HAGANE NO RENKINJUTSUSHI
HAGANE NO RENKINJUTSUSHI
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Symbols & Symbolisms You See In FMA: Flamel, Ouroboros, And Whatnot, Designated thread for everyone to post what you find out on Wikipedia
Hyleaus
post Mar 22 2006, 10:55 PM
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QUOTE(popogeejo @ Mar 22 2006, 07:54 AM) [snapback]367126[/snapback]

QUOTE(Antimony @ Nov 20 2005, 09:45 PM) [snapback]317582[/snapback]

Lots of crosses appear in FMA, too, and everybody here knows what crosses mean, right? Besides the obvious places like churches and graveyards they also appear on characters' bodies. I'm not talking about the Serpent Cross that Ed, Al, and Izumi wear, though. I'm talking about Scar. The scar on his face is an X shape, basically the same thing as a tilted cross, and his clothes have crosses on them. His coat has one on the back and his pants have one on the left leg.

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So what do all those crosses mean? Obviously Scar is not a Christian, but maybe they're meant to show us the viewing audience how he believes himself to be a Savior of mankind. He's trying to 'cleanse' the evil of the world by killing all State Alchemists who, in his mind or for real, are the ultimate sinners.

Yay for overanalysis!


Also in the Manga the first gReed we meet was pinned on a cross.


I think that this reference to Jesus overlooks the fact that Scar is not the protagonist. He is at best an ally in the end. Perhaps, if you want to go the Christ-figure route, maybe you ought to take a Hebrew perspective? Hebrew legend (incidentally, Islamic legend as well) takes the position that Jesus was a prophet, but not the savior of mankind. Also, consider that in Hebrew myth, there are a few tales including the creation of what is known as a Golem- that is to say, an artificially created human being. Golems, as well as Homunculi seem to terrorize with utter abandon.

Audi alteram partem.

Hyleaus


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Popogeejo
post Mar 23 2006, 03:19 AM
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But Golems were made of stone and 30 foot tall.
Gluttony is shorter than Ed and made of fleshyness.


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Hyleaus
post Mar 23 2006, 03:33 AM
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I was concerned more with the symbolic creation vs. his/her creator.

Fallaces sunt rerum species

Hyleaus


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Keoni
post Mar 23 2006, 06:41 PM
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QUOTE(Hyleaus @ Mar 23 2006, 03:18 AM) [snapback]367806[/snapback]

I was concerned more with the symbolic creation vs. his/her creator.

Fallaces sunt rerum species

Hyleaus


You meant Fallaces enim sunt rerum species, I think...
( You're not the only one who knows Latin wink.gif )

As for Scar, the Isballan believe seems to be a lot like the Christian one, hence the crosses. Or that's wat I think.
As for the X shaped scar... One of Jesus his followers was cruciefied on a cross shaped like that one.. maybe it's just an other way to show his believe?


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Hyleaus
post Mar 23 2006, 10:58 PM
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QUOTE(Keoni @ Mar 23 2006, 08:26 PM) [snapback]368090[/snapback]



You meant Fallaces enim sunt rerum species, I think...
( You're not the only one who knows Latin wink.gif )

As for Scar, the Isballan believe seems to be a lot like the Christian one, hence the crosses. Or that's wat I think.
As for the X shaped scar... One of Jesus his followers was cruciefied on a cross shaped like that one.. maybe it's just an other way to show his believe?



I shouldn't be messing with this in this forum, but your addition of enim is strictly stylistic. I was not quoting anyone, in case that is what you were trying to correct. It would be just as, but not more correct to insert enim, it depends upon style alone. (I appreciate the input, plus your study).

In any event, the reason why I bring up Hewbrew as the source for symbolism is because in the story Scar is decidedly NOT the progtagonist. If we are to consider this, then it would be like looking at history where Jesus was not the protagonist i.e. from the perspective of the Jews, or even the Romans. That doesn't mean he was an evil man, but it does mean that some people (who didn't understand him) were very peturbed by him.

Illos quis alas habentes, quasi somnii volate- "To those with wings, fly to your dreams."

Hyleaus


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_azztro_
post Mar 26 2006, 09:43 PM
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and from what i know (i'm not sure if this is correct) the ancient symbol of Christ is "X", thus we have the short version of Christmas as "X-mas"...
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SCARED4LIFE
post Mar 29 2006, 04:21 PM
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Wow....I didn't know half of what you guys said.......scuse moi for not being the brightest bulb in the box ,but this forum is for ppl that can acutly understand the big words and stuff for witch you are saying...

Yes I know. Im crazy and not too bright in the head.
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Popogeejo
post Mar 29 2006, 04:35 PM
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QUOTE(_azztro_ @ Mar 27 2006, 05:28 AM) [snapback]370020[/snapback]

and from what i know (i'm not sure if this is correct) the ancient symbol of Christ is "X", thus we have the short version of Christmas as "X-mas"...


The X in X-mas is supposed to pronounced "Cross" not "Ex" because "Crossmas" dounds similar to Christmas.

I don't really like looking for relligous symbolism simply because it's so easy to find even if it's not intended.Any cross thses days is seen as allusions to Jesus or if someone sacrifices themselves.
Yes there is symbology in FMA but some of the stuff you will find isn't meant to be.
The X on Scar could just an Homage to Samurai X or represent the X in "X marks the spot" showing that the philosiphers stone (treasure) is in Scar or it could just be because X shaped scars look cool.

I enjoy reading thread like tis and seeing how you guys interpret certain things but just remember Relligon/Jesus is like an elephant under your bed,not hard to find.(this makes more sense in my head)


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Damascus
post Mar 29 2006, 04:51 PM
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I think the symbolism and philosophy underlying FMA is what makes it the best anime ever! Many of the things you will find are (though many people have beaten me to it, I'll just list em for y'all):

The Ouroboros is a major symbol of alchemy, appears on the Homonculus, the main antagonists.
The Caduceus--also called a Flammel, because it appears on Nicholas Flamel's tomb--opposes the Ouroboros, and pointedly appears on the homonculus sealing circle. It is a snake on a cross. Also appears paired with the main protagonists: Ed's jacket, Al's shoulder, and Izumi's tattoo.

Hohenheim seems obviously modeled after the alchemist Paracelsus (sp?), because his proper name ends with "von Hohenheim." Von Hohenheim was rumored to have created a homonculus, which thereby fled from him. Remind you of anybody? *cough envy cough*

We have all heard that Dante is named after Dante Aligieri, the author of the Divine Comedy, which pointedly mentions the seven deadly sins in the Inferno. I think also that Dante suffered from unrequited love, same as the FMA one. wink.gif

I just noticed this one: Look closely at the Grand Arcanum transmutation circle. It seems to me that the large dark shapes depict a bird-like shape. I'm reminded of the phoenix, which corresponds with the reddening phase (the final phase) of the Philosopher's Stone's creation (feathers of a phoenix), according to ancient alchemists.

That's all I can see for right now, but I'm sure you clever people can see more. wink.gif


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Popogeejo
post Mar 29 2006, 04:56 PM
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The Orburos is also a symbol for Imortality as it's an endless circle and the Falmmel is the antithisis of it what with it being a snake nailed down but I'm sure you know that already.
Thank you Wiki wink.gif


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Philosopher'...
post Mar 29 2006, 11:24 PM
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Since ancient times, popular imagination has circulated on archetypal figures who wielded esoteric knowledge. Shamans and witch doctors were held in reverence and fear of their rumored abilities to conjure beasts and create demons. They shared many of the same perceived characteristics that have been passed onto mad scientists such as eccentric behavior, living as hermits, and the ability to create life. -Wikipedia, on the topic of Mad Scientists

Aside from the literal symbolism, there are themes as well. Particularly magical ones.

First off, alchemy has real-world ties to the ideas of magic. The process of transformation, the merging and unification of those elements that are opposite but complementary to form new things was a kind of sorcery, the realm of wise men. The Philosopher's Stone could be grasped by men wise enough to see the underlying principle of all physical laws, and therefore bend and transform all things with equal ease. The whole "magic circle" thing is really a tipoff, same with the magical circle that a bunch of German professors were chanting over at the end of the show. Roy can fling fire. Wizards throw fire. I'm sure you get the point. (Magical fire is so cliche...)

You really can see this in the treatment of alchemy by the characters of the show. Alchemy is magic. A lot of characters fall victim to their magical thinking. Edward and Alphonse just wanted their mother back, alchemy was a method for doing so, whether or not that is true is irrelevent to them. Mustang tells Riza that he was trying to remember the formulae of human transmutation at Hugh's funeral and so on. Sure they can keep telling themselves it is a "science" but in their weakest moments they use it as if it were magic. I laugh at the irony of it when Nina says, "It is a magic circle that can make big brother's wishes come true!"

By the same token, magic is dangerous and according to the Ishbalans, the realm of the Devil. Alchemy is a powerful force for transformation. Ed and Al exchanged their youth for an early adulthood by attempting their mother's revival. And of course, you have all the vagaries of mad-science that exist within the show. There's the same sort of fear inherent of science. The symbol and imagery of the mad-scientist hasn't changed from the days of yore, a real sign that the fear of the potential abuses of technology hasn't changed: whether they be the nuke of the Cold War, biological terrorism today or even the petty quibblings over evolutionary theory.

Magical thinking is really more common than you might believe, even in the real-world. For our purposes, magical thinking is an intuitive leap that bypasses good sense.

Let me give you an example: Albumin, a easily manufactured type of protein is now a folk remedy in parts of Asia. Why? Because during times of war, it was a cheap way to give protein to starving folk so that they wouldn't fall victim to disease. So it is ascribed powers that it doesn't have. Fertility, good health, etc.

Another example is: Penis pills. I'm sure all of you hate getting those in your spam mail. Even bodybuilding seems to suffer too much hype about putting on muscle and advertising health products. Take the supplment, my friend, it'll make *everything better.*

My friend always tells me to eat more meat. Sadly, my body just doesn't put on muscle just because I eat more proteins. It just doesn't work the same way for me as it does for him. (Magical thinking: Well I have to get *something* back for all that time I put into studying for that Qualification Exam.)

There are also the McMartial Arts instructors usually don't know jack about fighting or even good self-defense. But here we are, believing foolishly that there's such a thing as the "Ultimate Fighting Art." I don't doubt that there's lots of stupid things people do by injuring themselves in a fight. That means *you* Ms. I'm-Angry-and-Independent. Taking a self-defense course doesn't make you a bonfide, badass. It's basically a macho fantasy to think so.
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Philosopher'...
post Mar 29 2006, 11:37 PM
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It should also be noted that Golems actually originate from legends of associated with Jewish Rabbi's. Simply put, Rabbi's were allegedly so wise that they could animate the clay of earth into a semblence of lfe. This represents their spiritual power and the Rabbi that could do this was to be given the outmost respect. Despite this, their automatons are only a shadow of God's power of creation.

This calls to mind the incident with Cornello, where he animated statues to arrest the Elrics. "He must be a prophet of the Sungod!" You might also note that there's a lot of animated hands, statues and earth-shaping in FMA in general: presumably repsenting the shaping of primal materials and ordering them.

Also, there are heavy Taoistic themes in FMA as well. This is primarily evident in Izumi's particular brand of instruction impressed upon the Elric brothers. She trains them to be complete: mind and body. Thusly she instructs them in both hand-to-hand combat and in alchemy. She also stresses a hollistic view of the world and of Alchemy when she forces the Elrics to survive on the island. The whole all-in-one and one-in-all touches upon a number of spiritual philosophies.

Taoism has many similarities in a lot of religious and spiritual traditions. "God" is arguably the equivalent of the "Tao." That which cannot be named, for the words used in naming it are inadequate in expressing it. Both are inexhaustable and infinite. (Fun Fact: The number zero can be likened to the concept of God. Both appear to have no known form or shape, but in their lacking, they form a presence.)

Alchemy is really dabbling into metaphysical philosophy and by extension, this hollistic spiritualism that is stressed within the show. Alchemy is very much a spiritual quest. The desire to understand the foundation of all physical laws, and thusly achieving ultimate mastery over the elements. The Chinese and Europeans both had alchemic traditions, both might have ascribed spiritual or religious connotations to alchemy.

P.S.
Anime isn't the only thing that puts philosophy into entertainment. But regardless of what you're talking about, most of it is usually done poorly. I'm sure you can think of a dozen sappy cliches that Hollywood movies foist onto you. Or the pretentious crap that was the Matrix Trilogy. I dislike Anno Hideaki for precisely that fact: he couldn't bother to keep his integrity as an entertainer and had to run off and write some piss-poor essay on his philosophies because he was depressed.
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Damascus
post Mar 30 2006, 12:43 AM
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Well, you seem to have a fair bit of research behind you. :S Only thing I've really read about that you've mentioned is Taoism. True the one in all, all in one does correlate pretty closely with Taoism. I think its more of a philosophy then a religion, as it can be combined with other religions. You can easily be Christian AND Taoist, but that's a whole 'nother story.

I liked the Matrix trilogy! The philosophy in the trilogy centered around simulacra and hyperreality, if you have any knowledge of those areas. Of course, the predestination theme is kind of overdone, but they addressed it in a unique way by putting the control and "choice" factor into it. (The One is actually a system of control to regenerate human energy source). But meh, I have a headache so I'm going to bed.

P.S.: See V for Vendetta. It's righteous.


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Bader
post Sep 10 2006, 05:10 PM
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~ Flamel Crest Of Ed/Al/Izumi/& other alchemst in FMA: What is it's origin? ~



What are the origins of this mark? Izumi has it tattoo'd on her chest, and Ed has it on his overcoat and Al has it painted on his shoulder. You see it in a lot of places around the Elric's Home, Dante's Home, and the transmutation circle (shown above) used to seal humonculi has it on it. Izumi says it is the mark passed down along a long line of alchemists, or so she thought. Does it have a name? What is its significance?

Discuss please.
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sweety_pie
post Sep 10 2006, 05:16 PM
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'It is called a flamel. It is kind of the opposite of the Orobous.
It represents a fixation on the violatile princaple in alchemy as opposed to the endless cycle repressented by Oroborous.

It is refered to 'the Flamel' as in Nicholas Flamel. It was one of the alchemical symbols placed on his tombs.'


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