ANIME & MANGA - Review
15:18 - 15th April 2013, by NEO Staff

Fullmetal Alchemist 6

It's utterly appropriate that a series so concerned with alchemy should mix genres so well. In these four episodes, you get everything from horror to comedy, political thriller and melodrama, all wrapped up in a typically impressive, expressive set of stories.

The Red Glow picks up where the previous volume left off, with Al under brutal attack from the splendidly named Barry the Chopper and Ed trying desperately to uncover the secrets of Lab Five. Cutting between the bruising fight scenes and Ed's trip into the lab, the episode is incident heavy and genuinely unsettling. The revelation about who runs Lab Five is a moment of real, queasy horror and the character design in particular is fantastic. Without the character in question even having to say anything, you can tell that something is terribly, terribly wrong.

Created Human continues this growing feeling of unease and steers it in a subtly different direction. Whilst the plot is revelation-heavy, it's the character interaction that shines here, giving it a real dramatic edge. Everything from the script and the voice acting drives home the fact that Ed and Al are far too young to be in situations like this and it's far from certain they'll get out alive.

This in turn becomes the focus of Fullmetal Heart and Bonding Memories as Ed and Al struggle to recover from their ordeal. Shifting the focus from the brothers to the characters around them, the episode is told largely from the point of view of Winry, their childhood friend. A welcome change of pace after the previous, frantic episodes, Fullmetal Heart is a wonderfully written character piece that's as dramatic as its predecessors, despite being little more than three people having a conversation. Bonding Memories continues this change of pace, following Al as he falls in with a pair of children fleeing from a mercenary unit. Combining character moments with meditations on brotherhood and a great closing fight, it ends the disc on a real high note.

Complex, exciting, and not afraid to take major narrative chances, this is another strong entry for a very strong series. Do yourself a favour and pick this up.

SCORE: 4/5
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