still spot-on to the manga, and the plotline was still the same.

  13. I doubt it will be 52. FUNimation (who bought the rights to the series, has announced it’s at least 63). Do you really think they’d go through all of this just to ruin the ending…again?

    I believe Arwakawa stated before that the manga will be done by the time the anime gets to that point. Though, maybe she was unaware of their pace…but, eh, I trust her. Wait to see what happens. We don’t know how long FMA will last at this point. She maybe be able to finish it in a chapter. Who knows?

  14. Hmmmm… Seems like we’re already 11 episodes from the end and the manga has yet to finish…
    I guess this means the anime will end with another original ending.
    Too bad… If only this anime was made just a few months later…

  15. With the pace they have currently settled on, it doesn’t really seem possible to finish it up in only 12 more episodes. So going to 63 seems more likely to me, albeit they would have to slow it further. As for the manga, who knows, but it could reasonably finish in around 5 months, we are at the final showdown. In any case, at this point Arakawa has probably planned the ending in some details, so I don’t think there is any necessity for a anime-original finale.

  16. Seeing how there is a fifth season and episodes 54+ are currently being worked on, the anime will not end in 11-12 episodes.

    Anyway, it seems like next episode will only cover one short chapter. Inc filler? Or perhaps including a certain important scene that was skipped this week?

  17. I have a feeling that there’s going to be another clip show between ch 80 and 81. and yeah 63 been slated by different sources so there’s going to be room for another opening and ending as well snice lets see. opening ending 1 (14), 2nd (15-26 = 12) 3rd(27- 38=12) and opening 4 = (39-50 or 51 = 12-13) and opening ending 5(50-51 -63 – 12-13)

    so yeah also, there possilibity of a week or 2 of not airing and the clip show which would happened usually between 2 events happening. I also think that snice there been 2 ovas, more material been over. the blind alchemist(dvd 1) and simple people(dvd 5) which I notice its on each first disc of a box.

  18. @Mark

    That’s all well and good and other shows that followed the manga close do infact then pull their own anime ending if the manga is still going at the time. That said, FMA:B ISN’T ONE OF THOSE.

    Don’t forget people, the original FMA anime already did this, and the whole point of redoing the series from the start with brotherhood is to follow the manga this time, NOT to make up it’s onw stuff. At the most they’ll add some scenes to fill out some more eps and drag it out till the manga can end, but to pull off track towards the end and do yet another anime original ending would make this whole new series pointless.

    I also figure the manga will end at somwehere between 110-115 chapters. It’s at 103 now, so at least 7 more months imo.

    If they wanna play it smart, they can end the series at the end of a good arc and finish the ending in OVAs. This why have have time to let the manga end, or time it so the final manga chapter and final OVA ep are released at the same time.

  19. All the speculation over whether or not Brotherhood will catch up with the manga or overtake it seems a little premature to me. Even if they add a little padding here and there, it’s fine with me, as long as they keep adapting the actual manga material well.

  20. Seriously. (Never thought I’d agree with Penguintruth).

    I stopped reading the manga for A YEAR after the events of the next episode. In that year, I think it got up to Al and Pride. That’s at least 12 chapters. And since then, she’s done about 10 months past then. It’s not going to catch up and it will be done. And it will be beyond 52 episodes.

    Honestly, this paranoia is incredibly retarded. Get your facts straight, people.

  21. I predict a recap episode between the big time skip between winter and the dreaded spring. Chapter 83… At any rate, I don’t care to speculate how or when this series will end b/c my grasp of the whole concept is so fuzzy. Sometimes I’m sitting and thinking, ‘They could cover all this in about 63 episodes, yeah’ and other times, ‘No way they could cover all this in that many episodes.’ Currently I’m thinking no way…but trying my absolute hardest not to care and just wait and see. I’m all up for filler if they can have the manga’s ending. Filler in the time skip between ch. 83 and 84? I’m sure Arakwara could feed them some ideas for that material as well.

  22. Speculations aside, I think it’s a viable option to have the anime end differently than the manga if the anime ending was done/guided by Arakawa. Other authors of books, graphic novels, etc. have done the “alternate ending” thing. And I think CLAMP purposely made one of their anime end differently from the manga so that the fans would continue to be interested in reading/watching both the manga and the anime adaptation.

  23. Quite some episodes ago I was speculating that Father and Hohenheim where the same person split into two, something along the lines of Hohenheim using Alchemy to seek immortality and ‘Father’ was born as an unintended consequence.

    I guess I was right in that they share the same blood, vessel if you will. But still, HOLY SHIT I WASN’T EXPECTING WHAT JUST HAPPENED.

    That was an awesome episode, particularly how directly they dove into the subject and still managed to convey the sense of disparity that Hohenheim suffers when he realizes what just took place, from his odd ‘friend’ in the flask massacring everyone to the sense that he will never possess the family and love that he strove for – due to his now cursed body and immortality.

  24. what did hohenheim do when he mentioned the names of his friends’ souls many episodes back? the part where he took some of them out his body..
    does it mean, it’ll lessen his immortality status or is he just setting them free??

  25. @ Puran
    i doubt theyll make another vague ending. Maybe theyll cap it off in some chapter with a to be continued kind of thing wer itll have a season 2. If they do decide to make an ending, it would destroy the series because the point of this one is to follow the manga very closely unlike the first series.

  26. Whats with all the NERD RAGE over exactly how many episodes are left? Lets focus on how great the episode was and the series will end when it ends. So many questions got answered this week.

  27. That was pretty clever of Hawkeye to use a coded message to get the warning across to Mustang. Mustang was also bright enough to realize that Hawkeye was speaking in code. Years of working together wasn’t for nothing.

    Olivier certainly didn’t chicken out when telling Bradley, “Yeah I killed the bastard, and I want his seat, so what are you gonna do about it?” To quote Jabba the Hutt “This (bitch) is my kind of scum, fearless and inventive.”

    But HOLY SHIT. While it’s probably not hard to guess that Father is probably van Hohenheim’s evil twin, to see the whole thing play out is still quite breathtaking. Though I don’t know how the original Homunculus/Father was created, but I guess he was most likely created by Xerxes alchemists hoping to find the secrets to immortality which the homunculus seem to possess.

    The way van Hohenheim redirected the flow of Izumi’s blood flow reminds me of some oriental healing method, which leads me to believe van Hohenheim may be the legendary “Sage of the West” who brought Eastern Alchemy into Xing, while Father became the “Sage of the East”, bringing Western Alchemy into Amestris.

    Kinny Riddle
  28. I watched it. It was really good. I just hope in a later episode they show why Izumi and Sig are traveling and what not. I’m sure they will in the next episode or so, it’s an important point that Central is looking for them.

    (I still wonder what the scene can be like without Maison though).

  29. I thought it was great too…but there was one thing I had a problem with.

    Father and Hohenheim’s first interaction. In the manga, you saw his smug face and then Hohenheim, just shocked beyond belief. It wasn’t quite the same.

    The part where Father was telling him “I used your blood” etc, the art of him is really bad. He looks like a pudgy muppet or something.

    Very little things I didn’t like, but that’s it really. They should have fixed that face of Father in that dramatic scene.

  30. So, here we are. I’ve wanted to see this animated ever since chapter 74/75 came out, and Bones indeed delivered the best FMA:B episode so far, IMHO. Great storytelling, the best intro, big suspense, fantastic music, and this will be why I’ll be buying the dvd set. My compliments and respect for this, Bones!

    For once, I saw that the fansub’s translation was interesting too. ‘Hohenheim, my brother in blood’ delivers a second meaning to the Brotherhood title (as opposed to Viz’ official translation ‘Hohenheim, my blood relative’).

  31. The secret code-scene was so late in the series, I thought I dreamt it! (I’ve just read theese chapters once)
    I love when Olivier pwns Roy!

    Seriously, I almost cried, I feel so sorry for Hohenheim!

  32. You got it Cherubium! Of course they already kind of explained that in earlier episodes…but something about FMA, even if you already knew something the more background that becomes uncovered with it the more clear your understanding becomes of that situation. Because there are so many layers to everything that is happening in FMA.

  33. all I can say is: no matter what you want Ed, you do resemble your dad the most. the young!hohenhiem looks EXACTLY like Ed, except taller. great improvement from last ep in which was utterly boring

  34. QnTiria: yeah Hohenhiem even said in a past episode that Ed is “just like me when i was his age”. you can see it in the interaction between him and father the first time lol. Young Hohenhiem gets pissed about being called stupid just like ed gets pissed about being called short.

  35. I haven’t read the mangas, so I have no way of knowing how close this series really is to the source. I will say that I greatly prefer this series to the last one, and after reading some posts by people who have read the manga, I am beginning to understand why.

    I was thinking of getting some episodes from the first series that would flesh out some of the material in episodes 1-15 of brotherhood. The episode with yoki and the coal mine comes to mind. I don’t want the whole series, just to get a few episodes of FMA I can watch to compliment the early episodes of FMA:B.

    Perhaps some people here with knowledge of the manga might make some episode suggestions.

  36. hms-one, I added the Yoki episode to my Brotherhood collection as well. Watching it beforehand and then when he shows up again in Brotherhood, it really adds more to it.

    But, to include it you’ll have to edit out a lot. The old series did a good job at changing manga locations to its own canon. The whole thing in Central, Winry being with them, if you included that with Brotherhood, it wouldn’t make sense.

    You can’t edit out Lyra, but just think of her as a lackey and it doesn’t matter.


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