Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood ~ Episode 1

I was at the store yesterday and some guy came up to me and complimented my worn and ragged Fullmetal Alchemist purse I've been carrying around for four years. He also asked me if I'd seen the new series. New series? What? I've been out of the anime loop way too long.

Yes. A new series. Supposedly a little darker and follows the manga more closely. I had a slight hesitation towards watching it. The original series is one of my favorite animes ever. Yeah, it doesn't follow the manga and the ending was kind of weird, but I loved it. I still think it's one of the best animes out there. So it's with a slight hesitation that I watch the new one.

The character designs are pretty much the same. Ed was prettied up from the manga for the first series, he's not as prettied up here, looking more like manga Ed. The only thing I really don't like is all the characters hair has outlines that are a darker shade of the haircolor. I hate that style. I like my anime hair to have black outlines, Dammit! It reminds me of the old cartoon dollz of yesteryear who's bodies and clothes had black outlines but the hair did not.

Ugly, right? Anywho...

It starts off with some dude named Isaac MacDougal creating chaos all over Central. I'm not remembering this from the manga. But lucky for the fuhrer Mustang and Ed are there to try to thwart his evil plans. Ole Ike is the Freezing Alchemist and apparently did the same dirty deeds in Ishbal with Mustang and Armstrong. Ed fights MacDougal and MacDougal pulls a Scar on him and tries to boil all the water in his arm, which the audience is supposed to be surprised to find out is automail and that Ed can transmute without a transmutation circle. I feel like shouting I know! I know! This has been done already! But then, this is a new series, so everything has to be reintroduced to us and I need to shut my mouth.

MacDougal mistakes Al for the Fullmetal Alchemist and makes the double mistake of calling Ed short, which sends him intoa hissy fit. They catch the criminal and one of the guards also mistakes Al for Fullmetal. Ed goes off by himself to fix his jacket that got torn with alchemy. I alsways wondered how when his jacket got ripped so many times he was in the scene with it in tact. One mystery solved.

As they're leading the prisoner away he steps into a puddle and uses his steam powers to knock out all the guards and get away. Mustang berrates Ed for letting him get away, telling him he should've listened to the breifing and explains who Isaac the Freezer is. Isaac got the shittiest nickname. Mustang asks in a teasing way if Ed's found any leads on how to get his body back to normal and in comes Hughes.

Yay! I love Hughes! It's so nice to see him alive. I wonder how far into it he'll die... I watched the original first season when it aired on Cartoon Network before it went to crap (Cartoon Network, not FMA, though some might say otherwise) and I kept myself far far away from any spoilers and totally didn't see his death coming. The funeral made me cry. *sniffle*

Hughes is apparently meeting Ed and Al for the first time and also mistakes Al for Fullmetal and quickly invites the boys to stay with him and his family since they don't have a place to stay in Central yet. He's quick to brandish a photograph of Gracia and Elicia. They have a lively dinner in which Al watches Ed eat and Elicia, in her three year old wisdom asks Ed why he's so much smaller than Al if Al's younger.

McDougal breaks into Central Prison and invites crazy psychopathic Kimbly to join him on his holy crusade. Apparently he's got a beef with King Bradley about the Ishbal Massacre. Kimbly laughs at him because he's crazy like that and McDougal goes on his merry way.

Back at the Hughes homestead he can't sleep and talks to Gracia about the Elrics. He's sad Ed already has to deal with being a dog of the military at the tender age of 15. Upstairs Ed and Al discuss how they want to get their bodies back. Ed has his hair down. It's cute. I always wished he had his hair down in the original series. Outside McDougals drawing circles at various locations across Central. The commercial break things are shots of various characters with a very American accented guy saying Fullmetal Alchemist in various ways. Kind of...weird...

An order to kill McDougal is given from the Fuhrer and the entire entourage of state alchemists are out to find him. It's Armstrong who does. He's still got his sparklies, but they're a salmon kind of color and bigger. I liked them in the first series better. Mustang eventually corners him on a rooftop but before he can do his fire attack at him McDougal squirts him with a bunch of water, telling him fire can never beat water. It's true. He runs away and ignites his transmutation circles, which causes a sheet of ice to flow through the city, creating huge transmutation circle with HQ right in the middle. Ed and Al go to stop him and Armstrong destroys the separate trasmutation circles. It kind of amuses me that if you fast forward through the series they'd be on the same side as this McDougal dude.

They fight and McDougal knocks Al's head off. Shock! Al's an empty suit of armor. Oh my. McDougal figures out from Al's body and Ed's missing limb that they attempted the taboo of their world, human transmutation. We get a quick flashback of Ed as a kid with his leg missing boding Al's spirit to the suit of armor. Ed's hair is different, but then I think they were younger than they were in the first series. Ed gets pissed and the two fo them rough him up, knocking him down the sheet of ice. McDougal freezes his blood and uses it as a spear to puncture Ed, rambling about how they don't understand what's really going on in the country. He walks off laughing maniacally.

The soldiers try to destroy the ice but their weapons are useless against it. Mustang soaking wet, uses his flame to destroy it. McDougal wanders down an alley and runs into King Bradley himself and the show gets all stylishly black and white, the only color the red blood running down McDougal's arm. He procures another blood spear and goes after him but Bradley, in one flick of his sword, slices through it and McDougal almost too fast for the eye to see. A little drop of red floats away from McDougals body and disappears. A drop of the philosopher's stone, perhaps? Maybe he never gave back the ring he had in Ishbal.

Kimbly's not too sad to hear of the Freezer's *snort* passing. Mustang and Armstrong destroy the sheets of ice and the transmutation circles. We get a quick shot of some old guy's face. It doens't look like Ed and Al's father or his evil twin. Bradley acts too humble about taking him down and gives Mustang and Ed most of the credit. Ed's in the hospital (a scene you'll many many times) and Armstrong comes bearing the gift of flowers. He takes off his shirt and flexes his muscles to alieve their boredom. I love Armstrong. The boys are understandably weirded out by this.

We get a creepy scene where Lust is talking to someone on the phone, being told that Isaac is dead. It's all stylized in black and red and looking really cool. She scolds Gluttony for eating whatever it is he is eating (it's probably best that we don't know) and says things are going well in Liore (which is where the first series and the manga both begin!) and how it will all begin soon. Oooooh.... So ambiguous.....

Overall I liked it. I liked it more the second time watching it because it wasn't such a shock. It seems like it has a faster pace than the first series, which was pretty fast at times to begin with. I'll watch more. I only wish their hair had black outlines.

What confuses me though is that they prelude the episode on the funimation site with a commercial for Veet. Isn't this geered more towards teenage boys?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Enemy Within, Part 7

Last Time: Dawn is now a suspect in her sister's murder. Debbie's dead. And Gracie has found out that her daughter crossed dimensions and is somewhere in this world. What can possibly happen next?

Chapter 24: Day of the Dead

Dawn was sitting quietly in between Justin and Shari. Melanie was too upset to come. [I wonder if Dan came.]

“Ashes to Ashes and Dust to Dust,” Dawn heard the minister say.

“I can’t believe Debbie’s gone,” she heard Shari murmer.

Niether can I, she thought. Deborah Larson is dead. Debbie. My friend Debbie is dead. [She sounds more upset than she was at her own sisters funeral.]

“It’s a nice funeral,” Dawn heard someone say to Debbie’s mom. “Debbie would have liked it.”

“The things people say at funerals,” she said. [I'm pretty sure this next little passage is lifted from a Fear Street book.]

“Well I think people are just very uncomfortable at funerals so they don’t know what the hell to say.”

“Maybe you’re right. People said some really weird things to me at Chloe’s funeral.”

Chloe’s funeral.

Debbie’s funeral.

Two people dead already. [What about Savannah Delony from Chapter 13?] They say bad luck travels in threes. And if that’s true, who’s next?

* * * * *

That night Dawn found herself having another dream. In the dream she saw a girl. A girl that looked familiar, but not too familiar. She was saying something.

“One bright day on a sunny night, two dead boys stood up to fight back to back. They faced each other, pulled out their swords, and shot each other. The deaf policeman heard the noise, ran right over, and shot the dead boys. If you don’t believe my lie is true, then ask the blind man, he saw it too.” [What this was supposed to symbolically represent, I haven’t a clue. I’m just as lost as you are.]

Now what did that mean?” Dawn didn’t know. Not now anyways.

As the dream continued the figure of the girl changed. She was no longer the girl Dawn had recognized. She was Debbie Larson. In the flesh.

“Dawn,” she murmered.


“Yes. It’s me. I need to talk to you.”

“To me? About what?”

“About my killer.” [What else?]

“You’re killer?”

“Yes. Dawn, do you know where your mother is?”

“Yes. She’s in the master bedroom with my father.”

“No no no no no,” Debbie shook her head. “Better yet do you know who your mother is?”

“Yes, I do. It’s Joan Sullivan.”

“No Dawn, or should I [say] Julie.” [I think Julie’s just as slow as her mom, too.]

Dawn’s eyes went wide. “How do you know about that, Debbie?”

“I’m dead, Dawn. I know all.” she paused and looked down at Dawn. “Do you know what that poem ment?”

“What poem?”

“One bright day on a sunny night, two dead boys stood up to fight back to back. They faced each other, pulled out their swords, and shot each other. The deaf policeman heard the noise, ran right over, and shot the dead boys. If you don’t believe that my lie is true, then ask the blind man, he saw it too.”

“But what does it mean?” [Wouldn’t we all like to know?]

“That’s for me to know, and for you to find out.”


Debbie cut her off. “Someone’s being murdered right this second, so expect a visit from the police.”

“But Debbie--”

“Shut up Dawn. Your cousin sela is coming to stay with you. Is that correct?”

“Yes, but--”

“How well do you know her Dawn?”

“Not real well, but--”

“Just think about what I’ve just told you. And think about Sela, and how well you know her.” [Doesn’t that fall under the category of what you just told her?]

Dawn made her way over to the corner. The blood looked fresh. Smelled fresh too. And then it hit her. It’s the body of the person who’s getting killed. I have got to figure out who it is. As she turned the corner the stench of rotted meat filled her nostrils. The closer she got to the body, the worse the stench got. And when she finally saw it. . . . . .

* * * * *

Dawn woke up screaming. She quickly stopped and got her phone on the other side of the room. Then her parents, and Dean walked in.

“Is something the matter honey,” her mother said. [One of your daughter’s was killed, and a friend of your other daughters was killed. Of course there’s something wrong!]

“There’s got to be Mom. She starts screaming blood murder two a.m and you think even for a moment that nothing’s wrong!” Dean said. Everyone just stared at him. “What?” [I hope he ends up dead, too.]

“Nice choice of words, Dean.” [You think she would be more horrified or something, considering her daughter died in a “bloody murder.”]

“Yeah,” Dawn agreed.

Jus then Liegh starded crying. “I’ll go tend to Liegh,” said her mother. And Joan Sullivan left.

Then Dawn dialed 268-1764 [I wonder who’s reversed phone number this was…] Someone picked up on the first ring. It was Shana Mallone. [Remember Clea Mallone? She was oh-so tactful at Chloe’s funeral.]

“Hello,” Shana said.

“Hi Shana, is Clea there?”

“I don’t know where she is. Why don’t you talk to my Devon. He might know where Clea is.” Dawn heard Shana call to her brother. And she herd the phone being exchanged to Devon. I pray to God she’s not dead.

“Hello,” he said. His voice sounded raspy and strained. As if he had been crying!

“Hi, do you know where Clea is?” she asked casually, just as if she didn’t know what was coming.

“Look, Dawn,” he paused as if he were gaining the strength to tell her what she didn’t already know. “Clea’s dead.”

“What?” Dawn said surprised. Even though she has known that this was coming, it still surprised her to hear the words being spoken out loud. Then she hung up, and looked up to see that her father Jake had gone. [What a caring dad.] Only Dean remained.

He walked over and sad next to her on the bed. “Is something bothering you Dawn?” He asked, concerned. [Do you mean besides the death of your sister and her friends?]


“Do you want to talk about it?”


“Well go ahead. I’m listening.”

“I’d just like to warn you. My story is a little far-fetched. And I don’t think that you’ll believe very much of it.”

“Try me.” [I wonder if he’s a weird dimension transporting evil spirit too.]

“Well. . . . . . There’s so much to tell. I don’t know where to being.”

“Why don’t you start at the beginning?”

“But it’ll take all night.”

“So, I’ve got all night.”

“Well first of all, for you to even partly understand you have to deal with one little fact.”

“And what’s that Delta.”

“I’m not your sister.”

“What are you talking about? Of course you’re my sister. We’re fraternal twins.”

“Yes I know. You and Dawn are fraternal twins. But you and I aren’t.”

“What the hell does that mean?”

“You’ll understand in due time. My real name is Julie Marie Deck. I was born in the year 1897. I am the only daughter of Frank and Gracie Deck. [Awww. It wasn’t asexual reproduction after all.] And my mother--Gracie--had a best friend named Lauren Sanders. I always called her Aunt Lauren.”

“Okay.” [You’re effing nuts…]

“Well one day my mother went out with Aunt Lauren for some reason, and I got bored, so I followed them. I heard then arguing about something in the rose garden. It was something about me I think. I can’t remember. It happened ninety-seven years ago. Well, there was this thing--this gateway. It was just there. I can’t explaine it. [Which is probably why I never tried to give it a real description.] It was greyish-whitish, and blackish. It was so weird. It looked like the inside of a twister. Know what I mean?”

“No, not really. But keep going.”

“Well, after they went through, I followed them. When I got to the other side, they weren’t there. I had no idea where I was so I just wandered around for two years. It’s a miracle that I survived, really it is. One day this childless couple found me and took care of me. I guess I forgot what had happened to me, so I forgot my name. [Never mind the fact that you were, you know, two!]

“They named me Roberta. Called me Bobbie for short. I got married when I was twenty-three. We had no children. I died when I was sixty-one. In the year 1958. But you see, you can only truly be dead if you die in your own dimension. You see, Chloe and Debbie [Never mind Clea…] are truly dead because they died here in their own dimension.”

“So you can’t die?”

“Yes I can. But not by a mortal. No, it has to be a being--like me--to kill another being--like Gracie or Lauren. [Ummm…no? Gracie and Lauren have been trying to kill each other for ninety-seven years and it hasn’t worked yet.]

“As my travel through the century went on, I realized on little fact.”

“And what’s that Delta?”

“Anyone in the world could be like me.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well you see. There’s another dimension every two feet. [How does she know all this? She wasn’t in purgatory when the dude in charge of all this explained all this crap to Gracie and Lauren. And she doesn’t seem intelligent enough to figure it all out on her own.] And if you really think about it--that’s one hell of a lot of dimensions. So that means that if a gateway could open up in a world that was as significant as mine [So are all the other dimensions insignificant?], a lot, more could open up in a different dimensions. Get it Dean?” [Fuck no.]

“I think so. [He’s taking this way way too well. Or maybe he’s just humoring her.] But where are Gracie and Lauren now?”

“Gracie’s in Jenni’s body.”

Deans eyes went weide. “Jenni’s body?” He said surprised at the idea that sweet innocent little Jenni could possibly have a monster like Gracie in her. [I think he wants to bone Jenni.]

“What about Lauren?”

“I don’t know. I have tried tracking her down. [When?] But I just haven’t been able to.”

“Wow,” Dean muttered. “That was on hell of a story.” [Was this my sideways compliment to myself for coming up with this convoluted piece of crap?]

“Yes, I know Dean, but you must realize that that wasn’t just a story. That was the god damn truth. I didn’t make it up. I told you exactly how it all happened.”

“It’s just that it’s strange.”

“I agree completely. My life is Indeed a strange one.” [Indeed.]

And as she said that she couldn’t bear to overlook the strange feeling that had suddenly crept over her. Did she know what that feeling was? No. But it would come to her. It would come to her. It would come to her. In her darkest moment of despair.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Enemy Within, Part 6

So Dawn met her crazy murdering friend in the middle of the night and guess what? Someone died. Yeah, her sister. She goes to the funeral and attempts to find a deep meaning akin to the recent tragedy in her live in the words of a bad poem from a 90's MTV cartoon. He friend Debbie's also murdered and she's taken in for custody. Will the cop let her go? Is Gracie really the killer? And why is Jenni still herself while Gracie's inhabiting her body when Que Ellen wasn't at all?

Chapter 21: Lauren’s Triumph

I can’t believe how beautifully my play worked, Lauren thought. Now little Julie is behind bars. [Now how on earth can she know that Dawn’s Julie?] And her own mother framed her. Gracie is gonna love this. [Somehow I doubt that.] But first I have to find her. Now where the hell do the Millers live.

Lauren walked around for a while until she found a phone booth. Now let’s see, Miller. Miletello, Milcs, Milaci, Millar, uh-huh. Miller. Only one? Gee, I thought that name was more used that than. Let’s see, the number’s 707-4764 [Which must’ve been someone’s actual number backwards, because the 467 beginning was extremely common around here when I was a kid.] She dialed the number. It wrang six times.


“Hi Jenni.”

“Who is this?”

“An old friend of the murderers. Let me talk to Gracie.”

“Hello Lauren. What the hell do you want?”

“I just wanted to let you know a little something about a little girl.”

“that’s nice Lauren. But really, I have stuff to do. [Stuff as in kill more innocent people because you‘re a bitter old hag?] So if you don’t mind--” Lauren cut her off.

“A little something about a little girl by the name of Julie Marie Deck.”

“Lauren, what about Julie?”

“Bye Gracie.”

“But Lauren!”

Lauren hung up. This is so fun. Well time to go leave sighns around Gracie about Julie. One day she’ll thank me. I know she will. She has to. There’s no way she can’t.

* * * * *

Dawn slouched low in her seat at the County Jail. What are they going to do to me? She thought. A police detective who went by the name of Adams was investigating her case. Dawn had to admit to herself that she was developing a crush on him. [Well, I think it’s safe to say she’s over Dan now.]

“Now Ms. Sullivan.”

“Dawn please.”

“Okay Dawn. Do you understand that Watkins screwed up the order that you were just supposed to be brought in for questioning. Not to be arrested.” [What? That‘s such a dues ex machina!]


“That’s good. Now where exactly were you when Chloe Sullivan--your sister [Because she needs to be reminded]--was murdered?”

“I’m not a suspect, am I?”

“No. Just answer the question.”

“I was about a quarter mile down the lake talking to my best friend Jenni.”

“What’s the girls full name?”

“Jennifer Miller.” she paused waiting for him to ask her another question.

“Can she verify this fact?”

“I’m not sure.” [Yes Dawn, tell him all about the other person living inside her and her how she conveniently has blackouts when people die. Why don’t you tell him she was drunk or something. That‘s way more believable.]

“What do you mean you’re not sure?”

“It’s just things.”

“What kinds of things.”

“She has blackouts.”


“Yeah, and I’m pretty sure she had one that night.” [Isn’t that a convenient alibi.]


“Am I a suspect?” [You are now.]

“Well, you were the last one to see her alive.”

“But you just said that I wasn’t.”

“And you just asked.” [What does that mean?]

“But why would I kill her? She was my sister. I loved her. And Debbie was my friend.”

“I never said you were a suspect Dawn. If your friend Ms. Miller can verify this fact, no. But if not, yes. You may leave now. Have a good day.” [Don’t offer to give her a ride home. Or call her mom.]

She got up to leave. How can I have a good time when I’m a suspect in my friends and my very own sisters murder. I can never have a good day again. I have to find Gracie. Then I’ll see what’s really going on. And she’ll see who I really am. [Does this mean Dawn's known the entire time??]

Chapter 22: 1899

Julie Deck slipped passed the watchful eye of her babysitter with flying colors as she made herself outside to find her mother.

Julie found them a little while later in the gardens. They were talking. Talking about some sort of gateway. She watched them talk and argue for a little while longer. Then they were gone. Julie couldn’t see them anymore, for they had gone through the gateway. This strang swirling gateway. It wasn’t like any other kind of gateway that she had ever seen. It was far different. It didn’t open and close, it was just swirling around in endless circles. [Finally, something resembling a description!]

Where did Mommy and Aunt Lauren go, Julie thought. I want my mommy back. The gateway took her. But it’s not going to keep her. I’ll fight it if I have to. Then Julie kicked at it. [It’s almost cute.] But instead of getting her mother back, she went through it. Into the dimension of eternal hell and damnation. . . . .

* * * * *

She woke up with a thump, for the gateway had chewed her up for several minutes then spit her out into a land that was unlike her own.

For two years Julie wandered around aimlessly. It was by far a miracle that she had survived. But when she was four, a couple who were in their late twenties found her an took care of her. For they had no children of their own, they were more than happy to give her a home. She called them her parents and had completely forgotten what happened those first four years of her life by the time she was twenty-six, when she got married to Jimmy Snyder. Her “parents” never knew her real name so they called her Roberta. Bobbi for short.

Bobbi and Jimmy didn’t have any kids.

For the remainder of her natural life she had a good time. After Jimmy died, she was so upset, that she killed herself. [She’s a lot like her mother, don’t you think?]

After that, she wandered around for a while, and started to remember who she was and as the centuries wore on, she started to enter peoples bodies, like her mother, and her mother’s best friend.

Then, in 1981, she entered the body of Joan Sullivan, who was pregnant with twins. A boy and a girl. And when Joan had the twins, Little Julie was born into one of the bodies.

Chapter 23: Julie

What the hell did Lauren mean, Gracie thought. Dawn isn’t’ who I think. It doesn’t make any sense. So for a while I thought she was Luaren. But if that is Lauren on the phone, and Dawn is being questioned at the police department. . . . .

Who on earth could Dawn possibly be. Jenni’s brother was out. Her parents at work. So Gracie had the old, Victorian mansion all to herself. And as she sat on the bed, thinking, she didn’t hear someone creeping up behind her. Ever so slowly someone made her way to Gracie.

Who the hell could Dawn be? she kept asking herself that question over and over, but she just couldn’t come up with a decent answer that made any sense to her. Then a reaspy voice spoke up behind her.


Gracie turned around. It was Sela [Like Say-lah] Sullivan. Dawn’s cousin. “What are you doing here Sela?” Gracie asked.

“I can’t believe you. You’ve known me all these years and you still don’t recognize me. Well I recognize you.” She paused and took a deep breath. “You’ve always been slow at these things. Haven’t you Gracie? Remember in Italy. In the year 1945 [I thought she was going to plant clues… I love the continuity in this thing.]

“Lauren,” Gracie gasped. “It’s you.” [Duh.]


“What are you doing here? What are you doing in Sela’s body?”

“I’m here on buiseness. And it was available.” She took a seat at Jenni’s desk. “But let’s get down to buisiness.”

“What kind of buisiness?”

“I’m here to bring you news Gracie.”

“What kind of news Lauren?”

“News about your daughter.”

“What about Julie?”

Lauren said nothing. [These two are really getting on my nerves.]

Gracie was getting pissed off at her now. She stood up and walked up to Lauren. “Lauren, what do you mean? what about Julie? What does my daughter have to do with this?” She grabbed Lauren by the shoulders. “Tell me,” Gracie screamed in her face.

“Fine.” She shoved gracie off of her. “Have you ever wondered whatever happened to your precious Julie!”

“Yes! Of course! Why wouldn’t I?” [Because you're a horrible mother who went travelng into a different dimension and partied for three days in the 1800's without even sparing a thought to her?]

“Would you believe me if I said that she saw us cross over? Would you believe me if I told you that she crossed over too!” And just like that, she was gone. Like petals in the wind. [Honestly, I didn’t even know who V.C. Andrews was yet.] And there was little Gracie Ann Deck. All alone. With no one. No one to talk to her. To be with her. She was all alone. There was nothing let of her. Nothing left at all. She thought about what Lauren had said. “What would you say if I told you that she saw us cross over. What if I told you that she crossed over too.” Lauren’s voice echoed in her mind.

My Julie, Gracie thought. My little Julie is here in this horrible world. But where is she? Who is she?