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 Fullmetal Alchemist:Brotherhood

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Malour
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PostSubject: Fullmetal Alchemist:Brotherhood   3rd June 2018, 10:44 am

Welcome to the Fullmetal chat thread! 

Due to the fact that there are two versions of the series, I made this one specifically for Brotherhood, which stays true to the manga. You may reference the first anime if you so wish, but the main discussion should be primarily about Brotherhood. 


With that being said, have at! Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Fullmetal Alchemist:Brotherhood   3rd June 2018, 11:47 am

Okay, so I love Brotherhood (I'm currently reading the manga, and I'm enjoying that a lot too).  I have to say my favorite idea of the series is the philosophy of alchemy, especially the ideas of universal unity (my shorthand for all is one, one is all), truth, and equivalent exchange.  The philosophy is what drew me to the story (which I also quite like), so I would say that is the driving feature of the series for me, since it makes me think quite a lot.  Especially since I love the idea that the horrible things that happen to you are indicators that something good can be paired with it.  It's something I can remember when I feel like everything is going wrong.

This show also has the advantage of Roy Mustang.  I can't help but adore him.

Oh, I can't remember if the idea I am calling universal unity has a real name...I feel like it should, and I didn't see one in a quick search (I was not very through).  Can someone else remember if it has a name, and what it is?  Also just out of curiosity, what about Brotherhood appeals to you?

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PostSubject: Re: Fullmetal Alchemist:Brotherhood   3rd June 2018, 8:44 pm

There are a lot of things about Brotherhood that appeal to me. 

While I'm not quite as fond of the war aspect of it, I do like how it shows that every single person in the show played a part in it, either directly or indirectly, and it changed them. They didn't just walk through the war and come out unscathed, either physically or mentally, (unless you're Kimblee, but we won't talk about him). They all carried that responsibility for their entire lives. It's not just something they could take off like an old sweater. The series gave a realistic portrayal of what war is like. 


battles aside, another thing I liked about Fullmetal, is how, surprisingly enough, the villains aren't just good villains, but they're, in some ways, relatable. Now, I'm not saying all of them are, but a good few of them most definitely were. Especially Greed. While all of the others were more along the lines of true villains, Greed was mainly a nuisance at most, due to the fact that he didn't hate humans. In fact, he needed them, to fulfill his greedy desires. They made his character somewhat relatable, because even though most people aren't as greedy as him, it strikes a chord that, hey, he's born of human desires, just taken to an extreme. 

The other villain that I loved/hated, oddly enough, was Envy. I'm not saying I agreed with him. He was insane, hands down. But you can't help but feel sorry for him. Unlike Greed, Envy hated humans with a passion, but he hated himself too. He was so self-conflicted, because he needed humans in order to feel superior, but he was envious of what they had that he didn't, which caused him to feel inferior, and it was a self-destructing circle of pain that ultimately lead to his death. 

Why is that relatable? Again, it's because that's human nature. It is ingrained in human nature to feel envious of what we see others have, and try to boast about what we do have, and Envy personifies that, albeit in the form of an insane not-quite-human. 

I'm not saying that I particularly cared for Envy, but I did like how they handled his character. 

Most of the others I am not as fond of, as they don't quite get the same level of character development as those two. 




For the main characters, I love how they show the good times, mixed in with the bad. You see them struggle, you see the pain of how their choices affect them, how their choices affect others, and how other's choices affect them. It's a big circle, and it can either be one of endless pain, or endless peace. Even just one moment of pain, one choice, affects everyone around them. 

Why do I love that so much? Again, because it's relatable. They show that everything is a domino effect, from Hoinhiem bringing Alchemy to Amestris, and by extension inadvertently bringing the means for the war to happen, to the death of even one single soldier. It shows that everything has a reaction, either good or bad, and that people who aren't inherently evil can do bad things, and people who aren't inherently good can do good things. 


It also shows that there are many, many moral gray areas. And the characters often toe them. Sometimes even cross them. But there is always someone to call them back. Never will they be allowed, not even once, to cross the line without someone right there to make sure they are pulled back to their original moral standards. 


Sorry if this was a huge rant, I just love this series and the characters so much that I can get a little passionate about it LOL

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PostSubject: Re: Fullmetal Alchemist:Brotherhood   4th June 2018, 10:17 am

Oh yay, now that I've read what you've written, I have more to say.  So no need to apologize for ranting here! 

I am totally with you on Greed - he is relatable, and not only that, but he is interesting.  I find interesting to be the most important aspect of a character (I can like them or dislike them, as long as they don't bore me).  Greed is an embodiment of those moral grey areas you talked about, and the varied sense of his nature only becomes clearer as the series progresses.  I find him more interesting then Envy, simply because he bucks against what he feels, and that adds both to his relatable nature for me, and to my level of interest.  Greed knows what he is (most of the time), but he isn't always sure what he wants to be. 

In fact, that disagreement between who people are and who they want to be is a driving force in the show.  Mustang wants to be Fuhrer, but he is a dog of the military (and after Ishval, the fact that he has to follow orders haunts him).  Mustang hates who he has been - and I believe for most of the series, he at least somewhat hates what he still is.  Edward is a mixture of incredibly proud of his abilities and sometimes frightened by his own prowess and how badly he can mess us with his powers.  The idea of being of two minds about something happens all the time in reality, and it is played out frequently in the story.  Very rarely are characters completely (or even mostly) at ease with themselves, their missions, or their world.

I think the two minds kind of goes with your idea of moral relativity, and it definitely makes the show both more relatable and more interesting.  Humans aren't often truly at ease with everything around them, and they are in fact uncomfortable with lots of aspects of life a lot of the time.  The characters go through these struggles on a heroic scale, and they help make the show feel more realistic to viewers.  Also, they just give us more to think and talk about, which helps a lot!

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PostSubject: Re: Fullmetal Alchemist:Brotherhood   4th June 2018, 1:33 pm

I underline the last bit because of how much it stuck out. 

Honestly, if you think about it, it's really sad. Most people feel greediness at one point or another, but that is his core personality. It's essentially his destiny to be greedy! But it's not until the last moment before his death that he finally realizes and admits that all he wanted, more than anything else, was friends. Someone who could be his equal. It's lonely at the top of the world, and he knows it. He essentially goes against his "programming" and says he didn't want to be the best, if the best meant being alone. 



Quote :
In fact, that disagreement between who people are and who they want to be is a driving force in the show.  Mustang wants to be Fuhrer, but he is a dog of the military(and after Ishval, the fact that he has to follow orders haunts him) Mustang hates who he has been - and I believe for most of the series, he at least somewhat hates what he still is. 


Mustang, I think, is the best and most interesting example of characters involved in the war.  The military was corrupt, and Mustang wanted to change that. At first he just wanted to protect those around him, but once the war started, he set his sights for the top, so he could protect everyone. 

And that's not a bad thing, but what is bad is what he had to do during the war that caused him to wish for the position of Fuhrer. He had to take so many lives, without even knowing why. He didn't see the Ishvalans as enemies, so like you said, the orders haunted him. He knew what he was doing was wrong, but he didn't speak out. He hated it, and he hated himself for doing it. 



Quote :
  Edward is a mixture of incredibly proud of his abilities and sometimes frightened by his own prowess and how badly he can mess us with his powers.


I think what frightens Ed the most, is that unlike other Alchemists, Ed has very little limit to what he can't do. And yeah, that causes him to mess up more than most people. 


Quote :
 The idea of being of two minds about something happens all the time in reality, and it is played out frequently in the story.  Very rarely are characters completely (or even mostly) at ease with themselves, their missions, or their world.

I think the two minds kind of goes with your idea of moral relativity, and it definitely makes the show both more relatable and more interesting.  Humans aren't often truly at ease with everything around them, and they are in fact uncomfortable with lots of aspects of life a lot of the time.  The characters go through these struggles on a heroic scale, and they help make the show feel more realistic to viewers.  Also, they just give us more to think and talk about, which helps a lot!


Seeing characters overcome their struggles on such a monumental scale, at least to me, is empowering, and when they feel uncomfortable with who they are I just want to jump through the screen and give them a hug. It's that level of relatbility that makes me love a show, anime or not. 

(Sorry I quoted a lot of yours LOL)

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PostSubject: Re: Fullmetal Alchemist:Brotherhood   5th June 2018, 6:35 pm

@Malour wrote:
I think what frightens Ed the most, is that unlike other Alchemists, Ed has very little limit to what he can't do. And yeah, that causes him to mess up more than most people.

I just got back from class and am running, so this is going to be short, but this bit stuck out at me, so I needed to comment.  Could this be another form of equivalent exchange?  I mean, Ed gained power - quite a lot of it - but he also has to accept that his mistakes are no longer going to be the minor errors of a child.  He is going to impact far more then himself and his brother - and even the worst mistake of his childhood only impacted the two of them.

I'm not sure if that makes sense or not, but I wanted to throw it out there.  Like I said before, I like the idea of equivalent exchange, so I tend to gravitate toward it (sometimes when there could be better things to go with).  Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Fullmetal Alchemist:Brotherhood   5th June 2018, 9:30 pm

Technically, yeah, it could be considered a form of equivalent exchange.  The more he uses his alchemy, the more he impacts other people, good or bad. He has nearly unlimited use of his alchemy, and with it he leaves more of an impact than most of the other alchemists, and his actions have much bigger consequences than that of a child, most definitely.

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