Joined: 13-August 09
Member No.: 70,575
On FMA manga ending: Given that it ended the way it ended, I think it's all right. Hope sooo many mangas were this way. Maybe this ending will start a trend. XD
I already said this, but now I'm even more convinced: Arakawa, for manga readers sake... Start a new manga, pleeeease! Even if it is to be a half or less good than FMA, it will be something worth a lot of re-reading.
Joined: 13-April 09
From: Third World FTW
Member No.: 67,896
Ok, I’m posting this here because the final chapter discussion thread is already 20+ pages, I don’t like posting without reading everything before (to avoid repetitions and such) and there isn’t much to talk about the chapter other than the conclusion, since 50% of the chapter was made of epilogue.
First, let me talk about this epilogue thing: I can’t really say I hated or loved the ending yet, since I’m still kinda shocked; I just don’t think all of that was really necessary. What really bothered me was how fast things were done: they’re home and, in a matter of panels, they’re already leaving to distant places, then there’s the photos, and you’re like, ok, they’re back home and settled, and so on. I mean, it was HP all over again. I actually didn’t mind HP epilogue that much, since it was brief and presented in only one scene. But with FMA, I can’t really tell where (ok, guess I can, see my selfish rants below), but somewhere along this long conclusion I lost interest, and was passing by the pages of the raw, didn’t even bother to try to comprehend the sentences I didn’t get the meaning… I lost interest on the final pages. I don’t think I can ever forgive myself for that. Guess that’s how my brother told me a while ago: the problem with endings is that, if they’re too loose, the plot won’t wrap up; if they’re too, how should I say, worked up, with correct pairings and destinations for characters settled, etc, it leaves the reader with a strange emptiness. Sometimes, it’s good not to talk about the future, to give the audience something to dream about. (ok, that is nothing like he put it to me in words, but I had to adapt). Of course, people will be able to fanfic at will about what the brothers did in their travels to help others, but it’s just not the same, idk. A little bit overdone.
Now, on to my really selfish rants. First, let me say that, since I entered the fandom through the first anime, I realized I was missing a lot of interesting things because of my obsession with Ed and Al’s fate. All I wanted to know was how their story ended: all the other characters were little more than fill-ups for me, and I didn’t pay attention to their interests, therefore missing the whole. When I started with the manga, full of hope of a better conclusion than that of the anime series, I made a personal commitment to not focus in only one or two characters side, like last time. This time, all of them would be equally important to me – because FMA just has the most awesome cast ever. ...Boy, I wish I could stick to that. I made progresses, but the brothers’ goal is still my main concern, although I understand why other fans may be more interested in other characters.
Considering all of this, after Ed managed to bring Al back (I particularly liked how it turned out), I was expecting everything would – how should I say? – settle down, so we could have full fruition (no idea if this is the right word) of the experience. After all, this IS the primary objective of the story. Let’s say, to me, it was too short. Though I liked the humoresque tone of the whole thing, Al’s face was priceless, him rediscovering the feeling of warmth; it made me smile all the way through, like I was also there celebrating with them. After that, the radio broadcast begins, and I was left like “this is it? The moment I’ve been waiting for ages?” Don’t know what I was expecting, if a more touching reunion of the brothers, some kind of private talk between them before the whole “let’s party with all the characters!” thing… I really don’t know, but I was left disappointed, as if it was too shallow. (just to clarify, though, I’m not into Elricest) After that, all seemed a little opaque, and thus the epilogue started (for me). And then there was the Edwin scene; the thing I dreaded actually happened. Let me get this straight: I don’t like Winry, and probably never will. And I don’t buy this “childhood friends falling in love” thing either, hence I don’t like Edwin. But my main reason to hate it is the shippers: not all of them, but a bunch of them. It’s all they care about, I remember people saying whole epic chapters sucked because there was no Edwin. So, after this scene and the one with the babies, I probably won’t discuss this chapter in FMA communities, because of irritating, spamming Edwin fangirls’ squeals. That’s it. I was reasonably sure there wasn’t going to be any romantic development, since it’s a shounen series, but, now, can’t be helped. What can I say? I wanted it to end in open so I could imagine things didn’t work out for them, is this a sin? Would have been all good, if not the babies and all. Again, it’s a totally selfish and biased criticism. For those Edwin shippers, my warning: I know what it is to be obsessed with one part and miss the story as a whole; believe me, stay away from that path.
Nothing much to comment (phew), liked how the Selim thing turned out, really glad for Mrs. Bradley. Still have a thing against Grumman, that he didn’t do anything and got all the prize. Didn’t quite get the Roy thing, need to re-read the chapter, paying attention this time. Who knows: maybe then I’ll be a little more satisfied. Oh, and on Ed and Al traveling in opposite sides of the map, didn’t like either. I know it is important for them to develop lives of their own, but them journeying alone kinda ruins the image we have on our minds; the image that will always be the synthesis of Fullmetal Alchemist for me: them traveling down the railroad side by side.
Sorry if I offended anyone here, not my intention, and sorry for ridiculously long, barely comprehensible post, I'm just upset I didn't like the epilogue that much . All in all, I think the ending tried to satisfy all sides, without clinging to cliche bittersweet endings, and that was okay. Looking forward to whatever Arakawa-sensei is planning after this masterpiece. Maybe I'll come back and comment on particular points, now I'm exhausted. EDIT: couldn't sleep. Re-read the chapter, and felt a little better. With time, I can grow fond of it.
- Goodbye, FMA, please help me find the strength to move on and get stronger, too!! ^^ - If I don't answer your reply, it could be because: 1) I'm too busy to turn on my computer. 2) I got shy, and didn't come back to the discussion. 3) I hate you, and I'd rather ignore you. 4) Your point got me speechless, congratz!
Joined: 12-October 07
From: UK, studying the tea ritual of the natives
Member No.: 52,145
No, Anakishi, don't resent not enjoying the epilogue - there was so much hype and such a build up of suspense and excitement directed towards this chapter that it's bound not to be perfect. Also, your preferences in fiction and previously read mangas shape the way you feel about it. I specifically lowered my expectations just in case the ending was lack-lustre.
So my thoughts now? I was expecting the edwin - I'm happy it's still got Arakawa's twist and doesn't have a fanfic feeling. I'm not a huge Edwin fan, and I see why Winry can seem a quite a stereotypical character that is barely saved by her relevance to the brothers' character development. But the ending was nonetheless alright, not too sacharine, and very in keeping with Edward's character (I mean, seriously , if you had the guts to face an unholy allpowerful monstrosity and have come close to death multiple times over the past few months, you should be able to muster the courage to ask a girl out! edit: he did need two years to do it though)
It's true it sped through the lives of the characters, but the lack of sense of settlement is what makes me like it more than the HP ending. I felt it made me wander a lot more about what Ed and Al will be doing that I did about Harry - but then again this is the sort of ending I prefer, a dynamic open one that makes you feel that the fictional planet you have just visited will go on spinning after you've closed the covers of the book. And about the brothers traveling apart - well, to be fair, that is probably a feeling we all have. I've also gone into the fandom through the first anime, and have always been really fond of Armour-Al. As amazingly cute and fit Al may be now, I'll always find his former armoured self more interesting. The canon FMA universe will obviously not be the same, esp w/o Ed's clappy alchemy (I haven't read any translation of Roy's ending, so I don't know whether he keeps clapping transmutation or not). But so many new doors have been opened (the brothers traveling, Amestris' still wobbly political situation, unresolved Royai, Alkahestry now practicable in Amestris) that I don't mind it that much.
I can't wait for the translation so as to find out what's actually happened to Scar, Roy, Marcoh, and Bob the Blob. Please don't tell me Scar joins the millitary - now THAT I would have a problem with.
FMA's entry on TV Tropes' Better Than It Sounds page:
Military specialist searches for a magic rock recipe to get his brother out of a can. In one version of the story, the rock is their father, in the other version the rock is us. Or: Children see a Thing Man Was Not Meant To Know, run around country looking for another one.
Joined: 7-December 09
Member No.: 72,103
My fresh thoughts (not in order):
I liked what Ed has done to bring back Al. Sacrificing all his knowledge about alchemy for him is like sacrifice his whole life (or at least a big part of it)
I liked how the Greed - Ling "problem" has been solved, and the departure of Hohenheim. Really touching.
However I'm a bit embittered about the whole Roy thing. I do really hoped to see him as fuhrer despite the fact that Grumman has taken that role is a bit more "realistic" but highly unfair. Plus no hints to the 520 cenz promise. But the saddest thing is the no Roy - Riza interaction, I mean after all that is happened in the previous chapters...dunno I hope that Arakawa will do something like a "what's happened to the others?" chapter...
In conclusion I liked the ending, but , despite it was long, 100 pages weren't enough to solve everything with the usual and not rushed pace that Arakawa has always used in the other chapters.
Joined: 12-June 08
Member No.: 60,229
Just finished reading the scanlation, and I've got to say that I was REALLY happy with the way the series ended. Of course there are still certain plot lines I wish could have been covered more in depth but like Anomia Grey said, I like endings that make you feel like the FMA world is an entity that will keep on changing for the better, in the ways the characters were striving to get to all along, and that the manga was just a little visit into that world. And what a visit it was. (WARNING LONG POST)
I'll admit it, I cried halfway through the chapter, once father was defeated/Al wasn't back/Hoho-papa and Ed had their little talk/yell/cry. And I don't get that way for many books/television shows/movies/mangas. Usually I'm able to keep myself more emotionally detached (generally just because the things I'm viewing or reading just aren't that good) but I felt like the denouement to this manga was done very well.
I'm an Edwin fan so of course I was happy that that happened (AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH BABIES! /spazzing). I'm also happy about Al/Mei. Overall I'm just happy that the brothers, after such a long journey, have been able to overcome most of the hardships and mistakes they've made. I'm actually happy that they're traveling separate. I think it shows not only that they've reached a spectacular point of independence, but moreover that they've reached (or are reaching) a peace in their life. Think about it. For me the brothers bond is one major pieces of DNA to the story. The image of them walking side by side and going home together was beautiful. But I feel like part of the reason that they had a hard time staying apart was not just because they were lonely, but because they were scared. Scared to be alone, but also scared that something bad would happen to the other. Now a bit of worrying isn't a bad thing, but I think since Trisha's death it became so much more than that. So the fact that they're able to separate at the end makes me happy, because I think it shows the readers that they're in a healthier state of mind/that they're comfortable enough in the world to take such a journey. And it's not like they're truly separate--after all they're chasing after the same goal, just like they always have been.
And that last point is what brings me to my feelings about Roy/Riza. I'm a Royai shipper as well, though to be honest not as heavily as any other pairing in FMA. Which may be why I wasn't too upset with their ending. Yes it would have been nice to have a reunion between the two, but as someone said before we know that they were reunited in the end, with Riza protected Roy's back as always. I think a lot of people are disappointed in the ending for Royai not because Riza's back in her original position under Roy (I assume) but because there wasn't any change to show anything more between the two of them. But I'm not upset with their end because even if we don't see it happening, I think its implied that their ending is a happy one. I think through this battle (the whole promised day struggle not just this chapter) I think they've really come to realize not only how much they care about the each other, but they're able to see how much the other one cares for them. And in the end, just like Ed and Al (except that the relationships are better), they're reaching for the same goal, just like always, and their doing it together.
Also its just pretty much implied Roy's about to be Fuhrer. I mean Grumman implied Armstrong and him are the two people who are helping him the most, but we already know that central is hesitant to except Briggs after the promised day, and we know that Grumman favors Roy at this point (especially if Roy, I don't know, marries his granddaughter?)
Hoho's end was nice, I like that he died happy and with Trisha. The Xingian's ending was nice too, especially since we know Ling/Mei/Lan Fan get what they want (the crown, Al, and Ling hahaha) and that everyone stays in touch. I also really like the radio broadcasts at the end, because I liked hearing about what Roy was accomplishing two years later, and made me feel confident that his promise to become Fuhrer would be reached. Also the ending line "you will gain an irreplaceable fullmetal heart" WAS EPIC. I almost starting bawling there. It cemented to me that Arakawa is a freaking GENIUS story crafter. All hail the cow! (Who needs to come out with more works soon!)
I'll miss this series A LOT. It's been one hell of a journey.
Joined: 30-August 07
From: Southern U.S. (I moved, I'm not a redneck.)
Member No.: 50,311
....after calming down a bit, it actually wasn't a half-bad ending. I was just upset because of the random Edwin ending, and no 520 cenz promise or anything like that. Oh well, I'll take what I can get. And that is: Al's body, Ed's arm, Hohenheim dying.... it was over all a good ending for the story, and I'm done being mad.
"I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances." -Martha Washington