|He Who Would Swallow God|
|Series||Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood|
|Title||He Who Would Swallow God|
|Japan airdate||June 13, 2010|
|U.S.A. airdate||June 17, 2010 (online stream)|
September 4, 2011
|Preceded by||Eye of Heaven, Gateway of Earth|
|Followed by||A Fierce Counterattack|
Millions of lifeless bodies litter the landscape of Amestris, and a being with the power to create suns is unleashed upon the world. Unless Hohenheim has something amazing up his sleeve, all is surely lost.
|Full Synopsis: Plot Details Follow|
|Years ago, just before the tragedy of their Human Transmutation, Ed and Al pored over an alchemical text in their father's study which posited that the sun represents masculinity and the moon represents femininity and that once those two are combined, they create a perfect being...or a god.
In the present day, the unfathomably large Father pulls "God" down to Earth, declaring that he will no longer be limited by a deity. The entire country of Amestris is deathly silent as each and every one of its inhabitants falls lifeless. However, deep within the Homunculi's lair, the five Human Sacrifices stir and are greeted by Father, who now sits atop his throne in a new body. Now resembling an older, more muscular Edward Elric, the Homunculus remarks that he has absorbed God; Ed is skeptical, but Van explains that with a large enough power source - like a massive Philosopher's Stone, such a thing is theoretically possible. May, who has also risen, asks fearfully how many people were sacrificed to forge such a stone and Mustang responds that Amestris boasts a population of roughly fifty million people.
Ed attempts to attack Father, but with a simple gesture, the Homunculus leader closes off alchemy once again and, bidding his guests farewell, conjures a miniature sun in the palm of his hand with which to strike down his piteous foes. However, he suddenly senses that something is amiss; Hohenheim speaks up, revealing that his countermeasure came into effect as soon as the Homunculus swallowed God. Van explains that he has had untold decades with which to devise a plan of attack and had sent several souls out of his body and into the ground at several locations around the countryside in preparation for this day, asking them to help the people of Amestris and defeat Father when the time came. Father scoffs at Hohenheim's plan, commenting that he may have provided points, but that there is no circle large enough to connect and activate them. However, Hohenheim replies that there is indeed a circle - an extremely powerful one that would activate on its own. As the massive, circular shadow of the moon - cast by the eclipsed sun - shifts across the surface of the Earth, the five locations to which Van had been traveling burn with light from the deposited souls, activating the umbral Transmutation Circle.
With the power of the circle rushing to Central, the fifty million souls of the Amestrian people are stripped from the Homunculus' body and dispersed, drawn by their still-intact spirits directly back to their own bodies. All around the nation, each and every collapsed person stirs to life in disbelief, vaguely aware of the horrendous anguish they suffered for a brief moment. Father writhes in agony on his throne as Hohenheim explains that, without the fifty million Amestrian souls bolstering his power, he no longer has the strength to keep God contained within his body. Furious, Father claims that he can always create another Philosopher's Stone using a hundred million or even a billion lives, as the energy source called "human" is limitless, and launches a wave of energy at his human foes, but May transmutes an alkahestric barrier around them all, declaring that her craft's specialty is harnessing the flow of energy within the earth and that, the more energy is thrown at her, the more she is able to use. However, when Father fires another volley, Hohenheim must act quickly to block it with his hands, which burn and crumble as it becomes apparent that he hasn't the energy necessary to compete with Father. As he begins to fall back, Ed and Al rush to his aid, holding him up so that he might keep up the fight and the grateful father redoubles his efforts, straining his Philosopher's Stone. Ed prays that Scar might make it in time.
But up above, Scar and King Bradley (Wrath), both of whom having survived, have resumed their duel as well, during which Wrath remarks that Scar is going against his own God by using alchemy, which was said to be blasphemous, and asks the Ishvalan if he had - during that ceaseless massacre of his people - come to the realization that there is no such thing as "God". But as Bradley speaks, preparing a killing blow with his sword, the sun peeks out from behind the moon and, reflecting off the blade, blinds him momentarily. Scar takes his opportunity and strikes, snapping the sword and deconstructing both of King Bradley's arms. Too tenacious to stop, Bradley takes the snapped blade of his sword in his teeth and make a final stab into the Scarred Man's body before both men collapse. As Bradley bleeds out on the floor, amused by this providential twist of fate, Lan Fan appears on the scene and approaches him. Bradley asks if she has come to avenge her grandfather, but she asks only if the Führer has any last words for his wife. Wrath responds coldly that he has none. His wife was someone he chose himself; between a king and his queen there is no need for "last words".
As his skin cracks and his hair fades to white, Bradley comments that he lived his life on a track laid by his father, but that his last years were somewhat amusing and enjoyable thanks to the actions of the wily humans around him. King Bradley closes his eyes and passes from this world. However, Lan Fan still senses life from his body and, reaching into his pocket, pulls out a Philosopher's Stone. Bleeding and choking, Scar begs Lan Fan to help him over to the five-point circle that had been drawn by the Gold-Toothed Doctor, explaining that it lies at the center of the Nationwide Transmutation Circle. Commenting that his hatred is not gone, but his desire to help the people of Amestris has grown alongside it, Scar remembers that his brother spoke of negative and positive flows of energy and feeling and places both his hands on the floor, activating the runes upon his arms. The energy flows outward to the five points around Central City where Ishvalan refugees have laid down tarps emblazoned with the Reverse Nationwide Transmutation Circle and then around the entire country, activating the circle itself.
Down below, Hohenheim senses the transmutation and tells his boys that the time has come. Without hesitation, Edward reveals that his alchemy is functioning again and uses it to attack Father and Pride. Bolstered by the return of their powers, the alchemists gear up for a joint attack. Scar explains to Lan Fan that his brother had studied both alchemy and alkahestry, and, in doing so, had discovered that alchemists in Amestris were unable to use the full extent of the Earth's energy like alkahestrists because there was a layer of Philosopher's Stone energy spread out under the entire country like an inhibitor. Discovering the Nationwide Transmutation Circle and devising and alkahestric counter on top of it, his brother had created a way to negate the inhibitor and free up the Earth's energy for alchemical use. Ed, Al and Izumi continue their assault on Father and Hohenheim explains that they can win if they can force the Homunculus to use up all the energy of his Philosopher's Stone. Greed emerges from the shadows to help the fight, but Father merely bats away all of their attacks and ascends toward the surface.
As Oliver and Alex come upon Riza and her chimera companions, they witness Father rising past them and up into the courtyard of Central Command, where he transmutes the souls of several Briggs soldiers into a tiny Philosopher's Stone. Realizing the Homunculus' objective, Hohenheim gives chase. The others prepare to follow suit, but Edward is suddenly caught in one of Pride's shadowy tendrils and tells them to go on ahead while he deals with Selim Bradley. Izumi, Roy, Al and May make their way toward the surface, but, encountering the Armstrongs, Hawkeye and Sig on the landing above, leave the blind Mustang to their care while they press on. Roy explains to Riza that his eyes no longer work and asks her if she can still fight with her injuries, to which she responds in the affirmative. Greed, also following in Father's wake, arrives at the level where Lan Fan and Scar are recuperating and, seeing Wrath's corpse, comments that the dead Führer is wearing a contented expression.
Pride scoffs at Greed's lack of proper decorum in associating himself with the inferior humans, but Ed mocks Pride's willingness to obey Father without giving any thought to himself even though that same Father hasn't so much as batted an eye at his eldest son being torn apart in his presence. Incensed, Pride thrusts his shadowy limbs into Edward's wounds, declaring that he will replace his own crumbling shell with the body of one who, like his own father, is of Van Hohenheim's blood. However, within the Homunculus' own being, the soul of Solf J. Kimblee speaks up out of the screaming tempest of anguished animus, declaring that Pride cannot be allowed to take Edward's body. Pride expresses his disbelief that Kimblee would be able to hold on to his individuality inside the vortex of souls and demands to know why he would interfere now, but Kimblee responds that the chorus of screams is like music to his ears and that his interference is due to the fact that Pride, who speaks of "honor as a Homunculus", abandoned his convictions and honor to flee from death into the body of a human - that being which he has always considered inferior - and has therefore lost himself the Crimson Lotus' respect.
Breaking free of his bonds, Edward takes hold of Pride's head and, turning himself once more into a single-souled Philosopher's Stone, forces his way into the Homunculus' psyche. As Pride reflects on his "parents" and fears that Ed will murder him here, Kimblee remarks that Selim doesn't understand Edward's convictions at all and departs. In the physical plane, Edward crushes Pride's skull in his automail hand and the rest of the Homunculus' body crumbles to dust. But as Edward opens his fist, he reveals a tiny, sleeping being within his hand: the embryonic pure form of the Homunculus Pride. Cradling the tiny baby in his bundled cloak, Ed marches away toward the other battlefield and promises to apologize to Mrs. Bradley later as Pride whimpers for its mother.
- This episode is adapted from content in Chapter 104: The Center of the World, Chapter 105: On God's Throne and Chapter 106: The Abyss of Pride.
- The Transmutation Array which appears in the background of this episode's title card is the Alkahestric portion of the Reverse Nationwide Transmutation Circle.
- This episode does not air with the normal opening sequence for this season, but as the episode gets underway, the theme Rain is played over the episode itself.
- Several battle scenes of the newly powered Father, present in the manga, are omitted from the beginning of this episode, skipping almost immediately to Hohenheim's counter-measure.
- Greed stays with the group during Father's attacks in the manga, but in the anime, he's implied to have hidden out of view for the perfect time to strike.
- In Edward's fight with Pride, the manga depicts both combatants taking greater advantage of height-based blind spots to land blows and making more flowery, martial-arts based movements. However, in this episode, the skirmish is depicted as being far more direct.
- In the corresponding manga chapter, when Edward breaks off a piece of Pride's face, the hole created is higher up, obliterating the Homunculus' right eye. In this episode, the hole is further down, destroying the right cheek, but leaving the eye intact - likely to make the scene seem less disturbing to viewers.
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