Sunday, July 23, 2006

Episode 21

Aired 20060721. The Red Glow. Same as original title. Here's the episode guide and detailed recap at

Argh... I'm a behind again... Let's make it short... (will I be able to, though???)

I don't really like this episode. It's very confusing. Yes, we're approaching the climax of this season, but too many things are happening all at once, and they're shown as parallels using interwoven scenes. Not to mention the introduction of new characters. (Greed and Kimblee. Well, if you count the young Scar and his brother, the new Tucker and Nina, then there're 6.)
  1. Al, 66 + Scar shows up.
  2. Greed.
  3. Chimera test subjects + Greed shows up.
  4. Al, 66, Scar.
  5. Ed, 48.
  6. Prison guards, Kimblee.
  7. Prisoners, Gran(Envy).
  8. Lust, Gluttony.
  9. Ed, 48 + Tucker shows up.
  10. Al, Scar.
  11. Flash back 1
  12. Flash back 2
  13. Al, Scar + Lust, Gluttony show up.
  14. Ed, 48, Tucker, + Nina shows up.
  15. Al, Scar, Lust, Gluttony.
  16. Ed, 48, Tucker
Things to poke at...

Scar seems so stupid when talking to 66. And it makes 66 look smarter than he really is. Here, he's just a cunning manipulator made of pure evil. In the manga, he's a much deeper character. He even works for Mustang secretly for a while. And there's no relationship between the brothers and Barry the Chopper in the manga either.

Out of nowhere comes a creepy eye. (The way it moves is creepy.) Who the heck is this? Now I can say, it's Greed. But the first time I watched the episode, I was so confused, my mind skipped it completely. And of course, I missed his name again when it was mentioned only once, by Lust. Wouldn't even know that's Greed's name anyway.

Al's gag face snapping to normal is too awkward. They should have at least done it with a cross-dissolve. And... doesn't Al look too big???

48 breaks the armour with his fingers? That's a suit of armour! How's that possible? OK you can say it's the blood seal, but I don't buy it.

"That, is one of the many questions in this world that has no answer".... Well said. And this sort of stuff is what gives the story weight and empathy.

seems to know a lot? How does he know what's going on outside? After reading chapter 59, 60, 61 of the manga, I can't view Kimblee as pure evil anymore.

After being so shocked by 66, Al's back to normal when talking to Scar? Their conversation doesn't make sense. I'd expect Al to get straight to the human sacrifice of the Philosopher's Stone, but instead, he goes onto the "whoever gets too close will parish" legend. It's too obvious a device to draw out Scar's flash black. Well, Al does talk about the human sacrifice later, though.

Why don't Scar's eyes follow his brother??? He's just staring into thin air, stoned! What's he looking at anyway? His brother's tears fall on the left foot???

It's not very convincing for Scar to show Al his weak side. After all, he was trying to kill Al a few episodes earlier. It isn't explained how he changes so suddenly.

bubbles and waves in Nina's tank and Red Water. They use CG sparingly but effectively. However, as long as they keep using full animation on the CG stuff, it stands out a lot.

The very last pull-out shot of the lab has a cross-dissolve right in the middle. I guess that's the limit of the paper or cell size? But... Trying to make a seamless transition is simply futile. So why not make the gap bigger?

Japanese sites spying time: (^_^)
The review of episode 21 at Yoo's blog Fuuyuu.
The review of episode 21 (page 1 & page 2) by Saori Amano at Egaoni Aetara.

Here's some good stuff from Yoo. His observations are always so awesome.
Pay attention to how scary Ed is, near the end. The moment Greed stands up after regaining freedom, he's also scary, but he's scary as a monster. In Ed's case, he's scary as a human.
Although the brothers are against using human lives, when faced with the huge amount of Red Water, Ed gets extremely shaken. The temptation is too great even though he knows it's wrong. And that's the evil inside every human...

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