Veteran comics podcaster Tim and monster theorist Patrick go chapter-by-chapter through one of the best manga series of the 21st century: Hiromu Arakawa's "Fullmetal Alchemist"! UGWUP4!
"Master and Apprentice"
Ed and Al’s explanation of their “origin story” is over and we’re back in Fullmetal Alchemist’s present. How does their teacher, Izumi, respond to their tale of trying to resurrect their mother, and their cosmic punishment for it? The answer has a lot to do with a Japanese word that wasn’t translated in chapter 25’s title: “kejime.” This time, Tim and Patrick suss out the meaning of this word and how it explains Izumi’s bifurcated reaction.
Ed and Al's origin story flashback concludes as we see how Ed became a state alchemist. Tim and Patrick recount the story, while also touching on such topics as: Are manga tough to get into for the new reader? Should Romanized Japanese use "L" or "R"? Also, the comics-language power of three little lines.
"Knocking on Heaven's Door"
Ed and Al's flashback continues with the story of their attempt to bring their mother back from the dead. This is the crux of their origin story; why is it in chapter 23 instead of chapter 1? Tim and Patrick share some thoughts about that question in this episode.
"The Masked Man"
Young Ed and Al are forced to spend a month on a "deserted" island, to prove they're worthy of Izumi's training. Can they solve her riddle before she comes back to pick them up? Can they even survive that long, when a masked man with a club keeps attacking them? Tim and Patrick discuss "Fullmetal Alchemist" chapter 22, "The Masked Man"!
"The Brothers' Secret"
After being cornered by Izumi Curtis on the issue of their current armor-and-automail look, Ed and Al start to tell their story with this issue, finally revealing their "origin story" to the reader nearly two years after the original run of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga began. Why might Hiromu Arakawa have decided to hold back this information, rather than begin the story with it? Tim and Patrick discuss several good reasons for doing so in discussing chapter 21!
"The Terror of the Teacher"
As Ed and Al reunite with their teacher Fullmetal Alchemist chapter 20 alternates between comedy and gut-punches. The subject of Ed and Al's father has finally arisen; we're getting closer to getting down to the business of this story! Tim and Patrick also discuss dealing with too-personal questions, and get into the topic of character names in Fullmetal Alchemist - are they distracting?