English Dub Review: Dies Irae “Golden Alchemy”

It’s like the first FMA movie but with EVEN MORE Nazis.

OVERVIEW (SPOILERS)

Machina stops Valerian’s final attack and kills him, his soul being pulled into hell by spectral hands. With the body empty, Heydrich can now reclaim it and his original power, using it to…cause the rapture, I think? A bunch of lights flies up and the lights in the city below go out, and it’s apparently almost a day later and only Ren, Shiro, and Kei are left alive in an abandoned city. Wait, yeah, there’s a shot of a bunch of dead bodies lying in the street with souls coming out, so it’s the end of the world as we know it, I guess!

Though not QUITE the end, as they need Kei to open the last swastika. Since it’s obvious she’s lain to all this time, Kei spills everything to Ren and Shiro about her life with her former team and their goals. Things seem hopeless, but Ren’s the protagonist, so goddammit, he’s giving a motivational speech to rally the troops! And we can’t close the scene without an awkward hug by Kei blamed on Ren for some reason.

But they’re not the only ones having a good time, as Team Nazi decides to throw their own party in their golden skull palace and talk about how sweet victory is. Eleonore talks about chasing victory like a flame and getting burned by it because she’s a friggin pyro, Wolfgang remembers losing once and is sure it won’t happen again (good luck with that, buddy), and Machina sees victory as the end of his own story because he’s just kind of a downer like that. Everybody’s having a good time! Well, except for Rea, who are now being thrown into an existential nightmare and eaten by a representation of Isaac’s charred corpse. See, even Nazis know how to have fun. And it wouldn’t quite be a Nazi party without a little more death, so they head back into the city to face Ren, Shiro, and Kei head on.

TOO BAD WE DON’T GET TO SEE IT! Instead, we get to see the hellscape Rea’s put through. I mean, I say “too bad”, but I could honestly take or leave whatever nonsensical imagery they throw at us at this point. Not that it lasts long, as Kei introduces herself to Heydrich properly so she can make it clear she’s out for blood.

OUR TAKE

I’m still only barely comprehending anything that’s happening at any given time, but now that the cast has been trimmed enough, it’s become surprisingly easier to keep track of everyone who’s left. Infinity War this is not, so the vague low budget apocalypse we’re stuck with here really doesn’t do much to raise the stakes for this cast I can’t bring myself to care the least bit about, but it does draw a clear indicator that we are in the endgame now. It’s just down to Ren and the Renettes vs Team Springtime For Heydrich for the final three episodes.

This is made all the more clear now that we’ve reached the “all is lost” moment this week, even if it’s really just Kei’s moment. I know I just said it didn’t phase me as much as it should have that the apocalypse just happened, but I thought for sure that Ren would have a bigger, more genuine reaction than just standard shonen protag literal chick magnet bravado. Shiro’s one mood is “smirk smugly”, so he’s out for emotional depth, but I guess Ren resolved all of his worries a couple of episodes ago. Now we get to savor this completed character development till the end of the show! Yaaaaay…

We also get a little bit more focus on our end bosses, even if they are about deep as playing in the shallow end and about as interesting. Wolfgang is short and crazy, Eleonore is crazy with fire, Machina has a past life crush on Ren that still has yet to be sufficiently explored, and Heydrich is the big swinging Richard. He was already not very interesting as a specter, and having in the flesh is no help on that front. And maybe Kei can reconcile with Eleonore over having a mutual friend in her brother’s girlfriend before she is inevitably sacrificed. Many possibilities! Not very many likely realities!

Yet the long game may be underway behind the scenes with Rea finally getting to meet her…grandfather? Rea and Lisa’s family line is not something I have ever really understood, NOR one I WISH to understand, lest my mind be lit aflame and implode on itself. But I guess Rea’s going to make use of it to connect with Issac and destroy Heydrich’s plan from the inside. To be honest, Rea’s really the only character in this a vaguely like, if only for how much of a wild card she is from scene to scene, and sometimes the same scene (“Kill me, Ren!”, two seconds later, “Make love to me, Ren!”). Not that I want her to seduce her child looking grandfather, but why not if it keeps the ball rolling.

Score
4/10

David Kaldor

Green Lynx (David Kaldor): Aimless 20-something given a paid outlet for his thoughts on cartoons. Fears being boring slightly more than being outright disliked.

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