Joined: 14-November 06
Member No.: 42,805
A few years ago, a discussion board on Google had a lengthy board on FMA-1 when it first premiered on Cartoon Network in 2004-2006. These boards usually began with a detailed synopsis of the episode, using dialogue from the dub. At the end of 2006, I added my detailed synopsis, also using dialogue and some commentary. I give this info the shrine in four parts. Note: this is from the dub. Also, in order to avoid confusion, I have referred to the real world as Earth-Prime and the FMA world as Earth-A.
The film begins with a castle in the ocean. It is Southwest Amestris, 1914.
Inside the castle, in a room full of gears, the owner speaks to a very familiar armored person. The owner Huskisson, a masked inventor in a cloak, presents his object: A metal orb with valves.
"Thanks to our progress with the steam engine, we've excavated deeper than ever. Found new minerals, refined them, creating revolutionary sources of fuel. And it was in that search for industrial power that we discovered it: the ultimate element. By splitting its atom, producing massive amounts of energy are released."
Huskisson, who appears to be quite mad, has decided to call this element Uranium. He asks the armored ambassador from Central to bring this discovery to the attention of his command.
"No," says the armored one. He knows Huskisson, for all his words, has created weapon. That is the last thing this country needs. (…)
Huskisson is angered. "Is the young and promising State Alchemist afraid?" The inventor heads to a console with levers. Suddenly, stone slabs mechanically rise upon the armored one, holding him in place. Drills mechanically come out of the wall, poised upon him. Huskisson disbelieves the Alchemist's altruistic intentions, saying he got his authority because of his alchemic powers.
"Authority?" says a figure in the shadows, a red-coated person with a glass bubble on his head.
Huskisson accuses the armored one of being afraid his technological invention will lead to making Alchemists obsolete. "And the Alchemists' stranglehold on this country will vanish." The inventor has decided to see what the Alchemist of the People really looks like. He has the drills tear into the armor. The helmet falls off. The Armor collapses.
The inventor laughs maniacally, until he discovers that the armor is empty…
Instantly, a materialization of stone stairs slams behind the inventor.
"Huskisson," says the figure, coming down the steps he made. "You have made two big mistakes."
"Who are you?" Huskisson is surprised, and his astonishment increases as the hollow, headless suit of armor takes life and runs to the new visitor. "Brother, what took you so long? He put holes through me!"
"Sorry. I got held up." After apologizing, the bubble-headed (literally) Alchemist faces Huskisson. "Mistake no. 1: We never cared about your invention. We only came here because you wouldn't shut up about it...That and the off-chance it might help us in our own search."
Hutchinson goes berserk. Mechanical arms tear through his sleeves, springing out like accordions, plunging drills into the new Alchemist. One arm shatters the bubble. The other impales his right shoulder. "You'll take me to Central, if you value your life!"
But the Alchemist grabs the connected drill with his right hand. Sparks fly as his red coat sleeve and white glove are destroyed…along with the drill. "Mistake no. 2: That young and promising State alchemist you were looking for…is me!" The torn sleeve reveals an automail arm. He is Edward Elric, the Fullmetal Alchemist. The armored one is his brother Alphonse.
Edward leaps toward Huskisson with an Alchemic-created blade on his automail arm. He slashes off the inventor's mechanical arms. Huskisson pulls out a gas cartridge, blinding his opponents enough to make his escape. By the time the Brothers Elric catch up, Huskisson is already on a giant, revolving crane, its arm bearing a giant mace. He flings the machine at Ed with destructive effect, though the Alchemist avoids the onslaught by physical agility. Meanwhile, Al creates a stairway to the ceiling. Once on the top, the younger Elric alchemically fuses the crane, halting its movements. A clap gives Edward the power to transform the mace into a caricature of himself.
Huskisson damns the mystical Alchemists, cursing their zealous power, restraining physicists like him from guiding the state to a new and enlightened age.
"Enlightenment like that?" Edward cynically points to a hole in the wall. It reveals a pile of corpses.
Huskisson ignores the monstrous cost of his research. "Uranium mining is dangerous. It's the cost of progress!"
Al interrupts such ideals. "Science that doesn't benefit people is no science at all!"
The frustrated mad inventor calls upon his trump card: the Uranium Orb- or should we say, bomb- he has created. The brothers pause at his threat. Huskisson heads for the hole and its grisly contents. "I may not respect your sorcery, but that hasn't stopped me from learning it. For a man first in atomic equations, a few circles are easy enough to understand." He takes out a paper with Alchemy symbols.
"What are you planning now?" Ed asks with a dark suspicion.
"It's my backup plan, Fullmetal. An army of men fused with machines. You won't stand a chance!"
"Don't do it! That's human transmutation! Listen to me! Life only flows in one direction. Humans are not supposed to be brought back! It's Alchemy's greatest taboo for a reason!"
"You're arcane rules mean nothing to me! I'm a man of science!"
Before the brothers' eyes, Huskisson performs transmutation with the corpses. He finds himself in the dimension of the Gate. It opens. The eyes of the Gate demons see him. They enwrap him and his bomb with their arms, pulling him inside. The Gate closes.
The Brothers lament the inventor's mistake, a reminder of their own. The only difference is that Huskisson lost everything in Equivalent Exchange. The Brothers promise each other to find the Philosopher stone and restore their missing parts.
"Let's go," Ed swings his mood. "This whole castle is about to explode."
Al freaks out. "Why?"
"Because I don't like it. I made some adjustments to the steam tanks."
Sure enough, the graffiti-drawn tanks explode.
Al strongly disapproves of his brother's actions. "Why do you have to be so excessive? You should have told me!"
Edward dispenses with such details. "There's no point in arguing now! Come on let's go!"
"Go where! We're floating on water, and if I get wet I can wash off my blood seal!"
"Then stop whining and help me think!"
The castle sinks into the waters. Aboard a small tank, the brothers panic over their sinking makeshift boat. Edward proceeds to use his brother's helmet as a bucket to throw the water out.
The blue sky above them gets dimmer. It is a different sky now. It is Earth Prime (the real world). Munich of the Weimar Republic, October 1923.
On a road, we see a laughing Edward driving a car, relating this story to a delighted passenger. Edward is now 18. His long hair is pony-tailed from the scalp now. His brown clothing resembles his father, Hohenheim. His fellow traveler resembles an 18-year-old Alphonse, with blond hair and blue eyes.
"So after that, the story of the champion of the people Alchemist spread from a few minor regions to every corner of the continent. The End." Ed's enthusiasm slows when Alphonse's laughs become coughs.
Nevertheless, the passenger is enjoyed. "You know you should be a novelist with the stories you tell."
"You're saying you don't believe me?" Ed gets defensive.
"Oh c'mon, Ed! A place where Alchemy kept evolving and became more important than the steam engine?" Al fails to see Ed's saddened face as he continues. "Newton's Law eclipses Alchemy, ushering in the Modern Age. That's a historic fact!"
"Yeah, in this world, ya mean!" A cross Ed faces Alphonse, but his steering hand accidentally turns the same direction. The car rolls off the road and crashes.
Now stranded in the middle of the countryside, the two boys try hitchhiking. Al begins to cough uncomfortably again, much to Ed's concern. "It's just a little cold. That's all."
A truck stops before them. The driver is going to the carnival, the boys' destination. The driver agrees to help them, if they don't mind his passengers: A bunch of young beautiful Gypsy women. Surrounded by these hot women, Ed and Al have a nervous curiosity. "So what kind of a show are you ladies setting up?"
"You name it. Singing, theater…" Blushing Ed nearly panics at the implication.
Al notices one lonely Gypsy. "What's your act?"
The other Gypsies speak for her. "She's a fortuneteller, and she always gets it right. So much so it's eerie." Another Gypsy comments that she can discover anyone's most guarded secret.
Al wants to know his fortune. Ed is skeptical. "Cut it out! You know how unscientific that is?"
The young Gypsy touches Ed's arm. She tenses. "You are the same as we are. You have no home!"
Edward shares her shock at this revelation.
One of the gypsies spots the carnival. All the women begin to chant and sing in their native language. The exception, the young Gypsy fortuneteller, gazes at Ed. Al notices they both share a forlorn face.
Edward fades into his younger self. Titles begin. The sequence is bridged with Arakawa paintings of the cast (most of these drawings adorn the DVD covers). Also shown are clips of the series (e.g. Hughes' death).
At the carnival is a house called Hanussen's Welt. The owner is psychic Hanussen, who bears a strong resemblance to Lieutenant General Archer. The Gypsy fortuneteller is there.
"Ah, Noah! It's been too long!" Hanussen greets the fortuneteller. He pays her Gypsy companions in francs (the paper currency here is now as valuable as the marks). Noah is surprised that she hasn't been paid as well. "You're staying here now, Noah." Noah grabs her companion's shoulder, learning the truth: She is being sold! Hanussen explains that her authentic clairvoyance has gained the interest of certain people.
Three gray-garbed men enter. They are from a Lieutenant Hess, waiting outside. One of them examines Noah, touching her chin. Images flash into Noah. She gets a horrifying discovery of this group's plans for her. She runs away.
Nearby, Ed and Al put up their carnival booth. It is a giant metal tower where they will fire a rocket into the sky. Al is excited by the people gathering around them. "Dr. Oberth's book on space flight has captured the public's imagination."
As Al sees to his colleagues, who refer to him as Heidrich, Ed decides to leave the booth for some rest. His lack of interest in the experiment disappoints Al H. A fellow colleague (a blond, blue-eyed doppelganger of Law the Buffalo Chimera-man) notes Ed's growing disinterest. "He was the most enthusiastic of all of us when we met him at Dr. Oberth's place."
Noah makes her escape through the crowd. She cries for help, but all she gets are discriminating words and thoughts, calling her a thief.
On a truck, a somber Ed looks to the sky. He lifts his pale arm (a tribute to his last action in episode 51). "As far as I traveled, I still can't escape this place." The truck buckles. Ed sees someone attempting to hide under some canvas covering. Ed warns her about the rocket underneath it. She reveals herself. Noah.
Her captors appear and attempt to take her away. This bugs Ed enough to come to her rescue. He frees Noah. "Hey, this is a carnival! Go have some fun!"
The men are not so easily convinced. They pull out guns.
Ed's stunned expression melts into excitement. He raises his arms, and claps his hands together. Nothing happens. "Sorry, just an old habit of mine!" He attempts to disarm the gun hand of their leader. But he has a metal band.
Backing away, Edward decides to use his own weapon. He twists his pale left arm backwards, revealing it to be artificial. He pulls a cord on the elbow joint. The motor inside accelerates into a blinding speed. The electrical currents melt the artificial skin off the fully operational arm. Edward attacks the main captor again, breaking his metal-banded arm. His accomplices aim their guns in retaliation. Edward points the rocket at them, ready to ignite…
Nearby, Al's own test rocket performs successfully. His sponsor and financier, Lieutenant Hess, congratulates Al and his colleagues' achievement (these colleagues are Earth Prime doppelgangers of Dorochet, Blondie, and Lizard Man, the Lab 5 chimera-men, this time all very human and Aryan). He shakes their hands (all of them blushing). Hess than meets his leading subordinate, bedraggled and injured. He reveals that the girl has escaped.
Among a path of fallen thugs and rocket trails, Edward and Noah run away from the carnival.
"Where's you're home?" Ed asks.
"I told you. I haven't got one."
Edward looks to his companion with sympathy.
At the Four Seasons Hotel, Germans gather to speak about their recent history. They lament the war, the harsh military life at the trenches, and the humiliating Treaty of Versailles, which left everyone in poverty save for the aristocrats and the Jews. There, Lieutenant Hess reports the Gypsy's escape to Professor Hanshoufer (now lacking the German accent the dub gave him from episode 51).
"She escaped? That is a problem. I was rather hoping she could find the Great Serpent for us."
Hanshoufer decides to head for the villa, and report this news to Eckart.
It is now morning. At a boarding house, Noah is living with Ed and Al Heidrich. Wearing different clothes, the Gypsy has breakfast with Al H.
"Are you sure it's okay. Me staying here?"
"They're looking for you. There's no choice. Besides, I'm kinda glad…It's the first time Ed's taken interest in a girl."
Noah is interested about her savior.
"I mean I'm not saying Ed is an anti-social person. Just doesn't get close to anybody. Not emotionally anyway." Sadness creeps into Al H's cheerful face. "He's too busy telling stories about some other world."
Noah is curious. "You mean…his home?"
"That's what he says." He gets up, heading for his new factory.
Noah looks into Ed's bedroom. It is strewn with papers and a poster of a zeppelin. He talks in his sleep. "Winry, listen…about Al."
Ed wakes up some minutes later. Wearing nothing but boxers and a harness around his chest, he talks to Noah about Al's factory. From a cabinet of prosthetic legs, he affixes one of them (covered in artificial skin) to his left thigh.
Noah is astonished by the nimbleness of his prosthetics.
"My arm and leg are gone. But my brain's still sending out signals to move them. These machines take those signals and amplifies them." He displays his prosthetic arm, very skeletal compared to his old automail. "To be honest, I don't understand them all. My dad's the one who made them."
"Where is your father?"
"I dunno. One day he just left and never came back. So I ended up living here with Alphonse. We became friends when we studied rockets together with Dr. Oberth."
Fully bodied and clothed, Ed walks down the stairs with the Gypsy.
Noah speaks. "Armor…I saw a suit of armor walking beside you."
Ed pauses to Noah's accurate words. He is uneasy with her descriptions.
"And then you looking up at a smiling face. That must have been your mother. And then a village on a hill and a grassy plain. You said these visions are unscientific, but to me they're as clear as this stairway now. Please, tell me about this other world. What is it like there?"
"The same as this one, pretty much. The names and things are a little different, and the places aren't the same. But I've seen a whole lot of familiar faces."
"So if that world's your home, then why are you here?"
Ed grows uneasy. "In the world I'm from, my younger brother was killed. In trying to bring him back, I ended up here. It seems that was the price I had to pay…or maybe not. Maybe this is the hell I've been allotted to for trying the forbidden again. Two years ago I met the Alphonse who lives here, Alfonse Heidrich (in Romania). And if my brother Al had grown up, he'd look exactly the same. So who knows what is and isn't science? Or maybe this whole world's just a dream." Ed's calm face cannot hide the despair eating inside him.
Going outside, Ed greets his landlord, Gracia (the Gracia Hughes of Earth Prime, single with hot lipstick). A kind woman, she notices Ed's happy expression whenever he sees her. "Who do I remind you of, your mother, or is it a girlfriend?"
Ed laughs off the implication, thanking Gracia for giving Noa some clothing.
"So the two of you are going out today? Just be careful, alright?"
Ed snickers to her motherly advice. They leave. Gracia watches them with a worried look.
At the Brauerei beer hall, some mug-swinging men complain about the lousy currency. The new law of gold pieces instead of marks has rendered the paper money worthless. A constable approaches them. Officer Hughes.
The men spot Ed, asking them to join them. Their enthusiastic invitation dies down when they see who is with him. Hughes is especially bothered by the Gypsy girl. Like a lecturing parent, he calls Edward closer, wrapping his arm around him. "You do know that girl who's moved in with you is a Gypsy, right?"
"I hadn't noticed."
Hughes is wary. "Watch out, you and Alfonse think you're being noble by helping someone in need, but that's her game. Gypsy are smooth talkers."
"What?" Ed is disturbed by what he's hearing, especially from whom he's hearing it from.
"They trick men in order to steal their wallets, then they are off to their next mark. They are drifters after all."
"Well I'm a drifter too!" Edward has had enough with this nonsense. He turns away from Hughes.
"Look, I'm telling you this as a friend. If something bad happens, it'll be trouble for Gracia!"
Edward counterattacks. "Well how about this: Confess your love to her instead of bothering us. Save you some time."
This advice flusters Hughes into silence. Edward pulls Noah away. "Trust me, she'll be good for you!"
"Have you ever heard about respecting your elders, Ed?" Hughes' attempt to retain his authority is a failure.
Edward stops at an alley with Noah. "I don't think I'm being hustled. They're all sorts of people who'd like the power to see into human hearts with a touch. Especially in this country with what's going on. And I think they would chase you down to get it."
"So you believe my gift is real?"
"A suit of armor walking beside me. I never told anyone about that. Not even Alfonse." He smiles, raising his hand. "What did you see this time?"
"Nothing strong, really. My power works best when people are asleep."
"Oh yeah? Why's that?"
"Because when they're sleeping, I can see what they dream."
At a clinic, Edward has his prosthetic hand examined by a doctor. At another booth, a patient is groaning about the present state of the country. He sees the government as spineless. He reacts negatively to any assertion that Germany lost the war, blaming the Jews and Communists for the surrender, never the Germans. He explodes when he spots Noah handing Edward his coat. "What's wrong with you? Get her out of here!"
As Noah keeps silent despite her obvious anger, Edward responds for her. "Why should I?" His words stop cold when he sees the patient's scarred face. He is an ex-soldier. "Gypsies like her are just like the Jews! They don't have their own country, so they come into ours and steal our money and our jobs until there is nothing left to take! They're just a race of parasites!"
Back to the streets, Edward goes to a soup line and procures a dish for Noah. They are silent for a moment, absorbing that nasty confrontation. Edward apologizes. 'I'm sure it gets to you, hearing speeches like that."
"Not really, my people have gotten used to ignorance about who we are. The word Gypsy comes from a myth we spread that we are fortunetellers from Egypt. Bohemian, Gitane, Ziguener, Nomad. Outsiders can call us what we want." Her sad eyes show that she is not in complete accepting to this treatment.
"I see, but then how do you refer to yourselves? You must have some name."
"Roma…It's our word for human." Noah smiles.
Edward is full of admiration. Then his face crumples into shock. A limousine rolls by, carrying…Fuhrer Bradley!
Suddenly obsessed, Edward leaves Noah behind, following the car and its occupant. He wonders why a Homunculus is doing in this world…
To be continued…
Next time: It's family reunions galore! Ed's search for Bradley leads him to meeting his brother (NOT the one you're thinking). A father and son meet after a long separation. A new search by Ed leads to diabolical plans that could mean danger to his native Earth-A, as well as meeting a person he desperately wanted to see!