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08 August 2004 @ 10:02 pm
Episode 44  


I am exceedingly underwhelmed.

I've been waiting for the Ed-Hohenheim reunion since episode THREE and... this is it??

I recognize the need for an episode that is atleast partially lighthearted. If the entire audience went off and committed suicide from the angst overload there wouldn't be anyone left alive to buy the dvds.

STILL.

The reunion with Izumi was about ten thousand times more emotionally charged and she was teacher. This is their FATHER. And that's it? Ed punches him in the face and Al has a talk with him inside a tent and then he's gone again?

In the previous episodes I felt absolutely certain that something big was going down in Rizenbul. With Winry and Scheizka, Hohenheim, Ed and Al, Ross and Broche, Mustang-tachi, plus a military force headed by General Hakuro, and probably the homunculus ALL about to converge at Rizenbul-- I was so sure something big was going to happen.

But no.

I mean, okay, the episode really wasn't all bad. It had it's good points.

But I was really invested in seeing that Ed-Hohenheim reunion scene. And I didn't get what I wanted and I'm pouting a little. I'll get over it. And if I don't, I'll write fic.

Let me talk about Hohenheim for a minute. >_< I'm not sure how I feel about the anime's decision to make him-- well, if not good, then significantly less evil than his manga counterpart. It seems to me that the anime is making him one of the "good guys," so to speak. With all his "how sad"s and "I'm sorry"s and his mournful, regretful, nostalgic expressions obviously they're trying to provoke sympathy for him.

To which I say: no fricking way. He's sorry? GOOD. He SHOULD BE. Because he's a DEADBEAT DAD. He abandoned his wife and children! And I'm sure that this is caused in part by my own issues, but Hohenheim will *never* get *any* sympathy from me. Period. It's just not in me.

Whereas, in the manga, I find his character fascinating because he's, you know, EVIL. An evil guy who abandons his family to go forth and do evil stuff? That's interesting. I don't have to expect him to conform to any sort of moral standard because he's EVIL. A guy who is NOT evil and abandons his family anyway just makes me go like this: >_< HIT HIM AGAIN ED!!!

I acknowledge and accept my issues. That doesn't change the fact that I dislike Hohenheim. Also, he was hitting on my Maria. That makes me angry.

So, yes. Underwhelmed with Hohenheim and underwhelmed with the episode as a whole.

Of the good: Ed hauling Mustang down by his collar to growl at him with about three inches between their faces. Mmm. And then Ed's frantic screams as Al falls into the river-- oh man, my heart caught in my throat for him. And then Ed calling him an idiot and jumping in to drag him out... Ed loves his brother so much. And Al's little gasp of happiness sitting on the river bank was so cute. I can't wait til he's restored. And then when they finally found out about Hughes.... Oh, my poor boys. Oh Ed.

Also, Ed is so pretty with his hair down. So, so pretty. ::sigh::

The Lyla = Dante plot twist? I kinda figured. Which is strange, because I am almost always caught completely off guard by the plot twists. It's weird to have figured one out in advance. Although I want to know what the heck she's doing with Rose! Run away, Rose! Run away!

I must say, I am continually impressed by the absolute *tightness* of the plot. Characters introduced as one-offs (a la Yoki, Lyla, Tucker, Barry, and Rose) are brought back later on to play vital roles. And if an important character is going to be introduced later on, they're seemlessly woven into the background of the series until when we finally meet them it's like we already know them. A la Kimberly, Archer, Izumi, and Hakuro. I'm still holding out for Psiren's comeback.
 
 
Current Mood: disappointeddisappointed
 
 
filling spatial gaps with prime value: by yuzu_chan - smile or get hurtamai_unmei on August 8th, 2004 10:51 pm (UTC)
Hohenheim's not as overtly evil in the anime, but one of the really creepy things about him is how ambiguous he really is. If Hohenheim was a "good guy", he never would have left his family in the first place ... and why didn't he point out to Al and Ed that he knew Dante? That he and Dante were on a first name basis? That he and Dante both knew about the Sins (note that Hohenheim doesn't ask what happened to his wife after several years of being gone ... he already knows)?

I like the ambiguous Hohenheim. He likes his kids (but not necessarily enough to stick around), he seems to have some intimate connection with Dante -- note that he only injured her and Dante caresses Hohenheim in the ep 44 preview (which would explain Dante's vendetta against the Elric brothers), and he's powerful enough to ward off the homunculi but apparently cannot be bothered with sharing all of his knowledge with his own children. His dysfunction is fascinating to me.

Although I want to know what the heck she's doing with Rose!

Rose is probably the next body she's taking over. I wondered why Lyra/Dante paid such close attention to Rose before ... now it seems a bit clearer. But, Rose could serve another purpose.

I must say, I am continually impressed by the absolute *tightness* of the plot.

Yes! FMA is awesome in this regard! :D
Nikkisarashina_nikki on August 9th, 2004 01:00 am (UTC)
and why didn't he point out to Al and Ed that he knew Dante?

The lack of forthcoming-ness doesn't surprise me at this point. In this series, miscommunication is key. This episode was, I think, the first in the entire series wherein the good guys pooled their resources. And yet Ed is still keeping secrets, about the Philosopher's Stone and homunculus' bones, and when Mustang left he _still_ hadn't told Ed and Al about Hughes. I mean, let's face it. No one in this series ever talks to anyone else. So Hohenheim still being closemouthed after only two episodes doesn't surprise me.

note that Hohenheim doesn't ask what happened to his wife after several years of being gone ... he already knows?

Well, I think he was surprised. He clearly had no idea that Ed and Al burned down their house and he did ask Winry how long Trisha had been dead. Now, it could be that he did know she'd died and was just asking because of his weird lack of awareness of the passage of time. Personally, I don't think so.

He likes his kids

::muttermutter:: Hohenheim only likes his kids as an abstract concept. Sort of: "this is my son, therefore I like him." How can he like them? He abandoned them for fifteen(?) years. He doesn't KNOW THEM.

he seems to have some intimate connection with Dante

I'm really interested to see what his connection to Dante is. Particularly since they both have this level of alchemy that outshines even Ed and Izumi who have seen the so-called "Truth." When Ed and Izumi go all clappy hands they still have to touch what they're transmuting. Dante and Hohenheim are just... clapping. I am intrigued.

His dysfunction is fascinating to me.

He's certainly a mysterious character. At this time my view on him is that he'll be an ally to Ed, not an enemy. But that doesn't change my opinion he's a crummy human being and that Ed should kick him a few more times.

Rose is probably the next body she's taking over.

Hm. That's quite likely.
Yuuki Hikari: EdStrayDogyuukihikari on August 9th, 2004 02:17 am (UTC)
and why didn't he point out to Al and Ed that he knew Dante?

The lack of forthcoming-ness doesn't surprise me at this point. In this series, miscommunication is key.


I don't think Hoenhiem realized that Ed and Al had encountered Dante until the middle of the episode. When Ed's talking at the table, and Hoenhiem is sitting outside, he startles and grabs Den's leg when Al mentions Dante. And even if he had told them what sort of person Dante is going to be, from his reaction and what I understood from the Dante/Hoenheim encounter at the end - I get the impression that he doesn't want his kids going anywhere near Dante, or vice versa (and you just know Ed will go after her if his dad says "don't do that!").

When Ed and Izumi go all clappy hands they still have to touch what they're transmuting. Dante and Hohenheim are just... clapping. I am intrigued.

*blinks* .... o.o you're right.... o.O ohhh...
Mad Maudlinginzai on August 9th, 2004 04:28 am (UTC)
I'm really interested to see what his connection to Dante is. Particularly since they both have this level of alchemy that outshines even Ed and Izumi who have seen the so-called "Truth." When Ed and Izumi go all clappy hands they still have to touch what they're transmuting. Dante and Hohenheim are just... clapping. I am intrigued.

But are we really certain that Ed has to touch the thing he transmutes? I ask because the characters seem to fall into a complancy, almost, when it comes to alchemy. They almost never seem to stretch their abilties further than what they've already proven they can do, and with the potential for a hugely horrible backlash, I can understand it. But Ed had the ability to do alchemy wihtout an array for months before he figured it out, and when he did, he didn't clap his hands to do so. He just laid hands on the basin of water and suddenly it was steaming. The ability to not have to clap, which everyone else seems to need, appears to me to be a far more interesting one than not needing to touch it. We also know that Al doesn't stretch his powers as far as he could (though I believe in the manga he's starting to change this). Al's also seen the Truth, but we don't see him going about doing arrayless alchemy even though, technically, there is nothing to stop him from doing so. I figure that Ed's touching whatever he's transmuting is more convinence than a limiting factor, particularly since the majority of times Ed transmutes, he's needs it in his hands because he's about to do something with it.
Saya Aensland: Me like. (by yukihime9)saya_aensland on August 9th, 2004 07:16 am (UTC)
But Ed had the ability to do alchemy wihtout an array for months before he figured it out, and when he did, he didn't clap his hands to do so. He just laid hands on the basin of water and suddenly it was steaming.

He slammed his fist into his palm right before he laid his hands on the basin. He brought his hands together, which is enough to create the circle that is the basis of the hand-clappy.
Mad Maudlinginzai on August 9th, 2004 01:09 pm (UTC)
Then the question is whether that's an actual limitation on Ed's part or if he's never tried otherwise. It's been some time since I've seen the earlier eps... Had to delete them in order to make room for the new. But keep in mind also that of all the characters we know of, Ed's the only one who has seen the truth twice. It's entirely possible that the others have as well, but it's not confirmed. And there is the precedence in FMA to not push the boundries of alchemy. Ed would never have thought to use arrayless alchemy if he hadn't discovered it by accident.
Nikkisarashina_nikki on August 9th, 2004 02:04 pm (UTC)

You make a good point, especially about the fact that people (normal, non-evil people) are afraid to see just how far alchemy can go. Hm. ::wants Ed to learn the advanced!clappy too::
filling spatial gaps with prime value: by yuzu_chan - smile or get hurtamai_unmei on August 9th, 2004 04:29 am (UTC)
And yet Ed is still keeping secrets, about the Philosopher's Stone and homunculus' bones

Ed, admittedly, has a Very Good Reason for not disclosing the fact that his brother IS the Philosopher's Stone. Al, in theory, could be used or misused by nearly any person interested in breaking the laws of alchemy ... and I don't think most alchemists could turn down the chance at that kind of power. Ed is naturally more suspicious than his brother -- and then you look at Hohenheim's desertion of his family and the fact that Ed is the only one who was old enough to comprehend the loneliness his mother felt after their father left -- and it makes sense character-wise for Ed to not be so open with such a secret.

If Ed just has some heart-to-heart with any of the characters, though -- a la "boo hoo my brother lost his body and now he's the Philosopher's Stone" -- it would not fit with the characterization that Ed has shown so far.

Now, it could be that he did know she'd died and was just asking because of his weird lack of awareness of the passage of time.

There's something up with Hohenheim and his completely "off" sense of time. The issue with him confusing Winry for her mother is just too weird ... and it brings up the question(s): does Hohenheim age? Does he go off and hibernate for some significant length of time, like a bear addicted on Ambien? Does he just wake up 7 or 8 years later and think, "dang, I slept too long again"? It's too strange!

When Ed and Izumi go all clappy hands they still have to touch what they're transmuting. Dante and Hohenheim are just... clapping.

The show is clearly drawing a direct connection between Dante and Hohenheim. What's interesting is that Ed knows Dante's perfume ... which means that Hohenheim was still visiting Dante when the boys were small. Maybe that's why he left? It seems very soap-opera-ish, but it's almost like Dante and Hohenheim are -- ahem -- a couple. Not sure if that's true yet, but it's curious.
i am a jedi, like my father before metatooine on August 9th, 2004 10:46 am (UTC)
What's interesting is that Ed knows Dante's perfume ... which means that Hohenheim was still visiting Dante when the boys were small.

Eh... one of the other episode 44 summaries mentioned that they both smell like they're rotting from being old or something, and, like Dante rotting smells like Hohenheim rotting. Or something. *isn't quite sure*
filling spatial gaps with prime value: by yuzu_chan - smile or get hurtamai_unmei on August 9th, 2004 01:01 pm (UTC)
I'll watch that again ... I'm assuming that you're referring to the attack scene at the end, right?

*is watching the raw despite having non-l33t Japanese skills*
Nikkisarashina_nikki on August 9th, 2004 01:48 pm (UTC)
If Ed just has some heart-to-heart with any of the characters, though -- a la "boo hoo my brother lost his body and now he's the Philosopher's Stone" -- it would not fit with the characterization that Ed has shown so far.

Well, yes. The point I was making was that the sharing of pertinent information with one's allies does not fit the characterization of *any member of the FMA cast.* Do they all have reasons for being so closemouthed? Doubtlessly. Does that change the fact that by keeping secrets from their allies they're essentially shooting themselves in the foot? I don't think so.

What's interesting is that Ed knows Dante's perfume

My interpretation of that was that Hohenheim and Dante both have a similiar odor (ie, that of something really frigging old), not that Hohenheim literally smelled like the perfume Dante wears.