「烈火の先に」 (Rekka no Saki ni)
“Before the Conflagration”

Continuing off from the good cliffhanger last time, we learn that one of the two characters is indeed Envy masquerading in disguise. While some people deemed it was clearly obvious that the fake was Mustang because Envy can’t shape-shift a gun, I wasn’t convinced that was a dead giveaway and didn’t feel it ruined the surprise. In any case, Hawkeye lying about how Mustang calls her “Riza” when they’re alone together was a much more clever way of baiting Envy out. When the real Mustang made his timely arrival and started scorching Envy to death, I was pretty excited about him finally getting a chance to take revenge. That whole scene with him snapping like crazy actually came off a lot more powerful than the one with Lust, mainly due to all the hatred involved. I jest, but the only downside is that Mustang didn’t hit up a good beat while he went finger crazy.

What I particularly liked about this episode though was the excellent use of music during a lot of the scenes. The timing of it all really helped set the mood and bring out all of the emotions experienced by the characters, like when they had the flashbacks of Hughes. From a sheer shounen standpoint, it was probably disappointing to see Hawkeye step in to stop Mustang before he could finish off Envy, but from a moral point of view, I liked how she, Ed, and Scar lectured him a bit about how his lust for revenge has consumed him. It’s not like they weren’t planning to kill Envy anyway, so it was nice to see the story reemphasize the notion that someone can’t possibly lead a country if emotions get the better of them and rationale goes completely out the window as soon as a close friend is killed. What was even better though is that once Mustang agreed to take the high road and act like a protagonist should, they got through to Envy by pointing out how he’s jealous of humans and their will to never quit, causing him to commit suicide instead. I felt that was a much more dramatic way to conclude things with Envy, and I suspect Hughes would’ve been happy that Mustang didn’t let hatred get the best of him, even if it was for his sake.

As for the ongoing battle with Sloth and the endless horde of mannequin soldiers, this episode was entirely for Alex to shine as he somehow took a hit to pop his dislocated shoulder back into its socket and then single-handedly sent the gigantic homunculus reeling. It was pretty amazing to say the least, but the best part was when they started breaking out the heroic theme to support his fight. I mentioned a few weeks back that I was really looking forward to some brute force versus brute force fighting between Alex and Sloth, and this episode gave me just that with them exchanging a fair amount of blows. The fact that Alex can eat Sloth’s blows shows just how much he’s built like a tank, much like Olivier can attest to. With the way the battle is raging on within Central headquarters, I’m pretty excited about Buccaneer and the other Briggs soldiers breaking their way in. The best part of that had to be Izumi’s entrance though and how her exceptional digging abilities got them there. This time, she chose not to introduce herself as a mere housewife either, but a full-fledged alchemist, which I got a good chuckle out of.

Aside from the above, I liked how they opened the episode with a flashback of Mustang and Hawkeye during the Ishval War, with the latter burying a child war victim. Mentioned then was a bit of Hawkeye’s past with her father, his study of Flame Alchemy, and Mustang eventually agreeing to burn part of the tattoo on her back so that its secrets regarding Flame Alchemy are no longer comprehensible. All in all, it helped shed some light on exactly what that tattoo on Hawkeye’s back is about, but I couldn’t help but feel that Mustang could’ve done a neater job with his handy work. Poor Riza and her beautiful back. 🙁

Finally, with the way the ending sequence was completely omitted this week, giving us extra footage of Hohenheim confronting Father with the latter stating how he’ll make the former a part of himself, I can’t wait to see how all that plays out next week. The preview doesn’t seem to give us much indication one way or another, but if those two actually happen to fight at some point, I don’t think Central or even all of Amestris would be able to contain them.




  1. I must say that they did a very good job based on the screenshots taken. It was nice of them to fully wrap everthing up regarding Hughes, the alchemy array on hawkeye’s back and conclusion to mustang’s revenge. With the content remianing and how many episodes are left, I feel that we will have more animated sequences in the Ed segment. That is all for now since I feel that i try to say anymore it will become spoilerish.

  2. And folks say the first FMA series is melodramatic. They wrung as much as they could out of Envy’s death and I rolled my eyes.

    At least we got some more of the Armstrong siblings, clearly the best part of the episode. I’m excited for next week’s episode, with Izumi and Sig joining them in combat.

    1. No, we say its melodramatic because the WHOLE series has scenes like this. I can bet anything that I can go through every of the 51 episodes and find at least one scene where they try to pull the audience’s heart strings. Now THAT is eye rolling worthy. Brotherhood, or rather, the manga doesnt focus on that. Even Arakawa said in an interview that she considers the series to be more of a comedy because she doesnt like melodrama. That doesnt mean it’s completely void of it, scenes like this are needed for plot purposes, but at least they’re not constantly being forced down our throats like the first series. And at least they’re done RIGHT.

      Now go back to your corner, no one cares about your precious first series. This is Brotherhood we’re talking about here, so please stop bringing it up at every chance you get. kthxbai

      1. I love how Penguintruth isn’t even consistent in his arguments.

        He argues that the first anime is good, then the next time it seems how he’s saying how cliched it was really was. I think he has multiple personalities.

        Either way, I agree wit Damien. The Brotherhood series is only “melodramatic” because of the growth, trauma, situations the characters go through. If you like characters, you get upset when they do, and it makes it that much more.

        Character drama and “tear jerker” are two completely different things. The latter just basically uses any tactic to try and make you feel sorry for people, but the first just gets you attached to the characters, so naturally you feel for them with whatever they go through.

      2. Penguintruth once said that he liked the two series equally, and each series had something he liked and disliked about. I’m not his follower, but geez, give him a break!

      3. Personally, I enjoyed the first series more, mainly because I had expectations in this new one for scenes that weren’t met. But after much deliberation I have noted the two key differences between Brotherhood and the first series:

        FMA: Had Robots and Nazis.
        Brotherhood: Had Ninjas and Zombies.

        Equal, yet opposite forms of awesome.

      4. Except it seemed like Arakawa didn’t drag this scene out nearly as much in the manga. It felt like Bones was trying to wring all the drama it could out of it.

        And I’m not hypocritical about this, I’m aware that the first series has its moments of melodrama, but they seemed natural given the mood of that series. To overemphasize this scene in this series just makes it comical.

      5. Da5id, you just named why I hated the first series so much.

        NAZis ZoMIBeiS, it was like “Look, we’re throwing in everything to try and make it seem cool”

        FMA doesn’t need Nazis to be good. FMA needs a story and awesome characters to do be good; which is what this series has in spades. First (and 2nd) time I watched the first anime, it still made no sense. It still doesn’t. Only by reading wikipedias have I finally saw what they were TRYING to do, and even then, it’s a mediocre fanfiction at best. Still, I don’t know how anyone is able to pull some of THOSE summaries from what I remember of that series.

  3. Must watch, Must watch, Must watch, Must watch, Must watch, Must watch, Must watch, Must watch!!! Can’t get over the fact that Envy still looks cute yet ugly. Roy x Riza ftw. Fantastic ep.

    1. Lol Rei. You sound like Shizuo (Drrr!!) mumbling “korosu, korosu, korosu, korosu, korosu, korosu..” XD

      Well I don’t read the manga, so it was quite shocking to see how Envy died. I’m wondering maybe the manga will end concurrently with the anime series. Roy + Riza = <3

      Lil' Lilly
      1. if you want, you can read it after the Father vs Holem fight.. it’s closer that way and won’t spoil much of the anime for you. (no need to read from chap 1, just the few last chaps ^^)

    2. lol somehow your comments remind me of Shinji Ikari
      “nigecha dameda, nigecha dameda, nigecha dameda, nigecha dameda!”

      Looks like an epic episode… Must watch! Must watch! Must watch! XD

  4. Wow, I actually found that kinda sad. I don’t agree with penguintruth in terms of it being melodramatic (you can’t even really compare this to the first FMA). It fit Envy well, I thought… But yeah, that’s my opinion.

  5. Just saw the raw version, can’t wait till I can understand what they’re saying. Ah, so Riza’s tattoo involved Flame Alchemy; I was thinking it was part of the Philosopher’s Stone equation for some reason.

    Oddly enough, while I haven’t pitied any of the other Homunculi when they’ve been killed, I couldn’t help but feel a stab of it for Envy, arguably the most evil and immoral of all of ’em. Partially because he’s a smartass bastard who’s been making me laugh the whole series at his antics. I’m curious as to why his despair was great enough to rip out his own stone, since I don’t understand a word of what he was shrieking. Maybe he figured they were going to kill him sooner or later anyway and decided the only option left was to try and spite their revenge. Guess I’ll find out later tonight when the subs come out, ne?

    1. @ MrRei

      I don’t feel Envy’s death was drawn out and melodramatic like Penguintruth; Envy is a complicated sin and when you’re taught to analyze everything like i am (DAMN YOU IB!!!) it’s kind of necessary for everyone to rise above him, and point out his weaknesses without scorn, like Ed did. “If he’s so envious of humans…” see, that’s the point. Envy translates very close to hatred. You want something someone else has so bad you’re gonna do everything you can to bring them down to your level. Envy just…got his just desserts. =)

      (who’m i kidding? i feel sad about it, too! characters who make terrible decisions and reap what they sow makes me sad, not triumphant!)

      1. @dorcas
        you’re thinking of the negative way of envy.. what I meant was the positive; if he’s so envious of humans, why not try to be like human himself and show compassion like they do?
        admiration is a form of envy. let’s say.. If you like a policeman, instead of trying to get him fired.. be a policeman yourself!
        I think all sins have a positive side to them like they say; Goodness is the root of all evil. if that’s so, then why not go back to the root? In the case of envy, instead of pulling someone down, you can try and push yourself up!

      2. IB high five. Yay for those who suffered hell all over the world!

        There are two types of envy, and it’s just really sad that Envy was so jealous that he couldn’t want to help them. That’s why I pity him more than any other homunculus.

  6. Wow.. Envy scene was sad. Actually pitiful is the right word…. I can’t help but feel pity when his true nature was pointed out.

    On the other hand. This ep needs more MUSCLES!!!

    1. The manga is believed to be ending at around the same time as the anime, at 108 chapters. So I’ve heard. Don’t shoot me if I’m wrong, please

      (scary fanboys scare me)

  7. This has probably been mentioned already, but Alex didn’t will-power his shoulder back into place. When he Sloth wind-up for a huge hit, he turned so that all of Sloth’s force was on his dislocated shoulder, forcing it back into the socket.

    St. Wolf
  8. Exactly Damian (about the melodramatic part). Yes FMA Brotherhood has drama from time to time but it’s nothing compared to the first series lets angst about every little thing.

    And the thing is Roy did overcome this with the help of Ed, Riza and Scar. That’s the point of the manga, there are times when the characters are weak but they always overcome this. In fact I feel that is the exact opposite of melodrama. The sad scenes like this are not the focus but how the characters through hope, inner strength, and the help of others overcome these trials.

      1. Clothing and a gun are two separate things.

        Think of the T-100 in Terminator 2. It could transform clothes, but couldn’t do something like a gun. Clothing isn’t really a stretch for Envy; hell, he can change his form, clothing is a cake.

        As for the gun, he was obviously following Hughes, and (for the sake of authenticity) as Ross, kept it and used it. It’s not shown where he got it, but he obviously picked it up somewhere. Not much of a stretch really.

  9. So after watching the subbed version Envy’s suicide makes a lot more sense. And I’m so glad we finally got to see Strongarm Alchemist kick ass! He’s been almost a non-entity in the second series, way overshadowed by big sis Olivier, so seeing him pwn Sloth this episode is awesome. The power of MUSCLES compels you!

    Even if he’s not too creative, smashing giant spikes through Sloth’s mouth twice in a row. Guess that is one of the softer places on his body …

    Just 9 more episodes left. It’s hard to see how they can wrap everything up–from Father v Hohenheim, which looks like it starts next episode, to Wrath’s return and his battle with Scar, to whatever Father’s been planning with the Amestris Transmutation Circle–but they’ve crammed a ton of good stuff into every episode, so I’m willing to bet BONES can pull it off.

  10. Mustang and Riza had a couple of nice soft moment together. I never had enough of Riza-san!
    Everything else as pointed by Divine was superb and the music really did add a little extra. Makes you thing of your friends, how many of them would be like Mustang? He is awesome. =)

  11. Awesome episode.

    “HE FIXED MY ARM!!” lol.
    Despite everything I felt bad for Envy as he squirmed under Mustang’s boot and when he took his own life. 🙁
    The entire first part was amazing.

  12. This series is not the animated version of the manga. It is the animated version of manga FOR the manga readers. Have we ever seen Izumi before? What do I know about her personality? Why the last scene should be a cliffhanger for me? (the one she appears) I don’t even know her?! Representation is really disappointing in some aspects for me, since I have not read the manga. But I happen to know a little about the plot AND most importantly about the characters’ personalities and pasts, since I have watched the first TV series. I really miss the characterization in the first series. I’m a little pissed off. But I still love this series. It could be really fantastic if it was made in a less “GOGOGOGOGGOGOGOGO” manner.

    1. You don’t even know her? Dude. There’s episodes 12-14, where she appears… I guess. And other times, when Ed calles her, after founding out, that he and Al did not transmute their mother. We DO know her. Yes, from Brotherhood. She was there, and kicked Greed’s ass. Once. And Hohenheim healed her in another episode as well.

    2. This is the stupidest post I’ve ever read.

      You sound like you’re someone who’s only seen the first anime, and then just at this episode decided to watch Brotherhood and are now complaining about it.

      Here’s your problem: WATCH THE WHOLE SERIES.

      I can’t believe you even decided to post such idiocy, aycan.

      1. You didn’t have to take it LITERALLY, you know.

        I was comparing the characterization in the first series and the second. Have you ever heard of, um, hyperbole?

        And yes, if you consider how much emphasis was put on Izumi in the first series, compared to that I can still say I have not known Izumi just by watching the second series. It was great in the first series because the transmutation of their mother is the start point of the whole story, because it is all about taking back what they’ve lost, and there was not enough emphasis on Elric brothers’ mistake in this series.

        If I had known about FMA last April and watched only the 54 episodes so far, I would have missed a lot about Izumi case, Nina, Hughes’ death and some more. I really do think these deserved more emphasis than they were given. And I think anyone would feel that plot is super fast if they only watched this. I only remember Izumi getting angry with the kids, getting healed by Hohenheim, and some more then her last appearance in this episode.

        The problem is the excessive number of characters and events, and the manner of (again) “GOGOGOGOGOGO” the producers have. Yet, it is not their fault, because there is no any other way to put so much into a 22~23 minute episode. It would probably cost a lot if it was made in the pace of the first.

  13. Itching to watch the sub!(refuse to watch tmd subs, I had a bad experience*) The episodes seem to be getting more and more epic. Fights are just getting bigger now and spanning multiple episodes.

    I liked the first series because I liked the charachters, but it always had some major problems. I never liked the ending. Alot of charachters’ stories just petered out, and the plot went off the rails with all that doorway to nazi germany nonsense, leaving a bunch of loose threads. The first series’ military conspiracy story never rose to the level of genuine political intrigue like it does in FMAb. Overall the series seemed to promise much and deliver little. Oh, and I HATED the dub.

    I certainly never loved the first series like I do FMAb. This show is kick-awesome.

    *think Mos Def in Italian Job: “I had a bad experience!”

  14. I love Riza in this version. Just pumpin Envy full of bullet holes. Did feel that they drew the whole death of Envy scene out a bit, but they balanced it out with a pretty action oriented ending. I’m glad Armstrong is finally gettin some screen time, I feel like he’s barely been in this one compared to the first series.

  15. I never read RC before I watch the FMA episode, and right after I do, I come here to check out the comments. Well I have been doing this since early stages of RC, and I always love reading people’s comments.

    I thought more people would be sad to see Envy die like this, I actually was really surprised about everything with this episode, and I had not even a thought that Envy would kill himself.

    I saw a few comments up there with people bickering about which series is better, the original or this. The original was very sad and touching, but it was also a great Anime. I attest to the fact that my eyes teared up at multiple times, especially when Hughes died, and at the cemetery his daughter was saying “why are they burying daddy…” then saw Mustang talk about how the sky was raining but he was crying instead. I thought those scenes were awesome.

    But I must say this, I think Brotherhood has been putting out some really touching scenes, and surprisingly I love them. I firmly believe that both series are amazing, and I will judge Brotherhood even further when the series is finally done. So please wait till the end of it so you can fully compare it to the beginning.

    I feel like I am comparing between Terminator 1 and Terminator 2… You know the impact that Terminator 1 left on us was just dazzling, but when they brought out Terminator 2, it just “upgraded” and intensified the love for both movies.

    I don’t know if at the end of the series I will say that brotherhood surpass the original, but I will say this now, I love the FMA world, and will be extremely sad to see the series finish.

  16. envy.. RIP… your really were jealous of humans but at least at one point you did work with full metal and Ling inside Gluttony… so he really did have kind emotions.. just doesnt like humans treating him as weak.. he really was deff my favorite hummunculus… damn

  17. I was really hoping Envy wasn’t going to die, but it was inevitable I suppose. At least he got the dramatic death scene he deserved. He had so many negative traits but for some reason I was always drawn to him. FMA will forever be one of the best series ever, but I have to admit, for me, the rest of the series won’t be the same without him. Goodbye Envy.

  18. The way Ed and company were no longer provoked by Envy’s taunts can be compared to that of an internet troll – once the attention that he craves is denied to him, all his taunts and insults just reveal what an insignificant and pathetic being he is, and thus he duly self-destructs.

    Perhaps it is fitting that the cliched shounen “don’t kill out of hate and fall to the Dark Side” trope ends up being the ultimate thing that finishes off Envy once and for all.

    Applauded at Izumi finally coming out of her housewife phase and moving on to full-time alchemist. XD

    Kinny Riddle
  19. Probably my favourite episode yet 🙂 I like the way brotherhood has followed the original manga storyline, because really, without the original manga there would be no FMA.
    Epic Riza stripping down for Roy moment here. It’s meant to be serious but I just can’t take it seriously.

  20. I read the manga im starting to watch the episodes and i havent gotten to this but
    i feel so sadd for Riza
    and for
    Mustang especially DX<
    But What Riza said made me cry in the manga
    "Don't Go Where i cant follow.."
    T_T *Cries*
    yeah touching momment for the royai fan here xD


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