|A Fierce Counterattack|
|Series||Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood|
|Title||A Fierce Counterattack|
|Japan airdate||June 20, 2010|
|U.S.A. airdate||June 24, 2010 (online stream)|
September 11, 2011
|Preceded by||He Who Would Swallow God|
|Followed by||The Other Side of the Gateway|
A truly epic battle erupts when Edward, Mustang, Hawkeye, Greed, Izumi, and Armstrong attack the god-like Father. The odds are against the forces of good – until one brave boy makes a shocking sacrifice.
|Full Synopsis: Plot Details Follow|
|As Father attempts to turn more Briggs soldiers into a new Philosopher's Stone, Van Hohenheim, Alphonse, Izumi and May arrive at the surface to stop him. Van chides Father's disdain for humans, remarking that while humans are capable of creation, the Homunculi are not and even as a god, Father is only capable of destruction. But while Hohenheim asserts that Father's evolution has reached a dead end, the Homunculus replies by stating that he shall create humans in order to prove his parent wrong. Sure enough, out from his body sprout several people - the lost souls of Xerxes given corporeal form through alchemy. As the alchemists recoil in horror as the Xerxesians wander about, grateful to have returned to the world of the living, Edward finally makes his way to the surface and, seeing him, Father grins and releases another god-energy blast which annihilates the freshly resurrected Xerxesians and bathes a large portion of the Central Command compound in blinding light.
Down below, Alex Armstrong has transmuted a lift platform to carry himself, Olivier, Roy, Riza, Sig and the chimeras to the surface, but stops when the party reaches Greed's location. Greed informs them that the Homunculus leader is on a rampage above and tells all injured parties to stay behind while the fighters go on ahead to back up the Elric brothers. Olivier objects to being left behind, remarking that she must go to lead her troops, but a radio message from Karley explains that Father has used his power to obliterate half of Central Command and asks that the injured Major General watch the battle from a safe place. Understanding the situation, Olivier gives the radio to Alex and places him in charge of the operation. With that settled, Roy declares that they must move now, explaining to Greed that he can still use his powers to attack the Philosopher's Stone inside Father but that he requires Lt. Hawkeye's aid to do so. Lan Fan, too, mounts the platform, stating that her place is with Prince Ling. Once Olivier, Sig and the injured Jerso disembark, the platform continues toward ground level. Olivier, spying King Bradley's withered corpse, asks Scar if he was the one who killed him, but Scar replies that Bradley had arrived on the scene covered in wounds and it is due only to that fact that he was able to prevail in the end. Recalling her previous message about Buccaneer inflicting a mortal injury upon the Führer, she genuflects by Wrath's body and asks him if he saw how strong her men are.
As the dust clears on the surface, revealing massive damage, May stirs to find that Alphonse's body - positioned to shield her from Father's attack - has been absolutely rent by the blast. Edward, too, wakes from his daze to find that his automail arm, though badly damaged, still functions; finding Izumi lying beside him, he rushes to her aid, but she remarks that she is only alive because Hohenheim shielded her with his body at the last moment. Ed looks at the scorched body of his father, kneeling heroically before them and calls out to him, but as Van opens his eyes, Father appears behind him and bats the old man aside. Deciding on Izumi and Edward as his first targets, Father attempts to draw out their souls into a Philosopher's Stone, but is interrupted hen Briggs soldiers - pouring out from Central Command - open fire on him with rifles, rockets and machine guns, giving the alchemists time to get to safety. Father merely shrugs these attacks off, shielding himself with an impenetrable barrier of alchemical energy, but the soldiers are ordered to stand clear as a deluge of flame washes over their inhuman foe; though Father is unharmed by the attack, Colonel Mustang, Major Armstrong and Lieutenant Hawkeye have appeared on the scene. Hawkeye informs the blind Flame Alchemist that his aim was off and gives him targeting directions for his next massive salvo. As he claps his hands together to compensate for the damage done to his Flame Alchemy gloves, Roy remarks that he hasn't yet gotten the hang of circle-free transmutation, but as he rapidly transmutes a wall to defend against Father's counterattack, he claims to see its usefulness. The ceaseless volley continues from all sides, with Major Armstrong, Lan Fan, Zampano and Darius contributing as well in an attempt to exhaust the Homunculus' energy supply.
From a nearby landing, Greed watches in awe and declares that such godlike power would surely allow him to take over the world, but Ling remarks from inside his heart that the endless thirst that the avaricious Homunculus feels is not for power, but for something else. Greed ignores Ling's counsel and rushes toward the fray. Unfortunately, even with everyone working together, Father remains unharmed and declares that the humans are incapable of penetrating his defenses. Suddenly, Greed bursts from the cloud of dust and gun smoke and delivers a punch right to his father's face, exclaiming that a Homunculus might succeed where humans have failed, but as Father takes hold of Greed's hand, he thanks his son for delivering a complete Philosopher's Stone to him when he needed it most and begins draining Philosopher's Stone energy from his body. However, Greed counters that he knew Father would drop his guard in order to absorb a Stone and explains that his own plan is to drain god energy instead. Greed begins draining energy from his father's body, but the Homunculus leader's pull is too strong and he reverses the flow. Seeing their comrade in danger, Edward, Alex and Izumi rush to Greed's aid, throwing a volley of physical attacks. Overwhelmed by the multiple onslaught, Father pushes them all back with a wave of energy, shattering Edward's automail arm in the process, but the alchemists remain unfazed and commence a second wave. But when Father blocks a kick from Edward with his arm instead of energy, Hohenheim realizes that the Homunculus is at his breaking point and can barely keep God contained within his body. Bulging and writing in agony as God's eye rises from his gullet and into his mouth, threatening to escape, Father topples to the ground and releases a huge burst of energy which throws everyone from his body.
Just managing to keep God within his form, Father searches desperately for a soul to make into a Philosopher's Stone and spies the nearby Edward sprawled on a pile of broken concrete. Ed, seeing the danger as Father approaches him, attempts to scurry to safety, but finds that his left arm has been impaled on some twisted rebar jutting out of the rubble, pinning him to the spot. Alphonse, tries frantically to drag himself over to Edward, but his body is far too damaged to move and, in addition, the cracks in his armor have come dangerously close to his Blood Rune, putting his very soul in jeopardy if he makes any drastic movements. Faced with no options, Al devises a desperate plan and begs May for her help; explaining that Edward had sacrificed his own right arm in order to retrieve Al's soul, Alphonse posits that the reverse should be possible. May objects to Al's planned self-sacrifice, but the armored alchemist insists that there is no time and asks her to forge a path to his brother for him. As Father descends upon the helpless Edward, May's kunais embed themselves in a circle around the Fullmetal Alchemist's empty right shoulder, calling Ed's attention to their origin, where Alphonse lies inscribed in an identical circle. Ignoring the despairing, objecting cries of his brother, Alphonse claps his hands together and presses them to his Blood Rune, activating the circle and commencing the transmutation.
Inside the Gate, Al stands once more before his atrophied body, who asks the soul if it is finally ready. Replying in the affirmative, Al reaches out and takes his body's hand; as the armor disintegrates away, the soul and body are finally reunited. Seated at Edward's adjacent Gate, the Truth, still clad in Fullmetal's arm and leg, asks the complete Alphonse if his brother will be coming to pick him up. As Al responds with an emphatic 'yes', Edward's flesh-and-blood right arm disintegrates away from the Truth's form as the ethereal consciousness expresses curiosity as to what the elder Elric will sacrifice in exchange for his brother's whole being.
On the corporeal plane, Edward stares, aghast, at the atrophied but organic right arm that has appeared on his shoulder and, angrily censuring his brother's recklessness, claps his two human hands together for the first time in five years. Initiating a transmutation, Edward tears the rebar from his arm and transmutes a host of earthen battering rams and weapons that pummel the Homunculus' body mercilessly, inflicting serious harm. As everyone present cheers Fullmetal on, Ling informs the oddly silent Greed that what the greedy homunculus had always truly wished for was to have a whole world of friends to celebrate him, as Edward has. Knocking Father to the ground with a furious punch, Edward announces to the Homunculus that he is about to see just how far out of his league he is.
- This episode is adapted from content in Chapter 106: The Abyss of Pride and Chapter 107: The Final Battle.
- The symbol that appears in the background of this episode's title card is Alphonse's Blood Rune.
- Scar's final appearance here (before the final chapter) in the manga is portrayed much differently than the anime. In the manga, it has a very heavy sense of foreboding as Scar topples over, assumed to have either died from his wounds or simply faded into unconsciousness due to exhaustion. The answer is not addressed until the final chapter. In the anime, he is simply clutching his wounds the entire time while the camera stays focused on Olivier Armstrong.
- Several aspects of the battle are changed in this episode:
- When the Briggs soldiers open fire on Father to protect Edward and Izumi, he takes damage from a bullet and falls to the ground rather than blocking the shots with energy.
- In the manga, when the souls of the Xerxesians were "reborn" through Father, their bodies begin to deteriorate rapidly soon after, as they were technically "imitation humans". In the anime, however, there is no sign of the bodies deteriorating in the time they're seen. Nonetheless, they're still destroyed in the same way when Father unleashes a full blast in his attempt to wipe out the five Human Sacrifices.
- Greed's frontal attack on Father is altered so as to be a grab at Father's "God energy" rather than a tactic to have him drop his guard so that Edward can strike from behind.
- Edward's punch is blocked with a rapidly transmuted wall rather than energy and instead of going in alone, he is joined in his close-range onslaught by Izumi and Major Armstrong, who had both attacked from long-range in the manga.
- Edward's final line in this episode mirrors the threat he made against Cornello at that start of the series.
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