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Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 4: The Fall of Ishbal

1 rating: 3.0
A movie directed by Seiji Mizushima

The action anime series FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST explores epic themes of hubris, personal transformation, and spiritual quests through the tragic story of two grievously wounded siblings. While attempting to resurrect their dead mother through the forbidden … see full wiki

Director: Seiji Mizushima
Release Date: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
1 review about Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 4: The Fall of...

...something of equal value...

  • Sep 18, 2006
Rating:
+3
Pros: ...

Cons: Ah, nothing anymore.

The Bottom Line: Good, but still nothing fancy.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.

It would seem we’re about a third of the way done with Fullmetal Alchemist. If you didn’t start from the beginning, you, uh, really should. Watching them out of order doesn’t quite work. There are too many connections you need to be aware of in order to understand everything that’s going on and who everyone is, what they’re doing, etc. etc.

There are 51 episodes, and with about 4 episodes per volume that brings us to roughly 12 (probably 13) volumes in total. Huzzah.

Edward and Alphonse Elric are young boys (Ed: 15, Al: 14) who are searching for the Philosopher’s Stone. Because of a failed human transmutation, they’ve lost much when it comes to their bodies. Alchemy requires the law of equivalent exchange, but with the stone, they can bypass the laws and hopefully regain what they’ve lost. The only way to gain information about the elusive Philosopher’s Stone is to read everything and search everywhere possible, and now that Ed is a State Alchemist, complete with watch and new name of Full Metal (hence the name of the series), they have the freedom to do what they need. But along the way, they’re bound to come across some interesting adventures.

Episode 13: Well, Ed and Al are finally back from their travels, once again in Central City. It’s time to face up to Colonel Mustang, aka the Flame Alchemist, and explain all the fake Philosopher’s Stones. What a chore. And what is with all this military nonsense and cover-ups? It almost sounds like there is something wrong in Central City. …And Colonel Mustang is a lot weirder than I thought.

Episode 14: Remember Lior? The place Ed and Al thought they managed to save from the clutches of the corrupt Cornello? If you remember, it didn’t quite work. We finally get to see who’s been impersonating him, and the results of it aren’t pretty. On top of that, someone is killing State Alchemists. Messy – and a big problem.

Episode 15: What exactly is the story behind the war in a place called Ishbal? What did Dr. Marco do to make him not mind dying? Who is Scar really, and what happened to him to make him like that? Some answers we can guess, others we must be told.

Episode 16: The plot thickens. Ed and Al need repairs, they finally might have a decent lead on how to get their hands on the Philosopher’s Stone, Scar is roaming free still bent on killing, and Lust and Gluttony, well, we still don’t know what they’re up to, but it’s obviously no good. However, it’s only natural our little alchemists’ train ride go wrong somehow.

The Test Results Are In!
That puppy in #13 was the cutest puppy ever! Ok, well not ever, but it was pretty dang cute. I initially wondered what the purpose of that episode was, though my guess was because all the episodes before it were rather serious (not without comic relief), so perhaps it was just a bit of fun to lighten the mood. After #15 I decided that was probably the reason. I love Hughes, by the way – that guy cracks me up. I’m starting to get impatient with the whole Lust and Gluttony lurking around – it’s obvious what they want, and I can make some guesses as to what they have planned, but I want to see them in more action. Ah, I guess I’ll just have to wait.

Animation? Despite my early quirks with the style, I’m accustomed to it now. I’m always amused when Ed gets mad at people calling him short and his character gets exaggerated, or the same for Al when he gets that really simple look on his face. You really have to see it to understand what I mean, but it’s hard to miss once you do. There’s a lot of variety and all the different transmutation circles and such are pretty cool. Each alchemist has his or her special technique to get things done, along with some varied results that are interesting to watch.

Voices – I prefer the English version. When it comes to the English voice actors (VAs), though it took me a while to get used to Ed and Al, I enjoy them now. All the other characters work out rather well, so I don’t really have any complaints here at all anymore. As for the Japanese version, it’s taken me this long to finally ignore the female VA aspect completely. I just let myself go into the characters and forget about the rest, though there are still some times when I remember and have to put that fact out of my mind again. Everyone else though, just like in the English version, works well, and I have no qualms about them.

Though like every other anime series, there’s the opening and closing songs, and finally here at #14 we have the opening that I’m familiar with on TV. Yay! I like it a lot more because it’s fast, and upbeat and just a lot of fun to listen to. The closing song has changed as well and I like it too. It works out pretty well and I think they chose a good episode to switch at. The instrumental background music for the show is still pleasing and I think it’s going to stay that way for the whole series.

Mmm, things seem to be getting more serious, fyi parents. War is breaking out and we all know war isn’t all flowers and candy. Gluttony is pretty creepy with what he does, and even if we don’t see anything, we certainly hear some disturbing sounds that match.

Episodes in this Volume:
Episode 13: Fullmetal vs. Flame
Episode 14: Destruction's Right Hand
Episode 15: The Ishbal Massacre
Episode 16: That Which is Lost

NT

Earlier Volumes:
Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 1: The Curse
Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 2: Scarred Man of the East
Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 3: Equivalent Exchange

Future Volumes:
Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 5: The Cost of Living
Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 6: Captured Souls
Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 7: Reunion on Yock Island
Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 8: The Altar of Stone
Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 9: Pain and Lust
Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 10: Journey to Ishbal
Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 11: Becoming the Stone
Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 12: The Truth Behind Truths
Fullmetal Alchemist - Vol. 13: Brotherhood

Recommended:
Yes

Viewing Format: DVD

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