Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Volume 5

Throughout my reviews, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood has proved a roller-coaster experience that I’m certainly glad to  have been a part of  – and now we come to the final part of this engaging story that has been told so well.

After saving Mrs Bradley from the military forces, part of Colonel Mustang’s team take her to a radio station to let her tell the people of Central City about her attempted assassination. Then the Ishbalans start to spread the word as well, the citizens start to believe that the military is causing an uprising (which doesn’t help them come to terms with Führer King Bradley’s sudden disappearance) and the end result is a coup d’état. With the military in disarray and the Führer missing, the soldiers of Fort Briggs have a great opportunity to take over all of Central.

Meanwhile, in a familiar place, Edward and Scar’s team are hard at work to defeat the flesh-eating Immortal Legion but are starting to feel exhausted. Colonel Mustang and Hawkeye arrive to make short work of this threat, only to be greeted by a familiar foe who is about to remind Mustang of his tragic past.

Thanks largely to its brilliant plot progression, everything starts to click in these final episodes, and all these important plans and characters’ motivations culminate in a war where you want the allied forces to win. The unity that brothers Edward and Alphonse have brought is really amazing and shows in plenty of scenes here.

The series tries to settle up some unfinished business and at times, I thought it was too late for that, but it does it in such a convincing and straightforward way that it works and even though the denouement takes place in a war setting, humour is still injected so naturally that it feels very enjoyable.

By the last episodes the epic build-up is even worth the price of admission and the way it’s executed is just unbelievably satisfying that I cheered at the finale. The last episode gives us a fulfilling end to such an amazing series.     

The presentation is perfect as well; studio BONES went all out with its action scenes – which can be mind-blowing at times. The same goes for other aspects of the production; both the English and Japanese voice actors give a lot to their roles, making every single character absolutely convincing.  

The Opening by Sid, “Rain,” is more sombre tune than the others before; while pretty much showing every character we have come to know from Brotherhood, it fits the tone of these episode like a glove. The Ending theme by Shoko Nakagawa, “Ray Of Light,” is a brighter and beautiful J-Pop melody, set against a slideshow that’s mostly focused on the Elric family that is also very fitting for the final ending sequence.

The Extras include one commentary on the last episode with the ADR Director Mike McFarland and the Elric brothers voice actors: Maxy Whitehead and Vic Mignogna. This proves a very entertaining talk on the conclusion of the series as well as how they all feel about Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood coming to an end. One of my favourite extras comes in the form of Out-takes; these were made throughout the series and are very comical, definitely worth watching, making me wonder why there are so few of these in DVD releases. The usual Textless Openings and Closings are also offered.

In Summary

One of the best shonen titles I’ve ever seen is all I can say; it’s so emotionally captivating that I even marathoned it, so do yourself a favour and buy this box-set.

10 / 10