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Thoughts On How The Elric Brothers Perspectives Changed During The Series, Cold Hard Truth
post Jun 13 2007, 03:54 AM
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Well first off I'd like to say im a new member although I have been eying this website for awhile now and just decided to join.

This will be my first topic.

This is a discussion on what your thoughts are on how Edward's and Alphonse's view of life change dramatically throughout the story.

I think it is quite sad how everything they knew turns out to be lies behind lies and so on. But I love how it so closely relates to reality. It shows that even if you try so hard you may not receive what you wanted or think is fair (or nothing at all). It shows the many hardships of life in a whole new aspect and world. I think its actually genius and to do it through two teenagers life is even more genius. First off teens go through many changes since its their puberty, hormones and such all changing but when you throw in the world of alchemy and add in some cold hard truth (pretty much everything relates to real life just an "Alchemist World" version) its just pure genius.

This isnt a story about two teens that live in the world about Alchemy. This is two teens that face real world problems in the world of alchemy (adult problems, problems that some teens face today, maybe not in the exact situation but in very similar situations). I can see how many people (younger people) would see Edward as a role-model for how he chooses to deal with things (may not be the best way but it sure as hell is usually the right way compared to what others would do , I can honestly say I probably would'nt do everything he does and have the 'human' in me to stop me from spilling blood, im sure most of you probably think you would do the same thing he does but really think about it).

Well that was much longer then I was expecting it to be. Sorry if some of its confusing, I pulled an all nighter and now its 7 am so im a bit tired as you can probably imagine.

"Equal Exchange"...Whether anything is an 'Equal Exchange' is completely dependent on the person doing the work and receiving. You could think its a fair exchange while I don't.

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post Jun 14 2007, 02:21 AM
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Welcome to the board, FullMetalTruth. smile.gif

So, "you can't always get what you want"? (Sorry, watching House has reminded me I love that song)

The story of two young people facing trials and tribulations in the 'real' world is a very common theme in stories, in anime, in books and shows for teenagers. And in FMA, you're quite right, it is the core of the story. For all that it is expanded (and I'm thinking of the anime-verse) to encompass a range of characters, and huge and abstract theories, BONES/Arakawa wrote a tale centred around two characters developing (with questionable success, IMO) in their world.

The 'genius', if one can call it that, comes from how the story is written. There are bits and pieces of magic, religion, pseudo-science and the conflict between them. And all that gets transmuted into a conflict within individuals and how they relate to world. It is smart, and for a shounen series directed at teenagers it is very smart. Older fans will find nothing new there, nothing ground-breaking that they haven't seen/read/worked out before. But for the younger viewers, there is a new, strong central story there.

On the subject of Ed....granted, he is set up to be something of a role model (after all, he's the main character in a shounen series), but how realistic do you think his point of view really is?

He wavers between moments of revelation, in realising that he cannot understand and control the world through the equations of alchemy to the exclusion of all else, and supreme arrogance in thinking that somehow he can change everything, that all problems are somehow his fault, taking the weight of the world upon his shoulders without consideration of others. One only thinks that if one also believes they can control everything. Though this does present the conflict Ed faces quite well, I do wonder if it is necessarily realistic, or whether the writers were merely using Ed to express a point of view, as opposed to an actual realistic character.

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post Jun 17 2007, 01:43 AM
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Yes, welcome, FullMetalTruth!

Ah, Ed... I could write an essay on his character and his development throughout the series. I don't see him as a role model, because when it comes to dealing with life, you cannot go with a role model and simply follow him. You need to experience life to know what it's about. As for dealing with things, every teen soon finds out that you've just got to deal with losses and failures. If you don't, the world isn't going to stop spinning for you and say "Oh you poor thing." Whoever falls behind stays behind, unless you yourself learn to catch up. And Ed and Al sure did learn.

No, what I find most admirable about Ed is his firm belief in his principles. He made a mistake, was willing to admit it, and goes out of his way to fix it. He was only a pre-teen when he made the choice to burn down his home to strengthen his resolve of restoring his brother's and his bodies. This awareness of human weakness, and stubborn determination to not let it stop him amazes me. His journey to find his goal was long and arduous. I suppose any other kid would have given up a long time ago. Any other kid would have started hating himself for doing such a foolish thing in the first place, or at least tried to accept the situation. In modern society, any other kid would have started slashing his wrists or committed suicide. Not the Fullmetal one! This might be hard-headed foolishness on his part, but the way he never took his eyes off his target is admirable, at least to me.

FMA is a very well-written bildungsroman, because he indeed did grow through experience. He learnt the things that are important, and the things that are not. And yes, he learnt that "you can't always get what you want", although you always get marks for trying. In the end, the brothers settled for something less than the best, but they learnt to be contented.

They also learnt one other very important thing: never forsake anything for the love of your family, and of your friends.


~A painless lesson is one without any meaning; There is no coming to consciousness without pain~

Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit.

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