Fullmetal Alchemist

Season 1 Episode 9

Be Thou for the People

Aired Saturday 12:00 AM Jan 08, 2005 on Cartoon Network

Episode Fan Reviews (11)

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out of 10
161 votes
  • This episode is another pivotal and character development moment for Ed and Al. They discover there is at least another truth in the world beside equivalent exchange. Ed earns another title. We see another way of using an alchemist's circle.

    "Be Thou for the People" is actually a saying for all alchemists that they must "be thou for the people." State alchemists are the military's dog, but they also report directly to the King. Alchemy must be for the people and those in the King's service must be for the people. The country is at war and hence State Alchemists work as part of the miltary.

    Ed understands this double edge sword and his actions reflect his love for alchemy, the people, his King, and his family (both by blood and extended). The military is only a tool and is not his god.

    This episode is another character development and pivotal moment. It is in this episode Ed, the Fullmetal Alchemist, becomes also the alchemist for the people, champion of people among the military dogs, and he's a friend of the common man.

    This episode is also the first time Ed or Al realize the law of Equivalent Exchange goes further than they thought. This moment ties into the series opening statement:

    "Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. That is Alchemy's first law of Equivalent Exchange. In those days, we really believed that to be the world's one, and only, truth." </blockquote>

    This episode ends those days and begins their discovery of other truths.

    We also meet Lyra who at first makes it look as though she can do alchemy using her hands, as does Ed. It is when Ed and Lyra fight we discover her necklace holds her alchemy circle. She is not equal to Ed in strength, will, or honor.

    Lt. Colonel Mustang becomes full Colonel and assigned to be the commander of the Eastern Front. In the end, Ed's report to the King helps to clean up the Eastern Front and before Mustang arrives. His assistant wonders if Mustang knew in advance and arranged Ed's trip to help make his taking command easier. Mustang denies this but this viewer isn't buying it.

    This is another MUST see episode of Fullmetal Alchemist.
  • Once again, the day is saved!!! Thanks to... THE POWERPUFF GIRLS!!! I mean, the Elric brothers...

    This one happens to be the last of the flashback episodes. After this, it's all about the current adventures of the Elric brothers. After the events that happened at the Tucker House, Mustang sends Ed and Al to inspect the mining town of Youswell. When they arrive, they are welcomed openly. However, it's a poor town, and they owners of the inn are charging a fortune for a room. The boys don't have the money, since they spent it all on Winry when she came to visit. The inn keepers inquire about the brothers' reasons for coming into town, and Ed openly boasts about being a State Alchemist, which gets him thrown out into the street. However, since Al is not one, he gets to stay. Later, Al comes out and informs his older brotehr that the people of Youswell are so ticked about Ed being a State Alchemist is because they're being picked on by a guy named Yoki who is in charge. Yoki happens to belong to the millitary, but he's not a state alchemsit. Blah, blah, blah, lots of bad stuff happen... Then Ed comes up with a plan. He makes a lot of "gold" using alchemy, and gives it to Yoki for the town of Youswell. Then he gives it back to the villagers and it's happily ever after... THE END!
  • Ed and Al visit Youswell, a mining town, where greedy Lt. Yoki is bullying the citizens for their money.

    Based on the third chapter of the manga, this episode's name is very meaningful (is that an actual word). Ed and Al are sent to the mining town of Youswell where greedy and snobby Lt. Yoki rules the roost and is bullying all the poor citizens out of their money. However, Ed can't help due the fact the citizens dislike State Alchemists. So Ed decides to help by bending the rules of alchemy.

    Although I am not incredibly keen on this episode, I still enjoy it at times. Edward has his character developed, willing enough to bend the rules to help those in need. Yoki is a funny characters mostly used for comic relief, but he has a bigger role in the manga. Lyra also debuts, and she has an important role in later episodes.
  • the episode talks about the first mission that Al and Ed were about to do , they want to inspect a coal mine

    ohhhh what an exciting episode , i really love it, it started with the first mission that Ed is about to have..and it's that they have to inspect a coal mine...when ed and al were there , the town invited them to their inn and they were really exciting about the new guests, but when they found that ed was an alchemist for the military so they through him outside and called him the dog of the military , and then the owner of the coal mine appeared and seemed to be a bad guy , what will ed to with him ?? u can see it on this episode :)
  • I thought it was kinda boring...

    Er. Okay. Well. Ed and Al goes this this poor minind town. Once there, he and Al are mistaken as tourists and are greeted by the local hotel owner. However, once they learn Ed is a State Alchemist, he is attacked and tossed out of the hotel. Ed quickly learns why; the town is being taxed beyond its limits by a crooked lieutenant and his Alchemist. Ed convinces this lieutenant to sell the town. (He buys it with [a lot of] gold he made using alchemy) But the catch is, the paper (not really sure what to call it. Its the paper that says Ed owns it) says that the lieutenant (Yori, I think) gave the town to Ed free of charge. Yori gets arrested and Ed sells the deed to the Inn owner for one night stay in his hotel.
  • It was an excellent episode, and I liked that it was almost exactlly like the manga.

    Ed's sent to a mining town to do an inspection. There's only one place to stay there, and the price for a room is so steep that Ed performs alchemy to help pay for the cost. But he reveals that he's a state alchemist and they throw him out. XD Lieutenant Yoki also finds out that Ed is a state alchemist after comes to the inn and demands taxes from the miners. He takes Ed back to his mansion, feds him, and allows him to stay the night there. Later, the inn is burnt down, and Ed sees how said the villagers are because that was their home, and their grave. Ed realizes that alchemists "be thou for the people." He devises a flawless and hilarious plan to buy the mine and the trade routes around it for the people. So deep down, he really does have a heart. This was one of the best Full Metal Alchemist episodes I've seen so far.
  • Clever and exciting to watch.

    Ed being a state alchemist is forced to go on a mission for his state. While there he befriends a few people, who treat him harshly when they learn he is a State Alchemist. The superior in charge with this area is greedy and corrupt. Ed feels sorry for these Miners and is forced to do something that goes agasint what he believes. This episode is cleverly made and at the end is predictable, its somewhat of a filler episode other than it expands Ed's character and introduces a few new ones, later seen in some episodes. Another reason why this episode is necessary is that Ed being a State Alchemist works for the State, and up to this point he has put in very little effort.
  • Ed is buying Winry stuff, when he has to go on a mission...A review from an Artist.

    Mustang tells him he has to look in to a mine. Ed and Al go their by train. When they arrive Ed is shund and sent away for being a state alchemist. Ed plays dumb by saying he doesn't know Al so Al can stay in the Inn. Ed sees a man from the Millitary and the man sucks up to him. Ed has more power than the man but he has a girl their named Lrya. Lyra can do alchemy with out a circle also. When Lyra is fighting Ed, Ed says "Alchemist be thou for the people.". But Ed makes everyone happy and becomes well known. This is my masterpeice.
  • It was rather boring, but a good episode anyway. Lyra uses unusual alchemy, beyond anyones recogning. The miners are as tough as usual, and the military thinks they have power over the people. Wow...that sounds familiar.

    Lyra uses a different type of alchemy beyond everyone else. Lyra contracts the air around her and dwindles it down till she can beat it into a ball and using alchemy, sends to the opponent. Regular alchemy takes the lore and elements into the thing you put into the transmutation circle and changes it to another thing with the same elements and lore.
  • Another unoriginal plot, and rather uneven.

    “Be Thou for the People” closes the flashback arc with more of a whimper than a bang. It’s a decent episode in that there’s nothing terribly wrong with it, but it suffers from a similar problem to most of the episodes in this arc: unoriginal plotting. Where haven’t we seen the town oppressed by unfair tax policies of the government plot before? I give this one points for a clever, if obvious, resolution, but overall it’s rather unremarkable. At least there are long-term consequences of this episode unlike say, “A Forger’s Love.” In fact, before I saw the later episodes in which the new characters appear, I rated this one lower.

    Yoki and Lyra are the new characters that stand out here (and appear later in the series), for different reasons and with different levels of success. Yoki is annoying and over-the-top, so much so that it’s difficult to regard him as anything beyond a caricature. The way he’s animated and voiced doesn’t help matters at all, and his tax policy is too ludicrous to be believable. It’s impossible to take him seriously, but maybe that’s the point. It is Lyra who enforces Yoki’s rule, after all. I like the idea of a wayward alchemist, but one who does it only because she believes it will help her get ahead. She thinks by helping a military figure, it will lead to a position as State Alchemist. The trouble with her plan is she’s not talented enough. She can make a big, flashy show and level buildings, but Edward doesn’t have much difficulty defeating her.

    The clever resolution is that Ed performs a transmutation that tricks Yoki into deeding the town to him for a king’s ransom in gold, but it’s actually stone. This is a wonderful allusion to the traditional view of alchemists as people whose goal was to create gold from lead. The practice is illegal in FMA\'s world, but Ed actually using a variation of it is delightful. Naturally the audience isn’t fooled at all; it’s abundantly clear that the gold will end up fake. I also like how Ed uses the deed as payment for lodging at the inn; it’s almost as if he wants to give more credit to the townspeople, or at least seem not so overtly generous about it. The scene at the end in which it once again appears Mustang was pulling strings the whole time is nicely scripted as well.

    I\'m inclined to wonder if the writers played this one lighter than usual to try to make this episode more comedic. There are reasons to suspect this, but if that was the intent, they didn’t do enough. Ultimately “Be Thou for the People” is too slight to be serious and too weighty to be frothy, so it has a bit of an identity crisis. It\'s an important episode for fans but casual viewers probably won\'t get nearly as much out of it.
  • "State Alchemists-Be Thou for the people

    I think this filler episode was ok but It wasn't my favourite storyline.Umm..I am gonna go out on a limb and say:"Yoki is aa embarassment to society and a a huge pimple on the ass of a kid."That was weird o.0 But Like I was saying,This is an OK Filler episode and anyone who likes that stuff should see it.