Fullmetal Alchemist

Season 2 Episode 2

The Ishbal Massacre

0
Aired Saturday 12:00 AM Feb 19, 2005 on Cartoon Network
9.3
out of 10
User Rating
125 votes
5

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
As the Strong Arm Alchemist holds off Scar, he realizes that the killer is from Ishbal. Meanwhile, as Ed, Al and Doctor Marcoh make their way through the village, the Doctor recounts the Ishbal ‘Rebellion' and how he and the other State Alchemist were ordered to level the entire city using the Red Stones. The events still haunt Marcoh, Mustang and Armstrong to this day.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Ed, Al and Dr. Marcoh briefly become fugitives to evade Scar and the military, while Major Armstrong takes on Scar and learns his origins. Ed and Al learn of the Ishbal Massacre Marcoh, Mustang, Armstrong and others were involved in.moreless

    10
    One of the more gloomier episodes of the series, Ed and Al discover the Ishbal Massacre's darkest secrets from Dr. Marcoh. Scar and Armstrong take eachother on in a spectacular fight (and the Major's shirtless gag is introduced). This episode features a continuity of flashbacks to the Ishbal Massacre involving the notable State Alchemists (Mustang, Armstrong, Grand, Marcoh). Kimblee also debuts in this episode, but he has a bigger role in the third season.



    There are two highlights that end this episode: (spoilers) The killer of Winry's parents is revealed, and Edward's automail is shattered by Scar. Now Ed and Al must return home to Risembool to get new limbs again.moreless
  • This is the episode I finally was able to understand what happened between the military and the Ishbalans. Why the war broke out and all and with all that Marcoh business. It was very satisfying to finally be able to understand.moreless

    9.5
    The Ishbalan War started when Ed was a little boy. His father went away to serve in the war and suddenly disappeared. They have never found him. Ed has always wondered where his father went, but he really doesn't care. He had never hated his father, but he was never there so he just sorta grew up without him. His mother was always sad when Al talked about him anway, so he just forgot about him.moreless
  • The State Alchemists' role in the Ishbal massacre is finally revealed, and the result is a harrowing, dramatic episode that pushes Edward and Alphonse near the brink.

    9.2
    "The Ishbal Massacre" is a key FullMetal Alchemist episode, because it reveals much about one of the most important events in the series' backstory, the titular one. After hearing about Ishbal in various earlier episodes, we finally get an explanation about what happened there.



    First it's revealed that the Ishbalans are actually a separate race, with red irises and brown skin, and thus Armstrong idenitifies Scar as Ishbalan. Armstrong's speech comparing Scar's circumvention of Ishbal's proscription of alchemy with murder in the name of religion is pointed, and much appreciated by this reviewer.



    Marcoh relates the story of Ishbal to explain why Scar would want revenge. Turns out Gran's central role in the whole thing makes Scar's murder of him in the last episode all the more understandable. Marcoh's guilt is also relatable, if somewhat overstated. The first scene of the flashback also introduces Kimbley for the first time, and it's already apparent how morally bankrupt he is, since he and Gran cackle during the frightening images of the destruction of Ishbal, while Mustang and Marcoh are shocked and horrified, respectively.



    If this wasn't bad enough, it turns out that Winry's parents weren't killed in action so much as they were executed as enemies of the State for treating injured on both sides of the conflict. To top it off, the one who killed the Rockbells was Mustang! It's nice to see that the execution affected him so deeply that he nearly committed suicide. The dialogue between Mustang and Marcoh is effective in conveying the guilt both of them feel, while also allowing the viewer to understand why Mustang agreed to keep Marcoh's location a secret. Mustang's ambitions are starting to become more relatable for the viewer.



    The flashbacks are far from the only source of drama, however. When Scar runs into the Elrics and Marcoh again after fleeing the military, he is prepared for the metallic parts of the brothers. If the fight at the conclusion of the previous episode was tension-filled because Ed was outmatched, this one is even more dire. Scar disintegrates most of Al's armor, rendering him immobile, and then destroys Ed's automail arm to prevent him from using alchemy without a circle. The brothers have never been this soundly defeated, and it only gets worse from there.



    Ed offers to sacrifice himself to spare the others, and Al is understandably frantic. His desperate pleas for Ed to flee and save himself are pained and affecting. This scene is impressive for its acting, with Vic Minogna conveying Ed's resignation, and Aaron Dismuke Al's panic wonderfully. The dialogue between them after Scar flees is also well-played and written. Not only does it reference Ed's dialogue from earlier in the episode, but it also reinforces the fraternal bond that anchors this series. Such scenes help to make FMA the incredible series it is.



    Despite all of the doom and gloom, the episode does have its light-hearted moments and comic relief. These result from the ever-reliable crew who serve Mustang. Riza has to remind Roy that his flame powers are worthless in the rain before he nearly gets himself killed when confronting Scar, Hughes has a fantastic line calling the situation a battle of freaks, and Havok has the perfect sarcastic retort when Mustang orders that no one should follow Scar when he escapes. These interludes help lighten the mood a little, which is certainly helpful.



    The episode also features a sound deconstruction of the concepts of revenge and divine retribution. Ed's advice to "live and be content while we can" may not be overly deep, but he is a teenager, so it's believable.



    All in all, "The Ishbal Massacre" is a momentous episode, and the climactic sequence is one of the series' most dramatic and cataclysmic. It's great to see the series take risks like this.moreless
  • There was no Ishbal war but a Ishbal Massacre.

    10
    This is one of the saddest episodes in the show. This is one of the reasons why the show is realistic because real people don't just kill and kill and not fell guilty about it. This episode made all of the alchemist look evil and it made me agree with Scar to have revenge on the military especially the alchemist. Before I saw this episode I thought Roy wasn't afraid to kill but this episode showed Roy's guilt. If I didn't see this episode I would never see Roy as my favoriote character. It also made me hate the military but not Roy and his team, Hughes,or Armstrong.

    This episode is a must see.moreless
  • On the surface of this episode it looks like to be a flaseback episode that deals with a major issue and or event in the past that had shape this series. But there is more to it.moreless

    9.3
    On the surface of this episode it looks like to be a flashback episode that deals with a major issue and or event in the past that had shape this series. But there is more to this episode than that, for this episode deals with issues that are we are currently deal with right now in this day and age.

    Issue One; science and technology where one can explain things in cold hard facts, verse faith and belief that there are things in this world that can only be explain has mysteries. A current war that is being fought all over the world and even here in the United States, with the idea of intelligent design in the news, where some public school system are being force to teach it as an another way to think of how life developed on Earth. Despite the fact that a good majority of the science discoveries and theories are supported by facts that can be proved by observations. While the other hand religious facts are merely supported by one faith in the religious beliefs.

    The Ishbalans solely believes that their God created everything that they see and anything that goes against that belief is against the law, just because in their eyes it is a sin against their God. A thing that reminds me of some fundamental Christians groups that are out now, and how many Western Countries were like in the early days. While the State Alchemist's on the other hand believe in science that anything is quiet possible and explainable, which is a good majority of what many people believe right now.

    Issue Two; the clash are two completely different cultures who have two dramatic beliefs and people who are equally devoted to what they belief in. Where one of cultures are peaceful who did nothing to other culture and the only thing that they want to do is live peaceful with other, but some how a long the way one of the two culture did something to other culture that was unprovoked or was unwarranted. With that a war starts between two cultures, which leads the culture had a technology edge over the other one to completely wipe out other less technology culture in quick battle, which leads a bitter taste in the mouths are the survivors of the once thought wipe out culture. A current war that we all fighting with Judo-Christian religion fighting against the Muslin religion.

    Issue Three: The Extremist, who use his or her religious beliefs as an excess in killing people who don’t share what they belief in. Scare is an extremist who was once before the Ishbal Massacre who could have been a peaceful person who only want was to live a good life with his family. Now, he is a terrorist who is killing people who he think are reasonable for what had happen to his culture.

    While I do feel for him because of what had happen to his way of live, killing people in the name of God is no way in dealing with his pain and disguest at what had happen to him.

    moreless
Brina Palencia

Brina Palencia

Additional Voices

Guest Star

Orion Pitts

Orion Pitts

Additional Voices

Guest Star

Aleisha Force

Aleisha Force

Additional Voices

Guest Star

Brice Armstrong

Brice Armstrong

Tim Marco

Recurring Role

Sonny Strait

Sonny Strait

Lt. Col. Maes Huges

Recurring Role

R Bruce Elliott

R Bruce Elliott

Brigadier Basque Gran

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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