Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Season 1 Episode 23 Review: Girl of the Battlefield

This episode might have been really good, if it weren't for the at times horrible art/animation and the lingering Winry scenes.

Okay, so as much as I dislike the Xingese characters, they can sure cut a decent action scene, and even add a little drama here and there. I just always felt they were a little too competent. This is my problem with Scar being able to leap to superhuman heights and avoid and counter everything Ed and Al can do with alchemy with such ease. Suspension of belief is stretched thin at times because of this, even in the FMA world.

It was good seeing Alphonse take Scar on by himself for a while. I also liked his line about being inconvenienced, but not to the point where he should be pitied. You tell him, Al! This is a bit of a more active Alphonse that we saw in the first series, who could be a little too unconfident at times. The fight got interrupted quite a few times, though, first by Ed, then by Gluttony, then by Ling, then by Mei. At least we'll get to see Al do a little more fighting... uh... much, much later on, I believe. Huh, on the other hand, maybe Al isn't so much more active. He was doing some pretty cool things with alchemy, at least. His scene with Xao Mei was cute.

Wrath is one of my favorite characters, just as Pride was in the first series. I like that the Fuhrer is this badass, nearly unstoppable homunculi, especially given his origins, which we'll see within the next few episodes. The VA is still voicing him strong, or perhaps even better now. I'm glad he returned for the new series.

Speaking of voice acting, Mamoru Miyano (Ling) and Nana Mizuki (Ranfan) were exceptional in this episode, and are probably even too good for their roles. I wonder how Miyano will handle certain events and character change in the near future, or if Bones will take a different approach with it. It'll be interesting to see how it ends up.

What the hell is with the inconsistent art and animation in this episode? At times, the animation was a little wonky, and the art could be absolutely terrible at times. I mean, to the point where I cringed in certain scenes. They don't have to make it look like they're always in a water painting, I might add. When the objects in the foreground look like they belong in the background or they were just loosely drawn, they look like garbage. I know what look Bones is going for, but it's annoying the shit out of me.

Production flaws aside, a pretty solid episode, mostly due to Alphonse and the capture of Gluttony.

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