「不死の軍団」 (Fushi no Gundan)
We have a new opening and ending this week to coincide with the final stretch of the series and they’re pretty good ones too! The new opening sequence comes off somewhat dark, whereas the new ending is much more hopeful, making me unsure as to exactly what kind of conclusion we’ll have. As for the episode itself, the immortal army was brought to life, but given its experimental nature, the mannequin soldiers don’t seem to follow orders from anyone. While Ed, Scar, and the others try to hold the them at bay and prevent them pouring out onto the streets, Olivier’s got her own hands full with the arrival of Sloth. To compound problems, Heinkel realizes too late that Pride is signaling for help, giving time for Kimblee to arrive and set him loose. Things get worse from there, as May loses sight of Envy’s jar and allows him to revive himself by absorbing all the mannequin soldiers around him, making that three Homunculus back in action. However, as Al frantically tries to save Heinkel, the wounded chimera entrusts him with the philosopher stone that Kimblee dropped a while back. Despite being against using the souls contained in that stone, Al is convinced to use their lives to save the lives of everyone, so he does just that and turns around to take Pride and Kimblee head on.
The highlights here were definitely the revival of Envy (stupid May for being tricked), Alex coming in the nick of time to save Olivier, and of course, Al being supercharged GN-Drive/Trans-Am style. On the slightly comedic side of things, I rather enjoyed seeing Central’s upper echelons getting what they deserve from the Homunculus. This includes one general getting eaten alive by the mannequin soldiers shortly after they were brought to life and another getting squashed by Sloth with one hand, saving Olivier from having to finish him off herself. In the latter’s case, it’ll be interesting what happens now, as Central’s forces were ordered to barricade the main building and prevent both Briggs’ and Mustang’s soldiers from getting in before he bit the dust.
As for the mannequin soldiers themselves, it was pretty cool watching Ed and the others fight off a swarm of them under Central as they tried to make their way towards Father. They’re an army of mindless zombies for the most part, but when Scar’s arm can’t even destroy one, they’re evidently no walk in the park either. For now, Ed’s managed to seal the exit and the other chimera have transformed to go all out, but things still don’t look so good. May on the other hand sure can handle her own, which this animated gif will show you (warning, it’s about 3.5MB). However, that still doesn’t change the fact that she dropped Envy’s jar and allowed him to return to his original form. It was actually kind of gross watching Envy reform himself, as it was just body after body clumping together as if they were putty.
Now what I’m really looking forward to seeing is some brute force versus brute force fighting between Alex and Sloth. Alex’s timely entrance in this episode was a good one, and it looks like it may serve to improve Olivier’s opinion of her younger brother. That sibling moment had a nice feel to it, but what I really found touching was Heinkel’s words to Al about using the philosopher stone to save everyone. It really sounded like those were Heinkel’s last words, but I really hope they aren’t as he’s one of the nicer chimeras and it would be a shame to see him go. The preview didn’t really suggest one way or another though, nor exactly how well Al is fairing against Pride and Kimblee even with the stone in hand, so next week should be exciting.
Noticeably missing this episode were all the other members from Xing too, so I’m looking forward to their return to the fray, hopefully with Ling/Greed amongst them. It never hurts to have more Lan Fan screen time in general either.