Saturday, April 01, 2006

Episode 5

"A Man with a Machine Arm". (Boooring!) Original Japanese title: "Dash! Automail!"

Huh? I just noticed... there's no credit in the opening credit sequence! Ya know, the director, the manga artist, the animation studio, etc... Hmm... Anyway...

Ed goes to Central to see Mustang, and on his way, helps dissolve a train-jack. A few major players in the military were introduced. Mustang, Hughes, Falman, and Hawkeye. (Havoc's name wasn't mentioned, but he was in a few shots.) General Hakuro is the highest rank and a key character here, but he doesn't play a significant role down the road. The less-than-friendly relationship between Ed and Mustang is also established.

This is my first time to see the English version of this episode. Back then, when I ran out of DVD and switched to fan sub, I was shocked at how much younger Ed's voice was supposed to be. And how much better the acting was.

As usual, the number of lines mysteriously increases exponentially after being translated into English. The whole scene of Hughes' conversation at the switchboard flew by leaving an impression of "bla bla bla bla". The translation is off again. Originally Hughes thought the phone connection was weak when Hawkeye's signal got cut off. (He's right because the train went into a tunnel.) In the dub, he says, Oh, she thinks we're talking about this seriously? (Something like that.) This changes the meaning from "Hughes is blinded by love" into "Hawkeye doesn't get the joke". This really alters the personally of the characters. Sigh... so sad. And Ed's famous line of "automail buddies, eh?" turns into "2 automailers, go figure". (I might be wrong on this one, though. Couldn't hear it too well.)

Favorite shot: once again, Al's body language, when interacting with the little girl. He's so cute! That gap between the voice and the body is awesome! Al as a character (in terms of animation) is so well done! He cannot have any facial expression but you can totally read his emotions from body language. (And voice too, of course, the original one. However, I think I'm getting used to his English voice.)

Favorite shot #2: when Hughes hangs up the phone. Didn't expect to see him lift the receiver up after putting it down. If the animator was lazy, this shot would be done after simply hanging up. (Huh? This phone has 2 dials?)

Favorite shot #3: Ed's gag faces are so funny! The one on the left is just like in the manga!

What's so special about these shots? The bad guys are actually being beaten up. Violence shots aren't my favorite but these left a big impression. I truly didn't expect to see the punches fully shown. This is very different from what I'm used to. Oh, and I'd like to vote for the lower left hand corner shot as Al's best shot in this episode. (^_^)

Huh? The rebel guy actually has a name? Brad or something like that? I couldn't pick that up from the show. And the little girl also has a name. Marin, I believe, but isn't mentioned in the English version. Thanks a lot for deleting those names, whoever did the English translation. You made me realize how much more care the Japanese staff gave this show.

If I heard it correctly, the rebel guy called General Hakuro "Huruko". I couldn't check it because I caught the 1 a.m. show again. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Well, the overall impression of this episode is, it feels good to punch the bad guys!

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