Ed and Al go on assignment to inspect a small mining colony and discover its inhabitants are being heavily taxed by a tyrannical military Lieutenant and his Alchemist.

Full Synopsis

After spending the day shopping with Winry (still in Ed's flashback), Edward receives his first assignment from Roy Mustang, inspecting the coal mines at the town of Youswell. When Ed tries to check both him and Al into a hotel and use his talents to help fix things to pay off their overcharged price, he finds that, as a State Alchemist, he is not welcome there and is thrown out by the inkeeper Halling. To prevent them from throwing out Alphonse, Ed pretends that that they aren't traveling together. Al is able to learn that the corrupt local military governor Lieutenant Yoki is responsible for Youswell's problems, and smuggles some food out for Ed. While the two are talking Yoki arrives with his unit to collect taxes on Halling's inn which enrages Halling and the other residents for the high taxes and low wages. One of the residents attempts to attack Yoki, only to be knocked down by his assistant Lyra's alchemy abilities. When Yoki threatens to shut down the inn Halling's son Khayal protests, and before he is struck down by one of Yoki's men, Ed rushes in to save him. After introducing himself, Yoki invites Ed to his mansion. In Central, Hakuro meets with Mustang and Hawkeye to announce that he is promoting both of them one rank to Colonel and First Lieutenant and also plans to transfer them to supervise the eastern headquarters.

Meanwhile Ed has dinner with Yoki where Lyra reveals her dream of becoming a State Alchemist. After Ed mentions to understand the world is to follow the rule of Equivalent Exchange, Yoki has Lyra pass off a bribe to Ed as an exchange for a successful report on Ed's inspection of the mines which Ed pretends to go along with. However, that night Yoki has Lyra destroy the inn in secret, but Al is able to save Khayal's life. The next day knowing that Yoki is behind it, Khayal demands that Ed transmute gold for them, which he can't do as it is against the State Alchemist law and it would still be taken away for taxes even if he doesn't get caught. However, Ed decides to secretly transmute gold to buy Youswell from Yoki in exchange for keeping it secret, and then as a Equivalent Exchange trade it to Halling for a free night in his inn which Ed rebuilt using his alchemy. However Yoki shows up and angered that Ed had tricked him has Lyra attack Ed. When she questions why Ed is defying the military, Ed responds by stating he never sold his soul to them and defeats her by cutting off her necklace that allows Lyra to easily perform her alchemy, while the mine workers detain the rest of Yoki's men and then beat Yoki up.

In the end the Elrics celebrate with the mine workers. While back at Central Command, Hawkeye states to Mustang that this incident has confirmed the State will re-organize the personnel at the Eastern Command Center which will make it easy for both of them to clean up Yoki's mess. Hawkeye also mentions that this incident has improved Edwards reputation by making him seen as a hero for the people despite being a dog of the military. The flashback ends to the present three years later where the Elrics are on their way to Reole by cab, but after the driver unknowingly referred to him as short, Ed gets angry and chases him out in the desert on foot.

Episode Notes

  • This episode is adapted from content in Chapter 3: The Mining Town.
  • A few notable differences from the manga chapter this episode was adapted from, is that Lyra, a character exclusive to this series, destroys Halling's inn with her alchemy instead of Yoki's men burning it down. Also, Halling's son, Khayal, was in the building at the time, but was saved by Alphonse.
  • In this episode, Edward uses gold coins to coat bars of transmuted culm and make them appear to be gold bars, whereas in the manga, he had merely transmuted the culm to gold and back. This indicates that the 2003 anime considers the transmutation of base materials to gold impossible without the aid of the Philosopher's Stone, while in the manga storyline, it is merely outlawed.
  • The episode officially ends the flashback story that have occurred through Episodes 3-9 of Ed's early days of becoming a State Alchemist and earning his reputation. The next episode will take place after episode 2.

Fullmetal Alchemist 2003 Anime episodes
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