Anime: Fullmetal Alchemist #6: Captured Souls

Vandemar

imageColonel Mustang and Major Hughes (in suits!) adorn the cover of Fullmetal Alchemist 6. This is just speculation on my part, but I suspect the female fans in the audience will definitely enjoy that little tidbit. Inside is Alchemy Text 6, a preview of The Land of Sand (an FMA novel already out), and of course, Fullmetal Alchemist Disc 6: Captured Souls. These four episodes are interesting, both for the exploration of the Fifth Laboratory, and for the exploration of Al’s psyche.

Episode 21: The Red Glow
We pick up right where we left off, at the 5th Laboratory with the brothers fighting for their lives. Barry continues messing with Al’s head and is possibly the only person to get through to Scar this early on in the episode.

Episode 22: Created Human
Surprises abound as Ed penetrates the laboratory, discovering that not all who have disappeared previously are gone forever, and a sinister conspiracy is waiting to reel him in.

Episode 23: Fullmetal Heart
In the aftermath of the 5th Laboratory, Barry’s words nag at Al. How does he know he is real? This philosophical crisis soon erupts into trouble, as Al wrestles with his memories and his brother’s words.

Episode 24: Bonding Memories
Alphonse, still struggling with his existential dilemma, runs into a group of Ishbal refugees and the mysterious Scar. Scar isn’t quite the stereotypical bad guy he seemed previously, though Al has a bigger problem: Barry’s words rattling around in his head.

imageThe presentation on this disc is excellent once again, with the crisp and fluid visuals and amazing soundtrack Fullmetal Alchemist is known for. Fans of the series will undoubtedly (I did, anyway) spend a good while going through all the extras, checking out all the art, and otherwise digging deep into the bonus materials on the disc.

By now, the series has matured. The early shocks and some of the rough spots from the earlier episodes are gone, replaced by the well-oiled machine that will last through the rest of the series. With Al’s development beyond semi-whiny sidekick and Scar moving from menace to major character, this is an installment of FMA that absolutely no one should pass up.

Technical/Extras: 9.0
Another sharp, crisp presentation with a ton of extras.

Entertainment: 9.5
This is a really interesting chunk of the series, especially Al’s dilemma and Scar’s development as a character.

Overall: 9.5

Episodes: Episode 21: The Red Glow, Episode 22: Created Human, Episode 23: Fullmetal Heart, Episode 24: Bonding Memories

Extras: Textless Songs, Production Art, Image Gallery, Character Profiles, Trailers, Preview of The Land of Sand, Alchemy Text #6.

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