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Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos is the second movie in the Fullmetal Alchemist franchise. Unlike the first movie, which acted as an epilogue for the 2003 series, this is a standalone side story.

The story sees Ed and Al head to Table City, a military-occupied city surround by a circular crevasse called "The Valley", to capture a criminal who escaped prison. En route to the city, the train is attacked simultaneously by werewolves and people in flying suits, all of whom seem to be after a young girl. During the scuffle, Al is knocked into The Valley with the girl.

One thing leads to another and the brothers find themselves caught in-between a civil war between the people of Table City and resistance fighters within the Valley looking to reclaim it. As is always the case, things are not as they appear.

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Released in Japan in 2011, and gained an English dub from Funimation in September 2012. It aired on Toonami as part of their December 2014 Month of Movies.


The movie has the following tropes

  • Action Girl: Julia is part of the Milos Resistance and her first scene is breaking out of jail.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Atlas, the man posing as Ashleigh, needs the rebels if he wants the Sanguine Star/Philosophers Stone. To this end, he manipulates Julia, the rebellion, and even Ed and Al into getting him where he needs to be in Table City order to create the stone.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Julia loses her left leg in the final battle, but it's nothing an automail replacement can't fix.
  • An Ice Person: Melvin Voyager's Alchemy favors ice-based constructs (or at least blends them with lightning attacks).
  • Arc Welding: Averted. No attempt is made to tie the Sanguine Star and its influence on Milosian history to Father, the Homunculi conspiracy, and their Philosopher's Stones. YMMV whether this is a good thing or not.
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  • Art Shift: While taking place in the Brotherhood continuity, the character designs were altered for this film and are closer to their counterparts from the 2003 series.
  • Anti-Villain: The real Ashleigh Crichton was actually trying to protect Julia, but engaged in morally ambiguous actions to do so, including using his Chimera troops to attack the people of the Valley.
  • The Atoner: It is implied that the Ashleigh will use his influence in Creta to help Milos maintain its independence in order to atone for trying to destroy it and going against his younger sister to do so.
  • Awful Truth: The Elrics try to use this to dissuade the Milosians from pursuing the Sanguine Star. They reveal their suspicions that the Star's really a Philosopher's Stone and share the hard truths they've learned during the series about the cost of its creation. To their credit, the Milosians are sincerely horrified by Ed and Al's revelations...but they're also so desperate to obtain their independence that they regretfully accept the toll as a necessary evil.
  • Ax-Crazy: Atlas once he no longer needs to pretend to be 'Ashleigh Crichton'. The flashback to the night of the Chrichton murders also shows he was always this.
  • Big Bad: Atlas a.k.a. Melvin Voyager, starts the plot by escaping from prison and then manipulating the cast in order to acquire a Philosopher's Stone. Though Ashleigh/Herschel is the true villain, stringing along Atlas from the shadows to claim the Sanguine Star for himself.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Atlas is an almost literal example in that he is a remorseless villain pretending to be Julia's caring older brother.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Ed, Al and Julia manage to stop Atlas and Ashleigh and save the city, and the people of Milos declare their (short-lived, according to the map in Brotherhood ep. 64, though that could have been an outdated map) independence. Still, this comes at the cost of one of Julia's legs though she doesn't seem to mind. It may also count as a case of Earn Your Happy Ending.
  • Book Safe: The Crichton's journal didn't just have the notes on how to make a Philosopher's Stone in it, it also had a small one hidden in a hollow in the pages. This saves Ashleigh's life when Atlas betrayed them.
  • Break the Cutie: Happens to Julia a lot starting before the main narrative: she is forced away from her home, sees her parents' corpses strung up like meat and her brother murdered, abandoned to a metaphoric trash heap, finds her brother only to discover he's a fake using her and then finds him again only to find out that he's gone Knight Templar, and then she's loses a leg. That's a lot of trauma for a girl to happen, which proves her to be a Plucky Girl.
  • Cain and Abel: Julia and the real Ashleigh become this temporarily near the end of movie when they come to blows over how best to remember and honor their parents.
  • The Cameo: Major Armstrong only appears in one scene, to pass on a message to Mustang which causes him, Riza and Hawkeye to travel to Table City themselves. Their own role in the story is also pretty much peripheral.
  • Canon Foreigner: Julia, Ashleigh, and Atlas. As well as most of the minor characters. Lampshaded in a meta sense by the setting itself, with each of these characters either coming from or having been stationed there.
  • Cast as a Mask: Used and averted with different characters. Atlas' much deeper voice is a clue about his real identity, and the contrast is obvious since the opening scenes are so close together. Ashleigh plays it straight since he wears a more traditional mask.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The earrings that Ashleigh created as a child are a significant in the sibling bond because he gave them to Julia and she gave one back. The real Ashleigh, Herschel, has one.
  • Chekhov's Volcano: Some Milosian automail patients explain that Creta is building a geothermal power plant into the Cretan-side valley wall. Later, Herschel (the real Asleigh) deliberately sets off an explosion within the plant that releases torrents of lava into the valley.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Before the film is over, Atlas literally betrays every single character he's come across as part of his Evil Plan. He even literally stabs Miranda and Raul in their backs once they've served their purpose.
  • Colonel Badass: Roy as always. Herschel is also the Cretan equivalent.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Though Al is shown to have lots of ashy burns on his body, the entirety of the final sequence is still an absolutely massive offender. Characters come within inches of all sorts of lava and fire and steam and explosions and nothing worse happens.
  • Corrupt Bureaucrat: As the Amestrian military governor of Table City, Major Soyuz turns out to be a de facto variation of this.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Atlas gets one of the most extreme examples in the entire FMA franchise. Ashleigh impales his palms on Alchemic spikes, then gives him a Face Palm Of Doom ala Scar, but much more visceral, and he's screaming the whole time as his head is slowly ripped apart. And damn, if he didn't deserve every single second of it.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Kinda with Creta. The rival country has long been part of the FMA mythos, but it was never really explored in either the 2003 series or Brotherhood. Even still, the Cretan military receives more focus than Cretan culture (as the cultural focus is instead devoted to the newly-created Milosians).
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Atlas kills Ashleigh and steals his face to assume his identity. This him allow him to pose as Julia's long-lost brother to get close to her and find the Sanguine Star. It also ends up getting subverted, as the person he thought he'd killed was Not Quite Dead...
    • Zigzagged with Atlas also posing Melvin Voyager. He certainly stole Melvin's identity for his 'Hide in Amestrian Prison' plan. However, Falman and Breda's investigation reveals Melvin had left his hometown and come to Central City 4 years before Atlas stole the identity and no one back home had heard from Melvin during that time. It's left ambiguous if Atlas did kill the real Melvin, or simply stole the identity of an already-missing person (Breda leans towards the latter).
  • Death by Irony: Subtle example. It's stated the Milosians are being used by the Cretans as cheap labor to construct their geothermal plant. With the later reveal that Colonel Herschel is the real Asheligh, and his hatred of the Milosians, the implication is that he was intentionally trying to invoke this trope: Make the Milosians unwittingly help build the very instrument of destruction he was going to use to destroy them and their Valley.
  • Destructive Savior: As soon as Roy receives word of the Train Incident at Table City Station, he just knows Ed was involved (as does Winry). The irony, of course, is that Ed didn't actually start it this time around (it was the chance exposure of the Cretan Chimera on their train that got the ball rolling). That being said, a good chunk of the damage is solely on Ed.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Raul/Alan is so loyal to Atlas that he never considers the possibility that Atlas will kill him once the Star's within their reach.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Atlas is eventually killed by the real Ashleigh to which the final boss role goes to him.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • During the final fight, an enraged Ashleigh screams at Ed that the Amestrian can't possibly understand the unbearable pain he's had to live with for the last half a decade. Ed and Al, of course, have spent the last few years knowing all too well the traumas of losing your parents and alchemical body horror.
      • During this same fight, Ed earlier calls out Ashleigh for being willing to sacrifice countless lives in his quest for the Truth. Ashleigh counters this is no different than the Amestrian military's own slaughters (like Ishval) and calling it justice. The irony of course, as Brotherhood viewers know, is that the Amestrian bloodshed is part of Father's own quest to acquire the Truth.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: Atlas really starts losing it when things start going his way.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Atlas and Raul both appear in the prologue when the Crichtons are assigned their Cretan guard detail and briefly speak. However, it's an intentionally brief introduction and Atlas and Raul (the latter especially) are kept in the background and partially in shadow. This is all done to help hide the twist about their true allegiances and identities at the end of the Second Act.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference : A Meta variation with Table City. The first glimpse of Table City in the initial Teaser Trailer released in 2010 is a prototype design (the primary architectural difference being the look of the Central Tower). This design was later changed into the familiar model by the time of the later promotional campaign and the film's release.
  • Evil All Along: Atlas presented as good person in his disguise and stolen identity but is shown to be this during The Reveal. He's been a lying and scheming schumbag ever since Julia was a child.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: A Cretan Chimera undercover on the Elrics' train to Table City gets exposed by an Amestrian guard dog.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Patrick Seitz and Matthew Mercer must've been having a lot of fun at the recording studio.
  • Enemy Mine: The Elrics, Julia, the Black Bats, and Ashleigh are all forced to work together to stop one of the Cretan Chimaeras that enters the Milosian base.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: When Julia's telling Ed and Al about the legend of the Sanguine Star and its appearance and abilities, it slowly dawns on the Elrics that what she's describing sounds eerily similar to a Philosopher's Stone.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Milosians hate the Amestrians almost as much as they hate the Cretans (and with good reason given Amestris betrayed the promises they made to the Milosians in exchange for ousting Creta from Table City.). This causes problems for Ed and Al when they're down on the valley floor.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Atlas/Melvin maintains a suave, cheerful demeanor throughout most of the movie, even when he's grinding up his former allies to make the Sanguine Star.
  • Final Boss: The real Ashleigh effortlessly kills Atlas, the villain up until this point, and then takes over his role as villain.
  • Foreshadowing / Call-Forward: Table City's purpose as a citywide human transmutation circle foreshadows the Elrics' discovery that their homeland of Amestris is essentially a nationwide transmutation circle.
    • During the standoff with the Cretan Chimera in the tunnel, Ashleigh covertly glances at Milosian freedom fighter Alan. It looks like he's signaling him to provide a distraction so they can rescue Julia. It's really the first clue that the two already know each other and are working together.
  • Famed in Story: As the film takes place partway through the Brotherhood timeline, Ed and Al have built up their reputations enough to the point where even Julia and the Milosians down in the Valley have heard of the Elric Brothers. The Cretan Chimera on the Table City Station Train likewise also realizes he's dealing with the Fullmtal Alchemist once he sees Ed's automail.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Ed and Al (not to mention Roy, Riza, and Winry) will all survive the events of the movie since it's set partway through Brotherhood. Likewise, Ed and Al will not gain any new alchemy secrets or knowledge to help them restore their bodies. This is justified in-story with the reveal that the new Milosian alchemy just turns out to be a riff on the Philosopher's Stone and thus Ed and Al have no desire to use it.
    • Director Kazuya Murata's admitted in interviews that this Trope was very much in play (and caused headaches) when they were developing the film's story. It was a challenge to find a point in the Brotherhood timeline where the film could plausibly fit, ensure it wouldn't contradict the established canon, and plausibly explain why the events of the film were never discussed in-universe during the series.
  • Frame-Up: To stop Ed from revealing his corruption to Mustang, a concealed Major Soyuz tries to gun down the Colonel and blame his death on the Black Bats (who are still in the middle of attacking the City). Unfortunately for Soyuz, Roy and Hawkeye hear him raising the rifle from his concealed position and Soyuz quickly learns Riza's legendary marksmanship isn't exaggerated.
  • Freudian Excuse: The real Ashleigh wished to wipe out the Valley and conquer Table City because he wanted revenge for his and Julia's parent's forced exile, which led to their murder and his gruesome disfigurement.
  • Fridge Logic: Invoked in-story when Roy, Riza, and Winry travel to Table City and discuss Ashleigh Crichton. They know by this point in the film that his prison sentence was a means of finding a safe harbor (relatively speaking) from the Cretan Agents pursuing him. That also know now he broke out early because of Julia's arrest and impending deportation back to Creta. What keeps bothering Roy, though, is that this doesn't explain everything in-between. If he could've broken out of prison at any point, why would Ashleigh wait 5 years? The only explanation that makes any sense is that Ashleigh was waiting for something to happen during that interim. Indeed, Atlas was actually waiting for Julia to grow up, as her tattooed half of the Sanguine Star's map was too small and didn't match his stolen half of the real Asleigh's tattoo at the time.
  • Gambit Pile Up: The second half of the film, as the Milosians, the Cretans, the Amestrians (or at least Major Soyuz and his corrupt officers), and Atlas all simultaneously make their respective plays to acquire the Sanguine Star — and with the Elrics caught right in the middle.
  • Gender-Blender Name: "Ashleigh" is the way is spelled which doesn't look especially feminine but it causes confusion when the more common spelling of "Ashley" is used.
  • Genre Blind: Again, Raul/Alan didn't anticipate his co-conspirator would betray him to acquire the Sanguine Star and all its power for himself.
  • Geometric Magic: Similarly to Amestris itself in Brotherhood, Table City is one giant Transmutation Circle meant to harvest human souls to create a Philosopher's Stone. However, Table City is also unique as the first (and so far only) three-dimensional Transmutation Circle in the franchise.
  • Giving Them the Strip: After Ed and Al's hands are pinned to prevent them from using alchemy by the treacherous Major running Table City, Al gets free by detaching his gauntlets from the rest of his body and performing alchemy using his vambraces.
  • Grand Finale: Meta example. This is both the final installment of the franchise's Brotherhood era and, at least as of 2022, the final installment of the franchise's anime branch. From this point forward, FMA would switch over to live-action rather than further anime projects.
  • Heel–Face Turn: After his face is restored, the real Ashleigh appears to realize his mistakes and re-assumes his fake identity, to help his sister and their people in the hardships to come from behind the scenes.
  • He Knows Too Much:
    • Possible example during the tunnel standoff with the Cretan Chimera. It's not explicitly stated, but upon a re-watch, it's plausible that 'Ashleigh' killing the Chimera wasn't just about trying to rescue Julia. He may have also been trying to silence the Chimera before he could spill the beans about 'Ashleigh'.
    • A variation when Soyuz tries to do this to Roy. Ed is just beginning his debriefing, so Roy doesn't know at this point about Soyuz's corruption yet. However, Soyuz knows Roy will be able to bring him down once Ed spills the beans. So he tries to kill Roy both to play this trope straight and to try and blame his 'death' on the Milosians.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: The real Ashleigh became dangerously close to turning out as bad as Atlas in order to achieve his revenge, nearly destroying a country to do it.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • A dying Miranda stabs Atlas in the black to distract him and give Julia a chance to flee the Central Tower. While it technically fails (and Atlas finishes Miranda off), Miranda does unknowingly buy Ed and Al the final, crucial seconds they need to ascend the Tower and rescue Julia themselves.
    • Julia does this in order to save her brother by opening the Gate and losing a leg in the process.
  • Hypocrite: When Ed calls out the real Ashleigh on his plans for using the Gate and trying to play God, Asleigh scornfully points out that Ed's one to talk given his (and Al's) own violation of the Taboo.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: The real Ashleigh tells Julia something like this when he explains why he didn't reveal himself to her before.
  • Indy Ploy: Played with regarding Melvin Voyager's prison breakout. With months left in its his prison sentence, the implication is that Atlas was going to leave peacefully (for him anyway) and return to Table City by conventional means and without arousing too much attention. It only becomes an Indy Ploy because of the unanticipated capture of Julia and her impending deportation. He didn't have a choice, but to move now and make it up as he goes lest Julia end up beyond his reach.
  • Interquel: The film is set partway through Brotherhood. Fan consensus places the story's events between episodes 20 and 21 (based on comments from Director Kazuya Murata about Ed having deduced Al's body was still inside the Portal of Truth as the perfect catalyst for a road trip to investigate new alchemy). At the very least, it's also set prior to episode 24 (as Mustang's staff has not yet been split up and reassigned by Bradley). Although apart from Al using array-less alchemy (and using the Brotherhood voice cast), it can also fit in the 2003 series' continuity.
  • Irony: As part of his performance as the fake Ashleigh, Atlas adopts a characterization based upon how the real Ashleigh's personality and behavior might've changed due to the events of the last 5 years — such as a deep, bitter hatred of the Milosians. When the real Ashleigh finally reveals himself late in the film, it turns out Atlas' fake characterization wasn't actually too far off the mark from what Ashleigh's become like in the interim.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: Ashleigh's wolf chimeras were to protect Julia and to watch over her. That didn't go very well because it was violent.
  • Lovable Rogue: Melvin Voyager, the escaped criminal but also a suave man and a loving brother. Someone like Ed is hard pressed to call him "evil".It's a complete facade, of course. He is not in the least lovable.
  • Made of Iron: Atlas. Toward the end, dude flays himself, gets stabbed, electrocuted two or three times, buried under who knows how much rubble but still won't die... until his head a'splode, o' course.
  • Malevolent Masked Man: Herschel, though it's complicated because he's actually Julia's brother, the real Ashleigh, and looking out for her welfare but he is also a villain who wants to bury Milos in lava.
  • Meaningful Name: The root word sanguis is Latin for "blood". Guess what the Sanguine Star is created from.
  • Memento MacGuffin: The earrings owned by Julia and Ashleigh.
  • Mirror Character: The Crichtons (both Julia and the real Ashleigh) are intentionally this to the Elrics. Al and Julia are the quieter, more sensitive siblings while Ed and the real Ashleigh are both dogs of their respective armed forces, Alchemy prodigies, and with a temper to boot.
  • Mythology Gag: Table City having been raised to conceal the existence of the ancient Hill of Milos settlement is similar to the reveal of Central City concealing Dante's underground City in the 2003 series.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Atlas escaping from Amestrian prison in the prologue. If he had quietly broken out of the facility, yeah, there would've been an APB out for him, but it wouldn't have been a major manhunt (and there would've been no real leads as to his whereabouts or destination). By literally blasting his way out, Atlas gets the full attention of the authorities and the Elrics (who were on the scene and are invested in the manhunt because of his unknown form of alchemy). Atlas' rushed escaped also leaves behind enough evidence that allows Ed and Al to deduce he's headed for Table City and to give chase. It's all justified though, as Atlas' escape was an Indy Ploy forced by the discovery that Julia has been arrested. He was in a race to get to Western Amestris before Julia was extradited to Creta (which would've put her beyond his reach and ruined his 5 year long game).
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Averted. After Ed and Julia destroy a key component in the circle used to make Sanguine Stars, Ashleigh mentions that it doesn't matter: he'd memorized the diagram and could build a new one.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: At the climax, Roy Mustang defeats two wolf Chimeras on his own. This is happening while all the action is focused on Julia and Al stopping the lava flow and Ed fighting Ashleigh to the point where a viewer might wonder what he's doing and why he isn't contributing to the events on screen until he's finally shown standing next to two charred Chimera corpses.
  • Outgambitted: Atlas manages to do this to every other party trying to get their hands on the Sanguine Star...only to fall victim to it himself when the real Aslheigh finally emerges from the shadows.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Milosian Alchemy is initially presented as this. Similarly to Xingese Alkahestry, it's a different kind of alchemy from its Amestrian counterpart. This is part of what gets Ed and Al involved in the plot, as they want to investigate Milosian alchemy and see if they can use it in their own research to restore their bodies. However, it's then subverted when it's revealed that the Milosian Alchemly is just another riff on the Philosopher's Stone. This also allows Ed to hold his own against Atlas when he briefly acquires the Sanguine Star (as Ed's had enough experience at this point fighting against Stone-empowered foes like the Homunculi and Father Cornello).
  • Play-Along Prisoner:
    • Al gets taken prisoner by the Black Bats. When they come under attack, he snaps his bonds and breaks out of his cell in under a minute to help out.
    • Melvin could have used alchemy to break himself out of prison at any point in his five-year sentence, but stayed in prison until he saw an article in the paper saying that his sister had been arrested in a round-up of Milosian rebels in Table City because the prison was a safe place for him to wait until Julia was full grown and able to be useful as a puppet in his plot to gain the Star, and her being arrested meant she might not be available for him to use if he didn't act quickly.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The Cretan Chimera that pursues Atlas into the Milosian tunnels and takes Julia hostage. With the reveal later in the film about the real Ashleigh, the Chimera knows 'Ashleigh' is actually the Cretan tratior Atlas. He has a prime opportunity then and there to reveal 'Ashleigh' is an imposter to the Milosians and the Elrics, but doesn't. If he had, he might've survived (and Atlas wouldn't have racked up his body count for the remainder of the film).
  • Rasputinian Death: As detailed under Made of Iron, Atlas takes quite a lot of punishment that should've killed anybody else in his position following the reveal. It finally takes the real Ashleigh revealing himself in a sneak attack to put down Atlas.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Julia's eyes turn red after she eats the Star.
  • Remember the New Guy?: The Milosians, who've never been mentioned in either the 2003 series or Brotherhood before this film. Justified, as they're a small population overshadowed by Creta (and as Ed and Al lampshade in-story, their adventures haven't taken them anywhere near the Western Amestris-Cretan border).
  • The Reveal: Colonel Herschel, the man in mask, is the real Ashleigh. The man we were led to believe all movie was Ashleigh, was in fact a man by the name of Atlas, once the bodyguard for Julia's family who betrayed them all in order to obtain the Star aka Philosophers Stone.
  • Save the Villain: Despite nearly destroying Milos, Julia can't bear to kill her brother and goes on to both save him and restore his face.
  • Sequel Non-Entity: An interquel variant, but the only characters from the series who appear are Ed, Al, Winry, Mustang, Hawkeye, and Major Armstrong. Scar, the Homunculi, and the Xingese characters are all absent.
  • Shipper on Deck: Al seems to have a crush on Julia. Ed responds by leaving them alone together, complete with an out of nowhere "go get 'em tiger" buttslap.
  • Slasher Smile: Atlas as he stabs Miranda. It's part of the Wham Shot revealing his true colors and that the mask of 'Asleigh' has figuratively and literally come off.
  • Spanner in the Works:
    • Julia's arrest and detention end up being this for Atlas. It forces him to break out of Amestrian prison months earlier than he had intended (since he has to get Julia before she gets deported to Creta and ends up out of reach).
    • Atlas and Amestris both independently derailed the Cretan Military's goal of acquiring the Sanguine Star 5 years before the events of the film. Atlas' unexpected treason stalled momentum (but didn't entirely kill it, as Ashleigh survived and continued working for the Cretans). However, any research breakthroughs Ashleigh made were immediately rendered useless because of Creta unexpectedly losing Table City to Amestrian annexation (and being unable to retake it without triggering a full-scale war).
  • Supporting Protagonist: Ed and Al serve in this position for the film. While they're still the main characters, the movie makes it clear from the beginning that this is Julia's story - we're just seeing it through the Elric brothers' eyes.
    • It's arguably a justified, necessary evil. Since this is a side story set in the middle of Brotherhood, Ed and Al's character development is locked in and the film can only do so much with them without contradicting later events. Julia, by contrast and by virtue of being an original character, does get a defined and developed character arc.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Soyuz, the Amestrian Major in charge of Table City, looks remarkably similar to Yoki (and is likewise just as corrupt).
  • Tear Off Your Face: What Atlas did to Ashleigh and grafted it onto his own face.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Alan does not care for working with Asleigh initially and makes it clear to Miranda. It's actually a subversion meant to preserve Raul's cover and that he and 'Ashleigh' already know one another.
  • Unknown Rival: Ashleigh is this to Atlas. Justified, as Atlas went AWOL from the Cretan military 5 years earlier and would've had no idea who was commanding the Cretan Chimeras who were after him (on top of having good reason to believe the real Ashleigh had died in the Prologue).
  • Unwitting Pawn: Every one in the story, from the Elrics to the Black Bats, directly or indirectly ends up being manipulated by Atlas to help him acquire the Sanguine Star. Ironically, though, Atlas himself ends up becoming an unwitting pawn for the real Aslheigh.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Very cleverly played straight and subverted with Ashleigh. The Ashleigh that returns to Table City is darker, more cynical, and more brutal than the young man we first meet in the prologue. Initially, it seems to be an understandable consequence of the death of his parents, being separated from Julia, and 5 years on the run and in prison. It's actually all a subversion and misdirection. The changes in his characterization are actually clues that 'Asleigh' is really an imposter. When we do finally meet the real Ashleigh again late in the film, though, he's become just as cynical and brutal as Atlas (and ironically because of Atlas destroying his and Julia's childhoods).
  • Villain Respect: Before killing Atlas, Ashleigh compliments him on doing impressive work transmuting the Sanguine Star.
  • Wham Shot: 'Ashleigh' stabbing Miranda through the back, revealing his true colors.
  • Whatever Happened to the Mouse?: The ultimate fate of the Crichtons and the Milosians following the events of the film and in the larger context of the Brotherhood timeline. As mentioned in Bittersweet Ending, it seems as if the Cretans did retake the Milosian territory, but the map during the Brotherhood finale could also be outdated.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Julia and the rebels get called out several times by Ed and Al for knowing and accepting the cost of creating a Sanguine Star. However, once Julia obtains the Star, she uses it to save the Valley and Ashleigh's life.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Atlas spends much of the film having to adjust his plan on the fly to take advantage of useful pawns, or to account for variables he didn't anticipate (such as Julia's refusal to abandon the Milosians).
  • You Monster!: Julia calls Atlas this just before she attempts to attack him. Later, in a less literal example, Ed calls Ashleigh out for the hateful man he's become to the point of disbelieving that a guy like him could honestly be Julia's brother because of it.
  • Your Head A-Splode: Atlas's fate, courtesy of Ashleigh, is far more gruesome and thorough than what Atlas did to Ashleigh earlier.
  • You Killed My Father: Try entire immediate family. Atlas killed Julia's parents and tries to Kill and Replace her brother. When she discovers the truth, she is outraged.
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