Yes, that’s right, I found a my little pony parody of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. What now? In all seriousness, FMAB was a good show, worth watching, especially if you’re shonen or action lovers.

MY SINGLE MOST FAVORITE PART (no it has nothing to do with ponies!) IT”S THAT SPIRIT OF MANLINESS

It’s just so manly!

Now my favorite theme in the entire series. It’s big, brash and elegant. It has it’s own measures and times that it follows. It is the ultimate culmination of classical while providing music for both fight scenes and dramatic reveals. My only complaint is that it was a TAD overused.

In all seriousness FMAB is one of the best written animes this side of Japanese heaven. Why? Let me list the reasons. Well defined and motivated enemies. Circuitous and complex plot that has simple reasons. Grand scales that involve the entire cast without crowding out the main characters. The movement speed is just right. The characters grow as they experience what’s happening to them. This isn’t about ‘kawaii’ cat-girl maid fetishes, this is about serious business. The comedy and drama is combined beautifully. Characters like Hughes (Spoilers) are slain and I feel something for their characters. Envy is hateful, yet we still have a pang of sympathy for his suicide.

The plot may be found in wikipedia, I will discuss points of interest to me.

First, the Homunculus. He’s the main villain and psuedo-doppleganger of Hohenheim. He is motivated by ultimate power and ultimate knowledge. And once he has it, he desires to keep it. There is no ‘I NEED MORE, MORE!” knowledge. He becomes content with what he has. His motivation, as it was, to leave his glass home and be at the top, instead of some lowly servant to the alchemists. He begins gleeful, then becomes sad and angry at his own abilities. He makes a good villain because he is both small (as the dwarf in the flask) and powerful (as Father) and weak (at the very end). He is calm, uses his power logically and actually has a defined and logical end goal. This makes him stand head and shoulders above just about every other shonen jerk in history (except One Piece). He is a believable villain without the mustache twirling of Snidely Whiplash.

This is the opposite end of the spectrum. Solf Kimblee is a villain who’s working for the heck of it. Unlike the Dwarf/Father, he is in it for the short term. He wants to see how everyone will react and create his ‘art.’ He is likely in the top most perverse villains, not in sexual jokes or anything, just in his enjoyment of violence. He eventually becomes eaten by Pride, to be added to Pride’s philosopher’s stone. He is actually able to keep control of his personality, and even taunts Pride in the end, indicating that besides his love of violence, he understood human nature.

Alphonse Elric is the second of the dual protagonists that make up Fullmetal Alchemist’s cast. Honestly, if it had just been his brother, I would not have watched this show. Alphonse is usually in a quiet conflict of himself. He knows that he is human, soul-wise, anyway, and yet he is a suit of empty armor. He is an empty man. He has human feelings still, and that very nearly drives him to reclusiveness, as he doesn’t have to sleep or eat, further separating him from his humanity.

Personally, I empathized with him and while I like Solf and the Dward in the glass, he is my favorite character. As a Christian my ‘TRUTH’ (a great theme in the series) is tied up in the Bible. One of the great truths for the Christian is that life is temporary and that our souls will be transferred to a new body. I struggle with both the physical permanence (my ‘armor’) and the truth about my soul. That this paper thin existence will be wiped away in the end… can you be a Christian nihilist? I don’t really know, because it’s a hope on my end, but terrible judgement to all non-Christians.

Truth is the ultimate character of sorts. He is the only character truly neutral, without affiliation to any side. I fear him to be a ‘god’ uncaring about the normal populace, as long as he  is entertained and the rules are followed. He is cruel, as his toll is despair itself. Truth is strangely ironic, and reminds man that man is mortal. From Mustang he took his sight, turning him blind. Mustang was a man ‘with his eyes on the future’. Mustang did not take it well, but adapted. Perhaps it is a mindset, Truth can cripple you (as in reality), or it can make you wise. Mustang’s ambition was dented, but I felt that it was replaced by some sort of wisdom that loss brings.

While alchemy is a knowledge, it strikes me that, in the manga and the anime, that it was inconsistent. Their truth, if you will, could not allow matter transformation to truly be 10 for 10. The energy required, summoned even from the very tectonic plates, which I don’t really understand how mumbo-jumbo circles aside. I feel that a ‘science’ should not be connected to the genetic abilities of a few.  cannot see the connection between advances in metallurgy and alchemy. To create an automail -a cyborg prosthetic more advanced than anything we have ever done- requires connection to the brain and other myriad things. They need advanced neuroscience, nerve to wire connections and understand perfectly how the brain uses a hand. It was something that bothered me a little, I must admit. That a civilization that could have extremely powerful levels of neuroscience not have advanced combustion engines or flight! Many medical techs have evolved from the sonar/radar techs from WW2! TO FIND PLANES FOR PETE’S SAKE. Ah well.

The show was great, watch it. ENJOY IT. And may you be ever honest about your truth.

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