魔法先生 ネギま！Volume 31 Chapter 277 (manga)
Mahou Sensei Negima! Manga Chapter 277
SPOILER Summary/Synopsis: Nodoka watches as Craig is turned into large flakes. As the large, hooded mage chants a new incantation, Aisha rushes to push Nodoka out of the way only to be hit with a "Rewrite" and also dissolve into flakes.
Elsewhere, Natsumi and Kotaro race away and discuss the situation. Kotaro wants Natsumi to activate her pactio and laments they didn't have time to form pactios with the sports girls (Ako, Yuuna, Akira, and Makie). Kotaro tries to get Natsumi to tell him what she said after they formed the pactio (her love confession) as he didn't hear it, but she refuses. They are joined by Mama, who immediately congratulates Natsumi for confessing. As the trio continue on their way, Mama gives Natsumi some advice on staying ahead of rivals, which Natsumi protests since Kotaro is actually only ten. Natsumi notices Mama has stopped and she has one of the winged creatures. She crushes its skull but takes a blast just the same.
At the Plan B meet-up sight, Kaede safely brings the sports girls, who emerge from her cloak. Yuuna is frustrated that they didn't form a pactio so that they could help when two arena kids (Pira and Chin) spot them. Kaede is about to take them out as they are determined to report their finding to the authorities when Tosaka arrives and sets the two straight with his fist. He's letting them go as a fellow side-character so Ako offers her thanks and words about being the star of his own life. Before anything else can be said, a figure arrives with a key-staff. Tosaka attacks, but is blasted and dissolves into flakes.
Back in the main hall, a winged monster dissolves the group of soldiers into flakes. This stuns everyone and as Yue attempts to look up information about the key-staff, a summoned creatures with a key-staff arrives. Emily knocks Yue out of the way and takes a partial hit. Mana opens up but her bullets are hitting a powerful barrier, presumably created by the key-staff. As Yue tends to the injured Emily, Bea tries to take out the creature but fails. It readies another attack so Yue goes to Shield Emily as Mana opens fire again, finally breaching the monster's barrier and killing it.
Yue and Emily share some words when Yue is shot in the back by something emerging from a portal in the floor. The blast shreds part of her clothing but causes Emily to dissolve in to flakes.
Thoughts/Review: Man, in a very real sense, this is a pretty dark chapter though I do believe that all of those who've been "killed" will be brought back. Regardless, for now they are dead and the impacts of their deaths will no doubt cause a change of feelings for all those involved. As some of you have speculated, I too believe that all of Ala Alba combined with the sports girls will shift from attempting to flee to Earth to fighting back these dark forces on the Magic World.
That's not to say that Akamatsu-sensei made things really dark. He injected some humor and touched the Natsumi-Kotaro relationship thread, which was sweet and amusing. If Akamatsu-sensei keeps the group split up for a while, I hope Natsumi's feelings get explored more.
He also injected some sweetness with Ako's words with Tosaka and some humor as well when Akira realized what Kaede was about to do with Pira and Chin. *lol*
Also, Yue's and Emily's final moments were touching. Maybe this will be the shock that jolts Yue's memories back for good. Maybe.
Interesting that the summoned creature that targeted Emily initially held off the attack from Mana. I don't think that she expected it to have that kind of a barrier though she eventually broke it (even though it wasn't shown onscreen, I suspect Mana may have pulled out some barrier-breaking bullets from her ammo dump). Still, now that Mana has accepted the job from Shiori-Asuna, I expect her to continue to go all out in the fight as it continues.
Still, after Mana took out the first monster, I do find it interesting that a second one emerged to finish the job of eliminating Emily. I don't know if this is the case or not, but it does seem that Negi's comrades are being specifically targeted. Surely Fate doesn't think that by killing the friends Ala Alba has made that it would make them want to go home faster, does he? If not Fate, then Kurt maybe?
Nodoka is alone now, so it will be interesting to see what Akamatsu-sensei does with her. Does she snap and develop a new power-ability? Seems cliched but it is possible. Is she kept as a hostage? Also possible. Is she let go? Also possible. Is she turned into stone? I think that's very possible. We'll see though.
A lot of stuff going on and a good chapter even if darker with so many characters being taken out of the picture. Still, Akamatsu-sensei does a good job of not letting things get too dark.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
魔法先生 ネギま！Volume 31 Chapter 277 (manga)
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Sgt. Frog Manga Volume 18 <-- BUY FROM AMAZON! ^_^
With only two volumes published a year of Keroro Gunsou, it is easy to lose touch with characters and situations. Fortunately, it is pretty easy to get back into the swing of things, especially when the stories are of interest.
Things get started with a flashback prequel to volume 1 of the manga series, which features Momoka's first encounter with Fuyuki some two years before the alien invasion. Yoshizaki-sensei takes special effort to make Momoka look cute with longer hair, which she cuts off herself once her birthday party is ruined and she goes off on the Cosmic Fighting Dog before making Tamama her "pet." I liked seeing the story of how Tamama came into her household and how Momoka decided that Tamama would be her ticket to getting closer to Fuyuki. ^_^
The next story is a rather weak one with Keroro seeing how Natsumi doesn't like mosquitoes and deciding their next invasion plan will involve the platoon becoming mosquitoes.
Next up, Giroro decides to train the platoon with some underwater training at their base, resulting in Keroro, Kururu, and Tamama getting possessed by a sea pig. This causes Natsumi's and Koyuki's "ocean" fun to be interrupted and prompts a visit from Alisa-chan. The fun part about this episode is the return of Alisa-chan and her alien "father," Nebula. It had been a while since she's been a part of a story and so I liked having her back. The wrong part of this chapter is that Nebula becomes Alisa-chan's bikini, so it looks like his hands are cupping her breasts. *_* Oh well.
The next story is another weak one with Keroro coming up with some special paints for Natsumi's art project. I didn't get the joke at the end of this chapter at all.
I think that the next story is the highlight of this volume of the manga as Fuyuki ponders how today's world is not likely what the astronauts who went to moon would have expected. Keroro comes up with his latest scheme and has a hotel resort built on the moon, which allows Fuyuki to explore without a space suit and even meet another alien. I gather from this chapter that Yoshizaki-sensei misses the excitement of the days of the space race when the U.S. and the Soviets tried to outdo each other to get into space. Those were exciting times of exploration and advancement. Now, where are we? We haven't had a manned space flight leave earth orbit in decades and sadly it looks like it will be a very long time before there are any new flights. After all, our political leaders need to burn the cash that could be used in further space exploration to buy votes.
But I digress...
For the next story, Yoshizaki-sensei goes for a parody of the great James Cameron movie, Aliens, when Keroro decides the platoon needs to emulate aliens that humans would expect to find. It is just a fun story, especially as a fan of the Aliens movie.
Natsumi's and Koyuki's school trip is next up on the story line and this one is the longest story of this volume. As expected, the trip is to Kyoto, however Koyuki is warned that Tairen ninja clan did not disband as required by law and so there could be trouble. Sure enough, Koyuki gets caught up in the moment and loses Natsumi to this rouge ninja group, who end up being lead by Keron named Namumu. After a meeting with Kururu, Namumu has Natsumi released and Keroro buys the line that says that if you weed the entire Imperial Palace, you get to keep the place.
It seems that Yoshizaki-sensei is setting up a future conflict for the Keroro Platoon with this rogue ninja clan being secretly lead by Namumu, who appears human to them. Unlike other adventures, this one never really felt like it did more than go through the motions so I don't know that any future stories will work any better.
Finally, we have another prequel story taking place on Keron just prior to the invasion starting out. When Keron comes under attack from a strong alien-ship, Keroro accidentally saves the day and becomes a hero before they depart.
TokyoPop returns to better quality paper with this volume, thankfully. Man, I couldn't stand those flimsy volumes, which is where volume 17 fell.
Speaking of TokyoPop, I noticed that someone slipped up for a few pages and had Keroro address Fuyuki as "Fuyuki-dono" rather than the established "Master Fuyuki." Personally, I would rather have "Fuyuki-dono" (as well as "Natsumi-dono" instead of "Master Natsumi" and "Mama-dono" instead of "General Mom") but since the adapter of volume 1 went with "Master," subsequent volumes have chosen continuity over the actual honorific usage. OK, I can understand that even though it is not my preference. Thankfully, as new characters are introduced, they are allowed to use Japanese honorifics as normal.
Overall, this volume of the manga is pretty fun, though there's nothing really that funny when it comes to comedy. The Momoka prequel, the return of Alisa-chan, and the wistful look back at the days when humans started to leave the crib were all highlights for me.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Negima! 278 SPOILER Images
魔法先生 ネギま！Chapter 278 (Images)
Here's what I know many of you have been waiting for -- the original-sized, sneak-peek images for Mahou Sensei Negima! Chapter 278 SPOILER Images as brought to you buy anonymous Japanese fans (click pic to make bigger, y'all).
Goodbye for now, Jack Rakan.
Here are a couple of shots for the ad inside.
Update: Jesús reports the following regarding the above ad.
According to the latest issue of Weekly Shounen Magazine, the Ariadne (Yue) Arc will receive an anime adaptation. It will be released this Fall as a bonus episode to the ~Mô Hitotsu no Sekai~ OAD series.
Thanks Jesús. ^_^
You can find a couple of actual scans of the ad here.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Hagane no Renkinjutsushi - Fullmetal Alchemist Ep. 41
鋼の錬金術師 FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST Episode 41 review
Winry, Marcoh, Scar, Yoki, Zampano, Jerso, Mei Chan, and Xiao Mei continue their way through the mines, taking the time during breaks to discuss Scar's brother's research. Making their way through, they encounter Al, who warns them of the dangers in Briggs. As such, Scar decides to lead them to the town of Asbec, which has a Ishval refugee slum there. During the trip, Al collapses as his soul once again attempts to leave the armor it is attached to.
Back in Baschool, Ed objects to Major Miles plan to kill Kimblee and Kimblee's men as Kimblee decides to have his men search the town's mine shaft. Ed attempts to talk Kimblee into letting the Briggs soldiers search, leading Kimblee to reveal that he already knows he's the target of snipers. Ed battles Kimblee, who's aided by his two soldiers, who are also chimera. Ed manages to separate Kimblee from the larger philosopher's stone but doesn't realize Kimblee has a second one. Kimblee defeats Ed and escapes, severely injuring him and the two chimera. Ed uses alchemy to free the chimera from the rubble and they remove the beam from Ed's body, at which point he uses alchemy to seal the wound before passing out. The two chimera are not happy at having been discarded by Kimblee and take Ed out to find a doctor.
I got to tell you, BONES didn't really pull any punches when it came to the scene with Ed's being impaled. Wow. I felt they managed to capture the pain and sense of near loss of consciousness quite well with Ed's major injury. In any animated or drawn form of storytelling, there's usually a sense of separation from reality no matter how dramatic a scene is, even if there's a death. From time-to-time, an anime production teams brings the power of emotion through and provokes an emotional reaction from the audience. So even though this was an anime, I couldn't help but cringe as the two chimera soldiers pulled out the beam from Ed. It was brutal, bloody and felt very real. It is a moment like this that places Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood above your traditional shounen anime.
It was not unexpected that the ever crafty Kimblee sensed the Briggs soldiers were keen on killing him, nor that he apparently never completely bought the Scar kidnapping of Winry. I couldn't get a sense of how long the blizzard lasted, but with Winry and company having made it through the mountains, they have a huge head start on Kimblee. So I don't expect he'd catch them before they reach Asbec unless Al slows them down terribly.
The two chimera (Darius and Heinkel; I had to look the names up because I don't think they've been mention and I needed names) with Kimblee ended up switching sides but only because Kimblee nearly killed them and Ed saved them. I suppose this means that Zampano and Jerso legitimately switched sides too. I'd been suspicious of Zampano and Jerso changing sides before, but after this episode, I'm going to say that they are for real. The question for me then becomes, "After Darius and Heinkel get Ed to a doctor, are they going to stick around?" If the subject of getting their original bodies comes up, I'll say an easy "yes" but otherwise, I really couldn't say. It would be more dangerous for them personally if they didn't go into hiding since they'd be AWOL. We'll see what happens. After all, they have Kimblee's other philosopher's stone.
Speaking of Ed, I really liked the frank conversation between himself and Miles over the idea of killing Kimblee, Darius, and Heinkel. In a strange way, both Miles and Ed were proven right and wrong about things. Had Miles been able to take out Kimblee, Darius, and Heinkel, that would obviously save a lot of grief in the future. One doesn't leave an enemy to live lest that enemy come back to get you in the end. On the other hand, since Miles wasn't able to take them out, Darius and Heinkel ended up saving Ed's life, showing Ed was right about them to a degree. I say Miles was more correct in this situation but that's neither here nor there.
I don't know if it means anything, but Al's latest episode where his soul was being summoned out of his armor was shown to happen about the time Ed got impaled by the metal beam. I found the timing interesting considering their joint trip to the Door of Truth but I'm not sure if I should read more into this or not.
It was weird that the guy pretending to be Al just disappeared from the episode. I know the point of showing him was to show how Ed covered for Al's having gone after Winry and company. However, I couldn't help but notice how he just disappeared from the episode.
Interesting that Hohenheim turns out to be the person (Philosopher of the West) who taught the people of Xing alchemy (well, it is HEAVILY implied that he is, so I'm assuming this to be the case). However, it is strange that they use alkahestry and the people of Amestris use alchemy. I say this because if Hohenheim taught the people of Xing alkahestry, then surely Father-Homunculus taught the people of Amestris alchemy (the Philosopher of the East). One would think that alchemy is alchemy and that what Hohenheim knew, Father would know. Apparently not since Father could not control Mei Chan's nor Scar's abilities and indeed seemed surprised by them.
So as usual, another good episode here. ^_^
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
うる星やつら episode 127 (TV anime)
Urusei Yatsura Ep. 127 review
SPOILER Summary/Synopsis: After surviving Lum electrocuting Ataru and Ten-chan as they all slept, Lum and Ataru are on a class field trip to pick pears. Ten-chan invites himself on the trip and is whacked by Ataru as a result. Ten-chan flies and knocks the intelligent chestnut Kuriko, causing the intelligent pear Chojuro to be dismayed as they are in love. Later, Lum picks Chojuro and in a fit of jealousy, flings the pear at Ataru. Stuck to his head, Ataru begins calling for "Kuriko-san." Lum follows and finds Ataru and Ten-chan hugging as Kuriko has attached herself to Ten-chan's head.
After fighting causes Kuriko to fall off Ten-chan's head and after Sakura-sensei has explained the situation to Lum, she decides to try to put Kuriko on her own head, but Ataru thwarts her. Ataru decides to put the chestnut on Sakura-sensei's head. Despite the feelings of love Kuriko has, Sakura-sensei is revolted. After becoming loose from her head, Kuriko lands on Ryuunosuke's head with similar results. Kuriko then ends up on Megane's head to both his and Ataru's revulsion since they are forced to embrace. A similar thing happens when Shuutaro happens on the scene. Finally a solution is reached whereby the two lover fruits attach themselves to Ataru's head, making Lum happy but Ataru furious.
Thoughts/Review: This was a fairly predictable episode, but that didn't stop it from being rather funny after a boring introduction with Cherry and Kotatsu-neko. Lets face it, we all know that Ataru would try to take advantage of the situation and get Kuriko on the head of women he lusts for. So when Koriko instead first lands on Ten-chan, then on Megane, then on Shuutaro, that is oh so wrong and oh so funny with Ataru being forced to get close to guys. *lol* Yeah, the joke had already been done before with the lipstick, but it still worked in this present form. ^_^
To be honest, I had expected the story to have Kuriko eventually end up on Lum's head, where she and Ataru would kiss or the like. That didn't happen for whatever reason. I suppose it was a little too obvious and since the possessed still retained some cognitive abilities, I guess it wouldn't have worked. Well, at least Lum tried to do it.
The other funny moment that just sprang into my head is the class singing the current OP theme for Urusei Yatsura and the principal singing along with as well, much to Onsen-sensei's dismay.
Beyond that, not a whole lot to say. Fun, funny, wrong, and obviously an entertaining episode.
Ah! My Goddess Manga/Oh My Goddess! Manga
ああっ女神さまっVolume 40 Chapter 253
SPOILER Summary/Synopsis: In the utter darkness, Keiichi starts to panic, which is what Ebony wanted. However, feeling Belldandy grab him and knowing she probably has a worried look on her face, Keiichi starts to relax. When Ebony steps next to him to taunt him a bit, Keiichi shouts at her, figuring that to be similar to a flash bomb. Skuld gets into the act with her chemical reaction Skuld Air Bomb. While the explosion does ring Ebony's ears, because it exploded behind her, her eyes were unaffected.
As Hagal explains what is going on to the young mazoku girl, Skuld attempts to flee but finds her whole body shaking and she's knocked out. Belldandy tells Keiichi not to get separated from her as Glühen Desherzen brings the unconscious Urd and Skuld to Belldandy. He explains to Keiichi that upon entering the room, he'd mapped it out and having absolute spacial coordinates, he knows where they are. Now that Urd and Skuld are close at hand, Belldandy casts a spell. She warns Keiichi not to move and this is reinforced by Glühen Desherzen who tells Keiichi he'll be blown away if he does. That's because Belldandy has cast a massive wind spell and they are in the eye of the storm.
Thoughts/Review: Ah. So Keiichi thought as I did -- attack with sound. It sorta worked but it sorta didn't as Ebony "sees" sound somehow. Interesting. That's sorta how the blind Daredevil of Marvel Comics moved around by gaining a visual image thanks to sound.
Anyway, Skuld's attack failed only because it didn't go off in front of Ebony. So what kind of attack did Ebony use on Skuld to knock her out? I'm guessing it would have to be sonic based based on what we've seen thus far and how Ebony's mouth was drawn.
Belldandy's wind solution is an interesting one. After all, not only would the strong winds very likely blow Ebony away, the noise of the winds might make her blind as well. However, I can't see Ebony being defeated quite so easily and for some reason, I think back to when Mara was first introduced and attempted to get at Keiichi. Belldandy raised a different kind of barrier then but it was already too late as Mara was already inside. I suppose Ebony could get in before the wind barrier-sweep (since it is such a large wind attack) and they wouldn't know it since they wouldn't be able to see her. We'll see what Fujishima-sensei does though.
Still, this chapter has me wondering what the smeg Hagal is planning. Why stage such an elaborate event for the ones assisting Hild, whom she dethroned? I suppose there's the entertainment aspect of it since she's able to observe the whole thing, but there doesn't seem to be any logic to this. I suppose I'll just have to wait and see how things go.
We did get to see the little mazoku girl again. Interesting that Fujishima-sensei used her as an exposition device to help the audience better understand what was going on.
Not much else to say though I do find this latest story pretty interesting.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Yotsuba&!, Manga Vol. 7 <--BUY FROM AMAZON!
Time to get the latest Yotsuba&! goodness. ^_^
Things get started with Ena showing Yotsuba the fun of a cup-phone connected with string. Miura gets in on the fun and the line is eventually tossed between Yotsuba's house and the Ayase home. I never made one of these phones as a kid so I've no experience in the subject, but I do know about them. The fun part of the chapter is Fuuka getting busted using the cup-phone to talk to Koiwai-san and then Asagi deciding to use Yotsuba as "e-mail" by taping an envelope of pictures to Yotsuba's back and sending her to deliver it to her father.
In the next story, Yotsuba and Ena pay a visit to Miura's apartment high rise, which Yotsuba assumes is all Miura's. Miura then rides her unicycle to the park with Yotsuba and Ena. Not much to say here beyond smiling at how Yotsuba mistakes the apartment tower for a single home. Miura's remarks about being a poor princess (because she can't afford a whole bike) made me smile too.
Yotsuba gets sick in the next story, meaning the fun trip to the ranch is canceled to her dismay. One of the things I remember about being sick is how my parents, specifically my mom, allowed me to do things we wouldn't normally get to do. My mom has always been a firm believer in eating healthy and so as kids, we ate healthy. For beverages, we had orange juice at breakfast, milk and lunch and dinner, and water anytime else, save on very special occasions. When sick, we got to drink apple juice and ginger ale too, which always made being sick a little more tolerable. *lol*
Yotsuba may not have gotten that, but she too received special treatment by having her futon moved to in front of the TV. ^_^ Also, I couldn't help but feel her extreme disappointment at not getting to go on the trip.
One more thing on this part of the story, I did laugh at Yotsuba's belief that "coffee milk" came from black cows. My one set of grandparents owned a huge farm and thus had cows, chickens, hogs, and the likes in addition to crops. As such, I knew that milk came from cows, but my grandparents did not have black cows. So one afternoon as we are driving someplace, I see a field of black cows and the thought occurred to me that this must be where the chocolate milk in the store came from. I told my grandparents this and naturally they thought that was funny, especially my grandfather. Good memories.
Continuing with the manga, Yotsuba gets properly introduced to Fuuka's friend Shimauu (aka: "Miss Stake" in the English adaptations), who's real name is Hiwatari. Together, the three decide to make a cake and do some dancing in the process. Not really much to say here but still a fun read.
The next story is Yotsuba's solo trip to the nearby convenience store to buy some instant ramen for the both of them and she ends up having to give up something when she doesn't have enough money to buy two instant ramen and the candy she wants. I chucked at what she ended up giving up but at the same time, I was reminded of a similar event from my own youth, only at a festival event at the private high school attached to our private elementary school. I was told I had enough money for a popcorn and soft drink but it turned out to be short. So the students working the booth gave me a partial bag of popcorn and a partial cup of coke. I was always suspicious that maybe those "big kids" were cheating me but popcorn and coke were good, even if I didn't get all I wanted. *lol*
The final story is the largest and doesn't appear to be complete at the manga's end -- Yotsuba's trip to a ranch. Yotsuba, Jumbo, Yanda, and Koiwai-san take the trip where Yotsuba learns about sheep, cows, milk, ice cream, and more. I so loved this story starting with Yotsuba's and Yanda's continued clashes and continuing with the wonder as Yotsuba sees farm animals up close. I laughed out loud when she clocked the sheep that head-butted her and how she was close to clocking a cow to prove she wasn't afraid. *lol* I also was very amused at Yotsuba's attempt to make it "tomorrow" quicker by going to bed very early, only to wake up and discover it is still "yesterday." *lol*
I'm really glad Yen Press picked up this series because it is such a delight for me to read. As I've said, every time I pick up a volume to try working on a review, I end up rereading the whole thing instead of writing. *lol* I just can't say enough good things about this manga and I look forward to the next volume when it comes out.
This is old, but in Japan, Microsoft and Burger King did a promotional for Windows 7.
All I got to say is, "Where's the cheese?" ^_^;
Each patty is a quarter-pound (~113 grams) so you do the math. Here's a video of someone eating this sucker.
Ouch. I love cheeseburgers, but even if this monster had cheese, it would be way too much. Certainly, my love of a good cheeseburger wouldn't be enough to get me to buy Windows 7, at least not until the first batch of bugs have been fixed. *lol*
Thanks to LH for the share. ^_^
Monday, January 25, 2010
Hagane no Renkinjutsushi - Fullmetal Alchemist Ep. 40
鋼の錬金術師 FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST Episode 40 review
The Führer summons Major General Armstrong to Central to question her on the disappearance of General Raven. Colonel Mustang encounters General Armstrong and after being rejected to go on a date, Mustang makes a flower offer which she seems to accept. Roy then heads to the mess to have dinner with Riza. She does not talk openly for fear of her shadow, but code-speaks to Roy to let him know that Selim is a homunculus.
Meanwhile, Armstrong admits to Bradley to removing Raven as he talked to much, telling her the truth of what was going on without her asking to include what Bradley really is. King Bradley is impressed with her attitude and agrees to let her sit on the military council but he will be the one to send her replacement to Briggs. In Briggs, the soldiers stationed there may have lost their leader, but are still united in their opposition to the Central people coming in.
Elsewhere, Hohenheim remembers his past when he was a slave named "23" in the kingdom of Xerxes. A life-form in a sealed flask speaks with 23 and calls himself 'Little One Inside the Flask -- Homunculus." After revealing its creation from 23's blood, it gives the slave the name Van Hohenheim and teaches the young man so that eventually, he becomes free and learns alchemy. The king of Xerxes is getting old and wants the secret of immortality, which Homunculus promises. After creating the giant transmutation circle around Xerxes and causing the blood disturbances via violence, Homunculus is with Hohenheim when they begin the transmutation. However, because Homunculus tricked the king, only Hohenheim and Homunculus survive. Homunculus now has an identical body to Hohenheim and Hohenheim is now a living Philosopher's Stone.
Hohenheim encounters Izumi and her husband at a town where he repairs some of the damage to her organs. Back in Baschool, Ed has a conversation with Major Miles about philosopher stones.
I liked how General Armstrong dealt with Bradley when he demanded an answer about General Raven. Coming right out and admitting that she dealt with Raven while appearing to be so ambitious as to want Raven's job has her in character as a tough broad but keeps her mostly safe, I think. Her not objecting to someone else being given command of Briggs helps too. I'm guessing she knows how her troops feel about her and that if the crap goes down, Buccaneer and the others will rally to Armstrong should she call.
So, Roy and Olivier finally meet. I loved the moment since neither gave anything away as Roy makes a pass at her and she rejects him in a way that we expect her to do. Having already received a message via the florist, his words about flowers and her reaction felt right as well. Again, if any homunculi were around, there'd be nothing to give them away in their code speak.
I smiled at Riza and Roy having lunch together. The episode implied that maybe Selim is in Riza's shadow. Whether he is or not, Riza's fear is enough to cause her to be cautious and that's fine. However, their conversation was a little unnatural as they spoke in code. I'm going to guess that either Pride wasn't monitoring Riza or their conversation didn't trigger any alarms now that Roy knows Selim is a homunculus. Too bad he doesn't know just how bad of a homunculi Selim is as Pride. ^_^;
It was very interesting seeing Hohenheim's past and connection with Xerxes . I was never really sure how Hohenheim should be classified and now I know -- a giant philosopher's stone. Whoa! I had no idea that he was that old nor that he had lived in Xerxes. However, this does explain what he did a few episodes ago when he sent some of his blood by name into the earth.
The question I have though is Father-Homunculus. We have the explanation as to why Father looks like Hohenheim, but I'm still at a loss for his initial creation. I understand that blood from Hohenheim, as the numbered slave, played a role in the creation of "Homunculus," but I'm not clear on how Father-Homunculus came to life. So I did a bit of research and discovered that in the second act of Goethe's Faust, an artificial life form named Homunculus is created and it lives in a flask for a time. So I'm guessing that Arakawa-sensei used the Faust story as a basis for the story in the manga, which is then used in the anime. I kinda wish I knew a bit more about the Faust story.
Yay for the return of Izumi. Since she's part of Father's plans, there was never any doubt that she would return somehow.
So, another good episode here. Looks like there will be troubles in Briggs before long and with Olivier in Central, Roy's own plans should continue to move forward.