Joined: 27-January 05
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Talk-back/content discussion for English dubbed episode on Adult Swim starts on page 4.
Please post the discussions on the content of episode 59 here. This thread is declared as a Spoiler zone for the content of the first 59 episodes.
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Joined: 10-July 08
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My initial thoughts:
- A cliffhanger in FMA not paying off? HUGE SHOCK. - Gotta love the way that little glass container of Philosopher's Stone bounces around - Bradley is the all-time endurance champion - Oh hey, let's stand around talking to each other! - Heeeeeereeeee's Selim! I mean, Pride! - How does Wrath and Pride just know how to do that right away? - Yeah, because it totally makes sense that you can FORCE a human transmutation. - Roy sees what you did there, Father... OH WAIT. - All right, we get it, you're all angry and useless. - Scar vs Bradley time! - Al, give your body a break. Poor thing's been waiting around forever, it's not his fault he's all skin and bones.
Ah, next week a certain thing is put into motion!
Fullmetal Alchemist is over! Thank you, Hiromu Arakawa! ;_;
Joined: 10-September 06
From: Lynchburg, VA
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QUOTE (penguintruth @ May 30 2010, 04:44 AM)
My initial thoughts:
- A cliffhanger in FMA not paying off? HUGE SHOCK. - Gotta love the way that little glass container of Philosopher's Stone bounces around
You honestly don't see the sacrifice of Mustang's sight as a cliff-hanger paying off? If anything, this episode demonstrates to me that keeping true to your principles does not always ensure a happy ending. Sure, Mustang refused the transmutation, and for a moment it appeared that Hawkeye would be rescued with no consequence, but his nobility was not without consequence.
Much as Ed's conviction to not kill nearly cost him his life (and in fact, reduced his own lifespan), Mustang's conflict to maintain his pyramid scheme came back to haunt him. He was forced to do the transmutation against his will and as punishment was consigned to a life of darkness.
That's pretty severe; to me, this is not Arakawa 'pulling punches;' I mean, sure, she could have made the repercussions more severe (read, Hawkeye's death), but who's to say there will not be consequences even if Roy does succeed (as alluded to by Riza during her retelling of the Ishvalan war)? The cliff-hanger was left on Roy's decision to do human transmutation; the result was that he was forced to commit the act whether he decided to nor. That's pretty messed up, or as Ed put it, unfair, not to mention mentally traumatic for Mustang.
I'm not arguing against you 100% here - if you read my previous post you'll see I view Hawkeye's insta-rescue by Mei Chan as a bit of a deus ex machina (I mean, it makes sense in a way, but I feel it does cheapen the drama a bit):
Having said that, I think it's a bit unfair to say this cliff hanger didn't pay off. Just because a cliff hanger doesn't lead to even more angst or death doesn't mean it's a letdown. Take the Hohenheim soul tornado episode. That was a huge cliff-hanger, and the reversal not only made sense, it also gave context and depth to just how important Hohenheim's absence from Trisha and the boys really was. It was not just a noble fight against Father which motivated him, but a desire to save his wife and sons (and all of Armestris) from being consumed in an agony of whirling souls. Not only does this knowledge strengthen Hohenheim as a hero, but it also makes sense in light of his own trauma in Xerxes, and serves as vindication for his earlier naivete to predict and prevent the dwarf in the flasks diabolical schemes. Sure it's a narrative undo in certain respects, but it also serves as dramatic character development.
Take Claudius' opinion that anime1 handled cliff-hangers more effectively as a counter-point to my argument. In his own words: "They had shock as well as change." I would agree with this, only disputing the implication that Arakawa's twists lack change...they possess just as much change as, say, Al's bomb/philosopher's stone switch, just not on a physical level. Restraint of bloodlust does not equate to lack of change. The change is simply internalized, or to put it another way, the characters are developed.
Even with this distinction, some may view this kind of twist as expected and insufficient. I respect that, while still asserting that the real power of the manga over the anime (to me) derives from Arakawa's overall character development. Some things are cliche, but the author's ability - ultimately - to turn the expected into the unexpected while also illuminating character's internal conflicts and producing real character change is what makes FMA exceptional. Roy had to refuse, in a way, because it was essential for Bradley's character to have that moment when he was genuinely surprised that Mustang would not commit human transmutation for someone he loved. This shocked the homunculus, giving him new perspective, and even respect, for the 'foolish struggle' of the humans he opposed. That one moment where the Fuhrer looks up and actually smiles as he says: "When you humans don't do as expected, it really makes me mad," is a perfect representation of both his homunculus and human tendencies, and is itself and unexpected response. Thus, both characters are enriched (the change) while still maintaining the original shock value of the cliff hanger (Mustang does human transmutation, and loses his eyesight in the bargain). Indeed, the fact that someone could be 'judged' by the truth for an act he did not commit willingly is itself another plot point which is sure to factor into Ed's ultimate confrontation with the Truth and possibly in the explanation of what Father is and why he seeks to establish his own Law of the universe.
Looking forward to your response. It makes for a much richer discussion when people honestly voice their opinions and disagreements
Oh, and about that philosopher's stone bouncing around - I always thought of it as a reference to The Temple of Doom gag where Indiana Jones is desperately trying to get his hands on the antidote for his poison as the nightclub erupts into fighting. Arakawa strikes me as the type who would enjoy Indy humor.