xxxHOLiC Manga Chapter 187
SPOILER Summary/Synopsis: Doumeki, Watanuki, and Mokona are eating and talking when Maru and Moro announce that Kohane-chan has arrived. She brings a present of beef shigureni from the old fortune teller for them to eat. With Doumeki and Mokona wanting sake and snacks, Watanuki has Maru and Moro clean up the dishes while Kohane-chan and Watanuki walk to the kitchen. Watanuki complements Kohane-chan on her school uniform, even though he's done so before.
Opening the cloth wrapping the container of food, Watanuki sees a letter from the old fortune teller, informing him that he'll have a customer tomorrow. Kohane-chan is worried about this, so Watanuki assures her it is not like it was at the beginning. Even though she understands this, she hates to see Watanuki hurt in body or spirit.
That evening on the engawa, Watanuki and Doumeki talk over a bottle of sake. Doumeki mentions the fact that Watanuki will be getting a customer, having heard it from the worried Kohane-chan. Watanuki comments on his powerlessness and that while he doesn't age, he can still take injury and really can't use a doctor, who would have to make a house call. Nevertheless, Watanuki will see customers and grant wishes as he continues to wait for Yuuko-san.
Thoughts/Review: This ended up being an interesting chapter for me. For starters, we got to see an older Kohane-chan, who's about to graduate from junior high school. It is interesting that she's still living with the fortune teller, so apparently things still aren't right with her mother. I'm glad to see that she too kept close to Watanuki.
Her worrying about Watanuki getting a customer combined with Watanuki's remarks to Doumeki on the subject makes me think that when Watanuki grants a wish to someone, he sacrifices a part of himself somehow. I would say that the wish-granting payment system is still in place, but if Watanuki is taking injury somehow from granting wishes, it seems to me that he's paying the price with his body. Considering the type of person Watanuki is, this wouldn't surprise me. I suppose we'll find out next chapter.
I'm hoping Zashiki-Warashi and Himawari-chan make appearances before the manga concludes.
I just had an eerie thought -- what if Yuuko-san returns and Watanuki ends up marrying her rather than Himawari or even Zashiki-Warashi? Considering this is CLAMP, stranger things have been known to happen. ^_^;
So, nothing to do but wait for the next chapter as we get closer to the end.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
xxxHOLiC Manga Chapter 187
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Phantom Dream Volume 3<--BUY FROM AMAZON!
I read this volume of Takaya-sensei's first manga and when I was done, I sat flabbergasted. I struggled on how I would blog this volume of the manga because frankly, it is a big "what the...?!" manga series I've ever read, second only to CLAMP's current mess known as Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-.
First, let me say that I do believe that Takaya-sensei had her story planned out pretty well. I don't believe that she decided to have plot twists just to have plot twists. There's a feeling that she knew how her story was to go and she carried that out. I also understand that as her first manga title, things are going to be somewhat rougher than they were by the time she got to Fruits Basket. Plus, there's the fact that Takaya-sensei seems to LOVE tragedy, angst, depression, anger, and the like. *lol*
That said, when Asahi changed sides from being Tamaki's lover and best friend to the side to join the Gekka family because she is actually the reincarnation of Suigekka, King Hira's lover and the one who awakens him with her power, I was down for that. After all, the notion was there that there was something special about Asahi when she was with Tamaki. It is a messed up situation to be sure and it sucks to be Tamaki, but then the story had been established that he could never marry her anyway because an Otoya heir would need to have power and to insure that, Tamaki would have to be in an arranged marriage.
Sadly, that was only the start of the strange changes. For two plus volumes, Eiji has been the male Gekka family member who's trying to create jaki as opposed to Tamaki's attempting to exorcise them. Eiji is dying as part of his "holy mission," but then all of the sudden, Eiji turns into a woman.
Further, apparently Eiji and Tamaki had an encounter years earlier and Tamaki gave him one of his juzu beads, which Eiji kept and wore. Apparently Eiji falls in love with Tamaki, turns into a woman as part of his role for the Gekka, and then when King Hira kills some people Eiji cared for, Eiji runs to the Otoya family and changes sides. Along the way, we learn that Tamaki's mother Kaname had been a male jahoutsukai like Eiji and Kaname had also fled the Gekka after becoming a woman, eventually joining the Otoya and giving birth to Tamaki.
From there on, Eiji the love-sick girl is just almost impossible for me to get used to (look at her on the cover). At the end of the volume, I can't tell is she's been killed or is alive. The preview text from TokyoPop for volume 4 indicates she's a live but barely. I had her pegged for dead.
Anyway, while there is certainly an interesting concept behind Phantom Dream, Takaya-sensei continues to make things happen in such a way so as to throw confusion at the reader. I think that's why she has to constantly give a recap as to how we got here so that readers of the manga when it was published in magazine form could at least attempt to get their heads back around everything that is going on. Even then, I often feel compelled to reread sections in an attempt to figure out how we went from A to B. She's better about that today (though still needs some work at times, especially with her current, generic character designs) but back when Phantom Dream was created, she wasn't too good with the presentation.
I realize this is a negative review. As such, one might expect that I would not continue. One would be wrong in that assumption, mainly because (1) as a writer I'm curious to see how Takaya-sensei concludes her story and (2) there are only three more volumes, which isn't that great of an investment to make on my part. I'm guessing the remaining volumes will be a struggle but we'll see. My interest level is just high enough to carry me through.
My friend GC recently had to take a couple of business trips to Japan. He brought back a bottle of Pocari Sweat to give to me (which I've got to get still). My plan is to bring this to work and share the love with my co-workers, all of whom have heard me spoken about the very Japanese beverage and all of whom had the same reaction to the thoughts of drinking it as I did when I arrived in Japan -- "Who the heck is 'Pocari' and why do I want to drink his sweat?" *lol* If I remember, I'll try to make a blog posting on how the "sweat sampling party" goes. ^_^
Years later, I want some Pocari Sweat apparel, specifically a t-shirt. I did see something on Cafe Express but I think that's just some entrepreneur slapping logo on a t-shirt and as such it isn't an official product. Pocari Sweat is doing a campaign with some logo products, but no shirts from what I've seen. :-(
Well, next time I or someone I knows goes to Japan, maybe I'll have them do a look-see for some gear.
Monday, September 28, 2009
The amazing thing about the Internet is that while researching something, one can stumble onto something else and get lost for a while exploring this new place on the web one has discovered. In this case, I was looking into engawa (the veranda/porch areas of Japanese homes that are sometimes enclosed) when I came across a blog from the Ibaraki Prefecture, touting their satoyama (country) life style.
Most of you reading my blog have seen an anime or read a manga that features traditional Japanese houses. Indeed, my researching engawa was due to their frequent use in the manga xxxHOLiC by CLAMP. However, seeing it drawn (as in the image above) is one thing. Seeing it for real is another.
These images from that blog lead me to this tag (高柴モニター１号) and scrolling down through the 55 posts, I was amazed at some of the photography showing a family living in a traditional, rural Japanese home (and an old one from the looks of it). Another post (whether the same family or not, I cannot say since it seems that this is a community blog) showed more incredible pictures of a traditional Japanese home, this time to include the kitchen.
While these pictures amazed me and made me want to pay a visit to this area of Japan, it also made me appreciate the fact that I have central heating and air rather than tons of space heaters and a fire pit during the winter and open doors during the summer. It also made me appreciate having a modern kitchen and while I'd love for mine to be bigger, I'm glad it isn't any smaller. ^_^;
Anyway, check it out for yourself. It may make you appreciate moments when traditional Japanese homes are shown in anime or manga. ^_^
In volume 12 of Hayate the Combat Butler manga, Hata-sensei made a reference to a character from Negima! (specifically, Nagi Springfield). Considering that Negima! is my favorite manga followed closely in 2nd place by Hayate the Combat Butler, the reference was much appreciated by me.
Several weeks ago, I was notified by someone (or some people, I can't remember which) about a picture of Hata-sensei and Akamatsu-sensei together. I saved the picture, which I believe was a Japanese fan snapping a shot of a magazine article in which the two manga-ka appear. I had intended to share it once I returned from traveling the country but things have been so hectic of late, I barely have time to get a blog entry a day up. ^_^;
That now changes as I rediscovered the picture on one of my flash drives and now I'm sharing it with you guys.
Give Hata-sensei some blue hair and he seems like Hayate. Akamatsu-sensei has always seemed like Keitaro from Love Hina.
For those who have better memories than mine, can you let me know what magazine the two appeared in? I'd appreciate it. ^_^
You know what would be cool? Some crossover art from the two manga-ka having some of their main characters interacting.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Hayate the Combat Butler "2nd Season" Ep. 25
ハヤテのごとく！！Episode 25 review (final episode)
Nagi is sick, apparently from having put in a full day's work the day before followed by a late night at Sakuya's birthday party. Maria leaves Nagi in Hayate's care as she goes to do some grocery shopping. With Nagi and Hayate the only ones in the mansion, Nagi wonders if Hayate will "attack" her sexually. Hayate has no such intentions and is about to leave Nagi alone when she asks he stay. So, he reads her a modified story of Alice in Wonderland with the role of Alice being played by Hina. Also in his story are three rabbits played by Miki, Riza, and Izumi. Hayate finishes his story and when Maria returns, he finds Nagi's room filled with books for Hayate to read to Nagi.
Nagi decides she must have some Packy (a parody of the chocolate cookie sticks known as Pocky) and sends Hayate off to find some, first planting a small camera in his neck tie. Now, Nagi can watch what Hayate does to entertain herself and Maria joins her. They are amazed at how bad Hayate's luck is and how he feels compelled to help everyone he sees. However, Hayate has forgotten his wallet but encountering Sakuya, she convinces him to be a maid at a maid cafe for an hour to earn enough cash to buy Packy for Nagi. Nagi sees this and calls him to yell at him but ends up letting Hayate continue.
After working an hour where he meets Isumi and her mother at the cafe, Hayate is off again for more helping. Along the way he encounters Wataru and Saki and thanks to lip reading, Maria learns that Nagi has rented an ecchi DVD. Two hours later, Hayate finally gets to the store only to find they are out of Packy. In fact all the stores are out of Packy and amazingly, everyone in town is eating Packy, including Hina, who doesn't know why she started craving it. She feeds Hayate some of hers and is soon joined by Miki, Riza, and Izumi. Nagi has seen enough and calls him to yell some more.
Hayate finds an old candy store that is off the beaten path and sees it has one final box of Packy. However, Ayumu beats him to the cookie treat and Hayate cannot be mean to her. He travels to another city and another prefect but has no luck obtaining Packy. Nagi attempts to call him but he ends up dropping his cell phone in the water. So Hayate returns to town and stops at the Donguri Cafe where he simply makes Packy and even constructs a fake box.
While attempting to come home with hit, he's hit by a truck. Nagi thinks that Hayate must be hurt and Maria is rounding up help when Hayate comes home. He apologizes for the delay and explains how he survived being hit by a truck. He has also had his box of Packy mostly destroyed though one cookie stick is still unharmed and this he gives Nagi. He stays with Nagi until she falls asleep and then falls asleep himself. When Nagi awakens, she finds Hayate sleeping in a chair and ends up giving him a kiss on the cheek.
If I had to guess, I'd say that the story about Hayate reading to Nagi might have come from the manga, but considering all of the cameos after that story was over, I'd say that the Packy story was either an anime original or had been heavily modified. No matter what, I still enjoyed the episode a great deal.
Even though their appearance was just for the sake of fanservice in the first part of the story, I can't help but smile any time Miki, Izumi, and Riza appear. There's something about that trio with their mischievous, fun-loving nature that is really appealing to see both onscreen and in manga. Having them in bunny costumes and performing sexy poses was a bit creepy for me, but I'm quite sure the intended audience members appreciated it a great deal. ^_^;
The second part of the was nice simply from having all of the different cast members cameo. Of course it is funny that they all should suddenly crave Pocky (I mean Packy) as an excuse to get a moment of screen time. Having Nagi and Maria use the "Hayate Cam" was humorous too, especially since whenever Nagi called Hayate to yell at him, she never gave away that she was watching him and thus knew exactly what Hayate was doing.
In addition to being amusing and fun, there's also a touching element to this episode, coming from when Nagi thought Hayate had been run over and possibly killed. When Hayate presented Nagi with the lone Pocky treat, I absolutely loved the nod to the scene from Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro where Lupin breaks into the tower that Clarisse is imprisoned in and presents her a flower, which is for some reason tied to a string with a bunch of country flags on it. I never understood why Lupin had that and it doesn't matter because the scene works. It also works in this episode of Hayate no Gotoku, both as a tribute to Castle of Cagliostro and in its own right.
So a really fun episode with some touching moments, nice cameos, a nice tribute, and a nice way to end the series. I'll have final thoughts sometime down the road.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Negima! 265 SPOILER Images
魔法先生 ネギま！Chapter 265 (Images)
Here's what I know many of you have been waiting for -- the original-sized, sneak-peek images for Mahou Sensei Negima! Chapter 265 SPOILER Images as brought to you buy anonymous Japanese fans (click pic to make bigger, y'all).
Only one image at the moment. (Update: 2nd image can be found --> HERE!)
Well, Akamatsu-sensei goes back to Earth and continues the story thread with Eva, Al, and Eishun. Interesting.
I'm guessing there will be additional spoiler images later this morning but we'll see.
At the New York Anime Festival FUNimation Industry Panel, FUNimation announced that they have licensed X and X OVA. This is another Geneon license rescue and will use the original dub. Thanks to Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-, I do have some mild interest in seeing the anime adaptation of CLAMP's X, but I don't think I have enough to actually make me go out and buy it. If FUNimation streams it in Japanese, I may take a peek though.
FUNimation also licensed Initial D: First Stage, Initial D: Second Stage, Initial D: Third Stage, Initial D: Fourth Stage, and Initial D: Extra Stage. This too is a license rescue, only this time from TokyoPop, who briefly got into the anime licensing business. FUNimation will be redubbing the entire series which surprises me considering the age of the franchise. That FUNimation picked up the series doesn't surprise me, only because I believe FUNimation was already handling the distribution part for TokyoPop, though no other aspect (to include marketing). No interest for me in this title.
FUNimation also made the following announcements:
- Dragon Box (Dragonball Z) will have both Japanese and English tracks + original Japanese opening and closings.
- FMA: Brotherhood cast returns. Vic Mignogna is Ed but we have a new Al. Aaron Dismuke grew up and Al is now voiced by Maxey Whitehead.
- Other new cast members include J. Michael Tatum as Scar and Bryan Massey as Isaac McDougal.
- Aaron Dismuke will be back in a different role, something more suited for his new manly voice. No word on what that role will be.
Ala Alba arrive in Great Britain and are soon found by Ayaka's group. Donet says that everyone will be welcome at Negi's village so off they go where Negi is reunited with his "oneechan," Nekane. After a meal, Negi and Nekane meet the principle of Negi's old school where Negi reveals he's going to the Magic World. The elderly mage leads Nekane and Negi to the underground room where the petrified villagers from Negi's old village are kept, including Stan. Negi has some words to Stan before leaving.
The next morning, Donet leads Ala Alba to a stone ring that is the gate to the magic world. Ayaka catches Asuna and makes Asuna promise to bring everyone back OK, especially Negi-sensei. Asuna promises and is off. Little do they know that also following them are Yuuna, Makie, Ako, Akira, and Natsumi. When the gate activates, those five girls are also transported to the Magic World. So while Setsuna and Negi take care of their sealed weapons at the gate port and some of the other girls go to have a look at the Magic World, the five girls are caught.
Negi and some of the others of Ala Alba are astonished to see Yuuna and company and those girls are in shock, not understanding what is happening. Negi senses something and has Setsuna begin sensing for something wrong while he directs the members of Ala Alba to take up defensive positions. Fate realizes he's been discovered and sends a stone spear into Negi. Fate is joined by three others and soon Setsuna, Kotaro, and Kaede are defeated. Fate is about to petrify Setsuna but is stopped by Negi, who's surviving on sheer magical might.
Asuna knows that they need to free up their weapons and pactio cards so that they can fight and Konoka can heal Negi. Using her magic cancel ability, the seal on the storage container is release and everyone gets what they need. Asuna and Konoka activate their cards and Asuna goes to attack but Fate passes her to take out Konoka. Setsuna shields Konoka from attack and counters but ends up not doing any damage as she hits his water form. Fate is about to attack Setsuna but is hit by Fu Fei's attack. Asuna gets Negi to Konoka and protects them from attack, allowing Konoka to heal.
The rest of Ala Alba arrive as Kaede and Kotaro return to the fight. Fate changes his opinion of Ala Alba but as Negi challenges Fate, Fate slaps him down, revealing how weak Negi is. Fate is told that they are ready to leave so he orders that a forced transportation spell be used to send the members of Ala Alba to various corners of the world. As Fate and company leave, the spell activates and everyone is teleported away.
And so it begins...
As with the first OAD series, the first episode of Another World pretty much follows the manga faithfully, but has to drop some material. Considering this is an OAD, why should it matter if the episode is 30-minutes (with credit time) or 35-minutes?
The first loss is in the scene where Negi is shown the room where the petrified villagers, including Stan, are kept. In the manga, Negi, the "grandpa" mage, and Nekane are joined by Anya and several members of Ala Alba (Asuna, Setsuna, Konoka, Yue, Nodoka, and Chisame). It is here that the girls see an important piece of Negi's past and we learn that Anya's mother is one of the one's stoned. Adding this to the scene would have added about 2.5 minutes at best (maybe three).
The next important loss happened at the gate on Earth where Donet casually mentions stuff about security to include how unauthorized people should not be allowed through the gate. This is important because when Negi senses Fate, realizes that the security can't be that good if it allowed Makie and company through. This episode makes mention of Negi's thoughts about security, but Donet's talk of security should be there to set up Negi's thoughts. Of course, while Donet makes this little speech on Earth, Negi first senses Fate and has Setsuna on guard. That explains why Negi says what he says at the MW gate and why she is close by. Unfortunately, Negi's first inkling of a problem is cut too.
The one loss that made sense to me was having the three cheerleaders dropped from the party of Akira, Ako, Yuuna, Natsumi, and Makie when following Ala Alba. Since they didn't come to the Magic World, there was no sense in including them in the following party.
Asuna taking out one of Fate's pillars was cut too and I wish that had been left in as well.
Enough with the complaints. Let us get to the good. ^_^
The budget for the episode is saved for the battle between Ala Alba and Fate's group. So I am not going to complain about some cost-cutting non-animation scenes that are done because I thought the action sequences are pretty good. This is one aspect where the anime beats the manga hands-down. There's only so much Akamatsu-sensei can do with action sequences in a manga and he does a darn good job of it. The anime format can go all out with the right budget and SHAFT does a decent job to be sure. I could have done without the lengthy henshin sequence for Asuna and Konoka though. ^_^;
Another element that came through very interestingly to me in the anime is Konoka's healing incantation. Normally, spells are cast with a certain rhythm and flow for the incantations and Negima! has been no exception (though the Negima! OAD's have had the coolness of a Latin/Japanese overdub for some of Negi's, Eva's, and Fate's spells). So hearing Konoka's incantation came across as a mantra or chant, which is appropriate due to the fact that Konoka's pactio costume is that of a miko (as far as I can tell), was a bit surprising but cool.
Also cool is ISHIDA Akira (Xellos in the Slayers franchise and Nagi in the Mai-HiME/Mai-Otome franchise) as Fate Averruncus. I forgot he had voiced the role in the TV series (though to be honest, but the time he appeared, I was angry with the series) so hearing him speak as Fate was a cool moment for me.
So a lot of good here with a bit of missing stuff I wish weren't missing. I'm afraid the amount of material that gets the axe will increase as the series goes on though.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Hagane no Renkinjutsushi - Fullmetal Alchemist Ep. 24
鋼の錬金術師 FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST Episode 24
Envy pays Dr. Marcoh a visit to bring him food. When Envy mentions Marcoh being a prime candidate for the sacrifice, Marcoh decides to inquire about this sacrifice. He correctly surmises that the homunculi are making a giant transmutation circle to kill everyone in Central City. Since Marcoh wants to save the lives of his own town, he submits to the homunculi even though it will mean even more lives lost elsewhere.
In Central City, Bradley (Wrath) has a chat with Pride, who's voice we hear but whom we never see. At the end of their chat, Pride says he won't report Wrath's near treasonous talk to Father and inquires about the location of Gluttony.
Gluttony is still looking for Mustang to instantly inhale him into the open maw with the giant eye in it where his gut was. Mustang uses his flame alchemy ability to try to burn Gluttony to death, but the homunculus simply consumes the flame. Meanwhile Ling gets the injured Lan Fan to a waiting car driven by Dr. Knox. Riza gets Mustang there eventually as Ed, Al, and Ling tell them to escape and leave the rampaging Gluttony to them. Riza hands Ed a pistol which he's initially reluctant to take but does so just the same.
After Knox gets his passengers to safety, Ed, Al, and Ling try to figure out a plan of attack on Gluttony. Envy arrives in the form of a dog and warns Gluttony off of consuming Ed and Al since they are needed for the sacrifice. Since Gluttony calls Ed "chibi" again, Ed goes off. Envy doesn't want to fight since they need Ed. Ed decides to split the homunculi up by erecting a wall, leaving Ling to face Envy while Ed and Al face Gluttony, who now is under orders not to consume or attack them. Since there are no orders against killing Ling, Envy goes all out, having heard of Ling's skills from Lust. Ling proves quite good though, so Envy ends up taking on the guise of the injured Lan Fan which causes Ling to hesitate. En and Al's fight breaks through Ed's wall and Gluttony ends up consuming Ed, Ling, and Envy on accident. Al, watched by Xiao Mei, wants Ed returned but as Gluttony's maw shuts, Gluttony says that once he's consumed them, there's no return.
Marcoh's Knox's place, the injured Lan Fan tries to get up, wanting to help Ling. Knox snaps at her since there's nothing she can do in her current condition. He snaps at Mustang as well, who has not heard anything from Ed, Al, or Ling. Mustang is going to leave anyway to do what he can and is driven by Riza to HQ. Even though it is night, he meets with his commanding officer, Lt. General Raven. After some small talk about Roy's former commanding officer, the two men head to a meeting. Along the way, they continue to talk and Roy jokingly mentions a rumor about Bradley being a homunculus. After a laugh, the two reach the meeting room which is filled with military brass. Raven suddenly turns serious and asks about King Bradley being a homunculus. To Roy's horror, King Bradley enters the room and readily confesses to being a homunculus. Roy suddenly understands Hughes' warning about danger and the military to mean the danger IS the military and not there is a danger TO the military.
Ed wakes up in a strange place with the ground naught but fresh blood. There are dead bodies and pieces of equipment as well as other things Gluttony has apparently consumed.
I think this anime should take the prize for having some amazing cliff hangers. The episodes just smoke by, then we get to the end with one stunner after another (well, stunner to people like me who've not read the manga).
For starters, I did not expect for Gluttony to consume Ed, Ling, and Envy. Then again last week, I didn't expect for Gluttony to have a giant eyeball inside of him either. Ling said he could sense the people Gluttony had consumed, so I'm guessing they are inside of Gluttony. However, that means that Gluttony is something very different than I expected. It is like he has some sort of pocket space within him but why? What's the eyeball about? Man, my head is buzzing with possibilities, too many to even begin to write down. ^_^;
The next surprise was Envy telling Dr. Marcoh the plan to turn Central City into a giant transmutation circle and kill all the people there. Since we know people are the main ingredient for a Philosopher's Stone, that's going to be one massive stone if it gets made. Then again, I think of that ruined city with the transmutation circle part that Ed found (Xerxes) and how it is said to have come to ruin rather quickly. Since homunculi can apparently live forever (though Wrath ages for some unknown reason), my mind says, "they brought the destruction of Xerxes." Well, I say "they" but since Father is the apparent leader of the homunculi, maybe he did it since he would be behind having Central City destroyed.
Anyway, now I know why Central City is shaped the way it is -- to facilitate this sacrifice.
We were introduced to Pride if only in voice. I'm told that Pride should have appeared earlier in the story already as a voice. It is strange but he seems to be the highest ranking homunculi. I say this because when we were introduced to the homunculi, Lust appeared in command. Then when Bradley was revealed to be Wrath, he appeared to be in command. Now with the voice of Pride and Bradley seeming to subject himself to it, Pride would appear to be in command. That would make sense to me in terms of a sin and God's words against the sin of pride.
Speaking of Bradley, it is so creepy to see him with a wife and adopted son. I kept thinking, "what would they say if they knew Bradley is a homunculus?" Then we come to the cliff hanger ending where Bradley comes right out at a meeting of military brass and says he is a homunculus and the military is fine with that. If that's the case, then it is very possible Bradley's wife and kid know the truth too and don't care. Either way, Mustang is in a bad position and I'm guessing that this is where he will be brought under control.
Where's Sloth? We've only seen a glimps of him and he wasn't doing much of anything but clearly he must be part of the plan of the homunculi.
Did I hear right? Mustang has a wife? That has to be code, right? Update: OK, I see I misunderstood. Raven mentioned the call from his wife. ^_^;
Finally, while there wasn't much comedy, Xiao Mei comes darn close to stealing the show a couple of times. The mini-panda being first attached to Mustang's face, then when everyone is fleeing, the mini-panda clinging to that streamer from Al's head. *lol* The production team are wise to keep Xiao Mei from stealing the show while at the same time letting the critter do her thing (I assume it is a she).
There is so much more I could write about regarding this episode. Unfortunately while my mind has been racing away, my fingers had no chance of keeping up on the keyboard. Probably just as well since I might have written a book. ^_^;