Fullmetal Alchemist

Season 2 Episode 5

Marcoh's Notes

Aired Saturday 12:00 AM Mar 12, 2005 on Cartoon Network
out of 10
User Rating
116 votes

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Episode Summary

Ed is overjoyed to be back in Central, and can't wait to begin his search for Marcoh's notes in the Central Library's First Branch. Unfortunately, they learn that the First Branch was completely destroyed the night before. To add to their troubles, witnesses had seen Scar in the vicinity before the fire. Now, coupled with a new pair of guards (one of whom is insistent that they go somewhere safer) the brothers must find another way to discover the secret of the Philosopher's Stone.moreless

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    This episode I though was pritty good but nothing really great. It's true that this epsode had a few good key moments but it's not really enough to make this one stand out enough for me, it just could of had more.

    Basically the episode is sort of an intro device for three new characters coming into the fray. Personality wise all three of them seem good if nothing really spectacular to make them stand out much. And that was always what sort of bothered me about those three, thoughout the show despite their uniqueness they just never really had enough use in the show nor any significant character development making all three of them sort of two dimentional.

    But anyway let me get to the jist of the manner. Maria Ross to me sort of felt a little like a Hawkeye clone but in a good way. Denny Bloch is her partner whom is obviously not as good a soilder as her due to being a bit of a dork. Sheska kind of reminds me of that main hero from the anime mini series "Read or Die" in fact she looks and acts exactly like her a bookworm with a photographic memory, nerdy, but sweet.

    Three of the standout and hilarious moments were well that phone call scene where Hughes acts all exicted like some teenage girl on the phone. Meeting Sheska for the first time where she nearly died by being burried alive by books and of course the characters quickly dig for a long time to get her out, death by books that's probably the most bizzare way to go. And of course probably one of the most bizzare tragidy stories ever when Sheska tells a story about never finding that one book she wants to read. Has it ever crossed her mind to utilize bookshelves and a dewey desimal system. Other than those things there really isn't anything else to this episode except for the terrible secret that both Ed and Al discover though their extensive research which was shocking and gave me a sick feeling inside.moreless
  • Ed and Al arrive in Central to research of Marcoh's notes in the First Branch library, but to their dismay, find it burnt to the ground. But thanks to some old friends, the two can research...only to discover a horrible truth.moreless

    Back at Central, Scar takes on Lust and Gluttony but it burns down the library in Central. Ed and Al return to Central and find the library burnt down and their hopes of researching Dr. Marcoh's notes in tatters. But with help from Lt. Maria Ross, Sgt. Bloch, Hughes and Sheska, they manage to achieve researching the notes thanks to Sheska rewriting Marcoh's research book - only to discover the horrific truth behind the Philosopher's Stone creation progress. A dramatic and highly tense episode, and the first of many to come. Even though there is a serious tone throughout the episode, it does also have a light and friendly atmosphere through midway - particularly with Sheska and Hughes present. Maria Ross and Denny Bloch's personalities are wrapped up in this episode, and I found Bloch very funny. Hughes small scene with Mustang is a classic part. The besy parts were Scar Vs Lust and Gluttony, an awesome fight sequence. The most shocking part was the revelation at the end, that had me on the floor of my bedroom in utter shock.moreless
  • Pretty standard FullMetal Alchemist, which actually makes it kind of disappointing. Key revelation at the end almost makes up for it, but one wishes that revelation were in a better installment.moreless

    "Marcoh's Notes" advances the plot significantly in several key ways, most notably with a startling revelation that turns the series down a particularly dark path, one that it will pick up later. Still it's overall rather unremarkable at times, good at other times, and substandard at others. Let's call it uneven.

    The teaser is an exciting scene, a confrontation between Scar, Lust, and Gluttony in the library that contains Dr. Marcoh's work. Some hints are dropped here, little tidbits that pique viewer interest. Evidently Scar knew Lust, but not the way she is now. He also states that the other two are Homunculi, but the full meaning of that word isn't explained. Still this scene has issues from a consistency standpoint: Lust's maniacal grin while she's fighting doesn't fit with her character, and thankfully doesn't make another appearance.

    When Ed and Al re-enter Central, they're greeted by two new characters, Lts. Ross and Bloch, who are assigned to be their bodyguards, since Scar has been in the area. These two don't really distinguish themselves in this episode, but they're amicable enough to be welcome newcomers. When they discover that the library burned to the ground, they almost despair of ever fulfilling their plans, but hope springs eternal with the third new, or at least properly introduced, (she had a bit-part in "Night of the Chimera's Cry") character, Sciezka. She's more of a mixed bag though, in some ways almost an anime cliche: the socially inept, nerdy, high-pitched voiced, young girl. She also is one of the least believable characters, at least in this episode. For one thing, her ability to reproduce anything she's read from a photographic memory is really hard to swallow. There's little inherently wrong with this aspect of the plot, it's just rather uninspired. It doesn't help that Sciezka also is fairly irritating, both in her dialogue and vocal mannerisms, which is a trap FMA usually manages to avoid. She does have one fantastic scene though: the juxtaposition of her romanticized recounting of her search for a book among her impossibly vast collection with the actual frenetic events is inspired and hilarious. Hughes' hiring of her to reproduce the intelligence records is also a funny moment.

    Speaking of Hughes, he provides another comic highlight with a continuation of one of the series' best running gags: his gushing over his family over the phone to Mustang. One wonders if the writers kept these two characters in different cities for so many episodes because these scenes play so well. I for one don't blame them, the whole conversation is a winner.

    Event-wise, not much happens. Indeed the central dilemma is arguably unnecessary. After all, Marcoh's notes are encoded, so what purpose does burning down the library serve? Except for the introduction of Sciezka, which could have been accomplished in another way, not much. That detail isn't really important in this episode either, although it does come into play later.

    The final line of "Marcoh's Notes" is shocking and disturbing, and rescues the episode from mediocrity. Ed and Al finish decoding Marcoh's journals and make a sobering discovery: the key ingredient to forging a Philosopher's Stone is living humans. The implications here are equally staggering: Marcoh clearly used people to create the stones used to massacre the Ishbalans, and one wonders how the series can proceed from here. We will know in due time, but this is a great hook to keep people interested. Therefore: Great ending, but otherwise an unremarkable installment.moreless
  • this episode is funny!

    i find this episode really funny particularly the part when sciezka was comparing looking for the book to a very dangerous adventure... lol well anyway, this episode is also so exciting and informative at the start the library at central where marcoh's notes were got burned down... from there the elric brothers started to look for other ways to get their hands on the reaserch journal of marcoh... anyway this episode is great i dont want to give it all away... if you havent watched it yet i mean :)moreless
  • ...

    The only part I liked about this was the part where the Humonculus are in the library.When I saw Gluttony I nearly hid under my sheets.But the I used the power of Comcast and paused the TV and started poking him cuz hes CUTE AS HELL!God why do I keep having moments like that?sorry peeps.
Jamie Marchi

Jamie Marchi

Rick (Ishbalan Boy)

Guest Star

Kate Bristol

Kate Bristol

Additional Voices

Guest Star

Cindee Mayfield

Cindee Mayfield

Additional Voices

Guest Star

Sonny Strait

Sonny Strait

Lt. Col. Maes Huges

Recurring Role

Gwendolyn Lau

Gwendolyn Lau


Recurring Role

Meredith Mauldin

Meredith Mauldin

Lt. Maria Ross

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Goof:
      When Ed and Al first see the 1st Branch of the Central Library in ruins, the camera is to their backs and Ed's hands are by his side, his arms are not bent. In the next shot, showing the front of the brothers, Ed's arms are bent.

    • Anime vs. Manga:
      In the Manga:
      1. Scar fights Lust and Gluttony in the sewers of East City, not in Central.
      2. Lust burns down the library herself, but not because of a fight getting out of hand.
      3. It took Sciezka five days to copy Marcoh's notes, not three days.

    • Scar reveals that Lust and Gluttony are Homunculi.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • (Hughes is on the phone with Mustang, again)
      Hughes: I advise you make some friends. People who will support you when the time comes. Which is why I make this crucial suggestion...
      (suddenly lowering his voice to a barely audible whisper)
      Hughes: You find yourself a wife!
      (Mustang slams the phone down)

    • (Hughes is on the phone with Mustang)
      Hughes: She has the voice of an angel! That settles it! She's gonna be an opera star!
      Mustang: Lieutenant Colonel ... some of us have real work to do.
      Hughes: Yeah, I've got loads of it! I never know where the hours in the day go!

    • (speaking to Mustang about the investigation on Scar)
      Hughes: His bloodstained clothes washed up further down stream. We don't know if that means that he's dead, or just naked.

    • Lust: One book in this whole mess, it's like finding the needle in the stack of needles.

    • Gluttoney: Ooo Lust, does that mean I get to eat him too?

    • (Bloch and Ross stand at attention and salute)
      Sgt. Bloch & Lt. Ross: It's an honor to meet you Fullmetal Alchemist Edward Elric Sir!
      (camera pans back to reveal they're speaking to Al)
      Bloch: Wow! You certainly live up to your name sir! When they say "Fullmetal" they really aren't kidding!
      Al: Uh... You're talking to the wrong guy.

  • NOTES (2)


    • Sciezka and Yomiko Readman:
      Sciezka's appearance and love of books resembles Yomiko Readman (aka: The Paper) from the OAV and TV series, "Read or Die".