This episode was a long way down my list of ones to write about. However, I noticed something recently which gave me an opportunity to talk about it sooner. May I introduce Fullmetal vs Flame from the first season of the original Fullmetal Alchemist (FMA) anime.
For those of you who aren’t into anime, I need to give you a quick history lesson. The Fullmetal Alchemist manga has been adapted twice. Firstly, in 2003 and then again six years later. The main reason for this, is that the original anime isn’t a proper adaptation of the manga. It was produced during the run of the manga and quickly veers into an original story.
The second anime, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, is a more faithful translation of the original material. It is also the version which I watched first, as it was available on my streaming service of choice. When I heard that there was another version I quickly got my hands on it, and enjoyed it just as much.
Now it too is available on a certain streaming service and I’m really excited even though I own it on DVD. I’m just saying that if you have watched Brotherhood before, give the original version a try.
Where was I? Oh yes, Fullmetal vs Flame. This episode falls under the type of episode I classify as “Fun, Fun, Fun”. The main criticism of the original FMA is that it has too many filler episodes, and this is considered one of them. Me, I see this is a fun twenty four minutes which adds a sneaky bit of depth to some characters.
You know that it isn’t going to be too serious when the episode begins with Ed doing his impression of Colonel Sarcasm, sorry Mustang. Then add in Roy’s monologue about dogs, with a touch of Hawkeye’s domestic training methods and it is silly season. Oh, and tiny mini-skirts.
Fuhrer King Bradley has also temporarily transferred his command staff to the East, which gives Ed his first sight of Bradley’s assistant. This also gives Ed the opportunity to meet up with Maes Hughes which is always good for a laugh or two.
The main event is the fight between Ed and Mustang, which is part of Ed’s state alchemist’s recertification. Somehow it involves a special appearance of a thirty foot portrait of Elicia Hughes, and a bet about owning a cat. Ed has a simple plan “A fist in his face”.
You know you want to watch it, and through the magic of technology, you now can. Well, until they take it down anyway.
As I mentioned earlier I like this episode mainly for the humour. Sometimes all I want to do is deposit my brain and watch something that entertains me, and this episode does this for me. This episode always makes me smile.
One of the reasons I like this version of the anime is that it adds depth to some of the characters who feel rushed in Brotherhood. I do have a theory that in Brotherhood Part 1 they assume that you have already seen this earlier version.
But that is for another day.