Fullmetal Alchemist

Season 2 Episode 10

Heart of Steel

1
Aired Saturday 12:00 AM Apr 16, 2005 on Cartoon Network
9.3
out of 10
User Rating
117 votes
7

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Ed and Al once again find themselves in a hospital. Winry has traveled to Central to make repairs, but is angered when the brothers don't want to share their experiences with her. As they recuperate, Al ponders his existence and hammers Ed with questions. Who is he? Are his memories of being human real, or is it all a lie?moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

Friday
No results found.
Saturday
No results found.
Sunday
No results found.
SUBMIT REVIEW
  • It takes place right after the incident at Lab. 5; Ed gives Winry a call to come make repairs, while Al does some thinking and later fights with his older brother over his 'fake memories' a while before running off.moreless

    10
    This is a personal favorite of mine, and I hope others agree. It has a unique perspective from Al, a little light humor and a touching ending... Mostly in contains their feelings and doubt toward each other, something I never recall from Al earlier on in the series. It even has a few life lessons in there, though I'm sure that not many sawor paid attention to it... Anyways, it's the ending that even had me asking some questions like, "Is that the truth?" and "Is he so willing to believing in that?". These are basically all the reasons why I highly approve of this episode, thus the rating.moreless
  • In this episode, Ed and Al are in Central Hopital after all that had happened in Lab 5. Its a solid episode with a little bit of everthing thrown in.

    8.5
    As Ed and Al sit in a hospital room after the events of Lab 5, Ed calls up Winry so she can fix his arm, while Al wonders if he was ever even real. During all of this Maes Hughes decides to investigate deeper into Lab 5. There is a lot of drama, some humor, and action as well in this episode as tension between the Elric brothers mounts, ending in Al running away form Ed, and Winry.moreless
  • A personal favorite FullMetal Alchemist episode. This has the best combination of humor, drama, and pathos of any offering in the series. Other anime series can only dream of being this great.moreless

    10
    “Heart of Steel” is a masterpiece in how well it blends humor and drama. There are many things to love in this episode, not the least of which is the ending, which is a fantastic bridge in that it climaxes a major plot thread developed through the past few episodes and also leads into the next one. On my first viewing I thought it would be difficult for FullMetal Alchemist to top the past few episodes, which comprise what is easily its best arc up to this point, but this episode doesn’t just top them; it transcends them.



    One noteworthy aspect missing from most of the Laboratory 5 arc is genuinely good comedy, and the few overtly comedic elements (e.g., #66’s bizarre antics) generally fell flat on their proverbial faces. This is definitely not the case for “Heart of Steel,” in which even the more ridiculous anime wild takes have their desired humorous effects. The milk fight, for instance, is one of the funnier exchanges in the series, and the background containing numerous cows floating behind Edward and Winry is an amusing touch. Hughes has a major role in this story, which pretty much guarantees many laughs. Another comedic highlight, but with a serious bent as well, is Ross’ rebuking of Edward, which is entirely in line with her character, especially considering what she risked to rescue him.



    This episode manages to strike the completely correct tone for every scene. It leaps from dramatic brooding on the Homunculi and Ross’ seriocomic criticism, to playful jabbing between Edward and Winry including their memorable milk argument, to Hughes’ typically hilarious overly proud father act complete with another uproarious phone call with Mustang, to a cute interaction between Winry and Elicia, to Hughes’ sentimental but not saccharine monologue, to Alphonse’s moodiness, to Ed’s triumphant reassembly and repair of Al, then finally to the emotional climax in which Alphonse unleashes all of his pent-up resentment and leaves Edward and Winry stunned. All of these transitions are smooth and assured—a definite sign of a creative team at the peak of its powers.



    Certainly one of this episode’s major strengths is Winry’s role, and I think she gets the most screen time she ever has up to this point (only “House of the Waiting Family” is in the same vicinity). It’s definitely her most significant role, and it helps the show dramatically. Let’s face it, showing the same two characters in the same room for an entire episode is inherently problematic in terms of maintaining interest. Putting Winry in there for one thing shifts the dynamic completely, and we get an idea of how Ed and Al’s close and closed-off relationship can frustrate her. She accuses them of keeping secrets and generally leaving her out of their lives. It’s a valid point, and builds on her scene with Ed in “Waiting Family” in which she accused him of insensitivity. It’s also interesting to note that she’s around when Al accuses Ed of lying to him, because he also thus accuses her of dishonesty. Winry really has a tough situation to deal with in this episode.



    She also gets one of the better light-hearted sequences of the series when Hughes ropes her into attending his daughter Elicia’s birthday party. It’s so refreshing to watch anime and have a child character that isn’t saddled with a speech impediment, whether it’s a ridiculously high-pitched voice or Elmer Fudd-ese (even Nina Tucker had the latter problem). Hughes delivers a monologue about family which could have been overdone but hits the right note of sentimentality. Winry realizes that maybe it’s not that important if Ed and Al vocally acknowledge her as a family member, but it is important for her to be there for them when they need her.



    So she returns to the Elrics’ room and this is when the tension between the brothers boils over and the drama peaks brilliantly. Alphonse has been in a foul, brooding mood the entire episode. He even cut right through the hilarity of the milk fight with a perfectly delivered “Just drink the dumb milk.” He doesn’t even humor Ed when he gets angered over his size like he usually does. He just tells him to shut up. Something is clearly bothering him, and while the audience knows what it is, Ed clearly doesn’t. When Al asks to be removed to the outside balcony, he and Winry discuss what they think is wrong. This exchange is very well-written, with reasonable opinions on both sides. Considering that Ed regretted not being able to go through creating the Philosopher’s Stone for his brother’s sake, it makes sense that he would think that’s why Al is upset. Winry’s reasoning is even more convincing, that Al is shocked that his brother would even consider sacrificing other people for such a thing, and it makes even more sense since she reacted to that thought with revulsion.



    Then one of the most pitch-perfect dramatic scenes in the series finishes this episode with fantastic flourish. After Edward reassembles him, Al turns on him with the accusation that’s been bubbling inside him since “Soul of the Guardian,” that Ed fabricated his memories during the soul transference. He’s so convinced of the truth of his accusation that he doesn’t listen to any of their protestations. Indeed Ed is so taken aback by this that he at first doesn’t respond, seemingly and understandably shocked, since this was probably the last thing he expected to hear from the hollow voice in the suit of armor. When Ed finally responds, it seems almost out of bitterness that Al would even accuse him of such an action. This is completely understandable, and probably the best aspect of this whole exchange is that it finally changes the dynamic between the two protagonists. Alphonse has up until this point been basically a sidekick, but in this episode he acts completely independently for the first time, and thus gives the character a complexity he’s lacked up to this point. It’s great to see him acting on his own and not simply doing what Ed wants. I think Ed also responded somewhat harshly because he never thought Al would do what he does next: push him aside, jump off the roof, and run away. Suddenly the brothers are divided, and the episode ends there in a cliffhanger.



    The lack of reconciliation is a bold move as well. While there is little doubt that the brothers will eventually resolve this problem, that there’s no hint as to how it will happen gives a great unease to the ending. It’s the perfect way to lead into the next episode. “Heart of Steel” is a monumental achievement, the kind that most anime series can only dream of attaining.moreless
  • what a cliff hanger.... (did i spell this right? nevermind...)

    10
    omg! i just cant belive this episode... it felt like my heart was gonna burst while i was watching it... what a cliff hanger! gosh watching this... makes you wish it was next week already this is one of the reason why i watch this series its so well written and smart you could never really expect its twists and turns... this episode almost gave me a heart attack! i just cant belive the episode ended that way... watching this episode made me wish i could just speed up time! this episode is great!moreless
  • A funny little episode that proves how robust Fullmetal Alchemist is when you can be completely engrossed in an episode without any action sequences at all.

    9.8
    This is probably one of my favorite episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist. Mainly because I love it that they prove they do not have to have action all the time, where episodes where characters just talk can be just as good as anything else. It has some of the funniest moments and also some of the most touching and we also finally get a little anime girl who doesn't have a speech impediment.moreless
Kate Bristol

Kate Bristol

Additional Voices

Guest Star

Cynthia Cranz

Cynthia Cranz

Additional Voices

Guest Star

Billie Bryant

Billie Bryant

Additional Voices

Guest Star

Chuck Huber

Chuck Huber

Shou Tucker

Recurring Role

Jerry Jewell

Jerry Jewell

Number 66

Recurring Role

Christopher R. Sabat

Christopher R. Sabat

Maj. Alex Louis Armstrong

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

More
Less
  • 8:00 pm
    Caught on Camera With Nick Cannon High Jinx
    NEW
    NBC
  •  
    500 Questions
    NEW
    ABC
  • 10:00 pm
    20/20
    NEW
    ABC