Coming together, all is one and one is all in us, in me, this is what you must master to perform alchemy.

This season of Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood takes place in two sections. The majority of the season is focused leading up to a huge climatic event known as the promise day. One can imagine this is in reference to D-day when the American forces stormed the beaches of Normandy. The day of reckoning as it is known. And all of our favorite characters are revving at full throttle.

This season might I say has the most kickass opening to the show yet! It displays incredible animation and is a much more delightful show to sit through than the slum that was season 3. However, a major complaint with this season is how it treats one of our favorite characters. Our primary supporting female character Winry Rockbell takes a huge backseat in this season. She’s mainly only used to advance the plot which might not sit well with loyal fans to the show. That said the action we get between her and Edward is rather laughable at best and heartwarming to listen to. It’s clear that the series is hindering on the conclusion of her and Ed being a family someday.

Unlike season 3 we don’t get that much concentration on backstory or filler. There is one episode that deals with the origins of Xerxes and the homunculus but it’s a small departure from what we already know. I would say this season biggest contributor is the sheer action it holds it in. There are two episodes in particular that leave you on the absolute edge of your seat to see what happens next.

From the north of Fort Briggs to the fields of Resembool and then back to Central Command there’s little to hide when the trouble comes looking for you.

Our youngest hero is the one who takes the biggest beating in this season as he proves useless to stop his body from pulling him back to the portal beyond. It’s actually quite ironic that much of this season is spent with Edward and Alphonse being separated. Luckily though we see the defeat of a great foe, and the desperation of allies turning in victories for a change. As we figure out how alchemy can be used for good for a change instead of so much evil, it turns out it might be too late. The enemy has carved the final crest of blood and finished the underground circuit of tunnels. Just as everything seems to spell an end the hero emerges at the last minute to seal the monsters away in a massive cage, only at the cost of his son giving his last.

Now that the enemy no longer tries to hide their face its all fair game to take them out. And it’s interesting when we see a fabled enemy turn into a faithful ally. How humorous it is when the sin it represents is one that may not be half as bad to feel inside. I love it when a plan works perfectly and we have some wicked fight scenes in this season, not to mention the return of some very old characters we once thought would never come back. It’s welcoming to see returning faces and it adds to the stakes that our heroes carry to win the war. The only order they must follow is, “Don’t die!”

As we brace for the impact our heroes race back to Central to stop the nefarious plans of Father but are caught in a massive battle. As it is revealed the identity of the final and most powerful homunculus, Pride, otherwise known as Selim Bradley, the Fuhrer’s own son. Kimblee the crimson alchemist actually takes a backseat too in this season as he is forced to do Pride’s bidding. I’m sure though that we’ll get to see him again in the net season. I find it quite intriguing when Ling, being controlled by Greed, manages not only to take back his body but actually break Greed through a line in the show that is by far my most favorite.

“You gave up on something you wanted, you don’t deserve to call yourself greed!”

As I’m sure you can imagine this is my favorite season of Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. It’s refreshing to see our character have so many wins after taking such a beating the past 3 seasons from the enemy. I get the feeling though that the fight has only just begun. Trust me when I say you’re gonna want to see how this ends people. There’s no stopping the hype train now! I thoroughly enjoy the high points and its low points of this season right up until the very end as I’m sure you’re aware the final episodes of the season take place in one single day, the Promise Day.

“Alchemy, the science of understanding, deconstructing, and reconstructing matter. However, it is not an all powerful art. It is impossible to create something out of nothing. If one wishes to obtain something, something of equal value must be given. This is the law of equivalent exchange, the basis of all alchemy. In accordance with this law there is a taboo among alchemists, human transmutation is strictly forbidden. For what could equal the value of a human soul?”

This quote rings out throughout all of season 1 episodes as a prelude before the episode begins, it reminds us of the sin the Elric brothers have committed but it does not tell us how they will fix it.

This season centers around one big event that takes place in central Ametris as Colonel Roy Mustang attempts to uncover the mystery behind General Maes Hughes death. As Roy still plans to succeed Fuhrer King Bradley as the rightful ruler of the country a large monstrous man with an insatiable appetite goes on a rampage targeting the Ishvalan emissary that’s been attacking state alchemists. The attractive woman continues to cause havoc and infiltrate the military through her seductive behavior. It comes to light that she is in league with the monstrous man and the Fuhrer. They are dubbed as Homunculi. Artificially created humans made fro alchemy.

When an innocent soldier is framed for the death of Maes Hughes, Roy helps them fake their death, causing an uproar among the Elric brother thinking he committed murder on their friend. Livid with fury, Edward is restrained and separated from Alphonse to return to Resembool to meet up with an ally. They then travel to the abandoned ruins of Xerxes, the kingdom that was destroyed in one night. They meet an old friend and discover a dangerous secret.

New characters with compelling motivations emerge in this season. Ling yao 12th prince of Xing, Fu, and Lan Fan his companions, and Mei Chang. Oddly enough they comes to Ametris from a different country to the east known as Xing. It is assumed that this Xing country is an alternate version of China since it is already confirmed Ametris is an alternate version of Germany. We also get introduction to 3 other countries surrounding Amestris that explain the current war that is happening around the country. Drachma to the north, Creta to the west, and Aegis to the south are all battling it out against Ametris. Or perhaps, Amestris is trying to increase its borders? It’s hard to say who the primary antagonist is in this season, as when the brothers come to terms with their father Honhenheim, it’s revealed he harbors no animosity to them.

A greater concentration is focused on finding the philosopher’s stone as Edward and Alphonse respectively, struggle to find motivation to continue their quest. They actually are separated for much of this season up until the very end where a massive climax unfolds. Winry takes a backseat as she struggles with being helpless to change anything. Her misery unravels as she discovers the truth behind how her parents died and who killed them. She comes face-to-face with the heinous crime of murder and falls in love with a man who she never thought possible.

Alphonse actually becomes more powerful now able to transmute without need for a transmutation circle just like his brother. And amazingly, the first death of a major enemy is accomplished through the flaming powers of a powerful ally. It comes to light that there is a true conspiracy hiding inside the military, and everyone seems powerless to stop it. Another ally’s life is lost and more, as the gang struggle against the overwhelming power of the enemy. Edward makes a striking promise to Winry as she leaves them to return to Rush Valley where she holds a promising job as an automail mechanic.

This season is definitely an huge leap from season 1 in terms of animation quality and plot development. It has a slow start but has a massive finish and a very exciting conclusion that leaves the viewer rushing headlong into season 3. Watching it a second time it flies by and keeps my eyes glued to the screen. It’s a rush of excitement and mystery when you find out how the homunculi are in control of the military and more. How powerful and deadly they are, even to the point of fatally injuring a major character in the series. One has to wonder if they can be defeated or who really leads the homunculi, only to be known by the name Father. At the very end Edward comes face-to-face with the truth about what they left behind in Resembool when they burned down their old house. He discovers that there is hope for Alphonse and that he can be returned back to normal before it is too late.